So this is kind of going to be a novel, but this is what has been happening over the past month with this new barn we've just moved to. I was hoping to get your thoughts and opinions...
Some background: my mom is an Equine Veterinarian. She has been practicing for close to 20 years and has a thriving practice. I am a 19 year old who has been riding horses for close to 12 years. I've handled OTTB's straight off the track and warmbloods right out of Europe. I don't know everything, obviously, but I think combined my mom and I have a decent amount of knowledge.
To the story...
I moved to this new barn about 2 months ago, on my own to be with my trainer. I was with my moms mare getting instruction. I was working out there and everything was going good but I noticed my mare, Arin, changing. She was getting thin and a little lethargic. I thought that was because she was adjusting to the new barn and having 24/7 turnout which she didn't have before.
My mom moved down to the barn with our two other horses (my old retired OTTB, and my current competition gelding) they came and seemed to do well. Then we bought another horse for me (I outgrew my competition horse, and put him for sale). I was working out at the barn 6 days a week despite have 8 hours of schoolwork (I homeschool) when I got home and trying to find a job. And when I worked I wasn't treated very nicely, and was close to being abused. And when I got sad and exhausted I was berated that I didn't work hard enough. So I cut down my days to 3 days a week. (I was not being paid for this, except in lessons which I only got two a week)
After that the owners started to become very 'pissy' towards me. Very rude and straight, nit picking everything.
The barn was lovely so I tolerated it.
Then they stopped putting hay in the paddock because 'there was plenty of grass'. It's dead of winter. It's snowed repeatedly and there is hardly any grass, and its all dead! When my mom quietly, and respectfully, asked about it they got defensive and angry. Treating us like we didn't know best and that the horses were 'fat'.
My Thoroughbreds are NOT fat. Two of our horses have dropped A LOT of weight and muscle (we've weighed them). They are becoming lethargic and just seem very unhappy. When we expressed our concerns we got a 'our way or the highway' type of talk. So now they're going on about how we are bothersome boarders and 'we'll never be happy'. That's not true! We're just concerned that our horses are not getting enough to eat (the grain they feed is utter CRAP).
So we toured another local barn, which was perfect. We informed them we were leaving, which prompted a very nasty email response from them. We also told the lady who is interested in leasing one of our horses. She said she wanted to lease him and she was happy to move him and wanted them to be cared for. When we asked our trainer about the hay she said she was giving them baled hay at night. The owners said that no they didn't need it and they were running out of hay. So they're lying to me?
We then called a Equine nutritionalist friend who told us that grass in winter is dead and has no nutrition. Also, when grass freezes it gets high in carbs which is obviously bad, but especially for older horses they could cause issues with Cushings, so I worried about my older horse (almost 17 y/o).
The next day my trainer/barn manager calls me furious because the leasee told her we said we were moving because 'the horses weren't getting fed'. That's not what I said. I said they weren't getting ANY hay and the owners were treating us poorly. Our trainer said we were acting unprofessional and spreading rumors. We told ONE person because she had to know, as she wanted to lease our horse. And we told her it was mostly personal reasons, with the hay being a huge thing.
So now we are being treated horribly, blamed for all the problems, and all because our horses are losing weight and losing personality and such? My mother is a VETERINARIAN! She didn't go to all that schooling for kicks.
Am I over reacting? How else should we have handled it? Should we apologize even though we have been very cordial and professional even when others were not. We talked to our trainer and said we loved her and her style and want to keep her and she responded by starting an argument and calling us 'unprofessional'. They're the ones not feeding our horses!!
Anyway, what are you're thoughts. I know this forum is an eclectic mix of boarders, barn owners, horse owners and enthusiasts. Please speak your mind but be gentle, its been a frazzled few days for me!