We hear it all of the time: “I don’t make any money off of boarding, its a business of love.”
And we as the boarders shake our heads in frustration, wondering how our hard earned money could be useless to the farm owner or manager. How is it not enough? This is insane. This is ludicrous. I pay A TON in board, amiright?
I was one of you. With one horse in active competition status, one horse always for sale, and two retirees (one for physical issues, one for mental), I was writing a fairly hefty check every month to my barn owner. So when a water trough was found dirty, or the wrong blanket was put on a horse, I got frustrated. And in true Carleigh fashion, when I got frustrated, I made it clear.
What was I even paying for? Why was I even paying it? Where was all of this money going? He was getting rich, and I wasn’t getting what I wanted or thought I needed!
And then, I opened my own farm…
And what I learned was truly eye-opening, alarming, and possibly even horrifying. Well, horrifying enough to make me consider why I even did it. Often.
Because as an equine scientist, a skill set of mine is writing a budget for a grant. And as an equine enthusiast, I have now utilized this budgeting to explain the business of boarding. I have shared this wisdom with many to alert them to the costs associated with their horse, and after a quite long hiatus from blogging, I felt motivated to share it with you as well.
So, here goes.
Lets start simple. Our horses have to eat, right? And if they’re anything like my barn full of thoroughbreds, they’re not only going to eat a lot, but they’re going to eat it often. I am lucky to live in Lexington Kentucky where two of the premier feed mills in the world exist right here in town, and therefore the cost of excellent grain is quite cheap due to the lack of additional shipping. The average horse in my barn eats between 4-6 lbs. of grain twice a day, and I won’t even add on their supplements, as that will complicated matters, and usually paid for in addition to standard board.
$16/50 lb. bag = $0.32/lb x 8lb/day = $2.56/day = $76.80/month/horse
Now lets not forget. While grain is important, its the hay that our prized possessions acquire which keeps them health, happy, ulcer-free, and content. Right? Now, this aspect of budgeting is going to vary tremendously depending on the state you live in, access to a flatbed (ie, delivery vs. non delivery), and what content of hay that you are feeding. But, I will utilize our method as an example, and acknowledge that this will be MUCH more expensive if you live in Wellington, FL, and far cheaper if you’re feeding a straight grass hay out in Buffalo, WY. My rule of thumb is 1/4 bale of hay per feeding, two feedings per day. We feed a orchard grass/alfalfa mix, and I am lucky to not only own a flatbed trailer to transport it, but also own a husband who seemingly likes bucking hay. Win/Win.
$8/square bale x 1/2 bale/day = $4/day = $120/month/horse
But lets not forget that we also require hay outside during these winter months, and storage of these bales is an additional cost. It also requires the ability to transport/move/unload/place these heavier bales, leading to additional costs for tractors, but we’ll leave that alone for now!
$30/round bale x 1bale/week/4 horses = $30/horse
The majority of horses within my care are competition horses, and therefore we tend to stable them for extended periods of time. This means that I need quality bedding to let them lay their belly-filled heads down on. Bedding is an interesting thing to budget, because it depends on facility access, equine allergies, nearness to sawmill, and ability to receive large quantities of bedding at a time. I have utilized pelleted bedding when I didn’t have a sawdust shed ($$$$), but am currently lucky enough to have a storage facility to stock large quantities of beautiful pine sawdust from a mill located just a few miles away, which is delivered to the farm whenever I need it. Because of this, bedding is fairly cheap for me, but still an amount that needs considered.
