Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pros and Cons of Having Horses at Home

this is not all ours. this is our neighbors huge hay field,
looking out at our little farm. (the cat is mine...)
For those of you that board, you might think "there's a CON to this?" Why yes. There are logically pros and cons to everything ever.  It's not all fun and games. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE having my boy at home and the racehorses too when they are on vay-cay. But there are days I miss barns full of other riders. I have heard complaints from boarders wishing they had their own farm and people with horses at home wishing they could afford to board. So here's the lists from my prospective as someone who has her own farm (with her fiancĂ©) and who also happens to be very opinionated ;)

The Obvious Pros
  1. Having ponypants at home at all times!!!!
  2. Being able to ride whenever you feel like it... rain, snow, hot, cold, too early, too late...
  3. Controlling your feeding times, grain amount and hay amount
  4. Controlling how much turnout ponypants gets. For me, it's the more the better!
  5. Being able to know everything that's going on, for example, if someone (*cough Curtis cough*) runs through a fence, I KNOW about it and can be there to handle it.
  6. Mucho work outs all week: stall cleaning, hay bale lifting, wheel barrel tugging, grain sack hefting, water hose dragging. Keeps me fit!
  7. Getting up every morning to friendly nickers and going to bed every night after fuzzy kisses.
  8. Being able to decide what is right for my horse and not having to play by someone else's rules.
  9. Not having to deal with any potential drama-causing, barn snobs.
  10. No one is going to take my crap w/o permission then make me go hunting for it when it wasn't returned.
  11. I pick my hay. I know it's good hay.
  12. I do what I want!
  13. Almost never have to worry about the horses
  14. Not having someone give you crap for blanketing/not blanketing your horse.
  15. Making the rules... well my person and I both do. Which is better than being somewhere else, because I'm not very good at FOLLOWING rules....
  16. No one to judge me on how I handle naughty ponies. This does NOT mean I beat my horse. I never would. But I lay down the law because 11 year old grown up boys can be naughty too and try and get away with stuff. I don't have 12 different people all telling me why what I'm doing to handle a pissy pony is wrong and bad. And then the TB's can get VERY naughty too.....

Home sweet home.

The Inevitable Cons (there aren't more, just longer explanations...)
  1. Never getting to sleep in EVER. Dogs can have the door opened and sent on their merry way. Horses must be fed. Or they will make you think they are knocking their stall down. For me, 8am is sleeping in.... and that's pushing it.
  2. After a long day at the office, the stalls still won't clean themselves and water tanks won't fill themselves.
  3. Winter. Frozen. Cold. Constant stall cleaning, ice breaking, bucket lugging bullcrap.
  4. Hardly ever getting to go out of town or stay out late because you have to find someone to feed, water, bring in/turn out the horses (and dogs and cats).
  5. Not having someone to hang out with in the barn. Get's lonely. Right now I have a barn buddy. And my bestie and her saddlebredX will be spending more time at the farm as it warms up. But I do A LOT of riding by myself  and it's really not as much fun as riding with a friend or a few other buddies.
  6. NO RIDING RING. BIGGEST CON EVER. If I boarded at a riding stable.... I'D HAVE A RIDING RING. I have a yard that's big enough for a 20x40 or a few jumps and some fields for cantering and galloping. But it has to be DRY. BONE DRY. So if it's a wet year, it really puts a damper on things.
  7. No time to be lazy. You own a farm there are always 15907656789 things to do. I am a person who really enjoys a good lazy day. But they are few and far between. Grass to mow, paddock to brush hog, fences to fix, troughs to fill etc etc etc. We have 7 acres and anywhere from 1-4 horses at a time and I'm always trying to keep up. To those people that manage 20 or 30 acres alone, I give you MANY KUDDOS. When you board, you don't have to do all the handy work.
  8. Always trying to find hay and keep hay and bedding stocked
  9. Not being able to share tack with people... I have neighbors. They all ride western...
  10. If all the racehorses are at the track then Twister is usually alone and this gives him mental breakdowns.

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite parts of having horses somewhere else or horses at home?

I would never ever ever change it in a million years. I love having my "kiddos" at home. It's my dream come true. But it's a lot of hard work to be able to have them at home. But in the end, totally 500% worth it.

Life is GOOD.


  1. After doing both, I would choose boarding over horses at home any day of the week.

    1. I never boarded. But I leased at another farm for 4 or 5 years. That sucked a lot. Except for having and indoor and an outdoor....

  2. i have so much respect for ppl who keep their horses at home - and definitely see how it can be so rewarding. that said tho, i don't think i'll ever go that route myself - boarding suits me jusssssst fine :)