Beginner’s Guide to Boarding Horses
Owning a horse is a huge responsibility, regardless of your age. It requires a significant investment of time and money, and is not something to be undertaken lightly. Where to board your dog, horse or any other animal is just one of the major considerations you need to make. This in itself has a large number of aspects to take into account.
Understand your requirements
The first step is to know exactly what you need. Some facilities offer a wide range of services and support, while other simply put a roof over your horse’s head. It pays to buy as much stable as you can afford. Having a stable that takes care of the little jobs will make it easier and more enjoyable to turn up and engage with your horse. However, a part of the bonding process is spending time doing the little things with your equine friend. If you sacrifice these and focus solely on the fun things, you might find your passion isn’t quite as strong as you imagined.
Narrow your search
Once you’ve worked out your level of involvement and what you can afford, it is time to establish a search area. You don’t want to have to travel for hours to visit and ride your horse or you won’t do it regularly. A good rule of thumb is to start with facilities within a 30-minute radius, then extend your search to an hour. Beyond that it becomes a distance that will seem an inconvenience. . Ask for recommendations from friends and other horse owners as they may know of the ideal place that isn’t as well-known. You can also check the horse racing news outlets for any information that might help you make your choice.
Perform an inspection
Once you have a shortlist of potentials, spend some time inspecting their facilities. Meet with the people who run it and discuss your requirements, the type of horse you have, and get to know each other. These people will be looking after your horse when you are not there so you have to build a rapport and feel your animal is in good hands. They also want to have the very best people using their stables and will need to get to know you and your horse. This is the time to talk about any special needs your horse has and what level of care it requires.
Listen to testimonials and trust your instincts
Once you’ve gathered all the information you can, it is ultimately up to your instincts to choose the right one. Listen to other horse owners and narrow your search to a few that tick every box. From there, assess how the stable makes you feel and, if possible, take your horse along and gauge their reaction to it. This preparation is vital and laying the groundwork and taking your time will leave you with a difficult decision about which one is better, rather than which is the best of the worst. Your horse deserves the best possible care and it is up to you to provide it and leave it in the care of those who will treat it well.