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Part boarding uncertainty

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  • Part boarding uncertainty

    I have been debating over this issue all weekend, and I need some other opinions before I make my decision Monday!

    Last month, I lost my big, talented young horse to colic. I was devastated. Due to various health reasons, I'm not in a position to be trying new/unfamiliar horses, but could certainly ride daily if I had a trustworthy mount.

    At the barn I was at (close to home, friends, great place) there is a small, young horse available for part board. His very novice, older owner rides once a week. He's very awkwardly put together, is extremely green (with bad habits under saddle to boot), has a bit of a hay belly and is wiry/thin with zero muscle everywhere else. They said he's rising four.... he looks like a young three due to his physical condition. This being said, he's absolutely dead quiet and is friendly to be around.

    Anyways, I've never had to part-board before (always owned) and am very familiar with reschooling young/green horses. I have been offered several other young horses to ride for free, but am reluctant because "quiet" (and close to home) are the key things right now.

    I wouldn't be working this horse hard, and because of his good nature I guess he's just what I need right now. I'm having a difficult time getting over the fact the owner wants $300/month part board on this horse, considering he need so much work. This is a horse I normally would only school as a favour or if paid.

    I really, really need to ride, and this guy seems like a good fit. I don't know if my reluctance is because he's not normally "my type", the cost or the fact I'm not over the loss of my wonderful youngster. :')

    Should I suck it up, pay the money and get back in the saddle? Or is it too soon?
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

  • #2
    see if you can do a month-by-month. that way you can stop anytime. Maybe you can help the horse out if his owner is not very experienced.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you should look around and perhaps find a more 'schoolmaster' type horse that will help develop your riding skills as well as give you your 'horse fix'. Sounds like with this one you'd be paying for training a greenie.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't pay 300 bucks a month to train someone's green and spoiled horse...but if would make you happy, then perhaps it's worth exploring. Consider that $300 payment for "close to home" and "quiet" instead of "trained" or "fancy."

        I don't think there's a universal "too soon" either. Do you want to ride? Then ride If you're not sure, can you ask for just a few rides piecemeal before signing up for the whole shebang?

        Comment


        • #5
          Agreed with Simkie. I know that keeping a horse is expensive, but charging $300 a month for a green, young horse is pretty steep. Not unheard of by any means, but steep nonetheless. Could you speak to the owner concerning the price? Could you full lease a horse, or see if there are half-leases available with owners willing to relocate to your choice of barn? Around here for $300 can get you quite a bit, certainly something more fitting than a green, young, out of shape horse. However, that is solely my opinion, and if you like the horse, the location, and don't mind putting in the training for the price, it's entirely your prerogative to go ahead with the lease.

          Comment


          • #6
            Honestly, for $300 a month, I'd expect something that you aren't having to, basically, pay for the privilege of re-training. I mean, if there's nothing else quiet in your area and you really want to ride and he's your only option, I suppose you could ask for month to month and see how it goes. But for that price, I would probably just go to a lesson barn instead since you'd at least be riding schoolies.
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by partlycloudy View Post
              I think you should look around and perhaps find a more 'schoolmaster' type horse that will help develop your riding skills as well as give you your 'horse fix'.
              I'd really like to stay at this barn, and all the more experienced horses are late teens/early 20's. If I'm not able to ride a particular day, at least I could work on groundwork/lunging with the greenie. There's no point putting empty miles on the older horses. There's not much hacking around either.

              The owner is having some financial issues, and the board at this place, all in, is $850 (hence why the PB is so high).

              Truthfully I'm very lonely and sad without my equine buddy, and even though this situation isn't ideal I thought at least working with this little guy would keep me busy. The barn is my social life, and I miss the routine of my horse and equine friends.

              Maybe I will take a couple of the other owners up on their offers to ride first, just to weigh my options.
              A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

              Comment


              • #8
                I pay $300 for a bratty pony in a nice barn full of nice people. Part of enjoying my pony is enjoying my time at the barn with all the other boarders. I say go for it the greenie will only get better with time and the satisfaction of that is priceless.
                Dawn

                Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

                Comment


                • #9
                  $300 sounded high until you posted the board rate. Sounds like you are paying less than a third her monthly expenses, so it might be worthwhile to at least try for a little while.
                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    $300 bucks for that is not worth it in my book. Whether or not $300 is a small fraction of the total board is not much your problem, but the owners'.

