So I've been looking for boarders for a while now and it seems I have the plague, no calls, no e-mails, nada. I understand what I'm asking is a hair high for the area, but not outrageous, really nice SMALL farm, and for the care provided, I can't do it any cheeper.
Gentleman call today and asks if I board stallions... Honestly I never gave it much thought. I've boarded at barns with Studs and have handled and ridden a few and not had a whole lot of problems. The guy said that he's a halter horse and wants to saddle break him soon (I have a really nice 70ish ft wooden round pen), he's laid back and his teenage (19) daughter handles him no problem. He doesn’t want turn out since he works with him often (he's currently stalled) Stud is an arab. Guy sound laid back and nice too.
One of my main concerns is liability, I'll be reading my contract over! and the LO has kids (9 and 14) that like to come pet the horses (are not allowed in stalls fences etc without me there)
I have one large field and a smaller dry lot where the 2 mare (only other 2 horses there) spend most of their time because one i suspect is IR and the other can't handle the hormones in grass )
For those of you with studs or people who board stallions, what are your thoughts? What special accommodations do you have to provide, special insurance? I don’t have an issue with stallions but I don’t want to make a hasty decision because I need a boarder.
At minimum, I would want to meet and handle the stallion first, on his current, familiar, territory. Some are big teddy bears and your only real issue is good enough fencing to keep them from the mares, some have been TREATED like "OH MY GOD STALLION! BACK OFF! STALLION COMING THROUGH! WILD BEAST!" all their lives and act accordingly.
Is there a way you could go see this stallion at his current place?
Just be very upfront about your concerns and the possibilities that he might be kicked out (politely) if things aren't working like you want.
Well fenced pasture/paddock.
I've seen well manered stallions and crazy geldings.
Really nice boarders and complete idiot ones.
Ask questions: Is this their first horse? Since when do they have him? Was he showing? with them? How is he at the shows? Is the daughter learning still or is she an advanced rider? Will she be supervised by the father?
How often is he trained? What is he eating? What kind of training? Do they have a trainer?
So you could get an idea of who is coming to your place.
I would take him for a month to see if it runs smoothly and it should since the horse is said to be well mannered and the owner wants him stalled with no turnout. If he is mouthy halter him and tie him up in a corner while cleaning his stall, you don't want to get a 'hey pay attention to me' nip while scooping.
Arabs and andalusians are pretty forgiving breeds and that is why so many are allowed to keep their jewels.
However, a stallion as said above does require extra vigilence. You might want to ask this on the sporthorse breeding and the stallion owners will give you a crash course in what precautions to take.
I can't imagine any barn manager/owner taking time to drive and meet a potential boarder, that's just silly for any horse.
I would take him under a 30 day contract trial period and go from there. One of the stallions in my barn is like a big teddy bear, the other requires more careful handling when he's being an idiot but the rest of the time he's a regular horse.
I don't really agree with no turnout, that's a darn shame.
What about any other boarders that might consider your place?
Some may be put off by a stud being there.
Others might be total novices clueless how to behave around any horse-and bring the whole family out to pet things while little Suzy thumps around on some old Pony.
It's generally not a good mix in the average boarding business. thats true of anything with "special needs". And Arabian halter horses are presented pretty...up...for want of a better word.
Tell you what, I have some concerns about the fact it is not broke to ride yet...thats an accident waiting to happen in your average boarding barn with any horse, the stallion part just complicates the potential for involving other boarders.
What happens with that one inside all day until owners DD can get there...I imagine she either works or is in school, or both, and any horse needs alot of time to train on a regular schedual.
Wouldn't hurt to talk to them but there may be a reason they have been the only ones to show much interest in your place...like nobody else wants them.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
There are issues with boarding stallions. Liability is one. No matter how sweet and perfect a stallion is, incidents can happen and the perception of those incidents will be colored by the fact that the horse is a stallion (whether or not that actually was an issue). You need to be able to have a setup where it isn't easy for other clients and visitors to touch/handle the stallion for this reason. You also need to make sure that your other clients are compatible with having a stallion around. Beginner/intermediate riders and new horse owners might NOT know better than to walk their precious DanceOfTheSevenVeils right up under a stallion's nose when she's in heat.
It's silly to think that all stallions are fire-breathing monsters, many are very well behaved and do just fine. However, there is a wide range. Some are fine, but have sudden "fire-breathing" moments, some are fine but are more likely to place an unexpected bite or kick, and some are fine until they reach a certain age/developmental point and then they become more difficult to handle (sometimes practically overnight). Even the nicest stallion can cause big issues if it gets loose, breeds or tries to breed someone else's mare by accident, tries to go after a mare in heat that has a rider on it's back, etc. There is more potential for drama for sure.
