Long distance move -- WWYD?

We’re moving halfway across the country in about six weeks, and we’re trying to find a place to board our two horses in our new city. But…it turns out the great majority of places there are full or have one stall, not two. I’d rather not separate my mare and my daughter’s pony (for all the obvious logistical reasons), but I will if I have to, and may be facing a series of subpar options: leaving both of them in short-term full training in our current city (complicated by some changes at our current barn but not impossible) until we can find somewhere in our new town that can take both of them, moving them both out to separate places, moving one of them and leaving the other one here until we can get a second stall…? If you’ve moved long distance with horses, I’d love any guidance you may have. Thanks!

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Keep looking, ask veterinary clinics if they know of any good place, maybe one of them would board until you find one?
Facebook, other such?
Give general location, someone here may be close and know of some place?

Sounds like any one way you choose it doesn’t has to be a long term solution, your options are greater like that.

This is a toughie.

In my area boarding is getting hard to come by. So I can sympathize with the everything is full type situation.

I don’t know your new city’s market, but here you would have a better chance of getting a second stall if you already had one stall.

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I also feel like moving there sans horses for a month or four might be better? Would you be having them transported professionally either way? If you have a trailer and would be moving them yourself, then that would change my answer, because the added cost of shipping or going back and forth with the trailer sorta sucks. But if professional hauling was your plan all along, go that route.

Once you are where you need to be, go barn shopping. Seeing in person is always better, plus you can talk to people, maybe even take some lessons and get a feel for places that are your short list. Often times a barn that establishes a relationship with you can “make room” for the second horse before an official opening. Plus you can maybe get an ear to the grapevine on what barns to avoid, so you aren’t picking a place based on availability only to be scrambling to leave within four months because, yanno, horse people are crazy.


Personally I would bring them now and board them at separate barns until a second stall opened at one of them.

If there weren’t complications at your current barn I’d agree with the others that leaving them for a few months isn’t a terrible idea. But complications are never fun when you’re a long ways away, I’d be uncomfortable with the possible things that might happen to my horses during complicated times.

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I’ve moved one horse across country in all of my moves. Unless they are in a training situation, I would not leave both horses behind. I typically look at barns when I looked for places to live in each move. If you can swing a full training situation for a month or two, maybe it will be better to find a place when you move and can look at places. But that is stressful, I know. I wouldn’t leave my horses in someone else’s care for more than a month or two.

How do you define a “sub par” option? Can you make it out there for a couple of days to look at barns ASAP? Visiting barns really can tell you if they live up to the advertising, and it is not uncommon that a barn can make accomodations for an “extra horse” which will fill the spot when another horse leaves. Also, it is not uncommon for barns to suggest other barns that don’t advertise that may be able to help you in the mean time. You could visit those barns.

If you can’t visit, I’d suggest NOW getting on the phone to many of the barns to see if there are options you can take if something opens up or non-advertised places that may be nearby until spots open up in the same barn. Or, consider a non-optimal place first while really hunting down an optimal place when you are present and can visit and evaluate barns.

I’ve moved all over the U.S. with horses, and can understand your situation!!

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Have you personally visited the barns you are thinking of moving to at this time, or are they just barns that you found that have a stall?

I think the answer to that question really affects the answer to your question.

You have a known, maybe not perfect but known, situation where the horses are now. You know what things you will have to make sure happen and what things will work right even with out you there. That is a huge advantage to the current barn. Bonus if there is a trainer there that you like and trust. Is there a boarder there that you like and trust that you can ask (offer to pay) to keep an eye on your horses during this time?

When you get to the new place you are already going to be crazy busy so your ability to manage two horses at two different places is going to be limited, so to me it is better to deal with the evil you know versus the evil you do not know.


Why don’t you share with us where you’re moving, and we can see if anyone has any more-specific suggestions?

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I’ve done a lot of long distance moves and like J-Lu, looked at stables along with houses/flats wherever I was going. But I would not want to leave my horses for weeks or months.

I currently have two horses in two different barns – not due to moving, but rather some sordid barn drama – and while it definitely sucks, it’s tolerable and won’t be a long term thing. One of the horses is near OH’s work so he can check on her some days. That helps.

No way would I leave them behind. Let us know where you are looking and maybe people from that area can help?

Could you fly out to your new city for a few days and try to find a place for both and get a contract signed?