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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
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    Default WWYD – Move horses or keep them where they are?

    I’m in a quandary and would like opinions. I have 3 horses. They’ve been at this particular boarding facility for about 2.5 years. All 3 are in good health and doing alright there. Considering some of the other threads I’ve read about boarding situations, I don’t think I have it very bad. But, I wish some things were different. Here’s the list of pros and cons. Please tell me, what would you do?

    Pros:
    --Horses appear healthy and well fed
    --1 of my horses is a special needs girl (propensity to colic and has choked a couple of times) – these are well monitored and taken care of well and quickly when they occur
    --BO is very knowledgeable and can usually take care of almost anything without calling in a vet, but also knows when to call one
    --BO makes own hay, so quality is never an issue
    --BO doesn’t mind that 1 of my horses cribs

    Cons:
    --Turn-out has gone downhill. Used to be 8-10 hours/day, now it’s 4 hours/day.
    --2 of my 3 are getting very hot/anxious due to lack of turnout and cribber has gotten worse with cribbing because of it
    --Facility is more of a retirement place, so no riding arenas or other amenities
    --No riding instructor available to meet my goals (I’d like to show)
    --Facility is 2 hours from where I currently live (I moved – used to be 40 minutes which was at least doable 2 or 3 times/week. Now I only go out once per week and it’s depressing not to see them more often)
    --BO is very into natural meds, so no regular worming (I have to buy it/do it)
    --BO does not regularly keep up with the joint supplement I buy the old guy, nor the digestive supplement I bought for special needs girl

    So, I know there are more cons than pros above, but I worry that if I move them, I’ll get into a barn where the *essential* care (like when emergencies happen, or feeding/watering) is lacking. Right now, it is my own riding goals and mental stability (kind of j/k – but really, my horses are my relaxation time, and I’m not getting that) that are suffering. At least I know they are being monitored for general health, even though I’m upset with the change in turn-out and the supplement/worming thing.

    I will be building my own house/barn this coming Summer. So, I have about 6 or 7 months until I can finally bring them home and care for them myself. But, in the meantime, what would you do? I’m struggling with this because *I miss them* so much and feel like I’m about to break without them closer to me. Plus, if something really bad were to happen, I’m SO far away – it would take me so long to get there. But, is that selfish? Should I just keep them there for the time being and move them with me when I build?

    Looking for the wisdom of the many - thanks in advance.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2009
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    950

    Default

    If you are that close to bringing them home, I'd leave them right where they are. This way, you know that they'll at least be safe and (what sounds like) well cared for until the time comes for you to do the care.
    Worst case if you stay: You don't ride too much, and they don't get as much turn out as you'd like. Many horses live on a lot less turnout.
    Worst case if you go: You end up in a barn situation with crazy, negligent owners/managers who make your mental stability WORSE because you're constantly worrying about the wellbeing of your animals.

    Just wait it out.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    Move. Depending on your location, there should be a trainer that has adequate care, for just 6 or 7 months. It may be expensive, but since it's short term, it may be worth it.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2012
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    689

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterrider23 View Post
    Move. Depending on your location, there should be a trainer that has adequate care, for just 6 or 7 months. It may be expensive, but since it's short term, it may be worth it.
    What she said because of this:

    --Turn-out has gone downhill. Used to be 8-10 hours/day, now it’s 4 hours/day.
    --2 of my 3 are getting very hot/anxious due to lack of turnout and cribber has gotten worse with cribbing because of it
    --Facility is 2 hours from where I currently live (I moved – used to be 40 minutes which was at least doable 2 or 3 times/week. Now I only go out once per week and it’s depressing not to see them more often)
    --BO is very into natural meds, so no regular worming (I have to buy it/do it)
    --BO does not regularly keep up with the joint supplement I buy the old guy, nor the digestive supplement I bought for special needs girl


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2006
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    I would say that IF you can find a place that offers great care and has (or allows) a trainer, move. You're paying board on three horses you are not seeing and riding and you seem to miss it very much. Who cares if it is only for six months. Do some research and find a nice place closer to you, and enjoy your babies!
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
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    31,207

    Default

    Sounds like your BO runs a one person show and does not have enough help to manage turn out and other issues. She may also have health or financial issues you are unaware of. BOs don't share that kind of thing.

