"Backyard Barn" Horse Boarding Types & Prices

Hi all,

I’ve been involved in the horse world for 20 years, but only recently learning the ins and outs of boarding, especially because my fiance and I are buying a house on Long Island with the intent to find some boarders (1-3 stalls). I see that the prices vary by type of board (rough, etc.), the location, and the perks the barn offers (trails, outdoor/indoor ring, etc.)

I would really appreciate anyone’s guidance in price and types of board offered. I’ve looked online and there are so many varying opinions (some people provide feed, some don’t, some water and turn out the horse, others put that on the person boarding).

Would love to hear what others have charged or are paying, in Long Island area would be preferable, but the more info the better. The last thing I want to do is over charge my fellow horse lovers!! Also do not want to be taken advantage of…

For this setup:
3 stalls, shedrow, hot/cold water, electric, round pen, close to trails but not directly in backyard (can ride horse about 1 mile to the trails), 2 large dirt paddocks, large grass area for grazing, large tack/storage room

Also, I currently do not own my own horse (will soon). Is it common for boarders to allow their horses to be ridden? I’m a very experienced rider but was curious if this is an option?

Thank you for any help and input is greatly appreciated!

Here, if a BO is riding your horse, they charge for exercising/training it.

Consider that, not that you may get to use their horse free.

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In Australia, wanting to ride your boarders horses for pleasure is something that you see advertised on Gumtree (the Australian equivalent of Craig’s List). If you can legally build your own facilities, just have your own horse. Wanting to ride your boarders horses for free just makes it sound like you want a horse for nothing and don’t want to pay for the upkeep of that horse. A bit scuzzy.


For 3 stalls round pen access and trails i’d provide all feed and bedding. It be 350$ to 400$ a month. If i boarded in that kind of situation i absolutely would not want BO riding my horse or anyone else. I also have pasture available for turnout with run in shed automatic waterers.


I would advise you against offering “self care” type boarding options. Too often “self care” means “no care,” and you’ll be stuck choosing between watching the horse suffer or doing the work yourself for free.

You might want to do some more research about opening a boarding facility–there are lots of great threads on the subject on these forums. Being a “backyard barn” doesn’t in any way mean that you won’t still need proper contracts, insurance, etc.

FWIW, this is a time when many backyard type barns are closing because it’s almost impossible to run a small barn at a profit–or even at a break-even point. Overcharging is probably the last thing you should be worried about–most boarding barns use boarding as a loss leader and make their income on training, lessons, sales commissions or specialized services like foaling or layups.

Another factor to consider is that a small barn generally doesn’t provide enough income for a person to not need another f/t job, but it’s very difficult to run a small boarding business and to also have another f/t job. It’s a huge hassle and loss of privacy to have boarders with very little economic benefit in return, so many small farm owners simply choose to keep their farms private.


^^what BeeHoney said. I have 3 stalls and have had a boarder on occasion. I have offered a reduced board to certain (known) people in exchange for weekend/holiday chores, but otherwise it’s full care. It’s just not worth it for such a small operation to offer “self care” - if you’re in charge you know that they are not being neglected and also that the boarders are not neglecting (or actually ruining) your property.

Definitely an issue of “loss of privacy” with boarders so think carefully. And I agree that you won’t make “income”, really, once you consider insurance and your own time. I’m not sure it’s really worth the money, to be honest, but if you can find the right boarder it can help offset some of the work/money.

On the island is probably going to be a gazillion dollars in board. I don’t think board rates from anywhere else in the country are going to be a useful comparison…you really need to talk to barns like yours that are nearish to you.

Riding the horses you board is probably something you’d hope to develop as you gain trust with your boarders. That’s not something you want to suggest or even hint at right off the bat…good chance of being labeled nutty if you try. (Unless you’re positioning it as “in training” board–that is a whole different kettle of fish, and you’d need the credentials to support it.)


How large will the stalls be? How will the barn be designed (a center isle and tack room, bathroom facilities, wash rack? Or outward facing stalls Etc) How much room for turnout will there be? Can you offer separate turnout areas? Is there going to be an arena where people can ride? Will there be equipment available? How will your stall floors be designed? What bedding will you provide or will they buy their own? Where will you source your hay and what type will it be? If you provide feed, what type will it be? What type of fencing and how will you handle manure, composting, spreader? Will there be fly control in place i.e. Misters or fly predators?

20 years in the horse world. Is that leasing a horse, competing or trail riding friend horses? These would all have to be spelled out before anyone can really compare your barn and give an adequate answer about pricing. I’ve had BO’s ride for me if I was going to be away etc but Your experience needs to be better defined before I can say if you’d ride mine.

