Monday, July 7, 2008

Board my horse or keep him at home?

Don't you just love the photo on the left? Once someone suggested that I blog about boarding versus keeping a horse at home. While I've never kept a horse at home, I've talked to, and horse sat, for folks who do. And of course, I've been boarding for a long time. I thought I'd offer my impressions of the pros and cons of both options. Here it is!



“This footing is as hard as a rock!”

“Honey, you promised to drag the ring!”


“I don’t like the farrier we use.”

“Boss, I need time off to meet the farrier.”


“No one told me the horses were getting shots today!”

“The vet can't fit me in today; it's too far out of his way for just one horse."


“God these people are a pain!”

“God, I miss riding with other people!”


“They’re so stingy with shavings!”

“They’re how much a bag?”


“This hay is too stemmy!”

“It's how much a bale?”


"Lessons are required? That sucks!"

"I can't find a trainer who will come to my barn."


"The stalls are not clean enough."

The stalls are dirty until I clean them.


"They call this a heated tack room?"

It's 6AM. Gotta get dressed and start the snow plow….


"They forgot his fly sheet again!"

I’m late for work, he'll have to go without his fly sheet.


"I worry about my horse when I’m gone."

"What vacation? Can’t find a horse sitter!"


"The barn is so CROWDED on Saturdays."

Saturday: Pick up shavings. Drag ring. Muck and spread manure. Fix fence…


Gas cost to drive to the barn-$10.50

Seeing my horse from my back door -priceless


  1. Very cute!! SO true, even thought I board, I do house sit a lot and I know how much time it takes!!

  2. Great topic! Here's some additions:


    Boarding: it's so dusty/hot/cold in the indoor arena.

    Home: What arena?


    Boarding: They don't feed the super premium name brand feed my precious should have

    Home: It's HOW much a bag?!?


    Boarding: The trails are confusing and poorly maintained

    Home: The only trails you have are the sides of the road, kind neighbors fields, and ones you blaze yourself


    Boarding: loose horses are caught with teamwork

    Home: loose horses are caught with coaxing, lots of grain, and luck


    Boarding: just about anyone can come in and out, and hardly be noticed

    Home: 'OMG, who's that pulling into the driveway?!? or my favorite: Why is that car pulled over by my pasture?!?

  3. As usual, the truly experienced folks know EXACTLY what the pitfalls are -- thanks!

  4. Here's another one:

    Farm Equipment:

    Boarding: the tractor - spooks my horse/is too noisy/leaks oil all over the parking lot

    Home: you mean I have to wheelbarrow the manure HOW far to the pile and what do you mean I have to shovel out a path in the snow to the barn?

    I am a lifetime boarder but I'll never forget when one of the gals at my barn bought a house with a stable and had all her dreams about how it was going to be so great and I mentioned she should look into buying a tractor and she asked why. I explained that my sister lives on 7 acres with 2 horses and of all the things she is most grateful for, the little tractor is the best.

    My friend said "oh, I won't need that. I only have 3 horses and my son will help me (he's a teenager - honey, unless you pay him or he's the rare breed of teen boy who likes horses, he's not going to be much help to you)"
    As we moved into winter and got that first snowfall, sure enough, she called me and asked if I knew of anyone selling a used tractor.

  5. Don't forget:
    Fly control
    Boarding: The fly spray system is out again, how annoying
    Home: This is where they filmed that scene from the Amityville Horror.

    Boarding: Everyday a new story, new rumors, new person/horse/trainer to shun.
    Home: No one here but you and your horses..bliss
    Can you tell I have mine at my own place? :-)

  6. Shadow rider: OMG! I almost spit my soda on the monitor with that Amityville Horror remark! There are days that seems so true...

  7. I've done self care for nearly 8 years . . . these all ring true along with:

    Boarding: I can't believe they only give my horse 2 flakes of hay at night!

    Home: I totally understand why they limit hay in a boarding barn (even though I choose to give it free choice)

    Boarding: Does my horse really need that much grain?

    Home: I can't believe how well my horse does on no grain but decent hay!

    Boarding: I don't have any choice about how my horse is fed or when he's turned out.

    Home: I love having complete control over my horse's nutritional profile and turnout schedule. 24/7 turnout rocks!

    Boarding: I rarely use my trailer -- they have so many resources right here.

    Home: I don't know what I'd do without my trailer!

  8. How true some of these statements are, and very amusing! I should have added some of them to my blog post on boarding.

  9. Eheheh, suddenly I'm reminded of how fickle we can be! Very true post.


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