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UPDATE! Moving OUT (YES)

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  • UPDATE! Moving OUT (YES)

    Yes! We got the farm!! We are moving either Labor Day weekend or the weekend after. So excited!! We will move the horses home the week after we move.

    Property owner will mow the pastures. I have acquired a riding lawn mower for the 1.5 acres around the house. Hay is lined up too.

    Now to pack this place and get 'er done!
    ___________________________________________

    My husband and I are comtemplating moving to a small farm and bringing our 2 horses home. This is something I have wanted all of my life. We are mid-40s with grown kids, live in a very urban area now, and my husband travels most of the time. I would be home with 2 horses, dogs and cats, and possibly the 20+ year old daughter. It sounds so dreamy!

    Friends of ours have their horses at home, and are being very encouraging.

    I currently have to be home on a schedule to take care of the dogs and they are on a very consistent feed/potty schedule.

    Other than equipment needed, etc., what type of culture shock am I in for?
    Last edited by SmallHerd; Aug. 12, 2011, 10:46 PM.
    Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique

  • #2
    You'll spend all your time picking up poo, feeding, and mowing.
    No time to ride
    Spending all your money on farm stuff and not clothes on your back.
    If you're not into competing and just pleasure riding and having the horses at home, then great. I didn't like it because I like to ride not shovel sh-.
    I would recommend someone stay at home full time too. The weekend warrior thing was exhausting.
    Even duct tape can't fix stupid

    Comment


    • #3
      Most of the time...

      It's heaven for me except I miss the cameraderie and riding companions I had in boarding barns. Sometimes I don't have anybody to ride with.

      Comment


      • #4
        Give yourself a full year to adjust as there will be different challenges in every season. The first year will be very hard work (but to me, fulfilling and enjoyable, even as you bust your butt with not enough hours in the day!) as you figure out what works for you, what doesn't, and how to absorb the lessons learned from the mistakes you will inevitably make . You can also plan on dropping 10+ pounds and being able to eat ANYTHING you want!

        Good luck to you, I absolutely loved having my horses at home and after four years of boarding, hope to have them home again within a year. I can't wait.
        ~Living the life I imagined~

        Comment


        • #5
          I went from boarding to having 5 horses at home, plus a large fenced in yard, gardens, etc.

          I was used to spending my weekends riding, spending time with friends, doing fun things, catching up on stuff. Now I mow the lawn, clean up poop, weed the gardens, clean out troughs, clean up more poop, fill buckets, etc etc etc.

          Its GREAT having the horses at home, but it's a LOT of work. I went from living in apartments/townhouses through college and after to farm life. Big culture shock for me.

          Also, going out of town is really hard when you have them at home. SO and I go out of town every few weekends and its hard to find someone I trust to take care of the horses, dogs and cats.
          Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
          White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

          Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
            I went from boarding to having 5 horses at home, plus a large fenced in yard, gardens, etc.

            I was used to spending my weekends riding, spending time with friends, doing fun things, catching up on stuff. Now I mow the lawn, clean up poop, weed the gardens, clean out troughs, clean up more poop, fill buckets, etc etc etc.

            Its GREAT having the horses at home, but it's a LOT of work. I went from living in apartments/townhouses through college and after to farm life. Big culture shock for me.

            Also, going out of town is really hard when you have them at home. .
            This But I love it

            Comment


            • #7
              LOVE IT!!!!!

              I actually don't find it that much work, especially because I used to work at 20+ horse barn (Ask me that again in the winter though...). Uh, other then cleaning up/prepping/repairing/renoing things because we just moved in.

              But we're having a ton of fun, and it is indescribably wonderful to be able to look out my kitchen window and see my beautiful horse out in our fields

              You can also plan on dropping 10+ pounds and being able to eat ANYTHING you want!
              VERY true!!!
              "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
              Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
              Need You Now Equine

              Comment


              • #8
                With only two horses, you want to choose a location where
                other people nearby have horses. Otherwise you will have
                a difficult time getting a farrier to come, finding a horse
                savvy vet, getting to a tack shop and/or feed store that
                carries the kinds of things you need.

                You also want plenty of horse owning neighbors so you
                can band together and protect your interests if the local
                government gets a wild hair and decides to make things
                less desirable for horse owners.
                Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                Elmwood, Wisconsin

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've been at it for 5 years -- the first 3 years I was a single, middle-aged lady. Now I am past-middle-aged married lady.

                  It's a great adventure, and if that is what you are looking for, I highly recommend it. As others have said, it's a lot of work. Did I mention a lot of work? I cannot over-state that it is a lot of work!

