How Often Do You Go See Your Horses?

I am a boarder. My horse does not live at my house. I wish he did, but really I like where he is boarded so I can live without mucking his stall out everyday. Now Gen only lives about 20 minutes away from my house right now. That is the closest he has ever lived since I had him. 20 minutes is still a hike, especially when you have a super long work day. As you all know I was having a heart attack on Wednesday night freaking out that my horses tendon might be disintegrating and that I might have to put him down. Yesterday I heard from the barn owner that his leg was cool and much less swollen. I am very lucky that the people who own the barn where he lives are competent and willing to help me out and check on him. They go way above and beyond the call of duty for me.

That being said The Wife at Hill Farm is not ME. I didn’t get to touch my horses leg yesterday. I know that having your own farm means TONS of work and there are lots of downsides to that as well, but it is hard not to be able to see your horse everyday. At least to me. My horse has lived as far as 50 minutes away and I still went 7 days a week to see him. I don’t go every day now. I would day I don’t go to the barn one day every two weeks. So out of 30 days in a month I go see Gen about 28. Not being able to see Gen last night is driving me crazy. I can’t wait to get out of work today so I can go see my baby!

I got to thinking that I might be a bit fanatical about seeing my horse. I mean, I know he gets good care. I go see my horse because I LIKE seeing my horse, not because I worry that something might happen if I don’t go. I mean I can count the number of accidents or issues we have had at Hill Farm on one hand. And we have been living there since June. No other barn I have boarded at have I felt as comfortable in their care of my horse. Hey LOVE Gen. They tell me they love Gen. It is fantastic. I miss my horse though when I don’t see him. I know that it is not normal to see a horse as much as I see mine. Especially since I can’t eve ride Gen.

So I want to hear from the rest of you about how not normal I am. Maybe it can help me relax about not going out to see him last night. So I want to ask all of you wonderful people out there…how often do you see your horse? And do you think it is enough, too much, or not enough? What do you think is the normal number of days to see a horse?

I will start. I see my horse at least 6 days a week. I think it is enough…but I wouldn’t mind doing all 7. And I think most people see their horses 5 days a week.


13 thoughts on “How Often Do You Go See Your Horses?

  1. I’m not going to count our situation right now, because Willie is technically in my backyard and I see him during the workday, but when I boarded him I still made a point of seeing him nearly every day, even if it was just five minutes to hug him and bring him his apple. When the care at the Big Barn started to go downhill I HAD to go because I had to muck his stall (with my own bedding!), give him my own hay, and make sure he got his supplements, which I added to a mash for him. Sometimes I would ride earlier in the day, but have to go back at night in order to make sure he had enough hay. It was ridiculous, but that’s another story…

    Even when I moved him to the smaller barn and I KNEW he was getting cared for, I still went to see him every day, just because. Towards the end of the summer I actually got to the point where, to save money on gas, I could skip a day or two each week and not freak out about it.

    Here, though, even though I get to see him every day, I still go up and check on him before going to bed myself. Sometimes it’s the only way I get to spend enough quality time really grooming him and hanging out with him.

    I would say it’s perfectly normal, but I’m as obsessive as you are so maybe my opinion is a bit weighted! 😀

  2. We’ve got seven of them and they need to be fed and cared for everyday. So it’s a different situation than you have. When we boarded I would say I went almost everyday unless the weather made me stay home. I don’t think you’re crazy.

  3. With the boys in the backyard I see them everyday, but when I first got Sunny and I boarded him I went every day. It was my Me time. Even if I didn’t ride I went and groomed him and stayed an hour or so just to be with him.
    I moved him to my best friends place and I still went almost everyday. I only skipped if the weather was really bad. Then I bought Ori and they were both at her house. Still went almost everyday. Then I moved and I had to leave them until I built my barn. They were with my best friend for over 6 months and I only got to see them on the weekends. I really missed them. I am happy they are in the backyard and I can see them whenever I want.

