Boarding Agreement/Contract

While I’m sure this topic has been covered before, the search function on this site doesn’t help me much…

Was looking for examples of boarding agreements/contracts.

Does anyone have any they would like to share?

Thanks in advance!


I can’t provide one, but I know you can find many examples by doing a google search. I helped someone put one together a while back, and we used multiple samples from an internet search to customize one that worked for her.

Thanks @seabreeze it’s looking like the route I’m going to have to take 😊

Tangentially, is there anything that people like to see in a board agreement, things that make you want to turn around and run?

I wrote my own, I can send it to you. I didn’t involve a lawyer, so it definitely isn’t airtight, but I spent a long time looking at samples online to come up with it. I do retirement board only, so it’s a little different than the standard contract.

Things that were important to me:

  • cost of board and when it's due, late fees and when they are applied, proration and when it would be applied
  • what happens to the horse at end of life
  • what the owner is okay with in terms of ride time (I sometimes take a retiree on a trail ride with owner permission)
  • what I am authorized to spend with the vet if I can't get ahold of the owner
  • notice of termination (I want 30 days notice if the owner is going to move their horse, and I agree to give 30 days if I am no longer able/willing to keep the horse here)
  • visiting!!!! I'm doing retirement boarding because I DON'T want people on my property all the time. no random visits
  • a note that I'm not liable for random injuries (obviously, this is unlikely to hold up in court, but one of my boarders is definitely a panicker - well meaning, but sometimes horses just find something sharp and cut themselves, and it's fine. sometimes they slip while being frisky and come up lame for a few days.) Shit happens with horses. the point of that section of my contract isn't so much to guarantee me legal immunity from injuries, but to remind owners that if your horse isn't bubble wrapped, they can get injured even under the best of care.
If I were writing a standard board contract, I'd likely want to include hours that it's appropriate to be on the property, notice of leaving (like, please don't take your horse to a show at 4 am but not tell me, so I show up to feed breakfast and think your horse has been stolen), and it might be worth considering if you want to put anything in about what happens if your boarders don't pay their board - after X days/months without board or contact from owner, the horse is considered abandoned and becomes your property? I don't know if that's NECESSARY but just a thought to consider. I won't board a horse that I don't know the owner of (and know for sure that they pay their bills) so it's less of a worry for me, but I think I've seen that sort of thing mentioned here before.

Editing to add: if this is going to be a real source of income for you, a true business, and not a thing where you sometimes have a friend’s horse or two, it’s probably worth it to involve a lawyer.