                    I was horseless about seven months ago and took a deal similar to yours when I should have kept on looking.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think taking up other people on their offers to ride their horses may be the best idea right now. It will give you some time in the saddle and around horses without the upfront cost, and give you a better idea of where you might want to go with all of this. Save the $300 a month for your next horse purchase!
                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                      http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Typically (tho not always) a part lease is one half of expenses. The owner is only asking one third of board and no vet or farrier expenses. It sounds like the cost has already been discounted because the horse is green. So you are being paid around two hundred a month for your training skills! If you want to ride at this barn it seems fair to me.
                        www.headsupspecialriders.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WW_Queen View Post
                          I have been debating over this issue all weekend, and I need some other opinions before I make my decision Monday!

                          Last month, I lost my big, talented young horse to colic. I was devastated. Due to various health reasons, I'm not in a position to be trying new/unfamiliar horses, but could certainly ride daily if I had a trustworthy mount.

                          At the barn I was at (close to home, friends, great place) there is a small, young horse available for part board. His very novice, older owner rides once a week. He's very awkwardly put together, is extremely green (with bad habits under saddle to boot), has a bit of a hay belly and is wiry/thin with zero muscle everywhere else. They said he's rising four.... he looks like a young three due to his physical condition. This being said, he's absolutely dead quiet and is friendly to be around.

                          Anyways, I've never had to part-board before (always owned) and am very familiar with reschooling young/green horses. I have been offered several other young horses to ride for free, but am reluctant because "quiet" (and close to home) are the key things right now.

                          I wouldn't be working this horse hard, and because of his good nature I guess he's just what I need right now. I'm having a difficult time getting over the fact the owner wants $300/month part board on this horse, considering he need so much work. This is a horse I normally would only school as a favour or if paid.

                          I really, really need to ride, and this guy seems like a good fit. I don't know if my reluctance is because he's not normally "my type", the cost or the fact I'm not over the loss of my wonderful youngster. :')

                          Should I suck it up, pay the money and get back in the saddle? Or is it too soon?

                          The highlighted parts. Please reread them start to bottom.

                          You are having physical issues that prevent you from going out and trying new horses or riding the free young ones other have offered you. You said horse has bad habits in the saddle, is young and scrawny and green as grass to boot. That to me does not sound like a good plan at all, even though he is "quiet."

                          I personally wouldnt pay $300 to ride him at all even if it was only a 1/3rd of the board rate. Your paying her to train her horse.

                          I understand the need to ride, but why not ride older horses? I know you said they don't need miles, but why think of it as putting miles on them? Why not think of it as putting miles on yourself as your health gets better and as you wait and find a younger horse for yourself?
                          Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                          I am pro-Slaughter

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I understand the need to ride, but why not ride older horses? I know you said they don't need miles, but why think of it as putting miles on them? Why not think of it as putting miles on yourself as your health gets better and as you wait and find a younger horse for yourself?
                            That. A thousand times that. You want to ride for you. You do NOT need to ride to put miles on someone else's horse.
                            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by analise View Post
                              That. A thousand times that. You want to ride for you. You do NOT need to ride to put miles on someone else's horse.
                              Agree. Ride for YOU.

                              It seems like there is something about the green bean that appeals to you. The amount aside, if you have money to spend, and have found a horse to ride that's in your ideal location, go for it. If you pay $0 to ride one of the older horses and aren't as happy, then paying $300 to ride the horse you want to is worth it. Yes, time in the saddle is time in the saddle, but riding the a horse that makes you happy can make a huge difference.
                              "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

                              Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If it makes you happy; you have the extra money then it's worth $300 a month, regardless of the situation and what we on COTH think.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by WW_Queen View Post
                                  At the barn I was at (close to home, friends, great place) there is a small, young horse available for part board. His very novice, older owner rides once a week. He's very awkwardly put together, is extremely green (with bad habits under saddle to boot), has a bit of a hay belly and is wiry/thin with zero muscle everywhere else. They said he's rising four.... he looks like a young three due to his physical condition. This being said, he's absolutely dead quiet and is friendly to be around.

