Help me decide: Self care vs. Full care vs. Pasture
Hey guys. We just moved my horse and my fiance's horse to the city where we bought our house, and they are now in a great boarding facility 5 minutes from our house in town. We are planning on selling my fiance's horse, and have a lady who is very interested in her coming to see her/try her out on Wednesday. However, with my horse, I had originally planned on putting her on pasture board, as she has had a bad experience with being stalled (her stall was right by a lot of traffic, only 8' X 8', and she is a hot horse, so she paced enough to wear her hooves down to the white part and lost a LOT of weight).
However, when we brought the horses in last night, we stalled them both, and this morning, my horse was calmly standing there. So, now I'm wondering if I'd be able to stall her this time, since there is less traffic and it's a much bigger stall.
My thoughts are that it costs $140 a month for pasture board, and I can use the facilities the same as a person with a stall, but pastured horses tend to get really muddy, and in the winter it's a pain in the butt. I don't think the pastured horses have a shelter either. So, I was thinking that since I live so close to the farm, I could get a stall for her and do self-care (meaning I'd turn her out/bring her in, and supply and take care of all her bedding, food, water, and all other needs) instead of full-care. Self-care is $180 a month, and if they turn your horse out/bring it in for you, it's $205 a month. Full service board is $275 a month.
My big question is, how much would I actually be saving by doing self-care board over full-service board? I don't have a problem driving to the stable twice a day for turnout/bring in, since it's so ridiculously close, and I would feel better knowing if it's really nasty weather, she will stay nice and dry in a stall. Plus, for our shows, it would make it so much handier to have a stall.
So how much does it cost per month for hay (grass or timothy preferably...she's hot enough as it is...no alfalfa!) and bedding? I have all the other supplies for her I think.
I don't know about costs, except to say that board in your area is ridiculously cheap by our standards (ours is at least twice , maybe thrice that amount!),
But I can say that pasture kept horses are usually a lot happier, healthier and dont' need pre-ride lunging. I think your area gets very cold, so that could be an issue in the winter, if you plan to ride and you have to do a trace clip or something. Our horses are non blanketted all year, but our weather is pretty wussy compared to yours.
Haha yeah, this pasture board is $20 cheaper a month than the stable I boarded at during college. And I'm south of where I was for college, and it's much warmer here...my horse has dealt with -50F windchills...she's tough, and I do blanket her. I just feel that horses should be able to get out of the wind at least.
Also, the stalled horses are put out in a paddock with grass during the day, so she would only be stalled at night and get plenty of exercise. She doesn't need to be lunged anyways usually, unless she's had extra jalepenos for breakfast that day!
Thanks for your input! :)
So I'm roughly calculating $25-$35/month for hay (she's around 800-850 lbs), and I am thinking I'd use wood pellets for bedding (we have sawmills here that I think we could get them fairly cheap), so after the initial setup that fills the stall up, I'd probably only replace 1-2 a week, so I'm estimating around $35/month for bedding...is that reasonable? It would save me around $25 a month from what full-care is. Good deal or no?
All those prices sound really good! One thing you should consider though, is how much is your time worth? If you are going to have to travel to get loose shavings or pellets from a mill every week or two, when you could spend that time riding, would it be worth it? You should add gas money into the mix too.
Thanks AQHA13! I didn't even think of that. If the mill is cheaper than Menards (they have wood stove pellets--$4 for a 40 lb bag I believe), then I will factor in that. However, I just realized there is a Menards across the street from the stable, so that wouldn't cost me any gas to go there, since it's right by the stable. The hay will still cost money though, but we can get fairly big loads and put it up in the hay loft at the stable, so you don't have to buy bale by bale.
And my fiance' isn't too keen on riding, so he said that when I come out to ride, he'd muck out my horse's stall for me and get her food and water all set up, so that's not going to be too much time wasted. I'll still do it when I go out to the barn without him of course. :)
personally I think full care is totally worth the cost. (we don't even have an option of pasture or self care, anyway) But I live 20 minutes away from my barn, and I do not have the time, nor can I afford the gas money it would take to go out Twice a day. - heck, I don't even go out Every day.
Since you are so close and if the cost savings is worth it to you...
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