What You Should Know About Starting a Horse Boarding Business

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Starting a Horse Boarding Business Business Overview:

For a horse lover, starting a horse boarding business is a great way to be around the gentle giants you enjoy while enjoying the freedom of being your own boss. If you own one or more horses, owning a stable is a good way to offset your own expenses. If you are not a horse owner but are interested in offering a comfortable and caring place for other horse owners to board their animals, you can certainly do that as long as you know the basics about handling and caring for horses. When you start a horse boarding business, you need to decide what types of services you will offer. This is a large investment with many options so it’s important do draw up a business plan before you get too far. Feeding the horses and keeping their stalls clean are the basics. In fact, you could easily operate this business part time if you choose to limit your services. If you feed the horses and clean their stalls in the morning, you can turn them out all day while you go to work, then feed them and put them away when you get home. Of course, if you want to expand your business, you could offer additional services that include daily grooming, training, de-worming and hoof care. Once you know how your business will operate you need to buy or build your facility. The size of your facility will depend on how many horses you plan to have at a time. Be sure to find out what types of permits you will need in order to keep animals and check with your insurance company to adjust your policy. You need to be covered in the amount of the most expensive horse that you board and any liabilities that may come along with that. Consider the climate in which you live when deciding on indoor/outdoor stables and arenas. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you might need to have an indoor arena – and you can charge more to board at this type of facility. If your winters are mild, an outdoor arena and access to trails should be fine. Just like operating a dog kennel, you must have a good relationship with a local veterinarian who you can call at the first sign of illness. Owners trust you with their horses—which are pricey investment—so it’s crucial that you care for them properly. Aside from all the standard services, you can also hire trainers and offer lessons to increase your profits. You could also choose to specialize in niche horse “markets” like brooding mares and foals, stallions or geriatrics. Putting this business idea into practice takes a large investment so it’s important you have everything well planned out beforehand. Once you open and word gets around the horse community, chances are your skill and customer service will help your stables fill quickly.

A Day in the Life of a Horse Boarding Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.Your day will begin early as you and/or your staff need to check on the horses first thing in the morning. Throughout the day you and your staff will clean stables, feed and clean the horses and attend to other services (if you offer them) like turn-out, hoof care, etc. At the end of the day, you will need to make sure all the horses are back in their stalls for the night. You’ll also touch base with the owners of the horses at the first sign of any illness or problem.

About Your Customers:

Your customers will be horse owners who need a place to keep their horses.

What You Need to Start:

  • Horse boarding business plan
  • Horse care expertise and/or skilled staff
  • Boarding facility (barn with stables, arena(s), etc.)
  • Food (hay, grain, etc.)
  • Troughs for water
  • Lead ropes, bridles, saddles, etc.
  • Shovels
  • Computer with finance software

The Good:

  • For a horse lover, being around the animals you love all day makes for an enjoyable business.
  • You can charge top dollar for excellent boarding facilities and services.
  • If you’re not a horse expert, you can hire an experienced staff.
  • It’s rewarding to watch horses playing and enjoying their environment.
  • You can run this business part-time.

The Bad:

  • Start-up costs are high.
  • The work can be physically challenging if you don’t hire someone to do that portion of this business.


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