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Nice barn far away or average barn nearby? (For retiree)

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  • Nice barn far away or average barn nearby? (For retiree)

    I'm looking at several barns for my retired gelding.

    There is:


    -Lush paddocks, small herd sizes, brand new fencing/run ins, grain option, 40 mins away and very inexpensive


    -Lush paddocks, very large herd (some look thin/one horse had an eye infection), old wooden fencing, aged "attached to barn" run in, grain option, 30 mins away, most expensive


    -Average paddocks, very large herd, comes recommended by current boarders (that I boarded with formerly), electric fencing (on busy road), 20 mins away, moderately expensive

    My retired horse is a fairly easy keeper (currently gets grain but is borderline getting obese so could probably do without provided there is free-choice hay).

    I'm always worried if he's blanketed correctly, has any bumps/scrapes, is getting his share of the round bale, etc. so I like the idea of having him close by.

    On the other hand, his care requirements are truthfully minimal but if he were farther away, I may need barn help to hold him for farrier, annual vet appointments, etc. as I travel frequently.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? There are other options available but they mainly include similar situations that are nice/far away/expensive.

  • #2
    I'd go with the one with the best care, which sounds like A?

    While a 40 minute drive sure does get old daily, it's certainly doable for a horse you're not riding...just as long as you don't have to be there all the time to manage routine, daily aspects of his care.


    • #3
      I would go with A as it sounds like the best for your horse.


      • #4
        Of the three, it's a no brainer to choose A. I would especially object to the "very large herd"; since herd pecking order and bullying can be brutal if not monitored carefully. (Even in my small herd of 3 horses and two minis/ponies I have to be careful that one of the big horses isn't bullied away from her hay).

        Don't forget to look at small, private ("backyard") facilities. If I had to take another boarder in the future, a retiree would be my first choice. Only three horses in my backyard - I can provide them with excellent care even though I'm not a "professional" boarding barn.


        • #5
          Out of these, DEFINITELY A!!!!!!!!!!!

          It's not close, but it's also not that much farther away. Sounds by far the best home for him. I presume you won't be going every day, so the extra time won't be a huge burden.

          The close one (C) sounds second best.

          Do both of you a favor and stay away from the place with the skinny horses, unless it's just a couple really old guys and they really throw good, soft food at them to try to keep their weight up. That can get scary fast.
          Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


          • #6
            Originally posted by S1969 View Post
            Don't forget to look at small, private ("backyard") facilities. If I had to take another boarder in the future, a retiree would be my first choice. Only three horses in my backyard - I can provide them with excellent care even though I'm not a "professional" boarding barn.
            That's exactly what I do. When my daughter decided to go back to school, we gave up the training aspect. I have one boarder, a very senior pony and I treat him like he's my own. His owner's husband is in the military and they are moved frequently. She knows she doesn't have to worry about him, and if anything happens (he dislodged some scar tissue in his leg a couple of weeks ago and was quite lame), I'll make sure he's taken care of and will keep her completely in the loop.

            Since I'm down to just one horse of my own, I don't charge extra for anything, like leg wrapping, stall rest, etc. It's a win/win for both of us.

            You do need to be careful with the backyard barns though and make sure the owner has the horsekeeping knowledge and abilities you're looking for.


            • #7
              I've found that the smaller private facilities love retirees and take great care of them. Obviously, do your homework - ask for references, check they are knowledgable. Generally though if the horses look to be in good condition and the property is SAFE (it may not be beautiful, but SAFE is key) you'll be in good shape. These options often come up on Craigslist.

              ETA: If you do choose barn A, ask first if they'll hold for you, and if they charge how much for holding/blanketing/fly spray/extra supplements/etc. Get those prices up front so there are no surprises.

              I'd choose either A or C depending on how horse does in large herds. Some are fine but others completely loose it. Having said that I've ridden at barns in the past which have had small herds but moved horses around practically weekly, without owner's knowledge. Had I boarded there I would have been not been happy because that to me is far worse than a larger, consistent herd. The other advantage of C would be if you trust people you formally boarded with they could keep an eye on your guy while you are away.
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


              • #8
                I would go with barn C as it was recommended by people that you know, which also says something. My girls are close to me (less than 5 miles away) and I love how I can pop out and see them whenever I want, but not feel guilty about the gas/miles. Even though the care is not quite to my standard, I am close enough that I can fill in whatever gaps I need to.

                If your horse doesn't do well in a big group, though (and ask about the other horses in the group as well... sometimes older citizens don't do well with the shennanigans of the younger ones), I would go with barn A.


                • #9
                  A only because I would never keep horses behind electric on a busy road. There is a farm here that uses two strands of tape along a highway and it just makes me cringe every time I drive by.

                  I would want the option of him being with a different herd too if he doesn't mesh well with the horses in that herd too.