To start a Horse Boarding Business, you must have extensive experience working with horses, or b willing to hire people that have the requisite experience needed to care for horses. Having an experienced barn manager on staff is very important for most boarding operations. The ideal horse boarding operator has a good reputation and background working with horses, trainers and owners.
Choosing A Horse Boarding Site
You must pick a boarding location that already have proper facilities and equipment on site, or be willing to add these items as needed. Boarding operations need to have the following requirements:
- One barn with stalls,
- Safely fenced paddocks and fields,
- Mowing equipment,
- A tractor,
- Water troughs,
- A riding arena or trails,
- Tack rooms and areas to store feed and bedding.
A boarding stable must comply with state and local regulations, such as maintaining a business license and operating in accord with the zoning regulations that apply to the specific piece of property. It’s your responsibility as the owner to research all the regulations and licensing requirements before planing to open a stable.
It is strongly advisable for boarding stable owners to consider securing a liability insurance policy to protect them against lawsuits that might result from any injuries occurring on the property. Most banks will require proof of such a policy before they’ll lend any money toward the purchase or rehabilitation of any horse boarding facility.
Horse Boarding Services and Staff
Boarding stables usually offer their clients some combination of the full board, partial board, or pasture board services. The full board usually includes a stall, turnout and all daily care such as feedings and stall cleaning.
The partial board usually includes a stall, but daily care such as stall cleaning and turnout is the responsibility of the horse owner.
Pasture board does not include a stall, but the horse is kept in a field that often has some sort of shelter access such as a run-in shed.
The types of board you offer will determine your staffing needs. Full-service boarding facilities require additional staff such as barns and grooms managers. Pasture board operations can actually get by with fewer staff.
Some boarding facilities specialize in catering to one particular discipline, such as English riding or Western riding, while others seek boarders from all backgrounds. Some facilities also choose to offer speciality care for stallions or horses in training.
Build Reputation via Relationships
It is important for the owner of a boarding facility to develop a relationship with a local farrier and equine veterinarian. These relationships are often mutually beneficial, as your farrier or vet may refer more clients to you down the road. However, it is most important that you find good, reliable suppliers for quality hay, bedding, and grain.
It may also be wise to develop an agreement with a riding instructor to offer lessons at your facility. This can make people more interested in your facility and bring in a trainer’s established clientele to your location. Many boarders expect to have access to riding arena as well as instructors.
Price Your Services
It is also critical that you price your facility’s services competitively. This is where local market research comes in and it can easily be accomplish via phone calls or the internet. You want to offer a good mid-range price, perhaps with some sort of initial discount or other incentives to get your first boarders in the door.
Advertise Your Horse Boarding Business
To add to the standard advertising online and in local print publications, try to advertise your boarding operation at local equine businesses such as tack shops, feed stores and show grounds. Horse shows or other equine events often print up programs with local advertisers, and this is another fantastic way to create awareness.
Over time, your best form of advertising will be referrals from satisfied clients. If your customers are satisfied and happy, one or more may recommend you to dozens of friends and acquaintances in the equine industry
You can also see the ways to fund your business in Canada.