Learn the basics of starting up a horse boarding facility. How to start your own horse farm and boarding business. Run your own horse stable.
Horses are the early passion of many girls and a few boys, some grow into adults who are still horse crazy and want to turn their love of horses into a business. Having their own horse boarding stable is one way of doing this.
You will want to research need in your area to make sure your business is in demand. Look at your competitors, find out if their stables are full or have plenty of room. Find out what they charge and what they offer in terms of boarding and amenities. If you must get a business loan - your research will be required by your bank loans officer.
Land and Buildings
Obviously one must have sufficient land to have horses. In most areas a general rule of thumb is 2 acres per horse, less for ponies and miniature horses, more for draft horses and warmbloods. Some areas may have legal requirements of 3 acres per horse, so always check to see what the guideline are regarding how many horses you can keep on your property. If you expect them to graze and live off the pasture in the summer you will need more land per animal depending on the growing conditions where you live.
A barn is not necessary, but a barn with indoor riding arena will attract more boarders. You must have shelters in the pastures, and a washroom that the boarders can use as well as a place for them to store their tack and equipment.
Better fencing will attract more boarders. Nobody would board a horse at a stable where the fencing is in disrepair. As well you will want to have various pens and pastures, some being individual pens (also for use when introducing a new horse or isolating one who needs rest), and some larger turn out areas.
As mentioned earlier the more amenities you have the more boarders your business will attract. An outdoor riding ring is a good idea, but an indoor arena is more desirable (and can be planned for in the future). Riding trails on your land or nearby public land offer other riding opportunities. Having training aids such as barrels, and fences (for jumping) are other good ideas. Having a trainer, or riding instructor, will also help attract boarders and their horses.
You will also need to have a name for your stable, and may wish to register it at your local registry office. You must get a business license, have boarding contracts, and so forth. The business license can be obtained from a county office, contact your nearest town hall if you are not sure where to go.
In your contract you will want to cover rules and liablity, as well as if you will allow stallions, foals, or horses with known vices, such as cribbing.
Feeding + Stall Mucking = Boarding Costs
Generally the boarding fees include feed, feeding, and stall mucking, done by you or your staff. Typically stalls are cleaned daily in the morning, and feeding is done two or three times. You must establish what this will cost you, and set a price for monthly board. Factor in if you have to pay staff, and so forth. Even if the horse is kept on pasture only it may need additional feed and should be checked regularly.
It is wise to establish a set of barn rules (hours, and so forth) that are well posted for everyone to see.
Be aware that when you board other peoples horses you are responsible for making sure they are checked daily even if out in the pasture.
Be sure to have an area where people can park their horse trailers.
If you have an arena plan on having horse shows inviting people from other stables. This will also allow them to see your stable and perhaps they may decide to board their horse with you in the future.
Have a board where people can post ads for horses for sale.
Have a sitting area where boarders can rest and chat.