I think most of us who board have had this come up from time to time. I just did the same thing last spring and again this winter. It's hard. In the Spring it was to move to a barn I could get to easily from work; next move was due to my horse needing surgery and the barn did have a good set up for rehab...the best policy is honesty and being frank.. and to let the barn know as soon as you make the decision as sometimes we talk to friends and when visiting barns somehow sometimes the word gets out and you want to make sure they hear it from you rather than some farrier or vet (hey I saw susie over at Fox Farm the other day); and you can always leave saying you know if things change I will come back, love it here.
BO is a great guy, fingers crossed he'll understand!
Also- 30 notice is normal I know (even though there is no contract) does that mean end of month? or just 30 days? At the moment it's looking like it would be easiest to move him mid-month, but I don't know if that would be harder/easier?
And to those who've talked about 'talking the place up' I've actually gotten 3 people to board there for various amounts of time- only leaving for death/sale of horse (and not getting another!)
30 days notice is usually done by the rental month. If your board is due on the 1st then you give notice then for the next month.
Since you have a relationship with this BO why not ask them how they want you to handle it? If you can afford it, you can move the horse mid month but pay for the whole month.
I was in the same boat last month . I love my barn and my BO. We keep three horses and a donk there, so obviously the care if beyond awesome. I've been boarding with her since 2007, and now DH has his mares there.
But I need to move my horse (and his donkey buddy) to a barn with trainers and indoors and more commotion. I need lessons, he needs more regular work. Current barn has a beautiful sand arena...but this is the PNW, and it's a tidepool about three months out of the year, and a lot of time the footing will be fine but the wind is howling or the rain is sheeting down. Boo.
So I told her exactly what I needed. The mares are staying there, of course. And yeah, she was unhappy, upset, for a little bit but now she's fine. I just had to stress the "it's not you, it's me!!" thing .
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
If you are who I think you are (I think I know, based on your previous posts under this name), then I think you should tell them exactly what you told us. It seems like it's been a great place and good to your horse, but everyone can understand the logistics of life and how much more difficult it is to ride when you're a "grown-up." If they get upset over you moving your horse so you can spend more time with him, that's their issue.
As a long time BO, I agree with the others. Just tell the BO the truth and that you love the barn and that it's just logistics. Tell the BO that you'd like to keep the door open to come back some day and that you'll be happy to recommend the barn.
Most BOs are not monsters who'd hold leaving against you (although I have heard horror stories about such).
And I agree that stopping by once in a while to say hi goes a LONG way towards making the BO feel good about you.
I'm still great friends with 2 of my ex boarders. I even horse-sat for one. Both gave 30 days notice, maybe more...it's been so long now. Both had life changes and needed to move. No issues. I still live their horses dearly and get updates!
I knew deep down, he should be ok with this, but I havent left a barn (where my time there was not pre-determined when I moved in- like the summer/schoolyear) in a very very long time, and just wanted to be sure I was going about it the right way.
Unfortunatley I'm going to have to do it via-email, as BO and I never manage to cross-paths at the barn, but I will be giving about 45 days notice, so I hope that will be fine.
And yes- ThaRidge, you're probably right- I think this is like my 6th name, as I don't post for months, forget my sign in, then create a new one and start all over... ha! Need to rememeber to click "Remember Me"!
As a barn owner, I never get upset with a client if the client chooses to leave because I can't reasonably fulfill their needs.
If my barn is too far for a client to travel and still enjoy their horse, I wouldn't be upset.
Tell them you love the barn, you respect them greatly, but the distance since your life changed is not letting you have access to your horse as you wish. Don't look to deeply into this. IF it's too far, it's too far. If they are respectable pros, they will be bummed to loose you but will wish you well. IF they get mad, they were jerks and you aren't going to be missing a thing.