How to Be a Good Boarder

Boarding your horse at a communal barn can be both fun and stressful. Here are some tips on how to make the most of boarding from one owner with decades of experience.
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how to be a good boarder
Simple tasks you can do to help keep the barn running smoothly include cleaning up after yourself and your horse post-grooming session, putting all your equipment away each time, and tossing hay or filling a water bucket as needed. | Photo: The Horse Staff

Boarding at a communal barn can be fun—you can interact with and get support from like-minded horse lovers. It also can be stressful, as you have little control over your horse’s living environment and the other boarders at the barn. Here are some tips from one horse owner with decades of boarding experience.

Norma Stein has ridden and owned horses for 40-plus years. She considers herself “a retired dressage rider who rides Western.” Stein has had her horses on her own property, and over the years she’s also boarded at a variety of facilities. She’s even been a barn manager and a groom.

“I like the camaraderie (of a boarding barn), doing things together, the socializing,” she says. “There’s much to learn and benefit from others, including the support for both the good and bad times

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

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