Daycare and boarding are the facilities we are aware of when it comes to babies, dogs and cats, but did you know that there are such facilities available even for large animals like horses? Do you worry about your horse’s feeding and management every time your entire family is going out? Well, it’s time you stopped doing that because we are here with a lot of helpful information for you. Lets know why should consider horse boards.Depending on your needs and those of your horse’s, different boarding arrangements are available nowadays which include horse boarding stables, pasture boarding, full care horse boarding, etc.
Horse boarding is not just helpful when you have a horse and you need to go out of town for a few days, they also come in handy when you’re a city dweller who’d love to own a horse. Horses are big and require a lot of space which makes it impossible to have one in a crowded city or an apartment but don’t let it stop you from having a horse of your dreams.
You may be wondering if you can keep a horse in your backyard, if it’s a big one. The answer isn’t that simple as keeping a horse comes with a lot of laws on how and where you can keep them and that’s when horse boarding comes into the picture.
What Exactly Is a Horse Boarding?
Just like any other boarding facility, horse boarding is a facility where your horse will be kept and managed by another individual while you pay them for it.
Reasons for Boarding Your Horse?
As I mentioned previously, you might need to board your horse if you do not own a stable or a place to keep a horse with you. Another reason to board your horse is if you need access to particular amenities that you do not own, for training your horse. You can also board your horse for a particular time period for having them trained by professionals and the most common reason, when you want to take a break or skip out on the stable and barn duties to go on a vacation.
Pros and Cons of Keeping a Horse at Home
When you have a horse on your own property, you can regularly cater to it. You can control little things like what the horse will be fed, what the feeding time will be, how often you should feed them or exercise them and other such things.
Whereas the cons of keeping a horse at your own property is that the horse depends on you completely and anytime you have to leave it alone, you have to plan in advance, arrange for a care staff or find a boarding.
you need to put a lot of money and resources to meet the standards of a professional horse boarding or your horse won’t have access to big enough pasture, professional trainers, training tracks, etc. Therefore, horse boarding is the best way to care for their steed for most people.
Let’s take a look at different types of boarding houses:
Full Board or Full Care Horse Boarding
A full horse board or a full care horse boarding has all the amenities and equipment needed for a horse. The horse will have it’s own stall to rest and a pasture to graze on or exercise. In a full care horse boarding the owner of the horse need not visit the horse daily as they have a staff to take care of the horse.
The staff at full boarding cleans the stalls, feed the horses, water them, take them out on the pasture, give them a bath and cater to all their needs. For people who do not have enough space or time to take care of the horse full time but can afford to pay someone else to do it for them, this is a great setting.
Full board also has a veterinarian for treatment, blanketing, calls and other services if needed. You can also opt for a special trainer for your horse, choose their feed and feed supplements and much more but some of these services may come at an extra cost.
A full boarding typically includes a stall for your animal, space to store your tack, a riding arena, shavings or litter for the stall, food, water, electricity, waste disposal area, equipment to maintain the pasture and keep the stalls nice and well maintained.
While boarding your horse you’ll be made to sign a contract that will mention all the included services, services available at a cost, term of boarding and activities available. Make sure it’s the right place for your horse before signing a contract.
Partial Horse Boarding
Partial boarding comes at a comparatively lesser charge than a full board. It’s a mixture of full board and self care boarding. In this type of boarding you may be required to pay less in exchange for sharing the services your horse can provide. For example: allowing the boarding facility to use your horse to give people riding lessons or letting them use your horse for recreational purposes for a few days.
Depending on the boarding facility they’ll mention the services they do and do not provide at their facility. Part boards are usually less equipped and do not provide special services and care. Read the contract well to know about the amenities and services provided before boarding your horse.
Since part boards are less equipped and get to use your horse for their activities, they cost comparatively less. In some partial boardings you are expected to provide rations for your horse, may or may not supply bedding, veterinary care and stable cleaning facilities.
It includes a place to keep the horse, equipment and workers for maintaining the boarding and taking care of the horses, training area or pasture, food, water, electricity, and a place to dispose of the waste generated.
Pasture boarding for horses is another great option you can choose for boarding your horse. Here your horse will have an outdoorsy lifestyle. The horse will live outside in the pasture where they’ll be provided with feed, water and other needs. They’ll also have a run in shelter in the pasture where they can go and rest whenever they want to.
