A "can you believe this" thread re: horse housing...

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A "can you believe this" thread re: horse housing...

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  • Boarding barn t posts for unsafe fencing leading to my horses leg injury
  • Shade for pole corrals oregon

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    10-22-2012, 07:55 AM
A "can you believe this" thread re: horse housing...

A builder friend of mine related this story to me recently about a job that was done for a very wealthy horse owner---the builder was commissioned to put up a top notch corral for the person's two or three only occasionally ridden, pasture puff type-horses...

The corral was fairly large, nearly the size of a standard dressage arena, and is the same basic shape. It is a three rail fence of steel pole and steel pole posts every so many feet, etc...there is also a large shade, two gates, and no expense was spared apparently...they wanted "the best" for their horses. This was a large job and very labor intensive. It should have been a very nice enclosure for the horses to amble around in when not being ridden or in their barn, that sort of thing. It isn't a pasture as there is no grazing as we live in the desert...

The homeowners insisted, prior to the plans being drawn up, that the corral be situated surrounding the only two EXTREMELY LARGE and cumbersome patches of cacti WITHIN the area of the property! Despite urging from the contractor, I guess the homeowners were unwilling to have the cacti transplanted, despite the contractor being able and willing to do so himself, at nearly no cost!

Given what we ALL know about horses in general, and their proclivity for attempting to kill themselves/harm themselves/impale themselves on ANY ITEM handy, FORGET about the two GIGANTIC patches of huge thorned cactus and the one large THORNY tree that would look super-appealing to a horse's tummy, WITHIN the confines of their pen (!) ...Aren't these homeowners absolutely ASKING for TRAGEDY here??

There is more...apparently, they have a large cement floored barn with outdoor runs attached to each stall, where they normally house their horses. Well, the barn IS apparently lovely, if you are a person...however...these folks put NO BEDDING of any kind, nor rubber mats, NOR EVEN soft dirt, ANYWHERE for these horses...it was like, for the indoor stall portion of each stall, the floors are simply hard, NON-textured (in fact, it's POLISHED!!) cement flooring; and outdoors, the runs are floored with hard packed dirt! Not a soft, padded area to be FOUND! I had NEVER in all my life heard of such a thing.

Thus between the stables and the new corral where they will be turned out, it seems that there are about a MILLION things present waiting to at the LEAST cause the horses discomfort, and at the WORST serious injury...I can just see them getting to playing in their corral and one or more bumping into the cacti, or trying to EAT it...I can see a part of a cactus breaking off and one of the thorns--some of the types have over 1 inch long thorns on them--getting into a hoof or a leg and ending up causing a horrific injury, not to metion immediate pain...Couple that with horses slipping and sliding around on their concrete floored stalls, with NOTHING to cushion their bodies when they lay down, or their hooves when they walk around, OR to absorb their urine (IMAGINE that concrete WET?!) until a "groom" comes along to clean the urine up (push it down a drain, perhaps? Maybe the ground in each stall slopes toward a center drain, though all the more means for a horse to slip after urinating!!) and imagine the feces! It's beyond me except to "assume" these folks REALLY think horses want "flooring" similar to what PEOPLE want in their HOMES!...there's quite a lot more VERY WRONG with this "horse housing" situation actually, but I don't want to risk anyone recognizing these people...

I was just feeling really bad about this situation and wanted to share...it's one of the most odd things I've heard of in a long time...people with that much money, DOING THAT WRONG by their animals! (Believe me I know money can't buy intelligence, but sometimes I can forgive those who are doing the best they can with what they have and have less than optimal situations for their animals, so long as no animals are being harmed and better situations are being worked on at all times...but when someone has money, there really is no excuse for ignorance, especially in the computer age, when all one has to do is Google "proper horse enclosure/housing/barn accomodations" and they should be set!
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    10-22-2012, 08:12 AM
I have no knowledge on cacti so can't comment on that, but surely they would have waited for the builder to leave before they put the bedding down in the stalls?

Really, if folks have money, and choose to use it to build a palace for their horses.... What's wrong with that?

It gave your friend a good income presumably - bit mean of him to gossip in a negative way about his clients? I apologise if I've read that wrong but that is what I read in the post.
stevenson, boots and Tiamo like this.
    10-22-2012, 09:09 AM
Oh...the barn was present for some time...like possibly years...as I understand it...and it was only the corral that was new.

I am sure the contractor felt very happy to have the income from the job, certainly, however as a horse person, I imagine she felt torn about putting what could end up being an unsafe enclosure, per the homeowners, for the horses whom it was being built...

Her BF who told me this story mentioned the barn situation as an aside, as her company did NOT build it...I've just never heard of horses being stabled in that fashion. Was semi-wondering if that was the "norm" in anyone's experience (slick flooring/no bedding/etc...)...