                  However, a few things I have learned that enhance the fun aspect --
                  1. If you can possibly find a trainer (or depending your needs, just a good, young rider) to help with your horses, they will be a lot more fun for you. Someone who can help keep them in condition physically, and keep their minds on work. It happened to me, and I have seen a LOT of other folks go through this, too -- you bring your horses home, and you start to work a LOT on the farm, and bad weather comes and before you know it, it's been 6 months since you rode your horse. And now he is plenty FRESH and you're a little intimidated about riding him alone -- and there is seldom anyone around -- and one thing leads to another and suddenly your horse is out of condition and at the same time way too fresh for you to ride. So ... a trainer or a good young person to just get in the exercise rides, would be a big help. Now, when you're reading to saddle up for a Sunday ride, you don't have Dobbin-the-Dynamo underneath you!

                  2. Ride. Don't put it off. Keep up with the barn work as much as you can during the week so your whole weekend is not spent on barn work. Remember, barn work can last all weekend, but your ride will only be a few hours. Do it first! Then, once you've ridden, go ahead and do your barn / farm chores.

                  3. Line up someone as quickly as you can to farm-sit. You WILL want to take a break. And, while you're at it, try not to establish a routine that is so stringent only YOU can do it. Be flexible. It is not true that horses will colic if not fed at the same time every day. It is not true that they will die if their stall is not picked out twice a day. It is not true that they need exact rations, supplements, and grooming at exact moments every day. Set up a routine that allows for the easiest possible maintenance -- both for you and your farm-sitter. Also, if you can, set things up so a pinch-hitter can feed without having to enter stalls or bring horses in-or-out. It is easier to find someone to come over and throw a scoop of grain into a bucket or throw a few flakes of hay into the run-in shed than to catch and halter your horses, bring them into their stalls, etc., etc., etc.

                  Just my two-cents.

                  I love it. Realize I may not be here when I am 90, but they are going to have to drag me kicking-and-screaming away from this paradise.

                  But did I mention it's a lot of work??

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    THANK YOU everyone! Here are a few more details . .

                    We have identified the place already. The property is in the middle of small farms with horses - very horse-centric. There are trails connecting everyone's property, including that of one of my dear friends.

                    Farrier and vet service will not be a problem.

                    I DO already have a farm sitter - actually 2 that I can call, along with my daughter (the pinch-hitter).

                    One of our horses is retired from competition and is used only for the occassional trail ride by my daughter (he is her horse). Our other horse is MY horse. We haul out for lessons to an eventing barn now, so that will not change.

                    I WANT the work, actually. To me, it will be totally worth it to have my horses outside my window. I can ride a 4 AM if I want, you know?
                    Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's a lot less work if you have a good set up with a run-in shed where you can leave your horses out 24/7 with access to shelter. You still have to pick poo out of the shed once in a while, but it's less time sensitive, and a whole lot less work.

                      Set-up is everything. The layout of your barn/shed/house/pasture can make chores a walk in the park, or a pain in the ass. And there's no one right way, it's all about what works for you.

                      Visit lots of barns and find out what they love and hate about their facility and daily routine. Think about how you want your horses kept, what kinds of features are important to you, and how expensive they would be to incorporate into the properties you look at.

                      ETA: Fence maintenance is my most hated chore :P
                      "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                      -Edward Hoagland

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HPFarmette View Post
                        It's heaven for me except I miss the cameraderie and riding companions I had in boarding barns. Sometimes I don't have anybody to ride with.
                        This, but I wouldn't trade it for a house in the 'burbs and a boarding barn
                        I wasn't always a Smurf
                        Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SmallHerd View Post

                          I WANT the work, actually. To me, it will be totally worth it to have my horses outside my window. I can ride a 4 AM if I want, you know?
                          I kind of felt this way, although I do sometimes resent having to do things like fix fence and move poo instead of other stuff. But most of the time it is great.

                          We made the change about 18 months ago and its been great. I second what someone said about riding first. Also, make sure you have an efficient set-up. It makes things go so much better. We were lucky that our farm was well designed with most things where they needed to be. But we've also made management choices partially on the basis of ease of care.

                          Good luck and remember that you have horses for fun. If you lose that fun somehow, make sure to change your routine so its fun again!
                          Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SmallHerd View Post
                            THANK YOU everyone! Here are a few more details .