    I have boarded out for 45 years, probably 20 different barns/ facilities/arrangements staying for anything from a few weeks to 17 years. It sounds like you can probably deal with what you have there for another 6 months or so. I see more pros then cons for the 6 or 7 months until you get your barn finished at home. I would move if it were a more long term situation.

    Sounds like you have known about the "alternative" theories, no worming and not giving provided supplements for the 2.5 years you have been there and I would bet this is a budget priced, no frills type operation.

    If you go looking for all you describe like an arena, instructor available, better turn out, more/better staff, more ammenities, closer to your home and probably to town/city as well???? It's going to cost you alot more and I can't see doing that if you are going to bring them home in 6 months.

    Just as an example, in my area a boarding facility with basic ammenities for training horses to go horse show (in my area that's an indoor), stall, feeding, turnout and intructor availability would run you about 650/700+ per horse. Up to 1k for fancy, full care A show facilities. More bare bones lay up/retirement with just stalls, turnout and feeding could be as low as 375.

    In your case, I just can't see moving them for just 6/7 months knowing it is going to cost you alot more per horse per month to get what you want when they are coming home soon anyway.

    I would keep an eye on things and try to get out there a little more just in case it gets worse, maybe 6 times a month instead of 4. But for now? Save the extra board money for when they can come home.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassyRide View Post
    I will be building my own house/barn this coming Summer. So, I have about 6 or 7 months until I can finally bring them home and care for them myself.
    I think you may be underestimating this time frame. I would set the goal more like "before next winter" which is, in reality, much closer to 10-11 months.

    I'd move. Just on the 2 hour drive alone.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    I think you may be underestimating this time frame. I would set the goal more like "before next winter" which is, in reality, much closer to 10-11 months.

    I'd move. Just on the 2 hour drive alone.
    ^^ This. Plus the fact that it sounds like your horses are not happy with 4 hours of turn-out.
    I would at least look to see what is available closer to home. You may find the perfect place. If you don't find something better then you can leave them where they are. Without knowing what is available closer to home I don't think you have enough information to make a decision.

    It also seems that when it comes to building- it takes much longer and more money than planned.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    The two hour drive/only seeing horses one day a week situation would be a deal breaker for me. I would move.

    Of course the posters above who note a new facility may be more costly are probably correct, and obviously finances are going to be something to consider, particularly as you have 3 horses to manage. But if your goal is see the horses more often, get them in work and showing... I would move, assuming you can find a place that you like nearby which has the amenities you are looking for. That way, you can get the horses back in a program over the next 6-8-10 months and by the time you have your set up organized at home, they will all be tuned up and ready to go.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    OP, can you give us a little more information? Like a better time frame for the move home, what is available barn wise that would better suit your needs and what the financial impact of that would be?

    Most places more geared towards show riders closer to towns and clients? 4 hours of turnout is good. Make sure if you want to move, you have thought out the alternatives and cost. Wouldn't hurt to post the old WWYD, barn A,B or C on here for opinions once you get the costs and contract information for each one.

    It's easier to give meaningful advice if the alternatives to staying are also presented along with a ballpark price range for all of them for comparison.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2000
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Default

    "I will be building my own house/barn this coming Summer. So, I have about 6 or 7 months until I can finally bring them home and care for them myself. "

    Are you starting to build the house next summer or is to be finished by next summer? As that makes two different time frames. It took our house 7 months to get built and that was without weather issues and we were on the ball with decisions.
    As one who LOVES her barn, I'd move. Horses are your sanity check and two hours is too far.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
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    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    OP, can you give us a little more information? Like a better time frame for the move home, what is available barn wise that would better suit your needs and what the financial impact of that would be?

    Most places more geared towards show riders closer to towns and clients? 4 hours of turnout is good. Make sure if you want to move, you have thought out the alternatives and cost. Wouldn't hurt to post the old WWYD, barn A,B or C on here for opinions once you get the costs and contract information for each one.

    It's easier to give meaningful advice if the alternatives to staying are also presented along with a ballpark price range for all of them for comparison.
    Thanks SO MUCH for all of the replies thus far. Upon reading some of the responses, I've done some quick internet browsing on boarding barns nearby. You all are very right who've said moving to a barn with more amenities and closer to the city are quite a bit more expensive. I do have some leeway there, but it will be a factor in choosing...