$400/load / 1 load/month / 10 stalls = $40/month/horse
Now let us not forget that Fluffy needs to wash that hay and grain down with big gulps of clean water, leaving us with utility bills. Additionally, I need light to be able to see the stalls that I am cleaning. Therefore, we need electric and water at the bare minimum of our utilities, while many will add such facility fees like dumpster removal, plowing during snowstorms, and even gas if necessary. But, lets stick to the clean and easy:
$250/month/10 stalls = $25/month/horse
These stalls need to exist, and lets be honest – few of us are inheriting the pillared farms here in Central Kentucky. This leaves us with few options: win the lottery, rob a bank, or lease a farm. Trust me, I weighed each of these options carefully, but decided that I do not look good in pinstripes (fattening), and therefore signed the dotted line while buying my lottery ticket daily. Now, just like everything else, a lease will vary depending on the facilities, amenities, and size of farm. And if we’re lucky enough to buy, its safe to assume that a mortgage is going to be considerable for a farm that is large enough to support boarding. For simplicity sake, we will stick to an “easy” number to break down, and realize that this could increase tremendously for the bigger operations!
$2500/month/10 stalls = $250/month/horse
I started this business thinking that I could do it all. I mucked the stalls, I shoveled the bedding. I fixed the fence, and I scrubbed the troughs. I then went to my actual job, researched equine infertility, wrote manuscripts, attended conferences, and taught undergraduates about breeding. And the I went back to my farm and saddled up 1, 2, 3, 4, and even 5 horses. It was too much, and after a year of “free labor” I hired on some help. Now, because it is just 10 stalls, I was able to keep this part-time, and therefore save considerably. But labor is labor, and comes with a whole other set of worms.
$40/day/10 stalls = $4/day/horse = $120/month/horse
Now, this list could go on and on and on. Insurance is approximately $1000/year. Fence boards need replaced. The tractor needs diesel. The arena needs footing. Gravel needs laid, and we need shovels and rakes to do so. Pitchforks break, and buckets need snaps. I could go on and on about the nickel and dime replacements that my farm has required, and then could add the $300 tractor tire and the $2,000 worth of electric fencing that I utilized while we fixed the 4 plank.
$500/month/10 stalls = $50/month/horse
So, lets put a price on the basics…
The cost of one horse for one month:
- Grain: $76.80
- Hay: $150
- Bedding: $40
- Utilities: $25
- Lease/Mortgage: $250
- Staff: $120
- Miscellaneous: $50
- OVERALL: $710.80
When I wrote down this budget, I sent my previous barn owner a text message of apology, realizing that he had been boarding my horses at a loss. I also realized just how much he must have abhorred my incessant text messages about broken boards and lack of bedding, realizing that I was nowhere close to paying him enough.
As the owner/manager of my own farm, I am now “one of those” people who read the ISO posts for cheap board with a shake of the head. And trust me, I get it. I was one of you. I owned a horse while in graduate school, and could never have afforded to board at a facility that charged me $750/month. I also acknowledge that there are some ways to decrease this cost. Do self care (less staff), do pasture board (no bedding), own a quarter horse (less feed), or offer to work off some of the cost of the farm.
But at the end of the day, the mortgage will still need to be paid, the water will still need to run, and the horse will still need to be fed. With hopefully an additional $20 to pay for that bottle of wine that will need to be opened when the texts messages start to roll in from the owners in their care.
So the next time that you write that board check, or post that ISO ad, ask yourself what exactly your horse costs. Utilize some simple math and demand of yourself the tough questions. Understanding the business of boarding will not only improve your decision making into where you want your horse to live, but what is considered reasonable to ask. And at the end of that day, realize that minimal profit is being made on this laborous lifestyle, indicating that the majority of us are doing it for the love of the horse.
And for additional questions, please feel free to visit http://www.sewickleystables.com for more information on what we do, who we board, and what we offer to you!
OH MY GOSH. I need to send this to all my boarders. This has and will open eyes to the cost of boarding.
Anyway I can get a copy of this to hand out?
Great information I’m just starting out and I can use all the information I can get.How can a booklet or pamphlet of this information. I’m willing to pay .Please text me at 6787369051 if you have the time.Im a little on in years and I’m not to familiar with all the apps.
and avenues to find info.To me texting is perfect and easy for me to undertake. Thank you so much. Louie Pastorelli.
