|Seeing this as you sip your morning coffee from your dining room table is obviously a big pro.|
2. If you enjoy a social life it is not for you. If you love riding with friends and half of the reason you look forward to going to the barn is because you know you'll see, Suzy or your trainer or the BM. Riding is fun, we love spending time with our horses. But if you also enjoy talking to a living being that can also talk back on a frequent basis then you most likely won't be happy with your horses at home. Yes you can haul out for lessons or trail ride with friends. But the every day grind of conditioning, schooling will be solo and for many that can just suck the joy and motivation out of it all.
3. You think you enjoy barn chores, cleaning stalls sweeping the barn aisle, feeding. Well then I would take a test before you make the plunge. Volunteer at your current boarding facility to 2-3 times a day do all the barn chores. Not the occasional, OH I have nothing else to do with my time I'm going to help out at the barn. No, more like the, I have a million and 1 things to do for work, my family, my house, my friends, myself but instead I am going to go out to the barn and spend a few hours cleaning, organizing, feeding in the freezing cold for FREE! You should try it. Your BM will love you. Actually I am happy to let you come do all of mine to see if you are cut out for it! Cleaning a stall does not a good farm owner make.
4. Do you like traveling? Or even the idea that some day you will be able to travel? Whelp, don't buy a farm. Does it make traveling impossible? Maybe. But no matter what it will definitely limit it. I know people who haven't gone on a trip in over a decade because they can't leave their horses. I am lucky enough to have the amazing Monica in my life that I am able to get away at times but there have been many years that wasn't the case. And even though my vote is that Monica never moves or gets to a place that she can't just pick up and care for my babies I know that will not be the case forever. Finding a person that is available and that you can trust not to kill your animals while you are gone is far harder than one might think. And take the word spontaneous out of your vocabulary. It takes days if not weeks of planning to go anywhere ever for the rest of your life.
5. If you think you'll save yourself money and time by eliminating a board payment and a drive to the barn I will try my best not to chuckle in your face. After you factor in the expense of a farm, a tractor, a truck, a trailer (you can get away with ride sharing at a boarding barn but not at home), hay, feed, shavings, fuel costs to pick up all of those things, fence repair, electrical bill etc.. The time it takes to shovel manure for hours, fix fences, manage pasture and the hundred other things that come up you are far better off driving to the barn, showing up riding your horse, writing a check and leaving and driving home. So that can't be the reason you decide it's right for you. I can assure you that the board payment you make every month is worth every penny. And barn owners aren't getting rich off of board.
6. If you are eternally obsessed with perfection PLEASE don't have you horses at home. You will be miserable. If you can't handle mud on your horse or walk into your boarding barn and huff because the aisle way was left a mess. Or gasp what would you do if your horses stall didn't get cleaned for a day? Or two? OMG the neglect! Well the ugly truth is it will happen if you are the sole caretaker of your horses. Perfection is not realistic anywhere but one person and a barn of horses will be a far cry from perfection. What if your buckets didn't get washed regularly enough? Or your horses blanket didn't get put on at the right time? Or your horse didn't get fed on their clock work schedule? Would you flip? Would you immediately text your BM and explain how your fluffy prince/princess will surely die because of their shortcomings? If any of those things are something you cannot fathom your fuzzy Foofoo having to suffer then your horses at home is NOT for you. It just isn't humanly possible to make all of these things happen when you cannot employ someone to be there do handle it all the time. You might be surprised but horses are not as fragile as one might think and while inconvenient for us they do survive such travesties.
Those are the realities of having your horses at home. It truly becomes a way of life. You plan every thing you do around your barn responsibilities. Going out for a fun evening has to be thought out and planned for. Your plans can change because of weather, water problems, mechanical problems, electrical problems. Something always comes up. You will undoubtedly have to choose between, a show and paying the electrician to fix your barn lights. Or fence repair instead of XC day at Rolex with your friends. Or you clinic fund be spent on a tractor repair. Or miss out on a fun day shopping at the tack store because you have too much crap to deal with, literally. Or forego blogging for months on end because you just can't keep up....ahem... You will likely not show as much or advance as quickly as your peers in your discipline because of all of the time and money that go into having your own farm and that can be a hard pill to swallow over and over again. And you will have many days you have to forego a ride because you just have too many things around the property to accomplish.
If I make it sound all bad it really isn't but I will say it is not for most. It is for me for now. I imagine when my kids are grown and moved on that I will most likely board. For many reasons but freedom and flexibility at that phase will be a nice change. Right now I do enjoy the brunt labor and will look for any reason to get out of a social event even if it is for shoveling shit. I love the ability to just walk out to the barn and get a little therapy. Or look out the window and soak in the beauty of my beloved creatures. The freedom to just run out for quick ride when time is limited. To get a daily dose of equine interaction and not have to sometimes go days in-between seeing my horses. These reasons, for me, outweigh the hassle and trouble of the previous 6 points. But I know for many that is not the case. It is just not the lifestyle that many want to lead.