Being an absentee horse own isn’t my first choice in life, unfortunately things happen and taking my pony with us when we moved halfway around the world for a few years wasn’t feasible. So that meant finding a safe place for Mud Pony to live while I was gone and looking after his needs from a far. It’s not ideal, but it can be done! If it has to happen to you, here’s how you can make sure your horse is well looked after in your absence.
1. Find a Barn You Trust
For me that meant going to the barn where I learned to ride and where I used to work. There is no place better for my horse to be than some place with people I trust. You can’t be there all the time, so you have to trust that day in and day out your horse will be well cared for.
2. Set Up Automatic Payments For Services
If possible, set up automatic payments for what expenses you can. My vet has my card on file, and they have an online pay option. No wondering if my check got lost in the mail or waiting a good few weeks for mail to go around the world.
3. Smartpaks are Money.
I mean yes, they are rather pricy, but in preparation for my upcoming absentee horse ownership I changed my horse’s existing supplements to Smartpaks. It actually ended up coming about the same price wise, plus I know he will get fed the correct amount, and he will always have supplements on hand.
4. Have a Trusted Horse Friend
You’ll want someone to check in on your horse for you and be there for the vet/farrier/dentist/etc. Maybe you are leasing your horse out and they can do it, maybe you have a trusted friend or relative, whoever it is make sure they can go and be your eyes and ears on the ground.
5. Make Sure Everything is in Order
Make sure your Trusted Horse Friend has all the documents they might need from insurance, to medical history, to first aid kits, tack, and any other gear they might need. I went so far as to write-up a document outlining the care Mud Pony should get, his likes/dislikes, a gear list, tack list, and even instructions for what to do if they can’t get a hold of me in an emergency.
No one wants to be away from their horse. Sometimes though, life sucks like that. All we can do is make the most of the situation and do what we can to make sure in our absence that our horse is healthy and happy.