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Please Critique My Idea of Boarding 1 Horse on My Farm

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  • Please Critique My Idea of Boarding 1 Horse on My Farm

    Three years ago I had a life changing event- needing to help my elderly mother. I had to move, give up some things and now stay on my small 12 acre farm most of the time but she is still mostly independent with mobility- not mentally reliable. My farm is paid for. I've downsized my goats to focus my humble income on my 20 yr. old gelding. In the past Ive had two horses resident together but two were not affordable (in addition to dairy goats) and neither were safe/sound to ride. I say that because I know two horses do fine here.

    So I've been thinking to offer full board for one mare so my Ol Man can have a companion and I can get a little extra income. I can divide his barn from 1 12 x 24 to 2 12 x 12 stalls. His paddock is 1/4 acre sacrificed most of the year and 1/4 acre wooded where it is cool and breezy.

    I live off of a recreational trail and within 10 miles of state park trails so the area is a good horsey area. Also have a horse trailer and would offer to haul the mare to trails once a week if needed. Can also offer trailer parking and tack storage.

    I don't have any special amenities. The full board would be without arena, without wash rack, without any training or lessons which I'm not qualified to offer, though I could find a reputable trainer to come out here if that were the case. Obviously they would pay for training. My area is primarily Western trail riding, btw.

    My thoughts are to include a coastal bermuda roll of hay every three weeks (which is about the time it takes one horse to go through), offer fly mask, fly spray, blanketing etc. all included in the full board price. Additional feed would be owner's responsibility as would be farrier and vet, though I would be here to handle mare. And I could do the feed runs for her within reason.

    Price would be around $450/ month.

    Naturally I'm thinking of a perfectly behaved, healthy mare but I would require prior references, vet and farrier reference, etc. to weed out difficult situations . One thing: I don't know how this would affect my insurance. They didn't bat an eye when I had two at the time they visited for the initial application. Horses weren't even mentioned by them.

    Advice?
    Last edited by Redemption3; Aug. 14, 2019, 11:48 AM. Reason: clarity
    Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

  • #2
    I can see your old guy getting herd bound and turning into a nuisance if the boarder leaves without him, also the price seems expensive but I don't know your area.

    I also think a boarder might like more than a half an acre total out of the twelve, that is if I read it right.

    Other than that when I was a kid we had a boarded companion most of the time for my horse and never had any real problem with it. I organized an annual vet visit day that they paid their portion, I did the same for farrier, as you know it is easier to get professionals if you can offer more work for less driving.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
      I can see your old guy getting herd bound and turning into a nuisance if the boarder leaves without him, also the price seems expensive but I don't know your area.

      I also think a boarder might like more than a half an acre total out of the twelve, that is if I read it right.

      Other than that when I was a kid we had a boarded companion most of the time for my horse and never had any real problem with it. I organized an annual vet visit day that they paid their portion, I did the same for farrier, as you know it is easier to get professionals if you can offer more work for less driving.
      Thanks The Ol Man had a mare friend here and you are right, he didn't like it when she left but he was fine after a couple of days alone again. The farm was originally intended for goats so it is all wooded. Just the horse paddock as is now, unless I clear more as time goes by but we have owls and the trees are old and home to them so I'm not inclined to clear much more.

      I would be offering it at $450. If that isn't possible I would rethink it but I'm basically available 24/7 at that price. There are pasture boards around me for $250.
      Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Redemption3 View Post
        One thing: I don't know how this would affect my insurance. They didn't bat an eye when I had two at the time they visited for the initial application. Horses weren't even mentioned by them.

        Advice?
        Your insurance did not care that You had two horses.
        Once you take money for keeping a horse that belongs to someone else you are running a business, which changes everything. Talk to your insurance agent so you can run all the numbers (extra insurance) to make sure this is a feasible option.

        Comment


        • #5
          I cannot see someone being willing to pay $450 a month for no amenities, as well as the fact you are providing your own feed.
          "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

          Comment


          • #6
            I’ve done something like this before back when my old horse needed a buddy and I had extra space. First, I think two horses is the worst number to have. If the person boarding wants to ride (which I suspect for $450/month they will vs potential $250 retirement field board nearby), your horse and possibly their horse will be miserable every time it happens. For that reason alone, I’d be more inclined to accept a retiree only that won’t be leaving much. However, at that price for retirement (and this is an assumption since I don’t know the area), I’d assume they’d probably want feed included too.

            Second, boarders always have the potential to be a major PITA. You have the folks that won’t bring by their horses grain when they run out so you have to front it (good luck getting paid back), the folks that have horses that hoover your fences to shreds and they’ll swear up and down Dobbin has never cribbed before (forget that he has 3 cribbing collars in his trunk), and the ones that won’t leave even when you give them their due notice per the contract... and that all happened to me with my reference-checked retirement boarders in under a year.

            It’s definitely super tempting when you have the room and bandwidth for another horse. And if you get just the right border, it can be totally worth it. I don’t mean to say these things to scare you off of the idea, but that having rose-colored glasses for a couple extra hundred bucks a month can turn into something that’s totally not worth it.