                                  I really, really need to ride, and this guy seems like a good fit. I don't know if my reluctance is because he's not normally "my type", the cost or the fact I'm not over the loss of my wonderful youngster. :')
                                  Sympathies for your loss


                                  Have you worked with this horse? ridden this horse? talked with your trainer about the horse?
                                  Sometimes dead quiet & friendly is part of the unfit, minimal feed, "I get to do what I want" package rather than the true nature of the horse.

                                  I think before deciding, you need to do some trial work/rides with this horse & push him a bit to see what sort of response he offers.

                                  You see yourself improving this horse by training him but also by building his fitness - how will the owner react to these changes ...

                                  Based upon your hay belly/no muscle description, I'm assuming he's on low protein hay, no grains (or he has a metabolic issue such as IR, EPSM etc) so his monthly costs will increase (obviously your part board will help subsidize this, but owner is likely assuming that all of the $300 will go straight to board etc).
                                  As he builds fitness, his energy level is likely to rise as well, does owner ride well enough to manage some playfulness under saddle?

                                  It can be awkward to share a horse with someone who has a very different approach to the horse & riding than yourself, so you really need to sit down with owner & discuss what you'd like to do with her horse & be certain that this is something she would like or at least has no objections to ...

                                  If you ride/work the horse 3 days a week, & see a certain progress, then owner rides horse for next 3 days, you'll likely find a somewhat confused horse when your turn comes back around again (I'm assuming owner is not taking lessons, will not be guided by you during her rides etc).
                                  If you decide to go ahead with this, you might try for alternating days rather than a Mon - Wed block etc.

                                  I'm not trying to dissuade you from this project but just want to make sure that you've thought things through before you sign any contracts. If you can do a one month trial, I'd say, give it a go - you, the owner, the horse will all undoubtedly benefit

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                    If it makes you happy; you have the extra money then it's worth $300 a month, regardless of the situation and what we on COTH think.
                                    I agree with this. Is it "worth it" objectively? Probably not, that is a horse that should have paid training rides put on it to get it in shape.

                                    But is it worth it to you? That's the only thing that matters, and if he's where you want to be, available, and the lease if flexible enough that you can bail if he becomes significantly less quiet once he actually gets into shape, go for it.
                                    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The horse may not be worth $300/month but don't forget to take into consideration for that amount you are also getting use of the facilities. An $850/month barn I'm assuming is pretty nice (would be in my area at least).

                                      Maybe an odd way of looking at it but it might make paying that amount for that horse an easier pill to swallow if you decide to go for it. If you like the horse despite his shortcomings, like the barn, like the people and it makes you happy then the overall package just might be worth it.

                                      I agree with others about riding for *you* though too. No shame in riding an older horse, no shame in riding just to ride. Some of my best horse therapy has come from throwing a leg over a kind old trustworthy mount and losing myself in the scenery.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I spoke with the owner today, and then made my decision. Aside from the owner riding occasionally, I will be the only one schooling the horse. I had concerns about his head tossing, and he agreed and also felt the teeth needed to be addressed right away (hopefully he heard my "by a vet" part...)

                                        I am free to take dressage lessons and (when I'm ready in the fall) jump lessons. I'm going to put him in a different bridle/bit which I think will help after he's had his teeth done.

                                        Ultimately, I reasoned with myself, I'm paying for emotional therapy ( ), a quiet, willing and friendly mount, a high end barn (did I mention the grooming area/indoor are insulated = warm!), with access to fabulous coaching and established friendships. Another girlfriend urged me to think of it as a challenge, to take before and after pics as he muscles and grows up. Even if I can't ride down the road, I can do lots of groundwork, grooming and chatting with friends.

                                        Thanks for all your help everyone.
                                        A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

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