If you happen to own a property with amazing hills and fantastic fields, then that might sound like the perfect place to place a horse farm, but looks might be deceiving. You will need to do quite a bit to the property in order to make it safe, secure, and profitable for everyone involved. If you are thinking about opening up your own horse boarding business, keep reading to see if the horse boarding business is the right property investment for you.
What is horse boarding?
A horse boarding stable is a stable where people can pay for their horses to be kept (and sometimes cared for) in a place where they have all the space they need. It is similar to horse farm management.
Many horse owners have had to move out of their large acreage properties in the last few years, which has made horse boarding facilities very popular with the equine community. If you don’t have the space to keep your horse on your own property, then boarding them at a nearby facility is the best way to go.
Boarding your horse nearby is the best way to ensure you can visit your horse and tend to their needs while keeping them safe and allowing them to roam in a larger space than your backyard. Some facilities will also be full service which usually means you can pay an extra fee to have the staff care for your horse while you are away, which is excellent for anyone who needs to board their horse further away than they’d prefer.
What makes a suitable property for horse boarding?
A good horse property should have minimal hills, minimal terrain changes (such as clay or sand), excellent flowing water sources, and shaded areas. It will also need to abide by all of the regulations that are locally in place for horse boarding property and have a terrain that is geared towards horses’ needs. You also need to factor in the building that will need to be on the property, such as stables, food containment areas, tack rooms, and other structures you might need to store your maintenance equipment.
Keep in mind that bigger doesn’t always mean better, so you should make sure the property is a manageable size. If it’s too large and you don’t get many customers, it could cost you quite a bit to maintain it. If you have a large lot, try using a small portion of it for what you need, then branch out using fencing when you get more horses.
Location is also essential when building a place where people will be visiting regularly. You want a property just outside a larger town to access all the horse-related supplies you need. Having things shipped out to your distant property can become costly, so staying within a short drive will save you money and get you more customers.
What will I need to start boarding horses on my property?
The first thing you will likely need is permission from the area the property is located. Some places require a certain amount of land for every horse that will be on the property, and some require rigorous soil and water testing to ensure everything is safe, so knowing these things before you start will help you so much in the future.
Once you have permission to start turning your property into a horse boarding stable, you can start looking at what needs to be built or changed. Changing a regular horse property into a boarding stable might mean building up some of the buildings you already have or changing the land to suit the horses better. It all depends on what condition your property is in when you start but even existing horse properties can do with some upgrades before you start taking on clients.
Is this a profitable business?
The answer to this question depends on a few different factors. You need a beautiful property with everything a horse needs and an excellent staff to help care for all the maintenance. Horse boarding fees vary from place to place, and it’s your job to ensure your price isn’t too low or too high. You can always increase your boarding fees after a few your if you make some upgrades to the property.
Horse boarding fees will typically start at around $400 for the basics and go up to the $2000 range for extras like exercise, hair braiding, and grooming. Metro areas also have a higher price range for horse boarding services due to the lack of larger properties nearby.
Another easy way to profit from your facility is by offering horse riding lessons with an expert. Connect with a teacher in your area that is looking for a good facility to work from and make a contracted agreement for their times and fees. Just make sure your property is licensed to offer them, and you can make a good profit by just allowing others to use it.
What should I be concerned about?
There are a few ways that your horse farm can go from profitable to costing you money, and you need to watch your profit margins carefully. A small spike in water or food prices can end up costing you quite a bit extra when you are already spending so much. There is also plenty of weather-related problems that can sometimes arise on horse farms, like flooding or improper drainage.
Another thing you will need to worry about is the horses themselves. Many horse boarders have complaints that the owners do not come in enough to ensure the horses are well kept. If you want to avoid this, only offer a full-service boarding facility to ensure the horses are in their best condition at all times.
There are so many things to consider when it comes to a horse boarding facility. As long as you research to ensure everything runs smoothly and stays well-maintained, you will end up profiting from your horse boarding facility in no time.