As the time for your horse to retire nears, you will need to make some plans for your horse’s care. Some horse owners are lucky enough to retire their horses at home, but horse owners without their own barns will have to look for other options. Sending your horse to a retirement facility is a popular option, but all horse retirement facilities are not the same. These tips can help you to evaluate a retirement facility that you’re considering.
Decide What You Want in a Facility
Before you start looking, think about what you want in your horse’s retirement facility. Do you want it to be located a certain distance from home, or in a particular climate? Does it matter if your horse goes out with others, or do you want him to have his own private turnout? What about the services provided – do you want a facility where your horse will be groomed every day?
Ask About Staff Experience
As you start looking at individual facilities, one of your first questions should be to ask about the experience of the staff. You’ll want a facility where the staff have years of experience in caring for older horses, and it’s a good idea if staff have excellent First Aid skills, too.
Find About Special Needs Accommodations
If your horse has special needs, like requiring daily medication or not being able to eat grass, then be sure to mention these to each facility early on in the process. Many retirement facilities can accommodate the special needs of individual horses, but you’ll want to double-check that your horse’s particular needs can be met.
Get a List of What’s Included in Board
Ask for an itemized list of what is included in the facility’s monthly board price. This can help to eliminate surprise extra fees that may be added onto your bill each month.
Take a Visit
If possible, go out and see the horse retirement facility in person. Take a look at the condition of the facility and whether the paddocks and stalls seem to be safe and clean. Don’t forget to look at the horses too – do they seem well cared for, and are they in good spirits?
Get Details About Visiting and Emergency Policies
Finally, ask any questions you may have about visitation policies and emergency policies the retirement facility has in place. These differ between different facilities, so ask all of the questions you need to fully understand these policies.
With a bit of time and research, you’ll be able to find a horse retirement facility that’s just right for you and your horse.