You are so correct!! I always say that you do not make money with boarding, you have to give lessons too. My clients have to take a lesson a week. I am a certified Riding Instructor.
Thank you for this great article.
Every thing you listed is much cheaper than costs in the south. Round bales horse quality start at $65:00 per. Most all quality grain begins at $20:00+ a 50lb sack. Shavings
$400.00 a small load. Or beginning at $6:00. A bale.
Really makes me appreciate my LOW board on a farm owned by the same family for over 60 years! I clean my own stall & supply my own supplements. They also grow their own hay. Now I know why the other boarding facilities in the area are twice the price. Also, we are not a show barn. And I’ve always loved that they are a farm family and their love for animals are shown each and every day.
I’m in Canada, but despite the difference in geography and our dollars – your calculations are not far off from what I have found our costs to be … the board I charge in no way covers my costs… and my family does the work, no paid staff at this time!
In the Northeast, within a commuting radius of NYC and Philly, these figures are very low; our insurance alone (liability and CCC)runs 1100$ per month, our electric bill when the indoor lights are in use approaches 800$ a month, our Worker’s Comp is around 500$ per month, and our farm taxes are 1400$ per month. Then we start talking about labor, supplies, feed and bedding, and hay. We feed top quality shipped baled hay from NY State, which runs around 18$ a bale for large compact bales. Shavings are $6.75 a bag. Each horse eats at LEAST 1/2 a bale a day, (more in winter), and uses about 24 bags of shavings a month. Because we feed top quality hay, our feed costs are lower, about 300$ per week. Our board is in-stall with daily individual turnout and light grooming, which of course necessitates skilled labor.
Holy Buckets!! That is crazy expensive!
$2500 a month for 10 stalls is cheap. The most barebones barn I could build with 3 stalls is $60k before electric water and dirt…. that’s about 9 years of board. Does not include fencing, insurance and property taxes, or fees or hay. An arena will set you back that much or more. Right now I am all about boarding and SAVING $
And you did not even include the Care, Custody and Control, GL and other insurance costs associated with having other peoples horses on your property and in your care.
I live in California so yes everything costs even more, I have owned this Ranch for 28 yrs I have been through so much and sometimes i get tired but i dont think i would have made it without my Contractor husband who is the one that has built everything from scratch and does all the repairs all the children i raised my 4 and my 2 nieces all worked on the ranch plus we always had a ranch hand , now all my kids are grown all off on there own except one who now works part time in construction . Its crazy the amount of repairs too broken autowaters , kicked pipes , broken gates from a horse kicking i have learned though to try and be patient and not be so upset since i do love the horses and i still have this love for ranch living I dont know when i will give it up yet but i would not be able to run my place without financial help from my husband as well so yea my place is not that profitable . Sometimes my husband questions my sanity and sometimes i question mine too .. Right now i am able to hire several people to help and that does help me as i am getting tired Im 59 now .. I keep trying to think of ways of making money at my ranch , I was able to get my place used for a movie but i didn’t make much at all .. And haven’t had anymore interested so far .. But i do love my little ranch and i know one day I will have to give it up .. for now i am going to keep going as long as i can .. Thank you for your article though it is nice to know we are not alone ..
I’m heading for 80, can only do self care only. My carpenter husband of 57 years, died 5 years ago, I’m now turning the ranch over to a granddaughter so she can raise her daughter here and have a horse.
I have a beautiful indoor arena, so hold weddings in it, that part is fun.
Something tells me I’m going to see a print-out of this blog post in every barn I walk into for years to come. As well we all should! The costs of keeping sporthorses are absolutely eye-watering. Here in Florida, of course, the sheer drama of affording hay is enough to keep a person out of the business. I’m sure many other places are in the same situation.
