Living The Dream

As a teenager I was able to keep my horses at home. I am forever grateful that my parents were willing and able to support that dream. It was the best thing ever to be able to walk outside and see my horse. I didn’t fully appreciate what a great gift they had given me until I was boarding at farms that didn’t offer the level of care that I was accustomed to. It can be difficult to go from keeping your horses at home and having all of the control to writing a check and trusting that someone else will treat your horses right.As I went to college and we had fewer horses I ended up moving my horse to a boarding facility. I much prefer to ride with someone or at least with someone on the property and as my schedule changed that became nearly impossible. Around that same time my parents moved to California and before I knew it my home for the past decade was on the market. I totally understand why my parents sold – why have a farm if you don’t live there! I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we miss it all the time though!

Now first I will say that I board at the best possible place for me and my horses. It is in a great location, the care is top notch, and I have a lovely barn family. Actually they have become some of my closest friends now. That said as I get more and more interested in breeding I do wish that we had our own land.

Whenever the right time comes I would love to be able to keep whatever I am riding and showing at my current farm and then keep babies or horses that are being bred at home. For us that would most likely mean buying land and building the structures.barnprodenali601Google introduced me to: Barn Pros. I am sure there are more affordable ways to get the same outcome but I would love love love to have a nice 6 stall barn and 15 or so acres. Ideally we would be able to build the barndominium and then at a later date build a real house. Not happening any time soon but until then I will continue to day dream about it!

Do any of you have dreams to keep your horses at home? If so what kind of set up do you hope for?

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  1. Mine are at home as you know and I love it. I never want to board again.

    We bought a newly renovated house on just under 12 acres and built all of the horse facilities. I would have loved to have moved into a turnkey property but we just couldn’t find that in our price range. This property had an ideal location (15 mins from downtown, UKY, near shopping, great schools, near the interstate) so we decided to jump on it.

    I do miss an indoor to some extent and that’s not ever going to be an option on this property. But we have arena lights, so I’ve been able to keep riding so far (just bundle up!).

    I’m very picky about my care and I got sick of paying $700-800 a month and worry about my horse’s well being. At that price range, I should have a thin horse or walk in and find him with no water. My stalls might not be spotless and my horses may get left with mud on them some days, but they are happy and healthy. I love that I can run out and check on them, or look out my front door and see my old man grazing (or pacing because he thinks he needs to come in ASAP for dinner).

  2. I’m currently living the dream on a a scale 😀 we have 17 acres with a small barn and mobile home (building a house is hopefully on the horizon for 2017/18!). I board my main show horse out so I can ride year round. There are things I love about this situation, and things I dislike about it. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing like seeing my horses out my back window…

    1. That is awesome! I don’t really want to maintain an arena or pay to build one so I think boarding the show horse would be the best compromise for that one. But who knows what we will end up with – if we even get land!

      1. Arenas are expensive but if you don’t need an indoor, fancy footing or special drains you can build one for a reasonable amount of money. We had to compromise on size-Ours is like 90×120 or something like that. And we did a 2% grade to help with drainage rather than putting in drains. Our footing is decent but I wouldn’t jump huge jumps in it. We did 3 board fencing with a single gate.

        Ours cost us probably around $20k not including the lights (those my dad did and if I had to guess were about $5-6k in materials).

        If you haul out for lessons so you don’t need big or fancy, you can make it work on a budget.

        1. Good to know. The arena that my parents build was done by the people that designed the KHP arena so that was my only reference point really. A smaller arena with lights would be alright. I know my BO’s built their arena and it is awesome.

      2. Although I’d really love an indoor (hahaha maybe someday!), we put in an outdoor in the last year and it’s been pretty easy to maintain to date. It’s not quite as big as I would have liked (only 70×120), but it does the job for now!

  3. This is similar to what I’d want too someday! I loved the company and community of boarding at a good place, but would love to be able to lay up, raise up and or retire horses at home. For me it’s a long long term goal and kinda fights against my desire to have a cute bungalow in downtown Carmel so….time will tell 😉

    1. Leah-I’m in the same boat. I would LOVE an indoor, but we wont get one unless we move to a property that has one. But my little arena works for what I do at home 🙂 Nice to dream though!

