I am giving my barn notice today that I am moving two of my three horses out of the barn in two weeks. I am finally bringing them home!
The stalls were finished yesterday, the fence is going to be started this weekend (by a pro), and I'm heading to TSC to buy all the necessary stall fixin's this weekend.
I can honestly say that today I am panicking. I have been dreaming of and preparing for this for years, but now that's it's here, I am paralyzed with panic over being 100% responsible for my babies. In my head I am prepared; I have been a long time horse owner (20 years), have been through a multitude of emergencies, have done the self-care board (including the last month), I have boarded these horses in a small farm situation before (for years) so they're used to living in a field if necessary. I have a reliable hay guy, a great handy man, fantastic neighbors (including one horsey one), and a plan for how this is going to go. The two horses I'm bringing home have been in the family for 1-2 decades and I know them well and, in my head, I know they're old, small, and smart, and they'll be fine.
Then I saw a skunk running into my barn early Sunday morning. I forgot that daylight savings time is this weekend, so those couple weeks of doing evening chores in some kind of light to get the swing of things have disappeared. Those 70+ fire ant nests in my fields were not killed by the Amdro. And my third horse (young, huge, and stupid), who I was hoping to bring home in a month, has taken a large setback in his recovery from a hoof injury and I don't know if I can emotionally handle having him home and constantly worrying that he'll have a crazy fit and break out of the new stall I have built for him. But I also don't know if I can handle leaving him where he is and driving the hour to the barn for self-care board twice a day while having my other two at home (I do NOT trust the BO for care; the horses in her care went without hay for two days this weekend because she didn't order hay in time). I'm trying to find a barn for him closer to home, but it's proving difficult.
I suppose I'm just having a rough day and I'm hoping someone can say "I've been there and survived!!"
I HAVE been there and survived! I've had my horses at home for 20 years now and wouldn't have it any other way. The year my son ran electricity to my barn so I could have lights was a BIG deal for me. Best.Birthday.Ever! There are up sides and down sides to having horses at home. The up sides include most of the un-knowns are now known. You will KNOW what your horses are eating and how much, you will KNOW if they are getting blanketed or turned out. You will KNOW how they are being treated. I enjoy my early morning feeding and mucking routine. I enjoy turning them out after breakfast and watching them enjoy the brisk fall mornings we're having. I have a senior mare that must be fed soaked feed three times a day...I KNOW that is being done properly because I'm doing it. The down side is, it's all on YOU. I, personally, prefer it that way. However, vacation time or business trips away from home must be carefully planned. My husband steps up for most cases but it's tougher if I'm away during the week...then my Husband, daughter, and daughter-in-law must split duties because of their work schedules. In the rare cases that we are all away at the same time friends have stepped in to help. It's always worked out.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
I too felt utter panic when we first brought my horse and a friends horse home. I was petrified that I would not be able to handle an illness or miss an injury and cause harm to any horse in my care.
Relax, it will be fine.
I kept a baby monitor in the barn so I could hear any sign of distress. After about 2 months of hearing buckets rattling and horses snorting all night long my husband made me unplug them so he could sleep.
You sound like you have the experience and have given plenty of thought to set-up and support. You will soon relax and enjoy the view out your window. It's worth it.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." --Ghandi
If you are feeling better in about a week, bring them all home. Your time will be better spent at your new place watching and creating new routines for your guys. It is going to take some comfort time to just leave them at your new place too. Just make sure the horses can see one another if 2 get t/o and the one with foot problems is on stall rest....