Pets bring people joy, reduce our stress levels, serve as workout partners, and provide health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and easing mental health issues. However, when you need to be away and cannot take your pet with you, you have to find someone to take care of them in your absence. Finding a pet sitter for a dog or a cat can be an easy task. Care for these types of animals is commonly understood among cat and dog lovers. Caring for a horse, on the other hand—or hoof, as the case may be—is much more complex. If you have to be away, you may find yourself wondering how to find a horse sitter. Because, believe me, leaving the farm—especially in winter for a ski trip—is not easy!
Considerations for How to Find a Horse Sitter
No one knows more than a horse owner how much care these magnificent animals require. Of course this is a labor of love for an owner. But how do you know where to find a horse sitter who will provide for your animals with the high quality care you would expect them to receive while you are away?
How to Find a Horse Sitter When You Have to be Away
Start with the people that you know. If you know other horse owners, you can tap into them for assistance. Perhaps your fellow horse-owning friends would be willing to help by caring for your horse themselves while you’re away. You can consider establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with these people wherein you can offer to horse sit for them while they are away to return the favor of them caring for your animals.
If these connections are unable to help personally, you can ask them for referrals. They may have a horse sitter or know of reliable, knowledgeable, and qualified horse sitters. Be sure to consider that if you’re not working out a trade of services with a horse sitter, you will likely have to compensate them financially for their time taking care of your animals.
Other Sources for Finding a Horse Sitter in WV
There are other options for finding a horse sitter in WV, neighboring states like PA and OH, and elsewhere. If your fellow horse owner friends are unable to help with referrals, you may want to consider turning to your professional networks to seek referrals. This would include your veterinarian, groomers, trainers, breeders, farrier, or others in the horse industry that might have a wide range of connections to, enabling them to make recommendations about high quality horse sitters.
Professional connections are likely to provide only trusted referrals. A poor referral would reflect poorly on the person making the recommendation, so they are not likely to take that risk. These referrals will likely also require some fees for providing care to your horses.
Alternatively, you can make arrangements with a local barn to board your horses for the duration of your trip. I often do this so that I know my horses have “adult supervision” 24/7 and will be cared for as soon as possible in the event of an emergency. Yes, it is a pain to haul your horses at the same time you are packing for a trip and trying to wrap up the office, but it can work.
Consulting a WV Equine Attorney
Of course, another excellent source for finding a horse sitter is your WV equine attorney! Allison Farrell would love to help connect you to quality horse sitters, or connections that have a referral network for caring horse sitters to take care of your loved equine ones while you’re away.
If you’re wondering how to find a horse sitter in WV, PA, or OH, and whether or not you should consider having some documentation in place to manage any risk that might be present when someone else is caring for your horses, you can contact Allison at Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC, through her online contact form or by calling her directly at (304) 521-6120.