I rent a small 1 bedroom house/in-law suit (with my long-time SO) on a large, 25 acre property with the "main" house a few hundred feet away, where my landlord lives with his immediate family. I looove it there. Its quiet, beautiful, and nothing but farmland for miles around. We will have been there a year in March of next year.
Recently, my landlord told me he is strongly considering building a barn and getting a few cows and some chickens. Currently, 70-80% of the land is a large soy bean crop but he wants to turn it into a hay field and pasture.
He then mentioned that if I was still renting when everything was established (we're talking at least a year) that if I wanted, I could probably bring my horse "home" and keep him there (with a buddy, of course).
Of course my initial reaction is yay! And sweet! I would love to have my horse in my backyard. But I know keeping a horse at home isn't easy and I don't want to get in over my head or regret my decision.
Here are some key points to consider:
I love where D is being boarded now and I couldn't ask for a better BO. He's happy, healthy, and a 15 min drive away with great pasture.
I work in Bethesda, commute by the MARC train, and am gone from 6:30 am until 6 or 7 pm, M-F. SO does work from home but has limited horse experience.
I have 20 yrs plus of horse care/management experience but am a first time HO. I don't have a truck or trailer and definitely would not have one for awhile if I moved him there.
Landlord has limited horse experience but does have farm land management experience. That said, I would not expect him to do any direct horse care. Merely provide me with some pasture space, shelter, and hay. I would do the rest.
D is extremely low maintenance and currently lives out 24/7, barefoot, with a shed and a round bale in the winter. He would have the same set-up at home. I wouldn't need a ring, as I mostly hack out, and there are plenty options to do so near my house.
I have no intention of buying a home in the next 5 years due to student loans, etc. I love where I live now; the set up is perfect and will stay as long as I'm allowed. Landlord and I get along well and I am an awesome tenant
We rarely go out of town for more than a day, definately less than a week a year.
I know for a fact that if anything where to fall through and I couldn't keep him in this proposed "set up," my BO would take him back as a boarder in a second. She was the one who sold him to me and loves him like her own. That said, she would also be cool with me taking him home and there would not be any hard feelings. Did I mention how awesome she is?
Sooo...should I even consider this as a potential option? Or would it be a bad/crazy/unrealistic idea? Right now, I am completely neutral, and while I would LOVE nothing more than to have him with me everyday, I know life is not all about pretty horsies grazing and farting butterflies and rainbows in the back yard.
So, give it to me straight!
And sorry for the loooooooong post - if you're even still reading this far - thank you!
You're lucky in that you have 2 terrific-sounding situations to choose from. In addition, unless your landlord wants an answer from you asap for some reason, you'll have "at least a year" to think about it. A lot can happen in that "at least a year" time frame. For the time being, I'd just keep it in the back of your mind & wait & see.
I think since the horse is a low maintenance type and you're not expecting landlord to do a lot of care, it could work out perfectly fine.
The big thing might be the trailer - in the event of an emergency/colic/etc, how would you get him to a clinic if needed? That doesn't have to be a deal killer, if you have resources around or people willing to be an emergency call.
I will say living on the same property as my horse for a while was AWESOME. But I was boarding there before I began renting, so I already had a good feel for how my horse did there
I think you may also want to think about expenses, etc - having him at home will mean bringing in hay and grain and having to schedule services around when you are there as landlord probably won't be holding for farrier, etc. You may also find yourself on the hook for property damage (find out that kind of stuff first). You may also find, particularly in winter, that the time you spend on basic care or helping keep up the property may take time away from your enjoyment of him. Just stuff to think about
Still, imagine sitting in your fuzzy slippers with a mug of hot cocoa watching him out your window. It's nice
"smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"
It sounds a bit like a "six of one, half dozen of the other" situation. It certainly doesn't sound like a "no you shouldn't consider it a all" thing but really...while I'd probably keep it in mind as an option for the future, until your landlord actually puts his money where his mouth is (so to speak) and builds that barn and puts up pasture fencing it's kind of a moot point.
I think that the idea sounds great! There is nothing quite like having your horses at home. However, until this barn is built and fencing is up, you don't really need to make a decision. So much can change within a year or two!
I don't know that I'd put all my eggs in one basket like that, unless I was 99.999% sure it would go smooth. If something goes south with the boarding then you've gotta worry about if it's going to affect your relationship with the property owner as his landlord and vice versa.
Who knows though? Might turn out to be an excellent situation.
I think the best thing to do it take the year to see if your landlord is the kind of person you want as your BO and make sure you have *zero* concerns about the agreement going south, leaving you to not only have to find a place for you but also for horsey (although it sounds like you already have a back-up with your current barn).
He's building the barn anyway so you don't have to make any immediate decisions or commitments.
When the time comes, think back on the previous 12 months and ask yourself if it feels like a good idea. Then go with your gut instinct.
I have a friend who has 2 horses boarded on her landlords property. She shares the apartment above the barn with landlord, and it seems to work really well. I would think if the horse isn't high maintenance and you know enough to notice & address any issues that may come up, it would work out fine. Also consider what happens when you go on vacation, liability issues, will horse have a buddy, can you get a farrier out for only one horse, etc.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Are you planning to get a second horse just to make this situation work, or what was your plan for a "buddy"? I think it would be a mistake to take on a second horse just to make this situation work, as then you are more tied to that property.
I would also worry about the trailer, farrier, and having to possibly take time off work to help with vet and such.
Also keep in mind that what your landlord considers to be suitable for horses may not mesh with your own thoughts.
If you had a trailer, than bringing him "home" for short periods would be a great solution.
Overall, I agree that it is too soon to get worried about this, unless your landlord is making special plans to accomodate your horse.
One thing to consider: how much socializing do you do at your current barn? And is that social time important to you? Having horses at home is lovely, but you do have to make an effort to socialize with others once you are into home horse keeping.
"Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
- Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926
I am leaning towards keeping horse at current boarding barn.
You leave at 6:30am and are not home till 6-7pm.
Add time in the mornings to chuck feed/hay/top off water trough and again in the evening. Add even more time when that water trough is frozen, hose is frozen, its raining, its muddy, its snowing, there is 2 feet of snow on the ground.
Also you said the landlord has a family and I think kids when I hear family. How do you feel if kids and the kids' friends feed your horse?
How active is the boarding barn? Lots of horses, people, dogs, etc...Will your horse miss that? I know you said you would get a buddy, but you might as well get two buddies since when you ride you will be leaving the buddy alone.
So while you are saving money from not boarding, might as well get a truck and a trailer, two more horses, add in feed, hay, bedding, stacking, unloading, etc.
So it may be nice to have your horse at home, but your 12hr day just turned into a 14-16 hour day before you can stop.