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There are more than 7.2 million horses in the United States. Not surprisingly, Texas is home to the most horses, as more than 750,000 horses live in the Lone Star State. California and Florida rank second and third, respectively.
Most people keep a horse for recreational purposes. But not everyone who enjoys horses has enough room or time to care for the animal. That’s where horse boarding facilities come in.
A horse boarding barn can give you peace of mind that your horse is getting taken care of even if you’re busy with work or family obligations. The best horse boarding facilities for you will depend on a variety of factors.
Keep reading to find out how to choose the best horse boarding situation for you and your equine friend
Level of Care Provided
If you don’t mind doing all the work of caring for a horse, then self-care stables are a good option. This is ideal if you’re an experienced horse handler but can’t keep one on your property.
At these facilities, you should expect to visit your horse twice a day to take care of its needs. If you can’t do that, then consider partial-care or full-care.
With the former, you’ll still visit your horse anywhere from a few times a week to once a day. It’s a good middle ground for those who can use some extra help while still remaining a hands-on horse owner.
A full-care situation is just what it sounds like: the stable employees take care of all your horse’s needs. It’s also the most expensive option.
Amount of Exercise
Horses need exercise to function. Dogs need walks, and horses need turnout time. It’s essential to their physical and mental health.
Before you select a stable, ask about the amount of turnout time horses get. If the answer isn’t satisfactory, move on to the next stable on your list.
Sure, sometimes horses have to stay inside for their own good. But when the weather is good, there’s no reason they can’t be outside socializing with other horses.
Your horse should get a bit more exercise during the summer, and that means they’ll need more water. Make sure the stable will provide proper hydration and, of course, feed.
You may think, “I want horse boarding near me.” But the definition of “near me” will change depending on your situation.
If you’re boarding at a self-care or partial-care facility, then you’ll want a barn within easy driving distance. For some people, that means 10 or 20 minutes away. Other people won’t mind driving 45 minutes or an hour every day.
Think about the rest of your schedule as you consider the location. If you work 60 hours a week at your day job, you don’t want to spend a lot of extra time driving back and forth from your horse boarding barn.
Horse Boarding Facilities and You
The above list is a starting point when you’re searching for horse boarding facilities. Don’t make a hasty decision that you’ll regret later. Ask lots of questions at every facility you visit.
Caring for a horse isn’t easy. But if you do it right, it’s both a rewarding and entertaining way of spending your free time.
If you’ve got more free time, check out the other sections on our site. It has all the tips you need to stay occupied this summer.