      1. An indoor is something I’d like to build before I retire… We’ll see how that goes, haha. My husband is on board, and we have no zoning where we are, so the only obstacle is $!

  4. What a beautiful property! We boarded for years and bought our own mini-farm just over a year ago – and I would not go back to boarding. We just have 5 acres and a 3 stall barn that is a work in progress and we had an outdoor dressage ring built. I love it 🙂 No regrets.

  5. I want horse property … but then I really don’t! It’s a LOT of work and I am lucky in the sense I have a boarding option that’s trustworthy. It’s not ideal, but finding an ideal set up in suburbia that’s affordable is tough. I would love to be able to look out my window and see my horse, but the expense I would have to undertake to get there would be pretty significant.

  6. I day dream about it constantly and have since I was little! I wish I lived where my horses are. We own the farm, but I only get to see them on weekends. It is pretty tough for me right now. Especially since I have experienced being able to see and care for the horse I rode or had at college everyday for the 4 years I was in school. The we have barn is functional and better than no barn, but not really to my needs or wants. To have a covered arena would really be a game changer, especially this year with all the rain. I could get way more riding done than I am now. I am beyond grateful for what we have and nothing is better than walking out the door and seeing them or feeding in your pjs. We might be building an additional barn in the near future to fill the need.
    One day I would love to have a barndo and a covered if I am ever able to get my own property. The number of stalls and layout changes and would change depending on property.

  7. I don’t actually want to keep horses at home unless I was able to afford to pay for a full time caretaker, I want to travel and be sick or do whatever whenever I want to and not be bogged down by trying to find someone who can care for the large four legged beasts at home (I feel like its easier to get someone to watch your dog for free than your horses). If I ever do go down that road, it would be because I want to buy a yearling or something and keep it low cost, but then again if you buy a place, maybe I can rent the space from you ;P

      1. Same L. I would if I could hire a full time groom, which I know of three friends that have that exact situation. Of course, down here were talking 5-6 acres, and thats big…

        Thankfully I’ve found a great place, so I don’t even dream about this anymore.

  8. Ideally, I’d love to have retired horses at home, and board 1-2 projects/youngsters, but I’m not made of money, and Phil doesn’t want to board horses forever.

    I have a whole barn/farm designed in my head- 6 stall barn, wash stall, tack room. Arena with lights eventually (and maybe a cover- a gal can dream), but I also enjoy jumping/flatting in fields. I’d love to board a handful of horses as well once I cut back in vet med. I loved doing self care, and I am a worry-wart, control freak of an owner so I think bringing my horses home and hauling out for lessons is probably best once I settle in an area.

  9. I’m with L- I LOVE looking at horse properties and can totally appreciate why people love keeping their horse at home, but I’m a boarder 4 lyfe. I like the flexibility of being able to sleep in/be sick/go away for a long weekend without having to make prior arrangements. Then again, I’m lucky enough to be in a boarding situation that gives me tons of peace of mind when it comes to care. If I couldn’t board at a place that met my standards, it would be worth sacrificing my late mornings to have more control over care.

  10. I love keeping mine at my own property. I do miss living on the farm and can’t wait until we can build our own house there so I can see them out the windows again. Someday I’d love to have a covered outdoor (more to preserve footing than anything). I hate the option of it either being ungodly muddy or hard as a rock, which is my current situation with field riding. lol

  11. We’re planning to move in another year or 18 months and buy horse property. We’re looking at either a small property with just a few stalls or possibly buying a boarding operation. Either way, we’ll be buying or building an indoor. I’m tired of not being able to ride because of weather. I’d really like to buy somewhere that backs up to horse trails/park.

  12. My MIL and trainer both have horses at home and I love horse and house sitting for them but no way do I want horses on my own property!! It’s so stressful when you want to go on vacation, and the maintenance is bananas.

    I do want to have some chickens and possibly pigs, but since you can set them up with automatic feeders quite easily and they aren’t as suicidal, leaving them for a few days is much easier.

    So I’ll stick to barn sitting! Call me if you need help when you go on vacation! 😉

  13. I’m still undecided as to whether I’d ever want horses at home or not. I’ve always boarded, so have no experience keeping horses at home and I kind of like the freedom of not having to see them 3x a day, hah.