    From my quick search, I've found 1 barn that sounds promising. It's about 15 or 20 minutes from home, facility looks great on the site and they have on-site riding instructors. I would be able to afford that one - it would be tight, but doable. Of course, I'll have to call them to ask about turn-out, how they feel about the cribber, worming schedule, etc. etc..... I don't know any of the finer details there.

    I also had a friend mention a barn in passing to me that I would like to check out. It doesn't have a website, so I'll have to get in touch with her to get their contact info.

    You all have already given me many things to think about and brought up some great points! Thanks so much! I'll let you know when I speak with these two barns and get a better idea of my options. Findeight, I think you're right - once I know those details, I can get a better idea of whether moving is even feasible, then go from there.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 20, 2008
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    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
    "I will be building my own house/barn this coming Summer. So, I have about 6 or 7 months until I can finally bring them home and care for them myself. "

    Are you starting to build the house next summer or is to be finished by next summer? As that makes two different time frames. It took our house 7 months to get built and that was without weather issues and we were on the ball with decisions.
    As one who LOVES her barn, I'd move. Horses are your sanity check and two hours is too far.
    The house/barn are expected to be finished by the end of this coming Summer. Admittedly, I know these things can take longer than expected. But, that's the timeframe we're shooting for.



  14. #14
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    Jun. 20, 2012
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    Is the cribbed controllable with spray and a collar? Have you tried with spray?
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים


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  15. #15
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    Nov. 20, 2008
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    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterrider23 View Post
    Is the cribbed controllable with spray and a collar? Have you tried with spray?
    We've tried a number of different sprays. They do not work for him. He does have a collar. When the collar is on him, he will try to crib for about 15/20 minutes. If he isn't able to get any air in during that time, he quits. But if the collar isn't on tight enough and he can get any air in, he will continue to crib. So, some double/triple checking of the collar is usually needed to control it.
    Last edited by ClassyRide; Dec. 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Typing too quickly - I used the wrong word



  16. #16
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    I would move them for the care issues alone. The turn out would not bother me (urban horse keeper here) but the drive would. Yikes.

    Just keep in mind that construction is a huge time suck. You have sooooo many decisions to make that you would never consider when buying a house, like what kind of sink, and how deep do you want the shelves and what kind of toilet--it never ends and is ridiculously time consuming.

    So maybe factor that in to your decision, that a more retirement type of setting might be best for your horses because you might not be riding all that much.

    When we were remodeling, I had one horse in full grooming and training that was 15 minutes from my house and I barely had time to ride during the week.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


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  17. #17
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    Nov. 17, 2006
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    Remember, some barns offer multi-horse discounts!
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde


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  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2001
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    Finally home in CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    I would move them for the care issues alone. The turn out would not bother me (urban horse keeper here) but the drive would. Yikes.

    Just keep in mind that construction is a huge time suck. You have sooooo many decisions to make that you would never consider when buying a house, like what kind of sink, and how deep do you want the shelves and what kind of toilet--it never ends and is ridiculously time consuming.

    So maybe factor that in to your decision, that a more retirement type of setting might be best for your horses because you might not be riding all that much.

    When we were remodeling, I had one horse in full grooming and training that was 15 minutes from my house and I barely had time to ride during the week.

    This! Building a house is a huge time sink. We just finished building a house and barn. I was at the build site every day until we moved into the house. Sometimes they need you and sometimes you just need to be there. I would move at least one of the horses. That way you have something to ride/love/spoil until the other 2 came. Visiting the other 2 will be difficult but doable during the build. It's all in how much driving you want to do.

    Good luck with your build! It's an exciting, busy, stressful time .


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  19. #19
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    If you have a horse w/ colic history I'm surprised it's getting less turnout as its turnout that keeps their guts in check; best thing is to see what boarding options you have closer to you with a trainer you like. Ideally, you should probably find a trainer who would let you board w/ them for 6-7 months and then continue to train w/ them when you move your horses to your own place. Generally horses that are in a training/show program environment should be pretty well looked after since its in the trainer's best interest to keep them healthy and sound so the clients can compete. You have time on your side so take your time so you make sure you find a good fit. Best of luck to you.

    PS: agree w/ the posts about building/construction. Being a fan of old movies, particularly those w/ Cary Grant, I always suggest to any one building or renovating they spend an afternoon/night watching Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House- great movie and will prepare you for the lows and highs of building a house/barn. Bottom line you or someone should check on the site at least once a day...


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  20. #20
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    Mar. 24, 2012
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    Move. Do your research and get references re potential new places.


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