There is a small horse property for sale nearby. Crunching numbers, I can technically make the mortgage happen with some money left over. But fact is, it's way cheaper to continue with current living situation and boarding my horse. I have no DH to help with property maintenance, and I'm not terribly handy. But I can't get rid of the mental picture of my horse and a buddy happily grazing in my back yard!
Please COTHers, give me all the reasons this is a terrible idea!! Horror stories, tales of rising hay prices, whatever. Let me have it!
If your current situation is cheaper, stick with it! Just think of all the perks of boarding.....if your sick you don't have to go clean/muck/TO, there is somebody keeping an eye on your horse, you don't have to worry about arranging feed deliveries. Plus if your not that handy it will cost an arm and a leg to keep up a horse place because you know they will destroy everything in site and whoever you hire won't do it right.
You already stated the reasons in your own post - cost and time. Trust me, you will ride less if the horses are home as you will be bogged down with the daily upkeep - no matter how time efficient you become. Ask me how I know. And then what to do if you are squeeking by financially, and a big honking vet bill comes along? Or you need a new truck or trailer? And you will need farm equipment (even if only a riding lawn mower). And don't forget the utilities and insurance bills. . .
Sorry, usually I am a horrible enabler for the "keep your horses at home" crowd, but I would not do it if I didn't have a support system at home. My DH is not horsey, so all the farm chores are mine and mine alone (well, unless it involves power tools - then he will gladly lend a hand). But he picks up the slack by taking care of the house and the yard (although somehow I got the pool maintenance duties too!).
And numbers aside, there are other factors, such as the loss of barn buddies to chat and hang with (flip side - no barn drama), difficulty locating feed, vets, farriers, etc. (unless you are in a real horse-friendly area like I am). Difficulties with neighbors could arise if they are not into horses and all that comes with them. And the loss of a support system, those horse friends that are there for you if your horse is sick or lame, or you want to go away for an overnight trip and have no one to look after them. And you can forget about sleeping in ever again.
That is all that comes to mind right now.
There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams
Don't get house poor. Believe me Esp. with horses. Because you may have a little left after paying the bills but when your horse get sick or hurt or when you need to buy your own feed and hay and shavings and the farriers due, just having a little left over won't cut it. Also, if you get a farm remember you can't just up and leave when you please. no vacation, no dinners after work because you have to get home and take care of horses or you can't find someone responsible enough to do it for you. Then when your horse knocks over the fence and you need a winch and 4 wheeler to pull it up with and tighten it back and help holding it at the last min. because if you don't get it up then the horse gets out, well lets just say its a pain!! Unless you really really love it I wouldn't for one or two horses I'd keep boarding. Hope that helps.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
Another vote for NO WAY!!!!! If you are comfortable now- keep it that way! Believe us- before long you're going to regret having to do 800% more work at 8000% more expense to see your horse (and his new expensive friend) poop in your yard!
The grass is never greener on the other side of the fence- only fertilized!
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that is just not worth it IMHO. If only I could go back.... LOL!
3 feet of snow.
Husband plows around barn, hits water line, shears it.
I haul water for 5 horses from house to barn.
Husband and I spend 4 hours in an 8 foot hole of mud, ice, and snow fixing water line.
Don't do it!!
Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated www.cornerstonefarmpa.com
Granted I was married when I owned my farmette...but he was not a "country" boy and even getting him to mow the yard around the house was not worth the resultant grumbling beforehand and bitching afterward. I also boarded five horses on my place in addition to my three.
I did what I wanted, including when and how
I could see the horses almost all the time, except when I was working
I like to mow paddocks, drag arenas, scrub troughs and muck stalls
No commute to see the horses, just a short walk
There are more, I'm just multi-tasking with the dog right now...
When you're sick and you have to go out anyways, it sucks. I've literally taken a horse out, stopped and vomited on the way to the barn, taken a horse out, stopped and....yeah. Or that bronchitis I got in the middle of the winter? Yeah.
When something goes wrong, it's a DISASTER. Pipes burst in the middle of the night or while you're at work, flood the barn, shoot water onto the electric fence charger, etc. HOURS of labor, horses and people inconvenienced because stalls have to dry, wasted bedding, cost of replacing everything that broke (double-suck if it broke under ground...).
Even if you're handy (I wasn't really that handy), on a farm, most of the stuff that breaks needs two sets of hands in my experience.
Cost of hay, feed, bedding is NOT going down
It never fails that when you leave, even with a barn sitter, someone hurts themselves or colics or gets loose or the above-mentioned pipe bursts...
Two words: manure management
There are more, I'm just multi-tasking with the dog right now; he's a PITA.
I did not add in the grief boarders add to the cons list. And I know there have to be more, such as my county has regulations on farmland "best practice" stuff. Not to mention dealing with weeds, rotating paddocks, dealing with mud (and do I ever hate MUD!).
Personally, I think the pros have a greater value than the cons, like maybe 1.5 to every -1, but still...unless you're saving money, I say wait. I'm boarding right now, and own a house in town. I might get my own horse place again, but not anytime soon.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
Unless you plan on waking up every morning at 5 AM and padding out to the barn to feed and muck, EVERY SINGLE DAY, even if there is a blizzard and you have the swine flu and your best friend's wedding starts at noon and your horse hopped the fence last night anyway — DO NOT DO IT. I grew up on a farm and to this day I remain jealous of anyone who had/has the wonderful luxury of boarding.
Besides, if your horse could talk, he'd probably tell you likes being around all those other horses.
I almost had a horse property in December, and thankfully things didn't work out for me. A few years back I leased a 5 stall/15acre farm and after 3 years I was so burnt out I wanted to sell my horses, move to a high rise condo, and never see anything with fur or hair again.
Trust me, it's going to cost way more than your numbers indicate. I did the number crunching, and I came out with some extra money. Had I not met my hubby after I moved, I would probably have had the house taken by the bank by now. It's just so much more expensive. Utilities are more, insurance is more, you will probably have to go to DirecTV and an air card for internet, which is more expensive. Plus your horses will find a way to hurt themselves on the existing fencing, your hotwire will never work, and you will have to rip up and replace the existing fencing. You will never have time to ride again.
For me, I couldn't go back to boarding because I cannot drive, and even riding in the car makes me sick. But for normal people, stick with boarding.
Hell, I won't even buy a CONDO because when I did the math, renting is far, FAR cheaper, and I have a living situation that could be described as "priceless". Although I have a very unusual situation that makes it make sense. I ran my most "pro-buy" friend through the numbers and their jaw just dropped
"Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."
Phew, you guys are life savers!! I'm feeling much more grounded in reality now I was half afraid all the enablers would come out of the woodwork
There are a couple pluses (just so you know I'm not TOTALLY nutters to dream...). My neighbor would be a riding facility with an indoor. My roommate would bring her horse and help with feedings. Horsey minded family lives nearby.
But wow...those stories about pipes bursting And all the $$$ that would go to maintenance and mortgage instead of horse shows.
I'll file this in the "maybe when I'm married and have 100k in the bank" folder.
You aren't crazy to dream. But it's like those lifestyle magazines. No one really has that porch that is perfectly perfect with the perfect clean dog sitting on the top step and the clean fluffy pillows on the white wicker swing and a pitcher of sweet tea on a platter with some fresh cookies and green grass in the yard and birds tweeting in the trees.
In reality it's time to pressure wash that dingy looking swing and those pillows are nappy and the dog rolled in some sort of stink. There's a pile of muddy shoes by the door. and a beer bottle cap under the rubber doormat gathering dog hair and cat kibble.