When Horse People Go On Vacation: 7 Concerns Only Equestrians Truly Understand

Horse people go on vacation, too. And when we do, we really know how to let go. We can relax with the best of them… for about five whole minutes. Then we start thinking about what could happen while we’re gone.

There’s a meme going around the internet about horse people and vacations (in fact, we shared it on our Insta not that long ago):


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True though this may be, every once in a while, we horse people do manage to sneak away from our equine pals and go on an actual vacation. You know, one where there aren’t horses (or at least not ones for which we are responsible) and we don’t have to be up with — or before — the sun in order to feed, groom, and ride. When that actually happens, shocking though it may be, we can relax, breathe a sigh of relief, and appreciate the view…

Photo by DeAnn Long Sloan

For all of about a minute and a half.

Then the worry sets in. Because let’s get real. After you take that sigh of relief, you begin to think of all the things that could be an issue while you’re away from the farm. Even if you have the most reliable of farm-sitters, horse-watchers, etc., the fact is that you’re out of town. That means you can’t possibly relax and instead will worry about all the what-ifs that could happen while you’re away. Just the thought of every thing that can happen while you’re away is enough to send any equestrian into hysterics.

But the good news (maybe?) is that you’re not alone. After all, misery loves company. Here are seven concerns pretty much every horse person has while on vacation:

1. Your horse will get injured.

You’re gone. That means the chances of one of your horses incurring a life-threatening injury have increased exponentially. Even if the injury isn’t life-threatening, it’ll probably be career-ending. Or, at the very least, result in extended stall rest and numerous vet bills. And what if someone doesn’t recognize the injury right away? Then what?

2. The weather.

When you manage horses, there are all these things you do to try to control all the things over which you have no control. One of the things you do is come up with about thirty contingency plans based on the weather system that is rolling in. Whether it’s extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, ice, or whatever, you have set ways of dealing with it. And when you’re gone, no one does it quite like you do.

3. The fence might go down.


Good barn help is hard to find. Even with the best of barn help, having someone who isn’t you repair fencing is asking a bit much. And part of the reason you worry so much about the weather is that you also worry that a tree might take out the fence. Or that a power outage will affect the electric fence and the savvy velociraptor-like pony who always checks the fence for weakness will definitely get out.

4. The horses will run out of water.


Because you know if horses don’t have enough water, the chance of colic goes up by, like, a million percent. And what if the person feeding didn’t check the troughs? Or forgot about the one in the far field? Or what if they didn’t clean the troughs and now the horses don’t want to drink as much as they usually do?

5. The horses might run out of feed.

Sure, you stocked up on enough feed to last for the next six weeks (even though you’re only going to be gone for four days), but the horses might run out of feed. Really. They could.

6. Your hay person is ready to deliver.

So, there answer to this one is simple: don’t leave during hay season. If you do your own hay, this is a no-brainer. But for those of us who rely on others, you spend most of early summer waiting for the text that lets you know that the hay is cut, being baled, and nearly ready for delivery. Sometimes being gone during this time is unavoidable. When that’s the case, you spend every day crossing your fingers and hoping your hay person doesn’t tell you it’s go time.

There are plenty of other things to worry about. And we know you’ll think of them while trying to relax away from the barn. Let us know what YOU worry about when you’re away from the farm.

In the meantime, try to take a breath, relax, and enjoy the moment.

Photo by DeAnn Long Sloan