I'm leaving for a 6 month contract for work and my options are to bring horse with (return shipping runs about 3k) or leave horse here with trainer.
Horse in question is a tricky ride so I'd rather not lease her in my absence. She also doesn't do well with time off, so leaving her in the pasture wouldn't be my first choice.
Training/boarding at home and away are both great facilities with great people and price runs about the same. Horse is happy at both places - I brought her with me last year.
I'm leaning towards leaving her at home this time because of the cost of shipping and also because I don't have a lot of time to ride when I'm working. The cost of shipping would pay for a few months with trainer here and I'd imagine she'll be better off with the regular work rather than counting on me hopping on for a lesson 1x a week and hacking out when I have time. I'm planning on staying put after this, so leaving her would be a one off sort of deal, not a regular routine.
Anyone else travel for work or fun, and if so, what do you do with your horse?
Not knowing the horse, I will only say that 6 months are over before you know it.
So, maybe not worth a long trip and relocating and another long trip back, when the money can be better spent on care and training where she is fine now.
With videos so easy to make, could you not ask for a weekly video of her life and some part of the ride, just so you see how she is doing?
Or you can even put a web cam on her stall and get to see her any time you want to.
I travel fairly often for work. I don't usually spend more than 14 days away from home in one trip. (Longest was almost a month and a half.) I have a pony clubber who comes and rides my horses.
For six months, I'd leave the horse at home and just have your trainer ride. It might depend where you're going to though- does it have any diseases that mean horse might get ill? Access to trainers at your level in your sport? Good vets/farriers/etc?
I know someone who did this and took horse along (halfway across the country) - but had their own truck and trailer. For the price of the shipping alone, I would say leave horse with the trainer for the 6 months. You'll save money or come out the same, and horse will be getting ridden by someone you trust. Maybe you can find a place near your work to lesson once a week or pick up a ride now and then?
Thanks for the replies! I'm not comfortable hauling her myself for that distance, especially through the mountains where the weather can be iffy, otherwise that would be an option.
Great idea about the webcam/videos. My SO lives here so he can even go video for me now and again. I didn't think of it, but it would probably make me feel a lot better about leaving her.
I do have a horse to ride near where my work is, so yes, I'll probably pop out once a week or so for my horsey fix
She's still somewhat green and we're aiming for lower level dressage. When left to my own devices I seem to sneak off for a trail ride a bit too much, so yes, it would be nice to come home to a horse that has a lot more 'proper' miles than I'd be likely to accumulate in the same time span
Are you SURE the horse "Won't do well" if turned out? Or are you reading too much human interpretation into the life of a grazing animal who really does not have the goals we do in their "behalf"?
I fell into that when I retired one I assumed would still want to stay busy. I was wrong, it earned the right to stand in the sun and be left alone and was real clear reminding me of that when I tried to mess with them for more then 5 minutes.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
I'd spend the money leaving the horse with a coach. I have a tendency to travel for a month or sometimes more for my work/life - I pay my coach for 2 rides a week, and if he gets extra from my sister, then he gets extra.
I've tried leaving him in the hands of a freind or a barn rat before, and the end result of this is I come home to a horse that hasn't been in work the whole time I was gone....