It would be interesting to see some equestrian foundations which work on affordability and conservation not just of equine-friendly land, which I know exist, but for the assets we need, like hay and grain production. Fire, drought, and development don’t just take our pastures, they take our feed supply.
I have read all your books! I posted above your comment! This is a great informational post for those who board!!! We do our own hay & maintain great pasture for our horses (boarders included)! I only have to feed once/day, as horses stay out unless they are having an issue. Getting thru our snow-pocolypse was pretty hard, but we did it!!! (In TX!) Have to say I am addicted to horses!! 😜
The hard costs are easy to calculate and you have done a good job putting those numbers together. Clearly they will vary across the country but still exist. One thing I didn’t hear is running a boarding facility is 24/7/365! When do you get a week off for yourself? A vacation, holiday, anniversary…
Unless you have very competent staff (more expense) you are really tied to the barn.
Agree with so many of the comments. 24/7/365. Late night barn checks every night. Medicating boarder horses who are often harder to handle than personal animals. First aid for any boo-boo, hosing, changing leg wraps, adjusting blankets + leg straps. Dealing with a cast horse, getting kicked or struck at or bit. And…just when getting settled of an eve, after 12 hours of work, a client texts or calls with something that could have waited until the next day. Perhaps I was too responsive, responsible, meticulous. Did not set clear boundaries. Set high standards. Decided to keep self happy and sent all but 2 clients off recently. After 35 years of boarding upto 12 horses, the increasing costs and horse owner unawareness , it was time. Boarders who are unappreciative and not willing to pay owners enough to show a small profit, will one day find that many of us who provided services are no longer willing unless duly paid.
So agree!!! Been there many times!! Would love to connect! In TX
I don’t know where the person who wrote the above article lives but I can tell you that I had horses for 20 years at home and it never came down to 750 a month. There are so many variables. there was a drought and hay went up and doubled and never went back down. Underground pipes a must in winter in MI and heated water buckets or troughs were necessary. We did not have an arena, never had a reason to make one and did have a wonderful open old barn but we didn’t stall them every night. and they were free to come and go in the barn because of my fear of barn fires.
.. Regular grain was fed twice a day and we didn’t use a lot of bedding. They weren’t show horses and we didn’t worry about them getting dirty come morning. I gave my own shots and back in the day you could order them at one of the catalogs or buy them at TSC. Wormers were bought at auctions for a tenth of the price of buying them at the store. We bough grassy hay and it served its purpose. Farriers were a major cost and I noticed they were not mentioned in the above article.
My husband put up all the fencing and gates and this saved tremendously. I guess we never kept a record of every little expense because we were afraid to see it. I do know that one winter hay was scarce and we paid about 1200 for the season as winters in Mi are brutal. What I loved about having them at home was the bonding and the joy of seeing them all day every day running and playing. When we first moved to Virginia we inquired at many places and board was 500 and up a month. Now that we have Been here about 18 mos. and moved to the country we are lucky to find board is 150.00 month for pasture board and hay.
Farrier, vaccines, and dewormer shouldn’t be considered a variable in general board.
Also, it says Central Kentucky
There is a difference between having a backyard recreational horse and show horses. You even mentioned your horses are not show horses. Most of these horses are insured, which means you ca n’t just give the “shots” yourself, the vet needs to do it.
You don’t use a lot of bedding per your comment, but show horses need deep bedding to encourage them to lay down to rest their joints and legs.
These don’t use “regular “ sweet feed, which are know to exacerbate gastric ulcers, so evidently, the price per bag is higher than your regular all stock feed.
Plus sedentary horses don’t burn a lot of calories, so you can get away with feeding less than 3-4 lbs a day, while show horses are burning a lot of calories every day, not just because of training and travel schedule, but also bc muscle burns more calories than fat.
Same goes for hay. Higher quality hay = higher price.
