4 Winds Equestrian Center
Where Horses and Humans Build Life-Long Partnerships
9031 Hwy 337, Estancia, NM 87016
505-384-1831  4windsec@qwestoffice.net

Ten Questions to Ask Before You Board Your Horse

Home  Map  Calendar  Boarding  Events   
Boarding a horse is an act of trust for every horse owner. You are handing over your beloved horse to someone else to provide the daily care you, for whatever reason, can't. Even if you make it to your boarding facility every day, you are still taking a leap of faith that the people you are entrusting your horse to will take this round-the-clock responsibility as seriously as you do.  Here are some questions you might not think to ask before you sign that boarding contract. The answers ought to give you a great idea of the level of care provided by any facility you are considering.
1.  How often does someone check on boarded horses each day? The answer ought to be more frequently than just feeding times. We all know things can go wrong at any time of day. Someone in the know needs to be checking on horses several times a day.

2.  Who handles my horse? Whatever the answer, you should ask these follow-up questions: How much horse experience does he or she have? And when would my horse be handled? Moving horses from runs for cleaning is a good reason for handling; pulling a horse out so the owner's visiting grand-daughter can pet it really isn't. Make sure whoever is authorized to handle your horse in your absence has lots of horse experience, and if you learn that isn't the case, be sure to voice your concerns. The very least your boarding facility owes you is professional handling.  Be worried if the answer to this question is no one. You are not paying all that board for someone to just throw hay in the feeder twice a day and walk away. The employees of a boarding facility should know your horse and how to handle him or her.

3.  How is this place secured? Some of this you can see for yourself: Is there perimeter fencing? How sturdy are the runs and pens? If there's pasture, what kind of fence is used, and what kind of shape is it in? But you also want to know: Who is allowed in after hours? Is the gate locked or otherwise monitored? How are the tack rooms secured, during business hours and at night?

4 Winds has three Barnmaster barns
with spacious runs and stalls .

Good fencing is key to security at a boarding facility. 4 Winds has state of the art pipe fancing, horse fencing and rail fencing.

4. Where can I ride around here? This is a key question, especially if you don't have a trailer. An indoor and outdoor arena are awesome perks for boarders, keeping you riding and training all year round. Trails or riding opportunities onsite and nearby offsite riding are all best-case scenarios to conveniently keep you in the saddle. Beware a small boarding facility with no onsite or offsite riding. Unless you are equipped to travel, you may find yourself riding less.
Click here to see the 4 Winds trail country.

5.  Can I bring my dogs/my friends and their horses/my family for a picnic? The right answer to this is highly individual. Some barns ban outside dogs for safety concerns, ditto for outside horses. Some aren't equipped for non-horse people visitors. Some worry about kids running around unsupervised. If you have a gregarious style, find a barn that can accommodate that gladly.

A boarding facility with plenty of riding options will keep you in the saddle! 4 Winds has over six miles of trails as well as open fields for eventing.

6.  Who's in charge on the weekends or when you're sick or away? The answer should be clear: Professional experienced care is what you are paying for and should expect.  Make sure the owner is ready to provide that 24/7, no matter what else is going on.

7.  What happens when my horse gets sick or injured? A call to you should be the first answer. But the owner of your boarding facility should be able to outline a good emergency response for horse health issues, especially in the case of wounds or colic. Bottom line: Your horse should be cared for in the interim before you or your vet arrive.

Children are a big part of the equine family at
4 Winds.
8.  Can I stay here if my horse needs me? If your horse needs round the clock care, who will handle it? Will your boarding facility let you camp out onsite? Will someone there take on the responsibility? Can someone handle things like meds or dressing changes? Will there be an extra charge? Getting these worst-case scenarios worked out in advance can make everything go smoother in a health emergency.
4 Winds offers RV hookups
for overnight guests.
9.  What happens if my tack/my trailer/my horse is stolen? In this case, the responsibility is on you in most instances. Make sure you are carrying adequate insurance on your property. Your boarding contract most likely indemnifies your boarding facility against covering those losses. That said, your boarding facility should notify you immediately if they suspect a theft and should be willing to work with you in reporting a loss and recovering your lost property (God forbid it should be a horse).
10.  What are your emergency procedures? The unforeseen can happen. A water main can break and flood a barn. A stack of hay can catch fire. A high wind can blow a barn roof off. Find out what the owner has in place to handle emergencies and evacuations; how your horse will be handled and where your horse will go in any emergency that requires evacuation.

Learn More About Boarding at 4 Winds Equestrian Center
We offer professional boarding, vacation boarding and recuperative boarding on 360 acres just 25 minutes south of Tijeras. Stall, pen and pasture board are all available:
75'x 260' indoor arena with sky box, large outdoor arena, 60' round pen, 2 Barnmaster barns with 24 12x12 stalls, 6 miles of trails on site, Manzanos and Sandias nearby, boarders' lounge with kitchen, bathroom and shower. Vet and farrier calls handled. Fun riding community. Clinics, trainers and instructors available.
Call 505-384-1831 for more information. We're just one beautiful drive away!