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Anyone only board 'part of the year' ?

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  • Anyone only board 'part of the year' ?

    ---Looking for input from both those who board their horse(s) somewhere, as well as from those who run the boarding barn.

    Basically: little farmette where we'll eventually retire to, and bring horsey, is a very small property, and will require good management/rotation---this horrible winter has sure had me thinking about winter horse keeping. Having had to board my entire horse - life, sure (!) the beautiful sunny days have me thinking of the wonderful quirks of having horsey right outside, on my own place. But...ugh. The winters, and hay storage, and no where to ride, snow removal, frozen water, etc.....

    Is there anyone who has a small 2 horse type set up 'at home' that enjoys that most of the year, but boards out for say some/most months of the winter?
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    Yep, bringing my boys back home on March 1st. It is a nice break from the "grind", but of course, absense makes the heart grow fonder! Although I see them a few times a week, I miss them!!


    • Original Poster

      2boys: Happy Reunion ! March is on our heels.
      ---umm, one thing: do you 'hold' your stall in the off season? I think I'll find most places will want a full year boarder, and won't be able to offer the partial. Just wondering how it works for most people!
      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
      --Jimmy Buffett


      • #4
        There are many reasons someone may board a horse, even if they have a home place or even a horse business themselves.

        I have a few health problems, so at times, some of my horses have been at friends that train, some being trained and show further and some being sold.

        Some of my older horses are on loan to the local handicapped program and they rotate thru that work, so they are here for a while and there a few weeks.
        That helps the handicapped riding program and the horses, that love the light work and attention.

        There may be many and diverse reasons why people keep horses in other places than their own, as many as situations people find themselves in.


        • Original Poster

          Bluey: absolutely! no doubt there are many varied reasons....I was just specifically looking for feedback in the actual situation of only BOARDING your own horse for partial months of the year, on a regular basis, and how it worked for those who did this regularly. I'm not looking for instances of 'loaning'...for specific purposes, but rather paying board for a stall on a regular yearly basis, but only for say 4 months?
          I know for instance, at my current barn, that I doubt they'd encourage a stall to be occupied for a limited time, vs. have a full boarder. Just trying for feedback to know if its something people do regularly, and if barns do have such clients, or if its rare.
          "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
          --Jimmy Buffett


          • #6
            I don't, but there are folks at my barn that do (they board for the winter since we have an indoor). Seems to work out great for them! And the b/o's are always happy to have them back.

            I can imagine this kind of thing would be more common up north where the winters are more brutal!
            Originally posted by barka.lounger
            u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

            we see u in gp ring in no time.


            • #7
              I have two at home and for a couple of months this winter one of them has been boarded. I plan to switch them out soon so the other can get worked. (Can not swing board on two.)

              It has been nice to be able to ride.

              I am lucky the boarding barn had a stall when I wanted one. I would never expect them to hold a stall.


              • #8
                We don't hold stalls per say, but we usually have 2 or 3 "seasonal" boarders for the winter because we have an indoor. They are usually the same people every year. Also, we get some kids that regularly ship in for lesson leave their ponies here for the summer to ride with other kids, ride in camp or show with us. My friend in Florida has seasonal boarders for the winter too. Some of them come down for 2 weeks on vacation with their owners, and some stay for 5 months or so because they are showing in Wellington.


                • #9
                  I do not pay to hold a spot. I have too many darn horses, and can not afford that!! I just hope that the planets align so that it all works out me to send them out. If for whatever reason, it doesn't work out--oh well. Last winter I didn't board out, and although my tb was a TURKEY to leg back up in spring, I didn't mind having the winter off. In fact, I am thinking of keeping them home next winter, then sending the tb out for some other poor soul to leg him back up for me in spring.


