Boarding Horses Brings in Extra Cash

Deanna Mather Larson shares how to create a small business by boarding horses in your homestead barn.

| April/May 2002

A little surplus space in your barn used for boarding horses can give you some extra cash each month.

As with empty stalls in many barns, ours were filled with junk. With a bit of work and a small cash investment, my husband and I turned these unoccupied spaces into moneymakers. After a few improvements, we advertised "Horse boarding." Two months later we were boarding horses, both stalls were rented and we had an extra $400 each month. You can do it, too. Here's how.

Getting Started Boarding Horses

To decide if horse boarding is for you, check out facilities in your area. Ask what they charge and what they offer. Barns have different levels of boarding, from full service, where feed and care is provided — to basic stall rental — where the client does everything. Visit a few barns. If you see clients, ask them what they like and dislike about their barn. Look at the size and condition of the stalls. How are feed and tack stored? What's used for bedding and how is soiled bedding handled?

While it's important to have some knowledge of horses, you don't need to be an expert. Most veterinarians and horse i trainers are willing to share information.

Determine a price for your stalls by considering the nature of your facility, ongoing expenses and startup cost. We spent $1,000 making our two stalls and pastures ready for boarding. We decided to offer full-service care, so I estimated the additional monthly cost of feed, hay and utilities. Because we didn't have an indoor arena, we charged less than top price. Still, six months later our rental stalls had paid the debt and begun turning a profit.

Plan for backup help to take over chores when you're gone. It's important to let your boarders know when you'll be away and who will care for their horses.

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