Well, I don't want to sell, just might not want to keep them in my back yard anymore and maybe it's just a bad day/week/month, but am having thoughts of "Wouldn't it be nice to just go to the barn, ride, love my horse, kiss him on the nose and say good night". No hauling hay, grain, dealing with muck, fence repairs, loose horses, shavings, stuck trucks, stall cleaning, feeding, etc all BEFORE you get a chance to actually enjoy your horse. By which time you are so exhausted (because this is all after working all day) you just want to be done with it and go in where it's warm/dry.
I am not at all adverse to hard work, but I have 6 horses at home (not all mine, all but 2 are boarders) and have for the last 8 years and worked full time, and sometimes I feel like I may just be missing out a bit on "life". Maybe this should have waited for off topic day, it might be an early mid-life crisis...
BUT, has anyone on here gone back to boarding after having your own place? Thoughts, comments, regrets??
I usually have that thought about twice a day - right after the alarm goes off and about the time DH heads to bed and DD and I head to the barn!
Truthfully, though, would never go back to boarding. We boarded at several nice barns before we came home with the horses and it seemed that I took care of them as much there as I do at home. Stall were never cleaned enough, not enough hay and bedding, dirty water buckets, and we felt like we had to go check on them every day, which meant 1 1/2 hours in the car.
Having them on our schedule is much easier and we all take turns having a "day off".
Yep, this morning after the new thoroughbred spooked at something in the 80 mile per hour wind and ran through some temporary electric fence bringing down a section of not so temporary fence. While I was screwing on new insulators in -20 wind chill with my bare hands, trying to get the fencing safe and secure and still manage to catch my train in 20 minutes, I thougth "why don't I just take up golf?" (Got the fence done but did not catch the train. Had to drive 1/2 hour to catch the next one).
I went back to boarding after having cared for my own years ago. At various times, like KnK I've felt that I've done nearly as much work at the boarding places (re-cleaning stalls to my standards, scrubbing buckets, etc) but my day job simply does not permit me to have horses at home and care for them properly on a daily basis. That said, I have also boarded at really wonderful places where I never felt the slightest need to do more than ride my horse, kiss his nose and hand over a carrot.
My current barn is the only place I've *ever* been where I feel like they actually provide better care than I could do on my own. I am a fussy, hands-on, educated horseperson with very high standards ... but my BO's are even higher, and she consistently delivers outstanding service (and her facility is to die for.) It's the best money I spend every month, and in addition to the great care and the peace of mind I get from boarding there, I also really enjoy having company in the barn and nice people to ride and train with.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
OP, you need to ask yourself how good a HO you will be when your horses will live on someone else's farm. If you can roll with things not being done your way, it makes lots of sense to give up your farm. IMO, boarding now costs just about what it does to keep horses at home.... unless you really wanted to own the farm or don't care that you didn't put in a very expensive covered arena just for your own entertainment. (It's just about the most expensive room one could build for oneself!.) And you'll gain so much in time and company keeping your horse at a boarding barn.
So look around in your neck of the woods and see how the barns stack up to your wish list. That will go a long way toward helping you make a decision.
If I had a place like Lucassb to board at I would be all over that. My problem is lack of good options. I also have a different opinion on how I want care done than many of the facilities around me. I like my current barn, even though it is mainly a western barn, but it is about 50 minutes from my house. I may not bring my mare home next summer since she is coming 3, as I would rather ride her with someone around. I also have a friend who is a dressage trainer who I can pay to ride her a few times a week when I can't. So I will probably board another year AND own a farm. I haven't explained that to my husband yet, btw.
But, even if I had the perfect boarding place, I want my farm too. I had a bad experience with a horse that I had briefly owned and sold years ago, and I decided that I wasn't buying another horse until I had a farm I could retire horses too if I needed to, or I needed to take one in.
See how you can simplify your workload. Maybe that means pasture board, or maybe that means less horses. Maybe you can have one of your boarders do chores in exchange for board, or you pay them, or whatever, so you have a break that way. I also agree you should check out area barns to see if you can stomach them.
I never had issues when I boarded. I have had my horses at home when I was a young kid and then again after I married. You work full time and have boarders at your own place which makes it even harder for you. Are you prepared for the cost of boarding? Are you going to continue to board horses at your farm? There is no way that the cost of board is close to keeping horses at home. You will still have to maintain your place and pay the taxes and in my mind that is why we have a place, to use it. Is there a way you can simplify your set up ? Might just be you are someone who does better as a boarder. No shame in that.
I'm not ready to sell the farm but about 3-4 times/yr I do wish someone else would come in and do the chores for a day or so. Problem is I haven't found anyone in yrs that has done a decent job. Last time I took a few days off was '08 when I went to FL to visit my aunt for 3 days because I knew she was going to die pretty soon.
I honestly don't think I could ever go back to boarding though. I'm much to anal about the care. Now I never really considered myself anal, just very concerned that things were done right. Having been called anal by multiple friends and meticulous by my vet I guess I am anal about the care.
Fortunately I'm retired and only have 2 horses, one is mine and the other is free boarded as a companion to my boy as long as the owner pays vet and farrier and medication costs. Both horses are retired so no riding. I will admit though that I'd rather clean stalls and do barn work than maintain the flower beds with mulching and weeding so I'm going to try to hire that out to the guys that do my weedwacking. I don't mind the mowing of the lawn and pastures though.
