Does anyone keep their horses on land not "at home"... on land you own or lease that only has your horses on it?
I can imagine there are millions of bad things that could happen if you only see them once a day (loose, water trough busted right after you left, injuried, etc.) that might make me nuts... but I'm imagining the good as well.
\"Let the civilized world go to the devil! Long live nature, forests, and ancient poetry.\" --Theodore Rousseau
Our farm is 200 acres, and the existing barns are 1/4 mile away from my house. Does this count?
However I don't see them only once a day. I go out at least twice, and often three and four times. I venture to say it is not very different from someone who has them at their house but works a full time job . . . i.e. people are away from their horses for 8 - 10 hour stretches all the time!
The key (as with any set up I suppose) is to make it as safe as possible. I have a gate across the driveway, so at a minimum to get to the road they have to get out of their pasture and then also through the driveway gate. The second herd has to get through *three* gates to get to the road!
Also, I have automatic waterers, so something would have to go REALLY wrong for them not to have water, and so far (fingers crossed, not wanting to jinx myself) that's not happened.
Big, maintained, fields, compatible horses, none of which are aggressive also cuts risk of injury.
I did it for over a year while we were building our house. It was 35 miles from where we lived at the time. It got REALLY old after a while - too much driving and getting up early. HOWEVER, I had an apartment in my barn so would stay there several nights a week. And there were lots of day I spend the entire day (between am and pm feed) there riding, etc.
But, I found it to be a total pain to have my horses so far away. Only reason I did it was so the pastures at our other place would be lush and green and beautiful while that place was on the market.
I've done it for well over ten years now.
I generally see my gang twice a day or someone else does. Even if the horses aren't fed tice a day, I think it's a good idea for someone to lay eyes on them. We have concrete water troughs, big grassy pastures, okay fences, and usually someone is coming or going near the horses a few times a day.
I have gotten calls when the 100% blind horse was out of the pasture and a water pipe burst, but most of the incidents that happen aren't major or aren't visible to passers by.
Did this for many years, but I only leased space that had people living on site. The first were an older, retired couple that no longer had horses. They knew what problems to look for and kept a good eye on everything. The second was a home purchased by a young couple with no animal experience, but they were good at looking out. I would get panic phone calls about my mare being dead only to find out she was sunbathing (hubby stopped in to check in, mare was fine - she yawned and gave him a dirty look for waking her up).
Horses were checked in and fed 2x per day. The first place I did both trips, the second place husband did mornings and I did evenings. The drive gets old quick. But, the situation worked for what we needed and the price was right. The worst I dealt with was a tragic accident that ended my heart horse's life -- this was at the retired farm, they had old equipment in the field they refused to move. But, that could have been an accident waiting to happen, his number was up, and it could've happened in any scenario at any location. Just so ended up happening there. The other farm we only had to deal with an EVIL escape pony that found holes in the fence, but no harm or foul. Otherwise, the situations were good.
My two beasts live on my parents' property, 15 minutes from where I live. The horses are generally alone all day and all night, I come 2x/day to feed and whatnot, but the rest of the time they are unsupervised. My parents will take care of them if I am away (or need a flashlight held at night, etc), but otherwise they are totally my responsibility.
They have tags on their halters with my phone # as well as a close friend's #, in case they get out. They have pooped in the water tub before, or a bird drowns or something (and usually on a day when I am running late already!) but they haven't died from no access to water for a few hours, lol.
I leave them "out" 24/7, but the doors to their stalls are left open so they can be in, out, or under the overhang roof, and I always leave plenty of hay. As far as injuries, well, I've had them get hurt at the boarding barn overnight too... so that doesn't concern me any more than it would if they were still boarded.
I've had them "home" for almost 2.5 years, and I much prefer it over boarding them. When they first moved in, I was still living at home, so it was the best thing ever... shortly after however, I moved out, and so have been "commuting" to see/take care of them ever since.
