To board or not to board???- sort of long
I am trying to decide whether to board Hondo or keep him at home where he is at now. Here's the deal. My Cousin 13 yrs old. Has been taking lessons at this place and now she wants a horse of her own. The place she takes lessons is owned by a freind of her fathers. He has offered to allow her to board a horse of her choice there for 200 dollars/ month feed included. So she wants to ride western and do some of the play day events in the area. Here is where I come in. I too want to take lessons for barrels and reining and do play day events. Having Hondo at home is not very practical for practice 1. I don't have a large secure area to ride. 2. I know no one around me with horses who rides or could ride with me or teach me.
also, to be honest I feel I have lost confidence to ride Hondo around ditches or on ditch banks and that is the majority of riding I used to do out here. Apart from that there is currently a vacant sandy field in front of my house that is plenty large, but looks like the owners will plant it again soon and there goes that.
So. My uncle and I talked and we would go halfers on the boarding price plus each of us would be responsible for any vet bills resulting from injury during our ride- according to who was riding at the ti eof the injury. Then we would go halfers on regular maintanence and incidents/ accidents that might happen during non riding time.
Hondo has background doing the events that she and I are intrested in. Mind you I haven't done these with him other than trotting around a very small barrel pattern in my yard and doing very basiC reining moves again in the back yard. But I think he would be able to do well either way. Plus we will have a trainer to help guide us.
I like the idea of boarding because I won't have to make time for cleaing his pen- that is also included. I won't have to hunt for hay- that is the owners job. I will have people around me who know what they are doing and may be able to lend a hand should I need it. And when I go out on trails- this place is nears some great desert trails, I might be able to find someone to go out with me and help me get my confidence back.
So heres the problem. My husband is totally against it. He is not a horse person, doesn't ride and doesn't help with Hondo's care other than helping unload bales. But he talked to a co worker of his who rides and he says that she said that 1. No one will take care of Hondo the way I will. 2. He will not learn anything from riding is circles and niether will I. and 3. I need to put on my "big girl panties" :) and go back to riding on the ditch banks to get my confidence back . 4. Horses get sick in boarding places
So I need some opinions from you. What experience do you have switching from an " at home " situation to a boarding one. Please weigh any pros or cons you can think of. Input please.
oh yeah, I wanted to add that Hondo is 19 and I don't think he is ready to retire to a yard ornament. He is healthy and sound and has a good mind. I think he wants to work. Plus he is well behaved enough but challenging enough to wereh he would be good for my cousin to conitnue learning on.
Also 100dollars/ month is what I pay now more or less depending on the season for feed keeping him at home. So I think the monetary incentive do this is good too. I dunno, or maybe I do. Uh, Im so confused.
All of what your husband's co-worker says is not true. $100 a month, having access to a coach, having your horse exercised regularly and having a safe place to ride is a darn good deal. Tell your husband to stop listening to co-workers and start listening to his wife who is going to be boarding her horse until you feel you want to bring him back home.
Oh, for the record, I keep my horses at home and haul to my instructors, I have an arena and marvelous trails and a deserted road to ride on. If I didn't have all of this, I would certainly board my horses.
I enjoy boarding my horses for the most part. I had my share of having my horse at home when I was a teenager and it's kinda nice to not have to do all the work on your own. Although, I liked the fact that I could just go out and see my horse and ride whenever I felt like it. When you board there are a lot more people to talk to, can offer help and provide company if you so choose. The con is that you must abide by the rules of your facility. But, thats usually not difficult at least for me. While I enjoy riding alone I also enjoy riding with others who share the same interests I do. I have made some very good friends that I know I can rely upon at my boarding facility. So, in general I think boarding is the best thing for me at this time and I'm hopeful it will work out well for you too.
I've never been lucky enough to have the option of boarding a horse at home. I've always had to board at places. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at now. It is a little run down, but not super busy. Everyone who actually boards horses out there I get along with (there aren't very many). There is one leaser that I can't tolerate, but if I avoid him, everything is ok. Have you ever boarded at a stable before? Depending on the barn, there are pros and cons. Odds are there will be "that one person" who casues horse drama for everyone else. (In my case, it is the leaser who comes out 3x a week) You have to be prepared to deal with people you may not get along with, where at home you have the comforts of being around people you actually like. You also have to consider any conflict you might have with your cousin. I've heard many stories of best friends that rent an apartment or room together end up hating each other. The same can go for two people sharing a horse. Events might come up. Technically, he will always be your horse, you own him and "have full rights" to him as far as major decisions go. Like you can always choose to bring him back home. If both you and cousin want to be using him in events and play days, I'd absolutely set up a schedule of when she can ride, when you can ride. Like you have m/w/f and she she t/th/s. (Not that Ir eally think your horse should be ridden 6 times a week, but you get what I mean). As for play days, switch off. You take the first one, she has the next one, etc.
So those are some cons. You also have to consider conflict with the barn owners and managers. Have you see the barn yet? Talked to the people? walked around and inspected hay and fences and stalls for quality control? If you haven't I'd do that first.
