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Keep boarding or bring home? WWYD?

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  • Keep boarding or bring home? WWYD?

    I'm in a quandry and I need to make up my mind soon, because I need to decide on hay and/or get my name on the boarding list.

    I currently have one horse--out for 90 days training (through June). She was boarded about 45 minutes from my farm, which sucks to get to, but there might be some advantages to riding a green bean with others around later this summer. However, I know I can ride more if she is here. I can do it before work, etc. I'm pretty motivated.

    We bought an acreage last fall and I am seeding 1/2 of it (new) this spring. There is an existing 2 acre field that I was going to reseed a few areas of, but 90% is in great shape. All of the fencing needs to come down and be redone everywhere--which we haven't had the weather to do yet. I also don't have water lines done (although he's coming to give me a bid today) or shelter built (but there is a huge shelter belt of trees) or anything really ready.

    I am thinking I will go back to boarding for July - late fall. I want to give the grass time to establish and get the pressure off of us to find grazing buddies (although I have had an elderly mare buddy volunteered already), and get everything ready. But maybe it is better to leave the pasture alone for a whole year? Also, I never ride much Dec-March, so an indoor just isn't a big deal.

    Now add in the wrinkle that I am breeding her once probably the end of June with a dose of frozen I have left, so she may or may not be pregnant. Do I bring her home this fall or wait a full year? Just build a dry lot for winter, early spring and worry about fencing the rest next year? It is cheaper in my case to have her home than to board. Plus I want her home. But we have sooo much to do on this place (roofing a shed, siding the house, etc.)

    I need to make up my mind. Ugh.

    What would you do? Maybe I buy 5 months worth of hay regardless--I can probably sell it next winter/spring if I don't use it. I wish I knew if she were going to be pregnant...
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    It's been my experience that if you bring them home before you are "done" you will never get done. That is unless you have bucketloads of money. Winter and the rainy season can make a small "not quite done" area turn into a real mess. And motivated or not you'll have to spend quite a bit of time on farm chores, time that may cut into your available riding time.

    So now you just have to decide what your budget will allow.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible

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    • #3
      Do you only have one horse? I found my mare had issues even in a co-op barn alone but near other horses. I'd board, take your time fixing the place up, and bring her home only when ready, and have a pasture,companion of some sort.

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      • #4
        I would bring her home ;-) Besides the fact that I love having my horses at home, you will be able to have more opportunities to ride without the 45 minute drive up and 45 minute drive back. That's nice after you just sent her for training and want to keep her tuned up. You can use the extra-no-longer-board money to get your shelter up before winter, summer wouldn't bother me if you have trees. I wouldn't worry about 10% of your grass being new, I'd keep her off in the spring while it's still baby grass but this summer should be fine. Plus, a green bean that learns to ride alone turns into a good horse that rides alone without issues, that's a huge plus right there.
        Kerri

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
          It's been my experience that if you bring them home before you are "done" you will never get done.
          I second this, also from experience. It'll be "done enough", but not ideal in any way.

          And you never know what hiccups you can experience (with your water lines, shelter, etc). I gave my notice to bring my last horse home at the end of the month, thinking I'd easily have his stall mats in and ready for him by then. Now I'm panicking because low and behold, I cannot find an appropriate base for under the mats. It's going to be cutting it close and he may have to live outside for a few days.

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          • #6
            Bring her home.

            I brought mine home as soon as we closed on the farm. No pastures, no stalls, etc... just a small lot that was fenced with no-climb wire and used as yard for dogs. A month later we are almost done with fance and will be turning them out in the pasture asap. Granted it's taken us a while to get everything in order because alot of time is spent on just doing the 'have to's and we rarely get inside before 8:30 at night. But it's also taking us so long to get everything done because we are doing it the right way first, stalls are next on the 'to do' list. My mare was 2 weeks from foaling when we moved them.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
              I second this, also from experience. It'll be "done enough", but not ideal in any way.

              And you never know what hiccups you can experience (with your water lines, shelter, etc). I gave my notice to bring my last horse home at the end of the month, thinking I'd easily have his stall mats in and ready for him by then. Now I'm panicking because low and behold, I cannot find an appropriate base for under the mats. It's going to be cutting it close and he may have to live outside for a few days.
              Mine live outside all the time--unless they are boarded/in training With shelter of course.

              I am really worried about the not-getting-it-done-first aspect. We have so much work to do on the house still (90% done inside now but the outside is in dire need of attention).

              I do have a buddy available whenever I want her, btw. I am going to get a donkey too, just so the buddy isn't left behind when I go places. And because I really want a donkey.

              I think what I'm going to do (typing it out helped me work through it quite a bit) is check out a boarding barn that is 15 miles south. It is more expensive than the other one, and doesn't look nearly as nice (no outdoors for one thing) but it is a lot closer. When I inquired a couple years ago, they fed straight alfalfa for some reason and I'm not too keen on that (or clear on why). If I don't like it when I visit, I go back to the original barn. Who has a waiting list. Eeek.

