Horse Boarding Contracts
So you have an extra stall or two in your barn and you think it would be a good idea to rent it out and make a few extra bucks. Although this sounds like a simple and easy thing to do there are many things you need to consider and make sure you write them all out and outline them in a horse boarding contract. Leave nothing out. From the big things all the way to the little things. A proper horse boarding contract outlines all the issues so that nothing is left to the imagination if it is all to go sideways.
Start with the obvious. What is expected out of the boarder and what is expected out of you. For example, for $300 dollars a month the boarder will be provided a stall, including one wheel barrel of shavings per day, fresh water at all times and X amount of flakes of hay per day. Remember to be specific. You might have a boarder who is feeding their horse copious amounts of hay and the horse is wasting most of it. You can easily bring up the contract and remind them what the deal was. Or perhaps they are bedding their stall 2 feet thick in shavings and it’s impossible for you to clean the next day. Other ‘basic’ things included in this category could be, where the boarders have access to on the property i.e. the riding ring, round pen, fields, turn out and any other amenities.
You should also outline the barn rules in your boarding contract. Every barn has rules and they are there to insure the safety and well being of the horses and the riders. Basic etiquette like passing other riders on the left, sweep up after your self, put all tack away, pick out any poop your horse left in the arena. This list can go on and on depending on your likes and needs. If you write them down and include them in your contract and have it signed you are more likely to hold everyone accountable.
Liability is a huge issue. It is a good idea that everyone who rides or teaches at your property has either Horse Council or a similar membership with their local organization. This provides everyone with basic insurance for most little mishaps that happen while working with horses. Have them write there HCBC number down on the contract as well to make sure that you have access to it and can check to see if they have been keeping it current. Usually a whole other waiver should be signed, ‘a riders release’ for those who come on your property and ride, even if they are not boarders. Let’s face it, if you have a horse, at one point of another you may get hurt. It may not always be a big deal whether it’s a broken nail, stomped on foot, or a fall, be prepared for the unexpected.
Medical veterinary issues are another concern. If the horse colics or gets hurt what is the protocol? Have each boarder leave their vet of choice’s phone number and name as well as their farriers. Sometimes things happen fast and there is no time to try to get a hold of anyone and the vet needs to be called right away. Also make sure that the boarder assumes all responsibilities for their horses vet bills and costs. You don’t want to be stuck with a big vet bill because the owner never gave the ok to call the vet.
The list could go on and on. You are better to assume what can go wrong will go wrong and protect your self with a properly outlined boarding contract. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!