Contract Management AcademyHorse Boarding Contract

The Complete Horse Boarding Contract Guide: Types, Terms, and Common Disputes

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Free Contract Template

Horse Boarding Contract

The term of this agreement shall be for __________months/years commencing on the date set forth above, and shall renew automatically for successive periods thereafter unless canceled on 30 days written notice by either party.

Definition and purpose of a Horse Boarding Contract


What is the Horse Boarding Contract?

A horse boarding contract, also known as a horse boarding agreement contract, is a legally binding agreement between a horse owner and a boarding facility that outlines the terms and conditions of boarding a horse. This document specifies the services provided by the facility, such as feeding, cleaning, turnout, and general care, and details the responsibilities and expectations of both parties.

Purpose of a Horse Boarding Contract

The primary purpose of a horse boarding contract is to protect the interests of both the horse owner and the boarding facility. It ensures that the horse receives consistent and adequate care while providing the facility with a clear framework for managing its operations and liabilities.

Additionally, using a horse boarding contract template can simplify the process of creating a comprehensive agreement. It also covers specifics like a horse training contract if training services are included, thus promoting a stable and harmonious boarding environment.

Key components of a Horse Boarding Contract


A horse boarding contract should include several key components to ensure clarity and mutual understanding between the horse owner and the boarding facility.

  • The boarding fees must be clearly outlined, detailing the cost of services and the payment schedule. 

  • The services provided, such as feeding, stall cleaning, turnout, and any additional care like grooming or training, must be specified in the contract.
  • Care and health requirements include veterinary care, vaccinations, and health records to maintain the horse’s well-being.
  • The liability and insurance section should define the responsibilities of both parties in case of injury or damage, ensuring adequate protection for the horse and the facility.

  • Rules and regulations of the facility should cover barn rules, safety protocols, and facility use.

  • The termination clause should outline the notice period and conditions under which the contract can be ended, providing a clear exit strategy for both parties.

Types of Horse Boarding


When choosing a boarding arrangement for your horse, understanding the different types of horse boarding is crucial. The main options include full board, partial board, self-care board, and pasture board, each offering varying levels of care and services.

Full Board

Full Board provides the most comprehensive care, including feeding, stall cleaning, turnout, and basic health monitoring. This option is ideal for busy horse owners who prefer a hands-off approach, as the facility handles all daily care needs.

Partial Board

Partial Board typically includes some services like feeding and stall cleaning, but the owner may be responsible for other tasks such as exercising and grooming. This arrangement offers more involvement for the owner while still providing essential care.

Self-Care Board

Self-Care Board requires the owner to handle all aspects of the horse’s care, including feeding, cleaning, and health management. The facility provides only a stall or pasture space. This option is the most cost-effective but demands significant time and effort from the owner.

Pasture Board

Pasture Board involves keeping the horse in a pasture with access to shelter, water, and basic feeding. This is a more natural living environment and is often less expensive than stall boarding. However, it requires the horse to be well-suited to outdoor living year-round.


Full board offers maximum convenience but at a higher cost. Partial board balances cost and owner involvement, while self-care board is the least expensive but most labor-intensive. Pasture board is cost-effective and natural but may not suit all horses, especially those needing close monitoring.

By understanding these types, horse owners can choose the best boarding arrangement to meet their needs and their horse’s requirements.

Essential Clauses in a Horse Boarding Contract

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A comprehensive horse boarding contract should include several key clauses to ensure a clear and mutual understanding between the horse owner and the boarding facility.

Boarding Fees

  • Breakdown of costs. This section details the monthly boarding fee, itemized services, and any additional charges for extras like grooming or training.
  • Payment schedule. Specifies the due dates for payments, accepted payment methods, and any late fee policies.

Services Provided

  • Feeding and watering. Outlines the frequency and type of feed, water availability, and any special dietary requirements.
  • Stall cleaning and maintenance. Describes how often stalls will be cleaned and the maintenance practices to ensure a healthy living environment.
  • Turnout and exercise. Details the daily or weekly turnout schedule and any additional exercise services offered.
    ving environment.

