I sold my farm last July. Went from 100 acres to a house in the city and I now board the horses. I love it!!! The care is great, my horses are happy and more than that, I AM HAPPY. I am no longer tied to endless lists and $$ floating out the door. I personally found the move seamless and I haven't boarded in years and years. I wonder what took me so long.
Just remember to lock everything up so it won't grow feet.
And keep the serenity prayer handy:
Give me strength to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
I don't think I could have said it better, especially about keeping things locked! I've had my own farm for 19 yrs and, at times, have considered closing my barn permanently and just boarding my horse. Especially now since I'm down to one horse of my own and a companion that belongs to a friend.
But I'll be honest, the ONLY thing I have missed over the yrs at my own place was the socialization that you have at a boarding barn. That's it!!!! Not a bloody thing else! I love looking out the window at my horse(s). I loved NOT having to share the arena with someone else. I love NOT having to drive to the barn and drive back home again, probably at night. I loved being able to drag and water the ring when it needed it. Heck, I could go on and on...
I don't know where you are planning on boarding but one thing to look for is a LOCKED tackroom. And the fact that it WILL be locked up when no one is there. And the key or whatever is used to open it gets it's location changed when boarders leave. Tack thefts are way too prevalent.
Regardless, I hope it all works out for you and that you find a great place to board. They are out there.
Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!
I did it last year and it was the best decision I ever made! Remember things you'll need and have them on hand at the barn. I found myself hard up for a thermometer last night during a little case of colic. What I normally stored in the house, I didn't have on hand for myself. Dumb yes, but you'll run into that.
Know what your deal breakers are and figure out what you can live with. No one is going to do it just like you would.
For me, I think things like turnout, stall cleaning, barn hours, safety of the facility, will feed the grain/supplement I want, will let me use the vet/farrier/equine professional I want to use, competent people handling horses, etc are important things.
I can get over stuff like leaving halters on in turnout. Couldn't board somewhere where they left them on 24/7.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
I'm doing the same thing - sold our farm, and are buying a 2 acre property with a lovely house, and just enough room to have two horses in the back. Low maintenance barn to be constructed after we've had a vacation from the 10 years we've had our own facility. I'm a little frightened at the prospect of such an extreme change, but I'm up for the challenge.
-BO's that decide 10 days before the end of the month that they will no longer offer full care
-BO's that leave the wrong horse in so you arrive at the barn to find strange men trying to beat your horse into a trailer
-BO's that don't control the kids in the barn so your halter walks off during the night and the BM turns your horse out in a solid nylon halter that is twisted over the poll and hanging off their nose
-BO's that are experts on nutrition...
-BO's that come to the ring to "teach" you when you are neither asking them nor paying them for lessons
-BO's that decide to require things of boarders even though it is not written in their contract
-BO's that turn your horse out all night long in Texas summer heat with NO water then bring the horse in for the day and your horse proceeds to colic because he drank to much water to quickly
-Barn help that forgets to feed Smartpaks
These are all things that have happened to me and my horses. I've been at several different barns and had some fantastic barn owners but as you can see I've also had some bad ones. If you really want to go back to boarding just remember you no longer have complete control... and that frequently your desires for your horse come second to whatever the BO wants (rational or not and I have dealt with both!).
Hopefully you are making a good decision for you and your horse. We each want and appreciate different things about being horse owners and there is nothing wrong with that at all!
A case of "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" !!!
...I dream of NOT having to board, and having my OWN farm!!! Personally, the conditions of boarding are usually not up to snuff for me ( I am pretty particular...especially about things like footing, fence condition, pasture conditon, turnout...well, just about everything, really!!)
Coming from a BM who has had several boarders come over the years who have had their horses at home, just remember that part of boarding is relinquishing some small bit of control over your horses schedule. Find a barn who's routine/mentality is mostly on par with yours, and whose horses are mostly happy and healthy. Then enjoy your newfound freedom, and try not to pick at the little things they WILL do differently than you would.
I did the same thing several years ago....lost my farm because of divorce, moved into the city and boarded my horse.
Finding a barn that treats your horse as you would is most difficult; turnout, feed, ect.
The upside is the freedom to come and go as you please....take a weekend trip, stay home when you get the flu, that sort of thing. It's also fun to ride with a variety of other horses & people.
The downside is the aforementioned "variety of people". I had to develop a very thick skin because every stable I've boarded in throughout the years has "know it alls", "snobs" and often giggly teen girls.
The giggly girls will often pet and coo over your horse and give them treats, which is ok with me.
But other riders may enjoy pointing out your less than perfect tack or scoff at your riding in jeans and beat up boots or your horse's lack of papers.
And the ones that tell you how to ride or handle your horse can try your patience.
I for one, welcome advice....I have no illusions that I'm any great rider. But it hurts when people ridicule my tack or horse. I just remember that show people are competitive, it's part of them. Competition just isn't important to me.
If you are Type A, board somewhere close that you can visit daily with an owner that doesn't mind you being a bit of a DIYer. Sometimes it is easier to muck, and supplement your own horse then to tell people 6574 times to feed.
Also, write down every question you have and ask it and get a satisfying answer.
On that note- I *love* my new barn. The people are nice, horse has a lovely pasture. There are a few very minor things that have happened and I hate the wash rack. But no place is going to be perfect. The fact is that the people caring for my horse genuinely like her and seem to like me. She gets good care and treated well and is happy and nice to ride, so then iI am happy.
Also, you event, correct? You will be far happier in a barn with eventers that are like minded. I tried boarding at a western barn- it was a disaster. The differences that started as quaint started to drive me nuts.
Also, if you want to ride, visit the barn and observe the ring at the time you will be riding. The normally quiet barn with a group lesson of 10 kids at 4 pm 7 days a week is a pain in the butt if you ride at....4 pm.