Boarding in the DMV

Hi there! I’m new to this website so forgive me if I do anything wrong :slight_smile:

Ive been riding/working with horses since I was 8, and and have gotten heavily involved in therapy using horse’s. I’m soon adopting a mini mare that I can hopefully use as a therapy horse for others.

Im searching for a stable in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. I live in Bethesda and am willing to travel as far as an hour away. I would prefer a private farm as I know there can be more focused attention there. I would also heavily prefer field boarding. Any type of care (self care, shared care, full care) is fine. I’ve found a few places for 195 a month to even 100 a month, but I’m still searching.

Im a student so my budget is limited. I would be willing to pay up to 300 a month. I have all of the supplies for her, and will be buying her the minute I find a good barn!

Any advice is appreciated :slight_smile:

edit: it doesn’t have to be a barn for just minis!

Rather than buying, there are some wonderful, wonderful equine assisted therapy programs in the DC Metro area. A good friend who came to do her graduate work worked at one that was especially close in in Virginia. You might consider checking these out and save the very real hassles (and expenses!) of horse ownership until after you finish school and get settled.


I hate to disappoint but a private farm is no guarantee of better care, there are plenty of threads here about how private boarding has gone bad. Personally I would be looking for a boarding facility that is equipped to take care of and house a mini.

Self care can be a pita if it is the middle of winter and snow closed roads prevent you from getting to your horse. A mini living in the field might find it tough in the winter too if you can’t get there to check on her daily.

How are you going to use your mini for therapy? Do you have a the ability to haul her to patients?

I agree with ladyj79, find a therapy program that you can put your mini mare into where she will be properly trained as a therapy horse.


I agree with everything said so far. Plus, in my limited experience with minis in Virginia, most can’t be on field board unless they are in a 24/7 dry lot. Minis (and all horses) are expensive to keep. It really doesn’t sound like you have the funds to properly care for a mini (or any other horse) right now. Take the suggestion above and work with an equine therapy group instead. There are a lot of them around that need help.


:lol: I thought this was a post regarding an exceptionally slow Dept. of Motor Vehicles! :lol:


Maybe ask @Moderator 1 to move this is Off Course? Off Topic is for non horse related stuff. I think a lot of people skip this part of the board entirely, so you’ll get more response in the correct forum :slight_smile:


Me too! Glad it was not just me.


Me three, was loooking for the Sloths as staff (if you saw Zootopia)


There are a few therapy place in Northern VA that I know of. This one posted below I think has a minni program where they go to hospitals and the like. Maybe you can volunteer and work with the minnis before buying one. If you have already decided on buying one, maybe you could join their already started program and learn how to train with them. Perhaps they would offer discounted board or free board if you are volunteering and or offering your minis services. There are many other therapy programs so try contacting a few.


Most minis can’t be on full turnout except in winter- they’ll founder in a heartbeat. A dry lot with hand grazing is okay.



Yep, you can always spot someone new to the area (or pretty young) if they refer to the DC metro area (or DC/Maryland/Virginia – yes, that very long, multi-syllabic phrase) as The DMV! :dead: LOL!!! :lol:

As a couple of posters above mentioned, a Mini and field board are probably NOT a good combination. OP, if you’re new to this area, you might not have realized that we have grass – green grass – all year 'round if the field is well-managed (not too many horses, rotating fields, etc.). You might want to look for a place that has a dry lot available.

I’m really wondering where you managed to find even field board for $100 to $200 a month!! Within even two hours of Bethesda yet, much less one hour. Are these barns? Or??? Dunno, but I’m picturing empty lots or maybe a place that doesn’t have horses but is willing to put a Mini in with their goats? Not to say it doesn’t happen, but…I’m surprised that you’ve found places that offer field board so very cheaply. I generally see rates of $350 and up for field board. Unless you’re getting deal because you’d be bringing a Mini??

Also, while you might be willing to drive an hour from Bethesda, during rush hour(S!!!), that might be all of… ohhh, about three miles from wherever you start. :eek::stuck_out_tongue: So bear in mind the very serious traffic conditions between where you live/work/go to school and the barn, particularly if you end up in a self-care or partial self-care scenario. And weather – what might work in July, might not work well in January if the traffic is insane with a sleet storm or snow.

Gotta echo the excellent advice you got from LadyJ79 though…get involved with an established local therapeutic riding center and wait to buy a Mini until after you’ve done with school. One Mini is not really a therapy program, unless you haul her around for appointments regularly and even then, it will be very expensive for you to volunteer all your time, gas, and effort, plus pay for insurance, just so you and your Mini can offer therapy sessions. :frowning:



Here’s the place my girlfriend volunteered with

A friend’s mom is pretty heavily involved with Maryland Therapeutic Riding

I have several friends who have volunteered with Gentle Giants over the years, which is more rescue than therapy, but still a wonderful cause and people

Days End Farm is also always looking for people who want to help horses and learn


and then there is the issue of how OP plans to use this mini in therapeutic programs? would people be coming to the barn or OP to them? the first involves making sure the facility would allow such a program at the place and the other involves a trailer and a vehicle to tow it or a mini van. Needless to say the suggestion of volunteering a therapeutic center is a good one.