Plus when you board for other people, your place needs to look immaculate., so owners feel that their horses are being well treated. A place that’s messy and full of junk everywhere is ok, albeit trashy, for a personal farm, but absolutely not OK for a business. How would you feel to walk into TSC and all wheelbarrows, feed, equipment, chicks, clothes are just piled up everywhere??? You wouldn’t want to shop there. Same thing here.
So you really can’t compare both operations.
Owners may give shots and de-worm their own horses, if they are knowledgeable. The insurance caveat about giving shots is that shots need to be done by the vet or “under his direction.” A few decades ago insurance companies were strict about shots, but today it is widely accepted in insurance that an owner can give his horse his shots, as long as they would be approved by the vet.
Excellent article, by the way. Should be posted in barns.
I also have a boarding barn and run a Church. It’s funny how the 2 are similar. People think it is easy just throwing the horses some hay everyday and making sure they have water. The church wonders why a pastor should get paid, but what they do not realize are all the bills; electric, gas, yard, cleaning, insurances (and there is so much more) etc., literally leave no money for a pastor. They really work for free and pitch in to make sure bills are paid every month. Everything mentioned in the article about horse boarding is true. My husband is working out at the barn for 4 to 8 hours a day, besides fixing everything broken. He also built every barn. It boils down to….We love horses…we love people.
Amen!!! Thank you for what y’all do!!
Beautifully written. And I agree. Costs will differ slightly per area but very spot on. Thank you for writing this.
The feasibility really depends on the the type of client and your farm. We have a farmer who takes half the hay from our property. The rest is enough to meet our needs sometimes with enough left over to sell. We provide free choice salt and mineral. Few of our horses need grain but if they do it is provided by owners. The horses live out. Stalls are available if needed but boarders pay a fee for additional care ( ie. medical attention) if needed. Our standard fee is $350.00 a month and we make a good profit now. The first five years it all went to paying down the mortgage. Catering to high maintenance horses and clients isn’t worth unless you’re profit comes from coaching and training. If you want to run a boarding facility cater to pleasure riders. It’s usually fun.
Well, I can say that in my business I had over 30 employees and all that goes along with inventory, overhead, insurance, benefits, cash flow and trying to have a great cultural. No matter what you say to them, they will never understand what you go thru. They think your rich and they want more money or in a barns owners position, cheaper rates. Complaining about cost and maybe complaining about this and that. Tring to have your boarding customer/ customers and employees understand all that you spend and do. How you got to where you are today and the tuff times of long days, financial issues, that it’s a 24/7 work schedule that doesn’t turn off.. They will never understand. Unless they have or had a business.
Not to try to tell them your issues, cost and so on will not sink in.
They just can’t comprehend it.
My hat goes off to all that you horse lovers/owners do for the sport. Your accomplishments are incredible and knowing what your all doing for the sport is very special.
Best of luck and success
Gary Elbers ( New Horse owner)
This article hits the nail mostly on the head. Add to it electric, repairs, improvements, manure removal, pasture maintenance, real estate taxes, etc. I have a staff, however I’m the one that holds the horses for the farrier and vet and I deworm (owner supplied) without charging a dime. And blanketing! I bush hog and treat my own pastures too but my labor to do this is essentially free. Now with technology, I get emails, texts and face to face conversations on feed changes or vet needs and with 28 horses, inevitably things may get missed. And then the owners start texting. Every hour of the day! Let’s also not forget the utter lack of appreciation for not having sick days and being at the barn at day break in 15 degree weather, 95 degree weather or downpours! If I ever board my horses in the future, I will be the best boarder ever!
Yup. I used to have boarders and I don’t any more. I did the math a few years ago, and in order to break even while paying myself minimum wage for the hours spent caring for the horses, I’d have to charge $600 a month for PASTURE BOARD. When you allot for access to a ring (forget an indoor) and stalls, it’s no wonder you can’t find quality care for less than $900 up here. Whenever people complain about the care at their boarding barns, I ask them how much they pay, then remind them they can always buy their own farm and do the work themselves.
