Horse Life

Discussion Board: Multiple Horses

It finally happened.

-What-meme-12129Husband cracked.

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You see, I’ve been hopping on FB a bit more than usual lately and I pretty much just have 2 profile pages that I go straight to. Both are well-respected OTTB re-sellers, including the one I got P from, and both have a fairly steady stream of drool-worthy horses in their barns.

There’s one for sale right now that is the absolute spitting image of P when I got him nearly 5 years ago and I literally CAN’T. EVEN. I think I’ve watched his video perhaps 10,000 times. Some people see babies and want a baby. Not me…but give me baby TBs any day.

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Waaaay back when…to a time where I didn’t want to feed him to the lions.

So anyway, last night I mention to Husband that I talked to the seller of Pilgrim 2.0 to get some additional info, and Husband was all, “Cool, see what Trainer B thinks.”

what-trickery-is-this-Which I totally didn’t expect. Then Husband started talking about PPEs and the like, and I was all, “Woah, slow your roll. Nothing’s happening just yet.”

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See…I’m not a very spontaneous person. I struggle with making decisions because I need ALL THE INFO. Then I need to dissect, analyze and interpret the info. Then I need a drink (or ten) to close down the dozens of internet-like tabs that are open in my head. It’s a problem.

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So all night I was just thinking about the possible consequences of adding a second horse. And some alternative routes I might take, depending on what happens with P.

And I have no answers.

The Bad: I work full-time and have 2 kids, with a Husband who is frequently out of town, so time is something I don’t have a lot of. On days that Husband is gone, one ride is the max I’m getting.

Even on days where I don’t have to leave the barn early to get kids, it would still be hard to fit in two. Horse #1 from 5-5:45, then Horse #2 from 6:15-7, then home by 8? Not always possible, considering I do like to do things like eat dinner and sometimes see my family.

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So if I were to settle on one horse per day during the week, that’d be Horse #1 getting 3 rides and Horse #2 getting 2 rides, then possibly getting both done on weekends?

Reasonable? Sure. Doable? Hmmmmm.

The Good: Uhhh…having two horses to ride is better than not having ANY horses to ride. Duh.

The Bad: 

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If you’ve ever read my year-end blog posts where I insanely add up my annual expenditures, you know I spend a small fortune on the one horse I have now- the biggest expenses being board, lessons and showing. Obviously board would just double, but what do y’all multi-horse owners do about lessons and shows? Alternate or take both?

Another bad: Husband literally JUST built me living quarters in my 2 horse trailer, which means I use the 2nd stall in the trailer for equipment. Would I need a new trailer?

I can already feely myself start to spiral, just typing this out.

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The Good: Still having two horses to ride. I feel like I’m repeating myself here.

Those are just a couple of the thoughts swirling around in my brain. I’m sure I’m leaving out a whole host of things, good and bad, about dual horse ownership.

So- do you have, or have had, multiple horse? What are the pros/cons? If you don’t have multiple horses, would you ever? Why or why not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45 thoughts on “Discussion Board: Multiple Horses”

  1. I will say that having two horses does not double your expenses. It will triple them. But also it is nice to have two because then some of the pressure is off your main horse, or competition horse, or whatever the situation is. I would continue to overthink as you are doing. That’s what I would do. haha. And eventually you will come to a conclusion. 🙂

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  2. I’m in the “one horse forever” camp. I have the money for two, but I have to be honest with myself that I don’t have the time between job + CrossFit + historic home + husband. But, I’m also blessed with (sorry to rub it in!) a horse that hasn’t been injured and comes out of the stall the same every morning, and I would probably feel differently if he was more accident-prone.

