; Pleasure Horse Boarding Farm Risk Management | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Pleasure Horse Boarding Farm Risk Management

David Almquist


Harford County Maryland is located on the Interstate 95 corridor half way between Baltimore and Philadelphia. The county is experiencing rapid suburbanization and is loosing farms and farmland. While the number of dairy farms in particular is on the decline the number of horse farms is increasing. Harford County now counts more horses than cattle. This is in line with the state of Maryland which boasts more horses per sq. mile than any other state in the nation. One result of the demand for the pleasure horse ownership experience is the rise of pleasure horse boarding farms. Many prospective owners have little farming experience. Few understand risks involved with this kind of farm.
People wishing to start a boarding farm often buy a farm with old dairy barns included for conversion. If they are to successfully run a profitable horse boarding farm they need to address risks associated with the facilities. They need to make a sound business plan. They must keep the horses healthy and free from injury. They need to minimize loss of pasture by using sound pasture management. Finding the right liability insurance is of great importance.
With support from a small risk management grant I held a seminar at an old dairy farm in transition to a horse boarding farm. All subjects as mentioned above were discussed during class presentations and on site "tours" by Extension Educators, local business people and other agency representatives. 40 people attended including 4-H club members and leaders, prospective farm buyers and owners contemlpating and in the process of converting farms. Attendees have expressed and demonstrated an understanding of the risks involved in starting and operating a horse boarding farm and have taken steps to reduce risks and increase the chance of profit.