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Choosing a boarding stable

"Horse People" come in all shapes and sizes, cultures and backgrounds. Each person seems to have a different approach to caring for their horses, from what they eat to how long they should stay outside every day. This diversity is seen in the way that each particular stable is run. Boarding stables each seem to have their own aura about them, as different as countries in the world.

To find a good boarding stable, you really need to visit each one personally. A webpage, no matter how thorough, or how many pictures it may have on it, will not portray the true essence of a stable. One important thing to keep in mind, when looking at pictures on a webpage; these pictures are taken to portray the stable's good side. They have no bearing on how the stable looks day-to-day. For example: having a 100x200 foot arena seems wonderful, unless it is half-filled with farm equipment six months of the year.

When visiting the boarding stable of choice, the most important thing to do is to meet the owner. Like the president, the barn owner has the final say about what happens at his or her farm. Everything that happens at a stable, tends to originate at the top, with the owner. This includes, but is not limited to; feed brands, bedding quality, barn rules, etc. It is important for the owner’s beliefs about horses match up with your own. This will save you major headaches later on should you decide to board there.

The most important thing to keep in mind, when looking for a boarding stable is the welfare of the horse. In visiting each stable, it is important to go over the stable thoroughly, to make sure it will be a safe and healthy place for your horse to live.

Prospective Boarding Stable Checklist:

1. Are the aisles swept?

2. Are the stalls cleaned properly?

3. Is the feed put away in rodent-proof containers?

4. Is there equipment left out, or is everything in its place?

5. Are the water buckets clear or grimy?

Remember- your horse's health is paramount.

1. Do the stalls latch securely?

2. Are the paddocks clear of garbage and poisonous plants?

3. Are the buildings and fences in good repair?

Remember- you don't want your horse escaping, and you don't want to get hurt if the stable building is dilapidated

1. Do people stop to say hello?

2. Does anyone ask if you need help finding someone?

3. Do you feel welcome, or like an unwanted visitor?

Remember- if you board your horse there, you'll want to be a part of a friendly atmosphere.
Knowledgeable Staff-

1. How long has the owner been in business?

2. Does the staff have a good working knowledge about horses?

3. What do others say about the staff?

Remember- These are the people who will feed and handle your horse daily, so they should know their stuff!



  • Patrick Rall-Detroit Autos Examiner 5 years ago

    Great piece.

    My wife and I own two horses and have been less than happy with the grounds and staff at our current barn. Its shocking to me as to how many of your questions I answered "no"...and its supposed to be one of the better barns in the area.

    Unfortunately, politics rule the barn.

  • Jennifer Jones 5 years ago

    I agree with your article Amy. So many barns do not have all of those features.I was forced to leave a barn about fifteen years ago (due to it being sold to developers)...and looked at MANY in the tri-county area. So many were lacking in several areas. Happy to say- I ended up at a boarding stable in Lenox back then-I am still there today and couldn't be happier. :)

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