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Thoughts on Bringing a Horse Home?

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  • Thoughts on Bringing a Horse Home?

    We are considering bringing my horse home in a few months. Does anybody have any thoughts on this? (Warnings, pros, cons, advice, etc.)

    Thank you

  • #2
    A suggestion:

    Do a quick search, because there are TONS of threads on all the who/what/when/where/how/whys of bringing the horse(s) home.


    • #3
      I always have to laugh when I remember our trainer's wife saying we would ruin our horse when we took her home... didn't happen, horse continued her winning ways and loved being a part of the family


      • #4
        OP whats your setup now, it may mean diffrent answers.
        “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnDeere View Post
          OP whats your setup now, it may mean diffrent answers.
          Agree with this. I mean, are you talking putting the horse in your suburban back yard next to the swimming pool, with a gazebo for shelter, or do you have a barn or what? I moved my horses home after many frustrating years of boarding, and my only regret is not doing it a lot sooner! But we had to build a barn, sacrifice (gravel) paddocks, create pasture, fence, etc. before they came. We were laying mats in the stalls at midnight the night before my first one came home! Now the most recent addition was an arena so I can actually ride. No more boarding for me. It was either do this or quit completely.


          • #6
            My thoughts: keeping a horse isn't rocket science. It is a huge change in lifestyle if you don't already have a farm. If you want to keep your horses at home, it's definitely possible and not necessarily difficult. There are pros and cons to everything, of course.

            Based on your farm/barn setup, it can be more or less labor intensive. So think things through before you bring them home to figure out what works and what doesn't (of course you will figure out more once they come home.)

            Keeping horses at home often cuts into riding time - so, the more efficient you can make your setup/chores/etc., the more time you will have to actually ride.


            • #7
              If you bring your horse home, be sure you have a companion for her (another horse, a pony, a mini).
              When I brought my horse home alone she was miserable and literally bolted out of the barn in search of companionship. The next day my friend loaned me her small pony to serve as a babysitter and miss fussy was happy.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
                If you bring your horse home, be sure you have a companion for her (another horse, a pony, a mini).
                When I brought my horse home alone she was miserable and literally bolted out of the barn in search of companionship. The next day my friend loaned me her small pony to serve as a babysitter and miss fussy was happy.

                sounds like my daughter...so companion horse also needs a companion when you take primary horse out.... so one horse now is three


                • #9
                  Agree, you can't just have one horse at home, they do need the company of another horse or donkey perhaps. I've had my horses at home for 23 yrs now, boarded 1 prior to that. I have to admit that I miss the activity and social life of a boarding barn, provided you are in a good one. I used to show and ride a lot when I boarded but after a few years of having horses at home, I lost a lot of motivation to be serious about my riding. Be sure you have vet's and farriers that do farm calls to your area. Do you have neighbors with horses? It helps to have someone you can ride with occassionally, have neighbors that might notice if a horse is down while you are at work etc.
                  "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                    It is a huge change in lifestyle if you don't already have a farm.
                    Keeping horses at home often cuts into riding time - so, the more efficient you can make your setup/chores/etc., the more time you will have to actually ride.
                    Amen to that. By the time I get home and clean stalls, throw hay around, fill water buckets, and do whatever odd jobs need to be done, I'm "barned out", or it's too dark to ride (I don't have a lit arena).

                    Originally posted by clanter View Post
                    sounds like my daughter...so companion horse also needs a companion when you take primary horse out.... so one horse now is three
                    I'm working on getting #4 (hopefully a mini-donkey) so that when #3 goes to a barn to board for show purposes, #s 1 & 2 have a buddy. It really never ends.


                    • #11
                      It doesnt have to cut into riding time...my horse and his companion live out 24x7. We feed them twice a day, and other than filling their water trough and occasionally cleaning out their run-in, they're almost maintenance free!

                      I was terrified to bring my horse home at first. But I fixed up an old shed for a shelter, built every stick of fencing on the property, was given a horse by a friend as a companion, and just had to suck it up and hope for the best. I hadn't kept horses at home in 15 years, and I only live at my farm on weekends. But it's been two years now and I am so glad to have the guys at home. Because my farm is in horse country, but I had boarded in the city, I ride much more now because there are so many great events near us now.

                      Go for it!
                      \"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns


                      • #12
                        1. Realize that you will have to feed twice a day, every day, whether you are puking, late for the most important job interview of your life, or on your deathbed.

                        2. Going on vacation is near-impossible because you have to find someone whose horsekeeping skills equal your own. That you can afford.

