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 Opening a new barn

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Posts : 189
Join date : 2009-03-30
Age : 26
Location : St. John's Newfoundland

PostSubject: Opening a new barn   Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:53 pm

One of the bigger barns here in newfoundland has closed down for boarding (decided to just do lessons on lesson horses instead) which has left everyone scrambling for stalls, which there are none availible in the eastern end of the provence.

i'm curious what would be some requirements that a new barn would have to have for YOU to move there. Layout, turnout, ammenities, reasonable distance you would travel, realistic price, etc.

so far I have:
10 by 10 stalls at the smallest
feed room that horses are NOT able to get into
running water (does not have to be hot water)
decent size isle way
enough room in turnout for horse to run around if he pleased
24/hr turnout offered
24/hr hay offered if desired
decent sized tack room, enough so each boarder can have enough room to keep the essentials (brushes, 1 saddle, bridle, boots, and first aid)
decent sized outdoor arena, but not necessary right away, at least somewheres flat without huge rocks to ride. with some lighting, at least able to ride in during the winter (where it gets dark quick..)
grain fed 2 times a day
hay fed 4 times a day (morning, lunch, supper, and evening. or give enough supper hay to get threw the night)
stall cleaning daily OR part board offered (you clean your own stall)
water buckets dumped and filled daily.
grain options available, but owner would supply own supplements.
management to be approachable. able to deal with problems right away, not letting any problems linger.
bathroom on site (not necessarily in the barn, but at least in range like in a house)

I'm willing to travel 30-45 minutes for somewheres where i know my horse is being looked after, i don't have to worry. I'd be willing to pay $350-$500

i know 350-500 seems ALLOT to you guys, but it's the average going around here where a square bale of hay from co op costs $22.50 , bag of feed is around $20 and sawdust is $1.50 a bag. ideal i'd be looking at a 6 or 8 stall barn with option to extend if i wanted. (don't want be too big too fast)

another question is would you get a pre-built barn or build your own be cheaper? (coveralls, barninabox, etc) what would you prefer?
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Posts : 422
Join date : 2010-07-27
Age : 31
Location : Cape Breton

PostSubject: Re: Opening a new barn   Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:57 pm

I'd have to say:

-at least 10x10 stalls, with bedding at bare minimum 4 inches deep. Skimpy bedding is a big no-no.

-turnout in large paddocks, with options for horses that can not be turned out together, and shelter in the form of trees or buildings in each paddock. 24 hour options as well. Also, fencing must be safe and approved for horses!

-24 hour hay offered in turnout, winter and summer, if the boarder doesn't want this, they can put on a grazing muzzle. Hay offered bare minimum 3 times a day when stalled.

-grain fed twice a day, and from a quality brand, with two or three feed options (ex: sweet feed or pellets) anything above that, boarder can provide. However, I'd want my horse fed appropriately, if I have a big 17hh warmblood riding 6x a week, he can't be fed like a 12hh pony ridden once a month, also, the reverse is true. If you are feeding horses, be prepared to feed them what they need, not what you want to throw at them.

-water buckets dumped and filled at least morning and night when stalled, and clean water available at all times while outside, kept topped as needed.

-hot water on tap!!!!!!! Oh, how I loathe no hot water in a barn. Waiting for a kettle to boil 20 times in order to make a bucket semi-warm enough to soak a foot is wretched beyond all rational belief. It seems like one of those things you can get away with at first, but after needing it once and not having it, I would never ever not have hot water in a barn. You can't bathe, treat wounds, or clean buckets properly with no hot water. I have no hot water where I board. It is my biggest peeve with the place.

-aisles should be big enough for two horses to pass easily side by side. 6 feet is about the minimum for this, and then you still have hips touching. It is for safety, not convenience. I would make them at least 8 or 10 feet.

