Frequently Asked Questions
Following are some commonly asked questions about boarding retired horses at our farm. If you have a question that is not answered below please feel free to contact us. We would love to talk with you and answer any questions about your specific situation.
What types of boarders do you accept?
At Paradigm Farms our focus is on retired horses. We offer both pasture and stall board. We also accept horses needing turn out or stall board due to injury if we have openings available. Currently we are only accepting retirees for boarding due to limited openings.
Do you take short term boarders?
Frequent changes make it hard for the horses to establish herd dynamics. With this in mind the minimum required boarding period is one year.
My horse has a special diet, can you accommodate this?
We will administer daily medications and supplements with feed at no additional charge as long as they are supplied by the owner. All horses are provided with free choice hay or pasture and grain (fed 2x/day) as part of their board. If your horse has nutritional requirements that cannot be met through these practices we will gladly accommodate these needs at the owner’s expense. Fees for special services will vary and can be arranged based on each unique situation.
Can I come and ride my horse?
We do not carry the same type of insurance as training facilities and therefore cannot allow riding on the farm.
Can I come and visit my horse?
Absolutely! Visits are scheduled by appointment as one of us must be present for visits per our insurance requirements. The farm is closed to visitors on holidays.
Are all farrier and veterinarian bills included in the board prices?
No. Our board prices include hoof trims (no shoeing) approximately eight times per year, de-worming six times per year and annual vaccinations. Horses must be boarded with Paradigm Farms for six months for annual vaccinations to be administered with no additional charge to the board bill. Any additional farrier or veterinary expenses incurred are the responsibility of the owner. Depending on the boarding package selected annual treatment by an Equine Dentist is included in the board.
What happens if there is an emergency with my horse?
If an emergency arises we will make arrangements for your horse to receive veterinary care immediately. Prior to your retired horse’s arrival at our farm we will discuss with you what your preferences are as far as treatment, diagnostics and expenses in an emergency situation. Once we have made arrangements for initial veterinary care we will contact you and you will be the decision maker for ongoing treatment for your horse. In an emergency situation we always arrange for initial veterinary care first and then contact the owner.
Can my horse be shod if needed?
We strongly encourage owners to pull the shoes from their retirees for the safety of all the horses and humans on the farm. If you feel your horse cannot go without certain therapeutic shoes then they will be kept shod, with the additional expense of shoeing being the owner’s responsibility.
Where Do the Retired Horses Come From?
Our Equine Retirement Farm Clients. Who are they?
I am often asked where do the retirees come from? Surprisingly, all of the horses do not come from our local area.
Of course we have horses here from middle Tennessee, but we also have horses here from across the United States and Canada.
Some of the states represented include Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington state in addition to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.
Why do people send their retired horses to our farm from out of state?
Horse owners choose to retire their horses with us, which may be quite a distance from where they live, for many reasons. The Tennessee climate is appealing to many, as their horse will not have the long, hard winters of the northern states and Canada or the extreme heat and humidity of more southern states. Our large, well maintained pastures are another draw for many of our clients. Horses are herd animals but they also like to have their own space. We allow approximately two acres per horse in our pastures. This allows for good grazing and also means the horses never feel crowded.
In some areas land prices are very high due to development pressure. Simply due to the cost of land in these areas most boarding facilities cannot afford to have a large acreage with large pastures. The horses retired with us thrive when they are allowed to be out in a large pasture with other horses. Our stall boarders and our pasture boarders enjoy group turnout in our large pastures. These same horses, prior to retirement, often did not enjoy turnout in a small space either alone or with another horse. Our clients are searching for the ideal retirement situation for their horses, and often that means choosing a facility that is not in their local area.
What are the backgrounds of the horses retired on your farm?
About Our Equine Retirement Farm Clients…
The horses enjoying retirement at Paradigm Farms hail from a wide variety of breeds and disciplines. Some of the breeds represented on our farm include various warmblood breeds, thoroughbreds, Arabians, quarter horses, several ponies and even a miniature horse. They were ridden in a variety of disciplines, and our residents have competed through Grand Prix dressage, Grand Prix jumping, “A” circuit hunters, upper level eventing, polo, barrel racing and gymkhana events. Other residents on our retirement farm did not show at all and enjoyed trail and pleasure riding with their owners and were treasured family pets. We are certain that they have a lot to talk about with each other as they discuss what they used to do when they went to the “office”!
Why are the horses retired? Are the retirees all older horses?
About Our Equine Retirement Farm Clients…
The horses on the farm are retired for a variety of reasons. Our youngest retiree is 6, and we’ll protect the age of our oldest retire (we will say that he is much older than 10!). Some of the horses are retired due to soundness issues, some due to injury, some due to illness and some are retired because their owners felt they had worked hard for a long time and deserved to just be a horse.
To learn more about some of the retired horses on our farm please visit our blog.
What does it cost to run an equine retirement farm and care for the horses?
This is a question that Jason and I are asked frequently both by owners and by people interested in running an equine retirement facility. Below is a list of some of the costs that must be factored in:
- Cost of land: we allow approximately 2 acres/horse
- Fencing and cross-fencing(we recently paid $7/foot for some additional 4-board wood fencing) plus gates and ongoing maintenance (the horses don’t write the checks so at times they chew them, scratch on them, kick them, lean on them, etc. We are sure they would be more respectful if they were paying the bill!)
- Running water & electric lines
- Yearly pasture maintenance: reseeding, fertilizer, lime
- Equipment to maintain farm: tractor, bushhog, manure spreader, chain harrow etc. plus costs to operate, insure and maintain the equipment
- Cost of building barns/sheds (extra charges will be incurred for site preparation, concrete aisles, gravel in sheds, water & electricity, indoor washracks) plus ongoing maintenance and insurance
- Cost of storage for hay, tractors and other equipment
- Troughs, hay feeders, buckets, hoses, brushes, shampoos, grooming supplies, etc.
- Monthly hay bill: Our area (southeast) is currently experiencing a major hay crisis along with many other parts of the country, and hay prices have more than doubled in the last 12 months. It is also predicted that fewer hay fields will be planted as farmers are responding to the rising corn prices (for ethanol) and planting more corn.
- Monthly grain bill: Feed prices are expected to continue to rise due to higher diesel costs and due to higher cash grain prices for ethanol.
- Property Taxes
- Commericial Liability Insurance
- Salary for caretakers: preparing and feeding hay, grain and supplements; blanketing; maintaining pastures; clean/rebed stalls; repair fences; groom horses; scrub buckets and troughs; hold for vet & farrier; order supplies and pick up hay/feed; monthly billing and accounting work; updating owners and communicating with clients
- Monthly utility bills
- Costs for truck and trailer (needed for transport and for emergencies)
- Cost to maintain emergency medicines and supplies and to replace outdated items (some meds are not cheap!)
- Farrier costs (included in all of our board packages)
- Costs for annual vaccinations (included in all of our board packages)
- Costs for de-worming (included in all of our board packages)
- Marketing and advertising costs (we have to be able to let you know we are here!)