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Old 06-15-2009, 03:41 PM   #1
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Boarding vs keeping horses at home

I am just curious to hear from people who have had it both ways, boarded their horses and have kept them on their own property. Pros, cons, are you glad to have them on your property?

I have only boarded mine as I live in a subdivision. I hope to one day get a place where I can keep them, and I just wanted people's opinions, input on this.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:51 PM   #2
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I have always kept my horses at my place until I got divorced, married a tried and true city boy and finally just got him into a small town to live So I have been boarding my horses for a long time now. I have boarded at a small farm with a few other boarders, boarded at a barn with lots of other horses and now my favorite. I board with a retired (due to a brain tumor several years ago but my age) farmer. My horses have a barn and 15 acres of pasture. One pasture is about 11 acres and the other about 4... the horses are rotated between the pastures. I buy my own hay and he feeds. My horses are the only horses there and he will not board for another family while I am there so only will ever be my horses. Mic is a great guy, well respected in the community. He finds my hay and I get the best prices from him. Last big round bales I bought were at $50 a bale. If he notices something with the horses he calls, when Happy had to be euthanized he was there and held her while the vet gave her the shots. He gave me the name of the man with the backhoe and he made Madison a plaque to paint to put on a fence post he sunk when Happy was buried. Yes, Mic was there and helped with the burial. So am I happy? You bet. I pay $50 per horse a month, I park my trailer there and I never have to do anything in the winter but write the check and tell him OK, when he calls and tells me he is dropping another bale in Oh and Mic only lives 1 1/4 mile from me so it is just about as good as in your own backyard. Better than some ranches with all the acres they have
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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I have done both. When I first got horses as an adult, I boarded at a wonderful barn full of show folks and some trail folks. Really like the family feeling of the barn. I keep them at home now - love having them close every day. I also have pasture boarded with a bunch of other folks and also at a persons house where my horses were the only ones. Didn't like the boarding by myself near as much as with other folks. All things being equal, I love having them at home, but miss the luxury of lots of other horse crazy people and an indoor arena.
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #4
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I've never actually boarded. We've always kept our horses at our home. Even my first house I rented out on my own, I got to rent the pasture too, as it was an old farmhouse. Right now is as close to boarding as I've ever been. We leased 160 acres until about a month ago, and it was just us. We just bought 10 acres, so they are on that now. We don't live on the 10 acres yet, but we are only 5.4 miles from there. And will hopefully be moved there within the next several months. I can't compare to a boarding barn, but I know that I love having them at my house.

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Old 06-15-2009, 05:28 PM   #5
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I've done both. We boarded at several different places until we got our own place. Everything from the big fancy show barn with all the amenities on down to a leased pasture with nothing but fencing and grass.

I always thought that once we could have our horses in the backyard we'd ride alot more. Just the opposite has happened. It seems we always have something else that needs to be done before riding. So we never get the chance unless ironically we load them in a trailer and go somewhere.

But that said I don't think I'd ever go back to boarding unless it was just for use of an indoor during the winter or something like that. I much prefer to have my horses where I can be assured that they are being taken care of, that they always have water, hay, etc.
Make that 6 years!

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Old 06-15-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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We've done both...but the boarding situations always included a lot of work on our part (self-care, with us pitching in extra work to get deals on board $$) so I prefer having them in my own backyard. They're closer for times when you just need to run out there for a quick whatever, saves gas (driving back and forth to the barn no longer required!), and I enjoy having them right out my window, where I get to see their funny personalities and games. When we boarded out, it was a HUGE treat to see them lying down taking a I get to see it all the time, and I love it!

It is a lot more work, but when you have 5 horses, unless you're made of money, boarding at a facility where it's all done for you is just not feasible.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:46 AM   #7
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well this is one of those things that has pros and cons on both sides.
HOME PROS; horses are close and no driving involved, you can monitor them easier if they are sick or hurt, no boarding costs/fees, feed what ever feed you want,
HOME CONS; if it breaks you have to fix it, no friends close by to ride with, must build own training rings, must drive to see horses

BOARDING PROS; people to get training/feeding advice from, trail riding clubs, social interaction with people like yourself, if you go out of town you know your horses are in good hands

BOARDING CONS; boarding fees, must use same feed, horses that do not get along may get scratched up and have life longs scars from aggressive horses, must make that drive to see or ride your horse.

