Cost of Boarding Question

May 12, 2019
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I had this idea today, while doing my research about owning horses. Would it cost less to board a horse if I worked/volunteered at that boarding facility to take care of mine and other people's horses? Is there any other way to spend as little money as possible when boarding a horse? o_O So sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I'm really new, and I really had to ask this question 'cause it's important to my research.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Welcome to NR :D You might get lucky and find somewhere that would offset work for board, but it's not something you hear of a lot. Working livery is more likely (in the Uk anyway, you didn't say where you are?), where your horse works for his board in a riding school, so they use your horse for lessons for a pre agreed number of hours each week in exchange for reduced costs.
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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Having a horse will cost you more money than you could possibly imagine! Yes, you can find places to work and reduce the costs, but you have to think long term and always be prepared for those dreaded vets bills when they arrive. And they will arrive at some point. The basic cost of paying for livery is only a fraction of what a horse will cost you in the long run.
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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The only useful suggestion I can make is have a horse that can be grass livery, that saves a bit of money, and is probably the only sure fire way of saving money on livery. You could also have something that can go barefoot, that saves a lot, as farriers costs are a big consideration. My present boy doesn't have shoes and it's £20 to trim, as opposed to £70 with shoes! As jessey says, you can have working livery at a riding stables, but I personally wouldn't like other people riding my horse. And it's true - with everything else to consider, cost wise, it's a money pit (but worth it!) Oh - and welcome!:)
 

horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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I just saw this.
Occasionally here there are ads for board in return for caring for horses or sometimes its just the stall.
I also would not be a fan of sharing my horses with doing lessons.
NO ONE other than me or a trainer would ride my horses. PERIOD.
Another thought...
On that aspect I have no idea as to the liability either if someone got hurt its going to be claimed its your horses fault and what even a great riding school would say to leasen the blow to them.
I have my horses at home and always have and other than some training for Andi and when we first bought this place and stalls had to be built I had them both boarded across the street.
So I am not the most informed.
I have seen working students i think a very few may have had horses but I think most of that is lessons in exchange.
There are several levels of board.
Pasture. With hopefully a run in
Rough. Your renting the stall and provide
Everything and do everything in
Including going there for every
Feeding rain sleet or snow
Semi rough. They will feed and turn out
Full board. They do most everything but
Can have added charges to
Put on blankets hold for the
Farrier etc. And SOME even
Have a quota that you have to
Take so many lessons a month
And one place I took jumping l
Lessons at years ago required
Boarders to do a monthly JUG
of vitamins to the horses...
That was a bit beyond bizzare
I just lessoned there on
School horses.
If you can yes boots you put on when needed save money and i feel are better than having to have shoes on all the time.
Mine have never had shoes.
A small money saver on routine vet bills can be to share the barn callout fee.BUT
as was said there are always unforeseen things that can happen NO MATTER HOW CAREFUL YOU ARE OR HOW GREAT A PLACE IS .....
Some people do part lease horses i have no idea of the ins and outs of that
Ale may have more insight on that.


If everything works out good and
Compatible that might be a good
Option.
 
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horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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One thing I did forget on rough or semi rough board. You are the one that has to get all your own hay etc.
You need a truck or a suv that your willing to make your HAYMOBILE.....
With a truck yoy need to get it in good weathet and get it out asap.
In the haymobile there us a bit more
Leeway and if weather is iffy you csn unload it later.
I get 15 in my haymobile.
If I use the pickup depending on how its loaded we can get more .
I lean towards the haymobile in the winter I used it right out of there if there was a snow storm and did not touch my barn stashes.
 
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May 12, 2019
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Ok well I don't really have a car but my father does. He has a suburban. I don't think he would mind. I would most likely get a horse when I'm done with school because I am not ready for a horse yet, yet. I would most likely be living with my family still by then, but I would pay for my horse all by myself.
 
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Huggy

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Ok well I don't really have a car but my father does. He has a suburban. I don't think he would mind. I would most likely get a horse when I'm done with school because I am not ready for a horse yet, yet. I would most likely be living with my family still by then, but I would pay for my horse all by myself.
Good for you - you sound like you've got a plan! Good luck, keep us posted when you start your search. :)
 

vslachman

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May 19, 2019
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I've spent a lot of time looking at boarding facilities for my OTTB over the years. You'll need to weigh what you get at a facility against what you pay and what other stuff is there.

Other ideas:

1) If you want to offer your services, see if the barn is into that--they may not be at all! Narrow down your list by the answers and go there, talk to people, scope it out for yourself. Places can sound great but when you get there, they're a mess.
2) Figure out first what you want to do with your horse and what's important to you--so if you want to trail ride, are there trails there? If you want to show, do they do shows? Is the trainer on site doing the discipline you're into? If you locate at a barn that does the stuff you want to do, you won't have to buy a trailer. Saves a ton of money.
3) Make sure (esp. if you're a newbie) that the nutrition provided is adequate for the breed you have. Quarter horses have different nutritional needs than do Thoroughbreds, for instance. Make sure you know what's included in your board fee, too--do they grain or not? What's the protein count of the hay?
4) Make sure there's a good farrier that makes the rounds, and he/she is cost-effective. And a vet . . . get the basics and the costs up front.

Hope this helps!
VS

 
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May 12, 2019
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Yes it does, thank you! A lot of these helps me. I heard that horses can go barefoot so I would do that. I would find a horse that wouldn't suffer if barefoot. I prefer the horse to be barefoot anyway. (not to be mean, but I heard from somewhere that it is okay) And I would actually prefer the horse to be in a field for as much of the day as it can -- if it is cheaper, of course, not more expensive. I like it natural, but I'd still like to ride it, like, I would like to ride english and western. Mostly english, I would probably do hunter jumper if I end up liking jumping, and/ or show jumping, and XC and/or endurance. Or something like that. I probably won't be doing and western competitions, but if I did, probably end up doing barrel racing or reining.
 

vslachman

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May 19, 2019
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Barefoot! Yes! I have an ex-racehorse--I'll show you what his feet looked like when I had his shoes pulled and what they look like today. He literally couldn't walk--I had to make duck tape boots and pack his soles. It's an amazing change, so I'm convinced that any horse can accomplish it with a good farrier and good nutrition. Dorian does fine on gravel and trails AND he's much healthier. There's a lot of stuff on the internet about how positively going barefoot affects equine health. You go girl!

Let me know how it turns out!

VS
 

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Huggy

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I've an Irish cob, and he's barefoot, and only needs the farrier to trim every 12 weeks (obviously the farrier checks every 6 weeks). My old new forest pony however, needed shod, and trimmed every 6 weeks. When he retired, I thought I'd try him barefoot - never seen so many abscesses and bruised soles! It SO depends on the horse, but the difference in cost is a lot. Obviously if you can have a horse at grass, it's cheaper, and even more so if it's a good doer! In his prime my old forester could live on fresh air in the summer, and my cob gets fat just looking at the grass. I didn't start giving him hay until mid December. He's the size of a Sherman tank already this spring. Anyway, good luck, enjoy it when it finally all comes together!
 
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