I've also had the birds in the water, but that could just as easily be left unattended at a busy boarding barn for a few hours while stalls are getting done, or at home while at work. My pet peeve is squirrels drowning -- seems to be a problem at my current place!
I am weary of halters unless they have a breakaway strap, and even then I have heard they can fail. My heart horse was an accident from a halter, and that was heart wrenching .. I'll take my chances.
I have generally found that most of the 'issues' I've had to deal with would have been pretty much the same if someone was there all the time. My horses are out 24/7 on decent sized pastures and if they were being boarded, they'd only be checked at feeding - just like they are now!
I'm currently in this situation. I have 2 properties. One is a 10 acre farm that I bought last year. It came with a barn, 3 fenced pastures, a fenced paddock, and a house, the other is where I currently live, .5 acre on a busy street.
I bought the farm almost a year ago. It was a good deal, too good to pass up, despite knowing that I wouldn't be able to live there for a while (still not sure how long "a while" is). So I split up the house into two 2 bedroom 1 bath apartments and rented them both out. 1 is rented to a young woman who used to ride and work on a ranch, the other is rented to another young woman who has very little horse experience. The woman that used to work on a ranch feeds the horses in the morning and turns them out for me because I can't get up there that early. She does it in exchange for a reduced rent fee. Even with the reduced rent fee, I still make enough to cover the mortage on the 10 acre farm. I also make $150 a month from my 1 boarder, which helps to cover some of the costs of my 2 horses.
I'm usually up at the farm once a day. I clean stalls, fill hay nets, get am and pm grain ready, bring horses in, and get the paddock ready for the next day (put hay out, fill water trough). I'm usually there for around 3 hours a day. All the horses get checked over to make sure they're alright, my horses usually get groomed (and ridden if the weather cooperates) as well. The biggest gap of time is when they go out in the morning to when I get there to start chores. They go out at 7 am right now, I get there at 4:30 pm. Usually someone goes up mid-morning or early afternoon to check on the horses, but not everyday. I don't worry too much though, they're in a secure paddock with wood and electric fencing, don't generally gallop around like idiots, and even if they did get out, they wouldn't go far (probably into the nearest field with grass). The whole property is surrounded by dense woods, the kind that horses don't fit easily through. I have horsey neighbours on one side, woods on the other 2 sides, and live at the end of a cul-de-sac. Overall I feel pretty good about the situation. I honestly worried more about "safety" at the two places I boarded at. Both along busy roads with overcrowded fields.
All that being said, if I could do it over...I wouldn't buy the farm again. It is a huge pita to drive up there everyday, sometimes twice. My time is very limited to do "fun stuff" like groom, ride, and play with the horses, because I'm working on a never ending to-do list. It can take anywhere between 15 mins and a half hour to get to the farm from my house, so up to an hour round trip. I can think of about a thousand things I could do with that hour. This winter has been awful, trying to plow a driveway, muck stalls, dig the renters cars out of snow drifts, throw extra hay, etc etc etc, has really taken a toll on my happiness. All I can think about now is spring, and getting the horses back on grass. The barn isn't nearly as fun as it used to be, right now it's just a second job.
But, in general, I'm happy. My horses get cared for the way I want them to be cared for. They get free choice hay (a huge thing for me), clean stalls, clean water buckets, their paddock gets mucked out, they have toys to play with, and come spring, they will have 8 acres and 4 different fields to graze in.
We are currently renting a barn for our two horses. The young couple that own the property are great. The guy is yearning to learn more about horses and he's been great. His wife couldn't care less about the whole thing which is fine! I go in the morning 5 days a week to feed and he lets them out after they eat breakfast. We go back in the afternoon to clean stalls and grain and bring in. Each time I've asked the BO to turn in or feed (or give midnight hay) he does it with no complaints. Keeping them there and their upkeep is cheaper than it was for me to board one horse at a huge boarding facility. Now my horses get outside all day long and things are done our way. I love this and I hope it lasts for many years. I recommend it if you can find the right situation.