First off, I keep my three horses at home and wouldn't want it any other way. It's a lot of work, but I get to spend lots of time with them. I will say though that like
, I don't ride as much as I'd like because the chores take up the vast majority of my time. By the time I finish chores, I have very little time left for riding. I don't really mind that much since I enjoy just being around them, but it is something people complain about when keeping their horses at home.
It does sound like you haven't really put a lot of thought into it. Being at work during the day is not a problem (I suggest using slow-feeder nets so they have hay for a while, not just twice a day). But you want to put some thought into planning layout before you make the move. Think about all the seasons and what you might be dealing with. Here are a few questions you might ask yourself:
- does the barn have running water? If not, you may want to install some. Unless you are in a warm state, hoses will freeze and carrying buckets of water from the house gets old really fast. Also, while we're on it, how will you keep the water from freezing in their buckets? Heated water buckets are great (that's what I use), but you have to have electricity in the barn, and it should be done professionally by someone who has wired horse barns before. It's important to avoid fire hazards, so put outlets anywhere you will need to plug things in. Using extension cords is not recommended because they are a fire hazard.
- so does the barn have electricity or will it need to be upgraded or installed? Other than the water buckets, you will want to have lighting in the barn. Winter days are short, and without lights in the barn, you might manage in the summer, but in winter, you'll want to be able to go to the barn in the evening, especially since you work during the day. Those lights will have to be encased in cages or globes for safety.
- what does your fence look like? Winter is hard on fences.
- Do you have enough space to turn the horses out without ruining the land?
- Where will you store your hay for the winter? It's not a good idea to leave it outside obviously. How much can you store? Calculate your needs and look at the space critically.
- Where will you pile the manure? You'll be shocked at how much there is. It can be worse in the winter because they tend to stay in a smaller area so it really piles up AND it freezes solid if you're in a cold area. I use a pitchfork to pry it up and remove it. Otherwise, spring will come and you will have several feet of thawing manure to remove, making a huge mess.
- Are you ok with never taking a day off from barn chores? You will have to look after the horses even when you're sick, even in the middle of a big storm, even when all your friends are going away on a trip.
- Do your horses have winter blankets (again, this depends on where you live, but in a hot state, you will have to think of heat, anything in between, probably rain), can they get away from the weather/sun/flies when you're not home? A set up like a run-in or shelter can fix that and give the horses a place to escape from all of the above. But it should be a good, safe shelter that will not get knocked over, kicked through, etc.
Those are my first thoughts, but I'm sure there are lots more things to consider, depending on your situation. If you can answer all of them without hesitation, then maybe having your horses at home is for you. If you're not sure, maybe wait a little longer. Maybe start working on reconfiguring your property to make your life a little easier, and the horses a little more comfortable. Rushing into this is probably not a great idea.