4.21.2017

Difficult Decisions

16


After asking a week or so ago, I finally got confirmation last night. When Fiction returns from training, he will be moved to 24/7 field board.

This has been a decision I've been mulling over for months. As it stands now, more than 1/4th of my salary every month goes to my horse. The rest goes to bills (student loans, car stuff, you name it). I don't pay rent and I've cut back on everything else that I possibly can (only $100/month for food if that, no eating out, no new personal items, dealing with severely scratched glasses bc I can't afford new ones, running tires down to dangerous thread levels as I push it as long as possible, etc). Scheduling a trip to Japan/Korea on a complete whim was, to be honest, me lashing out at not having an actual life outside of my horse. (A huge part of me regrets this decision, but another part recognizes it as partially necessary for my sanity - judge me as you wish).

In essence, it feels like I'm struggling to stay above the water with no long term plan in sight. Something needed to change. And if I've made sacrifices everywhere else that I possibly could, the only thing left was Fiction.

A part of me knows he'll be fine. He was 24/7 field boarded in Maryland before I bought him. The fields are OK at my barn (when it's not dumping rain), they supplement with hay in the winter, he has shelter, and I splurged this past year and bought him really nice clothes. Plus he runs hot and never seems to get too cold when he's outside. The other part of me feels horrible - like I'm taking his home away from him.

But if I want to continue showing, taking lessons, and providing my animals optimum veterinary care, while also moving ahead in my personal life, this is a necessary change. So, if anyone has experience field boarding and wants to share any helpful advice (like managing flies/feet/winter, etc), please let me know :)

16 comments:

  1. New to your blog. I felt similar when we moved from WI with stalls to SC where nearly everyone is on pasture board. Both our horses have really only improved with being outside all the time. Their hooves are healthier from all the movement and their bodies and mind seem to have flourished. Remember that horses are made for being outside. I'm sure he will be happy although you any not enjoy chasing him down and dealing with all the dirt as much ;)

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    1. Welcome! Thanks for the first-hand experience :) He very much enjoys being outside so I'm sure he will be much happier. It's just that human 'must be an overbearing mommy' part of me lol. I'm really hoping that it helps out with his overall conditioning, mood, and feet would be a bonus ;)

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  2. I agree with Sara- he will be fine. As long as he can get out of the rain/snow when he wants (and often they don't want) he will adapt and will likely be easier to handle with all the regular exercise that comes from living outside.

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    1. He has a very nice shelter and his field drains relatively well, so he should be good. It's just change that is hard lol.

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  3. idk, i kinda love field board

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    1. I think he will too :)

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    2. Second! I hope fiction loves it too!

      My advice for you is not to feel bad! If you can't afford to eat, live, or be personally healthy, then fiction will suffer even more for it.

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  4. Ryon is in a field right now. I'll echo what everyone says about having available shelter. They are extremely adaptable and we've even pulled his shoes, and he's doing great! You have to do what is right for BOTH of you

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    1. Thanks. He has a great shelter area, and I've seen him use it before, so he def. knows it is there lol.

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  5. I don't show Houston but he is on pasture Board. My biggest concern for him is keeping his feet solid through the summer with the flies. I use DeoClac gel on his legs. We'll see how bad it gets. He may end up with fly boots this year.

    Otherwise in the winter he doesn't get clipped (he doesn't get that hairy). Hope this gives you some breathing room!

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    1. Oh I'll have to check out Deoclac gel! Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah, he destroys his feet stomping a flies ><. I just bought some of those shoofly leggins to try too.

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    2. I've had the shoo-fly leggings for a week, and they are AWESOME. Haven't seen Val stomp once. I'm sure they will pay for themselves in fly-spray savings. :D

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  6. Leo moved to field board back in September (I think?) and it's been incredible for him. He's settled down a LOT and seems to really love being outside all the time (although the first week was a little rough - he'd stand by the gate and look pitiful). The biggest battle I've had has been getting him to keep a fly mask on; last summer he'd get out of every single fly mask that I tried to get him to wear. Leah from Confessions of a Dressage Barbie introduced me to the Equivizor, which is amazing, and he can't get out of, so if you need a good fly mask that's definitely one I'd recommend! I'm sure Fiction will be fine outside - all of our full time pasture horses love it!

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    1. Oh awesome - I'll have to check it out. Fiction normally doesn't wear one because every mask I've tried rubs his face raw. I'm hoping being outside 24/7 will help keep Fiction moving around too, especially in the winter when he gets a little stiff.

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  7. Never feel shame for doing what keeps you mentally healthy. These are hard decisions to make with yourself, but if it keeps you going and happy, it is always worth it.

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    1. Thank you :) I just need to really figure out how to keep things in moderation sometimes haha

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