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It appears my horse is homeless...

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  • It appears my horse is homeless...

    So I literally just got an email from the BO where my horse lives. She is a close friend and I've been keeping my horse there for free, I just go out and take care of feeding, mucking, and turnout after work. My horse is retired and just hangs out. She's healthy, just in her 20's and done working for me.

    Anyway, I just received an email that she and her husband are separating, and she can't afford the farm, so I need to find a new home for my horse. I have no idea where to even start looking. I really don't want to have to give her away, but I'm not in a financial position to keep her anywhere that I know of in the area. I could squeeze by for a couple of months, but I need to come up with a long term solution. It doesn't have to be free, I certainly can come up with board, especially if I can find somewhere that's self care.

    I'm in the Pittsburgh area, and need to find something apparently in a hurry. So can any COTHer's offer some help? Suggestions? Ideas?

    Thanks guys! And please don't take this as a whine. I'm not whining. I am fully aware of how good I have had it the last 2 years. I'm just looking for some help to come up with a plan.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

  • #2
    Craigslist. At least on my local one, there are always postings about private backyard barns looking for a boarder or two.

    Comment


    • #3
      Network, network, network. Ask vet, farrier, any local trainers you know (I don't have so many boarders, but most have come from two local trainers), get on the pony club email list and ask them, ask at the tack shop or feed store . . . you get the idea. Good luck -- I have a feeling with your good attitude and care for your horse you will find a good situation.
      https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
      Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/
      www.PeonyVodka.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Agreed on networking. Call all the local vets, the local farriers, go to all the local feedstores and ask around, check out the bulletin board at Tractor Supply and Farm and Fleet. Check the newspaper even!

        Good luck in your search, hope you find something that's doable financially and good for your horse.
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

        Comment


        • #5
          Not to sound cruel, but if they are separating and she can't afford the farm, what does that mean? Is she moving out? Selling? What is her timeline? Is there any possibilty of a reconciliation? The husband taking over the farm? How do you get along with him?

          Anyway, like SMF11 says. And good luck.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Craigslist is an excellent idea. I'll check it out tonight and throw a post of my own on there.

            As far as any hope of reconciliation, etc, I have no idea. That's her personal business, and if she doesn't offer, I'm not going to pry. She just said they're separating, she's looking for somewhere to board her horse, we need to find a home for the pony, and I need to come up with something for my horse. The husband is not horse savy and if he keeps the farm, keeping her there is not an option. I don't know if they are selling or if she's just moving out, but with her looking for somewhere to board her horse, she certainly isn't planning on staying there.

            I'm the only boarder, so it wouldn't make sense for her husband to keep it, even for a side business. Like I said, I don't pay anything. There are only 2 stalls, and no riding facilities.

            I'll just start calling people and looking around. Like I said, I have some emergency money saved, and could get by for a few months before I reached a point of total desperation. There has to be something out there, and it may be for the better. As it is, I'm driving over an hour each way to get out there to feed, and there are certainly farms a lot closer to home for me.
            Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

            Comment


            • #7
              Some of the best barns I have found have been by just driving around and stopping in. You might try that.

              Comment


              • #8
                And I wouldn't rule out offering barn chore services in exhange for board. Many places are looking for part-time workers, someone who can fill in on the regular's day off, vacation, watching the place when they are at shows, etc. Since you've been doing that reliably already, you may be be a BO's dream for fill-in services.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jingles for you and your horse ~ that is a very stressful situation to find one's self in at this time of year. Good Luck ~ surely someone needs some barn help in exchange for boarding your mare.
                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    That is what I am hoping. I am reliable and do have references. My mare's not a touble maker, and just needs a place to crash.

                    I just got a phone call from the BO stating that nothing is for certain and they just had an argument last night and it was mentioned in the heat of the argument. Well that was not what was relayed in the 4 sentence email she sent to me this morning saying they are separating and she's selling the farm and I need to move my horse.

