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Anyone have horses at home AND board or lease a horse elsewhere?

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  • Anyone have horses at home AND board or lease a horse elsewhere?

    Warning-- long-winded post ahead!!!

    I'm wondering if I'm nuts to want to try this. My situation: I had a really bad fall/injury at home 3 years ago. Started back taking lessons on schoolies almost a year later, hadn't ridden schoolies in years. I got rid of the spooky horse I fell from but kept my retired (lame) boy. Got him a companion and then ended up taking on a third horse last year that is semi-retired, late 20's and has good and bad days. I ride him maybe 3 or 4 times a month but often he can't do more than w/t. I've kept taking weekly lessons for the last couple years as it helps my confidence and gives me consistent riding time.

    I had a ring put in at home but I find I just don't enjoy riding at home much-- have to make sure hubby or someone is around, for one thing, because I'm paranoid now about the "what if's". Even if I had a totally sound horse to ride at home I'm not sure that I'd really enjoy it. Honestly, had it not been for the fact that I didn't want to board or give away my old retired horse, I'd no longer have horses at home. It is a lot of work and I work FT away from home. I love him to death and just couldn't consider boarding him again since he is becoming more high maintenance in his older age.

    I've been contemplating possibly half-leasing one of the horses at my lesson barn so I can ride more consistently. I'd have to enlist hubby's help feeding on the evenings I'd ride because I'd go straight from work. I'm really not sure if I can even afford it at this point but am looking into the cost involved. It sounds crazy but I'm sort of at the point with my riding where I feel like I should either quit altogether or really try to ride consistently again. I'm almost 40 so I'm not getting any younger. My confidence issues definitely get better with more saddle time and especially if I'm able to ride the same trustworthy horse all the time. The 2 old guys at home will probably be around for a few more years so I feel like I need to figure this out.

    Just wondering if anyone else does anything like this, and if it really is the best of both worlds. I feel like sort of a brat for even considering it!

  • #2
    No, don't be silly, this is a very reasonable thing to do. I am a BO and I have several clients who do just this. They have a horse "set-up" at home but don't have a trainer there, want the social aspects of a boarding barn, etc. They recognize that it can be very difficult to ride and train on your own. And although I know that there are plenty of people on this BB who do ride completely alone, IMO it just isn't safe. I am a very experienced rider but I'll never be comfortable riding with no one else around, even on my quietest horses.

    Anyway, does it really even matter what other people think? Life is short, do whatever YOU have to do to make your riding fun and productive.


    • #3
      Erica is that you? Just kidding, but you sound alot like a friend of mine. She has five horses at home but comes to the dressage barn and rides someone elses horse. The horse is a steady-eddy, she takes lessons on her, and builds her confidence. We went to a show today and she did a walk trot class and took first place. She was nervous and didn't want to go in the ring but trainer encouraged her in there and they both did great!
      Her last horse was kind of bonkers and scared her so she kind of expects that from every horse but is re-learning that it is not so.
      Don't think you are a brat for even considering, it is a very wise choice to do so.


      Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


      • #4
        I think that it makes since. It is probably more economical for you to take care of the older horses at home. Plus, a lot of retirement boarding is designed so that you do not see your horse. For people who like to remain involved and monitor their care, this isn't appealing. However, I can understand wanting to ride at a boarding barn. It is much easier to take lessons and to take a ride when you can go somewhere with facilities and do it. While I would love to have a good place to keep a retired horse, I don't think that I would ride much if I had to do it at my own place for the reasons you cited, like waiting to ride until someone else is on the property and the atmosphere of a nice boarding barn. I don't think that this is a bad thing to consider at all.


        • #5
          I'm thinking about doing the opposite
          I'm looking for a property now, my three are at a boarding barn, and very happy. I have one that is trail ridden, she's older and very comfortable there and I could continue to ride with other boarders, she's been there about 7 yrs. My Tb who LOFFS a stream, and has one now, I'm having trouble finding property w/ one in a pasture, and his little buddy. I feel like it wouldn't be fair to move them, tho I would love to have them at home.

          I would keep any more additions at home, and trailer to lessons, or have a trainer come to me!

          So, long story short, no I don't think you are crazy!

          I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

          R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


          • #6
            I did it, I was leasing a farm which did not have a ring and to access trails required riding along fairly busy roads for a few miles...fine for 3 out of the 4, not so great for the spooky little baby who had less than 6 months under saddle on him, and me recovering from an accident so just riding again after a year off. I boarded the spooktacular one at a farm where I could use an arena and also had access to relatively controlled trails. It was actually really nice, I wasn't working at the time but the husband was so I wouldn't have ridden the baby at home even if I had a ring (it was a riding accident, the others were very trustworthy and I felt comfortable on them but I also had a bad case of the what-ifs with the baby--not that that's a bad thing!), since he was working 12+ hour days, and I wanted to spend what time I could with him when he was home. It worked out really well, it kept me motivated to ride (since I felt like I had to see the horse at least 3-4 times a week, and when I was there I might as well ride) and also gave me some good social pressure and friends and whatnot to encourage me.

            I have done that at various other times before I got my own farm, but usually when I was also training at a facility and just boarded my main riding horse there because the facilities were better, but that doesn't really count since I had to be there anyway.

            If you can afford it, I would at least give it a try. Especially since you already know the barn and are comfortable there, it might really be a good thing for you.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human


            • #7
              I have my retirees at home, and my riding horses at a boarding barn.

