Lv 5
Kendra asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Question about boarding stables?

I hope to be getting my horse in the next few months to a year. I didn't have to worry about my old horse's board, it was all taken care of.

Here are my questions:

1. Do most stables supply the shavings, or do you have to supply your own?

2. Is it more cost effective to have food included in the board, or you pay for your own seperately? Like, I know they charge more for providing the food, but is it the same paying for board and food seperate or having them thrown in together?

3. Do they make you pay for hay extra? Or is that much included in the board?


And I know every stable is different, but on average. thanks

6 Answers

  • Angela
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most stables tend to be "full care" which means that hay, bedding, grain, and basic care is included. Your horse will be fed, turned out, watered, and stall cleaned. All his basic needs taken care of. Many will also include de-worming but not all. Even full care usually does not include things like: exercise, grooming, or vet and farrier care. These things are your responsibility

    Some farms offer "self care" or "partial care." Partial care is a good option for many people. Generally this includes feeding and turnout, but you have to clean your own stall. Supplies like bedding, hay, and grain are usually included with partial care, but not always. Self care is exactly what it sounds like. In it's most minimal form, with self care you may just rent a stall space and have to buy all your own supplies and provide all your own labor.

    If you choose full care, pay close attention to the quality of care provided. Do the horses look happy and healthy? Is the barn clean and in good repair? Does the hay look and smell nice? Do they feed good quality grains? Are the workers and managers knowledgeable? In addition to observing the condition of the horses on the property, I would talk to boarders and see how happy they are at the farm.

    If you choose self or partial care, you have some different concerns. First of all, do you have the time and knowledge to care for your horse yourself? Self or partial care farms often tend to be a little lower on the quality scale, so make sure they are not cutting too many corners. Check out the quality of the food and bedding. If partial care, you want to make sure that the people caring for your horse are reliable. I have seen many places where young kids or other boarders are trading off some work for their board, and may not have enough experience or responsibility to do things properly. Another problem with partial or self care that many people overlook is that other owners may not properly care for their horses. I had one experience at a partial care barn where the owner of the horse in the stall next to me did not clean his stall for 2 weeks straight. The smell was atrocious. Finally I started cleaning his stall myself because it was so gross and I felt bad for his horse. But that was so unfair to me because I did so much work for him and never even got a "thank you."

    Most places provide hay and grain up to a set limit, and you pay extra if you want more than that amount. If your horse eats a lot, you need to look into this carefully. I found one farm that charged $650/month that only provided 4 flakes of hay per day. Another place only charged $325 but allowed up to 12 flakes a day.

    If you don't like the grain provided, some barns will give you a discounjt on board if you provide your own grain. Others will not allow to to provide your own grain at all.

  • gallop
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I've boarded at quite a few different stables over the years. Typically, with stall board the hay and grain are included in the board, and if you have special feed requirements, how it is handled is individually determined. Sometimes the BO can get it from their dealer and will buy it, and other times you buy it yourself and they adjust the board accordingly. In general, it is more cost effective to feed what the barn offers since they buy in bulk. But it doesn't allow for much individualization in your feeding program.

    Every barn I've been at provided the shavings for the stalls. However, I know of some barns that are basically pasture board facilities that have stalls available to rent, but the boarders who rent them buy their own shavings and do all of their own stall maintenance, as well as turning their own horses in and out of the stalls, and filling their own water buckets and doing their own feeding. The rental fee includes providing a place to dispose of the used bedding and the manure.

    Pasture board can either include the hay in the boarding fee, or the hay charge is extra and based on current hay prices. It often depends on whether the facility grows its own hay, or if they have to buy the hay. Some only provide hay over the winter, and others provide it year round. Some also feed grain, but most just provide a place where you can tie your horse and feed grain yourself if you want to.

    Source(s): 57 years with horses
  • 1 decade ago

    Most barns... atleast all of the ones that I have been around include "house" feed & hay. Which means they normally have a specific brand of feed that they supply in your monthly board. Hay is normally the same. Now if your horse needs something specific and it is not what the barn offers, then of course you would have to purchase your own. Most of the hay that stables provide is good horse quality hay. Make sure you double check the hay before you decide not to buy your own.

