Horse life balance- how to get it right

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28 December 2020
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I’m struggling with my horse/life/money balance and have yet to find a happy medium. How do you all manage? I have a horse and a pony. I’ve previously been on full livery- great because I had total time freedom, but bad because it was costing me more than my mortgage :-( I’m now on very cheap DiY, great because it’s costing less but bad because there is no help on site so my time is not my own, hardly ever see my husband or friends.

How can I get the balance right (between time and money)? The yard is 15-40mins from home. Yards closer are more money and no spaces

My two live out all year (at a livery yard), is it ok to only visit once per day? I’m thinking of paying a freelancer to feed/hay/check twice a week (to give me 2days off) but that’ll only be once a day. I’m feeling a bit down at the moment, feel like horses either take all of your time or all of your money!! (doesn’t help my horse has been off games on and off for a year so not much fun has been had)

Any advice and tips welcome. Thank you
 

paddy555

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Definitely fine to visit once a day! I have a similar set up and sometimes miss a day…
Unless there were others around to check the horse I wouldn't find that acceptable. What would happen if the horse got serious colic, broke it's leg or did anything else serious a couple of hours after your visit and you missed the next day. It could be in agony for a long time.
 
Joined
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Unless there were others around to check the horse I wouldn't find that acceptable. What would happen if the horse got serious colic, broke it's leg or did anything else serious a couple of hours after your visit and you missed the next day. It could be in agony for a long time.
This is my worry about me visiting once a day. I’m thinking of coming once a day and installing a camera so I can check.
 

teddypops

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I wouldn’t be happy only checking on mine once a day. If there are others on the yard who would check them for you then that would be fine, but in my experience people don’t bother.
 

dixie

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I wouldn’t be comfortable just once a day and definitely not missing a day, especially having had a horse break its legs in the field.
but 20 mins each way, twice a day is a lot of time, not to mention fuel, especially in the winter, so feel your pain.
Can you share checking them/feeding with someone else at the yard?
 

FlyingCircus

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Lots of others at the yard walking past the field and can text in an emergency. Owner lives on site and walks around the fields…
Do you have an agreement for them to check on your horse? I walk across many fields and horses on my way to my horse, but I wouldn't look for an issue with them, too busy in my own world!
 

mariew

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23 February 2009
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413
The best yard I was at was an assisted DIY. I'd always do the morning before work, then the lady on the yard would bring in and do evening check if I felt I needed a day off.

I don't think a full time job, relationship and a commute works without a bit of help and a DIY no further than 10-15 minutes away if you want to keep your sanity. Sadly you can't have all in life. I'd look for assistance a couple of nights/ week. Or even more in the winter depending on how often you want to ride and when the horses have to come in.
 

MuddyMonster

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I wouldn't be happy with once a day visit. Like others have said, I walk past plenty of horses on the way to mine but unless specifically asked to check, I would assume the owner is doing twice a day visits.

Is there anyone you could buddy up with? If not, then I'd look at a freelancer. Yes, you'd still need to go once a day but if you did the morning you'd still have the evening for non-horsey stuff in the evening after work.

It is hard though, you have my empathy!
 

jkitten

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It sounds like you've bounced between two extremes, full livery to the most basic DIY, neither of which is very balanced (taking up either 100% of your time or 100% of your money). If you can't move to assisted DIY I would definitely look to hire a reliable freelancer, to achieve more like 50/50 in terms of time and money spent. Good luck!
 

EmmaC78

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29 December 2006
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Do you share a field with someone? I only go up once a day but share a field with someone who would let me know if there are issues. Could you come to a similar arrangement?
 

pistolpete

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29 July 2009
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I only go once a day most days. Yard owner is there twice a day plus other nice liveries. We all look out for each other. Deffo het help if you can. I previously paid for mine to be fed in the mornings. Worth every Penny.
 

Winters100

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I feel for you. I think many owners feel from time to time that it is too much, especially if you have more than 1.

A freelancer is a good idea, but maybe there is another solution. What works for me is having them on part livery. It does not include exercise (apart from horse walker, which I don't like), so I still go every day, but at least I know that they will have basic care in case I do not want to go.

To me relying on other people checking would only work if it was a firm arrangement, It is too easy to walk past a paddock and miss a problem if you are not actively looking. I can also say that for me once a day would not be enough, in case of a problem I would like to know asap.

Good luck, and I hope that you find some system that suits you.
 

Dreamer2020

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29 May 2020
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Hi OP, you may have already considered this but what about finding a sharer to do a couple of days & maybe chip in financially towards costs if they are riding? X
 

Jellymoon

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17 August 2008
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That’s a long commute to do your horses.
I def wouldn’t go up twice a day, and I prob wouldn’t go up every day either if I wasn’t riding them. I’d be looking for someone to pay to do it. Be cheaper than the fuel I expect.
 

canteron

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15 October 2008
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Cloud Cockoo Land
In the place where the horses are do they have either a ‘next door’ forum, a fb page or a village shop with a notice board.

If so post asking for a horsey person who could could do a day or so a week and a group of dog walkers or two who would be able to cruise past the field, check the water, food and take a quick video to post to you.

You basically need a team so it’s not too onerous on any one person / ask the dog walkers what they would like, maybe money or a charity donation or …. ?

Worth a shot??
 

RHM

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29 January 2019
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I was in the same boat as you but now on assisted DIY and it’s been a revelation! YO does all the turn out and bring in and will pop extra nets in for you. So I only have to go once a day now. I can’t tell you how freeing it is not being tied to go the yard at the same time everyday! I would highly recommend!!
 
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