Continue to board or bring home? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-23-2013, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Continue to board or bring home?

My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a house and we're talking about getting horse property so we can have Aries at our place. So, I double-checked with my BO on how much she feeds Aries. According to her, he goes through about 2.5 (120lbs) bales of alfalfa per week. Right now, 120lbs bales of alfalfa are running about $19-20 per bale (this is bought individually, not in a load). Based on the BO's calculations, Aries goes through ten bales per month.

So, if my math is correct, that would mean it would cost right at about $200 a month to feed Aries (this is just hay...grain is not included in my board, so that wouldn't change). Right now, I'm paying $185 a month in board, which includes him being fed three times a day, his stall cleaned daily, turnout a few times a week, his water filled/changed as needed, and use of the arena.

Where we're living now, he's exactly two miles from my house. Depending on where we end up buying a house, that could go all the way up to ten miles away.

So is it really worth it to bring him home? What would you do in my shoes? I'm seriously conflicted about this.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-23-2013, 07:29 PM
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Since it'd cost a bit more to bring him home (apparently) the next thing you should look at would be quality of life.

Would he have a better quality of life at home or being boarded?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 11:31 AM
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I personally love having mine at home. Hay is cheap in NY.. I pay $2.50 for 40lb bales of quality grass hay and go through 50-60 bales a month. They get grain as well, another $100 a month easily.

I have the option of keeping them at my aunts barn as well 15 mins away and have in the past. When I have them there I only have to pay for grain and hay in the winter as she has pasture. Everything is done for me, feeding, stalls, water etc.

I way prefer keeping them at home and doing everything myself. To me the work is part of owning a horse. I don't mind scooping manure, feeding them 3x a day year round, watering etc. for the privilege of walking into my backyard anytime I want to interact with my horses.

I also love the fact that what I say goes, I can do what I want, no BO to answer to or other boarders to offend.

I also have miles and miles of amazing trails..
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 12:13 PM
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Do the math....according to your BO Aires eats 43lbs of alfalfa a day...unless he's a 18hh Clydesdale ....no way.
And even if she buys bulk, I doubt she'd go for breaking even only with boarding.

Now the quality of life thing is a different matter. Unless he's living by himself and doesn't care at all about other horses, he'd be miserable living alone.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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MyBoySi, I don't mind mucking and all that. In fact, I rather enjoy it. I used to work at a friend's barn doing exactly that and for the first year and a half I owned Aires, I did my own stall and water. My new barn only does full care, though, which is why I don't do my stall now. I also don't mind having a BO, as she's super chill and really nice.

DHW, I'm just going by what the BO said. The bales are three-string, which around here are 100-120lbs. He gets fed three times a day. Granted, his breakfast is grass hay, lunch is 50/50 grass and alfalfa, and dinner is alfalfa, but the grass hay is also a three-string (100-120lbs) bale and is running about $18/bale. When I moved him temporarily last week because of the fire, he went through a three-string 120lbs bale of alfalfa in three and a half days, being fed about 10-15lbs per feeding, but only being fed twice a day.

As for him being alone...he is actually ok by himself. He was by himself the first couple of days when I moved him and he wasn't stressed, was eating fine, and drinking normally. I also will probably have a good friend of mine who has two horses renting a room from me, so he wouldn't be alone. Barring my friend not working out, I planned on adopting a donkey from a local rescue, at least until we get my boyfriend a horse.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 01:23 PM
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I'm kinda in the same boat, draftie. We've got one horse at the house ... two in a totally free pasture down the road.. fat as pigs.

I want the home soooo bad, but it will triple our feed bill .. what to do?

*sigh*
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum View Post
MyBoySi, I don't mind mucking and all that. In fact, I rather enjoy it. I used to work at a friend's barn doing exactly that and for the first year and a half I owned Aires, I did my own stall and water. My new barn only does full care, though, which is why I don't do my stall now. I also don't mind having a BO, as she's super chill and really nice.

DHW, I'm just going by what the BO said. The bales are three-string, which around here are 100-120lbs. He gets fed three times a day. Granted, his breakfast is grass hay, lunch is 50/50 grass and alfalfa, and dinner is alfalfa, but the grass hay is also a three-string (100-120lbs) bale and is running about $18/bale. When I moved him temporarily last week because of the fire, he went through a three-string 120lbs bale of alfalfa in three and a half days, being fed about 10-15lbs per feeding, but only being fed twice a day.

As for him being alone...he is actually ok by himself. He was by himself the first couple of days when I moved him and he wasn't stressed, was eating fine, and drinking normally. I also will probably have a good friend of mine who has two horses renting a room from me, so he wouldn't be alone. Barring my friend not working out, I planned on adopting a donkey from a local rescue, at least until we get my boyfriend a horse.
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I bought 120 lb bales ....started weighing and counting flakes and came out at 85 lb bales.
So, you'll never know until you weigh it. Just saying

I'd say find a place first. Then decide.
You will give up freedom when you have him at home. I haven't had vacation since...ever.....
Short, lots of things to think about.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 02:54 PM
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Some things to consider:
- being "alone" for a few days is totally different than living alone 24/7. Was he still semi-around other horses when he was alone? Being kept in eyesight of other horses =\= alone either. I am really against horses being kept totally alone.
- vacation will be nonexistent or very planned. No just skipping away for the weekend.
- you're on your own. No asking your BO if something seems off, no lessons, etc.
- make sure you have easy access to hay/farrier/ etcetera. Do you have storage for hay? Adequate storage, I mean, in case hay becomes scarce/through the winter.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Some things to consider:
- being "alone" for a few days is totally different than living alone 24/7. Was he still semi-around other horses when he was alone? Being kept in eyesight of other horses =\= alone either. I am really against horses being kept totally alone.
- vacation will be nonexistent or very planned. No just skipping away for the weekend.
- you're on your own. No asking your BO if something seems off, no lessons, etc.
- make sure you have easy access to hay/farrier/ etcetera. Do you have storage for hay? Adequate storage, I mean, in case hay becomes scarce/through the winter.
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We don't vacation anyway. And if we do need to be out of town, I have friends and family that would feed for me.

As for the amenities thing, the only thing I might miss (depending on what we get) would be a large arena. Other than that, my barn doesn't do lessons or anything like that.

Hay storage again depends on the place. The one place we are looking at has a nice, big shed for hay (could easily fit 50+ bales in it).

My farrier serves our quad-cities area, so again, no big deal, and there are three places in my town that sell hay and deliver.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-24-2013, 06:55 PM
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If Aires is eating $200 worth of hay every month & you only have to pay $185 for board & care, well that answer looks pretty easy, right? I would get settled in the new place first & see if there are trails or people to ride with before moving your horse. You might like the barn better or even seasonally.
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