Is Self-Care Horse Boarding Right for You?

Is Self-Care Horse Boarding Right for You?

If you are looking for a stable or boarding facility for your horse, you’ve probably come across the terms, self-care, partial care, and full care. Self-care horse boarding means you are responsible for taking care of your horse. Partial care means the responsibilities are split between you and the facility, and full care means the facility takes complete care of your horse.

Self-care horse boarding is attractive to many equestrians because it is typically cheaper, and gives you more control over your horse’s care. However, it is not right for everyone and usually doesn’t go well for the horse, the facility, or yourself when you choose to go for self-care when it may not be the best option for you.

When considering Self-Care Horse Boarding, Ask Yourself These Questions:

  1. Are you or someone from your family available to come to the barn twice a day, rain or shine, every day? Your horse needs constant access to water, and to be fed twice a day. If you go with a self-care barn, these things are your responsibility. What would happen if your horse knocked over its water bucket, or the trough cracked, and no one noticed for 24 hours?
  2. Do you have someone available to fill in for you if you are sick, injured, or traveling? You can usually trade this service with other self-care boarders, or pay the workers at the facility to help you out, but you have to have a plan in place for who will take care of your horse if you can’t. It’s not your barn’s responsibility to handle your emergency.
  3. Do you live nearby? Life happens. You have to stay at work late, one of your pets or kids gets sick, or your car breaks down. The farther you live from your barn, the harder it is to get there when other things in life crop up. It’s best to live within a 10-minute drive if you are looking at a self-care barn.
  4. Do You Enjoy Mucking Stalls, Hauling Hay, and Scrubbing Water Troughs? Call us crazy, but many of us do. It’s therapeutic, a great workout, and leaves us with a great sense of accomplishment. However, if you are not one of these people, you might enjoy horse ownership more if you leave these tasks up to someone else by choosing partial-care or full board.  
  5. How much time do you have to spend at the barn? If you only have one hour a day to spend with your horse, you may get yourself into a situation where you never have time to ride because you are constantly feeding and mucking. Even if you do enjoy those tasks, you probably don’t love them enough to give up riding.


What’s So Great About Self-Care Horse Boarding?

So far, we’ve told you that self-care horse boarding means you will ride less, do more manual labor, and have less support. Don’t let us talk you out of it. It’s a wonderful option for many people. 

Self-Care boarding might be great for you if:

  • Your horse has dietary restrictions that don’t allow it to be fed a cookie-cutter diet.
  • You are particular about the state of your horse’s stall, paddock, or water bucket and prefer to clean it yourself.
  • Your horse is a huge part of your life, and you are planning on being at the barn twice a day anyways (self-care does save money).
  • You have friends at the barn that are willing to share responsibilities, so you don’t have to go out twice a day.

If you are looking for a self-care horse boarding near you, search your city here: and use the boarding available filter.