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@Second Star To The Right it’s a shed row :wink: Turn out situation, etc, is detailed in the first post.

If it were me, and you wanted to ride my horse, I’d basically look at it as a half lease, where I pay you half the standard board and you cover half the other expenses on my horse. So probably not the best financial deal for you unless you find a horse you really like and can convince them to come board with you.


What is your long term goal? Is this to be a profit making venture or are you just looking for some income to subsidize your own “habit?”

In most places boarding is a break even business and places make money on lessons, training, showing, coaching, etc.

How big is the place your buying and what are the amenities? Are you near parks with trails and such like that?

What’s the local horse scene like?

Before you make any final decisions do some “market research” and find out about board rates in your area.

Also, make the the Alphabet Soup is not going to be a problem. NY is a very high regulation/high cost state. So while you might get Big Bucks for boarding you’ll be paying Big Bucks for whatever you need. Be sure the Delta is enough to justify the effort.

There are some other good suggestions, above. Take some time think over some of the issues and then ask specific questions.


I should have been more specific. How large is large? Lol. I was at a barn that 5 acres available for turnout. It was a mud pit all the time because 5 acres couldn’t sustain lengthy turn out for 8 horses. If you’re working a full time job and turn out in the morning and bring in in the evening and you are over horsed for your acreage, you’ll end up with very little grazing available.

Ive seen barns do things many ways. As a boarder, feed, stall footing, hay quality were all questions I asked. It made a difference because around here barns tend to choose the cheapest feed possible and there was one in the area that had eight horses die from liver failure related to a fungus in the hay. These things will also help you decide pricing.

Sand vs shavings cost. Hay costs and feed costs. It’s hard to decide how much you have to charge before you know what you have to spend. :slight_smile:

I’m in BFE Kentucky and I wouldn’t go to the hassle of having a boarder on my private farm for less than $350/mo. full care and no I wouldn’t do the blanket change or other high maintenance BS. And my hay and shavings as well as mortgage and taxes costs are a fraction of what yours are on LI.

Trails a mile away are not trails with easy access. Think winter. It sounds like you have nowhere to ride. Which suggests retirees.


Just to make you aware, if you offer boarding, your property/home will become a business and may require a business license etc. Also, you will need additional insurance to cover boarders, their horses and equipment. Check the zoning laws for the area you are buying a house to make sure it is legal to have a business on your private property and requirements for amount of land per horse etc.

Additionally, you will need a storage area for hay and feed. Equipment for managing a boarding barn and some type of manure management setup.

It’s not necessarily normal for boarders to ride the BO’s horse, if you are needing someone to help out with riding consider a partial lease or some other arrangement, have a well written contract. Have a well written contract for your boarders too!

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Trollin’ Trollin, Trollin’,keep them doggies trollin…:smiley:

I know some people are clueless about boarding horses before they buy a barn, but these sound like 10 yro girl questions (which is fine btw), not 20 years around horses questions.




Here are a couple properties with shed row style barns. Unless you have a LOT of money to spend, there’s not a whole lot of room for horses on the island. Thought it might help for people to see what kind of property we might be talking about…it’s a whole different world!



Even spending more doesn’t mean more land: http://www.danielgale.com/listing/29…sset-ny-11791/

Oooh, 7 acres! http://www.danielgale.com/listing/29…ogue-ny-11931/

This place is lovely (look at the taxes!): http://www.danielgale.com/listing/29…llow-ny-11933/

Simkie, the taxes are unreal! That’s why I left NY (upstate) and moved to KY. $15000 like on that first place would pay my current taxes on my 45 acres for almost 25 years!

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“up state” taxes are chump change compared to Long Island, lol. I pretty much grew up on LI but not a horse farm. Split my time between my mother/stepfather’s farm in MD and my father when he moved to LI.

If the OP’s post/question is legit, OP depends on where you are buying/moving to on the Island. I have friends that offer boarding on the Island. Old Westbury, Old Brookville, etc area. But ANYBODY that offers board on the Island especially in the areas I just mentioned doesn’t do it to help pay the bills. They charge market prices, $$$$ for the area. Most of the Island is some of the most valuable real-estate in the world.

I just spent a week in the Hampton area. Number of farms for sale there, not anywhere near the beaches. The friend I was staying with is a real-estate agent. Some very pretty farmetts for big bucks, lol. I saw a nice set up advertised a few months ago out east, in the middle section around 10+ acres? Under $900,000. Which for some a lot maybe affordable but the property tax was insane.