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Hallelujah - In praise of full board

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  • Hallelujah - In praise of full board

    Right now, I rent a property and do everything myself. I've gotten to know my horse on a completely different level, but "oh yeah, I already go to the barn every day, no big deal" turning into "YOU MUST GO OR HORSES WILL STAND HUNGRY IN MUD" has been... not fun.

    Next week we move back to boarding. We're treating ourselves to the princess package. I don't even have to do my laundry anymore.

    This is better than Xanax. How many of us have tried to bring our horses home to live "The Dream" only to tuck tail and head back to the land of heated tack rooms, holding for the farrier, and stalls that stay clean without me.


  • #2
    It's not for everyone. Good you're making the move to do what's right for you and your horses. Me, I keep them at home and wouldn't have it any other way.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm currently a BM and live where my horse lives, but if I ever change industries I fully intend to board. And be a model citizen. I get it! Enjoy the princess package.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by findthedistance View Post
        I'm currently a BM and live where my horse lives, but if I ever change industries I fully intend to board. And be a model citizen. I get it! Enjoy the princess package.
        Bless you, and all of the BMs, that make it possible for me to opt out of frozen water hoses.

        Comment


        • #5
          I get it. I have mine at home and I am trapped! I finally found a decent pet sitter with insurance, but she's not really a horse person beyond making sure he is right side up and interested in his food.

          It would be really nice to lock the doors, set the alarm and leave without worrying that no one is here to deal with the 101 ways that horses can try to hurt themselves.

          --
          Wendy
          ... and Patrick

          Comment


          • #6
            Nope. My happiest day was the day I was able to bring my horses home and not have to deal with boarding any more.

            My own choice of feed
            My own choice of bedding.
            My own choice on when and how to blanket.

            But I am very grateful that I have a good horse-sitter to look after the horses when I/we go out of town.
            Janet

            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Janet View Post
              My own choice of feed
              My own choice of bedding.
              My own choice on when and how to blanket.
              Luckily new barn feeds what I feed, will do all of my supplements, and I'm fine with the bedding. Blanketing is included.

              I don't think I'd be so tickled if I didn't find such a great place to move to.

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad you found a great place! I got burnt out on boarding and one of the happiest days of my life was the day I brought the horses home. But it definitely ties you down!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by _Zara View Post

                  Bless you, and all of the BMs, that make it possible for me to opt out of frozen water hoses.
                  Amen !!!

                  I know I'm a lifetime boarder, not only due to the challenges of the daily full-care routine, but also because of all the minor and major property breakages that are part of farm life. All the repair emergencies that have to be seen to right away because of horse or human welfare.

                  Bless all those who make it their life's work!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would never want to bring mine home. I have two kids and stay home with them. My barn time is my adult time. We can feed what we want, we have a choice of bedding, we have winter paddocks, inside and outside rings, solarium and I have help when I need it. We all get along and help each other. I couldn’t do without my barn family.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Raising a glass to all of my amazing barn owners throughout the years who, for the most part, have never made me doubt my complete appreciation to full board (and the managers whose programs I was in that even with the less than perfect barns, put a premium priority on the horse care and made sure that they made up for a barn's shortcomings).

                      I really appreciate full board. The older I get, the more I cherish it. While I am out there every day it is nice to know that in the back of my mind, I can have that day at work where I'm covering a shortage and stay in the office until 8pm and not have to go out to the barn after - and when I do go to the barn after a long day or a bad day, I don't need to spend that time doing "necessary work"...I can commit to just spending that time with my horse.

                      (And I solemnly swear to always be the best boarder I am capable of being, to ensure my barn owners never get burnt out or salty about keeping boarders!!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Theres something to say for boarding for sure!! But it almost made it too easy for me to say "theyre fine ill go tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow.." with life, work and 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a house everything got in my way. But I would get sooo cranky that I didnt get to just relax at the barn too. When I did go I was always thinking about what had to get done at home.

                        Now that my pony is home I have that solice that I need right in my backyard, the kids dont go out there because they know I will make them work while theyre nagging me hehe.

                        I went to school for horses but had to stop because it was so expensive and life and bills got in the way. Being a teen mom in another state with no parents in college was harder than I thought it would be. Since my life didnt go in the direction I wanted it to, having my own place at home with horses gives me a little bit of having the barn management I wanted but could never have on the scale I originally wanted since 7th grade lol.

                        It took me longer than I wanted to get my own land and home. And I am enternally grateful for the women who looked after my horses while boarding and became lifelong friends. That all being said, I would never want to have to board again, kudos to you for doing what is best for you and your horses though and enjoy your princess package. It sounds amazing!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have both perspectives: I board one and have one at home. I wish I could leave the farm and horses to go travel, or just have a late evening or take advantage of a spontaneous opportunity with friends or family. No..you have to be here at least twice a day. I have my place set up to care for them easily but the responsibility and time commitment are hard to explain to non-horse friends, coworkers and family at times.

                          As a boarder, I LOVE when you find a quality farm with all the things that you want or need for your horses. But I've done it long enough to be able to find compromises when it isn't just right. Because I know all that goes into running a horse farm, I can see when things are done right....or wrong... and speak to them intelligently and with experience that makes my complaint or praise accurate. I know the long hours and "trapped" feeling that my BO/BM deal with: those emergencies, injuries, worries about cost, complaints from boarders (legitimate and not).