Not intentionally "bashing" anyone...just found it very odd. Then I am not a contractor! Gotta run. Will read/give more info later if needed (sorry for the brevity)...
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    10-22-2012, 09:17 AM
Just reread my post and IT DID sound very bashing BY me of the homeowners...had been mulling it over for a few months and it just got to bugging me. Shouldn't have presented in that manner.

To more thoroughly describe, the whole situation scared me for the horses, and I let my fear make me sound very "snooty" in my opinion...I truly do want to know if I'm overreacting re: the stabling and cacti/barn, etc...I guess I should have chosen my tone more carefully.

Communication via post can be difficult at times! Thanks for the heads up...
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boots likes this.
    10-22-2012, 10:34 AM

A few years ago I moved to a new place and the owners of the property were erecting a new barn. Me not really knowing the people just watched on with great delight that there was going to be a barn and horses where I was living.....

However during the process of pouring the cement I noticed that the cement was being layed down and smoothed to and extra high luster! Not being any of my business I said nothing, assuming they had a plan to coat the floor....they didn't......and a few months later the lady that owned the barn had become a really good friend and we spent lots of time together, and still remain good friends......

She had several horses slip on that barn floor, and it got to the point of being so hazardous that you couldnt walk the horses through the barn......now in hindsight I wonder if I should have said something knowing full well that I might have seemed like a busybody? She probably wouldve taken my advice on board, but not knowing the people I really did feel like it was none of my business.....

They had to pay for a real expensive durable coating for the barn floor later on...
    10-22-2012, 11:21 AM
Good input...thanks...I'm very sorry your friend's horses slipped on such a floor; however it does reinforce my initial thoughts re: my girlfriend's customer's situation!!

Another thing I didn't mention is that they are in the mountains near where I live, thus there are three factors at play further:

1) Snow/ice in the winters=slipperier, and when they turn on their heaters it no doubt causes puddles and on those slick floors there's got to be lots of slipping from thay, too--I can't IMAGINE WHY they haven't already refinished the floors...

2) How DO THEY MANAGE urine and feces? If they spray it down with water - more wet floors, I've got to ask my friend (the contractors boyfriend) if she has any idea


3) Them living up in the mountains, I imagine vets are not close at hand and I wonder how they'd get help quickly IF THEIR HORSES DID fall OR if they DO get entangled in all that cactus! BEING at such a high elevation I know cactus isn't as common as down in the lower lying areas, but I think with what they had (I think her bf said Jumping Cholla and maybe Prickly Pear, those transplant so well, plus those "sticker tree/bushes" he told me about...I guess I'd have worried more about my horses than a few plants that aren't even SHADE PROVIDING PLANTS.

Just think people can make what seems to me to be really weird choices/have weird priorities.

Oh well...not my life/horses/job or home! I shouldn't worry so much...I'm a spazz for sure. :0)
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    10-22-2012, 11:24 AM
Originally Posted by Back2Horseback    
A builder friend of mine related this story to me recently about a job
Bottom line - you have not seen the facility first hand - so you don't know all of the facts.
themacpack likes this.
    10-22-2012, 11:35 AM
Originally Posted by mls    
Bottom line - you have not seen the facility first hand - so you don't know all of the facts.
You are 100% correct...plus, I know next to nothing about building barns/etc...sort of why I was wondering if this may be the "norm" in some places...Im only familiar with barns I've seen in my general area, too...so perhaps bedding-free barns and the like are quite common in other places?
If that is the case, I needn't feel bothered by horses being stabled in such a fashion! :0)
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    10-22-2012, 12:13 PM
The cactus wouldn't worry me much, having lived and kept horses in West Texas for years prior to moving to AR, I can tell you we never had a cactus related injury to a horse, and we probably had more prickly pear than grass. In the winter we would use a flame thrower to burn the spines off the cactus & the cows ate it as a supplemental feed.
stevenson likes this.
    10-22-2012, 12:33 PM
Originally Posted by Bellasmom    
The cactus wouldn't worry me much, having lived and kept horses in West Texas for years prior to moving to AR, I can tell you we never had a cactus related injury to a horse, and we probably had more prickly pear than grass. In the winter we would use a flame thrower to burn the spines off the cactus & the cows ate it as a supplemental feed.
Wow...that makes me feel tons better for those horses! Thank you for that info...plus it's very useful as living here there is always cactus "AROUND" & I worry when riding NEAR ANY on trail rides etc....the horses always get it in their polo wraps but I'm constantly checking legs after rides for ANY REMNANTS, as well as in hooves for same! Thank you!!!
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