View Full Version : Boarding prices, Chester Co, PA ??

Feb. 6, 2010, 02:47 PM
I have downsized the number of horses on my family farm in the past year and with vet school graduation looming (3 1/2 months to go!), I am thinking of taking on some boarders and need some help determining what to charge.

I stopped riding as much, stopped lessons and pretty much feel out of touch with the horse world for the past few years - so thats why I need help!

We have 4 or so stalls available, 2 have rubber mats. Stalls are ~11x11, and we use shavings. Could put mats in the others. Old bank barn. LOTS of pasture (20+ acres fenced). Simple sand outdoor ring. Reliable barn help that feeds/does stalls. Horses out all day in winter, out all night in summer. Dont want any high maintenance owners. I have 5 horses on the farm now (1 leased out), and five goats.

Any ideas on what to charge for board?

Feb. 6, 2010, 04:24 PM
At a minimum for full board with that set up I'd say $400 depending on where in the county. Probably more like $450 to $475. On the upper end in areas such as Radnor or Unionville I have seen $525 advertised.
I just found a new place to board. It is pretty much what you have but less acres and a hot/cold wash stall for $450.
I had a really tough time finding a place with a lit ring. I think you would be able to attract a wider pool of boarders if you can have lights-even if it is just one on a pole for flat work.
I am a working adult and can't ride in the winter unless there are lights in the ring. I would bet there are a number of others in the same position I am in.

Feb. 8, 2010, 04:21 PM
I live in SE PA and have a 5 horse barn with boarders. I try to keep prices reasonable - all my boarders are my friends - and it COSTS me $550 per horse per month. I have someone muck stalls, but I do all the other work. I don't offer any additional services. (one of the horses is mine). Hay is REALLY expensive, and so is bedding.

Feb. 8, 2010, 08:23 PM
I'd say ~$400 for minimal trail access and/or less desirable area.
~$450 for good trail access and average ChesCo location.
~$500 for primo Radnor Hunt/Fair Hill/Valley Forge/Marsh Creek/Unionville/West Chester/etc. location

Feb. 8, 2010, 08:36 PM
Uh, how expensive is hay in West Chester? I thought with all the farm land it would be cheaper than say in NY.

Feb. 9, 2010, 01:04 PM
It depends - we had a horribly wet summer so a lot of hay couldn't get cut & baled. Supply & demand. There are a LOT of horse farms in Chester Co. and with a bad year for hay - you get the picture?

Unfortunately, the farm land is being turned in McMansions so you may have to go to Lancaster or the auction to get cheaper hay.

I'm lucky that we grown our own on the premises and I pay the farmer in the summer. He stocks my barn and I'm good for the year. Kills to have to pay all at once but it's peace of mind to know that I have consistant quality hay year round.

Feb. 9, 2010, 08:29 PM
Uh, how expensive is hay in West Chester? I thought with all the farm land it would be cheaper than say in NY.

I paid $170/ton or ~$4.50/bale for a nice grass mix trucked in from the northern part of the state, and $290/ton or ~$7/bale for primo local Alfalfa mix.

Feb. 10, 2010, 11:43 PM
Thank you for the replies. I was thinking ~$450/month so that is right on.

And no, I dont have a wash stall or a lights for the outdoor. So those are some minuses for my setup.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:24 AM
we charge $700-800 full board,don't make much on that,but does make the farm a business.we are in Unionville in the middle of hunt country and next to a big nature preserve and have a waiting list. Be sure to factor in costs of additional utilities,fencing,mowing,fly control,manure management,repairs and labor. It all adds up quickly.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:39 AM
forgot to add that our board includes blanketing(including changing out during the day if the weather changes),on site BO,feed through fly control,mosquito dunks and fly traps/predators,fans etc,holding for farrier etc,treating booboos,bringing in and out for storms but maximizing turnout,free choice hay and pennfield feeds,etc. I have found it easier to have educated owners who can afford and want their horses to be carefully cared for than to have ones who want to minimize costs or just don't understand the need for regular farrier,dentist,worming,good nutrition,lots of turnout ,etc. My boarders also seem to prefer one fee rather than the nickle and dime approach.There are lots of ways to do boarding. I would guess that the only real way to make money on it is to do sales,training and lessons or have a big operation with big economy of scale. That said,it is a lot of fun to have good horses to care for and good owners to socialize and ride with.