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    1. I’ve had P for 5 years and up until last year, he’d never been injured so I’d never had the urge to get a second horse. Having back-to-back injuries has really made it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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  3. ooooooh, the idea of 2 is so exciting, esp when your hubby is on board haha! i actually seriously considered getting a second when charlie went in for his surgery, up to the point of setting up some appointments, rationalizing a budget, etc etc. ultimately i didn’t go through with it tho, mostly bc of what you say about time.

    plus, being real here, i fawn over my pony like a 12yo girl, but a lot of those extra moments like grooming and long hacks etc would have to be sacrificed if i had two to ride. meaning — at the end of the day, the entire way i interface with my horse would have to change if i wanted to fit 2 show horses into the same amount of time (it might be different if one was nearing retirement or just a baby, or not intended ever to compete). so i decided that wasn’t the right choice for me at this time. maybe one day tho!

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    1. Yeah, the 12 year old girl things are definitely a staple of being an adult ammy 😂😂

      Like you, I definitely don’t have the time for 2 main show horses. It’s just hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel with P at this point!

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  4. <— Multiple horse owner here. When we first got our third horse (which is the equivalent of getting a 2nd horse since husband and I both had 1 each), I 1/2 leased out the one horse to cover board costs. Everything else was on me (vet, farrier, etc) so his lease didn't pay for him, but it helped. We liked having 3 horses for two people because one horse out of 3 is usually broken so it left us with enough horses to ride together.
    Getting Levi was much more like your situation in that (at that time) Nilla was not broken. However, Nilla really preferred being ridden 3ish times a week and not every day. Levi was meant to occupy those other days. When I first got Levi I even had a 2 days a week leaser to ride him. It was a free lease though just meant to keep him in work. However, if I had 2 horses that needed to be ridden every day by me, I wouldn't want to do it. It's just too much.

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  5. I find that II prefer having 2 but it is a stretch for time. Costwise it’s not great either but I manage it fine. Coolie prefers to be a second horse and I like riding every day. It’s easy to balance in summer but in winter I struggle.

    This year I will ride them both but have more focus on Henry and just have fun with Coolie, which I think will mean that balance will be right!

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    1. Sounds like you’ve found what works best! Sometimes I think P would prefer to be the horse that gets pulled out for doing the fun, weird tricks rather than compete. Then sometimes at shows it’s clear he enjoys himself.

      Winter with 2 would be hard for me as well though

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  6. I didn’t have kids, but had a husband and a doggo at home.

    Second horse, which was really first horse that I got back from her lease, was rehabbing from an injury and in a small dirt pen outside. I had to clean that sucker every day (bc barn doesn’t do those things), water, make sure her hay net was full so she wouldn’t run out of feed at anytime. And then her rehab rides. And trying to fit rides in on my other horse.

    I was BURNT OUT. I have a long commute to and from work (40ish minutes) with a 50 minute drive from work to barn and then 22 minutes home after that. I work 9 hours (1 hr lunch in there though). I am gone a lot as is. But when I had the two of them it took up so much time. I was so burnt out. It was not fun.

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    1. Omg, I’d be burnt out too! I thought I had it tough when I had to do rehab rides on P + ride my barn owner’s horse (that I showed a couple times), but the barn I board at is full-service, though I try to help BO out as much as I can.

      I definitely could NOT do that commute. Nothing angers me more than being stuck in a car 😂😂

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      1. Yeah it sucked. It didn’t take too much time but having to do that and then ride at least one was just too much. I wouldn’t go back to having two without having a half leaser for one.

        My commute really does suck. We’re looking at moving out of the city so it may or may not get longer. But husband makes the dough and works 12’s so it’s more inportant we stay closer to his job then mine.

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  7. I own one and lease another — it’s been the best of both worlds for me. Even now, it’s nice to have something different to sit on and slows me to ride 6-7 days per week. However, I’ve always just had 1 show horse and I think for me, that’s a big part of why it works. Goals and showing two would be too much for me!

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  8. Once upon a time I had two (actually at one point I had three, but let’s not talk about horse hoarding lol) and I much prefer the one horse lifestyle. I’m an obsessive groomer, tack cleaner, and general worrier though, so one horse can take up alllll my time easily. Plus horses just really love vet bills, one, two, or three of them at once!

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    1. Bahahah seriously true about horses loving vet bills. Plus Opie seems to be making it his full time job keeping you on your toes!