Orchard grass/alfalfa mix in Ocala, Florida is around $22.00 a bale.
Awesome! It’s $8-10 in Lexington, KY. Hence why I wrote that this depends heavily on where you live.
Let’s face it—we are all doing this because we love horses and want them to have the best life possible. Even with all the expense, hard work, and many other sacrifices, we have good reason to count our blessings every day, and in the long run, compared to many others, are better people for it. Jim
I have my own place and my own horses and I have been approached from time to time by people who ask about boarding their horse on my property. After sitting down and writing a budget out, I figured the best I could hope for, even adding a paying customer, was to break even on feeding that horse, and I’d be adding to my chore list.
I’m thinning out my herd a bit, I might revisit bringing a boarder in…not for financing reasons, but maybe I can get a young person who’d like to take on some of the chores in exchange. No money in boarding, but I could sure use the extra hands.
To board horses has to be a labor of love and organization…well written article
I have seen horses with shoes on get then caught on chain link, wire fencing….also kick through wooden boards, hurt legs, wood piece impaled causing a huge abscess on chest…suggest concrete, block walls, pipe fencing, rubber mats , shavings.
Indoor hay storage, buy from grower when baled..fresh,no mold, etc.
Wow, I could fix that budget for you! The bedding cost is the price for premium bagged shavings at 2 per week, which buy more than 10 there’s a discount. You can buy grain in bulk or buy it for $8.79 per bag. Find a local farmer and buy the hay for $4 a bale ( if your out west I apologize it’s more but then you delete the grain) with board being $375-400 a month your $725 cost to board isn’t adding up
I buy my sawdust in bulk: $400/month for a load. I would never feed my horses grain that costs $8/bag, but would also love to know what mill makes equine-specific feed that is $8/bag. Hay in Kentucky doesnt exist for less than $6/bale and thats straight grass hay with no alfalfa.
I feed large thoroughbreds who are in heavy work. They will not survive on cheap grain and low quality hay.
My $725 actually *did* add up. And I can provide receipts for the products that I’m feeding. Want to be cheap and have your horses suffer? Go for it. But this is the cost for adequate care for a TB in Lexington, Ky.
I live just south of you in Tennessee and have pasture boarded horses for over 40 years. I am lucky to have about 60 flat, fenced acres divided into 6 pastures that support up to 30 horses. Usually almost half of those are mine. I keep the fields mowed so have very nice grass pastures. I have to feed hay rolls (@ $40/) for 4 1/2 to 5 months. I charge $200 to $250/month board just to support my horse addiction. Why? You did not mention the tax advantage in having a farm business that loses money. (I also attract the type boarder I can relate to – and ones who come daily or weekly to ride at that price.) The tax loss has saved me thousands every year. I am accountant and stick to the letter of the law in my returns. Pasture boarding is night and day different from your operation and I love your numbers. You also fail to mention that it takes a special kind of person to have people at their home/barn 24/7/365. I just happen to have great boarders whom I love. My oldest one turned 90 last year and still comes out 3 times a week for his “grooming therapy.” My first rule of thumb: NO DRAMA QUEENS.
Along with what MaryS pointed out about the tax advantages of having a money-losing farm. Let me fill that out a bit and add another idea. 1. You get to own (and control) a better facility than you could otherwise if you get the depreciation from it AND the ability to write off the cost of things like, say, the great footing and arena groomer you want but which wouldn’t be so cheap if you were buying these for yourself. 2. When each stall pays is share of the mortgage, that means the boarders are buying your paying for your real estate investment for you. Leaving the enjoyment of your farm aside, it also means that you are (hopefully/presumably) getting access to an appreciating asset without paying for it yourself. When you are done wagging your finger at your ignorant boarders, let me give you a bit of insight from the world of owning rental properties. It is not at all uncommon to have profit of just $100/door/month. That is not a lot of money for a $200,000 property. But investors know that that profit— the only number you want boarders to consider for you— isn’t where the worthwhile profit comes from. They, and you, ought to ask whether or not your money (so, your downpayment on the farm and your annual costs of boarding your own horses since you’d pay retail for that if you did not keep them on your place) would make you more money in some other investment. Chances are, you are doing financially OK in on the boarding farm that your own/are paying on. My heart absolutely goes out to someone leasing a farm in order to run a boarding business. Unless they are a trainer just breaking even with the boarding and making money in lessons, training and sales, I’d think that was a money-losing business.
