If you love horses and earning your own money, running a horse boarding facility gives you the best of both worlds. Of course, there are rules to operating a business. Consider how you’ll handle the following before you begin letting people know that you have stalls available.
Learn the Local Laws First
Before you put money into opening a boarding business, make sure you can legally do so. Almost every state requires a specific amount of acreage be available for each horse. Local ordinances may be even more specific by limiting how many horses you can board at one time, regardless of the acreage you own. The type of property you own may factor into whether you can operate as a boarding facility, too. If you aren’t sure of your legal status, contact your county’s land use department before you begin operation.
Purchase Enough Insurance Coverage
Even if you live on the same property you board horses on, your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover any situations that arise from running your boarding facility. You must purchase additional insurance from a company such as Ark Insurance to protect yourself, your business, and your clients. In addition to general liability insurance for a business, you may need special property insurance. Seek out a company that provides equine-specific policies as well, which protect you during situations related to illness in a horse, negligence claims, and transportation issues. Depending on your state’s laws, you may also need to have a workers’ compensation policy if you employ anyone to help you with your boarding facility.
Manage the Manure
Boarding horses isn’t just about feeding them, brushing them, and exercising them. Don’t forget about the parts that aren’t quite as fun, namely cleaning up the manure and urine. A single horse produces about 350 pounds of manure each week. If you house 10 horses, you’re looking at 3,500 pounds to remove. Without proper removal procedures in place, you’ll be left with a stinky, fly-infested, unhealthy mess that will turn away potential clients. If you live far enough out in the county, you maybe be able to compost it without disturbing the neighbors. However, if you have neighbors nearby, expect to pay for manure hauling services at least once a week, if not more often.
Boarding horses is hard work and it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Caring for one or two on your own is one thing; caring for five more that aren’t yours is much more tiring. Avoid taking on too much by bringing on one new boarder at a time and assessing your stress and energy levels before opening up a new slot. This way, you’ll more easily know what you can handle on your own and when it’s time to hire an employee or two.