                    So now I'm really irritated. I've been there for over 2 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened, but I'm going to start looking regardless. I can't live with that kind of uncertainty. Rather than the short and sweet email sent to me at work, maybe just mentioning to me tomorrow when I'm there that they have been having problems and she's not sure what direction their relationship is going to take in the coming months, would have been more appropriate.

                    I'm half their age and feel like the only adult. She said she's looking at boarding options, just in case they have to sell the farm. At least now I know my horse is in no immediate danger of being homeless and I have time to find the right situation for the 2 of us. I should ask them to give their Christmas presents back and send them to marriage counseling instead.
                    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, while it's of little consolation to you, please understand that when people are in very emotionally charged/stressful situations, they tend to make some snap decisions. If she's your friend, be a little patient...but I'd still be looking for an alternative situation for your horse. At least for right now, you might have a little more time than you thought first thing this a.m. But chances are that one way or another, you're going to need alternate arrangements.

                      ((hugs)) sucks.

                      Anyway...I've found good situations by door knocking. Leased a farm for awhile for cheap. I did all the work/bought all the supplies...but it was inexpensive.

                      Also..posting on CL. Or looking on the boards at the tack/feed store.

                      Agree w/ talking to vet/farrier too.

                      Good luck!
                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                        Well, while it's of little consolation to you, please understand that when people are in very emotionally charged/stressful situations, they tend to make some snap decisions. If she's your friend, be a little patient...but I'd still be looking for an alternative situation for your horse. At least for right now, you might have a little more time than you thought first thing this a.m. But chances are that one way or another, you're going to need alternate arrangements.

                        ((hugs)) sucks.

                        Anyway...I've found good situations by door knocking. Leased a farm for awhile for cheap. I did all the work/bought all the supplies...but it was inexpensive.

                        Also..posting on CL. Or looking on the boards at the tack/feed store.

                        Agree w/ talking to vet/farrier too.

                        Good luck!
                        Been there, done that. I was in a self-care boarding situation for years at a farm where several times a year the property owner would say "I'm closing up the barn - everyone has to get out" (usually after we called her because something on the barn was broken). Then one day, we all did find another barn and moved out. And she had the nerve to ask us why?

                        We found another farm with an empty barn and field, made an offer to the owners, and they gladly let us move in. It was a win/win, they got to see lovely horses grazing all day long, and we got the use of the barn and pasture for a very small fee (enough to cover the owners electric and insurance). And they never complained if we did ask the husband to fix something, he liked to tinker.
                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Boy if you lived by me I'd say come on over! You can help me muck any day

                          I am sure the answer is close by. i am sorry your friend is going through this. What a difficult time for her and her family. Best wishes for wonderful affordable new digs for your horse!
                          "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And maybe she was just trying to get a "heads up".

                            When Mr. FlightCheck and I decided to sell the farm, we gave all of the boarders a "heads up" as soon as we made the decision.

                            We also thought it would take months to sell.

                            It sold in 3 days, with a caveat that we had to be out in 30 days.

                            So perhaps she just wanted you to know that things are not rock solid, so as not to catch you off guard?

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I certainly sympathize with her and feel badly they are having trouble. And I will always be there to be a shoulder for her, and to talk to, and to help in anyway that I can, BUT from a horse owner standpoint, I need my horse to be somewhere that's stable, and to not be stuck in the position of needing to move her at a moments notice. I know nothing in life is certain, but I have a feeling this is just the start of a long process in her life and I don't want to get caught in the crossfires.

                              SO, Bailey is not homeless, but she should think about packing.
                              Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post
                                That is what I am hoping. I am reliable and do have references. My mare's not a touble maker, and just needs a place to crash.

                                I just got a phone call from the BO stating that nothing is for certain and they just had an argument last night and it was mentioned in the heat of the argument. Well that was not what was relayed in the 4 sentence email she sent to me this morning saying they are separating and she's selling the farm and I need to move my horse.

