Unlimited access >

Ideas for leaving (non-horsey) husband home alone with the horses for a week

OMG- that is exactly how I feel about traveling away from home!! I am dreading going to Europe next summer with DH. I have 2 cats, 4 dogs, 17 hens, and two aged, difficult to manage geldings, as well as a yard/garden full of flowers. Sigh… and my DH just doesn’t understand how stressful all the planning will be to get the place ready to vacation away, as well as find a qualified farm sitter. Our kids (adults) are useless with our animals-- the last time our son stayed here for two days, he let the cats outside (they DO NOT GO OUT–coyotes!) and didn’t give the dog his medications. Despite clear instructions.

The added cost of either boarding dogs, hiring a farm sitter for two weeks or boarding the two horses and having family care for the dogs/cats/chickens/yard is not something to be ignored either.

Good luck Pehsness!


My non-horsey SO also does my farm-sitting. I sometimes forget he doesn’t completely know what he’s doing after all this time. I went away earlier this summer and “forgot” to explicitly tell him to clean the donkey’s stall since she stays in overnight. I mean, I kind of thought that was common sense. Poor donk was most definitely sleeping in squalor. :persevere:

Anyway, I would probably bed deeply with the pelleted bedding underneath. Maybe some preemptive Stall Dry or Sweet PDZ where the urine will pool. It will be a chore to clean when you get back, but your horse will be fine.


I hired a vet tech to cat sit my kidney cat (RIP) and my young cat. It was GREAT, because my younger cat was (and still is) terrified of people except for me and the house cleaner. He recognized that the cat wasn’t eating or using the litterbox as an emergency and intervened. Vet techs are great animal sitters!

I also like the idea of hubby doing a FaceTime or similar walkthrough. I get nervous when someone isn’t around with spidey sense, so this could be a backup option.

Pellets and Sweet PDZ sound like a good idea under straw for the urine. Too bad your run-in pee-er is a gelding, mares pee more out of the way!

Hope you’re able to formulate a workable plan and enjoy the cottage!

1 Like

[quote=“Pehsness, post:20, topic:787719”] We
grew up going to this area to a cottage, my sister loves it more then life itself and my kids do too, so whaddya do.

Can you send the kids to the cottage with your sister for an auntie&nieces nephews LoveTheCottage bonding week?

1 Like

I did it. I figured out how to quote. !!

But yep, it’s a serious stressor. But I can’t deny my kids family vacations because I would rather weed the squash bed and shovel manure in a particular fashion :smiley:

I was like this even before kids. We went away for 2 weeks when we got married 15 years ago and I remember coming home and being so sad that I missed that stage of my garden. It’s not rational, so I just try to work with it. We travel very little because we both have expensive hobbies that take up all our money anyway. I can suck it up for 1 week out of 52.


Congratulations on learning how to quote! I wish i knew how to do it properly on my phone.

Hold your finger down over the body of the message you want to quote. It will bring up teardrops over a highlighted portion, move the leading and following teardrops to highlight all of what you want. There will be a small quote button over the text area too, touch that. Bingo.

1 Like


Hire someone to come – maybe not every day but every other day. That way DH gets a break and you won’t worry as much. Even if he protests my bet is that he will appreciate it in the end.

1 Like

Look for a really hot young guy to hire to look after the horses. Having another guy there every day (since DH can’t handle horse chores-implied but not ever stated) may just get DH motivated to prove that he can handle the horses just fine.



Leaving tomorrow. I feel much better because I tested the pellets under the straw method and for two days there has barely been a wet spot to clean out. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this all along. The run in is much, much cleaner and I’m barely having to remove/replace any bedding other then the bit of wet under the clean and dry straw.


So just to update… this worked beautifully. I was dreading the 5 wheelbarrow loads of clean up but there was one. Granted, it was a full one and the barrow is extra large, but still, it was great. I put 4 bags of dry pellets under 4 bags of straw, and the stall (run in) was dry and clean on top. I just had to pull away the top layer to get at the wet spot which wasn’t even sopping.

The only downside is the dust from the volume of pellets, but otherwise, worked perfectly.


It’s great that you were able to find a solution! It’s so nice to have the option to occasionally step away from the farm for a few days.

check out Sandlee’s Horse Fresh …it is the same as PDZ but half the cost for the same size bag (go to their web site as there are often printable discount coupons for all of their products)

1 Like

I’m going to try pelleted straw next time. The bedding pellets I used ended up getting quite dusty as it took so long to get through the volume of bedding in the stall (I could have stripped it, but I couldn’t bear to “waste” it. Hopefully the straw pellets will have less dust.


I’m quite curious about the pelleted straw. My mum uses the Straw Boss bagged straw (so much lighter and easier to handle than shavings) and she also has a run-in pee-er, to the point where she put rubber mats into the run in because of how swampy he was making it.

1 Like

we had one horse who was allergic to pine in shavings or dust, we had him on shredded straw which came in compressed bags just like shavings . Little to no dust what so ever, the only dust came about from him grinding the straw into dust on the matted floor of his stall

Never seen or used pelleted straw

Yeah, I use straw boss. I love it (and it’s local to us). They have other lines too now, and pelleted straw is one of them. I tried a few bags once thinking they’d be better then the straw, but I didn’t care for them as the sole source of bedding. But in place of the dusty pellets on the wet spot they might do the trick.

The dusty pellets I use aren’t even pine, they’re made of some type of grass (also grown locally). I really do love them but he can’t tolerate the dust at all.

I am so sympathetic to this problem. I had three mares for years who barely ever used the run-ins as a toilet. I got a new mare about a year ago, and now it seems that their only bathroom spot is the run-ins. I’m literally mucking the sheds out 3-4 times a day because they also eat, get groomed, tacked, etc. in the sheds and I can’t stand them being in manure when going about our daily routine. I never thought I’d be thinking about how to train horses where to go to the bathroom, but I’m sort of at my wit’s end with this situation. They are outside with run-ins 24/7 and only come into stalls for vet/farrier appts, so it’s become a real drag to have to muck non-stall stalls multiple times a day. The sheds are matted and I had always had them bedded, but this summer I tried taking away any bedding to see if that would induce them to go elsewhere. It did cut down on the pee spots, but it seemed to only up the amount of manure.

I am very interested in trying some of these alternative bedding options as we head into the winter months, as it seems completely untenable to think about having to remove this much bedding and manure during the frozen months.

No, really? That’s a relief!! I always thought it was just me.
:rofl: :joy:;

DH would come to the barn about once a week and always want to help with the chores. It drove me nuts. But I learned to not say anything, let him do his thing, and understand the horses would survive if it wasn’t done “my way” for a day.

1 Like