    All of the stables I have been to provide their own shavings. Depending on the amount of stalls they buy in bulk, its alot cheaper that way. Talk to current boarders and see if they are paying for things like hay, grain and shavings. Some barns purchase small shavings more like sawdust. If you would rather have real shavings ofcourse you'll have to purchase these yourself but it's going to be a lot more difficult for you to bring your own shavings over all the time than it would be to use theirs.

    Good Luck!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Bedding should definitely be included.

    Grain is usually included unless you want a specific type / or if your horse requires a lot and they make you pay additional for that. For me, it's always been a lot cheaper when it's included in board.

    Hay is almost always included. Same with grain though, if your horse requires a lot of it (and they don't offer free choice hay) you might have to pay a bit extra.

    Source(s): Riding / Training Horses Most Of My Life
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  • 1 decade ago

    I pay $300/month... feed, hay, and bedding included... wormer and farrier are extra. Blanketing and putting the horse in or outside each day is included (although they live out 24/7 weather permitting). If you want specific grain, then you have to buy it yourself.

    If less things are included in board it should be cheaper. My friend pays $90/month... bedding is included and that's about it. She has to do barn chores 3 days a week, and buy her own grain and hay.

  • 1 decade ago

    Based on my experience boarding horses for 30+ years:

    1. What bedding is supplied should be spelled out in writing in the board contract you sign. In every stable where I've boarded, the contract specified the type of bedding and the frequency with which bedding is replaced (i.e., "renewed weekly.") However, how deeply the stall is bedded is not usually specified, and this can be a source of conflict. At one of the stables I boarded at, the management got into financial difficulties and started skimping on the bedding to the extent that I finally left. At every stable I've boarded at, you are free to add shavings if you want, and to clean the stall over and above what management provides. Advice: visit the stable, ask to see a contract, look at the stalls, talk to boarders.

    2. Many stables that provide inclusive board and rent will not allow you to separately pay for stall rent and buy your own food. This is because, in my experience, if they do this, sooner or later they get some idiot who either doesn't feed their horse enough, or feeds irregularly, and next thing you know the humane police are called in. FWIW, while buying your own feed for your horse gives you more control over quality and variety, you cannot as an individual get the volume discounts that the stable manager can get. Again, talk to the stable manager about what they feed, look at the feed, talk to the boarders and if you have questions, ask them. I have encountered problems with feed quality at one of the stables I boarded at-- surprise surprise, the same one that skimped on bedding when they got into financial difficulties.

    3. If what you mean is, "do they make you pay for extra hay," the answer is yes. Your contract will specify how many times per day your horse is fed and what kind of hay (or pellets, or other feed) can be fed, and what kind of notification you must receive if feed changes. If it's a high-end boarding stable, you might have several options for hay: e.g., timothy vs. alfalfa. If your horse cannot maintain his weight on what the stable feeds, you will usually be given the option of either feeding a supplement of your own or having the management feed additional hay and pay a supplemental cost. Warning: if you are charged for supplemental feeding, make darn sure you get it. One of the barns I boarded at was ripping boarders off by charging some of us for supplemental feeding (a mid-day feeding) that our horses weren't getting. I found this out when I happened to drop by mid-day a couple times, didn't see any feeding being done, and brought a Spanish-speaking friend to talk to the feed crew, who were all Hispanics with limited English. They admitted they didn't do any feeding mid-day. Confronted the manager about this, and she claimed it was an "oversight," that she'd just forgotten to take the supplemental feeding charge off our bill.

    Best advice I can give you: visit the stables you are considering. Watch how the horses are cared for, look at how the stalls are bedded, look at the feed they are given. Talk to the boarders who are already there and ask them if they are happy. Look at the board contract you are given and if you have questions, ask them. If there is something you don't like about the contract, ask if it can be amended.

    Bear in mind that at boarding stables, things can change. The stable can be sold, the management can change, if a partnership is involved the partnership can break up. You can move into a stable and be happy for years, then have things change and suddenly you're dealing with issues that make you decide to move. There are no guarantees with long-term boarding.

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