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Haul in daily or stay at show?

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  • Haul in daily or stay at show?

    Hi all, In Sept I have my first 3 day event scheduled. The location is about 16 miles from where I keep my horse. I am not sure if I should stable her on the show grounds vs haul her back and forth every day. She has been away from home on overnight trips before horse camping (where there are pens or we use a tie line) she usually lives in a big pen and is able to socialize with her buddies since they are in a pasture adjacent to her pen. If I keep her on the grounds, I am concerned that she might be bored in a box stall. I'd try to keep her out of the stall as much as possible but she would still end up being in there a lot. Also it is supposed to be hot that time of year and where she lives may be a bit cooler (by say 10 degrees- but could be say 95 vs 105 degrees for what that's worth). Thoughts anyone? With tow vehicle that gets horrible mileage, the prices of staying vs hauling in might be about the same.

  • #2
    Can you not keep her in a stall where she is boarded? I would personally try to get her acclimated to one. I would ask yourself if you are going to have the energy to haul back and forth every day and will you horse have the energy or feel stressed? Also, do you want her on a trailer every day if its 100? Just a thought.


    • #3
      If it's your first event, and it's only 16 miles away, I'd haul back and forth to keep everything calm and familiar for the horse. You're right that she will be spending a LOT of hours in the show stall if you stable overnight. BNs usually go later in the day for all phases, it seems - around here at least!


      • #4
        Where will your horse be during the day while at the
        show? Will she be more comfortable then at the trailer
        (or wherever) than in a stall? Who will watch over her
        while you walk the course?
        Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
        Elmwood, Wisconsin


        • #5
          Haul in, definitely. Even if you get 10 miles to the gallon, I bet you break even. And your horse will be happier and you won't have to be at the event from 6 AM to 6 PM like you would if you stabled.


          • #6
            16 miles....I'd haul in daily.
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            • #7
              The only show that's close enough for me to consider hauling in every day (and I would) has mandatory stabling, so I have to pay for it no matter what.

              I like to stay at home and I'm pretty sure my horses do as well. I like to show out of my trailer, too, rather than shlep everything to stabling and back. Even when I keep my horses in stalls at a show I usually keep everything in the trailer if I can and take the horse to the trailer rather than take the contents of the trailer to the horse.

              I'm comfortable hauling back and forth up to about an hour. For a sixteen mile trip I'd almost certainly keep my horse at home. Mine are all very content standing tied to a trailer. Now if it was beastly hot or storms were expected I might feel otherwise.

              I think in the OP's case it's a toss up. But a horse that's going to shows really sort of needs to become accustomed to spending time in a stall, so the worry about the horse being "bored" would not factor into my decision. If they're un-used to being in a stall, they need to GET used to it, and hand-grazing, etc. plus the normal hustle-bustle in a stabling area usually keeps them pretty content.
              Click here before you buy.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the input so far. At this point I am thinking of hauling in daily because I think my horse would probably prefer it. We trailer here once a week for lessons and it's about 30 minutes each way (slow roads). I can hose her off before the trailer ride if it's hot- it's dry out here so she would have evaporative cooling. I think what she loves most in the world after a workout is to be hosed off and roll in the great big sand arena at home. They don't have that at the show. She also thrives on getting to romp around in the big arena before we saddle up (that way she can run, buck, rear etc). Longing her just doesn't get the ya ya's out the same way for her. While I walk the course I will have to have someone baby sit her or leave her tied to the trailer- She's usually pretty good about that as long as she has food. Also at a 3 day event, is it possible to walk the course the day before or is it not "set up" yet- or perhaps it varies by location?


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
                  Can you not keep her in a stall where she is boarded? I would personally try to get her acclimated to one.
                  We have one stall! It's my friends place. I guess I have never popped her in that stall for any length of time because it seems so mean- she much prefers her space. It's a nice place to groom her when it's dark/cold in the winter but I don't think she likes to be left in there. Also she is descended from termites and I am worried about her chewing the wood. She is an OTTB so in her racing days many moons ago she lived in a stall.


                  • #10
                    When we've had events that are close by and multiple days I try to bring home so they can get turn out. He's happiest that way, but every horse is different.
                    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"


                    • #11
                      I would for sure trailer in. I board my horse near the Horsepark in Woodside and would never keep her there in the stalls. Sure, it's a tad inconvenient, but I know my horse is so much happier going home than she would be standing around in a small box stall.
                      Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


                      • #12
                        Also at a 3 day event, is it possible to walk the course the day before or is it not "set up" yet- or perhaps it varies by location?
                        I'm pretty sure "Horse Trial run over 3 days" is the term you're looking for. A "three day event" implies the long format/CCI. Cross country courses at Horse Trials (and actual 3 day events, LOL) have to be set and ready for walking at 3pm on the day before the show starts. So if the show starts on Friday, the XC course *must* be set and ready for walking Thursday at 3pm. Stadium courses vary in when they're open for walking and it depends on the show schedule quite a bit, but you can almost always find someone to hold a horse while you walk a course for 5 minutes. At the lower levels I sometimes skip the SJ course walk and just watch other riders.
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • #13
                          Trailer in, especially if its that close. It'll be worth the "hassle", plus you can bathe your horse at home each morning (unless of course she has white feet...but you can still bathe at home, then touch up at the show), she'll be more relaxed, and she'll be able to walk around/stretch in the evening.

                          Also, like someone else mentioned, if you're running BN then you could be there ALL day waiting for your division. The eventing barn near me (as in, twenty minute drive) has a rated 2-day HT in September, and I'm definitely hauling home each night. Now, *I* may end up staying overnight in my truck after the competitor's party...but that's another story.
                          runnjump86 Instagram

                          Horse Junkies United guest blogger


                          • #14
                            I haul back and forth if within 2.5-3 hours--as do most in my area. Horses seem happier....I'm not as happy when my alarm goes off a 3am (in order to get there in time for am 8am dressage time.....but in the end, it is less stressful.
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                            • #15
                              I prefer to haul back and forth. My horse is more comfortable having her dinner at home and sleeping in her own stall. I know she'll lay down and actually sleep if she's at home. If it's only 16 miles, I wouldn't even hesitate. It might be a bit of an annoyance to haul back and forth, but horses do like their routines.
                              http://thoughtfulequestrian.blogspot.com - My Ventures Into Eventing


                              • #16
                                Most of my experience has been either one day shows or CT so I tend to haul in the day of the show. As a almost BN Eventer I am starting to understand that we run at the end of the day with a typical large gap between Dressage and teh jumping phase (one day shows). Were it a split day show I think up to 1 hour I'd haul in each day, but I'd give my self enough time to walk the course. Typically my trainer wants to walk the first time with me, then I walk two more and three times SJ.


                                • #17
                                  I haul back and forth if it is close enough (like an hour or so), especially if I'm going home anyway and the horse is a good traveller. The horse is safer and rests better.

                                  If it is not used to being stalled away from home, I would pay the money and use a smaller show or clinic to get her used to that.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique