How bad can it get when boarding a horse?

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How bad can it get when boarding a horse?

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    01-04-2011, 02:36 AM
Thumbs down How bad can it get when boarding a horse?

Hello my fellow Horse Gurus,

Since I started to board my horse I have lost piece by piece my faith into the people who are taking care of horses. The first man who had managed the equestrian center, where I am boarding my Thoroughbred was already not up to snuff, but he had been in his 80's and so I could always excuse him not taking such good care of the horses on his age. However, he was four months ago replaced by a couple who were supposed to be the "real" thing - horse experts, who knew what they were doing, even owning 20 horses themselves, which they had brought with them when they moved to the equestrian center. In the beginning it was like paradise for horses. All the water buckets of the stalled horses were cleaned everyday and the stalls cleaned as well. Not to talk about all the things the "newcomers" were promising about improving on the place, it made one nearly swoon of happiness for the horses, but it did not last. Now, the outside water trunks get NEVER cleaned and the horses can be happy to even have water and hay every two days. The stalls are cleaned as fast as possible with the urine spots untouched and fresh shavings just dumped right on top, if they get cleaned at all that is. (As you can tell.. I am venting right now) So many horses have lost weight over time and I am soooo sick of people saying and pretending to care about horses and animals but in the end just putting on a show for the owners who come out only every other weekend and don't see behind the scene. I bet you are wondering why I am boarding my horse at a place like this.. well.. first off - I am completely taking care of my boy myself and secondly I live just 2 minutes away. The worst part is that when the owners who are actually more than anything "storing" their horse like a car and not like a living being, as they only come by to ride and never to just check on their animal - they don't even realize that their animal is not taken care of. What a mess! How are your experiences? How are we supposed to deal with people like this? I have actually started to not only take care of my horse, but kind of adopted the other horses too and give them hay & water if they don't have any, blanket them if they are cold..etc, but I have now hardly any time to ride anymore since taking care of the other animals is taking up so much time. Urgh!
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    01-04-2011, 07:49 AM
From the sound of it you need to move your horse. I would take a look at your boarding contract and look for a way out asap. There are boarding places out there that will meet your standards. You just may have to travel more or pay more to have your horse there.

It sounds to me that the new management got way in over their heads. From the way you worded somethings it sounded like the old man and the new management were not owners, is this right? If the barn owner is the same then I would go to them first.
    01-04-2011, 08:08 AM
I would suggest you review your contract, contact the owners, talk to them, and if that fails move your horse. If the BO's are only there occassionally, they may not know what is going on, altho if the waterers are not cleaned, they would have to be blind.

All of us do not have the luxury of having our horses so close. Many of us go to the barn "only to ride" and are not close enough to just drop in and check up all the time. However, I would certainly let other horse owners know if I saw an issue with their horse (out of concern for the animal), and would hope they would do the same. I am always VERY careful with whom I entrust my horses, as I know I cannot be there every day and need a certain level of comfort with them. If there is any question-my horse is OUT of there! I moved one of mine within hours! However, that was the only time on over 40 yrs of having horses there was a dire issue that was unresolvable.

I would also be really careful blanketing, etc with other peoples horses. We all have differing opinions on what blanket when, and unless you have talked to the owner and you all have some agreement, I would take care of my horse, and let them know if/when I was concerned about theirs.
    01-04-2011, 11:18 AM
Hi Frank,

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate all the inputs and thoughts. I understand that most people don't have the time to take care of their horses themselves, however your observation is correct that the owners need to be nearly blind to not see certain aspects of neglect such as the algae that is overgrowing the water trunks. I have already tried to talk with some of the owners (the ones who actually come out every few weeks) and they just shrugged and didn't care. It baffles me completely. The water buckets from the stalled horses are so dirty that they foam when they are refilled and stink terrible. When boarding a horse you can't just blindly trust the caretakers.. if they know that nobody ever checks they seem to only do the bare minimum. About blanketing the other horses, one of the girls who is boarding, wanted her horse blanked, but the caretakers just don't do it and then tell the girl that they blanket the horse even though they didn't - and the owner never finds out unless I tell her. I am just truly disappointed. It's like this equestrian center attracts the worst kind of horse owners - if I wouldn't live so close by I would have already moved my horse months ago, but I am trying to help the other horses and it seems impossible.

