- Posted by Emily
- On February 14, 2022
- 0 Comments
More than 20 percent of all horse owners board their horses. They put their trust in others to care for their horses up to their own standards. Of course, the decision of where to board a horse is a big one—a question that the NCHC gets quite often. Not only where to board, but what to look for in a boarding facility.
There are boarding barns to fit specific equine niches across the state—barns focused on competitive disciplines with trainers on-site that routinely travel to shows, barns situated on or close to trail heads for trail riding enthusiasts, barns with a more casual feel, and more.
Before you start looking at barns, come up with a list of attributes you’d like to see in a boarding barn. Start with the must haves, followed by the nice to haves. Think about the distance you’d be willing to travel for the ideal situation, and what attributes you’d be willing to exchange for others.
Regardless of the focus of the barn, here are a few tips:
Inspect the barn and the property
Is the barn clean and vermin-free? Are the stalls clean? Are the feed room and tack room tidy? What’s the condition of the arena and the pastures? Are the fences all in good shape? Is there adequate trailer parking?
Talk to current boarders
Do they seem happy with the situation? Do they have favorable things to say about the barn management? Can you see yourself tacking up your horse and going for a ride with them?
Consider the barn rules
Are you allowed to use the arena at any time? Can you bring in your own trainer, farrier, or veterinarian? Can a friend trailer in and ride with you on property? Are there barn hours?
Think about your horse’s care
Will the barn staff feed daily or is it self-care? Will your horse get adequate turn out? What type of feed and hay does the barn provide? Can you provide your own? Who is responsible for blanketing? Does someone live on-property? Is there a mandatory worming schedule?
Is the barn in your budget? Is it a reasonable distance from your home? Do you like what you’ve learned about the barn? Are you compromising any big-ticket items?
Boarding facilities aren’t one-size fits all. The perfect barn for one person might not work at all for another. But, the good news for you is that this equine-rich state has a plethora of options. Think about what’s important to you, visit several barns and use the criteria provided above—you’ll be sure to find your horse’s home, and your home away from home, in no time.