What to do with horses during year abroad - ideas?

emma.a

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Hi lovely fellow equine enthusiasts :)

I wondered if some of you might be able to offer me your thoughts on something that's stressing me out a little (ok, a lot).

I work as a research scientist and am applying for funding which requires I spend 1-year at an international institution (University California San Francisco). This is a fantastic opportunity and something I am set on doing, but what to do with my furry companions? I'm able to take my beloved cocker with me, so that's one less fluffy to worry about.

I have two well schooled horses. One is a 6yo tb x appy (Revel), one is a 7yo irish draft (Bertie). Revel is a bit of a pansy and probably wouldn't winter out very well, but Bertie would be fine and has done so previously. Taking them to San Fran is not an option due to expense. Has anyone encountered this before? My thoughts so far

-Selling either of them is not an option, they are my life and they will be until they or I leave the planet
-I could not go to San Fran, but it is pretty crucial for my career and I know I would regret not taking this amazing opportunity because of the ponies
-I could put them onto grass livery for a year, but like I said, not sure how Rev would fair in the winter, and i'm unfortunate not to have any horsey family members in case of emergencies, so would be relying on friends
-Full/Schooling livery for a year?
-Loan for a year for both? Not so keen on this one, just because if they decide they don't want to loan anymore i'd be left in the lurch.

Basically I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions welcome :)

Thanks guys!
 

Merlod

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Hartpury College often ask for well schooled horses over 15hh (I think) on loan. It may suit as they won't have to winter out and you won't have to pay their keep and it's a bit less risk than a private loaner.
 

turnbuckle

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Most obvious seems to give them the year off, provided you can find someone/somewhere where they will be checked properly daily. Full service grass livery if you like! No reason why you can't leave instructions to rug up massively and feed masses of hay....

Emergency cover is going to be a problem whatever you choose....even in full livery decisions may need to be made in a crisis.
 

emma.a

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Thanks guys. Great suggestion about hartpury, i'll do a bit of research around that. I mean I would have an emergency contact and I would of course be contactable in San Fran, so i guess for livery (be it grass or schooling) it would be OK, but for a private loan, if the loaner decided to pack it in, it's not so much of an emergency contact but someone here who could take care of them in the mean time plus advertise and vet potential new loaners which seems a lot more to ask of people than simply to be there if an emergency should arise.
 

supsup

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What about some type of retirement livery? Surely, there are some that offer stabling in winter for the one that wouldn't do well out 24/7. You'd still have the cost, but I imagine it would be less than full livery, and you wouldn't be left hanging the way you might be if a loaner quit on you.
 
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