I'm having a down day today..so perhaps I just need to vent a little. I'm living my dream. On my own small farm with my horses..something I wanted my whole life. I really do love it and the work is not an issue. Really...I've done self care or managed boarding barns my whole life so this little place isn't bad and I can afford to hire someone occasionally to help weedwack and weed as needed.
But....its lonely here. I'm single, mid forties and living my dream...but I'm alone. And a little down tonight. I see most people who own farms here are married or are buying their first farm with a SO...so i think thats different.
I'm not regretting my decision and before you say that I need to get a social life, I have one. I see friends and do social things 1-2x per week... during the winter mos or bad weather i can be known to add a third something in. These social things could be dinner with friends, barbecues with neighbor friends, going out to see a band or going hiking / kayaking, etc.
But at the end of the day, living alone on a farm can be lonely. Tonight it is lonely. Tomorrow I'll be fine...have someone coming to ride with me... the weekend will have plans and I always have a friend coming over one or both weekend days to visit. Last weekend he helped me build jumps.
So...as much as you think you will enjoy it, know that its a very different lifestyle and takes some adjustment. I'm really not used to not being able to walk the dogs down the road and hit some trails..here i'm on a busy road and its difficult to walk them..i do it, but it is not easy. anyway... just needed a place to vent tonight...
I hear ya, as I am in the same boat. For good or bad, I talk all day at work and enjoy the solitude of being alone. I periodically will meet someone online but frankly I don't have the interest often to put into dating. Weird, huh? Every once in a while I will feel the same as you, but then I realize I really have everything in life to be happy. Would having a great partner be nice? Sure, but not essential to my dream.
no not essential to mine either... but everyone thinks its all roses when they buy a farm.. and it is not all the time. I do trailer out for my lessons and social trail rides and such...but sometimes it would be nice to not have to do everything by myself! haha
I hear ya. I just moved to a small farm. I'm mid-40s and single (divorced) too. I work and have the farm and a small child. I've lived on small farms with my horses in the past, but with a roommate once and with my exH once. While I have my daughter, she's in bed early most nights and even so it's not the same as adult companionship.
I love it, I wouldn't change it. But yes, I get lonely sometimes too. I have an up and down social life--sometimes the list of things to do or riding just sound more appealing.
Just focus on what you DO have, and not on what you DON'T.
From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.
Oh, geez. I once lived out in the country, only on a busy road. All the inconveniences - long commute, lots of upkeep - with none of the benefits (still had to leash walk animals who weren't fenced, cats had to be indoor-only, etc). I didn't have horses then, but if I had, I would've either had to trailer off the property or ride on a two-lane highway with a 55 mph speed limit, frequented by drunks going and coming to the boat landing a half mile up the road. It was awful.
I still live on a farm, 45 minutes from the nearest town, but I'm a half mile from the nearest paved road and two miles from the nearest highway. Much better situation.
And yes, having an SO makes a huge difference. My neighbor, who has to do all the mowing and upkeep all by herself, is much less happy with her choice then I am. She says if she had it to do over, she'd rent an apartment in town and board her horse.
My SO and I live apart 4-5 nights each week as his work keeps him about an hour away - too far to commute easily or daily due to traffic. May sound like the best of both worlds - and sometimes it is! - but I do get the loneliness. Having my girls at home in a barn just steps away from my house is a dream come true. My dogs and cats couldn't be happier, I have wonderful neighbors, and great friends.
But the nights my husband is home at the farm are much happier for everyone. So yes, I understand. Hoping the a good night's sleep made it all a little rosier in the morning. Usually does for me.
And thank you for your candor, it's validating for some of us.
Do you have a dog or couple of cats for company? Granted they aren't much on conversation they do provide a level of company and comfort on lonely nights. Do you have a big enough barn you could rent a stall to a boarder just for some barn company?
I do own a farm but I'm married; it can still be lonely, even with a hubby around. It's the lifestyle that can be lonely, not necessarily the fact that you are alone. Being out in the country is isolating, neighbors aren't always social, so you find yourself very isolated. We've been doing this for 25 years now, I don't mind it, love my privacy what I do miss is the horse related socialization that came with boarding; the busy barn, people, horses, riding.
Last edited by js; Aug. 14, 2014 at 09:01 AM.
"My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."
Hope your disposition & outlook are cheerier today.
I have been solo on my farmette for 10yrs & sometimes the only conversation I have in 24h is with the horses, barn or housecat.
I do manage to get to the Big City (I volunteer) at least twice a month & take the opportunity to GTG with a close friend for coffee & chat.
Also manage an irregular monthly dinner with volunteer friends.
I miss boarding only until I recall the Drama that came with it no matter how nice the barn, BO/BM or majority of boarders.
Do you have any halfway decent neighbors?
I have a (very) few I can count on to wonder if I'm still breathing.
Not my usual social type, but in a pinch they are Human & talking to people is nice....when I feel like it....
