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Getting that Second Horse... again

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  • Getting that Second Horse... again

    Long story short, my current gelding's 1/2 brother has been offered to me by his racing connections. I've kept in touch with them over the 5 years i've owned him and give them updates on my boy; he's a saint and excelling in his second home as my riding partner, so they know that I adore him and know he's well taken care of, so they wanted to place the 1/2 brother with me (I got my current gelding straight off the track from them).

    I am moving my boy to our trainer's barn in about two weeks, so my expenses are already increasing per month because board is increasing, which stinks, but it is so worth it!

    Caveat: I offered first dibs to my trainer before I take the new gelding (he's decently built and retired from racing sound, so i'm not even dumping him on her- he's solid), but if she passes on him I'm going to have to put my foot down and take him because i'm a softy. I'm not positive how the conversation with my hubby will go for this one, so wish me luck!

    I had three horses when I was younger and living on my parent's farm, so that was so much different than trying to juggle/manage two horses now that i'm not single and I work full time, lol!

    How do you guys manage time with two (or more!) horses? The last time I had more than one I rode each maybe twice a week since I worked full time. I currently go to the barn 5 days a week, and ride 3 of those days (1 is a lesson). How do you manage your time with each of your horses/riding schedules?

  • #2
    By getting up early and being consistent. To me it is better to ride every day. Every 2nd day for each horse if there is 2 and you have one horse to ride while the other is lame.

    If you get up early and ride it is done. If you leave it until the afternoon or after work, something happens and you are too busy or something and days start getting missed.

    If you start early and do it every day. It doesn't really matter if you have to miss a day here and there.

    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


    • #3
      I currently have 3 (one is retired.) I have them at 2 different barns which are fairly close together and not far from my work. I do self care boarding so I have to go before and after work. It is tiring, it is time consuming but this is what I want to do right now. I pretty much sacrifice a lot of other stuff (well, almost everything!) in my life to get it done. I try to ride them both at least 4 times a week. On weekends, riding in the morning is helpful but it is not possible during the week so I go straight from work to the barn. My car is loaded with barn and work clothes and extra shoes! The biggest problem for me is the expense when something goes wrong (vet fees, extra farrier expenses, etc.) Make sure with the increased board cost and adding another horse you will financially be able to handle it.


      • #4
        I would work it out with my husband before I proceeded ( if I was you). This will not only take money from your budget, but it will require more of your time and I would want my husband to be on board with that first.

        I just budgeted my time and worked both my horses each day. I just rode one longer than the other depending on what I was doing with them.


        • #5
          I had a somewhat similar opportunity last year. The agent who found my wonderful gelding four years ago called me out of the blue with a very attractive deal on a similar fellow - he is the horse in my profile pic here. I could not resist.

          I keep my guys at home and that does help facilitate riding time, as I don't have to deal with "commuting" to the barn anymore. I also work from home most of the time. During much of the year, riding two after work is pretty straightforward as there are so many remaining hours of daylight; I can easily ride from 6:30 - 8pm or later.

          This time of year, it is a LOT more difficult. I do try to ride at least one a day, usually at lunch time, and sometimes have my trainer do the second ride if he is available. I ride both of them both days on the weekends. All in all they probably get at least 4 and more likely 5 rides a week on this schedule, weather permitting.

          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


          • #6
            In a perfect world, I get to the barn at 7, bring the horses in and feed them, and am on by 7:45-8, done and leaving the barn by 9. I did this a lot during the summer when I was trying to get my horse ridden before riding sets for someone else.

            Now I also have a second horse and while he will get the winter off, when he comes back into work, my goal is to have both of my horses going 4-5 days a week. I am hoping one will be able to pony the other for some rides and I can combine their 'long walk' rides into one. Other than ponying, I think keeping a schedule and being careful with time will be most important. For example, I can plan a longer conditioning day with one horse and a quick jump school with the other on the same day, then (hopefully) pony them for long walks, do short flatwork sessions with both on the same day if I am short on time. If you have a plan, you can make it work.

            Getting it done early in the day is the best idea for me. There are many afternoons where I talk myself out of riding. Conversely, if you can only do afternoons because of work, just stick with it and build it into your routine. Take snacks to the barn, streamline your tacking up and untacking routines, stay organized.

            The biggest thing, IMO, is getting your husband at least somewhat on board and making sure you can absorb the finances. I am managing 2 alright but I admittedly have a very limited "surprise" fund.


            • #7
              This is what *friends* are for! Do you know anybody currently between horses whom you trust? Is there someone you can ride with who might offset some of the costs? (can you lease horse #1 to a trainer-recommended rider and focus on horse #2? Does hubby ride?)


              • #8
                I keep my horses at home, and work at home, and it can still be tough to get both ridden. I try to get each of them worked 5 days a week. Sometimes that mean I ride them both on weekend and usually both at least one day during the week. Other days, I'll ride one and work one on the lunge.

                I will say I do have less time for "extras", and I"m figuring out how to use my ice boots on one while tacking up the other. I try to be efficient, and take more time on the weekends for the longer grooming sessions and deep tack cleaning.

