How to choose the right boarding facility
Choosing the right facility for your horse isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. You’ll want to find something that fits your needs and budget, but most importantly, somewhere you will feel comfortable leaving your horse. Before choosing which facility is right for your horse, be sure to visit so you’ll get an inside look.
Rough Board is one of the most common and inexpensive types of boarding available. What you’ll get is simple – pasture, loafing shed, and water. In the winter, usually board includes hay but no grain supplements. A good facility offers large pastures or paddocks with clean shelters and fresh water. When visiting, check for clean water and safe living conditions.
You may be able to find a facility that offers trail access if that’s something you’re interested in. Beyond that, however, you won’t find the “extra” amenities like a fancy horse barn or indoor arena.
A Partial Care boarding facility usually offers a horse barn and some even have an arena to ride in. A facility of this type will offer a clean barn and stalls, adequate ventilation, clean water buckets, and most importantly, a knowledgeable staff you can trust.
In facilities of this kind the “partial care” portion of the agreement varies. It may include a horse stall and hay but no grain; others come with a stall, and hay and grain, but the owner is responsible for cleaning the horse stall. If you choose a partial care facility, make sure to check out a few barns, see what each offers, and choose one based on what is most important to you.
A Full Care horse facility is considered the most elite option – the “5-Star Hotel” of boarding facilities. It’s usually, however, the most expensive. This facility has everything – a horse barn, indoor and outdoor arena, and even riding trails. Your horse will be stalled every night, turned out every day, and fed both hay and grain.
A good Full Care facility will have a trained and knowledgeable staff that will take excellent care of your horse. Considering its normally high cost, you should make sure you get what you pay for. Your horse’s stall should be cleaned daily and fresh water should be replenished as needed. This type of facility is geared toward those who want to focus their time on riding their horse and don’t want to worry about the day-to-day hassles. This is a great choice for those who want to spend time training and preparing for their next horse show.
Choosing the right boarding facility for your horse may take some time, but when you find the right one, it will be worth it.