I am currently in college and will be taking a gap year next year before I apply to a dental health program. Im planning a volunteer abroad trip in which I would be gone a few months minimum, probably 8 months maximum.
My question is, at what point is it worth it to take a horse (fit jumper/dressage horse, 9 years old) out of training to give a large amount of time off. ie. if i was gone 3 months would I just keep her in her normal training program or take her out and start her back when I get back. 6 months? 8 months? you get the picture.
In the past I have left for no more than a month for either short study abroad or just winter break to go home. During these times I have just kept her in partial training with my trainer to keep her up while I was away.
I have no idea how long it takes to bring a horse back up from nothing which is why im wondering. if im gone for 6 months, will 6 months of no work be a year to build back? or just a few weeks? How much trouble is it to bring back a horse thats been doing absolutely nothing? or would maybe it be better to just have trainer ride once a week so while horse is getting time off, it at least remembers what a saddle is.
money is an issue of course, but I want whats best for my horse. also horse cannot go on pasture 24/7. she would be in a stall at night with a big pasture or paddock during the day.
I realize there is the leasing option, but I really dont want to do that, too much to worry about.
If any of you have stories about leaving for an extended period of time, I would love to hear about what you did about how you dealt with your 4 legged, dependent being back home.
thanks so much!