      P is the same way, and I’d never been tempted before to add to the herd, but he’d also never been injured the first 4 years that I owned him. Right now it’s hard to see an ending to it.

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  9. I’ve alternated between 1 and 2 the past few years. 2 works for me when they are at different training stages. It gets hard if they’re both in full work or a full show schedule. It was perfect when I had back up in the form of working students and lesson kids – this winter I had no help and even with Sophie not being under saddle I opted to put her on full board to free up riding time for Bridget. Could you do a one day a week lease/loan/trainer ride for one or both horses? I feel like when I had that set up life was perfect and took away the pressure when I got busy.

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    1. I agree that 2 would work best if they’re in different stages. Pilgrim 2.0 (or really any 2nd horse I were to get) is a 4 year old OTTB, so definitely not in the same realm as P training-wise. And I’m not sure what’s going to happen with P at this point. Sorta hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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  10. I did this exact same this last fall when E was lame. Again. I even booked an appointment to see a gelding I adored. I ended up canceling though.

    For me, it came down to the fact that is he wasn’t lame I wouldn’t be looking at all. I was happy with him. Happy with the low stress of one horse and not squeezing in another. The extra tack, extra farrier etc…expenses would all eat up any lessons I could take. I knew E wasn’t going to be lame forever so I waited it out and I’m glad I did.

    If you think you’d like a second even when P grows his hoof out and returns to normal, then get P 2.0. But if you just want one for while he isn’t rideable, maybe do a short lease or heck come take E for a while. Lord knows he could sue the exercise and with my boards coming I’m not riding that much. Lots of options for you!!!

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    1. I’ve got this blog post rolling around that I can’t seem to click Publish on 🤦‍♀️ But really it comes down to what P and I are going to do when he’s cleared. And I have no idea.

      If P hadn’t been injured I may not have been looking. But maybe I should be.

      I *tried* the short lease (Cooper) and all I got was another horse I had to pack hooves for! 😂😂😭😭😭

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      1. That is a very hard spot to be in. P isn’t old like Gem was when I retired her and got E when it was clear our paths were no longer heading the same direction. I’m not sure what I would have done had Gem been 7 and it was looking like we weren’t going to be the right match any longer. Hang in there!

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  11. I intended to sell #1 before getting #2, but #1 was having some soundness issues, and I had no interest in her, and #2 was owned by a friend and she had other people interested in him. It was not my intention to end up with two horses.
    Time is by far the biggest issue. I try to ride both on my days off, and twice a week I try to ride both on evenings that I generally don’t have to be up early the next day as it means getting home at 11pm. I’m a single cat lady, so other than work, my time is mine. I’m not good at rushing through grooming and tacking up because I love the time spent with the horses. Lack of time has meant lack of consistency and a horse who is still very green after two years.
    Money has also gotten tighter – I had to buy a new saddle for #2 and I’ll have some planned vet bills this year. I took a second gig to try to make some extra money, which of course means less time to ride.
    If an opportunity came up to lease or sell #1, I’d take it. In the meantime, it’s nice to have an experienced ride to work on me, and enjoy the progress on the green guy.

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    1. That’s a really good point- that it would take longer to get out of the green stage because of lack of consistency/time.

      And OMG- I didn’t even THINK about a whole new saddle. That may be enough to permanently put that idea to bed 😂😂

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  12. love the comments on here and I’ll probably come back to read more. it’s really helpful seeing everyones experiences.

    I’ve been thinking about this SO MUCH. right now I can’t, my SO is in school full time so all the extra carrot money goes to that (which I am more than happy about).

    Buuuut… we frequently talk about ‘after that’. It’s implied that we will be a multi-horse home eventually. Someone said above the horses would need to be in different stages of training and that is absolutely necessary. I love Spicy right now but working with him takes an hour and I don’t like to be rushed. He’d need to be settled enough that I could do him in less time before I got another. I really want to do the RRP in 2021-22, and Spicy is going nowhere, so I guess sometime before then I will have 2. You know, crossing all crossables and keeping in mind that life is a cluster that I have no control over etc. We could be living in singapore for all I know at that point.

