Owning a horse is a big commitment. There are a lot of chores associated with feeding, housing, and caring for such a large animal, and many people don't even have the space to keep one. People who live in condos obviously cannot keep their horse in the underground parking lot. If you don't have room for your horse at your place, you'll have to pay to board it elsewhere. This article is concerned with ballpark fees for horse boarding and some of the rules for doing so.Patrick Rocca
Both rules and fees for horse boarding vary widely depending on the individual boarding business, as there's no centralized fee structure. Businesses can be as complex as riding or rodeo schools with their own training facilities and hundreds of horses living there to ramshackle old barns behind neighbor's cottages. Home plans play into which type of business you choose, as it may be more convenient or financially expedient to board your horse far from where you live out in the country.
There are two basic types of horse boarding. Which one you choose will depend on how much spare time you have. The first type is self-care boarding, where you pay someone to provide shelter for your horse in custom enclosures and you come in to feed, water, ride, and care for the animal. The other type is full service boarding, which is a bit like sending your horse to camp. The business provides everything your horse needs, and you provide the money. You don't even have to visit if you don't want to.
The only real rule when it comes to boarding your horse is to make sure you fulfill your end of the contract, whatever type of contract you sign. If you agree to a self-care arrangement, make it your goal to be there to look after the horse, regardless of what other jobs you have. Neglecting your horse will bring the business and the SPCA down on you. With full service boarding, all you really need to do is make sure you pay your bills on time, so it's a lot less hassle.
Now to the size of the bills. Full service boarding is obviously a lot more expensive, and the closer you get to the city the worse it will get. If you want to own a horse in a big city you're looking at the equivalent of paying the rent on two apartments - one for you and one for the horse. However, if you live in the country and decide to self-board your horse with a neighbor, you could be looking at paying as little as your monthly coffee budget (plus the horse's food of course).