I own a boarding stable and some of my boarders trade their labor for part of their stall rent by cleaning stalls. I have been told that this is not a good practice because of the insurance. Is that correct?

This creates a Workers’ Compensation issue. In order to be properly insured, the boarding stable would need to have Workman’s Compensation. Even though there is no money being exchanged, the trade has a value and would be considered remuneration. The same would be true for a person receiving a place to live for cleaning stalls, or doing other jobs around the ranch. You would need to declare the value of the board or rent on your payroll report.