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Choosing a boarding stable: tips to get it right

Finding a terrific boarding place for your horse is not always easy. Here are some of the key issues you should consider before making your decision.

Finding a boarding stable

Your vet and feed supplier may be able to make suggestions for reputable boarding stables in your area. If you need boarding while at events, ask other eventers for their recommendations.

Making sure you know what you want

It will help if you know what you are looking for in a boarding facility, and what is a "nice to have" but not essential.

This list will be different for every horse owner but here are some factors to consider:

  • Location: Is being close to home the priority? Or is a longer drive worth it for better facilities?
  • Shared space: does your horse need to be alone or can it be turned out with other horses?
  • Do you need indoor stabling, or do you prefer your horse to be outside with a shelter?
  • How much turn-out time does your horse need?
  • Do you need access to your own trainer?
  • Do you need access to a riding arena?
  • Do you need access to jumps and obstacles?
  • Do you need storage space or a secure storage locker for your equipment?
  • Do you need full-service care or will you be able to do some cleaning/feeding yourself?
  • Do you want the facility to call your regular vet or farrier, if required, or are you happy to use the services of the facility's regular providers?

These are just some of the issues you need to think about before making a decision.

Visiting the site

If possible, you should be able to view the physical site, stabling facility, and paddocks.

  • Check how well the place is maintained. What are the fences like? How are the stalls cleaned out and bedded?
  • Cleanliness should be paramount to ensure your horse does not end up with an infectious disease.
  • Check how often the horses are fed, watered and pastured, and ask about the number of horses allocated to each enclosure.

Ensuring your horse gets the care you expect

The relevant paperwork should outline the services you can expect from the facility, but remember to tell the person in charge what they might need to know to look after your horse.

For example:

  • Are there any health issues they need to know about? Is your horse taking any medications or supplements?
  • What are your specific instructions for feeding your horse?
  • Does your horse have any behavioural issues or personality quirks?
  • What are your vet's contact details?
  • Who should they contact in case of an emergency?
  • What are your riding or training goals?
  • What is your budget?

 

By fully exploring the facilities available, and matching them with your needs, you are more likely to find a happy home for your horse.