Asking boarder to leave

I need opinions.

I have three boarded horses and 1 horse of my own. I don’t make much money off this, just keeps me busy and gives me people to ride with.

I have one boarder with two high maintenance horses. She doesn’t ride, rarely comes out, always has special requests and just is high maintenance in general.
Her horses are destructive and really just a pain. She also loves drama, and is very obviously trying to start drama with my newest boarder whom I love.

She’s only been here 6 months, but I’ve wanted to ask her to leave for some time now.

I have no solid reason to ask her to leave, I just don’t like her and she’s not a good fit for this atmosphere.

Can I ask her to leave? Would you? (Boarding contract says I can at any time) just wondering if morally this is the right thing to do.

This is all the reason you need & all you need to tell her. Well, maybe not the dislike part :smirk:
Morals do not need to be involved.


NO need to qualify your decision - it’s your barn and your contract is in place.

Sometimes it works to tell the boarder face to face and hand a letter stating such at that same time

Just get this done and ENJOY YOUR BARN AGAIN !


I’d say, try to figure out a way to make her believe your barn just isn’t the right fit, without making it personal. It’s very difficult to come back from that & you should always try & part ways on the most decent terms possible. JMHO


I don’t think you necessarily need to make her believe it’s not a good fit. Just tell her it isn’t, she doesn’t have to agree with you. Your barn, your rules, your headache, your choice. Her horses are destructive and higher maintenance than you are willing to deal with at your small, private facility. There’s nothing morally wrong about that.

I just did this, in fact, and the horse had only been here three weeks.


Horses being destructive doesn’t sound like asking her to leave “for no solid reason at all” to me. That’s a pretty solid reason unless she’s volunteering to pay for the damage


“I don’t think you are a good fit here, you might be happier elsewhere”
State you don’t provide those extra services

Or start charging an exorbitant amount for those extra wishes.
If she stays you get some income.

But ‘No’ is a complete sentence

edited to make sense


I am with the others on this. You have a very valid reason for wanting this person to leave from your small private boarding facility.

Just give them written notice of a leave by date. No need to go into lots of reasons but simply saying that her horses are not a good fit for your barn is more than enough reason.

Do not let her drag you into a whole drama filled situation. She is going to talk badly about you to others. Let her. Those people will quickly learn it is all her and not you and if they do not, then no loss for you.
With a small private place like you have there is no reason to live with a boarder you do not want.


“This isn’t a good fit” is a perfectly good reason and I’d much rather have a straight forward discussion (maybe you know alternatives more able to accommodate her?) than passive aggressive stuff like hiking fees and still begrudging doing whatever it is the extra fee is for. Tell her you love her horses but with being such a small operation you only have scope to deal with ones that fit in with your routine, and you are looking for riding partners in your boarders. Not something either of you have done or are doing wrong, just not a good match at this point in time.


As the others said “this isn’t a good fit” is a perfectly acceptable reason, and a reason I’ve personally used before (a few times!) to ask someone to leave. Give her 30 days, which is sufficient time to find a new place for her horses.

I’d probably use this. Horses are often destructive but that’s not as bad as the high maintenance boarder that thinks you are at their beck and call.

“Sally, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I think you would be better served by a barn that is staffed to meet the needs of your horses better. As a small, private barn, I am really not equipped to provide the kind of services you need. Here are a few recommendations I’d like you to consider, but I need you to make a new plan for your horses by XXX date.”


As many have said “this isn’t a good fit” is enough of a reason. IMO the more you say to her, the more you are heading into a ‘discussion’ about why to let this boarder stay.

Kinda a similar spin to our beloved ‘No’ is a complete sentence. The less you say, the less there is to discuss. If you are aware of other boarding barns in the area, give that information to her, otherwise, not a good fit and a firm date when to vacate the premises.

I’d also remove any tack or other supplies that might grow legs and walk away before she does vacate.


If you don’t mind a few blunt thoughts, here you go:

I’d give her 30 days notice. Her horses are difficult and take too much time. You aren’t a professional and this is a private barn. All the extra work takes away from your free time to spend riding. Nothing personal.

You don’t have to replace her. Take your time and think it over. You’ll need to fix the damage before another horse comes in anyway. Let things settle down and decide if you really want more horses in there. If you have a few boarders you like, that’s enough.

As horse people, we have a terrible tendency to suffer from a diagnosable disease known as Horsafillitis. We don’t actually need to ‘fill all the stalls in the barn’. Fill the stalls you feel like cleaning. :grin:


That is an acceptable reason. Just tell her . It is the truth.


This. Keep it short, polite and concise. If you offer or even make up reasons, those are just elements she can argue with you on.

Example: if you say “your horses are too destructive” she can counter by offering to pay for the wear & tear they cause or worse, point out if any broken planks or holes pawed by other boarder horses. You don’t want to get into this with her. She might dig her heels in just to aggravate you.

She has only been here 6 months, so that should make the confrontation easier. Approach her face to face (just you and her - no one else!) with a written notice in hand. Keep calm, channel your inner HR representative and act like a business owner. Tell her that it is just not working out, she is not a good fit with your horse management style. Hand her a 30 day notice ( or 2 week - whatever you think is fair). Allow her to fume and fuss. Hold your tongue. Since you say she loves drama she might throw a fit and demand to know why. Become a broken record and repeat “its not working out.” Suggest a few other places that might work out better. then walk away.

Hopefully after this conversation she moves sooner rather than later. If she is of weak character she might try to bad mouth you locally, but people of this ilk always show their ass and word of their craziness will get around the local horse community soon enough. You’ll be glad to be rid of her.

Sorry that you got a crazy boarder. Take it as a learning opportunity to screen future applicants a little bit harder, but please don’t let it put you off of boarding altogether. It sounds like your other 2 boarders are great, so take solace that not all boarders are nuts. Most are super grateful to have a safe place to keep their horse.


Thanks everyone! With the confidence all your advice gave me I did ask her to leave today.

She was upset but it seems amicable, I’m sure she will bad mouth me. But like you said…people will figure her out.

I generously gave her 45 days to leave, she tried every trick in the book to try and stay but I was firm.

Thanks for all your help! Don’t know if I could have done it without y’all


Good for you!

Good job. If it was your business, you could learn to deal with difficult boarders (and are sure to always have one or two). But as a hobby - it’s not worth dealing with someone you just can’t tolerate. You’ll find another boarder that is a better fit.


well done!!! Treat yourself to a cocktail or nice desert :slight_smile:


Do you have someone lined up to fill the vacancy??