Anyone have any input on horse ownership on the island? We’d purchase there so no need to bring an animal into the island, hoping that takes some headache out of the equation. Wondering about boarding? Vets? Costs? Local laws? Can you have some on property and hire someone to care for them? Thank you all.
I haven’t checked this out but I am also interested in horse ownership in Roatan.
Hopefully we get some answers.
I am not an expert on local laws or living, but I did bring my horses with me when I moved here 3 years ago, and I am happy to share my experience with you.
#1, to my knowledge, there are no boarding facilities here. There are a couple of businesses near West End who offer horseback rides to visitors, and who maintain sizable herds, but I don’t think they’d welcome privately owned horses into their herds. You would need to contact them directly to be sure though. One is Luna Beach, but I do not know the other name.
#2, the veterinarians here will treat horses, but they are NOT horse vets. I am a veterinarian but have never worked on horses. I want only a horse vet working on my animals. You might feel differently though! My experience here has been that if something drastic goes wrong with a horse (such as colic) you will probably lose said horse.
#3, costs… Acquiring feed has been a HUGE challenge. Part of my challenge has been not knowing the correct people to talk to. You may find that this holds true for many facets of living here, as we have, but knowing someone who knows someone with the info you need is KEY. All hay gets imported from the mainland of Honduras, and it is a major endeavor every time we need a shipment of hay. I’ll happily share my contact on the mainland, as he has been reliable and trustworthy (not all are) but this still does not account for the factors such as weather, sea conditions, whether or not his tractor is working this week, etc. We start the ordering process at least 6 weeks before we will run out of hay and most of the time we get the new hay before we run out of the old. The good news is that there is always tall grass growing on the roadsides and you can either chop it yourself or hire help to do so if you do run out of hay. Grain is usually available at an agriculture supply store, but again, it behooves you to buy it before you run out as sometimes the store’s ship doesn’t come in as expected either. A bag of grain (88-100 lb) costs between $35 and $40, and a big round bale of hay (the only way it comes here) that lasts 3-4 wks for 2 horses, depending upon their size, costs anywhere from $49- 60 once you factor in all the shipping costs. The time it takes to arrange for the hay delivery and actually make it happen varies, but I warn you that the process is aggravating at best, infuriating at worst. We’ve encountered every issue from too much rain to not enough rain to that the shipping barge sank. It seems that no one stores hay in large barns on the mainland to have in reserve for when folks need it. My impression is that it is freshly baled each time. Again, I may be wrong, but in 3 years of “the hay dance”, this is how it feels on my end. The thing that I consider KEY in making the hay procurement problem less of a problem is the ability for you to have storage for at least 5-6 bales at a time, more if possible, to minimize the number of times you have to deal with getting it shipped over. You need a garage or barn for hay storage as when it rains, it really rains.
#4, Local laws. PLEASE ask your real estate attorney, but to my knowledge, there is no such thing as zoning laws here. Local developments/subdivisions are likely to have their own rules, however, regarding horses on the premises.
#5, Absolutely you can hire folks to care for your horses. You’d want to screen them carefully, of course. Many expats have different standards of care for our animals than some here are used to, so you’d want to be clear as to what constitutes “good care” in your opinion.
I hope this helps. I am glad I brought my horses because they are family to me. Has it been simple to keep them fed? No. Do I have concerns? Yes. But as with anything in life, if you are willing to put in the work (and/or the money) the problems can be dealt with as they arise!
Wow Diana, that was fantastic information. When we come visit late spring I’d love to meet your babies , and I’d really like to get a feel for the task ahead! Thank you so much, I hope your day is perfect.
When will you be coming? I will be off island for much of the spring, but my husband will be here. I’m happy to answer questions from afar as well.
We were planning on May but our daughter will be turning 18 and claims the entire month HA. So, shooting for June. Found out I can work remotely so our stay may have just gotten longer If it’s ok, I’ll reach out when we have more firm data, we’d love to take you both to dinner!
Sure thing! I won’t be back until mid June. Keep me posted!