Horse boarding is like rental housing for your horse. Horse boarding is helpful for people who don’t have the space or the resources to install and maintain a stable on their property. A horse can be housed in a barn with other horses and receive the care they need. Owners can visit their horse for riding, grooming, training, etc. Horse boarding services may vary based on the company and the price. Some horse boarders may offer short-term boarding of 24 hours to several nights for people passing through an area, while most offer boarding by the month for horses whose owners live in the area. There is partial- and full-service boarding, which indicates how much of the work of feeding the horse and cleaning the stall is the responsibility of the owner rather than the boarding barn. For an added fee, horse boarding can also include grooming services, riding and training, medication administration, and more.
To find the right boarding fit for you and your horse, make a list of your top priorities. These might include immediate access to riding trails, round-the-clock supervision, or a nearby or affiliated veterinarian. Always visit the site to learn exactly where your horse will be kept and whether the barn and grounds are in good condition. Read reviews, and always practice smart hiring. It’s also critical to sign the proper legal documents that protect both you and your horse, such as boarding agreements. Above all, make sure it seems like a place your horse will be comfortable between your visits.
You can board your horse at any barn or stable that provides horse boarding services. To find horse boarding near you, read reviews of area locations and speak with equestrian friends to find one with a solid reputation. Ideally, the location will be within a reasonable drive from your home or office. This is especially important if you are paying for partial boarding services and are responsible for feeding your horse and cleaning its stall each day. You may choose your boarding barn or stables based on the services they provide. Some offer more extensive amenities — at an added price — that reduce the amount of work you need to do to keep your horse comfortable. Consider whether you want training, blanketing, exercise and other perks in addition to standard offerings like hay and stable mucking. Your stable may have temperament requirements and proof that your horse has the proper vaccinations required by your state. This protects both your horse and the other horses in the stable. Many states require that locations offering horse boarding services have stable licenses that are renewed each year. Always be sure to enter into a clearly written boarding contract that will cover your horse and belongings in case of accident, and remember our tips for smart hiring.
Finding the right horse boarding location is a big step in a horse owner’s life. This will be the place your horse will live and where you will visit multiple times per week or even daily. The cost of horse boarding will depend on the level of service you desire, the location of the stables, and the luxury level of the property. Here are some examples of average horse boarding costs:
- Overnight stabling: $30 per horse per night.
- Partial boarding (owner feeds and mucks): $220 per horse per month, with a three-month commitment.
- Administration of oral medication: $10 per dose.
- Bandaging: $20 per event, plus cost of materials.
- Trailering to vet if owner is unable: $25, plus $25 per hour to wait with horse.
- Basic full boarding: $325-$350 per month per horse. Includes twice daily hay and daily stall cleaning.
- Horse training: $20 per session.
- Pasture turn out: $20 per session.
- Blanketing: $1 per day/$30 per month.
- Vet or farrier hold: $20. This means haltering the horse and standing with it as it receives treatment or shoeing.