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Farm owners--how often do you take vacations?

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  • Farm owners--how often do you take vacations?

    I'm curious as to what other peeps do that have horses at home. I only have 3 but we also have a ton of dogs, including several elderly ones, so we have to pay someone to stay at the farm if/when we're away. It is almost like an act of Congress. I do have a good friend that housesits for us, and I don't worry that things are taken care of... it's just a lot for one person to handle. I need to plan my vacation soon as far as taking time off from work before the summer passes me by.

    I've been contemplating going away and leaving hubby at home to tend to things instead of trying to plan a trip for both of us this summer. He goes on several overnight "guys" fishing trips a year so he owes me, lol. I love my farm but I NEED a break now and then. (He's more of a workaholic so he doesn't feel such a pressing need to vacation.)

    The last time we were supposed to both go on vacation we had a freaking BLIZZARD the day we were supposed to fly out and then our power went off for 4 days... not fun. The time before that, I fell of a horse and broke my back about 2 weeks prior to our scheduled departure and spent 2 weeks in the hospital. So I'm starting to think we're cursed as far as going on vacation together.

    I was just wondering how many of y'all vacation at least once a year, and how many of you go solo and leave your SO on the farm...

  • #2
    Vacation?!? HAHAHAHA

    Hubby went on a sailing trip without me last year, but the last time we went away together was before we built and openned a boarding stable.

    One day...maybe...but it is hard to leave our business and horses in the hands of someone else, particularly as we don't have full time staff and we have a high maintenance old dog.

    But one day....
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • #3
      What is that word? My husband and I managed to go away for our honeymoon, but even then my cell phone was ringing with calls on sale horses (with one person demanding I come home to show them the horse!) and with questions about either how to deal with an injury that a horse got or a horse was lame or etc Oh and by the way we didn't even run a stable at that point (though will be as of May) I was just training and giving lessons!


      • #4
        Uh, could you give me a definition of vacation? I've never heard the word so I don't know what you're talking about.

        Well, to be honest, I've had special need horses here for the last 5 yrs and I no sooner get rid of one and then I get another one. My current special needs horse tends to get frequent spells of gas colic. Sometimes just a little 'bubble' and sometimes a great big one. Then I have a dog that has separation anxiety if I leave the room let alone the house....

        But to be honest, we have lovely summers here in western NY usually so who wants to leave then. Come winter I'd have to show someone how to run the tractor/snowblower just in case we had a big storm and they'd have to come probably 3 times thru the day to walk the dog and check my colic prone horse and plan to spend the night to be able to do the late night feeding and early morning feeding so it's just not that easy to find someone to do that. Besides, when I have gone away in the past to be with family at Xmas, by day 3 I'm ready to come back home (course that could be my family too).

        I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


        • #5
          Our BO goes on a couple vacations a year, typically ends up being 2-3 weeks worth, but......... she has it pretty easy! She lives at the ranch with her daughter and 2 grandkids with pack of dogs. When she leaves daughter takes care of house, and house animals. Also on the property is a trainer, that also lives there, that will basically handle the barn aspect of things as its a training barn so any issues would really go to her anyways. Then for good measure there is 1 full time stall cleaner/handyman, and another part timer that also grooms for the trainer. Both of them also live on the property. The workers can pretty much fix whatever needs to be fixed, so as long as she makes sure there is enough feed and bedding before she goes, all is well. Most people don't have that luxury though! Oh and her son typically pays for her vacations, so it's not like she is typically out of pocket for the trip anyway.


          • #6
            bought in 1995 - went to Germany in 2008
            ummm - that's it so far
            Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

            The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


            • #7
              I think it's harder to get a dogsitter than a horsesitter.

              I've had horses at home for the last 5 years+ w/o any DH or SO and have managed at least one trip away every year.

              Mostly to CA to visit my Dad & brother, but a couple years included MAJOR vacations - 7-10 days - out of the country.

              My horses are not stalled, but do have access to stalls 24/7/365.
              Noone has to bring them in or turn them out, they know to go into a stall for feeding and wander back to pasture when they finish eating.

              The sitters just need to toss hay into the stalls, feed grain (which I pre-bag for the newbies), check water, make sure barncat has kibbles and Voila!

              {knock wood} so far this has worked for me so I do not feel like a Prisoner of the Farm.
              *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


              • #8
                Vacation, what is that? Never heard of. Is it some type of cake, if it's got chocolate in there, I'm bound to love it, must look it up & see if I can buy that somewhere .

                The sad truth is, since we have the farm & the horses at home, my husband and I take separate holidays or trips. Sounds pretty pathetic I know, but I've not found another way around it yet, but I do need to find a solution to this problem, no matter how uncomfortable I feel about the idea, but I've been saying this for 5 years now -sigh-


                • #9
                  va·ca·tion (v-kshn, v-) n.
                  1. A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation, especially one with pay granted to an employee.
                  a. A holiday.
                  b. A fixed period of holidays, especially one during which a school, court, or business suspends activities.

                  Hmmmm, what a concept, especially the part about getting PAID during such an event -

                  Yea, not in my world (sigh)


                  • #10
                    I went to a dude ranch in Colorado in 1986.


