Sorry for venting, but I really need some advice. I currently have my horses at home. I love being able to take care of them myself, don't mind the work, and really just enjoy the entire atmosphere of having horses at home. The only problem is that I am lonely.
I have no one to ride with anymore and although I still talk to my horsey friends here and there, it's just not the same. I miss having friends to chit chat with while being at the barn and also having other people around when I ride. I just LOVED that type of atmosphere of the boarding barn and here at home it's just ME...husband is not into horses at all.
Anyway, I am seriously thinking of taking in a boarder or two for company. I know that would mean more responsibility and I would have to think about insurance/overhead that sort of thing. My other option would be to rent out stalls to a trainer...I have an indoor.
I think renting out some stalls would be a great idea. I'd like to do that myself eventually (although it would be pasture board). I am in a similar situation, and it does get awfully lonely. I have a friend who actually drives out to ride one of my horses, and that's when I get my social time. Unfortunately it's not very often.
What I was contemplating doing was having a boarder, and allowing them to get money off their board if they will farm sit. Might be a great option for you as well, I know back up care is one of my biggest stresses of having them at home.
How about advertise to fellow at-home folks that they can use your indoor, either by a season membership or by day?
I bet that would be a godsend to folks in your area in the winter. And maybe people could rent a stall for a night or two, like plan on a weekend of riding in the indoor and stabling Friday and Saturday.
Eventually, you might have some schooling shows or see if any trainers want to use it for a clinic.
That way you might run into some folks that you eventually would like as long-term boarders, too.
How about organising a Friends Night once a week, bi-weekly or once a month where your horse friends would know you would be home so they could come ride indoors. Have them bring a snack and a beverage and play some music.
One of the few remaining CoTHers who has NOT asked for the Lease Gone Bonkers PM And still exercising self control...
Do you have any horse-less friends (if not, maybe your friends have friends they can suggest) capable of riding one of your horses? Perhaps you could negotiate a lease or half-lease which would give them some saddle time and you can work out something where you would both ride together?
I have a friend who keeps her horses with me. We share the work, we share some of the expense, sometimes we get to ride together, if our schedules allow. When I travel, she takes care of everyone. It works great for us. She doesn't pay me board, but pays for her feed, etc. and all the horsesitting when I travel.
There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.
Mike - you're incorrigible (or is that encourageable?) LOL. My sis has a barn, big one, with a lovely ring. One horse. Boarders did not work for her, for a bunch of reasons. She does enjoy the conpanionship of having horse people and the SO's around. Her solution - a monthly "clinic" -- limited number of people, relaxed atmosphere, no pressure. Everybody gets to watch, listen, offer opinions. She has plenty of stall space, so nobody had to leave their horse on a trailer or leave too early. It was such a hit that they are thinking of doing it once a month or so. So, you might find a local instructor, or just some people who share your particular discipline interest and invite them over. As for boarders, as sis pointed out. 6 or 10 boarders is a business, one is a pain in the .... - well, you get it.
Just remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels.