Essential Elements to a Successful Boarding Facility
Horse boarding is an entertainment business and Disneyland is the gold standard. This sorrel draft horse is named Scott. He works at Disneyland pulling a trolley and posing for pictures.
Remember, horse boarding stables are an entertainment venue, and we are a visual animal. Walk around Disneyland and look at how everything, even the mundane, has been staged to be visually appealing. Garbage cans are attractively decorated. Offices and storage areas are disguised to blend in with the theme of the locale. Ever been to a barn where the manure pile is a focal point in the landscape? You won't find that at Disneyland, or Meadow Farm! This doesn't mean everything has to be brand new. Rustic can be visually appealing as well.
Make it Happen--Here's How
‣Neat and Clean Neat and clean goes a long way. I can't say enough about that. Think that odd pile of manure doesn't matter? What would you think if you saw the odd pile of trash in Disneyland? Banish unfettered storage. I don't know why so many horse owners believe they need to store things within inches of their horse, but too many different containers and storage bins can contribute to a "slums of Calcutta" feel. Clean barn aisles and uniform storage can go a long way to adding visual appeal to your business.
‣Camouflage the Manure Pile. Perhaps all it needs is some strategically placed lattice screen or bushes. Honestly, if Disneyland had a big pile of garbage on main street don't you think it would ruin the mood?
‣Plant Flowers You might be surprised at how easy it is to plant flowers that really improve the look of your barn, but don't require hours of your precious time to maintain. I like the easy to care for varieties like nasturtiums. They grow easily from seed and are edible by both humans and horses, though horses don't seem to like the peppery taste. (bonus!) Even a couple of pots of easy to care for plants at the entrance of the barn will make a positive impact. Don't have time for this? How about a gardening contest among the boarders? The prize could be extra turnout time or some other no cost, yet valuable prize.
‣Fresh Paint A fresh coat of paint is relatively inexpensive and can go along way to make a place more inviting. No time? Spring for pizzas and have a work party. Supply the paint and hold a painting contest.
‣Provide Seating. Providing comfortable safe seating with shade and cover only enhances the relaxing enjoyable space you're trying to provide. Riding and caring for one's horse has often been referred to as therapy. Encourage people to stay at your horse boarding facility and relax. How about a picnic table for a nice place to have snacks and talk with friends?
‣Celebrate Holidays Ever been to Disneyland during the Christmas season? It's magical. You may not have Disneyland's decorating budget, but you can put on a holiday air just the same. Post pictures from the last year's holiday event. Encourage boarders to decorate their own areas. Hold a decorating party or contest.
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