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Ship In Income?

A few years ago when I was arena less I paid $120 a month for unlimited use, shipping in. Arena was not superb quality, on an incline and not the best footing but better than nothing! I thought that rate was fair.

I allow use of a stall for tacking up, etc. Not to hang around all day, and definitely not use of my hay! It helps that I have one barn I rarely use for anything (my personal horses are out 24/7), so it’s an easy place to let the ship ins tack up without worrying about biosecurity.

Considering the cost to build, foot, light, drag, water, etc an indoor arena, ship in income is negligible, at best. If you KNOW there are people in the are who would use it, it might garner you a little cash flow. A little. But how much of a ‘hassle’ depends upon who, how many horses, and what that are doing. IN short, there are a very, very, very short list of situations where building an indoor would be justified or partially financially supportable, for ship ins.

If you have boarders as well, consider how much arena time is available. I once boarded at a place that allowed ship-ins and it was annoying to share arena time with horses you didn’t know coming and going. I would have preferred that they just raise the cost of board rather than allow ship ins.

A few times I have hauled my horses across the country and boarded overnight at places along the way. The ideal spots had arenas where I could turn the horses out overnight before the next leg of the trip. This allowed the horses to stretch their legs and move around without having to worry about learning new fence lines etc. i happily paid a lot for that access so if you live close to a major highway, that might be a more appealing source of income.

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Federal Tax regs are that a permanent structure like an indoor will be depreciated over 40 years

Ask your boarders (the ones that you want to keep), about plans to build an indoor with ship-ins. Down here in the sunny south there are very few indoor arenas, so my experience is with covered arenas. Covered riding space is at a premium during our hot and rainy summers.

As a boarder with three horses at such a covered arena barn, I found it became monopolized by ship-ins. Boarders sharing an arena adapt to each others riding times, styles and their horses, but throwing random strangers and horses into the mix upsets everyone. From a boarder perspective, I would pay more for the arena amenity to eliminate ship-in riders. Ship-ins for lessons with the barn’s trainer I understand, but not to the extent of markedly encroaching upon boarders.

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That’s a tough dynamic to balance, and as a “shipper in” myself it’s part of the reason I want to build my own indoor! I understand why, but I’m tired of getting the worst time slots to ship in and ride!

If you have boarders that you want to keep, you could set short windows for ship-in. Like maybe 2 hours on Tuesdays and 2 hours on Thursdays. I’d consult the boarders before setting the time. You could also ask the boarders if they’d rather pay more board, or share time with ship-ins. It will give you an idea of what their priorities are. If you can talk to a farm that allows ship-ins now to get an idea of how much income they generate through ship-ins, then you could suggest to your boarders a particular price increase in board to keep ship-ins away.

That’s funny, when I shipped in I was always the only person at the entire farm of 20+ boarders. I always thought it was crazy no one was ever riding lol. My horse would be ready sans saddle and bridle and I would just carry those in with my horse, and tack up in cross ties. Worked great.

Same, like I get maybe a ship in or 3 month and they always have a lesson. It is never an issue.

It really depends on the barn and volume.