Recommendations for excellent layup barns in NJ/Philly/DE/MD area? Creative ideas?
I just got the news from New Bolton that one of my horses is going to need months and months of stall rest for a DDFT tear.
I am wondering if it makes more sense to send him to an excellent layup/rehab barn-- rather than bring him back to the barn where I board. Once before I had to keep him on stall rest for months, and although he was fine-- I felt terrible because he was in alone while all the other horses went out. At least at a layup barn, he wouldn't be the only horse stuck in and would have some company? And maybe it's quieter at a layup barn-- so not as hard for him as being at a riding barn watching other horses be ridden and messed with?!
I am also wondering, financially, if it makes more sense. I haven't the foggiest idea what a good layup barn charges. The horse is going to need stall rest for at least 3 months (possibly many more) with only very, very minimal hand walking (and probably not that initially). He doesn't need any wrapping/medicating etc. Basically, just rest. The current boarding barn costs me $525/month plus there's a stall rest fee which I think is in the neighborhood of $100-125/month. Do you think a layup barn will be less than $625-650/month? I really have no concept of what that would cost.
Other creative ideas/recommendations? Better to be "at home" where things are familiar but bustling, or somewhere strange but quiet?
Wow, my vet is $25/day... I am getting a deal with him! He's not really equipped for long term stall rest, though he was kind enough to keep the horse for the weekend for me in between the initial exam and the MRI at New Bolton.
He's supposed to have his shoes pulled. Right now I am paying $250 every 4 weeks, so at least THAT expense will go down some. He's not on any drugs and doesn't need to see the vet until he's been rested a while.
I thought layup might be expensive. I thought maybe there was less expensive options because you always hear about people stashing race horses here and there in between taking them to the track-- but those are probably not true "layup" barns, just places you can short-term rent a stall.
I wonder, finances aside, if it's easier on them to be at a strange place that is quiet? He's a pretty good boy but he's NOT going to enjoy the stall rest, I'd like to make it as easy on him as I can.
Hmm. I'm starting to think I don't charge nearly enough!!!
I'm not sure I understand why you would have to pay extra for having the horse in stall rest if he needs no other therapy? Extra bedding? Hay?
Anyway, I think depending on the horse, this could go either way. Some are better off somewhere very quiet and some do better if they have activity around to have something to keep an eye on. Once they get used to the routine, they generally adapt well to anything, really.
Costwise, I don't really know the average prices in your immediate area, but I would think you should be able to find a reasonably priced smaller lay-up farm?
A GOOD layup barn does more then feed/water/clean stalls. Hence the extra fees. Usually they are pros with medicating, feeding and managing horses on stall rest, and may also have the facilities for rehabilitation exercises, such as a hot walker or a water treadmill.
You get what you pay for in this area, I don't think just any boarding farm who will simply not turn him out will work.
Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of theRiders with Fibromyalgia clique.
there is a great one in pittstown, nj, at high brass farm. they also have underwater treadmill which is great for soft tissue rehabs. but i think board alone is considerably more than what you're paying for board right now per month. but if you can afford it, your horse will have excellent care, will get hand walked, and looked after and get all his meds. actually if you are interested you should call them because who knows, maybe prices have changed.
Yes, I totally understand extra fees for extra care, was mainly commenting on the fact that current boarding barn charges extra for stall rest, although it was mentioned in the first post that horse needs no wrapping, meds etc. just basic rest.
They cater primarily to TB racehorse layups, and are usually full, but I believe my old riding trainer (who lives in the property) just moved some riding horses to another facility, so they may have openings.
They have long standing relationships with the best of the best in terms of vets and farrier. If I was going to pay top dollar, this is where it'd be. Sorry, I don't know current prices, but give Jan a call and ask!
PS It's super easy to get to... 2 minutes off 195 or the Parkway.
IF your current barn can meet your horse's needs, I would say he is probably best off there (just my opinion). However, I read so many threads on this board about horses on stall rest ... getting loose & hurting themselves, running through the fence of the "roundpen" or "small paddock", rearing & bucking during hand walking ... the stories of layup & rehab disaster seem almost daily to me. The facilities need to be available - I don't consider an electric fenced pen to constitute a suitable "round pen" for first turnout, nor is a whole indoor, even a small one, suitable for first turnout. Many facilities have 13 year old "barn rats" doing the hand-walking & they are not up to handling every horse that has been in a stall for several months.
We do layups & we are at the lower end of the pricing I mentioned. We start "turnout" with a roundpen consisting of about 6 pipe panels & a gate. Not much bigger than a stall but a chance to eat grass, roll, bask in the sunshine & enjoy being a horse. We add panels every few days as the horse acclimates to being outside. We handwalk but there are no teenagers doing handwalking here - just very experienced adults. If a horse needs therapy (for example, knee bending after knee surgery), the horse gets therapy.
The higher priced layups have access to all sorts of things such as underwater treadmills & hyperbaric oxygen chambers.
I just think that most of the people who post threads here about their problems handling a horse on stall rest or handwalking or first turnouts, really, really should spend the money for a good rehab facility. If you are spending money for surgery, vet diagnostics, etc., why risk everything with inadequate followup?
So, that is what you have to consider & evaluate: Can your current barn meet his needs? It sounds like they can. If so, then keep him there. The price is right. At any point where your current barn is not meeting your horse's needs to the highest level, find a layup facility. It will be worth the money it ultimately saves you.
Just my .02.. Layups entail alot more work than horses with some turnout due to increased costs of hay, bedding and labor-and that's before the extra fees. A horse stall confined will need to have his stall picked out very often, as well as extra hay to keep him occupied, and with him urinating only in the stall will go through lots of bedding! I think the layup charge at OPs barn is pretty fair considering the added expense and workload.
Maui Meadows is right by New Bolton Center. I don't remember exactly what they charge but I thought their prices were reasonable and the facilities and care were superb. They also have different therapy modalities that may help speed up healing if the vet gives the ok.