Thanks for commenting Miranda!
Now, let me explain. Few people without a trust fund are able to own equine properties in Lexington, Ky that are large enough for a boarding operation. Therefore, as I said within my blog, we lease. We don’t get any equity, and we don’t get to write off any appreciation or depreciation on property values or property taxes.
So yes, I do get to “finger wag” as the numbers I listed were quite basic. So much more goes into this process, including property taxes and liability insurance. Regardless, no one is making millions off of an equine boarding operation unless they are doing so for training, sales, or competitions.
My husband and I ran a training and breeding stable for many years, we started out building a 20 stall barn in the early 70s. We were very lucky to be able to lease a Top Ten stallion that was not only beautiful but a real easy horse to handle. The owner went above and beyond to help two young people get a very good start in the horse business. That horse paid for our farm and barns along with an indoor arena. We sold the farm after the lease was over and moved out west and just trained horses and bred very few mares. That was where it got hard as we bought a very large barn with a 200 foot indoor arena. The barn had 32 stalls, the horror stories about getting help I could write a book. We even furnished an apartment for help and paid them well. One man was on drugs, we didn’t have a clue, one came to work and did a wonderful job till the MPs picked him up from being AWOL. One women moved out when we were at a show, another had her boyfriend staying overnight when we were gone and brought 4 dogs and put them in our barn. We sold the big barn and moved into a small farm and built a 7 stall barn and did all the work ourselves, after 5 years we made the decision to get out of the horse business even though we did quite well in it. No one ever realized how tired we were after a weekend at a show 300 miles away and would show up on our door step wanting to ride their horse or just hear about the show. No matter how well groomed their horse would be or how well it was shown they didn’t always win, some times the owner would just storm out of the show ring if their horse placed 3rd or less. I was also a judge and being on both sides made me realize no matter what you do you can’t please everyone.
I was judging with a fellow judge at a how one time and he was judging colts, it was noon and we were walking out and a man came up to him and asked why he didn’t place his colt, he kept walking and turned to the man and said “I ran out of ribbons”, it isn’t always easy to deal with the public. I will never forget that comment, which I didn’t think was very nice to say but I guess he had, had a bad day.
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I love this, however i have run my own farm for 20 years and my grain just went up to $24.00 bag, hay is $13.00 bail, rounds are $85.00 each (if I can even find quality this time of year) and I bed on straw so that bill is $900 month. It honestly scares me to do the numbers like you did to see how much I am loosing!
Your Right On With Everything! Thank You!
I hate to see this – I assiduously avoid adding up the costs of my three horses kept at home, now that I am no longer “in the business”.
My costs are comparable to yours, here in Missouri, except that we use bagged pine shavings at $6 – $8 per bale (depending on brand) – in excess of $200 per month, per horse. I feel guilty for being privileged enough to afford this luxury. Without the horses, though, for us, life would not be worth living.
Really well done – thanks! This will become a classic.
Love your article everything you say is true.
If this is indeed, your business, you need to make a profit. You also did not mention liability insurance.
Living in Southern California; EVERYTHING is more expensive. I have found the more money a boarder can afford to spend; the more they complain, demand and are late paying their monthly board bill. Daily putting on and taking off blankets and fly masks add additional labor costs.
Thanks for opening the eyes of boarders to some of the cost of properly caring for the equines of others.