In a pasture board your horse won’t get individual attention like they do in a full board or a part board but the caretakers will take good care of them and keep an eye on them.
Since this is more of an open setting, if it is situated in a colder area where your horse may need blanketing in the cold hours, the boarding may charge you extra for it. Other services like veterinary, health supplements, etc will also come at a cost.
Pasture board is good for horses with health conditions like heaves, recurrent airway diseases or simply the horses who are used to living in the open and are uncomfortable being stabled.
Pasture boarding includes a large pasture, run-in shed, shavings for the shed, feed, water, electricity, workers to maintain the pasture and take care of the animals, equipment to clean and maintain the boarding and various other amenities depending on the facilities available.
Self Care Horse Boarding
Self care horse boarding as the name suggests, is a boarding facility where your horse can be boarded but you need to take care of them on your own. You’ll be the one feeding them, cleaning them, bedding them, etc.
Your horse will be provided with a place to stay but you have to bring in their feed, medicines, bedding, etc. Anytime your horse falls sick, you will have to arrange a veterinarian and be there for your animal.
Self care board can be a great option if you live close to a stable or a group of people own a single horse where they can drop by in a rotating pattern and distribute the work among themselves and cater to the needs of the horse.
It includes a stall or shed for your horse, food, water, electricity, a place to collect used beddings and manure, equipment to clean and maintain the boarding, riding arena may or may not be available.
Training Board for Horses
Training boards are specially designed places for training your horse. They also have the facility to house your steed during the training period. Hiring a special trainer may not be a feasible and economic option for all, hence most people prefer training boarding for their horses.
Training board for horses includes most of the things available in full board with training equipment and regular training sessions by a professional for your animal. Training board will only take and house a particular number of horses for a training period who’ll be replaced by another batch of horses at the end of training.
It includes a stall or shed for your horse, food, water, electricity, a place to collect used beddings and manure, equipment and workers to clean and maintain the boarding as well as the animals, riding arena, training area, training equipment and professionals to train your horse.
Stall Boarding for Horses
As the name suggests, your horse will be housed in a stall for most part of the day. They’ll be given a certain amount of time in open pasture or paddock to get fresh air. At some boardings they may be kept in the stalls the entire time.
The important thing to understand while sending your horse to a stall boarding is if they are comfortable with a closed housing system and if so, for how long can they be comfortably housed in a stall. Such boarding barns are common in urban areas with space restrictions.
Stall horse board includes shaving for the stalls, one stall for each horse, space to store your tack, riding arena, food and water for the horses, equipment for cleaning and maintenance of stalls, workers to take care of the stalls as well as the animals.
Senior or Retirement Boarding
Horses have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, once they approach old age they cannot be ridden or made to work and need a lot of care. These boardings specialise in taking care of your steeds in their golden years and providing them with the time and care they demand.
Some of the senior horse boardings or retirement boardings even include services like handling of dead horses, burial or euthnasia for sick horses. Retirement boardings include everything like regular boardings do with specialised facilities for older horses and their needs.
Some senior horse boarding include cremation or burial facilities, special vets, medications for sick horses, special diets and supplements for old horses.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Miniature Horse
Horse Boarding Costs
There are a lot of factors that may affect the cost of horse boarding. Main factor that influences the cost is the type of boarding you choose for your equine friend. For example: A horse boarding stable will cost less compared to a full board. It also depends on the area it is situated in, urban boarding is usually more expensive.
Other factors that affect the costs of boarding are the amenities provided, quality of food and other services, area provided per horse, labor, bedding and more.
Average monthly costs for various boardings are as follows:
Full time horse boarding cost: 400$ to 2500$ or more
Partial horse boarding cost: 200$ to 1600$ or more
Pasture horse boarding cost: 100$ to 1000$
Self care horse boarding: 200$ to 1000$
Training board cost: 600$ to 3000$ or more
Stall boarding cost: 300$ to 1800$ or more
Senior boarding cost: 500$ to 3000$ or more
Boarding a horse is an economical as well as safe choice once you do a good background check of the boarding you choose. You can find the reviews of a boarding or talk to people who have used such facilities. It saves you a lot of time and effort and gives your horse the time and attention they need to lead a happy life.
You can always visit your horse to spend quality time with them at the boarding instead of having your own place and spending all of the time mending things and cleaning the place. Boarding helps you keep the animal you love without investing your entire time into its care and management.
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