-tack room big enough to accommodate all boarders, I would offer space big enough for a small cabinet or trunk for meds and supplements, brushes etc, and then above that right to ceiling for multiple saddles, bridles, training crap etc. and blankets. Some people have more than one horse, more than one discipline, I know I have two horses, and 3 saddles, 7 bridles, more training equipment than I can shake a stick at, boots, bandages, wraps, pads, blankets, coolers, and they all get used regularly. If I absolutely had to, I could condense all that into a 4 foot wide, floor to ceiling space. I'd ask no less of anyone else. If I am boarding my horses there, I need their stuff there as well. My tack room is my feed room and I like it that way, but if I wasn't feeding my own horse I don't give a hoot where the feed is so long as it's locked up. A locked bin at the end of the aisle works, really.

-for riding, you would at least need an area big enough for several horses to ride at once without problem, a flat field with good drainage is fine, I'd fence it, even with a single rail. Ours is 300x150 I think, it's just a paddock with a fence that is not capable of holding horses anymore, so we mow it and ride in it. I'd also want access to trails.

-I also agree with offering part board or full board options, as some people are happy to provide their own feed/hay/mucking at reduced cost. Also if 24/7 turn out is the option chosen, expect them to pay less. I'd personally start with a flat rate of board, say 200$ for pasture and 300$ for stall, to cover the cost of upkeep, water and light bills as well as your share for the work involved, and then add up all the costs for feed, bedding, hay etc, per horse, and therefore you know what to take out or add as needed depending on what the boarder uses.

-as for barn management, they would need to be understanding, easy to deal with people, problems should be addressed quickly, and tactfully. The rules of the barn should be stated and very clear, as should the punishment for broken rules. Also, horses should be checked for injury daily, and horse owners should be contacted if there is something amiss.

As for your question of building the barn, there are many options available to you whether you build your own or buy a pre-built. If you get rough lumber direct from a mill and build yourself, you are cutting costs, but you might find the hassle not benefiting of the cut you'd save, so pre-built would be best. Look at all your options, make some phone calls, and figure out what is best for you. I haven't looked at exact costs myself as I am not building for another few years, so that is the best advice I can offer.
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Posts : 189
Join date : 2009-03-30
Age : 26
Location : St. John's Newfoundland

PostSubject: Re: Opening a new barn   Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:05 pm

excellent, thanks for your input!

for costs alone, i'm looking around $220-250 per month per horse. IF the boarder decided to buy own hay and grain, board would be greatly reduced, but another problem i would run into would be storage for the boarders who decided to supply own hay.. hrmm
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Posts : 2030
Join date : 2009-03-31
Age : 54
Location : Clarkes Beach Newfoundland

PostSubject: Re: Opening a new barn   Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:13 pm

IMO, if you are running a boarding barn you have to be very specific about what is provided. I wouldn't offer an option of owners providing their own hay/grain or cleaning their own stall. There is a huge difference in the quality of hay around here that it'd be a pain to keep the piles separated in the loft, and make sure that each horse is only fed from their supply. I like to know how much feed and hay there is, and if it's getting low, I know it's going to be topped up by ME.

I could also see the self-cleaning of stalls turning into a huge drama about how much sawdust to use, so-and-so used more than they should, etc. I have rubber mats for my guys and then use a relatively thin layer of sawdust over that. Mind you, they aren't in alot so it's not hard to keep the stalls clean. I also like all my stalls cleaned at the same time so that I know that "the barn is done" once all the stalls, feed, water, etc have been tended to.

I'd keep things as simple as you could. Two options, either stalled or 24 hr turnout (with adequate shelters). I'd also outline what the MAX amount of hay/feed is provided within that cost and if a horse required more due to their work schedule, etc then the owner would be responsible for the additional cost.

I know it probably sounds harsh to alot of people, but there are just ideas I'd implement within our horse community around here. I've seen how catty it can get - not pretty. The best defence is a good offence!

Having said that, we definitely need more barns in the area. It's a shame that stalls are so hard to come buy.
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Posts : 189
Join date : 2009-03-30
Age : 26
Location : St. John's Newfoundland

PostSubject: Re: Opening a new barn   Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:23 pm

there are litterly NO stalls in the east coast right now, i'm LUCKY i found one out here in central.. i had allot of convincing to do though. i'm hoping it gets better by the time i'm done school, or i'll be hiding my horse in my backyard for awhile.. :/
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