Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What I have learned about running a small boarding stable after 1 year

I know I have been very absent for a long while.  With out boring job to keep me in front of a computer all day I find I have very little time for blogging.  I can do facebook from my phone pretty easy and on the go. Blogging takes a little more conscious effort.

Anyway, it has been a little over a year since I started boarding horses for other people and taking their money.  I have learned a lot in the last year and as I reflected upon those things this morning I thought it would be a nice post.  So here it is:

1. Manure Happens......A LOT!!!  It took me a while to figure out what to do with all the excess. I had more than I can feasibly spread on my small pastures.  It was suggested that I spread it in the arena but I decided against that as well. My reason is because right now I have a good amount of sand in there and when it rains it never gets soupy.  It drains off quickly and with a quick once over with the tractor is gorgeous.  I have learned that manure holds in the water and will get mucky pretty quick.  I was filling up a trailer and hauling to the dump once a month, but that was not practical for summer months,. The flies were awful.  I finally found a company which dropped off a small dumpster.  I can fill it up all week long and they come and get it once a month. Plus I can put all my other trash in there as well, so I only have one trash fee for the whole property and the fee is reasonable.

2. When deciding who to turn out with whom, always know who your alphas are.  I had thought that mares with mares, and geldings with geldings would work. I could not have been more wrong.  What I have learned is to put my Alpha mare in with the geldings, and the Alpha Gelding in with the mares, and everyone gets along just fine.  At least that is how it seems to be working right now.

3. While there are some "pain in the behind" owners out there, most boarders are pretty easy to get a long with as long as you care about their needs and about their horses. I try to follow my boarders feeding directions to a T and don't make changes without discussing it with them first.  However, I have found that most of them prefer to defer to "What every you think, Cindy,"

4. Pasture time makes for happy ponies.

5. Mosquito's make for unhappy ponies.  (I have done a lot of research in mosquito control and found a really awesome product called "Mosquito Bits" which I put on my pasture right after irrigating.  It has cut the pest population in half and is safe for grazing animals.)

6. Mosquito's seem to prefer dark meat. For some reason the dark colored horses are just plagued by them even after being sprayed. The other horses seem fine once they get sprayed.

7. By the end of a summer of irrigation and mosquito's, even the most stubborn horse will stand quietly for spraying even with out a halter.

8. Maintaining a nice pasture is a lot more work than most people realize.

9. Don't sweat the small stuff.

10.  Shavings in a stall are wonderful for keeping your horses clean, but they are a pain for cleaning...just saying.  I prefer my dry lot pens where I rake it into a pile and scoop it into the tractor.

11. Always maintain your tractor.  You will be most unhappy if you don't and it breaks.

12.  Non horsey members of your family will be very reluctant to assist you in your endeavor, and will not understand why you are busy every single evening.  They will start asking for things like dinner, and clean laundry, and help with homework.

13.  It does not take long to find yourself with a waiting list of people who would like to board at your facility.

14. If you think you have time to work a part time job and properly take care of nine horses, you are probably wrong...well at least not if you plan on having a life, and definitely if you want to ever ride again.

15.  Cleaning stalls absolutely sucks when it is 115 outside.  (just saying)

16.  If one horse gets hurt, you can bet money that every single horse on the property will try to one up that horse by getting hurt even worse.  It is like a competition for them!

So that is what I have learned this year.  I actually quite enjoy my little endeavor so far. Of course there are some days when I just wish there were no horses at all out there wanting my attention, but for the most part I love what I do.

I did make the mistake of taking a part time job at a feed store that just opened up down the road from me. And while I do enjoy that job, I still question whether or not it is the right thing to do.

On a side note, my horses are doing very well. Trax is back to his normal self, and Melody is looking fabulous and is totally back up to weight.  We have a show coming up in 2 weeks and I do promise to do a blog post with pictures after that. I will be taking them both.   Killian is being ridden by a young girl who wants to rope on him, which I am thrilled about.  I think he is happy about it too. He pretty much does what ever she asks him too, so it is a good match.   Sassy is no longer mine.  I sold her to BEC and she has been bred to Firewater Fooler.  I still have her here for now, but she should be heading up to her new home sometime in the next 2 months.  I will miss her very much but I know she will have the best possible care, and will produce some lovely little foals for BEC.

I hope all my blogging friends are doing well.  I have not even logged in until today in a very long time.  But I hope to start back at it.  I miss it very much.


  1. Long time no "see", good thing for Facebook ;)

    Just a few comments on some of those points...
    #2 I know a few people that insist on mares with mares and geldings with geldings. Most of them have more trouble with squabbles and injuries than I do with my mixed herd (**knock wood**)
    #3 You're lucky! Our first boarder was a huge PITA, and quite rude. Hubster was ready to say no more boarders but our current one has him reconsidering.
    #s 8, 9 & 11 YES!
    #12 How ridiculous, they're too demanding ;)
    #13 True, IF you have a quality place and/or care. Guess that means you do! :)
    #16 I hate that game!!

  2. Funny, I just thought of you this morning. I'm glad you are well and your business also. It sound like a success.

  3. So good to hear from you!! Sounds like you've been keeping very busy and are doing well...all good stuff! Hope you get some cooler weather soon and have fun at that show.

  4. Great to hear some news. Glad all is well!