  4. I try to go every day. I totally trust the barn I’m at now (for almost a year – wow!), but I still like to take a look at her with my own eyes every day. I have to admit, when I was sick the last 10 days, I DID not go – twice, maybe three times. Really felt guilty about it too, especially because I wasn’t riding either.
    I try to ride her at least 5 days a week (my daughter comes home most Fridays to ride that night), but still have to see her the other 2. Thursday night is my stitching night, and I literally leave the car running, go in and pat her nose, assess the blanket-age for the night/following morning forecast, tell her “I’ll see you tomorrow” and I’m off again!
    You’re not crazy, you’re a responsible horse owner. Like you, I trust my barn owner and knows she’s competant as a horse-keeper, and know I’ll receive a call if something isn’t right. But I just have to see with my own eyes!
    I suppose people might say behind my back that I’m a passive -aggressive control freak with OCD.
    ANd I wouldn’t disagree! ;^)
    Keep smiling. We’re still thinking happy thoughts for you & Gen, “just-in-case”!

  5. I read your blog faithfully but have never written but this post is close to my heart and I think I can relate. I think it is harder when you have a horse with a health problem / injury. I board as well and my horse has allergies/athsma that can be pretty bad.

    I go see her every day unless it is impossible to get there because I feel I am the best judge of how she is doing. If she starts to have problems it very quickly can turn into a full blown respiratory distress and those first signs can be so small that that they can be missed by someone that isn’t looking for them.

    I love my barn manager and the staff there but they don’t have the time to spend with her that I do. Also, I find myself unable to sleep some nights wondering if her hay is wet enough…or if the night checker is taking the 30 seconds to watch and see if her nose is snotty.

    You are not crazy. You have a special needs horse that you know best and love .

    If you have to board, like we do. It is so important to have a barn staff that is capable and knowledgable about all of your horses tendencies. There are boarding places out there that will promise the world but when it actually comes down to it, the care is subpar. I had to leave my last barn because of uncaring and hurried staff even though it was right by my house. They did not feed her supplements consistently, they did not soak her hay enough and it overall cost me more money in vet bills then I ever would have spent on gas money driving to a nicer facility.

    I find I have relaxed a bit in the past six months at the new barn, I am even riding her again and planning shows for this season…this is on a horse I almost put down because she just could not breathe. Good Luck with Gen!

  6. I don’t think you are crazy but we don’t go see our horse every day. We get over there 5 times per week at most and usually only 4 times. And that’s even now that we board 5 miles from home instead of 33 miles. I trust my barn owner and know my horse is safe. There’s just no way we can get over there any more than we do unless I went over there in the middle of the night!

  7. As you know, I go see my “fancy horse” at The Crek everyday! Sometimes twice a day if I know they’re not getting turned out. I like him to get out of his stall at least twice a day, so I’ll hand walk him then one time and ride him the next. All my other horses are home, as you know! I must admit, I’m not as paranoid about my ones that I don’t ride!

    That’s why it’s so hard for me to board, because I have always had my horses at home. They do take great care of him there though! It’s just so hard for me to trust someone else with THAT horse.

    I rode my spotted pony yesterday. He felt good, you should be happy to know that I skipped another horse to fit him in. I just had no time for him all week! I realized it yesterday, and thought I’d better ride the boy!
    I was at The Creek last night. I brought my FEI horse over to play with the people there and then rode my “fancy horse” too! I’ll bring Texas soon, I was actually thinking maybe Sunday, something like you thought of last nite too! I’ll start to get him on the program to go over there to play too. Everyone there keeps asking my to bring over my appaloosa! I just didn’t want to do it in the dark for the first time.

    Hopefully I’ll see ya later! I’m actually sick right now, which is why I’m not riding and I’m on the computer!

  8. Well, I guess I am a somewhat negligent boarder . I only get out about 4x a week, on average. If I’m really busy at work and the weather is bad, sometimes it is on 2x/week. I have a hard time justifying the gas/time if all I can do is say hi. It’s about a 20-25 minute drive each way.

