Ten Truths about Keeping Horses At Home (according to me)

Ten truths, according to me, as I reflect on having horses in my own backyard. All information that I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time.

  • You will spend lots of time riding. Riding your lawn mower.
  • Hay bales get more expensive as time goes by. They also get heavier.
  • You will be queen of your castle. And also the chamber-maid.
  • Being able to pop out the back door of your house, walk fifty feet and hand out carrots to eager, nickering noses attached to expressive faces with perked ears has got to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.
  • Two main pros- You get to make all the decisions about your horse’s care. You are the only person that handles your horses.
  • Two main cons- You get to make all the decisions about your horse’s care. You are the only person that handles your horses.
  • Vacations are . . . Wait, what is a vacation again?
  • You get to experience the intimacy of knowing your horses on a level that is different from when you boarded.
  • You also miss out on the amenities provided at those boarding barns like professional riding facilities, easy access to instruction, camaraderie with other equestrians and ready-made opportunities to train/show/trail ride with a group.
  • You will cry as you walk through your house, pass by your back window and for the first time see your horse grazing in the pasture (after a lifetime of wishing and waiting for that very moment).

Like pretty much every other life choice, keeping horses at home is a series of trade offs. You do all this with an awareness that, like all earthly things, it will come to an end someday. You need to savor the good stuff. Find lessons or humor in the not so good.

Sometimes you can’t believe how fortunate you are. Other times, you wonder what you got yourself into. Sometimes you feel sad about the things you miss out on (like those indoor areas and vacations). But at the end of the day? On most days at least. You wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

6 thoughts on “Ten Truths about Keeping Horses At Home (according to me)

  1. We live in the country and I am often asked if I keep my horse at home. I say no as we only have one acre and that is not enough for a horse. Also I am too old for the work involved. You have raised all the benefits and the difficulties of having your horses at home. Good post.

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    1. Thank you very much for your comments, Anne. There are definitely unique pluses and minuses to both boarding and home horse-keeping. I imagine that eventually I will migrate back to boarding (hopefully at a place with an indoor arena!) when I decide that all the labor of home horse-keeping becomes too much. I would like to keep horseback riding until the day that I die, but I just don’t picture myself riding my lawn mower, moving hay bales and scooping poop forever. 🙂

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