    That being said my horse also sat for four days this week because of family loss, car troubles, etc etc etc. But my horses could do worse things than sit!!

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    1. The comments have all been so great! Definitely good things to think about.

      I 100% agree that horses would need to be different phases of training. Pilgrim 2.0 (or any other potential pony) would be a young OTTB, as that’s my budget. So very different from P’s training level.

      I wish I could predict P’s future- that’d make this whole thing so much easier!

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  13. Pros: Always have a horse to ride. It’s fun to enjoy the different personalities. If you have time and like to ride daily, guarantees that each horse has enough rest as you alternate between two (or three). Horse for a friend to ride (if they’re chill enough for that).

    Cons: Basically everything one horse needs, doubled and then some in some instances. More costly. Takes more time. Hard to juggle schedules for competition and riding with the rest of life. Different diets. Different needs for farrier scheduling (fortunately I trim my own, but still, ugh).

    So WHY do I have THREE horses? Well. Three wasn’t the plan. Two wasn’t the plan either, but when I was given Grif as a young project, I knew I needed to get SOMETHING to pass my time with riding until he was older. When I had just Q and Grif (and was single) things worked out beautifully. I still rode every day and each horse got the rest they needed to be healthy and happy. If one had an abscess, I had the other to ride. They’ve both taught me an inordinate amount that I wouldn’t have learned from the other. It’s been so great to share them with friends. Stan entering the picture made it way harder to keep balance (but I knew he’d become mine one day and couldn’t say no). He’s older though and is the easiest of the three to lend to ANYONE to ride. So that’s nice, but overall, it’s a stretch having 3 and I definitely won’t do this again unless I have multiple retired horses. I enjoy having multiple horses, but it suits my lifestyle that isn’t centered around competition. If I was competing with a fuller schedule, I don’t think it would work out well.

    You’re asking yourself all the right questions re: whether or not you should pull the trigger. I’m certain you’ll make the best decision either way. 🙂

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    1. Three sounds insane, but definitely can see why it would work for you. I can also see the benefit of being able to have a horseless friend ride with ya (sanity depending, of course). Thanks for the vote of confidence!

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  14. um i emailed you already. And yes I think you are crazy. Get P sound (or back to normal) reevaluate his needs and his use to you (sorry but you have to be tough) if he is not what you need, find a good home for him and then get another horse. Two horses will be hard esp if they are not in your back yard. If you were crazy and single with no kids maybe I would say…go for it (but you are just crazy with a husband and kids). Otherwise I would find something to lease nearby and try that (I know the one horse was not the one for leasing).

    Good luck. I would pass no matter what. What if this new horse has some issues down the road. do you want to have two horses laid up? Sorry I know I am doom and gloom! 🙂

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      1. I actually think it’s harder when they’re in your backyard, especially riding-wise. Every single person I know who has their own farm rarely has time to ride because of everything else that needs to be done. My barn owner couldn’t evict me if she tried her hardest!

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  15. Blahhhh I know I have no time to ride two… Let’s be honest, May is even partially leased out because I don’t really have time for ONE! I get the desire though… like a lot. Ideally, I would have one “made” horse with at least a partial (or full) leaser and a green horse that’s only ridden by me and/or my pro. If money were no object, I would have May with her current half leaser 3x a week, and I would buy a greeny that would get a couple of rides a week from my pro and the rest from me.

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  16. I was super close to buying a second horse when Amber was scheduled for surgery (like actively looking and browsing sites because I was sure something was going to happen after it lol and in a way something did lol). I ultimately didn’t because I knew if I got a second horse most of my attention would shift to that horse, and Amber would be left with whatever time/energy I did or didn’t have left. And that (okay mostly money but that second) was why I decided to only keep one horse so that Amber had my time and energy because I don’t have a lot of time. So that was what decided it for me. It’s been super tough to only do lessons, to sit around and not really ride because Amber AND Whisper are down for the count, but it’s taught me a lot – where I need to be patient, do things for myself, shift my focus to have a more balanced life so yeah lol. It’s actually been a good thing. Hopefully we all helped a little!

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