the "near a city" and the indoor will attract good clients, I think.
I'm in a much more expensive part of the country, obviously... the barn is about a 50 minute drive from Boston when there isn't traffic (ha!). It has similar amenities (larger indoor, though) and has 20 stalls. I pay $750 for full care board, plus required $150 to go toward lessons, extra handling etc. so $900.
"You have to have experiences to gain experience."
Sounds like most of the barns in my area - Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Full care board runs $275-400; pasture board runs $150-250.
I have now managed to board at most of these barns (not the $450 Arab show barn--which is all heated and has flex-board fencing). My current barn is not fancy, but it is awesome, I am so happy, and it $275/mo plus tax. There is a large outdoor that is not fenced in, a smaller outdoor that is fenced and set up for trails class (bridge, etc.) and a small indoor--probably 135 x 70. My horse is on stall board and her barn (there is a cold barn as well) is heated to 38-40 degrees. Her stall is cleaned daily and bedded nicely (this has been an issue for me elsewhere before). Board includes hay 2x a day and oats, I add a ration balancer and smartpaks which are fed at no extra charge. So in a way it is about $325/mo with just my grain added on. Additionally, for the last month the stalled mares (horses are pastured by sex) have a round bale in the large turnout pasture. The other horses may too, I just haven't bothered to look. Wash stall is turned off for the winter. There are 100 acres to ride around in the summer, but no state trails, etc. I can park my trailer there for free (I have it at home right now).
The one negative is high tinsile electric fencing (which is very normal for this area, but worries me).
No Nelsons in the stall, but they do clean the buckets. I like knowing how much my horse is drinking too.
Best of all the BO is knowledgeable and attentive. Also allows in outside dressage clinicians (WP barn) but doesn't want outside trainers regularly, as that is her business. I have no problem with that.
If I didn't live 30 minutes south of the "city" (barn is 20 minutes east) I would stay boarding there in a heartbeat, but the drive is tough for me and I am bringing my horse home once I get set up next year.
In southern Maine: 12x12 stalls (19), 80x200 indoor (although one end gets commandeered for round bale storage, 80x180 outdoor (not lit), all day turnout, outside wash rack, heated Nelson waterers in all outside turnout, 40 acre hayfield, access to trails, at the end of a deadend road. $500, which is the going rate around here.
Oh my, I wish I could pay that little, but I don't live in the midwest - but in the San Francisco Bay area. I board at an older, rather rustic barn in Contra Costa County (East Bay). 15 minutes or so from where I live. Good trail access. Covered, but not enclosed arena. Outdoor that is not usable after heavy rain for quite a while. Not an issue late spring through fall, but winter - bye-bye outdoor. Stall with paddock. Limited turnout, but it's there. Base board $525 with two hay feeds. One extra hay feed per day per month $30. $10 to park trailer. They worm (rotational) every 8 weeks, usually an extra $10-12 for that month. Fancier barns in the are are $650 up (and up and up and up!!). Ones even less "fancy" than where I am (i.e., no covered arena) are $500 and under.