Should I foster then or not...? HELP!!!
So Bear was sold, as some of you may know. I now only have Junior, and I would keep him, but we hate each other undersaddle. My friend wants me to foster two of her horses (she could be paying for everything and I would be getting free use of a horse and lessons). She would also have a boarder keeping her horse at my place. I am having second thoughts because I don't have anyone to take care of the horses if I need to go out of town. I have owned horses for years, and I know how hard it is to keep horses at home.
I am 15 years old (birthdays in August), in 10th grade, about to get my permit and will be getting a job soon. I have a LOT on my plate currently. I am worried about fitting three horses into that. BUT on the flip side of things, until I get a job, this would be my only way to keep on riding. I don't think I could go without riding again, it would be the end of Nerissa as we know her (haha).
Do you think I am being logical in taking on the care of these horses? I think this could be a really good experience for me. But if someone decides they want the horse I would be working with, he would be gone. I just can't make up my mind... I need someone to talk me through this.
Would you be getting paid to take care of her horses, or just reimbursed for the feed costs?
Would these horses be on your property? You might have to look into the insurance and liability side of things as well--the insurance we have doesn't allow boarding of other people's horses on our property.
Horses are a lot of work (as you know!). It takes dedication and motivation to get out there twice a day to feed and care for everyone, especially when they are on your property. If I were you, I would think about how much time you would have left to spend with your own horse--would you still have time to ride after caring for 3 horses?
Two of the horses would be being kept there for feed, but the owner would bring all of her own feed for the horses and would be paying for everything. I would be getting free weekly lessons (plus I'm sure I would be getting pointers and such on other days). I would pretty much make one of the horses my project. The third horse would be a boarded horse. They would be paying $100-$150 plus all feed.
The person keeping her horses here would be helping fix my place up as well (getting the stalls finished, fixing up fencing).
I just don't know if I am being logical right now... I really don't want to stop riding, but I'm not sure if I am getting myself into something I can't handle. I will MAKE time to ride no matter what. I am currently riding five times a week for 30-45 minutes on my horse, as he needs to stay in decent shape for being rehomed.
I know you guys can't tell me if I should or shouldn't do this, I just need people to talk to.
There a definite pro sides and con sides. The knowledge is invaluable, both lessons, and having other horses to care for. The help fixing up the place would be awesome too, and hopefully it would get done faster as well. As for finding someone to care for them if you go out of town, I know that there are several people in my area that will feed, clean, and water your horses for a reasonable fee if you were going on vacation. Its not the same thing as having someone on the property watching them all night long, or all day long, but at least they would be getting fed. What about the horse's owners, maybe they could step in and feed if you needed to be gone. It takes time and effort to care for horses on your property, but if you think that you would be able to take care of the horses, ride, and still have time for school work, and friends, then I would seriously consider it, draw up a draft of a contract, hours of the place, so you don't have owners or potential buyers, or whatever coming on your property at all hours of the day and night, what they can use, and where, ect ect, and see what all the parties involved think.
You bring up good points, dressagebelle. None of my family would be willing to help me take care of the horses if I wanted/needed to go out of town, so it would have to be the owner who comes out to feed. I don't go out of town often, I make most of my friends come to me (haha). The only reason I would was if I needed to go to Seattle to go see my dad or something. I guess that is one of my biggest concerns, I have a hell of a time getting away from the house for even one night.
Does anyone know of any contracts that are good? I would probably have to alter it, but I would like to have a good outline.
How long is this supposed to last for? would this be a permanent relocation?
You are being very smart about not jumping on this and thinking it through. I have done this before for some people in the past, and it's always been a great experience. Everything to consider, has already been mentioned above I think, but I'll go through my own thoughts and experience's I've had about this and will post some of the same points again.
Doing this kind of trade with someone is great, because it's giving you a fantastic opportunity to get some really valuable experience, along with the free lessons and horse to ride. It's hard to get anything for free or in exchange of work or favor these days, so it's fantastic you have that opportunity. Having said that, you need to make sure you have insurance to cover emergencies or anything negative that might or could happen in the future. As you know things can go downhill VERY quickly. Should a horse escape or break a fence and head on a highway, should a neighbor climb into your field and get hurt etc etc...the list goes on and on.
You have to make sure that your friend, is a very good friend. You have to make sure you have a very good relationship with this person, because you are going to be working together closely. Tho it never happened to me, you have to make sure that you make your exchange of board and free lessons, horse etc very clear. Even if you start out strong with your friendship with someone, when a deal like this takes place, I've seen good friendships get wrecked over bad communication, or someone trying to use someone else or just bad behavior or lack of respect.
Contracts!!!!!!!! I don't care if it's the Queen of England boarding her horses at your place, you have to have contracts in place that clearly explain what both parties are responsible for and by what date. You have to have something in place should she stop paying for board, or quit feeding the horses, or causes you difficulties with anything.
If it's someone you really trust and can do business with, than this will be one of the best experiences you will ever have. I've gotten to ride some pretty incredible horses for free, or for next to nothing because I did favors to people, you just have to be very smart and very careful.
Thanks for the great post M2G. I think what I am going to do is say that we must renew the contract every two months, just to be on the safe side.
I have no idea how long they will be staying and I have to find Junior a new home before they even come.
Thanks for all of the great advice everyone!! I will keep y'all up to date. :)
Washington state does have an equine limited liability law Linky, so that does help you some.
I still would be more concerned about the issue of liability and getting sued than I would with the work load.
You are a minor so you can not legally enter into a contract. This has to be a contract between the horse owners and your parents.
Are they willing to take out Care, Custody and Control insurance? It is something you need if you are boarding.
I am guessing once you run it by your parents and how they will be liable if something goes wrong, your ability to have time to do the work will be a mute point.
You said you are 15 years old?
I just wanted to comment on how mature you seem for 15 years old and that is very respectable.
I have more to say about the situation but its dinner time for the horses ;)
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