Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
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Horse Boarding Terminology
A horse boarding facility can either be a farm or a dedicated stable that provides horses with a place where they can be trained and cared for. Some boarding facilities are also called equestrian centers, where lessons, extended use riding trails and practice arenas are available. Below are some common terms for horse boarding facilities.
Stable – A building where domesticated livestock is kept. On horse farms or equestrian centers, the stable building is usually reserved for horses. Horses are kept in their own stalls with a steady supply of food and water. Each stall will also include bedding.
Bedding – The material used on the floor of the horse stall that provides the horse with a comfortable place to lay down. Bedding can be made out of straw or even from cotton.
Riding Arena – A fenced in, flat area where training lessons or competitive shows can take place. The floor of the riding arena is usually covered with dirt or sand, and may have obstacles placed inside of it, depending on the training activity.
Handling - A common term for how well a rider sits and handles their horse. Handling skills can be improved with training lessons and trail rides. The more time the horse spends with the owner, the better the handling will be.
Dressage - A field of horse competition where horses are judged on their handling, gaits and horsemanship of the rider. To be a dressage champion takes a lot of lessons and hard work on the part of both the horse and rider.
Pasture – A large field that is fenced in to allow horses to graze. Grazing is important to keeping horses and a stable should have large ample pastures.
Horse boarders and trainers help keep horses safe and healthy, as well as prepare them for equestrian shows with training sessions. Throughout the horse's stay, employees take care of them between visits with their owners. Only employees with equestrian experience are hired to care for the facility's horses. Ranches that rent or lease their stables often offer training lessons at the facility. This helps unnecessary road trips a horse has to take, which they may not be too keen on. Owners are able to choose how their horse spends their days and how often they want them to be trained.
Equine training can include riding, dressage, and jumping lessons for Western and English disciplines. This can be a very competitive sport and proper training is necessary before entering an arena for a show. Horse owners can find a farm with full service boarding services with turnout and lessons. The horse is given inside shelter with clean stalls, with enough time outdoors to graze in pastures.
A horse boarding facility that offers lessons has experienced caretakers and instructors for their clients. Day camps may be offered in the summer to provide riding lessons and instruct children how to properly care for horses. Many horse boarding and training ranches have trails to follow when the weather is mild. Horse owners must visit stables in advance before agreeing to rent one to see how other horses at the facility are being cared for. Some trainers may offer their first lesson to be free so clients can get a feel for their teaching style before making any commitments.