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Owning two horses.... any advice welcome!
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FanFckingTastic · 07/09/2020 12:44

Hi All. A bit of background... we have had an amazing 14.1 for over 3 years now. We bought him for me to share with my very capable 9 year old daughter and have had the most amazing time with him. He's everything that we have wanted and more and we've had lots of fun and also lots of success showing, jumping, cross country etc. The problem is that he's now effectively been 'stolen' by my daughter who has got to the point where she's wanting to jump the bigger tracks that I would normally do, ride the Novice test that I would normally ride etc. This is great and I'm super-proud, but I'm also not ready to give up riding and competing myself and just watch from the side lines!

My hubby has seen this problem evolving and has agreed that we should start looking at adding another horse to the mix and we've tentatively starting looking. This one would hopefully be for me to ride and bring on, with a view to my daughter also riding and competing it in a few years time too.

For those of you with more than one horse, do you have any advice, or any warnings? Any thing that I should consider that I might not already have factored in? I've obviously already considered the extra cost etc and I'm hoping that the additional time of doing two horses will be helped by the fact that my daughter is now much more able to muck out, make feeds etc etc.

Any thoughts most welcome!

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maxelly · 07/09/2020 14:34

Ooh exciting times! I've owned 2 for a few years yet despite never really wanting more than one (acquired the 2nd as a bit of a rescue/emergency case), albeit one is currently on full loan and one is broken and on field rest so I'm actually riding a 3rd pony (not mine) as a part-loan/share Shock

The things I would say are that somehow even if you use full all-inclusive livery, having two ends up costing more than double the price of one, you need more kit, things wear out quicker if being used twice as much plus things like extra lessons etc. And I spend more on things like the 'add-on' services I pay the YO to do like bringing in and holding for the vet, where I was able to do some of it myself when I only had the one, I had to pay for much more with the 2nd as couldn't manage the time off work etc (and my 2nd turns out to have been a walking injury machine so has had a lot of vet visits!).

I would recommend being super organised and having a strong routine about when/how both get exercised etc., if you have to get two boxes mucked out, two groomed and ridden and two sets of tack cleaned in a short period of time, your time for 'faffing' about for want of a better word, is much reduced, i.e. you probably don't also have time (unless you want to be on the yard all night!) to dawdle about having a chat with your mate, or to spend 20 mins lovingly straightening your beds or brushing pony's tail so there isn't a straw/hair out of place - don't get me wrong I keep my stables, gear and horses tidy and clean but having 2 in work plus a full time job and family/household to run means you need a more business like approach, and some of the nice-to-do jobs have to be saved for the weekend! I did make use of shortcuts such as sometimes lunging for 20 mins instead of riding - I definitely took the view that 20 mins good solid work, achieving progress was just as useful (if not more so) than an hour's ride, most of which is spent slopping around on a long rein or standing in the middle of the school chatting (looking at you, teenage girls on my yard!)... I do like a nice un-pressurised potter around sometimes but again that had to be more of a weekend thing really to fit it all in!

Finally could you look into getting a sharer for one or both horses so that the pressure is off (both for jobs and time spent riding) a few days a week? Financial contribution is usually helpful too! This is what I did with my first horse when I really needed to spend more time and energy on the 2nd, and it's led to her eventually being on full loan with her sharer so it's worked out great!

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RatherBeRiding · 07/09/2020 16:18

Don't keep them together! I assume you are on livery where it probably won't be a problem but be aware of issues if you take them both out together competing and hacking regularly as they may form a bond. Shouting to each other across the car park is an absolute ball-ache at best, and at worst you may get one napping back to the other one. And, yes, I do speak from experience! Hmm

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RatherBeRiding · 07/09/2020 16:21

And if your second horse is the same kind of size as the first one, they can share rugs, headcollars, bridles, boots - which can make life a bit easier!

And try to get them on the same feed or you may end up bags and bags and bags of different feed. My two are on Pink Mash and Hoof-kind. Both of them! The amounts may vary but I only have a limited range of feed to buy.

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HappyGirlNow · 07/09/2020 22:36

I have three though one is retired.. I’d say in addition to what others have said, get them on the same schedule for things like vaccinations, dental, farrier etc as otherwise it all starts to get very messy 🤯

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FanFckingTastic · 08/09/2020 09:34

Thanks for all the tips! I think that getting them on the same schedule will definitely be a must. Luckily current ponio is the most easy little man ever - he's barefoot and eats next to nothing so will fit in easily with whatever the new horse needs. On the downside, because we are looking at the 15.2 mark for the new horse it's unlikely that they will be able to share kit etc.

Now the difficult task is finding the right horse!!

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CountryCob · 09/09/2020 22:48

@RatherBeRiding is completely right, even if you think they are relaxed apart make sure that they do things separately regularly or they can refuse to be separated. It is very easy to do everything together without noticing what you are creating as it’s often easier

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pinkpolo · 10/09/2020 10:54

I have recently owned three horses at once, and I kept them all on a DIY yard. My advice would be to be super organised and get yourself into a good routine. I have a full time job too so I had to plan ahead. What worked for me was organising farrier visits for them all at once, as well as jabs/worming. It's expensive but I would put money aside each month. Meant I wasn't hanging around for multiple appointments, was all done at once. I used to have a white board in my feed room with the dates/appointments written down.

My three were turned out together and had stables next to each other. It wasn't a problem when we wanted to ride/take one out as every night they would do something on their own, even just a groom tied up outside, got them used to leaving each other and being on their own.

I also used to have a set colour for each horse, so they all had the same colour feed bowl/net/water buckets so I knew who's was who's! Sounds odd but it made life easier. They all got similar feed too, and same bedding/haylage. This cut down the bills.

What I found tricky was actually fitting the riding in!

I have since sold the two younger horses as DD lost interest, and it was all falling to me. I've now moved my remaining horse onto full livery and I have to say, it's heaven 😂

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ZooKeeper19 · 14/09/2020 17:31

@FanFckingTastic have you factored in transport to/from competitions? We have a nice mother/daughter sharers in our livery yard and they have a 14hh pony they share. The car and the trailer can however only tow one pony, not two. So were they to buy another one, they'd have to get a way bigger car and maybe a 3.5 tonner to go out together.

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FanFckingTastic · 16/09/2020 11:58

Thanks @ZooKeeper19 I have an Ifor Williams 505 so I can technically get two 16.2's in there if I wanted. Given that my boy is 14.1 and we are looking around the 15.2 mark I think we should be ok. I'm looking at Warmbloods, Connies, ISH types, not chunky cobs, so weight should be ok too. You're right though, it's things like this that you have to consider!

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compulsiveliar2019 · 16/09/2020 12:09

Tbh I find having multiple horses easier than having one. Since having two living together I haven't ever had to rush up to yards to bring in in case mines last left out ect! It also gives you more options in terms of livery/ renting fields ect.
I would just make sure you routinely take each of them out on their own - at least a couple of times a week.
Kit wise you don't need to double up on that much. I have 3 atm but have had 6 at one time and still use mainly the same basic kit that I had for my first. Grooming kits, first aid kits, mucking our kit ect don't need duplicating in my experience. So it's just things like feed buckets ect.
One thing I would say if you are looking to keep the horses together is to get something with similar needs. So if you currently have a good do-er then it makes life easier if you have another or vice versa. It's tricky having one that needs lots of food and another than puts on weight just looking at it. It also potentially means you can feed them the same/similar feeds and so reducing the need for lots of different feeds/bins.
Mine are similar sizes too so actually take the same size rugs so that helps too!

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