                                So now I'm really irritated. I've been there for over 2 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened, but I'm going to start looking regardless. I can't live with that kind of uncertainty. Rather than the short and sweet email sent to me at work, maybe just mentioning to me tomorrow when I'm there that they have been having problems and she's not sure what direction their relationship is going to take in the coming months, would have been more appropriate.

                                I'm half their age and feel like the only adult. She said she's looking at boarding options, just in case they have to sell the farm. At least now I know my horse is in no immediate danger of being homeless and I have time to find the right situation for the 2 of us. I should ask them to give their Christmas presents back and send them to marriage counseling instead.
                                Don't be so hard on her for the email. Unless you walk in their shoes you don't know what the argument was like. It was quite likely that when they were having the argument that she decided to move out and knee jerk reaction was to email you. It's nothing to do with being an adult or not, people don't think clearly when so much emotion is involved. You will feel this at some time in your life, if you haven't already. Having said that, there are obviously issues, and it would be wise to look for an alternative, even if you don't move immediately. Like the others say, networking, craigslist and driving around would seem like your best bets. I would absolutely drive up to a private farm if they look like they have fat, healthy horses and see if they are interested. I would be totally delighted to board someone else's horse here in return for having a bunch of work done.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  One last thought ... please don't take offense when one of those farm owners essentially says "hell no, i've made that mistake before". Sadly, there are horse owners out there who will promise a BO the world, and maybe even provide whats agreed for a week or three...long enough to get the horse settled in...then do nothing or make more work for the BO, and are hard to get out. So some folks will be gunshy even though YOU know YOU are not that type of horse person, they don't know that....

                                  (I took over a nightmare situation when I was in High School, earning board for my horse in turn for working at the facility. The last teenager they had allowed to do so, it turned out, was abusing the horses, only grained the ones she liked, and was "putting that mean stallion in time out" -- which in english means she was sticking him in what was supposed to be a storage area -- a completely black box with no bedding etc -- to "teach him to behave himself." This was the kindest stallion you will ever meet, who softly nickered when his mares came in or out of the barn....

                                  Part of our starting agreement was that, for the first year, the BO didn't allow me on the property unless she was in the barn and could see me and what I was doing. After about 3 weeks, I had full run of the place, and by 2 months was sleeping over on friday and saturday nights....but it had taken A LOT to talk her into even giving us a try after what her horses had been through previously....)
                                  AnnMarie Cross, Pres, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, cwer.org
                                  Sidell IL (near Champ./UofI/Danville IL/IN state border)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Two other thoughts:

                                    #1 Ask BO to write a letter of reference, describing your work habits, good care of the horses, etc. This probably would be really helpful for new BO's to feel comfortable taking you in.
                                    Thought #2: if this is a real friend of yours, is that while you're calling around for low-cost boarding, maybe ask if they have room for 2 horses. If you find something good, let your friend know about it and the 2 could move together (she pays her half, of course). With everything going on in her life, that might be an emotional lifesaver for her.
                                    I can't tell from your post, but it sounds like you are not / never been married. If I'm wrong, just disregard the next sentence, but otherwise please don't discount the incredible stress and grief that a separation / divorce can cause. It's ranked right up there with death of a loved one.
                                    Last edited by HungarianHippo; Jan. 5, 2010, 12:15 PM. Reason: plum fergot sumthin

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes yes yes, definitely ask for a reference letter. That can only help your situation.

                                      As for people in emotional states doing rash things...pft. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but seriously, that's not an excuse.
                                      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

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post

                                        I'm in the Pittsburgh area, and need to find something apparently in a hurry. So can any COTHer's offer some help? Suggestions? Ideas?
                                        There is an ad in the Horse of Delaware Valley classified section offering what seems to me to be inexpensive board north of Pittsburgh. I know nothing about the area but it might be worth a look. Here is the link to the page. The ad is about halfway down in the boarding and training section.

                                        http://www.horsedelval.com/classfd.htm#clcode140
                                        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

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