6 Steps for Relocating Your Horse
By Susan Tinder
Owner: Tolland Falls Ventures
Step 3: Locating Horse Boarding Facilities
Now that you have outlined the specific criteria that you will be looking for in a facility and have differentiated between the amenities that you must have and those amenities that are desirable, it is time to start finding farms that fit your requirements. Now it is time to go back to the location criteria. It just makes sense to try to find your ideal barn as close to your new home as possible. So how do you do that?
If you are currently in a training program with a trainer, ask about referrals for trainers that they might know in the area you will be moving to. Veterinarians and other equine professionals might also know of someone (or someone who knows someone) or know of a facility that they would recommend. Ask the person making the recommendation if they could possibly make an introduction for you. Referrals, just as in a job search, are a great place to start. Just be sure that you still follow the Due Diligence steps outlined in Part IV, don't just assume that because you were given a referral is the very best possible option for you.
Most likely, you will be turning to the Internet to help you. A great website for anything horse is www.polocenter.com. You can select "Boarding Stables - US" and the site will direct you to a list of states. Select the state you are looking for. This web site lists all boarding farms sorted alphabetically by city within the state. Some of the listings have direct links to the farm's website and you will want to check these out, but this site also has listings that do not have websites and will show an address and phone number for the farm under that particular city. These farms may be just what you are looking for so don't rule them out just because they may not have a website. Also, be sure and check surrounding cities because they may be a little farther that you thought you wanted, but don't limit your options at this point.
Another site that does a good job of listing boarding facilities is www.NewHorse.com. You select "Finding a Horse Boarding Farm" and then select the state you are interested in. The listings are not in any particular order; although if you go to the very bottom of the page, you can get a sort for a single specific city. Once you select a farm, the first section of the page allows you to send an email inquiry to the farm you selected plus you can broadcast the same message to a number of other farms that are within a close distance to the farm you selected (the phone numbers and approximate distance from the farm you initially selected are listed). If you don't want to send an inquiry to the other farms listed you do need to de-select them from the list. Underneath the "Contact This Horse Farm/Boarding Stable" section this site provides a summary of the features for the farm you are inquiring about and shows pictures if the farm has provided them. You can go directly to each farm's website from this page but the icon is a little difficult to find as it is in very faint type font just below the "Contact Information" and just above the "Specialties, Services and Features" section.
EquineNow.com also has listings for boarding facilities. The have a section for Horse Farms and Trainers and you can narrow that down by state, breed, training (discipline) and farm (boarding, training, lessons, breeding, clinics, etc). You can further narrow the search by city. Once you select a farm, this site gives you a very nice summary of the farm, pictures if the farm supplied them, a nice easy direct link to the farm's website, a contact form, the ability to send the link to a friend, and an automatic link to Google Map based on the farm's address.
CentralEquine.com is another site that does have some listings for boarding farms. From their Home page select the "Directory" and the select "Farms and Stables". The listings are sorted by either "most recent" or "oldest first "; although, you can sort by the first letter of the farm's name if you know it. The information is concise, the web address for the farm you are searching on is listed and there is an automatic link to Google Map based upon the farm's address.
There are also two sites run by the same organization, www.horseboarding.com and www.horsesandfarms.com that are just starting up. They do not currently have very many listings, but over time these sites should grow.
If you are making a visit to your new city, possibly looking for your own new house, take some time to check out any local tack and feed stores. They are also a great way to locate farms or trainers, some of which might not be listed anywhere on the web. Just don't put too much credence on any comments, good or bad, that the store clerk may give you. Remember, these farms, trainers and owners are the store's customers so it is only good business sense for them to be careful about what they say. Remember, sometimes it is what they don't say that is important.
While you are at the tack or feed store, check to see if there are any local publications that might have ads or listings for farms or trainers in the area. Again these people may advertise locally but may not have the ability or time to set up a web site. Occasionally, once you know the name of the local publication, some of the publications are online and you can gain access to the most current advertising information that way.
Susan can be reached by calling 303-688-8725
or email her at: Manager@TollandFalls.com