New moms and horses at home

I have two horses at home and am due with my first in December.

I’m sure after a few weeks we’ll get into a routine, but how did you manage to take care of your horses those first couple of weeks home with a newborn?

For reference, my horses are mostly out, but come in 2x/day for meals for a couple hours. Daily chores include tidying up stalls and barn, prepping grain, refilling outside hay feeder, checking trough and picking dry lot. Usually takes me 30-45mins.

Just this morning as I was bringing the horses inside for breakfast and taking care of the chickens, I though to myself, “how do I do this with a newborn?” Ideally my husband would watch the baby when I did chores, but he travels constantly and realistically will probably only be home to help the first two weeks.

Do I board them for a couple of months until I get into a routine? Ask my mom or MIL to come over to help? What did you all do?

I’m sure I’m overthinking and it’ll work itself out but as a first time mom, it’s stressful!

that would be my suggestion

My wife and I boarded the horses when our first two children came then went horseless until after the youngest child was three years old

I’ve never had horses at home… but I’ve had a baby.

Get all the help or board them out for a few months. No matter how your delivery goes, your body will need time to heal. If you have a C-Section, you will not be able to do more than feed your baby for at least 3 weeks (stomach incision).

I’m Canadian, so thankfully I was privileged with a full year paid off, plus other resources. The first 3 months were still very tough. (It’s referred to as the 4th Trimester)

You will also be working on sleeping for maximum 2hrs at a time, 24/7 for the first month or so. If you are breastfeeding, likely less. I think for the first 6 weeks my longest stretch of personal sleep was about an hour and a half.

Keep yourself in shape now, but be prepared to ask for help. Take the help. Use the help! I wouldn’t want to rely on myself to take care of animals more than a cat for at least a month.

Just remember that it’s not just as simple as having someone ‘watch the baby’ while you go about your regular life. Your body needs time to heal, and you will be utterly exhausted physically and mentally.

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An alternative to boarding would be to have a horse sitter for the first couple of months.

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The people I know just bring their babies in the barn with them!

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In they days/week after giving birth!! All the power to them :wink: I was just making it through the day, there would have been no way I could have cleaned stalls or taken care of the horses!

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well, we could not find our youngest one day, checked everywhere then notice a horse also missing, she (at about five) had gotten “Her Horse” taking the mare to the barn then was training Her Horse… the mare just looked at me with an expression of I Tired To Stop Her

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yeah, I don’t have kids so I can’t really even imagine how they do it haha or really, any of the parenting! Props to all the parents out there.

Flag flying member of the “Just Winging It!” club since 2018.

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Oh gosh, I didn’t even think about my body needing time to recover. Cleaning stalls and lifting bales would be a nightmare!

@Janet That’s a great idea! It would be a lot easier on my senior retiree if I didn’t have to move him. I don’t know of anyone offhand, but at least I have several months to put some feelers out there and start looking for someone who could help!

I also have four dogs, they will no doubt be enough work without dealing with the horses! Sounds like either boarding/finding a barn worker is my best bet, by far.

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Not quite the same but I had surgery in March and boarded my three for two months, until I was cleared to lift heavy things. It was great, and if you can swing it I’d recommend it. You’re going to be sleep-deprived as well as healing.

Birth is so unpredictable. I wish you a quick and uncomplicated labour and delivery, and may you be one of those mythical Mammas that are back to the barn the next day :wink:

Also to think about is that I had an emergency Csection and we were in hospital for 5 days. You just never know. A barn worker sounds like a good thing to have set up. You may want the help the last few weeks of pregnancy too!

And congratulations! :slight_smile:

I just ran out to the barn when baby was napping in the early morning ( after being fed/ changed). I took my monitor with me and worked like crazy.

If baby was awake I just took him/ her( i had 3 kids) in their car seat/ carrier thing ( it has been a looong time) and put her in a safe place while I did my work.

If it is too cold and baby wouldn’t sleep then I just quickly did my feeding and then did any cleaning the next time they slept. Not doing animal chores , farm work, mowing grass ( push mower)or going back to all my regular duties immediately was never an option.

I had no choice and I lost my pregnancy weight quickly. You just adjust how you do those things for a while.

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I had a c-section with both kids; my mom stayed with us for a week or so. DH took care of the horses that first couple of weeks but then he was back to work, mom was gone and I was back to doing chores. I had the kids in strollers parked in a safe spot or I took a monitor out with me while they were napping.

You can plan ahead a bit and put some bales down where they are already handy for the first few days, pre-package some grain, etc. We just incorporated the kids into whatever we were doing, we used stock tanks as play pens and had an exersaucer in the bed of the truck while we were doing fencing, I think it was good for all of us!

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I am due in October with my first and have my horses at home. To be honest, I am most concerned about this because of blanketing and all!
I have a mini and my very old retired mare, so I will not be moving them to board. My mom will be staying to help for a week or two, then my husband says he doesn’t mind doing blankets. I have some horsey friends near me that have offered to help too.

I did get a monitor that has video and will reach to my barn (not far from my house) so I can run out during naps after I heal.

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Unless you are in a very cold climate, do you need to blanket them at all? If they have enough hay and there is good shelter (out of the wind, out of the rain, comfortable to nap in), they might be fine without blankets.

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My thoughts exactly. Unless you’re in Siberia, crank up the hay and give them a wind break

My BO - 20 horses - has a 4 month old.
She was back teaching lessons in a week after giving birth. Just brought the baby with her. She did have full time help with stalls for a couple of months, but now does them herself 3 days a week. Baby comes with her.
This aft he just napped in the stroller while she helped me with my young horse.
She also has a 3 1/2 year old who also came to the barn as a newborn. She now goes to day care Mon-Fri.
DH watches over both kids on the 3 evenings she teaches lessons.
If you want it to work, you make it work…

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I don’t blanket the mini ever… that would be abuse!

The ancient mare has always been thin skinned, and she has unlimited hay / mush but let’s us know quickly if she needs a blanket. She has been with me for 17 years and I owe her the best retirement after all she has done for me :slight_smile:
I do not blanket normally unless a horse absolutely needs it.

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No advice specific to kids, but can you streamline your feeding routine at all so they don’t come into the barn? In the winter when my boys are out 24/7 I use feed bags for grain and it’s so much easier than schlepping them in/out and cleaning stalls. I also only feed grain once a day if at all possible (depends on how much they eat, meds, etc of course).

If they are getting separate hay portions or soaked cubes when stalled could you set up a separate feeding pen for one horse with corral panels or electric tape so you just have to open/close a gate?

I’d also definitely stage a week’s worth of hay at a time as close to where you feed it as possible, and possibly set up a hay feeder you can fill from outside the fence. Hopefully you will bounce right back but it might provide peace of mind if a non-horse-person could toss hay easily in a pinch.

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