                            Farrier and vet service will not be a problem.
                            Wanna bet? Lost my farrier
                            And hay - hay people around here only like to deal in huge quantities that would last you a whole year or more.
                            And plan on taking time off of work when you do have to get feed/hay/etc because around here, those stores are only open during regular working hours.
                            I did get my feed delivered and that was very nice!
                            Hay was a different story - so was anything else I needed like fertilizing/liming pastures or any other type work that needed to be hired out.
                            And plan wisely for as little mowing as possible. That nice expanse of lawn is a pita when you have to weed whack around fencing AND do that. A little yard and as much gravel and dry areas for winter as possible.
                            Even duct tape can't fix stupid

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              my story

                              I was lucky enough to buy a small farm...silver lining to the divorce I didn't want...ex would never move out of the city. The barn was very neglected. One corner was decaying into the ground because the cedar roof shingles on that weather side were covered in a foot of pine needles...rotting. A fine gentleman, whom I didn't know too well at the time, came out to fix it, jacked it up, put in pressure-treated, etc. (I replaced the roof myself.) This fine gentleman paused in his work at one point, looked around and said, May I speak frankly to you? I (thinking WTF?) said...yes.....He said: This is a helluva project for a broad. Thus my farm name, Helluva Project Farmette.
                              Have fun picking your farm name.
                              Last edited by HPFarmette; Jul. 21, 2011, 03:33 PM. Reason: fix spelling

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Fix-itis.

                                There are so many thing to break, wear-out or modify on a farm... You'll want and need some mechanical skills or a lot of money to hire every little thing out. Make sure your partner is up for this aspect. Travel all week to come home to a honey-do list gets old quick.

                                That said... I sure enjoy the land and space.
                                Equus makus brokus but happy

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Been doing it 11 years, only occasionally want to go back to boarding. Like once every 5 years lol.

                                  Went through 4-5 farriers til I settled on one, being in a horsie area you'll be fine in that regard. Went through one vet on my way to the one I love and he's not allowed to retire, ever.

                                  The biggest thing for me was not having a trusted BO to look to and ask 'is he off on that hind leg?'- so make sure you not only develop good relationships with good neighbors, but that you are a good neighbor as well: Take care of those good folks around you so you have a person to lean on for a hug, or a shot of Banamine as needed

                                  I love having total control over their care, it's a ton of work but we make it work.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    One more note on the "work" aspect -- it is a lot of work, but if you enjoy it, it's not so bad. I mean, some people garden, some people run marathons, some people decorate -- everybody does SOMEthing on their days off. As for me, I truly enjoy driving the tractor, mucking the stalls, fixing fence, and etc. It sort of becomes a hobby.

                                    And there is great satisfaction in a clean, freshly bedded stall. And a de-cobwebbed barn. And automatic fly sprayers that work. And on and on. I love standing outside and looking around all the work we got done over the weekend, and taking pride in how nice it all looks.

                                    But there is honestly NOTHING better than the way living with horses changes your life. Having them with you at home is like bringing them into the family. I think you get to know them in a way you never could if you board. I just feel like I know every thing about each of them -- right down their unique sense of humor. Having them at home has enriched our lives beyond words.

                                    So ... to each his own, but for me, it is worth it every day!

                                    PS -- I NEVER shop. Never did. If you like to shop, farm living might not be much fun!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by hosspuller View Post
                                      Fix-itis.

                                      There are so many thing to break, wear-out or modify on a farm... You'll want and need some mechanical skills or a lot of money to hire every little thing out. Make sure your partner is up for this aspect. Travel all week to come home to a honey-do list gets old quick.

                                      That said... I sure enjoy the land and space.
                                      LOL, we have 20 acres, 13 horses and 30 goats. There is very little I can't do alone....the "honey do" list is only the "Honey I can't do this alone"
                                      Mr P mows along the bank by the road, I don't like the slope, and alongside the fence, because I don't go close enough. He moves stuff with the loader or fork lift and will hold goats for deworming. He tills the garden with the Troybuilt Pony if my smaller Stiehl isn't strong enough. He usually bush hogs the pastures though I can do that myself. I can't change the implements on the big tractor. Weekends in the winter we put 2 round bales in the pastures, that's a 2 person operation.

                                      We buy about 1200 square bales a year and I stack most of them, plus 50 round bales.

                                      I don't do chain saws, that's strictly his department.

                                      Most weekends he gets in two rounds of golf.

                                      However we have 2 kubotas, one about 50 hp and 1 is 26 or so, plus a heavy duty golf cart, which actually gets the most use.
                                      I wasn't always a Smurf
                                      Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think the biggest thing about having them at home is that you really have to re-examine your priorities:

                                        For example, I would love to have a perfectly manicured yard and barn/barnyard. And a clean house. BUT... I like to ride. So my house is a mess, my yard doesn't mowed like it should, I haven't run the weed eater in forever, and somedays I skip stall cleaning to ride (I know, some people are gasping). My horses aren't perfectly groomed either.

                                        You will have a never-ending list of things needing to be done. And you'll have to learn to live with the knowledge that you can't do them all.
                                        Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                                        Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

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