For those of you who don't know my situation, I keep my horse at my MIL's place about 25 miles from my house. The set-up is great - 5 acres and a fantastic barn that has large stalls with paddocks attached so she has access to the outdoors 24 hrs/day. Lily gets turned out daily and she loves it. However, during the winter it is difficult to get there and spend any quality time with her and this winter we paid the price for it, Lily got a little bit pushy(not too big of deal and we're currently working with her on it). Although my MIL is a very experienced horse person she is VERY controlling and she yells all the time. She gets mad at my daughter easily if she is giving her a lesson, gets frustrated with me (not very experienced) if I want to try something my way, etc..
I have found a place within walking distance of us where I think I can keep her this coming fall/winter. However, there is a trade-off and I'm not sure what is best for Lily. The new place has a barn (no paddock attached) and a riding arena but very little turnout area. They have 3 small paddocks so Lily can be outside every day but she won't be able to have much space outside. She also might have to be alone, but there are horses on the other side of the fence. On the flip side there is an outdoor riding arena so we can work with her when weather permits. Of course if we move her we will be spending time with her daily, so that would be great.
Feel free to offer any opinions on the situation. I have lots of time to think about it and it isn't 100% yet (the woman was very open to the idea but she needs to talk to her hubby).
Will there be someone there to help your daughter and you with riding lessons? Your MIL's nose will probably a "bit" out of joint, but there is nothing like having your horse near you. Handling her daily will also help with the respect issue. What will the responsibilities of the BO be ect...good to figure that all out first.
I always make a Pro and Con list with major decisions. It helps me organize my thoughts and identify any potential gaps.
Update - I just heard back from the BO and she gave us the green light (for this fall/winter). The agreement is that they supply the barn/arena and I do all of the rest. I know that they compost the manure on the property so I won't have to do more than stall cleaning as far as that goes. I can easily feed and do stalls daily because this is only a mile and a half from my home and I easily have an hour or two per day (right now my commute time alone is almost 2 hrs). I'm a little worried about Lily being alone, but as I mentioned before there are horses on the other side of the property line fence. Do you think she'll be alright for 4 months or so without a stablemate? Other than that my only other concern is that she won't have access to the outside unless she is out in one of the small paddocks.
The BO has a daughter graduating from college and moving back home for a while who has given lessons before and apparently a former A-circuit hunter/jumper. I asked if she'd be interested in giving lessons and the mom said that she probably would. Don't know how it will work until we try...
as a barn operator I run a very calm barn, I always remain calm and quiet around my horses. The place your horse is at now sounds like it could be giving your horse some anxiety, if she is yelling and intense. Horses feel that. I think moving her closer to you and getting her out of that situation is a good idea, although I have concerns about your horse being on her own. They are better with other horses around, although that too depends on the horse. It wont hurt to give it a try, have her closer to you and hopefully seeing the other horses over the fence will be enough for her! good luck and all the best :)
As long as she gets daily turn out time, at least 3-4 hours a day, with friends in an adjoining paddock, she should be fine. Especially if you make it a point to go out 6 days a week and let her run in the arena for a bit before working her.
I have mine in my front yard! While their pasture isn't ideal (about 0.7 acres with two horses on it, no barn, just a shelter), they are happier than ever! They get to see us 3-4 times a day, we work with them a lot, and they are much more "loving" and bonded with us. It was well worth the move. We're looking for more property within walking distance, so we can have pastures to rotate the horse's on, but having them outside my living room window is just wonderful beyond words ;-).
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