                Good luck! I enjoy having two totally different mares to ride, and its keeping my riding sharp to use different skills on each. It is a little exhausting, but so far has been worth it.
                Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


                • #9
                  If you're at the barn five times a week and only riding three times try riding five times to get a taste of the extra time you'll need for another horse.

                  I'm a two horse owner but have no husband so I can't offer advice there. But I do think early discussion would be a good idea.


                  • #10
                    I keep mine at home but I don't work at home, and my work consists of three 12-hour shifts in a row. That means there is absolutely no way I can fit in a ride on my work days, and since I also work night shift six months out of the year, I scramble hard to ride on my off days then as well. I try to stay consistent for my gelding's sake, he's fussy like that, so I ride early afternoon whether on night shift or day shift. I just got a pony mare, and I don't think she'll really care about a change in schedule when I switch back to day shift next month.

                    But try to fit them in, even just 10 minutes of walking if you have to, it'll make a difference. The fact that you someone else at home, to me, means you should have a little bit more time. I live home alone, which means I'm the only one around who is available to do laundry, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, feed the dogs, excetera excetera excetera.
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                    • #11
                      I have a similar schedule as TheJenners and its challenging. I am the only horse-lover in my family. I have 4 horses I keep at home: two regular riding horses, a retiree , and a new (unplanned) rescue I added to the mix a little over a month ago.

                      Multiple is a huge challenge when you are also juggling work and family; its all about time and money management while keeping your goals in mind.

                      Sometimes, the extra money/time you need to spend on the extra horses takes away from the money/time you might have to pursue your goals. It can be a trade off. More isn't always merrier. Is it worth it to you? Do you have the support you need from your family? Only you can answer that, just be honest with yourself.

                      For me? Its feeling a little overwhelming right now with the addition of the new horse and the challenges he came with, but we are figuring things out. My retiree is with me for life, I can't turn my back on the rescue and am working to get him ready for a new life, and I need my two others to satisfy my long-term goals, so here I am. Its a lot, but I'm OK with it. Its worth it for me.

                      I have my regular feed and maintenance routines knocked down to a science so I can maximize my time otherwise. I'll be the first to tell you I don't ride every day, I can't ride on the days I work 12 hrs, but I do maximize my horse-time on my days off. Things like meal-prep for myself and doing the housework on the days I work help a ton.


                      • #12
                        I can be a bit 'cowboy-ish' but I would get mine in, get them groomed, and they'd all stand tied while I worked one, got off, tied up (cooler on if needed) toss the saddle on the second one and off we'd go.

                        To make it work, you have got to be focused. You have to have the mindset to stay on task, the entire time.

                        Also, your new one is just coming off the track. He needs some adjustment time, so how long would your work sessions with him really be?

                        You could also plan your week out so you are in the saddle 6/week but a couple of those days only one horse - adjust their days off so they aren't off on the same day, except once a week. Put it down on paper, play around with it.


                        • #13
                          If you figure it out, let me know! I got one off the track this time last year and put him in training with a trainer that took him to Aiken for the winter. I planned for take over when she brought him back in May, but I wasn’t ready. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work, and I don’t even work full time! I have two little kids but they are in school and I have a nanny in the afternoons, so on paper, I have time. And the barn is 3 min away. Finally in August I decided I just had to make it work, and I took him out of training. After three weeks of trying to juggle two and being exhausted, rushed, and needing a lot of help from horseless good riders, I ended up deciding to sell him. He was a nice guy, it was a bummer.


                          • #14
                            Hmmm, I had 2, 3, then 4 when I was a single person and it didn't matter if I was at the barn from 6pm-10pm every night. Now, with a husband and a kid and a house, I struggle to keep 1 ridden and he lives on property and I always have a mountain of housework piling up.

                            If you enjoy doing things like thoroughly grooming, cleaning your tack and socializing at all while at the barn, I think keeping 2 ridden is a challenge if you have someone at home who hopes to spend time with you. For me, I felt like I was never able to give the ride I wanted to when I had to hurry on to the next horse; it was always a 'thats good enough, now on to the next' ride. Spread myself too thin.

                            Other people seem to make it work though. I have a friend with two competing horses and a FT job and husband, she pays a girl to help keep them ridden during the week.

                            Hopefully for your sake your trainer will snap him up.


                            • #15
                              I wonder about the relationships where an extra person at home somehow =/= splitting chores. If I can ride and keep my laundry and dishes done, but hire someone to come in and do bathrooms and floors, another person in the mix should be able to do dishes and bathrooms and I can now do floors and laundry and still ride.

                              But then, I divorced my last husband for, believe it or not, this very reason. His lazy ass wouldn't lift a finger around the house unless we had a huge screaming fight, so for two years we had a huge fight every four months and then I was done. Yes other factors played in, but honestly his lack of help was #1.
                              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                I wonder about the relationships where an extra person at home somehow =/= splitting chores.
                                In my situation, I chose to stay at home when we had a kid (now 3yo) and I agreed do the majority of the housework as part of that "job". It's a conversation we had prior to me quitting work, so it doesn't cause any arguments because it was by choice. And we both sometimes pick up the other's slack with assigned chores, anyway. Obviously can't speak for anyone else!