Owning a horse is a large responsibility. As a horse owner, you must be able to provide your horse with proper care, food and shelter. One option a horse owner may consider is a boarding facility, which provide a place to keep the horse, although the accommodations and services available depend on the individual facility. The cost of board also varies according to the facility's location, the type of accommodations the horse will receive, and the services included.
The location of a boarding facility greatly affects what the going rate for board will be. For example, the cost to board in areas where there are large populations of show horses will be higher than in a small area where most horses are largely pleasure horses. The cost of living will also affect board rates, with a higher cost of living typically meaning higher board. As such, board may range from as low as $150 a month to well over $1,000 a month.
Boarding facilities typically offer some combination of three different accommodations for horses. The most commonly used is a stall with turn-out, meaning the horse will be provided a stall where it will be kept for whatever time it is not turned out into a pasture or lot. This usually means paying the most board because of higher level of maintenance. Partial-stall board, where the horse spends the majority of the time turned out in a lot or pasture, with a stall available as needed, is slightly less costly. The least expensive is full-pasture board, in which the horse is kept in a field or a pasture.
Full-service boarding facilities are at the high end for board rates. At these facilities, you pay to have your horse taken care of completely by the facility. The grooming, feeding and exercise are included in the cost of board, which can cost $500 to $1,500 per month. On the other end of the cost scale, facilities may offer no services, leaving the owner responsible for all the upkeep of the horse and maintaining the stall and lot that is used by the animal. Board in this type of facility could be as low as $50 to $500, depending on the area.
Many boarding facilities require veterinarian checks. You should be aware of these when signing a boarding agreement. If a vet check is required, it typically requires that the horse receive certain vaccinations as well as a coggins, a blood test to ensure that your horse does not have any disease that may be transmitted to other animals at the facility. You should check on the cost of the vaccinations and the coggins, as these vary depending on the veterinarian.