EQUUS - - Eq Conversati­ons -

will add to your com­fort and en­joy­ment. Start with the non-ne­go­tiables: ameni­ties you won’t con­sider giv­ing up, which might in­clude trail ac­cess, an in­door arena or the abil­ity to bring in your own feed. Then, work your way down to the “nice to haves,” such as blan­ketchang­ing ser­vices. Con­sider your horse’s needs as well. If he’s so­cia­ble, he may do bet­ter in an open, airy stall with lots of con­tact with neigh­bors. On the other hand, if he’s a sen­si­tive type, he may want a quiet, se­cluded place to eat undis­turbed. The re­sult­ing list will be unique to you and your horse and will give you a clear pic­ture of the barn where you’ll both be hap­pi­est.


This is where your vi­sion of the per­fect board­ing barn meets the hard re­al­ity of your pock­et­book. If you are cur­rently board­ing your horse, con­sider whether you can af­ford to pay more or if you need to spend less. If you aren’t board­ing a horse cur­rently, re­view your monthly fi­nances and de­ter­mine how much money you will have avail­able ev­ery month with­out fail. Late or un­paid board doesn’t just make for awk­ward­ness when you visit the farm: In many states, the per­son owed the money can put a lien on your horse and sell him to set­tle the debt.

Next, fo­cus your search on fa­cil­i­ties that can pro­vide as many of your de­sired ameni­ties as pos­si­ble for the amount you can pay. Remember, though, that the ad­ver­tised monthly board­ing price may not in­clude “ex­tras” that you con­sider es­sen­tial, such as a pri­vate turnout area or un­lim­ited free-choice hay. You won’t know the real costs un­til you meet with and in­ter­view the barn owner.

There’s no sub­sti­tute for check­ing out prospec­tive fa­cil­i­ties in per­son. You can only truly eval­u­ate a place if you see it for your­self.

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