She’s cleaned her room for a month, finished all her vegetables at every meal, played nice with her siblings, and gotten straight A’s. That’s everything you’ve asked her to do, and now you have to keep your part of the deal. She wants a pony. Problem is, you live in a small house with an even smaller yard and have no place to keep a horse. You thought you were safe– she hates broccoli! But she ate it, and now you are left figuring out how to keep your promise. Horse boarding may be the answer to your prayers!
Horse boarding involves paying the owners of a barn or stable to care for your horse. This typically means they provide the horse with food, proper hygiene and an adequate space to live. It may also involve training the horse in a certain discipline (barrel jumping, equestrian riding, etc.) and providing your horse with adequate exercise and interaction with people and other horses. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the best horse boarding location for your animal.
- Visit a variety of horse boarders – Its imperative to make a visit to the stables you are considering. It’s easy to post picture of happy, healthy horses on the internet. Make sure that the actual horses at the stable look well-fed and well-treated. Look at the overall cleanliness of the facilities and watch how the caretakers interact with the other horses. If you are uncomfortable with something you see, find a farm that suits your discipline needs. Also check to make sure that their entire facility meets safety codes for both humans and horses.
- Get to know your horse – There are many great horse boarders that can offer a lot of different amenities. Get to know what your horse particularly needs. Does your horse need to be kept in a stable, or can it be kept free in a pasture? How often and how rigorously does your horse need to be exercised? Do you want your horse on a strict hay diet, or is it ok to supplement with other grains, as well? Knowing what your horse needs will help you choose the best horse boarder for your horse.
- Make a check list of your needs and wants – What are the times and days that you are able to visit your horse at the boarder? Check when the stable is open and make sure those times fit your needs. Is cost a problem for you? With horse boarding, you get what you pay for. A boarder with an indoor riding arena, in an urban area where the horses are exercised and blanketed daily will surely cost more than a single stable with few horses and one small pasture. It is also important to read the contract. Make sure you understand and agree with all the policies and practices at the stable, so you won’t have any surprises should your horse become sick or injured.
Considering all of these things is important when deciding if horse boarding is right for you. All the research and leg work will be worth it when you get to see your daughter and how happy she is with her new horse! Mills Family Farm offers pasture boarding for horses. We have a large riding arena, cross country course and plenty of trails surrounding the property.