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The idea of boarding your horse in a new place is a daunting thought, whether you’re a veteran or a newbie. Begin by looking at places in your desired location. After finding some places to look further into, ask them the following questions to have a better idea of what they offer!
What is your availability?
Before even beginning a conversation, you have to make sure they have room for your horses and the number of horses you would like to board.
What are your price options?
Ask them all of their prices for all of their offers. Most facilities offer different prices for different care plans (i.e. whether they are doing partial or full care) and stalling options (pasture, stall only, stall with a run, etc.). See this for more care plans.
How do you expect payment? And how often?
Check to see if they require monthly, bi-monthly, yearly, or other timed payments, and make sure it works for you!
What are the amenities?
Ask what is available to use and during what time frame. Sometimes, arenas are only open for certain hours during the day and it conflicts with your schedule.
What does hay storage, trailer storage and tack storage look like? Does it cost extra?
Some places will provide feed for you, which is also an important question to ask. If they do not, make sure they have room to store your own feed! Check on tack storage to see if you need to do a major tack room cleanout! Parking your trailer onsite will ease future travels because your trailer is right there, ready to be loaded!
What are your rules and expectations for boarders?
This question ensures honest communication. As the boarder, you can see right away if this place will work for you and your ponies. If it doesn’t, you save yourself loads of conflict and drama!
How much of a notice is needed for us to move?
Just as you would an apartment or house, a notice is needed before you move out. The time for the notice, however, is dependent on the facility.
Can I book an appointment to visit beforehand?
Once you have all the information, it is important to see the place for yourself! Take note of their fencing, the cleanliness of their barn, their arena footing, the distance of your route from where you live, and the discipline of the barn. Go with your gut after seeing the place- only the best for our ponies!
What paperwork is needed when I’m there?
The majority of places require Coggins, health certificates, and hauling papers once you arrive. It’s best to know beforehand so you can be prepared!
It is okay to take time to find a good place. Not only is the place supposed to be good for your horse, but it should be for you, too! It should feel like a home away from home, as you will spend a lot of time there!