The Mane Point: a legal blog for smart horses and their people
By Allison J. Farrell of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC on 07/19/2022
Exploring Types of Horse Boarding

Owning a horse can arise from receiving a pony for a childhood birthday or realizing that goal through hard work and saving pennies. Yet, when we find the horse of our dreams, few have the option of keeping them on our own property. Most of us will need to find a boarding stable nearby that fits our needs. As in all aspects of horse ownership, deciding between different types of horse boarding means careful evaluation of your horse’s needs, what care facilities will provide, and whether if fits your budget.

As you investigate available boarding options in your area, pay attention to the condition of the pastures, what amenities are available for owners, and what emergency procedures are in place. Be aware that the stable is only obligated to provide what is included in your horse boarding contract. An equine lawyer covering West Virginia, Pennsylvania or Ohio can ensure that all aspects of your animal’s care are covered in the contract including all services provided, fees, due dates, and what notice is required before you can move the horse to a new stable.

Image of horses in stalls and two girls feeding them, representing types of horse boarding options in WV, PA, and OH and how experienced horsewoman and equine attorney in WV, Allison J. Farrell of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC, can help protect your equine investment.

Comparing Different Types of Horse Boarding

Horse boarding options vary from one location to the next, but knowing the possibilities can help you investigate the boarding providers in your area. As might be expected, the cost often increases with the amount and type of services provided. Knowing the difference between cooperative boarding stables, full service horse boarding, and luxury boarding can help you narrow down the providers that fit your budget and needs.

Cooperative Types of Horse Boarding

Cooperative boarding provides a place to keep your horse that is often the least expensive, but lower cost often means you must provide most of the care for your horse.

Among the less expensive options, self-care horse boarding is a good choice for owners with the time to provide care but not the space. The stable will provide shelter, and the owner is responsible for feed, bedding and daily care. Pasture boarding is another less expensive option, but it’s advisable only for healthy horses that can tolerate staying outside. And stables that offer partial care boarding are a hybrid that provides bedding, feed, and hay. However, the horse owner is responsible for daily feeding and care.

The horse boarding contract should specify the boarder’s and the owner’s responsibilities as well as which party is responsible for farrier visits, blanket changes, fly spray, and deworming to avoid any disputes and ensure the best care for the animal. The contract can also stipulate types of feed, how often stalls are cleaned, and what notice is required to raise fees or evict a horse.

Whether you’re looking to board a horse or you’re a boarding stable, consulting with an equine attorney can protect your interests.

Full Service Horse Boarding in WV, PA, and OH

There are many choices for full service horse boarding in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio horse country. With this option, full care and all supplies are provided by the barn owner. The horse boarding contract will detail the responsibilities of the stable and may stipulate anything from how many other horses are being kept on the property to specific types of feed required or how often a veterinarian is on-site.

Full service horse boarding can also include training, with the stable providing trainers and handlers on a schedule set in the boarding contract. Retirement barns are full service as well, with the emphasis on providing comfortable care to aging horses.

Luxury Horse Boarding

For horse lovers without spending limits, there are stables offering impressive amenities. A horse solarium, equine pools, and expansive indoor arenas can all be found for your equine if that is your desire. Some are training facilities that employ equine specialists and are geared for horses involved in competitions.

An Equine Lawyer in WV for Your Horse Boarding Contract and More

With such a variety of types of horse boarding in WV and surrounding states, it helps to have an equine lawyer in WV to help separate the wheat from the chaff. If you’re looking for advice on horse boarding or other equine law issues, contact horse owner and equine lawyer Allison J. Farrell Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC. Allison has the horse and legal experience to help ensure your horse boarding contract covers all contingencies and to answer other equine law questions as they arise. To learn more about how Allison can help you, reach out by phone at (304) 521-6120 or complete her online contact form.