Getting old (67) can be a bi+ch sometimes.
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!
I used to do the boarding horses at home thing. I can't do that anymore. Then we moved to a new farm and at the time I had five horses of my own, no boarders. Let me tell you, five horses is a LOT. Working full time there was no way I could keep them all going. Unfortunately we get attached. But I did keep them stalled half time and out half time. I eventually started selling them off. Four was much easier. Three, was a breeze. Now I'm down to two, where I will stay, and I'm loving it. My husband takes care of his horse, and I take care of mine. It is so easy to go out to the barn together and each clean our own stall and then share the remaining chores.
I think if you are doing to work for the boarders horses, it just may not be worth it. Maybe consider downsizing. Good luck!
Last edited by ParadoxFarm; Dec. 22, 2012 at 09:50 AM.
Reason: Dang auto correct!
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
mine are leaving. we've got our pony up for sale, as well as a filly, the OTTB, who is rideable, is going to be boarded @ a place w/ an indoor for at least the winter.
I was already thinking about emptying our barn again, and with the hubs' illness, I just can't take the pressure of working all day, caring for him, and trying to take care of the horses and the barn. we do have help, but I'm the one who worries and has to arrange for hay, grain, sawdust, etc., and I"m just tired.
we did it once before, had horses here at home, but decided to board out the two we had at the time. I don't even remember how it happened that horses ended up in our barn again! :-) but I"m ready for it to be empty and have just a little less to worry about.
I'm not ready to sell the farm. My hubby built it for me and every board, shrub and tree holds my memories. However, I do happily ship down to Ocala right after thanksgiving evefy year, where my horses receive far better care than I give them at home. When it's cold, I stay snuggled umder the covers reading or watch tv and when it's sunny and warm I drive an hour to Dunnellon to play with my beastie. No work and no worries. I enjoy this until time to go home and file my taxes and then totally cringe at the amount of work staring me in the face. By the time I "catch up", it's time to head south again!
Many moons ago, I bought horse property to have my horses at home. Now ex-hubby wanted to move into town with no horses, but bigger house. I capitulated, and after boarding for 5 years and a divorce, I bought horse property again. I guess that tells you my preference!
I think I'd just phase out boarding, especially if you are having to stall everyone overnight. Having 6-8 horses that are out 24/7 isn't near the amount of work as having them stalled. And in that case, 2 or 3 is very manageable when it's just you doing all the work.
I miss having horses at home or at a place where I'm "in charge". Even with great care, there's just something nice about having things done how you want, when you want. I've boarded at some great places, but there's still something I like better about doing it myself.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Can you just let your boarders go? Or hire some barn help? That might be a good place to start.
I could easily imagine that you could be a little burned out after working a FT job and taking care of 6 horses without any help. You truly could be ready for a more major change, like moving all of the horses off the farm and just taking a break for a while.
In most instances when I have boarded horses I have found it to be a real treat--just show up, groom my horse, ride, chat with other people... in the right situation it can be very relaxing. Even as I sit here at my computer thinking about it, a pleasant feeling washes over me as I think about the idea of someone else dealing with frozen water lines, someone else driving the muck wagon when there are 30 mph winds, someone else taking off their gloves in 15 degree weather to fuss with a blanket buckle, undo bandages, or medicate horses. Someone else wading through the mud and pouring rain to catch a senile old horse that waits at the back corner of the field instead of at the gate, someone else missing their family member's important occasion because a horse decided to colic...the list goes on.
Anyway, taking some kind of a break might be a wise place to start.
Wow ezduzit! You had some terrible experiences
Hubby and I have been talking and while we don't really want to sell the property (not much left on the mortgage!! Yeeehawww!) we do think we need to work at reducing the workload. I am trying to sell one of my horses and maybe look for winter boarding for the other. I miss riding during the winter, crazy I know, but it can be months sometimes
We may also get the boarders to do a little of their own work for a reduced rate. Then take it from there.
Thank you all for sharing your opinions, stories and experiences, it is nice to be able to get suggestions from all sides
I've been where you are. We had 10 horses on my acreage, hubby worked out of town, had a full time job and a young child and it was all on my shoulders. We didn't have an indoor so like you it meant winters I wasn't riding.
We sold the farm (bad idea), dumped the hubby (good idea) and dumped all but one of the horses (good idea).
If you can get the boarders to pitch in, give yourself a couple of weekends off a month with either hired help, or work something out with the boarders.
See if you can find a couple of low maintenance boarders for the winter. Maybe there are people that travel to the warm climate areas over winter and don't take their horses - if you can take them in on simply an easy pasture board - then use that income to put your horses into an indoor during the winter.
Since I've sold the farm, which is 7 years ago now, property prices have risen so badly the opportunity to buy property again is not available. And in my area, it doesn't matter how good the board is (which a lot is not) but its never as good as what you can provide at your own home. And if it comes close to as good of care, its usually the price of a mortgage payment.
But I still remember those long days and nights and just wanting it to be all over. But now I have too many days that I just wish my guys were home with me.
Good luck with your decision, I hope you can find some good help!