A boarding stable is a commercial facility that provides housing and limited care (such as feeding and stall cleaning) for horses at a monthly cost. Some boarding stables will offer horse owners additional services, such as exercising or blanketing their horses. There are some significant advantages to hiring out the space and the chores of keeping a horse:

*A social life: When you become a horse owner, you instantly become a member of a very special community. Boarding stables are great places to make friends. Plus, you always have someone to ride with if you keep your horse at a boarding stable.

*Other knowledgeable horse owners: You find out so much more about horses and riding if you’re around other horse owners. You can ask other people for help and advice, as well as get referrals for good veterinarians and dietary supplements.

*Trainers and instructors: Boarding stables have resident trainers and/or riding instructors who work there. If you need help with your horse or with your riding, you have experts you can call for assistance.

Before you commit to keeping your horse at any commercial facility, check the place out thoroughly. Go down to the stable and spend some time walking around and talking to other boarders. Read on to learn to look for the right combination of features and services when touring boarding stables:

*Clean surroundings: Look for a well-maintained property that’s free of debris and unused junk.

*A sturdy, safe facility: Keep an eye out for dangers such as barbed wire and broken boards on pasture fences. When examining the stalls, make sure the fencing is secure and in good shape.

*Good daily care: Find out what goes into the horses’ care. Look for daily stall cleanings, and at least twice daily feedings. Ask about pest control against rodents and insects.

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