                    • #11
                      I'm trying to have a vacation this year. Well, not an actual vacation as a required "visit the MIL" trip in August. First time leaving the farm since we bought it.
                      It's proving tough though. Damned hard to find a farm sitter in CT. A few who will come twice a day for a few minutes, I'm looking for someone to stay here. Willing to pay, can't find a sitter.
                      You jump in the saddle,
                      Hold onto the bridle!
                      Jump in the line!


                      • #12
                        Vacation? What's that?

                        We've owned our farm for 10 years and for the first 5 years were stuck here. It was awful. Finally rented our inlaw rental to an eventing barn manager. Our deal is that he cares for our farm for 1 week each year --- he actually takes vacation time to do it. We have 6 horses (several in full work, turnout, etc etc), 3 dogs, 3 cats.

                        It takes me 10 days to prepare to leave for 7 days, but it's possible.

                        Life is short, my kids are growing up fast, and I refuse to be chained to this place 24/7.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MistyBlue
                          It's proving tough though. Damned hard to find a farm sitter in CT. A few who will come twice a day for a few minutes, I'm looking for someone to stay here. Willing to pay, can't find a sitter.
                          Precisely my problem, I'd need someone to live-in for the duration, someone here 24/7 and it seems difficult to find.

                          I may have to go as far as hiring a friend(s) from England, to come for 2 weeks, one week holiday to her(them)self(ves) to visit NYC etc and one week to stay put on my farm to tend to 2 horses, 1 dog, 1 cat & 2 budgies, expenses all on us, seems to make it an interesting deal for them.
                          Actually the funny thing seems that it's easier to get a live-in from abroad (in our case acquantainces or referrals from UK/Netherlands) then finding someone local.


                          • #14
                            Week in MT every summer...check!
                            Long weekends off trail riding 3-4 times a year at least? check!
                            SCUBA trip when we remember to do that instead of ride? Check!

                            Seriously, I use my three wks of vacation every yr. Struggled when I only had TWO weeks when I started this job.

                            I have a neighbor gal who checks them daily (4 horses, donkey), 2 dogs, 2 cats. Cats stay locked in basement as one is a real dingdong about us being gone, the other doesn't care.

                            I'm not going to be a slave to my zipcode


                            • #15
                              huh???? My vacation is coming back in the house at night and pouring a nice big glass of wine!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by springer View Post
                                huh???? My vacation is coming back in the house at night and pouring a nice big glass of wine!
                                Amen - now your talking! And if DH is cooking dinner on the grill so much the better!


                                • #17
                                  Haven't had a vacation in forty years.
                                  I don't want one. I'm right where I want to be. My idea of a vacation is hauling my horse for a day ride in a different place!
                                  You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by KnKShowmom View Post
                                    va·ca·tion (v-kshn, v-) n.
                                    1. A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation, especially one with pay granted to an employee.
                                    a. A holiday.
                                    b. A fixed period of holidays, especially one during which a school, court, or business suspends activities.

                                    Hmmmm, what a concept, especially the part about getting PAID during such an event -

                                    Yea, not in my world (sigh)
                                    Well, no wonder I didn't know what a vacation was - I'm retired so I surely don't get any time off with pay...

                                    huh???? My vacation is coming back in the house at night and pouring a nice big glass of wine! [/QUOTE]

                                    Yep, that about does it for me too. But in the winter the sun doesn't come up until later so I do get to sleep in some then.

                                    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                                    • #19
                                      What is this vacation of which you speak LOL

                                      I have 6 horses, and 12 dogs, one elderly so I feel your pain. Usually I take the old dog with me, or he goes to the dog resort. The others pick on him so I have to watch him closely and that's too much to ask of a pet sitter while he's outside. And god forbid she should forget to put him back in the house before she left.

                                      usually I would go off overnight for a horse something or other and hubby would stay home. I have a very good friend who will also come handle things for us if we both leave, which is rare.
                                      Hubby is deployed now so I hardly ever leave, except recently I found a very responsible and competent college student in my neighborhood who is horsey and farm sits. She is not cheap but it's worth it. She will stay if you like or just come and feed. So when I can afford it I get her for a night or two (like this coming weekend when I go to a clinic) but once my friend that just had her baby gets back in the swing of things we will probably start trading chores again.
                                      "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


                                      • #20
                                        I have been extremely lucky in the last few years but I'm about to possibly have a problem from June 30 onward when my helper leaves to get ready for college.

                                        We have 40 horses on this farm...about 15 in stalls and the rest live out with sheds in pasture or paddocks. Chores here take maybe 4 to 5 hours a day between feeding, turnout, mucking, etc... The first year I was here we only had our own horses and it was not too bad...then for two years my parents lived here with us in our apartment and they helped. We had our first nice vacation in years for our 20th anniversary.

                                        Then two years ago I took on a person for a barn/farm helper and have a working boarder who have taken over for me for long weekends, and a nice trip to Arizona in 2008 to see the Grand Canyon. I now have the position as my farm helper opening up and I want so badly to go hiking/backpacking this summer...bwahahahaha....

                                        I guess now I have to go through the hiring and training process all over again. Getting away from a commercial facility where you are main operator is NOT easy. It is a huge responsibility and you simply MUST have 100% reliable and capable help. As I said, I've been very lucky up until now.