                  • #10
                    I used to do it in reverse. Board horses in the spring/summer/fall to utilize arena and trainer. Move horses home in winter due to time change and rain issues. In Southern California most stables do not have covered arenas and do not let you use the outside arenas during rain. Many also do not have lights for evening riding. It was better to move them home then to pay for them to be at a stable where you could not use any of the amenities in bad weather. I can haul horses to stable weather permitting and just pay a use fee. This winter is a prime example. Lots of rain after years of drought.


                    • #11
                      Yep. My boys are currently split - one at home, and one at a boarding facility. When my current property was half the size, and I just had the one horse, I would board him out from March until about May/June to let my pastures get a good start on the growing season. Then I would bring him home for the rest of the year. I would let him out for 12 hours, and keep him in for the other 12. My new horse is boarded out at a wonderful facility 20 mins away that has a nice size indoor and large outdoor, plus trails. I was intending to bring him back home this spring, but we'll see how things go. I almost hate to give up my spot, because I know there's a pretty good size waiting list at the boarding stable.


                      • #12
                        I do--I have my retirees at home, and board out the actually rideable one. In the past I bought him home for the summer, which has been great, but no, I don't hold a space and you can't guarantee being able to get back in in the winter. As a result I've boarded just about everywhere around here over the past few years and have a shortlist (very short...) of ones I would go back to.

                        Still haven't decided what to do this summer. We may stay put, if soundness prevails.


                        • #13
                          The barn I board at has a few winter boarders. They move into the stalls of the horses who go to FL- so most of them arrive Dec or Jan, and leave end of March.


                          • #14
                            When I was still doing the small and large rated ponies we kept my pony at home during the winter. The winters where we lived were - a short sweet off season and I hauled once or twice a week for lessons.

                            We had a 4 stall indoor barn and a small arena (with 3 jumps that my trainer didn't know about!!!). We had a few lazy older horses who lived there as well. We also lived about a half hour trail ride from a horse park that had great trails, a large jump arena with good footing, an a dressage arena.

                            I moved the ponies back when show season came. I enjoyed having them home for the winter. When I got my Children's Hunter she was an OTTB. She lived at home while she was still just doing flatwork. I had a VERY nice young trainer that would come help me out.

                            Occasionally my horses just came home for two weeks if the trainer was going to be out of town and I wanted them to myself. (Plus those 3 jumps came in handy!)

                            Anyways that's just me. I think it was pretty normal. Unfortunately we had to move and I no longer have that luxurious facility in my back yard.


                            • #15
                              did it for many years It was so nice to have good pasture when they returned from winter camp


                              • #16
                                We have a few that do that. I am happy to fill up some
                                stalls when the snowbirds fly south.
                                They are mostly 'regulars' who come in every winter.
                                I ask them to call me in August or so to let me know,
                                leave a $100 non refundable deposit and I will hold the
                                stall for them - they usually come in around Thanksgiving.
                                In bad winters, it is sometimes hard to get them to go


                                • #17
                                  I moved my ponies in early Jan this year. I had not planned to do this but after my 6 yr old crying about the cold and still BEGGING to ride everyday I decided it was well worth the money. We are not going home until April 1st LOL there is still 20 inches of snow in our arena at home ( its not going anywhere soon!) Hopefully by April 1st it will be GONE!!!! It is the best decision I EVER made and yes we will be doing it again next year, Dd is too small to take a whole winter off, at this age the muscle memory does not last LOL!!!
                                  If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm doing this now, have my one guy in training boarded at an indoor and my other 3 at home.

                                    In my area, a lot of barns offer 'winter boarding' but at a higher rate. I'm fortunate that the current barn doesn't make any difference in rate, but they aren't full yet so that explains it.

                                    In the spring, I'm thinking about temporarily boarding my whole string down the road so I can do some much needed barn/paddock maintenance/improvements without horses to work around.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Thanks all...I really appreciated the input!!

                                      Sounds like some of the bigger, and more costly barns are used to this. I'm not sure if any in the area will offer it (Williamsburg VA area) but I will be looking into it! It would be GREAT to find a smaller, private spot that would do this, but I doubt it.
                                      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                      --Jimmy Buffett