Horse Boarding

The Bartlett Homestead Stables

The Bartlett Homestead Stables are situated a short drive from Portsmouth, New Hampshire at 235 Depot Road in Eliot, Maine on the lands homesteaded by the Bartlett family when they moved north from Newburyport, Massachusetts in the late 1680's. For those interested in that history, refer to "Views from Rosemary Hill" which chronicles the history of the region from before the 1600s to 2010. Views From Rosemary Hill This extensive farm passed into the hands of Bert Irving in the first half of the twentieth century. Bert used the barn as the center of his cattle operation through the 1950's. In the 1960's the barn was converted to horse stables. Kay Thompson acquired the farm in the 1970's and spent 40 years establishing her reputuation as one of New England's premier Morgan Horse breeders and trainers centering her operation in what is now Bartlett Homestead Stables. When Paul and Helen Goransson acquired the property in 2017, the barn demanded complete restoration. The extensive renovation projects conducted in 2018 and 2019 were documented in a number of print and television stories, including:

  • Maine farmers lift, restore Civil War-era barn very carefully
  • The Barn at Bondgarden Farm
  • Bartlett Homestead Stables (BHS) is part of the 240 acre Bondgarden Farm operation, which focuses on beef and hay production. One of the advantages of this synergistic relationship is our consistent access to our own high-quality horse hay, a feature that few area boarding operations can offer, resulting in reliance on truckloads of less palatable hay brought in from Canada or New York. The barn is organized as 12 stalls, a feed room and a tack room, which includes a cappucino machine for tired riders needing an energy boost!

    There is also access available to a toilet and shower in the common area of the adjoining 1740's Bartlett Homestead house. There is a lounge area above the tackroom with plently of space to enjoy that cappucino on a wet and cold day! Boarders have access to scenic trails and an outdoor riding ring.

    The Stalls

    The barn is laid out with the traditional off-center main hall, with seven 12x14 bays on the north side and seven 12x12 bays on the south side. The north side is all stalls and the south side provides 5 stalls, a feed room and a tack room. The tack room has a small staircase leading to the lounge area depicted in the photo above and an available area for boarder storage. The rest of the immense loft area is used for storarge of our own self-produced high quality horse hay. Those familiar with typical stall sizes in our geographical area realize that these are unusually large stalls. Each stall has a window with screen that may be opened in warm weather for ventilation and cooling. Full mats and lighting are amenities in every stall.

    The Paddocks

    Our paddock area is currently organized as five small paddocks that each can hold 1-2 horses, two medium paddocks for 2-3 horses and two extensive areas that can hold larger groups of horses that thrive on the company of others. There is also a full-sized outdoor arena and a smaller round pen for ground work.

    Horses are turned out with breakfast and lunch hay with access to grass in the summer. We attempt to provide a science-based nutritional diet for our horses. A trained eye looking at our equine residents will observe the superb health of our horses, which we attribute in large degree to the excellent quality local hay accompaniend by the right supplements. This is in lieu of the traditional grain-heavy diet that results in many health problems. Our barn manager and equine 'chef' will be happy to explain our nutrition philosphy. When needed we can incorporate special needs into a horse's diet. We focus on providing a science-based nutritional program according to NSC guidelines and test our hay through EquiAnalytical. Our hay has consistently tested below 10%,(ESC/Starch).

    Our Services

    BHS's priority is to provide a happy, healthy and safe environment for horses and humans. We also insist on a tranquil, drama-free barn where our horses can live in peace and comfort and their owners can come to as a refuge of beauty and peace. Our philosophy is that horses are happier outside being who they are. We insist on a full day in the great outdoors with the exception of extreme weather events. Our full board services include:

    • quality hay three times a day
    • customized supplemental feed two times a day
    • Blanketing
    • individual turn out or group turn out
    • scheduled de-worming
    • scheduled farrier
    • scheduled vet
    • full day turn out
    • access to trails
    • per-stall cubbies in tack room for storage
    • fly control

    2023 Pricing

    We currently offer this full board pricing :

    • $750.00/month per horse

    Our Lesson Program

    We offer lessons tailored to both adults and children.

    Our lesson program offers both English and Western riding instruction with a strong emphasis on safe horsemanship skills on the ground as well as under saddle. Trail Riding etiquette and Bareback riding programs are also an option. Proper riding attire is required. Private one on one instruction only. We do not offer group lessons or guided trail rides.

    • Adult Lessons (one hour): $65.00
    • Childrens' (12 and under) Lessons (30 minutes): $50.00

    Our Staff

    Our barn manager Dawn Marie Hernandez lives nearby:

    Dawn has loved horses all her life and is a third generation enthusiast. After many years of wishing she had a horse of her own, she finally made that happen when she acquired her QH Gelding as a 5 year old, almost 10 years ago in Colorado. She was taken under the wing of a wonderful man that had been training and showing QH and Paint horses for over 30 years. He instructed and conditioned Dawn to do her own work with minimal guidance. She was encouraged to ride as many horses as she could at every level and discipline to expend her education with feel of movement and to learn something new from each horse. Over the years her persistent and dedicated work landed her and her horse numerous Championships in both English and Western events with Equitation being her main focus. Dawn moved back to the Southern Maine area 4 years ago. After acclimating her horse to his new environment, they continued to attend Open Shows. Once again, they were very successful in the show pen and also participated in a new event - Ranch Riding!! They earned multiple day-end and year-end awards Dawn is currently training in Western Dressage and gaining more confidence with her equine partner by going out on the trails and fields enjoying the peaceful settings.

    Equine Operations Contact Information

    Phone: (303) 502-6205 (Dawn)


    Online Documentation Available

    Boarding Application: Download BHS Boarding Application PDF

    Staff Application: Download BHS Staff Application PDF