Anxious about sending her offsite


Well-Known Member
May 20, 2001
For the first gentle introduction to saddles and riding 2 years ago I hired Minnie's trainer to come out to our place. He came once or twice a week and made good progress here.
Now I'd like for her to finish her training and he thinks she will be absolutely amazing. :inlove:

But the way people usually do it is to send the horse to the trainer's property so he has an opportunity to work with her every day. That would mean if she stays there a month she would have at least 20 lessons and I would be welcome to come anytime because he thinks it's important for me to know and learn alongside of her what cues she is learning to respond to.
So she would stay there and get training at the same time for the same amount that it would cost for 6 offsite lessons on our property.

He has a nice place with turn out and would very slowly introduce her to the rest of the horses there. I've really liked his no gadget, gentle way with horses and I am happy with the trainer.

But I am feeling super anxious about letting her go offsite for a month.

Maybe it's related to boarding DJ and how it changed him. :(

Or maybe it's just that she's never left home since she came here as a yearling. We have 3 horses and while she always has company, DJ and Bixby (my other mare) have more of a pair bond so in some ways I feel like I am Minnie's pair bond substitute, the one she follows, the one that scratches her itchy spots, etc.

I wonder if she will be as sad as I will be to have her gone. And she won't even know she will come back! :cry:

And how will it affect herd dynamics when she does come back? Will they easily accept her back or give her a hard time?

Since I do want to start taking her places including the large barn I take my own lessons at exposure to a large barn environment may be good.

But she is so flawless and unspoiled at this point. If she comes back and anything bad happens to her or changes her I'll be devastated.

So to send her off? Or to not send her off?


There are pros and cons to both as far as I can see - I'd certainly only send a horse off site for training somewhere I was completely confident in. I'm sure horses are more resilient than we give them credit for sometimes, but it seems hard on them to add the stress of an upheaval and relocation to all the training. We know it's temporary, they have no way of knowing they'll ever go home again.

We've had the odd horse leave and then return to the yard over the years, they seem to slot straight back in, so there's probably not so much to worry about there if he does go to boarding school :)


New Member
Sep 27, 2007
North Staff's
I had same scenario with Xander, he'd never been off my yard since I got him as a yearling. He's a really unconfident horse generally too. He went away for the whole June last year. New horses, new fields, new people, new routine. I looked upon it as it can only improve him - he couldn't get much more unconfident & Dave knows what he's doing!

And you know what? He absolutely thrived. He hit it off instantly with the other horse he was sharing fields with. No scrapping, kicking squealing, they went straight off investigating their new field together like they'd known each other years.

He was always calm went I went to visit, no signs of stress or anything, and he really excelled in his training while he was there. I'd done loads of groundwork but he was far from perfect, and got to the point where I could sit on him & be led about, but that's it. When he came back I could straight away hack him out & school in walk, trot, canter & he does lovely lateral work.

Most importantly, his self confidence was brimming & I was so pleased about that. Previously I'd barely been able to go 2 mins walk off the yard in hand. He was so afraid he could be dangerous (just trying to take off But barging & spinning - nothing like rearing or kicking). the say after he came back we walked straight out on a hack & he did nothing silly, just a few little jumps at things, but he showed interest rather than terror in all the new things.

So I've never regretted it - the only bad thing was my own feelings of not having him here, so, close, to see everyday.

Eta I don't know if it's commonplace there, but here it's pretty much the norm for them to be sent away.
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Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
Perthshire, Scotland
Oh I remember this fear! I sent my horse away for retraining a couple of years ago (god, is it that long ago!). He was away for seven weeks in total and I panicked about him settling well, he is such an introverted chap, quiet, would be bullied, I worried about him incessantly.
But the benefits outweighed the negatives and I couldn't believe how chilled he was - he had horsey friends, things to look at, and grass. He was quite happy when I visited (which was almost every day towards the end as I was getting lessons on him again and when he returned he slotted in quite calmy again.
I think as long as you are happy with where she's going to be in terms of care and attention, you will be doing her the power of good - different sights and experiences which just serve to enrich her learning.

Ginger Thing

Active Member
Jul 10, 2003
We keep 2 of our horses at a friend's house, with her 2. Her youngster was too much for her and was sent to one trainer for several weeks, came home, she couldn't cope with him so was sent to a different trainer for another few weeks (horse was eventually sold, after he'd come home again). Even though he kept coming and going, he always fitted straight back in with the other 3 every time he came back, they'd just look up from grazing and go 'oh, he's back' and carry on! There was never any trouble, and she's had other unsuitable horses come and go since then too without any.

I'm sure Minnie will be fine, at least you can go over there and see her, and you trust the trainer, which is important.
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