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Horse + Toddler. How???

(14 Posts)
buttercupyellow Mon 16-Sep-13 19:26:16

I have a horse on DIY livery at a busy yard/working farm and a 15mth ds who's favourite hobby is running as fast as he can into the path of danger!
I'm about to have to start bringing in at night. Last year I could just strap ds into a pram and get on with it but I can't see him putting up with that this year!
Would love to hear how any one else manages/managed in this situation. Is it possible to get to the end of the year with both boy and horse still alive?!
All tips gratefully received! Thanks.

StarsAboveYou Mon 16-Sep-13 19:38:28

This isn't what you are going to want to hear but I have an 18month old DS and for the first time ever my pony is on full livery.

The only way I could have managed otherwise was to be at the yard at 5.30am to turn out ( DS & DH still in bed) and back again at 8.30pm to bring in (DS in bed). Otherwise I would never have seen DS on working days which I would have hated.

Could you share days with another owner so you take it in turns to go up?
Can DS stay with anyone while you go to see the horse?

Hope someone can offer some suggestions.

snowpo Mon 16-Sep-13 21:35:04

Ooh, I am shuddering at the memories of it! I'd moved from a yard like that when DS was about a year, to a quieter yard with no tractors etc.
Even so it was a nightmare to keep track of him. One good thing was the sandschool was generally empty so I could shut him in there for a bit (I could still see him!) He had a mini tractor to tootle around on.
Basically everything took 3times as long cos I had to keep running after him or trying to find out where he was. Quite stressful. I still had a pram for turning out and bringing in which he was happy to be pushed down the road in.
Sorry not much help, good luck.

Booboostoo Thu 19-Sep-13 13:45:56

Sorry another negative story here. I have 4 horses at home and a 2.4yo and the only thing I can do on my own is throw hay over the fence. Even that takes ages as getting DD to co-operate can sometimes be a nightmare! For anything else, handling and riding, I need another adult to look after DD otherwise it's just too dangerous.

If you do leave your DC in a car or stable just make sure other adults are about in case you get injured bringing in.

Maplestrirrup Fri 20-Sep-13 08:16:44

I had to opt for the very very early mornings and late evenings. On the odd occasion I did take DCs it took ten times longer and was v stressful. I have also seen an accident involving a horse and a small child which really made me think twice about taking DCs to yard.
Smaller yard might be the answer?

DarkHorse2013 Fri 20-Sep-13 10:58:33

I remember this phase well - not easy with two horses. Only way I coped was to carry DD in one of those back carrier hiking things which she thought was great fun, kept her out of harms way and left both my hands free for everything else. Good luck!

Booboostoo Fri 20-Sep-13 14:54:55

I've been flattened three times by a horse barging through (twice by a horse that had a tendency to do this and once by a horse that has never done anything like this before or after) and been squashed against the stable wall by another horse so I'd be very weary of carrying a child and being around horses.

Orchardbeck Sat 21-Sep-13 08:10:20

Another reply that isn't going to help very much; I had two horses that I kept on our farm 100 yards or so up the road, and a baby - one horse had to go as couldn't manage to turn out two, also couldn't trust the youngster not to be stupid. I used a front carrier with dd1 to turn out the older horse, but it wasn't ideal by any means, I was scared of falling over.

When mucking out time arrived she was either made to sit in the pushchair or her trike with a handle but that didn't last long. This spring I have been on pins whilst she played outside with a stick - hated her moving from the doorway.

I have finally got OH to build a stable block at home (our paddocks are at home, just had it concreted last week and now waiting on the internal panels this week, v exciting!) as now have DD2 in tow who will be in the pram, as well as dd1.

We have also added a mini Shetland to the crew so the idea is dd1 will help with the jobs (luckily she is keen!) whilst dd2 sleeps... Fingers crossed this will make my life so much easier!

mrslaughan Sat 21-Sep-13 09:16:36

I think you either have to strap him into his pram - and put up with the screaming.... Or put an iPad infront of him. Or
Try and team up with another mother/ and do swap-seys, you look after hers while she does her horses, she looks after your kids while you do your horses.

Or find a teenager who is at the yard to watch him - I think you would have to pay....
Find someone to keep an eye on him at home, while you do it.

My 8year old comes with me to the yard (and loves it) - my nearly 4 year old doesn't unless I have another adult with me, as I can't trust her still 100% (yard v busy and have to cross a lane, that woohoo speed down, can't lead dhorse and hold dd's hand)

I wouldn't do a backpack or front pack

Floralnomad Sat 21-Sep-13 10:27:18

I had to resort to full livery for our 3 horses when I had my first and we just kept the Shetland on DIY .One of the horses I had was unsafe for adults to be around let alone a toddler ! It's not just the work aspect it's also finding time to ride , I relied on my mum during the day to have the baby whilst I rode and to add on 3 lots of mucking out etc as well would have been taking the mick . That said we never really found anywhere we were that happy with so still had loads of involvement just to ensure my 'babies' were being looked after how I wanted .

Landy77 Sat 21-Sep-13 17:50:53

I have a 20mth old dd I am lucky as horses live at a private yard but I am finding the key is to include dd in all the jobs, she loves sweeping mixing the feeds, soaking the hay. I would suggest buy an all in one waterproof suit, wellies a mini barrow and chilrens fork and let your toddler get involved. I turnout before dh goes to work and bring in around snack time for dd then go back for late night checks. We also have invested into the worlds sweetest shetland which dd loves, appreciate that wont be easy with a livery yard.

Manchesterhistorygirl Sun 22-Sep-13 21:52:38

You need to find a yard with other parents. Just like mine. wink

Seriously we all watch each other's kids and as there's lots of kids they can all play together in one area. We have a gated area for the kids at the top of the yard to keep them from the horses. I also provide lots of toys (bikes, tractors, etc) for them to play on.

I definitely recommend a full set of waterproofs. My boys are nearly 8 (it's his pony) and nearly 3 and it's difficult, but the above all makes it easier for all of us on the yard.

dappleton Mon 23-Sep-13 06:56:46

all I can come up with is you either need a groom or a nanny - sorry, it's not very helpful but anyone with a better idea is a better woman than me grin

thinkingaboutfostering Fri 04-Oct-13 13:18:29

Why being in at night? Leave horses out rugged with ad lib hay/haylage!!! Much better life for the horses IMHO (who wants to stand in a room the size of your bathroom for 12 hours a day). Leave them out. Less likely to get cold as they will be moving around all night-better for their joints too. Win win situation. Take your DS down to the field a couple if times a day to check them. If you have to take hay down wheelbarrows make an excellent and exciting alternative to pushchairs. Better still get a friendly local farmer to put in big bale hay once a week for the horses. You never know u might even find time to spend with your horses lol.

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