Then, assuming you are pleased with everything at the barn, and you and your cousin have worked out a schedule of who rides when, and you still want access to trainers and advice and an arena, then I think it is really up to you. Not that I'm saying you should say, "Screw you, husband!" but more like sit down and talk to him and ask him important questions like WHY he is opposed to it. If he takes no interest in the horse, why does he think you can't learn anything at this barn? Why does he think (and be demanding in getting specifics, don't just accept "cuz my coworker said so" ask WHY the coworker thinks these things. Mainly ask for examples!!) your horse will get sick? Make him realize that none of that is true, horses get sick everywhere! I'm sure your horse has been sick or injured at one point in your owning him. And "riding in circles" is necessary for teaching your horse to do things. You can't run a barrel pattern anywhere at all whenever you feel like. things like Barrels need to be done in an arena. Try explaining you have desires to fulfill with your horse that you can't do at home. As for your confidence, while I don't know why it isn't as strong as it used to be, i don't think it is a good idea to push a non-confident rider to do something they don't feel comfortable with, without some kind of supervision. While I do think that you need to "push" a rider past her comfort zone in order to grow as a horse person, if you are riding alone near ditches and ravines and you don't feel comfortable, then you don't feel safe. If you don't feel safe and try it anyway, it can result in horse and/or rider injury. Now, if you are riding on the trail near ditches and ravines WITH someone, then that person can not only tell you if you are doing something wrong and/or dangerous, but can help you by showing you that riding there is safe and ok. When training a horse to go out on the trail, typically a "buddy horse" goes with the inexperienced one to help the horse gain confidence and know that it is ok. The same exact method applies for people too!
Just my two cents. I hope you can work something out that is going to be the best for you and your horse! Good luck.
I think it is a wonderful idea for that boarding situation!
Your cousin gets a horse to ride...
You get an arena...
You get a coach...
And you don't have to clean stalls or carry around hay (but you could if you wanted to help out)
You would make a ton of horse friends!
all this for $100!!
You would be surprised at how well someone will care for your horse and you, Hondo and your cousin will learn more than you can imagine! All in a safe environment with horse people all around to help you with anything you need!
Also if you become good friends with some people, they would probably be willing to trade horses when you go on rides, so then you will get to learn how to ride different horses!
2) So don't ride in circles.... :lol: Only difference between riding in your backyard and riding in an arena is well-maintained footing and a fence, so if things go to crud the horse can't run off with you or without you (if you're lying on the ground). Plus, you can ask others to go trail riding with you!
3) Riding with another person/horse WILL give you and your horse more confidence. Riding around an arena with other people will give you the confidence to open the gate and leave...
4) Horses get sick and injured at home too...
I have my horse boarded currently. I live on a farm and have had him here too. Let me tell you, when it's -10, the wind is howling and the sleet is a flying, I love lying in bed. knowing that SOMEONE ELSE is out there feeding my horse! :D
I've done both and let me tell you, I don't like boarding my horses. Here's the cons:
-It takes more time out of your day to ride/brush/visit your horse when boarded (unless you live a couple minutes walk away). At home you walk out your back door and there's your horse. It's not always easy to set time out of your day, every day, to go spend time with your horse.
-Barn politics exist and suck.
-There are often extremely rude people at barns that you normally would not put up with in your life. Lets also not forget the know-it-alls who will drive you out of your mind telling you how everything you do is wrong. Overall, I can guarantee there will be people at the barn you really don't like or want to be around. I've had the wife refuse to go to the barn sometimes, she looks at the clock and says X is there right now and I don't want to be there when she is.
-Horses will get sick more often. Combination of close quarters and people who pet a sick horse then come pet your horse.
-Without daily turn outs your horse spends way to much just standing in place. This standing in a 12x12 stall all day isn't healthy for them. This is very hard on the young energetic horses and the older ones who need to keep moving or stove up.
-Horses pick up bad habits quickly from watching other horses, expect yours to gain some bad habits.
-Arena hoggers, those who think when they are in the arena the whole thing belongs to them. Sharing never comes to mind and often BO don't enforce sharing the arena.
-If you don't feed your horse, you don't know if it's been fed.
-If you bring in your own feed/supplements/treats people often end up filching it for their horses.
-Other people using your stuff without permission and seem to think you wont mind or don't care if they know you do.
I think you should give the yard a try and see how it goes because right now you have a horse that you pretty much arent able to do anything with
I managed a big yard for 10 years and then my own small yard and we always had a 'happy ship' and lots of satisfied clients.
I know some yards can be bad but it certainly isnt always the case and unless you see for yourself you'll never know
You can always move if it doesnt work out for you
Horses kept on yards should always be vaccinated for the likely contagious diseases - ask about that sort of thing in advance.
In the 5 years I've owned my horse, he's been sick exactly once. He contracted Potomac Horse Fever (from an insect of some sort) back in the first year I owned him. No other horses got it. He's been in a boarding barn ever since a few months after I bought him (kept with my parent's neighbors horses for the first 2-3 months). I do yearly shots every spring, and I try to cover everything I can since he did contract PHF before already. Horses do not get sick all of the time at boarding barns.
Those "circles" will help any and all horses. I'm a big fan of trail riding, but my horse benefits from his ring work. And then our trail rides are even better!
I really like boarding. My work schedule is too much for me to care for a horse twice a day. I just moved my horse to another barn in January after over 4 years at my old barn. There was a few reasons I moved, none of them to do with the quality of care at my old barn. I'd move back in a heartbeat if I needed to move my horse from his new barn. At both barns, I completely trust the people there to take care of my horse and that they will let me know if anything is wrong right away. That's what a good boarding barn is. And I would never let anyone keep my horse in a stall all the time. He likes to be outside. He's out in a pasture 24/7 aside from his morning and evening grain, in which he comes into a stall to eat separately from other horses. He does stay in his stall and little paddock when bad weather is forecasted because they don't have a shelter built in that pasture yet (there are trees though). General advice since you're talking about boarding at one particular location- Either find a barn that does a turnout set-up you like, or one that's willing to put your horse on whatever turnout schedule you want.
Horsequeen08 has some great advice in her post. Definitely check out the barn and the people there. There's no barn drama at my new barn. It's great. But, if there's a lot of drama at your barn, it can cause quite a headache.
Everything in your little deal to board sounds really nice, and pretty darn cheap for what you're getting. Definitely check it out! And if it doesn't work out, your home will still be there for him to come back to.
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