                          I don't think there's a right side to this argument of home v. board. I am just about ready to not have horses at home and only board. DH wants to travel and I haven't found the pet sitter we need yet. (We also have 5 dogs, 3 cats and chickens, too).

                          So OP: I totally get you!! And I am so grateful to all the horse professionals in my life, past and present, who've allowed me to pursue my passion. Thank you!!
                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OP, glad you found what's right for you.

                            I am 15yrs into having them at home, after 15yrs of boarding.
                            While I sometimes miss the comradery, I never miss the Drama of boarding.
                            Or the frustration of a poorly-run barn.
                            A good boarding barn/BO/BM is Golden.

                            Afraid I might be That Boarder after so long doing things my way.

                            Unlike some, I am not tied to the barn.
                            Horses are out w/access to stalls.
                            Feed schedule is loose with a very large window.
                            Today they will get a bonus feed of hay when I leave for my Thanksgiving dinner with/friends.
                            Grain - generally served 4Pish - will happen when I get home.
                            I take annual vacations, long weekends & stay out late regularly.
                            Works for me, YMMV.

                            *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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wish I had an easygoing horse....one is a sensitive soul and problems arise when his schedule is altered abruptly. Especially in summer. Ah, well I'm hunting out the elusive excellent farm sitter-- I've got a couple leads on a superb one, so hooray and welcome to a summer road trip!
                              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Now you guys have me thinking I'm going to lose my little drama free kingdom! My private/DIY option is so inexpensive that I am hesitant to let it go, it's only a few miles down the street from the boarding barn. I think it would make a major difference if I lived on the property, as I work from home and have frequent breaks. Right now I lease everything *but* the farmhouse from my landlord.

                                I really want to move my mare to boarding because she's the type that would like the constant action of a boarding barn, with horses coming and going nonstop, and she requires a level of care at home that has started to require more and more of my attention.

                                If she:
                                • Didn't require daily blanket adjustment because she refused to grow winter hair (I left the blanket off, I really tried!)
                                • Wasn't the horse that gets wrapped up in blankets, no matter what the blanket. This is a special skill of hers, and it happens so often she doesn't even freak out.
                                • Didn't require soaked feed/grain/supplement cocktail because she would rather go hungry than eat anything other than her perfect mash
                                This would be a lot easier!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Janet View Post
                                  Nope. My happiest day was the day I was able to bring my horses home and not have to deal with boarding any more.

                                  My own choice of feed
                                  My own choice of bedding.
                                  My own choice on when and how to blanket.

                                  But I am very grateful that I have a good horse-sitter to look after the horses when I/we go out of town.
                                  This!

                                  I love having my horses at home. But I have a VERY supportive DH who helps a LOT, and also a great farm sitter.

                                  I am giving myself the gift of a month in FL this winter with 2 of the ponies. I have already started to stress about how hard it will be to let someone else take care of them, even for a few weeks. Sigh.
                                  **********
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                  -PaulaEdwina

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I feel you too, OP! Going back to being a regular ole boarder was one of the best decisions I ever made. Waking up and having horses right outside my window was not the dream I had expected it to be. I remember having a pit in my stomach every morning as I went down to count how many horses I still had, and to make sure they were standing. Nothing bad ever happened, but the what-ifs nearly killed me. I would have benefitted from Xanax, and I don't think that being responsible for horses 24/7 is for everyone.

                                    Also, nothing is worse than a frozen pump head. I thought ahead and got heaters and insulators for troughs and buckets, but as soon as boiling water every day to melt the water frozen in the pumps became part of my daily routine, the cons of a boarding barn suddenly became totally innocuous.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post
                                      I feel you too, OP! Going back to being a regular ole boarder was one of the best decisions I ever made. Waking up and having horses right outside my window was not the dream I had expected it to be. I remember having a pit in my stomach every morning as I went down to count how many horses I still had, and to make sure they were standing. Nothing bad ever happened, but the what-ifs nearly killed me. I would have benefitted from Xanax, and I don't think that being responsible for horses 24/7 is for everyone.

                                      Also, nothing is worse than a frozen pump head. I thought ahead and got heaters and insulators for troughs and buckets, but as soon as boiling water every day to melt the water frozen in the pumps became part of my daily routine, the cons of a boarding barn suddenly became totally innocuous.
                                      It's like you've been reading my diary Every time I pull up I prep myself for the worst.

                                      So far, the worst situation I've driven up to have been some local deer buddies coming over for sleepovers then taking off before breakfast, pulling down my top tape-rail.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have had more than one B/O say to me, "I don't think people realize how much work this is". Well, I do. I lived, rode and helped day and night on a facility. I was fortunate that I was never by myself, of course; the B/O in that situation lived on the property, I lived in an apartment at the house and when things were really busy or the weather was expected to be bad, the man that worked at the barn full time stayed in the barn apartment. Even with three of us, it seemed like there was never enough hours in the day. The amazing thing was that most of the horses were fairly easy to deal with, but a couple of them made up for that in spades.
                                        I learned some valuable lessons on that farm that I will carry with me forever. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of boarding facilities. I don't think people realize how much work it is.

                                        Comment

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