When I opened my Tucson horse boarding facility, one of the points I had to consider was whether I would allow stallions on my property (See Should You Board Horses on Your Property? for all the points I considered before boarding any horses). Safely stabling stallions requires more robust facilities than for most mares and geldings. I also had to consider the increased liability if I had a lot of novice horse owners boarding with me who might not be stallion-savvy. While I won’t accept stallions as long-term boarders, I do allow them for overnight and short-term stays.
My facility does not have stalls, so horses stay in 45’ x 55’ pens with continuous metal fencing. This is very secure and does not have any sharp edges, so it would be difficult for a horse to hurt itself on it (although some seem to hurt themselves no matter how safe their surroundings).
Turnout is especially important for stallions. Because my pens are large, I don’t have a separate turnout area for the horses, but I do allow owners to turn out in the arena for short periods. Quality turnout time helps stallions’ attitudes immensely My arena is five-foot tall continuous metal fencing with strong gates, so a stallion would not be able to escape from there. My 150’ x 250’ roping arena has good footing, so the horse is safe even if he chooses to run or buck. I always recommend that owners of any horse prone to high-energy antics wrap their legs for extra protection for turning their horse out.
My pens are contiguous, so I have to be careful where I place any stallions. My own horses are currently the only mares on the property, so It is easy to keep distance between them and a stallion. In a more crowded situation, you will want to be mindful about where you place a stallion. You don’t want to put him in a situation where he would be tempted to go over the fence to get to the mares, or where he can touch noses with another horse. Remember, stallions are herd animals and benefit from being able to see other horses but need to be kept where they cannot hurt themselves or others.
I have handled stallions regularly since college, but before I will accept a stallion for overnight or short-term boarding, I must have proof that the owner is experienced enough to handle their horse. Over the course of my equestrian career, I’ve seen novices buy stallions and get hurt because they didn’t have the skills to safely handle their horse. Yes, I know that accidents happen and even the gentlest gelding can hurt a person, but an experienced horse person is more likely to respond appropriately – and safely – to a stallion’s actions.
Although I train my own horses, I do not market myself as a professional horse trainer because I want to keep my amateur status for showing. This means that I will not be the one to teach someone else’s stallion manners and appropriate behavior, nor will I coach them on how to handle their horse. I have the experience to safely work around a stallion, but the horse needs to have a solid foundation. I need to be able to safely clean the pen, feed, and halter and lead the horse in case of emergency. I won’t accept any horse without those foundations in place.
Before you decide to allow stallion boarders, check with your insurance company to make sure they are covered under your policy. You need to protect yourself, and some policies have very specific requirements and limitations. If you can’t find the information in your policy, call your agent.
Know the Individual Horse
Ultimately, whether I will accept a stallion for overnight or short-term boarding depends on the horse itself. Some stallions are mellow, laid-back, and a pleasure to be around. Others are aggressive and dangerous. While I am always conscious of my own safety, I am most concerned for the safety of others on my property – my boarders, their horses, my kid, and my dogs. If a stallion safely fits into our facility here, then they are welcome. If they have an inexperienced owner or show aggressive behaviors, I won’t allow them here. The decision is up to you as the barn owner, and no matter what you choose, remember that you have to do what is right for your business.
Do you allow stallions at your horse boarding facility? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.