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I've been here on the farm for 24+ yrs and still love it. Single female, retired now but bought the farm when I was 45 and working a 55-60 hr wk. I proved when I first bought it that a middle-aged single woman could manage working full time and still have her dream. I keep it up nicer than a lot of places in the village and suburbs also with regular weedwacking under ALL the fences, all the pastures mowed regularly, gardens weeded etc. I even rode at least 5 days/wk. until I retired my last horse.
Now I'm 68 and pushing 69 hard and still love it and hope to stay many more yrs.
Yes, over the yrs there have been times it was lonely but the feeling never lasted for more than an evening. I think even if you had a husband or roommate there would still be times you would be lonely. That's life and it makes you appreciate the rest of time when you're not lonely.
There were times when I thought the extra income from a husband would be nice but I wasn't sure I wanted the headaches that I see married horse friends having with their hubbies either. I figure it's cheaper to hire the things done I can't do than to have to deal with a husband and possible divorce expense.
I will admit though I'm a bit worried come this winter. I put down my last horse this spring and I really miss having horses here. I sent his companion home to the friend who loaned me one of her retirees but I still go over to her place daily to groom and pamper him. He's a fairly high maintenance horse (bugs eat him to pieces) and I enjoy pampering and caring for him. I've told his owner that come winter though she could have him back. I figure it helps her out since he is high maintenance and gives her more time to ride the other 3 she has at the farm. I really do hope to 'cut the strings' come winter but I know it will be hard.
Fortunately I still have a dog that gets me out of the house at least 6 times/day but she's an older girl of 13. I will certainly replace her though when she dies with another shelter dog. I can't imagine not having a dog around. Might even try a cat as well.
Every time you get lonely just try to remember now that 'this too shall pass."
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!
I can certainly relate to this too....also single in my mid thirties and bought a small farm 2 years ago. I still have lots and lots of times when I wonder if this wasn't a huge mistake. I imagine almost everyone does, and I still can't totally understand everyone who talks about how seeing their horses out the window fills them with such a sense of joy and peace....LOL - I look out and think Ahhhh!!! I need to mow, and reseed my paddocks and finish my sandring, and fix my driveway, and call the farrier, and build hay storage, and pick up more hay.....
It's awesome that you keep up with a social life, I haven't at all - and I'm with all you girls that aren't really interested in dating (really, I have enough creatures to maintain anyway =) But I think the isolation has been the biggest adjustment of having my horses at home, even more so than all the work involved and getting used to never sitting down. Hope you have lots of fun riding with your friend, and the loneliness passes quickly!!
I think there always will be times we wonder if we didn't make a huge mistake, maybe after a big snowstorm or the tractor breaks down or so other reason, but when you look out and see the horses stretched out napping or just standing and munching the grass down, you realize it's worth it.
Many yrs ago, the people that ran a boarding barn I was at sold the business and retired from horses. I remember asking the husband why they sold as they weren't that old, maybe mid 40's. He said there are always times you want to give it up but it isn't that frequent. Unfortunately when those times come back a lot more often than they did, you realize it's time.
I keep hoping that's still a ways off for me.
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!
Gosh I have the other problem. I crave living alone. Alone, alone, alone. I LOVE to be alone. Alone to do my barn work, train, clean, tidy up the place, put in gardens and fences. Listen to my music ALONE, come home to my own quiet place ALONE, decide to go somewhere ALONE, decompress in my house all luxuriously ALONE without anyone else to think about. But that's just me. I think your answer may well be a roommate. Just don't be surprised if they want their own separate space for down time. I am not sure what makes people lonely, just thought I'd say I wish I was!! At least, wish I was alone, not lonely. Never been lonely. Love being alone.
Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1
But at the end of the day, living alone on a farm can be lonely.
I understand very easily how that can be. When my wife travels to a regional show, I'm taking care of the place mostly by myself for several days. There is plenty of critter companionship but the time I spend doing the things I need to do, is done alone. It takes only a couple of days for the novelty of solitude to wear off. And I'm an introvert at heart so that's saying something.
I encourage people who like horses to stop by and visit but for a reason I'm not sure about, they typically don't do it. The ones who do really seem to enjoy their time. It might help if I knew the nature of their reluctance - not wanting to intrude, fear of something specific (dogs/cats/spiders/insects/dirt/whatever), fear of the unfamiliar, ?
PS: for those who might be single/female/farmbodies, finding a guy who already has learned to enjoy yardwork could be tricky. There is a possession thing where it's fun to work on your own yard but torture to work on someone else's yard. (Said another way if you're dating a guy who is doing yard work he's trying very hard to impress you). I suggest adding a couple of power tools to your arsenal - a badass commercial lawn mower, nice chainsaw, logsplitter, tractor, backhoe, you get the picture. A good power tool makes work more fun. Be careful they don't lose a limb. You can never change a man - well except for that way.