I am considering retiring my horse within the next year. I have not decided for sure yet. However, I would like to start looking into my options. How did you choose a retirement facility for your horse? I feel a little overwhelmed right now. Any help/advice is appreciated.
I just started asking around where I am (mountain southwest) but after I started imagining my 20+ TB having to endure the winters w/o his mommy there to blanket him, I suddenly had the brilliant thought that I would look near my family where the climate is warmer and there is actual grass.
I posted a thread here on COTH asking about pasture board in the area and got several recs. Went to visit the one that sounded the best and was 20 minutes from my sister's house. Since I visit several times a year anyway, it's working out well so far.
So consider areas where you regularly travel to add to your options.
You have a good start on it! People's recomendations, vet's suggestions etc. I am a private barn - but I have had several retirees throughout the years. I retired my own, and then was asked - and it worked beautifully. I loved having the older ones to pamper - I think they deserve it after giving their all to us in the show ring. In fact, they are buried here too. So don't be afraid to ask!
I live next to a farm which has a nice small retirement field, about 20 acres, and a big warm run in for the winter. Remarkably though we are in NC, most of the horses there are from CT or NY. Actually I think several are specifically OTTBs from Belmont. PM me if you would like the contact info.
I retired my own, and then was asked - and it worked beautifully. I loved having the older ones to pamper - I think they deserve it after giving their all to us in the show ring. In fact, they are buried here too.
That is a part of the equation as to how I ended up with a retirement farm too! I appreciate the recommendation epona and flash!
I have three retirees arriving from New York tomorrow, all referred here by other clients.
There are a lot of factors that go into picking a farm. Location, price, services offered, level of care, how often do they communicate with you, can any special needs of your horse be accomodated, etc. For example the farm imissvixen posted about sounds lovely, but I would be hesitant if there was only one turnout choice. Not all horses get along, so what happens in that scenario if someone doesn't fit with the current group? A 20 acre field isn't big enough for two horses that aren't compatible.
I should probably add that I currently live near NYC...although....I am open to anyplace that would give my boy the care he has earned.
I know a place further upstate that is fabulous and can recommend 200%, many retired A show horses there enjoying their downtime though she is probably full.
I would have recommended where my horse is, but then we had the little kafuffle about ME blanketing my own, 100s of pounds underweight 23 year old horse- a retirement place imo should be where the horses get the individual care they need, not what someone thinks ALL horses should need/get.
The only kind of boarder I take are retired horses My farm is not set up for active boarders and never will be. I like it that way. My students, current and previous, quickly loaded me up w/their old horses. I love having them around; I know them all well and it's a pleasure to take care of them. Knowing everyone has peace of mind is important to me. One of them almost died at his previous "retirement" home - I am grateful to be able to provide this for him and the others. It is bad enough that horses we don't know have unhappy endings; worse when you have known and loved them.
My old working student has an opening for one retired gelding... Her mothers retired horse was put down a few months ago. I highly recommend that anyone looking for a full care, "do whatever it takes" retirement home PM me and get her info. I would feel perfectly fine dropping a horse off there and visiting once or twice a year; she takes superb care of ALL of her horses and always has.
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
Let us know what you are looking for -- I do retirement boarding (90 mi north of NYC). I have two of my own horses and board three others. I have 24/7 turnout with stalls if needed and my board price reflects that. There is another retirement farm a mile away from me that charges over $2000/month and the horses are kept as if they were still showing (very limited turnout, intensive grooming and blanketing etc.). It just depends on what would suit you and your horse.
There was another thread that asked how to find "backyard" barns, and it is true, really the only way is through word of mouth.
Ryers Farm for Aged Equines is a nice place located in PA. It's been around since 1888 so they must be doing something right! A family friend sent two horses there for retirement and was very happy with the care his boys received.
Somehow, I just got amazingly lucky. My retiree was very patient with me as I dragged him from barn to barn, looking for the perfect situation that I could actually afford. I counted the other day... in the last 14 years I've had him at 8 different barns! None of them were bad, but none of them were perfect either. A few months ago, I saw an ad in one of the local horse classifieds... someone was looking for a retirement boarder to be a companion to her retired horse. It turned out to be the perfect situation for my guy, and I'm so much more relieved knowing that he's happy.
So I guess I would say, in addition to checking out retirement farms, keep an eye out in your local classifieds - you might get lucky too