            Best of luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              not worth the headaches
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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              • #8
                I don't think you will get anyone to pay $450/mo for what you're offering. For full board you need to offer grain and most places have good pasture for at least 12 hrs. a day. Your areas are really too small at this time.
                Also boarders will expect a riding arena.
                I'd get a large goat for your horse's companion and call it a day.
                "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                  I don't think you will get anyone to pay $450/mo for what you're offering. For full board you need to offer grain and most places have good pasture for at least 12 hrs. a day. Your areas are really too small at this time.
                  Also boarders will expect a riding arena.
                  I'd get a large goat for your horse's companion and call it a day.
                  Thank you. He has goats for companions now I was thinking for potential small income and companionship would be the plus. I guess the idea is not workable. I’m really not willing to take on the responsibility for less. though I could add feed of that is expected. It’s okay nothing lost in asking. Thanks to everyone.
                  Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it might be possible to find someone looking to board a well-behaved but high maintenance retired horse that needs minimal grass for that price (not sure why you need it to be a mare if you have a gelding?) But it may not be worth the work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You might consider offering retirement board instead thus avoiding the need for any amenities and horse leaving to go ride. Here, there is a definite need for quality board for unsound or elderly beloved horses. I and several of my friends offer it-- no amenities generally, unless barn comes with them (mine doesn't), just full care in a safe, quiet environment. Most of us charge in the $300-$375 range though. As I said, it's full care: we provide stall, paddock/field, blanket and fly mask changes, hay and grain as needed (within reason). Extras like holding for vet, farrier, setting up appointments, medicating, etc. are billed according to a mutually agreed upon rate. I have boarded for friends mostly, but currently one has an out of state owner. With the internet, that has not been a problem. Something to consider!
                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                        I think it might be possible to find someone looking to board a well-behaved but high maintenance retired horse that needs minimal grass for that price (not sure why you need it to be a mare if you have a gelding?) But it may not be worth the work.
                        My Ol Man has had problems with geldings in the past. He is fine with just about anyone but the geldings would go after him. Since this is his home, I don't want the potential issues. I don't know why it happened in the past but want to spare him the trouble in the future.
                        Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                          You might consider offering retirement board instead thus avoiding the need for any amenities and horse leaving to go ride. Here, there is a definite need for quality board for unsound or elderly beloved horses. I and several of my friends offer it-- no amenities generally, unless barn comes with them (mine doesn't), just full care in a safe, quiet environment. Most of us charge in the $300-$375 range though. As I said, it's full care: we provide stall, paddock/field, blanket and fly mask changes, hay and grain as needed (within reason). Extras like holding for vet, farrier, setting up appointments, medicating, etc. are billed according to a mutually agreed upon rate. I have boarded for friends mostly, but currently one has an out of state owner. With the internet, that has not been a problem. Something to consider!
                          Thanks. When I first thought of this idea I was thinking of an older mare with special needs (needs I could confidently care for) perhaps something in line with my low NSC fed gelding or needing meds or having hoof issues. Once the Ol Man is safely out of recovery for his impending surgery I might pursue this route.
                          Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Five years ago I paid $450.00 a month for a boarding situation that was very much like you are considering. Feed was included, but my horse is an easy keeper and just eats a ration balancer and maybe a bit of beet pulp. I am in a very expensive area for horse boarding, and the $450.00 was a pretty good bargain. I had my own trailer so I trailered out to trail ride.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you're seriously considering retirement boarding, keep in mind most older horses at some point end up not being able to process regular long stem hay. They typically need chopped/cubed hay and most likely additional senior horse feed as their teeth decline/fall out. That gets much more expensive than a round bale and normal maintenance horse feed. Make sure your contract/board price can adjust as the horse's feed needs adjust.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by EquineJunky View Post
                                If you're seriously considering retirement boarding, keep in mind most older horses at some point end up not being able to process regular long stem hay. They typically need chopped/cubed hay and most likely additional senior horse feed as their teeth decline/fall out. That gets much more expensive than a round bale and normal maintenance horse feed. Make sure your contract/board price can adjust as the horse's feed needs adjust.
                                Thank you for the advice. Very helpful. My horse doesn't / won't eat long stem coastal hay anymore. When I fed alfalfa hay he would eat the leaves and leave the stems, so he is now on soaked hay cubes.If I find a retired mare I could just feed the same if she did well on alfalfa.
                                Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think your best bet is reach out to your network and see if anybody is willing to take up that offer. Somebody may be a similar situation as you! Some boarders want a private facility that is low key. I think you should decide on the price with the boarder. You can set the terms of what you will supply & what they will supply. You can also discuss your vs their responsibilities. You seem flexible.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There are so many issues that can happen with boarders it often isn't worth the risk and headaches. While it might not have effected your insurance in the past, you would need to have some kind of liability insurance for a boarder it's just good sense to have it. Secondly you are running a business, though small it could impact your taxes etc., there is also the privacy issues with a boarder (and friends/family) being on your property at various times. The fact that you have no amenities is a big factor in the kind of boarder you might attract. What happens if the boarder falls behind on payments? Can you afford to feed the horse till board is payed up?

                                    If you gelding is doing fine with goats as companions leave things status quo.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You may be better off offering retirement board at a lower price. Riding seems to be kind of a a hassle in your situation. I have one of my horses boarded in a large, thick grass pasture to herself. I provide her feed (although she's not on feed) and I pay less than half of that a month. I have the use of the round pen and lots of other areas to ride on. That said, I don't know your area. You also might consider a donkey. Cheap to buy, cheap to feed and good companions for horses.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by PalomonoGirl View Post
                                        . You also might consider a donkey. Cheap to buy, cheap to feed and good companions for horses.
                                        Thank you. I’m not interested in a donkey or anything else that needs to eat right now I’m looking for a little extra income and if my gelding can have a same species companion it would be great but he’s okay with me and the goats. I’m not willing to take the risk or the hassle if it is much less than 450$. It’s not worthwhile if all I have is extra work and risk. There are many people who would take advantage of this to screw me over; I’m not a big fan of humanity presently, so I’m asking and considering before I do anything.
                                        Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

                                        Comment

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