No one knows your horse better than you. So take a good look at him, and then figure out where you think he would do best. Is he an easy keeper? So he may do fine on a farm where they are just turned out, no added feed. Is he a retired show horse, who is used to being stalled, fussed over, fed in a bucket every day? If so, he will NOT do well just being turned out, but will need to go to a farm that offers more personal care in addition to daily feedings.
This is the most important question you need to ask any prospective retirement farm. At Idylwood, the answer is 'whenever you want.' and no, you do NOT need to tell us ahead of time that you are coming. If the farm you are looking at says that you can only see your horse when you call ahead, make an appointment, or just on certain days & times, for 'insurance reasons' that is a big red flag. It's your horse. You should be able to see him whenever. Literally. If you live out of state, as many of our boarders do, just ask Rusty to snap a pic of your horse and send it to you or we can post it on our facebook site. Any time. No problem.
At Idylwood, we will blanket & un-blanket your horse all winter long. You provide the blanket. This is no cost for you. We ask that you supply or we can buy and you reimburse us for a fly mask. Again, putting on/taking off, no charge. We routinely fly spray everyone about every 2 weeks over the summer. No charge. If he gets a little cut/scrape, we will treat him like our own, and hit it with antibiotic spray, etc . No charge. Have him on a special supplement? you supply it, we will add to his feed, no charge. Many of our boarders use Smart Pak supplements and have them shipped directly here. We will hold your horse for the farrier, dentist, vet, no charge. all these things we consider to be part of our job when you retire your horse with us.
Be sure and ask the farm for current boarders that you can talk to. Now, it needs to be real boarders, who have had their horse there for over a month at least, and cannot be related to the farm, (not the daughters old show horse, that doesn't count) nor can it be the neighbors old pony. We are happy to supply you with references. Literally all of our boarders have asked to be a reference for us. That makes us feel good. Ask the farm for their vet's number. Ask them for their farriers' number. If they hesitate on either, red flag. If they try to tell you older horses do not need a farrier as often, that is hooey. Of course they do. Older horses get arthritis, in joints all over their body. The last thing you need is to have their feet out of balance, which will throw his legs, neck and back out of whack. Seriously. It's easier and cheaper to just make sure they see a farrier for a trim routinely. Here at Idylwood, we do it every 6 weeks. Ask if the farrier is included in the board price.
Our vets True North Equine Veterinary Service (540) 364-9111 feel free to call them and ask about us. be sure to visit their website