I now keep my horses at home, but also spent many years boarding. Here is my take on the subject:
Advantages of boarding
- you can go away for a weekend or a holiday and not worry about your horse
- when the weather is awful, someone else does the work
- barn friends!
- indoor arena
- access to lessons, trainer, etc.
- no need to be there when the farrier, vet, hay guy comes
- someone to treat cuts, give medicines if needed
Disadvantages of boarding
- it's easy to be lazy
- barn drama
- cost (both boarding costs and travel)
- you don't always get what you hope for
Advantages of keeping horses at home
- the view out the kitchen window is FANTASTIC
- feeding daily and doing horse chores keeps you fit
- you can custom feed, blanket, etc according to your horses needs
- you can ride anytime you want, even for only 15 minutes
- Magic Horse Breath is always handy when you've had a bad day and don't feel like driving anywhere
- you develop a stronger relationship with your horse(s) because you are with them every day
Disadvantages of keeping horses at home
- no indoor arena
- holidays are tough because you have to get a critter sitter
- meeting the vet and the farrier in the snow, rain, sleet, hail, etc.
Ideally, I keep my horses at home, but...
-have a trailer so that I can haul out to an arena for lessons or events
-keep a good relationship with a stable so that I can board short term for holidays or horse rehab if needed
- have a good relationship with the vet, the farrier and my hay guy so that I get their services when I need them at a time and a cost that I can manage
- stay connected in lessons or with a horse club so I know about local horse events