What to do about my own barn! ADVICE PLEASE! :D
So I have owned horses forever and worked with them forever but I have only boarded not had my own place. Well right now I have the opportunity to have my own 9 stall barn (beautiful!) on ALOT of acres. My question is do you think I will miss boarding at someones place or what? Like pros and cons? What do ya'lll preffer? Your own place or boarding? Let me know your thoughts!
Things to consider when venturing on your own -
Do you go out of town on a frequent basis?
Do you have buddies you like to ride with?
Work odd or long hours?
Have a medical condition that interferes with breathing or lifting?
That really is a decision that no one else can make for you.
Yes, you will now be riding alone. Yes, now when your horse comes in with a cut there is no one to debate call the vet or not with you. Yes, you will have to go out and feed even when the weather sucks and you have the flu. Yes, when you only have limited time it means no riding because chores come first.
The pluses to me outweigh the negatives. I can look out the window and see my horses napping in the sun. Everything at my barn is done my way. No having to deal with the barn owner or anyone else making care decisions for me.
Sit down and make a pro vs. con list and go from there.
Okay having done both I will give you my personal pros and cons... but in the end it's best to figure out how much ambition and desire you have to care for your horse and how much you just want to spend time riding and playing around.
I get to control everything (being a control freak I love this part).. feed, where to put them, when to bring them in, leave them out, blanket/ no blanket.. you get the idea.
I know my horse(s) get the care I want them to have at all time.
It's cheaper... if you don't have a mortgage which I don't. It may take some time to find the best feed stores and hay guys but in the end the cost is cheaper. Not that I don't believe that most BO earn every cent they charge. In fact having my own stable has given me a better understanding and new respect for the hard working BO.
You make the rules (this may fall under the control part). When, where, how you want to ride. As for being alone, well you could find a friend to board with you (warning... you will then be the BO and enjoy all headaches pertaining to such responsiblity)
You don't have to worry about others messing around or harming your horse or tack.
Waking up at 3:30am and having to go out in the pouring rain to round up the pain in the butt horses who decided the grass was greener on the other side.
You are responsible to see and respond to all injuries and possible sicknesses.
Finding decent feed stores and hay people.
Job is 24/7/365 and good luck finding a decent and affordable farm sitter. If you have a good one, please send my way :lol:. There is no such thing as a holiday or weekend. After awhile you forget what day of the week it is anyway.
You are in control of everything, yes I did put it on the pro but it is also a con. With great power comes great responsibility. Your horse gets injured or injures another YOU are the sole person who will take all the blame. For me this put a lot of pressure and I have had to learn not to overreact to every little thing... things I never thought of worrisome before since someone else was around to look after my horse.
These are just a few of the pros and cons. Biggest recommendation... just like when you are learning to ride you find those more experianced to help... your life will be a lot smoother if you can find other experianced BO's to help you through the rough patches.
Personally, I love it, but I do wish I had started a bit smaller. I now have 10 horses and it is a lot of work. There are times when selling everyone and just keeping the one horse is appealing.:wink:
Crossover summed it up nicely. I'll add a few things.
It will go from a hobby to a life style. Horses will get sick when you are dressed for a wedding or other event.
You become the magic genie who always kept the water sprarkling & the stalls clean.
If you have a spousal unit who does not fully support the horse lifestyle it will become a problem.
That said, I love having my own barn & wouldn't change a thing, though I sometimes feel differently when there is a blizzard or I'm sick.
I agree with Natisha and Crossover - and will add that an acreage brings its own set of chores above and beyond the horses and stall/water chores. We find ourselves continually caring for or mowing the pasture to have safe grazing places free of weeds and so forth. Our 20 acres is too much to easily mow (it takes a weekend with our mid size tractor) yet too small for the area farmers to be willing to come and bale it for us. It's so time consuming that we bought sheep to help keep the grass mowed, in hopes that DH could actually get off the tractor once in a while and ride with me. And that's just the fair-weather work! In rainy weather or winter there are different chores...
But, we love it here, and I"m so grateful that DH is willing to do so much of the heavy work.
I love having horses at home. But as mentioned, your life will change. When you want to go to a cool once in a life time concert or event and your horse colics... you are SOL. Bummer for you. Or how about when all you want to do is sleep but your horse is sick and needs to be walked/tended to. No sleep for you! :) It truly is a bunch of work, depending on what you do with your horses. It is a major responsibility, so I recommend having someone you can consult with before you make decisions until you feel like you've got it all down.
But I feel that it is truly worth it. Your horses start to depend on you and you will feel that deeper bond. You are now the provider. They don't see other people, other than you. Personally, I feel like I could never board my horse. Yes, you ride alone but I would take that for the wonderful feeling of seeing my horses run around the pasture together, or putting them to bed in the freezing weather, or going out to ride when ever I choose. (Not to mention the gas money you save!). I love it.
I'll bet, the first winter, the first spring, the first summer, and the first fall are going to suck. :) You'll find glitches and it's going to stress you out like crazy. BUT take it as you are learning. Learn from that first year and then you can prevent new stuff in the coming years. I have had horses with me for about 8 1/2 years. I'm still learning stuff as far as maintenance. Gravel over the mud to help when it POURS rain, water down the arena when it's dusty, make drains in the arena so I'm not riding in a lake, dig rivets so the water doesn't go into that stalls, etc. You learn a lot and it's a lot of work but as said... definitely worth it :D Good luck!
There are those who need to have other people around and those who are content to ride alone altho I never felt I was alone. Which are you?
Owning your own place, you don't have to worry about if your horse got their medicine that night, or if they got turned out in the right field, or etc. You're in control, which , to me, sounds like that's always the best thing. And if you get bored riding alone, you could always become a small boarding stable, which is how my barn came about! Lol
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