    We also only have 1 car, so we have to manage everyone’s schedules…

    I have a great owner and there are only 2 boarders including me, so I know that things are being taken care of pretty well.

    I don’t think you are being crazy about it at all, considering Gen’s injuries or potential problems. If my schedule allowed it, I would go out everyday to feed my horse, but it just doesn’t work…

  9. This is a great question. There is more than one way to keep your horse, but any time it’s not at your own home, “just need to see him” is unavoidable. Horsepeople have horses in their bones. When I could not fit a horse into my life, I couldn’t help staring at anything with four legs and a fly. So if now that I have the horse, I just need to see him everyday. You’re perfectly normal.

  10. Well, I usually go see Speedy 5 days a week. I used to be 8 minutes from my barn but now I’m 30 minutes. I hate it. Just running over there to brush him takes at least 1.5 hours (1 hour of driving). Sometimes I just don’t think its worth it if I’m just grooming. When I was 8 minutes from the barn I went every day. Of course, that was also before I got married. Spending an hour and half having a nice dinner with the husband when you haven’t seen him for more than 5 minutes (awake that is) because of work schedules is time better spent than grooming a horse who would rather be out in the pasture with his friend anyway – and you’re going to the barn the next day to groom and ride anyway. (If I wasn’t going to the barn definitely the next day, skipping the dinner would be a more appealing proposition).

    Don’t feel bad- you are doing the best you can and that is all you can do. People say you can give 110% but it is statistically impossible.

  11. I board and the barn is 25 minutes from home. When I first got Quest I was out there everyday. I wanted ti establish a bond and get tio know him. 2 years later I only make it out there 3-4 times a week. This winter I have only made it out 2-3 times. I know that he is doing fine and is taken care of. It is hard with work schedules and late nights. No, you aren’t crazy. But I am always thinking of my pony.

  12. Griffin lives roughly 35 minutes from my home, so I don’t get out there every day. If it were possible with my 2 jobs, family obligations, and life in general….I would see my guy every day.

    I don’t think anyone is obsessed if they see their horse every day — I think they are lucky that they can fit it into their schedule. I would give anything to be able to fit a visit with Grif into my day every day.

    I really don’t have a choice though as it’s just not possible for me to see my boy every day 😦

    On a positive side though, I do trust the people I board with 100% Griffin gets excellent care and if any little thing is off, Tammy is on the phone with me — So when I can’t get out there to see him, I take comfort knowing that he is being cared for and is ok.

    As for how often I get out to see Grif… it varies. During the summer I will make it out 3 times minimum and 5 times max each week, depending on what I have going on.

    During the winter, I can make it out as often as 4X a week and sometimes as little as once a week. It always depends on a combination of my work schedule and the weather. I do not drive in snow….so when there are weather advisorys and big snowstorms, I stay home (many times against my will). I just feel it’s safer to stay off of bad roads. So when I can only manage 1 day a week it is almost always due to weather. I go as often as I can — weather permitting.

    I don’t see my situation as ideal.. Ideal would be having my own property and having my boy at home (so I could care for him and see him every day). Since I feel it’s unlikely I will ever have “ideal,” I do the best with what I have. I am thankful to have a good place to board with people I trust. I will also say another nice thing about boarding is having other horse friends to hang with, trail ride with, and for moral support when it’s needed. My family is non-horsey, so that is a big plus for me. The gals I board with right now are like a second family to me 🙂

  13. I visit my 2 horses, which I board 20 minutes (by truck) away, almost every day. Depending on work, and my weekend schedule, I’m able to average 4-7 times a week. Usually 6 times a week on average. My BO feed, but that’s it. I’m trying to put weight on my horses so extra feed has to come from me, any blankets, any turnout (they are in dry paddocks), etc. doesn’t happen unless I show up. It’s a strong motivator!


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