                        3. Two horses turned out together get really, really, really herdbound. Have three if possible. Even better if one is a mini-donkey.

                        4. Build your set-up so that is as user-friendly as possible: stalls that open out to a covered porch and individual lots are the easiest because you don't have to worry about one horse bullying the other over food. You can keep them out most of the time so they can come and go from the pasture and use the covered porch for shelter (alleviating your mucking time) but reserve the stalls for lay-up and feeding time. If you use only the stalls for shelter, the dominant horse will inevitably trap the lesser one in the stall and try to kick the crap out of him--or at the very least chase the poor thing around until he dives out the door and whacks his hip on the frame. And that's why you have the vet on speed dial.

                        5. Mud is inevitable. Put your structures on the highest land possible.

                        6. You will run out of hay during monsoon season, so, as an extension of #5, wherever you store your hay, bedding and feed has to be reachable by large truck in the absolute worst weather...without getting stuck.

                        7. Stacking hay in 105 degree heat is the worst job known to mankind.

                        8. Except for building five-board fence in 10-below weather with a 20 mph wind and a cabinet-maker husband who feels compelled to find the perfect board for each panel before actually screwing (not nailing) it in. Let's just say that homicidal schemes were hatched and leave it at that.

                        9. The ring needs to be dragged. A lot. A lot lot.

                        10. Moseying out to the barn to feed on a warm Saturday morning in your PJs and barn boots and hearing the donkey braying, then drinking your coffee while enjoying the sound of horses munching is possibly the best thing on earth.
                        Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                        • #13
                          Well, a lot depends. We are out in the boonies and luckily had helpful horsey neighbors with roughly the same horsekeeping styles so they helped us with a farrier name, we've gone in with them and gotten truckloads of hay for a better price, stuff like that.

                          You don't have to have a barn, but you need convenient water and power, some form of shelter, a safe place to tie for grooming, farrier and vet care. You also need mud control and manure management, hay, feed and supply storage.
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible


                          • #14
                            Once you have them at home, you will never want to board again.


                            • #15
                              I always hear people say that you will ride less with them at home compared to boarding, but for me, it is quite the opposite. I replaced my 1.5 hour (or more some days) commute with doing barn chores. I work from home, so most times, the only driving I did was to the barn (I've gone from putting over 20k miles a year on my car to probably less than 500 in the year since I moved all home!).
                              And even though I was supposedly paying full care, I spent time doing barn stuff at those boarding barns (water ring, fix fence, clean buckets, clean runs, etc....all those things that are apparently above and beyond the standard of care in these parts!). Now I still do that stuff, but at least I'm not paying for the privilege.

                              Now when Mother Nature cooperates (outdoor arena, need I say more?) I ride more than ever. After putting all the $ into building an arena, I make sure I use it!


                              • #16
                                SingMiaSing is spot on!!!

                                I recently started a website basically designed for those of us that have small horse farms and competition horses. It is by no means complete yet, but it may give you some ideas on set up and some time and money saving tips.



                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by airhorse View Post
                                  Once you have them at home, you will never want to board again.

                                  yes it is easier to rent an apartment and move there, leave the horses home

                                  We have had our horses here for about twenty-four years. It was interesting to come home to find the kids and the horses watching TV in the family room... too hot out side.

                                  Our kids enjoyed having the access to the horses


                                  • #18
                                    I have a love/hate relationship with bringing mine home. My set up is NOT low maintience. I don't have much room so we have to be on top of the cleaning. We also have to do some rotating during the day to keep everyone from getting too bored in a small space. So that becomes time consuming. Since they are constantly walking, rolling, running, peeing and pooping in the same spaces we have to do a lot of raking, filling and re-working of the footing. They don't have access to grass so we have to refill double bagged hay nets throughout the day. I also had to take on a companion, so now I have two to care for instead of one. There are days when I feel like I miss boarding, but then there are days when I do love having them home. I think if I had more space for them to roam around and didn't have to worry so much about them getting bored it would be a lot easier.

                                    I agree about set up. You want to make sure where your hay is, is easily accessable to any trucks. Think worst case senario with snow/mud etc. In and out access to shelter is also a must in my opinion.


                                    • #19
                                      I've never boarded and I can't think of anyone I know that does board; I can't comprehend not taking care of our own horses.

                                      Start with a very good fence, some very good hay, a water bucket and take it from there. Some of what everyone is talking about here doesn't apply to most people, let alone everyone. Each situation is different.
                                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                                      • #20
                                        Best thing I have done in a really long time. Even in the middle of this blizzard.