Care and Health

  • Veterinary care requirements. Defines the responsibilities for routine and emergency veterinary care, including who contacts the vet and covers costs.
  • Vaccinations and health records. Lists required vaccinations and health documentation that must be kept up to date.

Liability and Insurance

  • Barn owner’s liability. Clarifies the facility’s liability in case of injury or loss and any limitations on their responsibility.
  • Horse owner’s insurance requirements. Specifies the insurance coverage the horse owner must maintain, such as liability and mortality insurance.

Rules and Regulations

  • Barn rules and safety protocols. Sets forth the barn’s rules, including behavior expectations, safety protocols, and equipment use.
  • Riding hours and facility use. Defines permitted riding times and any restrictions on the use of facilities like arenas or trails.

Termination of Contract

  • Notice period. Indicates the required notice period for terminating the contract, often 30 days.
  • Conditions for termination. Lists the conditions under which the contract can be terminated by either party, including breaches of contract or changes in services.

Including these clauses in a horse boarding contract ensures that both the horse owner and the boarding facility have a clear, legally binding understanding of their responsibilities and expectations.

Real-life example of horse boarding contracts

1. Term
The term of this agreement is for _______ months/years starting on the date above and will renew automatically unless canceled with ___ days’ written notice by either party.

2. Identification of the horse
Registered Name: ___________________
Barn Name: _______________________
Breed: ___________________________
Sex: _____________________________
Age: _____________________________

3. Owner/Authority
Boarder confirms they are the horse’s owner or have the owner’s authority to enter this agreement. If not, Boarder remains fully liable. Owner of record (if different):
Name: ____________________________
Address: __________________________
City/State/Zip: ______________________
Phone: ____________________________
Email: ____________________________

4. Boarding fee
Board is due on the [month date] of each month. Payments after the [month date] incur a [late fee amount] daily late fee.

5. Deposit
A refundable deposit of [deposit amount] is required. Unpaid fees and damages will be deducted from the deposit. No refund if Horse is removed without proper notice.

6. Services
– Provides a covered stall cleaned daily.
– Turn-out at owner’s request when possible.
– Uses reasonable restraints if necessary for safety.

7. Horse’s condition/care
Horse must be sound, disease-free, and have a current negative Coggins test unless exceptions are specified.

8. Horse’s Behavior
Boarder must disclose any behavioral traits.

9. Visitation
Access to the horse is allowed [time].

10. Safety and liability
Helmets: SEI-approved helmets and safety gear recommended.
Risks: Engaging with horses is inherently dangerous. Boarder releases Stable from liability for injuries.
Conduct: Boarder is responsible for their actions and their horse’s behavior.
Indemnification: Boarder indemnifies Stable against losses from Boarder’s use of facilities or horse’s behavior.
Legal Costs: Prevailing party in legal disputes entitled to expenses.

11. Notice
Notices must be in writing and delivered with proof of delivery to [adress].

12. Entire agreement
This document constitutes the entire agreement. Modifications must be in writing and signed by all parties.

13. Comprehension 
Parties acknowledge they have read and understood the agreement and have had the opportunity for legal review.


[Lessor’s Name]
Date: _______________

[Lessee’s Name]
Date: _______________

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Common disputes and how they were resolved


Disputes in horse boarding contracts often arise from misunderstandings regarding services, care, and fees. A typical issue is disagreement over the quality of care provided. For instance, a boarder might feel their horse is not being fed as agreed. In one case, a boarder noticed weight loss in their horse and, upon investigation, found the horse was not receiving the specified amount of feed. The dispute was resolved by revisiting the contract, increasing feed portions, and implementing regular weight checks.

Another frequent dispute involves late payments. A boarder who consistently paid late accumulated significant late fees, leading to a standoff. The stable owner and boarder negotiated a repayment plan, waived some late fees, and established automatic payments to prevent future issues.

Conflicts can also arise over facility use and visitation hours. For example, a boarder using the facilities outside agreed hours was causing tension. The resolution involved a clear reiteration of the contract terms and a slight adjustment of visitation hours to accommodate the boarder’s schedule.

These examples underscore the importance of clear communication and well-defined terms in horse boarding contracts to prevent and resolve disputes amicably.

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