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Things to Consider Before Half-boarding Your Horse

Half-boarding a horse can be a great decision, both for you and your horse. If you need a little help paying board or feel that your horse isn’t getting an adequate amount of exercise, then you may want to consider finding a half-boarder, also known as a half-leaser or share boarder. A half-boarder is exactly what it sounds like… the person signs an agreement to pay half of whatever the cost of board is (as well as things such as farrier and vet bills if you so choose) in exchange for riding time. However, it’s important to keep in mind several issues that can arise with half-boarding and what to do in those situations.

Who Will Pay the Horse’s Maintenance Fees?
In these arrangements, you may also want to ask your half boarder to pay half for extra expenses. These expenses include hoof trimming and shoeing, routine veterinary bills, and de-worming costs.

What Happens if the Horse Requires Major Veterinary Care?
The possibility always exists that an emergency will arise, which can become expensive.  For example, the horse might experience a severe cut during a trail ride with your half-boarder, who will pay the vet bill? It’s important to address this issue in advance.

What if Somebody Gets Hurt?

Included in the contract should be what will happen if the half-boarder becomes injured while riding your horse.

Are There Restrictions on the Use of the Horse?
You should specify how many days of week the horse can be ridden and what days of the week. You should also specify in writing whether or not the horse can be taken off the property for shows or trail rides as well as the limits of the horse (jumping without a trainer present, duration of the ride, etc.)

This should all be put in writing and signed by both parties before pursuing with the half-board agreement. Find a lawyer experienced in equine law to ensure that you have included everything and that it will withstand if anything were to go wrong with the half-lease agreement.