I currently have both of my horses at my home that I bought three years ago and I just love it when I open my back door and can see my "babies" anytime I want to it is a labor of love
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:47 AM   #8
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I boarded for a short time while my house was being built in 1990. I kept my first 2 horses at a friends house. Hated it... My tack was always everywhere cause her kids used it They rode them without my permission, complained if I said something about it and they were out of hay more then once. The real kicker was when I was there riding one day and some guy was killing the bunnies she raised to eat I did NOT want to see that done. It was pretty bad

I love being a backyard horse owner Yep, sure do...
Ive also boarded for a couple friends.....Never again. 200 a month was not worth breaking my back doing all the work. Im talking full board, feed/hay included in the price. Ive been asked a couple times to board. NOPE
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #9
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I have had the pleasure of both boarding and in my back yard. Right now, my horses are in my back yard.............but if I had the choice again, I would board. I like the comradery of a boarding stable, meeting people, people to ride with etc ............ I miss riding with others. I ride by myself now as hubby doesn't ride. I have even thought about boarding out and just keeping an empty barn in my back yard, but hubby didn't like that idea.

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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I have done both and if I have the choice I will never board again! I love having my horses at home and don't miss the drama that goes on when boarding. It seems when ever you board with more than one other person drama tends to unfold.
I much rather go out and feed at -50 than deal with others a) not feeding or b) not feeding how I would like it.
If I want to ride with friends I have some just down the road within riding distance, but usually when I went to work with the horses it was alone or with hubby so I'm one happy camper right now.
In my opinion, a horse is the animal to have. Eleven-hundred pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs it's something you just can't get from hamster..

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:16 PM   #11
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I have done both.. Mine are at home now and will stay that way.. Although I am renting pasture for my broodmares.. the riding horses stay here.. I have had them at barns and just pasutres where I cared for them.. the worst part is the driving... I got really tired of the know-it-alls, the theives and the out of control children on was hard to use the arena with other people and their own agendas (how dare they not consult me first)..
It is also cheaper in the long run for me to keep a majority of them at home..

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:11 PM   #12
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I will say that no matter where I have been boarding I keep all my tack but a halter, lead and fly masks locked in my trailer. I pull my horses in the trailer at least once a week but sometimes more. It is a lot handier to have everything in the trailer ready to go. All I have to do is hook up, grab the horses and off we go And I never have any missing tack.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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I liked boarding. Less upkeep to take care of, I had lots of access to trails, arenas, always someone around, if I couldn't make it out, then I knew they'd still be fed. But I didn't like the 'know it alls' personalities, the snobby ones or the pushy ones (people). I didn't like people feeding my horses treats. I didn't like paying SO much when I could be putting that money into my own place..

I like having them at home- I can go out in my pjs and do my chores if I want, I can see them out the window of my house, no travel time involved in getting to them, having pride of my own place.
But there is alot of work to get set up for horses (if you start from scratch w/ building and fences) and once you have it, to maintain it all is alot of work as well, including fertilizing land, weed control etc but- when it's all done, and you look it over, it feels good knowing it's yours.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:23 PM   #14
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I've done both and loved having my horses close, esp when raising foals however I prefer to board.
I like the social atmosphere and want to take lessons and compete. I manage to stay out of the politics and drama at any barn that I'm at. I definitely ride more when I board.

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Old 06-16-2009, 05:11 PM   #15
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done both and really there is nothing like walking out your door day or night and having your horse right there! Sure you need to do the work yourself, but you have no one to blame but yourself. You can ride anytime! Not to mention kisses, morning greetings, coming home from work greetings, and if they are sick/hurt you are right there! Sharing them with the non-horsie family and just all the stuff you miss when not at the barn!
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:10 PM   #16
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Our horses are with us at home. I had a terrible experience boarding my first horse. I would never board my horse where handlers don't know how to be with a horse in the way I am with mine.

It may be more work to keep a horse at home, but I don't mind. They are where you know what they are doing and how they are being treated.

The stable manager where I boarded Magic didn't like him. He had not done anything unacceptable. His behavior was next to perfect. She just didn't like him because she didn't want me to buy him and I did anyhow. She left him outside by himself and brought all the other horses in, she slapped him when she decided he didn't have manners - just an excuse. That was when I brought him home and got rid of her. The only reason he was boarded was because I took lessons at that barn; she was the instructor.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:00 PM   #17
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I don't think I'd ever board my horse, except in an emergency. One of the stables in town I'd trust them with my horse..however I could never afford the boarding fees with the kind of care I want for her.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:14 PM   #18
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I've done both and I prefer mine at home. I'm one of those people that sadly can get super busy and be unable to make it out to a boarding facility to see my horses(out of sight out of mind kinda) but with them at home I'm forced to make time and it actually was more relaxing in general plus I did a lot more riding and showing.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:20 PM   #19
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i've done both..I hate having my horses at home..Even when i had my own barn i didnt like it.
I think i like having the social part of boarding..even all the drama! LOL
When they are at home i dont feel like doing anything with them.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:06 AM   #20
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I have done both as well.. Benefits with the boarding is that they had an indoor arena - made riding daily easily, and allowed me to keep my horses fit for showing all year long. It also meant that if I needed to go somewhere, someone else would ensure that they were fed and cared for. Plus it was nice to have riding buddies..

They are all at home now. I really enjoy having them here - they really are no down sides.

I had a good experience both ways..
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