              Generally I ride in the morning while my son is at school, and I like the fact that there's someone around in case I have some sort of accident. Currently I board at my instructor's farm, and that makes lessons much easier to schedule also. And although we have a lovely set up for a few retirees, there's really nowhere to ride except around the pasture or in a small paddock. Theoretically I could build an arena, but it would cost a small fortune, and there'd still be no one there to scrape me out of the footing if something happened.
              "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
              -Edward Hoagland


              • #8
                Very timely thread for me since I've been contemplating this for the last little while. I have two horses at home, and have been primarily a trail rider for the past few years, but my two trail buddies are losing interest and this past season were only available to ride a few times. I rode with a few different people, but I felt my enthusiasm wane, too.

                So, I'm thinking of buying or leasing a show horse and going back with my trainer with whom I showed ten years ago. I would leave the horse there, and ride there several times a week. Seems sort of crazy since I have a beautiful barn, but I can't get motivated to ride aimlessly by myself in the back without a goal, a plan, a group of friends. So, back to showing for me. I don't want to just have my horse life fade away as I see it happening with my other friends.

                Neither of my horses are really suitable as show horses, although they're stellar on the trail or packing the grandkids around, so I guess it's time to pull out the checkbook and make it happen.


                • #9
                  I have two retirees and a pony at home, and my dressage horse is boarded for at least 7 months of the year. I wouldn't be able to ride him all winter at home and my arena is too small for serious training when he is at home, so we trailer out for lessons.

                  Works for us. When he is home, we also do quite a lot of trail riding in the mountais, which is good for him, too.

                  I go to the barn straight from work then go home and feed--I have big powerful floodlights so I can see what I'm up to out there. Then I cook dinner... Makes for a long day, but you only live once...


                  • #10
                    Wow. I was thinking about posting this myself.

                    I am so lonely here. It's not the work, I enjoy that. It's just always doing everything alone. Over the last two weeks, I have hacked around at friends farms and really enjoyed myself. I am all about having fun right now and for me, it's just not fun to be here and ride alone. Plus, I think that riding with others motivates me to

                    1. Actually ride.

                    2. Push beyond what I would do here. Alone.

                    I love my farm and can't ever imagine moving, (I think Mr. BL would kill me, this was my idea), but, if I can figure out how to sell him on the idea of boarding a horse elsewhere and keeping my retired two here, I would seriously consider doing it.


                    • #11
                      My retirees are at home, and my show horse and my pony are at a great HJ barn. Years ago, I tried trailering in for lessons, and meeting the trainer at shows, but progress was at a snail's pace. I also tried having boarders so I had someone to ride with. That didn't work either. We all had different schedules.

                      What I have now works great. Show horse is happy, well cared for, and lives the good life in exchange for packing me around at shows and lessons. I've turned in to a very capable rider. Retirees enjoy great pasture, a cozy barn when it's cold or rainy, and daily cookies and scritches from me. All for minimal financial outlay. Pony gives a couple of lessons a week in exchange for a slight reduction in board. The kids love him and have learned that the occasional peek or crowhop is not the end of the world, and have learned always to check their leads after a jump. I'm thinking of taking pony home to save money, but he's happy where he is.
                      It's 2018. Do you know where your old horse is?

                      www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                      • #12
                        I did last winter! I had four at home and boarded 2 so I could have use of an indoor. I worked off my board at the barn. It was doable and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to keep the horses going all winter. It also helps that I have a wonderful daughter that shares in the chores (and riding). I wish I could do it again this year, but I wasn't thrilled with the barn. I spent way more time there than I would have liked to monitor feeding and turnout. I would do it again though at a different facility.


                        • #13
                          I am planning to board one this winter for a couple months just to keep him going. I do ride at home and have no problem doing so. I love having the horses at home. However, if we get a lot of snow, I won't be able to ride in the outdoor arena, so boarding seems like the more sensible option.

                          I don't think you are crazy for considering it. Have fun!


                          • #14
                            I was going to do this myself, keep the trail horses at home, board my dressage horse... But then we moved and i put them all in a barn. I couldnt be happier. Not only does the barn have 20 miles of trails for my trail horses when i dont want to haul out somewhere, they also have a huge ring, which is great for my dressage horse as our ring at our previous home was small and we couldnt really work on that big canter.

                            I loved having them at home. However, i'm much happier with them at the barn. I ride WAY more than i did at home!
                            Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                            • #15
                              I've got customers who do precisely what you're considering.

                              It's not unusual at all.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to talk to trainer and see if I can make it work financially.


                                • #17
                                  I know when we had ours at home back in MD I'd always board my show horse during the winter so I could still ride, and have the rest at home. Its extra time/work, but it definitely helped a lot. And feeling safe and confident is worth a LOT.


                                  • #18
                                    Do it. You'll be so happy to be riding, safely, again. I have my farmette so I can retire my show horses, not so I can save a buck. My jumper is with the trainer, he gets ridden and cared for when I can't be there. My old boys are out my back door where I can coddle them, and watch them romp in their last years. I tried the "trailer in to the trainer" deal, too. Doesn't work. Gas is expensive, time is precious, I'd rather drive to the barn after work, ride and go home instead of loading, driving, unload, tack, blah, blah, repeat.

                                    And, honestly, some folks are very self-motivated and make riding alone/at home work (my SIL, Lurker on here, does it brilliantly!). I am not that person.
                                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                    • #19
                                      I have my 2 retired guys at home and my DD's pony and my jumper at my trainer's barn. It is the best of both worlds. Yes, it's a lot of work to have them at home but my home horses are not old -they were retired due to injury (not quality of life threatening, just performance ending) and I am happy that I didn't have to make any hard decisions on what to do with them. My other horses are at my trainer's where there's an indoor and all the amenities and we can all stay in a program.


                                      • #20
                                        I have done this in the past. It is the best of both worlds. If you can find a good barn with a trainer you like, it is definitely easier to get out and ride but if it doesn't work out, you have the safety net of being able to bring your horse home.