Not all Stables are Created Equal
When trying to find a
stable---things to look at and check into:
Don't be afraid to look around….it will be your horse's new home:
Condition of the other Horses
- Check the attitudes of the existing horses in the barn. Do
seem content or are they chewing wood and weaving?
- What kind of physical condition are most of the horses in?
If the horses are skinny or dull, with runny noses, ill kept
feet, etc. you should check further into care given.
- Ask if the facility keeps track of each horses’ shots and
- Ask how much hay gets fed for the standard boarding rate.
Sometimes there is an extra charge if your horse needs more than that
to condition or
to put on weight if he is too thin.
- Hay should have a covered storage to prevent mold and wasting
- How many times per day are the horses fed?
- Is there a separate area for grain storage that horses cannot
- Bedding should have separate storage so that it doesn’t create a
- Are there extra charges to give grain and/or supplements?
Look around and see if there are any safety concerns. We all know
horses can get into trouble in even the best of situations but, be
especially guarded and forewarned if you see any of the following:
Stalls and Other Areas of Housing
- .Are fences in good repair –INCLUDING CAPS ON METAL TEE
Horses can become impaled if they rear up and fall on an unprotected
- Fencing down or loose.
- Is the facility tidy and clean? There should be no debris
areas where horses can get into trouble.
- Twine laying around (great for getting hooked up in or eating and
- Metal materials on buildings (horses can and will get cut).
- Grain bins not in locked areas.
- Look at waterers to see that they get cleaned periodically.
- Low ceilings or bulbs (where horses can bang heads).
- Look for height of buildings and for air circulation….horses need
moving air for good respiratory function.
- Is a Coggins test, current shots and timely worming
If you don't have to provide one, others did not either, and no one is
- Can the horse get into and out of the facility if they are in
of a vet or in an emergency?
- What kind of access and what is the road condition that is
to you? This is important particularly in winter or when roads
Other Important Details
- Check the size of the stalls and the turnouts. They can vary
so price is not always the only factor when inquiring about “a
stall” or “a turnout”. We believe 12’ X 12’ is minimum size
a full grown horse
- Check the condition of the turnouts and exercise areas. In
general Palouse soil does not drain well and areas can become quite
- Ask how often the stalls and turnouts are cleaned
- Are separate turnout areas available?
- What is the condition of the arena footing? Are they usable in
weather, or only when very dry? Are the arenas dusty?
- Is the footing appropriate for the riding you do?
- When you call does your phone call get returned timely
- Is the manager or caretaker friendly and courteous
- Don't be afraid to ask existing boarders how they feel about the
facility. This can be an excellent frame of reference.
- Ask the Owner if they have any references from their previous
- Ask about additional amenities. Some stables have indoor
outdoor arenas, trail course training areas, hot walkers, jumps,
trails to ride, play days, instructors, lease horses, open fields to
- Do riding hours conform to your needs and desires. Can you
early in the morning and late at night if you wish?
- Is the facility willing to help out with vet treatments like
worming, treating wounds, or giving medications?