Thanks again for your thoughts and ideas. I truly appreciate it!
Wish you a great day.
    01-04-2011, 11:34 AM
Hello Back in the Crosby Again,

I can leave the place in a month time if I give notice, but I am concerned that when I bring my horse somewhere else it might turn out to be the same as this boarding place. Who knows? The only reason why I know all this stuff is because I am there so often - most people don't know what is going on because the management and care takers are so adept in telling lies and covering up their tracks. Also, who when I leave take care of those neglected horses? So much to think about... You are correct about the old man and the new management are not the owners of the equestrian center, but the owner doesn't check in on the place either - only pays the bills so to speak and has nothing to do with it otherwise.

Thanks for your help and thoughts. I appreciate it.
Wish you a great day.

    01-04-2011, 11:43 AM
It's not your responsibility to care for other people's horses, especially if they're paying someone else to do it.

Don't get sucked into the, 'But if I leave, who will care for the horses?' idea. It's not your problem, so don't make it so.

You seem to have the mindset that only you can properly care for horses, and everyone else is either lying or lazy. That is so far from the truth it's mind boggling. There are many good BOs out there who care for their charges as if they were their own. To tar every horse care provider with the same brush when you've only been at ONE facility is ridiculous in the extreme.

These aren't your horses, and they're not your responsibility. You're doing nothing but enabling if you continue to do unpaid, unsolicited work for these people. You could also find yourself in hot water legally, if you continue to handle horses that don't belong to you.

So, you have two options. Stay at the facility and care for only YOUR horses, or move them somewhere else where your delicate sensibilities won't be affronted.

Most horse people love their animals, and once they figure out what's going on, they'll move their horses. It's not up to you to make judgment calls, especially when you're nothing but a boarder yourself.
    01-04-2011, 11:55 AM
Green Broke
Agree with Speed:)
    01-04-2011, 12:14 PM
I agree with Speed also.

I do think you should go look at other facilties-you have nothing to lose, and the more you look the more you will learn about how things are done in your area. Keep in mind that everyone does not have the same standards for keeping a horse, anymore than we all have the same standards when it comes to a clean house. You just need to find a place that is reasonably close in mindset to yours.

If the other boarders horse is not being blanketed as they have been asked, and are saying they are doing-you have told the horse owner...that is all you can do. It is then in the NMP category. (Not My Problem-or business, frankly).

I will also say that if my horses are being neglected or mistreated-notice goes out the window. You can take your horse where you like when you like. Yes, you may lose some $$ in the process, but if you feel that strongly about it, then that is what you need to do. Inform the BO that you are leaving on your way out the door. Your horses are the ONLY ones you have control over. Period.

As far as the care of the other horses-if it is that bad, perhaps you should contact the local ASPCA or something like that. I would suggest you not do it until your horse is out of there, tho. To think that you are the only one capable of caring for all of these horses adequately is preposterous.
    01-04-2011, 02:13 PM
Hello Speed and Frank,

You both are totally correct. I have just actually seen pretty much only this boarding place practices and shouldn't judge other stables on the same terms. I don't think that I am the only one capable of taking care of them - it's just the I got so connected to them that it kind of "feels" to me like I am abandoning them to fend for themselves. It's such a good idea to look at other places and I will take that to heart and already made calls to see what other boarding places look like. Is there anything specific I should look for? "Your horses are the ONLY ones you have control over. Period." That is so true Frank and it
    01-04-2011, 02:28 PM
When you go, go with a list of questions you they handle different situations, what they feed, what is included/extra...and, if you are like me and actually like the work-perhaps they would give you a discount for that!

I like to go the first time, and make sure they are ok with me stopping in a couple more times.....if they aren't-it is not the place for you. Then make your visits at varying at a peak time, llike a saturday, late am, and another off peak...say 5 pm, when they are most likely in for the day, hayed and being fed.......
I am not sure where you are, but I have found that full board with turn out sometimes means that in the summer (some places up to 9 minths a year) they are only in to eat, and out 24/7....I prefer in during the day, out at night.....just make sure that you are all talking about the same definitions....

Good luck!

boarding horses, equestrian center, mistreatment, neglect, stable

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