Things to consider: check with your commercial equine liability insurance carrier and make sure your policy covers the boarding of stallions and make sure your boarding contract has a clause that discusses who will be handling the horse (i.e. I probably would not be comfortable if a boarder wanted to have a minor child handling their stallion for liability reasons) and a brief clause that allows for quick termination of the contract and removal of the horse should it become dangerous to handle. Also, you say that you are comfortable with stallions, but once you have one on the farm you need to make sure that your employees (or whoever helps you around the barn or helps you when you are on vacation) is/are competent to to handle a stallion as well.
OP, are YOU comfortable handling a stallion? Do you intend to have any hired help that will need to be comfortable handling a stallion?
My concern would be that for you, it will be even harder than usual to get away from the farm if you don't have someone who is comfortable handling a stallion.
At my last barn, there was a stallion. The rule was that other than "approved" boarders, no other horses were allowed in the arena when he was being worked. He got turnout and such, no problem. He was worked regularly. He was a good citizen. It was a training barn and the only human traffic in and out was pretty well versed in horses and mostly (almost always) adults only. Barn staff were good. Never seemed to be a problem other than he could get a little excited when you brought a mare by.
I would just want to make sure that you're cool with the horse if you're the one who is going to do the handling.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
As the boarder of a stallion, it was very difficult to find places to board. People were usually freaked out. One boarder was having a conniption fit because he was calmly ground tied in the wash rack....when her horse was a nut case, jigging, pulling. Finally found a professional farm that treated stallions as a horse.
I expect my critter to be the best behaved animal on the farm. Testicles were no excuse for rudeness. Expecting to have the indoor to ones self is ridiculous. Misbehavior in presence of mares, not allowed. Stallion had private turnout paddock that adjoined the other turnout paddocks so he could see other horses. Never any trouble with my horse.
A friend's gelding went berserk at same farm, tried to break down the fence to go after the mares in adjacent field and was asked to leave.
Treat a stallion like a horse and he will behave like a horse. Treat a stallion like a stallion and he will be an a****. No turnout is asking for trouble. The horse needs to be allowed out in a safe place.
Stallion ownership requires a high level of horsemanship. I would "vet" the owner of this horse....then decide whether to accept them at your farm.
My first thought was NOOOOO mainly due to the no turn out and the need to clean the box so often. But reading Pluvinel yes if it is well behaved but I would insist on turn out. I have seen many great Arab Stallions but some ratty ones which usually turn to be those that don’t get turn out.
I would take him under a 30 day contract trial period and go from there.
My thoughts. Having been the well-loved owner of a *halter bred* *Arabian* *stallion!!!*, and having been around other Arab stallions, they are heckuva lot easier to handle than some mares I know. While I agree that stall only is both good and bad (good, no turnout issues; bad because it's not healthy), if you have an arena he can be turned out into for an hour here and there with owner's permission, it can work fine.
But owner may not want him turned out...ever. And it's the owner's prerogative.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
This is the kind of situation where, if you are seeking advice on the internet, you should probably say just say no.
What I don't like about this situation is that the owner does not want the horse turned out. Yeah, lots of show barns and racing stables manage stallions with little to no turnout. However, they have handlers (note the plural) experienced in dealing with stallions, and the horses are getting their butts worked off by professional trainers. You are not that level of handler, and it sounds like this horse's owner is not that level of trainer.
You are going to need to handle this horse several times a day simply to feed him and muck the stall. What happens if the family doesn't show up to work the horse because they're dealing with Xmas, school exams, or a visit from the norovirus fairy? Do you really want to be dealing with a bored young horse solo after he's been standing in a stall with nothing to do for three days?
I have a stallion, who is very nice, but one of the reasons he is this way is that he lives out with mares and foals. He has always been treated like a horse and he behaves accordingly.
If you are desperate for board money, take this horse. I would increase the board fee because a horse that is kept in 24/7 is going to need lots more shavings and hay. Also put a clause in your contract that the owner will pay for any and all damages the stallion does to the barn and property. Trust me, any horse kept in 24/7 is going to do damage.
Personally, I would hold out for another boarder who has a gelding or mare and wants turn-out. Your life will be much easier if you do.
I personally would not board any horse that was not allowed turn out, unless due to injury, regardless of how often the owner is planning to be out.
I would not want to board at a barn that had horses in a stall 24/7 either.
I also would not trust someone that says they work their horse often enough to not need turn out...what sort of work do they give their halter horse? Lunging in a rig? Free longing? Flailing at the end of a chain shank?
You will be best off deciding what services you offer regardless of gender, and if YOU are ok with a horse being in a stall 24/7 then consider him.
The other question I would ask though, is are they planning on breeding him? If so, are the wanting to bring mares to your farm or how are they planning to work that? Or are they just planning to have him at your place for the off season then move in the spring? If the latter, is it worth taking him on as a short term boarder?