Q's to ask references

Hello! Any /all advice is much appreciated!

I’m boarding my OTTB for retirement at a farm in Ohio. I live in PA. It’s much cheaper for me boarding wise to keep her in Ohio where she’s been, but she can’t get a new home because she can’t be ridden and im not trusting of new people with keeping an unrideable horse… not many stay very long bc of time/money.

Anyways, found a new place. Sounds great and I will drive to check it out first.
In meantime, I’ve gotten vet ref’s, other boarders, 4h, and a chiropractor reference.

What Q’s should i ask any/all of them to get a good idea about this new person ill be boarding my horse with for at least a year or two.


Good for you!

I don’t have time to write out an exhaustive list of questions, but you can always end your interview with everyone with “Is there anything else I should know?” or, "if you were me, would you board your horse there (I’m thinking this is useful for people like veterinarians, not current boarders). Ask if you can speak with former boarders as well.

Ask, “what’s the worst thing that happened to you/horse?” “If you could change one thing about the place, what would it be?” “How long have you known barn/BO?” I would also definitely ask the vet if the farm had an unusual # of problems (compared to similar barns – retirement barns by definition have a lot of horses die – but hopefully not b/c of BO negligence).

Any other factual thing (how much hay, do they give meds e.g.) you can determine on your farm visit. It’s the more “hidden” things you are trying to ferret out.

I own/run a small retirement barn, so if I can be helpful in any way please ask.

One thing about sending the horse far away – you can ask if they will periodically send you pictures. If this place is super cheap they may not be willing to take the time, but many places do this.