              If I get enough done, then we can bring her home.

              I'm still on the fence if it is stupid to buy some hay on the chance we don't succeed. I just like the flexibility of knowing I can bring her home if I want to, but maybe that is quite dumb...how old is too old for hay? If I buy it in July can I feed it next fall?

              I am going to have a fancy autowaterer and no fence put up or animals (and you can see it from the highway). Awesome. I will make sure to post a picture. It will be like a piece of horsey art.
              Last edited by TrotTrotPumpkn; May. 3, 2013, 03:56 PM.
              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                We bought our farm with no fencing and no water ( spigot at house only) and brought all our animals in on the same day. We had massive barns though to house them all. When the animals are home I find you make getting their living quarters done a huge priority.

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                • #9
                  Since you have just put 90 days of training into her, it would seem reasonable that you would want to build on that foundation and ride as much as you can-right now. Have you ridden her while she's been in training? Does the trainer think she'll ( and you) be fine out by your lonesome? Are you trail riding, or did you mean to do something else with her?

                  As for breeding. Do you have a place where the vet can check her? Spec, inseminate, check in foal? Are you going to let her foal in the pasture? What if something goes wrong? Where will you put them? Will either of the boarding barns take in -foal mares? More questions than answers. Your new place sounds great, though!

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                  • #10
                    I brought my guys home before my fencing was up - but I had an indoor to turn out in and fencing was up (with one delay from the fence guys) within a month. They survived w/o pasture for that time.

                    IIWM, I'd buy the hay - it is easily good for over a year if stored right < out of the weather on pallets.
                    That way if you chose to move your mare to the barn that feeds alfalfa you could arrange to feed your own hay (if they'd agree to that).

                    I'm not the person to ask about getting things done perfectly - I tend to go with Good Enough & Workable over picture-perfect.

                    Like olddogs asked I'd want to know how comfortable you are with having the mare foal out at home instead of a facility - boarding barn or repro place.
                    I'm assuming you have experience with it since you mentioned AI (leftover frozen).
                    *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
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                    • #11
                      If you bring her home make sure you have a companion for her. I brought my mare home alone and boy was she unhappy! Bolted out of her stall one night in search of equine companionship. Fortunately, my friend loaned me a companion pony and she was content after we moved the pony in.

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                      • #12
                        I would personally just wait until a few more things are done around the farm but either way buying some hay is a good idea in my opinion. As you say, you can always resell it. My biggest piece of advice before bringing your horse home is to go on a long vacation ahead of time!!! Even with house sitters you'll never have that glorious freedom again (Not that I would trade any vacation for being able to see my horse from any window in my house or for being able to control every single thing going into his mouth or on his body - control freak? Yes! When it comes to my horse). Good luck! And so exciting

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                        • #13
                          I would leave her at the boarding/training barn for now. Get your farm set up a little better before bringing her back, especially if she is in foal. You will need a foaling stall and fencing that is foal safe. There are plenty of companies that make premade stalls/run in sheds that they bring out and drop already constructed, not the cheapest route but the easiest, if you got the run in shed style you could always close in part of the front to make it more of a stall. Get the hay and get your place set up better for a mare and foal (or mare and friend, since you cannot have just one horse at home).
                          "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Hopefully I hit everyone's questions:

                            I was never intending to foal out at home. I used the vet clinic last time and would do that again. It is just worth it to me for peace of mind. Then if there are issues they are already there. And I don't loose a ton of sleep. I'm a worrier.

                            I was never going to bring her home alone (mentioned that in an intial thread).

                            Yes, I know about safe foal fencing requirements--I agree that is a must.

                            Yes, I have ridden her once. She was two weeks under saddle (week and a half ago). I am trying to get there every other week (it is far). She's ridiculously laid back, so far, but I know she will have her moments in the future. We are taking her to a dressage show in June (walk trot). And he is working towards trail riding her (like I said, just started under saddle).

                            I don't really trail ride, I mean I will if there are friends going, and I will hack down the road or something, but I don't haul somewhere by myself to trail ride. I do believe in working a young horse out of the arena as much as possible though. Assuming she's not in foal, we will just focus on easy flat work for the rest of the summer, the farm we're going to is 100 acres so we can "trail ride" there (river bluffs) and she will get the winter off from probably Christmas-April.

                            I actually logged on to share that I just spoke to the barn I was at before and reserved a stall for July 1. I can't tell you how RELIEVED I feel!!!! I just feel like this huge weight is off.

                            I know it is farther, but she takes good care of her and I just want to be somewhere I know they do a good job. Also, an acquaintance is moving back and contacted me Saturday about boarding there too, so I may have an English buddy to ride with (yay). With two riders we can possibly get the dressage clinician that comes through to stop by for lessons (instead of me hauling 4 hours in a weekend). While I won't get to ride as much, at least I will have people around if I get bucked off.

                            If prices are reasonable this year, I think I may still buy 180 bales which would get me through December to May....just in case.
                            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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