I have had TJ for almost three years. In those years we've moved 6 times. Last winter I sent him to a "professional trainer" for three months, which turned out to be a huge mistake. I was paying for a stall, and he did not get it. He was pastured with another horse and a shelter only big enough for one horse. His blanket was stolen. He had lost so much weight he lost muscle mass in his neck. Granted, he was not at death's door, my vet wasn't worried about him...but nobody wants to see that, yah know?! So now, I'm VERY paranoid about him in winter weather, even though I do prefer pasture 24/7 and he's a breed built to last in winter...I just cannot help but worry.
I moved him to my friend/his now trainer's barn (not her barn, she rides there). Before I ever moved there, I asked about keeping a blanket on him (and my 200 other questions) and related my worry and bad experience to the BO. This is what I was told:
We do not like to have the outside horses blanketed due to the
Risk of the blankets getting wet and causing health problems. Horses
Can be smart and use the run-in but I've also seen them standing right
Out in the rain soaking away.
This was my response:
as long as I know it's okay to put one on him when it's like -0 degrees and freezing rain overnight
To which they did not say otherwise. I was leary of asking them to blanket him, 'cuz I knew they didn't want to. But I thought it would be fine for ME to blanket him myself -- on and off -- when the weather was horrible. Like any combo of wind, rain and freezing tempertures.
Fast forward to this weekend. My sister bought TJ a pretty new blanket for him as an early Christmas gift. I went out that night in the pitch black to put it on him. It was 20 some degrees with a frigid wind, like 26 mile an hour gusts! So I left the blanket on him.
I sent the BO an email saying he had his new Xmas blanket on and I would be out the next day to take it off. I specifically told them, they did not have to touch it. I was responsible for it.
When I went out the next day his blanket was off. The owners were in the barn when I got there, and ran back to the house without saying a word to me while I was out in the field. Not even a "hi". I got home and checked my email and sure enough there was an email from the BO, in no friendly manner saying "the 'ground rule' was no blankets on pastured horses. If it was an issue I should look for a new winter facility." I was really upset to put it mildly (as was my sister who spent money on the blanket).
I went and checked every piece of paperwork and no where is anything written about blankets. It was never mentioned in any verbal conversation. It was mentioned in an email that I brought up (as stated above). And that doesn't sound like it was setting ground rule to me?!
Now, I'm not bashing them for there decision to not blanket or allow blankets on pastured horses. I'm unhappy with how it was handled. I'm confused as to why I cannot blanket my own horse. And I am a little angry that they would just go out and rip his blanket off him.
I haven't responded yet, because I'm a little nervous to. This isn't the first snarky reply I've had from them. I have been feeling like the BO just wants me out. Which is very upsetting to me, 'cuz neither I nor my horse has done anything to warrant getting kicked out. And I'm really afraid they'll use this whole blanket thing to throw us out. So I don't want to say the wrong thing?
I don't want to have to move AGAIN. Not right now, anyway...I have so much going on and other things to worry about!
Boarders...how would you handle this as not to cause a scene or battle?