Q. What is a 'Retirement Facility'?
A. We are a boarding facility specializing in care of retired, recuperating or other non-working horses. We provide individualized care at a reasonable price.
Q. What makes you different than a traditional boarding facility?
A. The main difference is that we do not allow riding on our property. This keeps our insurance costs much lower. You are also not paying for the use and maintenance of riding facilities. Other potential differences may be: we have a strict quarantine policy to protect residents from exposure to new pathogens, we usually keep our horses outside in pairs with shelter in each paddock, and we happily offer nearly limitless customization options. We follow the guidelines provided in 'AAEP Care Guidelines For Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities' published by The American Association of Equine Practitioners. Because it takes quite a bit of time and effort to settle a horse in to our facility, we prefer to have permanent rather than temporary boarders. To help cover some of these expenses, we do not refund your deposit if your horse resides here less than 6 months.
Q. Where are you located and when may I visit my horse?
A. We are approximately 1.5 hours east of the Twin Cities, 15 miles off interstate 94. You may visit anytime. A courtesy call is appreciated but not required.
Q. How much area will my horse live in?
A. Typically, compatible pairs will live in a 30' x 90' paddock with a run-in shelter. Each paddock has an attached 90' x 200-300' pasture which they are usually turned out in daily during pasture season. We can maintain horses in paddocks as dry lots as needed. Our stalls are approximately 12' x 12' for those on stall board.
Q. Who will my horse be turned out with?
A. We typically turn horses out in groups of two. We match them primarily in personality and energy level. Horses are fed concentrates separately.
Q. What type of hay do you feed?
A. Our hay is purchased locally and is mixed grass and alfalfa. Each crop of our hay is forage tested and we use the analysis to formulate our horse's diets. We purchase large square bales (800-1000 lb each) and store them in our pole barn, on pallets. Horses are fed by the flake in frequent feedings, in order to monitor consumption and assure quality feed.
Q. What concentrates do you feed?
A. We use FeedXL.com to formulate diets for the horses, and refer to an Equine Nutritionist at the University of Minnesota when we have problems or questions. Our horses receive a ration balancer appropriate for the forage they are eating at the time. We feed by weight - we base what we feed on the horse's weight and we weigh the concentrate for each feeding. If you prefer your horse receive a different type of feed, or if your horse needs a different diet - we will work with you to achieve this.
Q. What about water?
A. We currently provide water in Rubbermaid stock tanks - shared between 2 paddocks. The tanks are cleaned regularly. In the winter, we install drain-plug deicers. We are in the process of installing and switching over to automatic waterers in the paddocks. Stalled horses will continue to receive water in buckets (heated buckets in the winter).
Q. What is your deworming program?
A. We deworm based on fecal egg counts (FECs) using a schedule approved by our veterinarian. New horses have a FEC and are dewormed with Ivermectin/Praziquantel during the quarantine period when they arrive here. The FEC determines their [strongyle] egg shedding/contamination potential. All horses are dewormed in April with Moxidectin and in October (or after a hard frost) with Ivermectin/Praziquantel. Horses who are medium shedders are additionally dewormed in July with Benzimidazole or Pyrimidine. High shedders are also given Ivermectin in August. We will take additional steps if any horse shows clinical symptoms of parasitic disease. Horses prone to laminitis are dewormed with a double-dose of pyrantel pamoate rather than praziquantel. See the 'AAEP Parasite Control Guidelines' for more information on our approach.
Q. What types of fencing do you use?
A. We primarily use Horseguard fence. Some areas have 2"x4" mesh horse fence with a strand of Horseguard along the top.
Q. Will you take horses that crib?
A. Yes, we will board cribbers. We do not require they wear a collar.
Q. Do you have a veterinarian nearby?
A. Our veterinary clinic makes farm calls regularly. They are available 24/7 and are approximately 1/2 hour drive from our farm. Our primary veterinarian is Past-President of the Wisconsin Equine Practitioners Association. We also have 2 Equine Hospitals within 1.5 hours of our facility.
Q. What will you need sent with my horse?
A. Your horse will need proof of a negative EIA test within the previous 12 months. If he/she is coming from outside Wisconsin, they will also need a current certificate of veterinary inspection. Equipment-wise, we prefer your horse just comes with a halter and lead. Contact us about any additional equipment your horse might need while here.
Q. What type of insurance is needed?
A. Our facility has commercial liability and 'care, custody & control' insurance coverages. We require you have liability insurance to cover claims involving your horse.
Q. Will you haul my horse?
A. No, we do not transport horses.
Q. What fly control do you provide?
A. We utilize fly predators, so most flies are not an issue here. We provide fly masks with ear covers and wipe-on fly control when needed. We use good sanitation, manure and weed management.
Q. How often is someone around to watch over the horses?
A. Chris and Nan live on-site. We check on each horse a minimum of twice daily.
Q. Will you send me updates on how my horse is doing?
A. Certainly! Upon your request, we will send you photos and/or video of your horse as often as you would like.
Q. What horses do you take?
A. We will work with you to accommodate nearly any size, breed, or personality of horse.
Q. How will you handle boarding rate increases?
A. Our plan is to increase board by 5% each time the Annual US Inflation Rate cumulatively increases 5%, or if our major supply costs increase by an unusually large amount. You should expect an increase every 2-3 years, according to historical data. Pricing was last set in 2018.
Q. What are my options for End of Life arrangements for my horse?
A. We will help you and your horse as much or as little as you would prefer during this difficult time. We ask that you make some presumptive plans when you decide your horse will live here. You will provide an 'End of Life' deposit to cover euthanasia and associated expenses. The 'End of Life' deposit will be applied at the time it is needed and you will be refunded any remaining balance.