Boarder Ettiquette - The No-Nonsense Guide to being a Responsible Horse Owner - Page 15 - The Horse Forum
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post #141 of 156 Old 03-22-2013, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
Posts: 1,045
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I make up DVDs of the ones who ride/board here for xmas........of the year of them/their horse/or with my horses......
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My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #142 of 156 Old 03-23-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 278
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Chapter ??? - Giving Up the "Horse Owner" Lifestyle

Sadly, it happens. The economy changes, living circumstances change, family dynamics change, people lose jobs, move away, etc. Availability and cost of hay and concentrates for horses change... People who once were able to afford their horses and spend time with them find themselves in a position where they are struggling financially, or otherwise, and maybe owning a horse is no longer the best option for that person, or their horse.

When is "enough" enough? This is clearly a slippery-slope, as people view horses as family members quite often. If that is the case, then it may be best to view the horse as a family member that has special needs - and ask yourself if you are the best person to provide those needs? If it were your grandmother, and she needed "x,y and z" in terms of care, and you could only provide "z", but you know your sibling or a facility could provide "x, y and z", you wouldn't just dump your grandma in a back room and hope for the best. You'd likely contact the sibling or facility (I'd hope) and say "look, grandma needs help, and I'm unable to provide it. Lets take care of this!" Unfortunately, some people choose to do that with their equine family members - the equivalent of locking them in a room and hoping that by "not seeing" it isn't happening. It doesn't have to be that way... and it shouldn't be that way.

If you can't afford to pay board (or keep your horses and feed them sufficiently at home), then the answer is clearly "no", you should not keep holding on. Are you willing to sacrifice the standard of care of the horses in order to "afford" to keep them? If so, how poor of care are you willing to go with?

Leaving horses at a facility and failing to pay for their care and keep does not make you a horse owner. Neither does paying a minimal amount for such poor care that animal control steps in. There comes a time for some people when horse ownership needs to end - that doesn't mean it can't happen again in the future.

It is an owner's responsibility to have a plan in place, and to recognize when the need arises for new homes to be found for their horses.

What are some good questions for horse owners to ask themselves regarding this heartwrenching, but sometimes inevitable, decision?
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Last edited by sillyhorses; 03-23-2013 at 02:02 PM.
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post #143 of 156 Old 04-09-2013, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Chapter ???? - THINK before you open your mouth...

Hmm... a recent conversation with a friend who also boards horses brought this to mind.

Be sure to thoroughly assess a situation before you start throwing accusations around, etc. It can and WILL eventually backfire on you if you go around blaming people for problems that are uncontrollable or unforeseen.

Example: You bring your horse to a new facility. Within the first month at the new facility, you notice your horse has thinned down. So, what do you do?

Well, as a barn owner, I've discovered that most boarders will immediately jump right into reproaching the barn owner for not feeding their horse enough. This approach is WRONG!

The best approach is to discuss with the barn owner what is being fed, whether or not any other options are covered in your board (maybe you came to the barn, and told the owner to feed "x" amount of feed, but your horse really needs "y" amount of feed, and you board might specifically cover up to "y" amount of feed). From there, you need to work WITH your barn owner/manager to find out the best approach to get your horse where you'd like it. Granted, there are undoubtedly barn owners who don't care, in which case, get outta dodge as soon as possible, even if it means paying the 30 day notice and leaving before you "get your money's worth".

How can you tell if your barn owner doesn't care about the appearance and health of the horses in their care? Look around you! Is your horse quite thin while the other horses are filled out and healthy? Do you KNOW your horse has a history as a harder keeper? Ask yourself some questions before you start asking the barn owner. Use your brain.

For instance, if you look about and notice that your horse is the only thin one in the herd, that should be your first clue that the problem isn't one caused by the barn owner. Your horse may have worms, may be anxious, may have a gastrointestinal problem... any number of things, but don't ACCUSE your barn owner first thing, that never ends well.

Or, if you don't like the mud in the Spring... oh well. It's nature. If you think there are too many horses in a paddock, and that is contributing to mud - look around at some other farms that are similarly situated - is their "mud" situation better? If not - it is MOTHER NATURE, and NOT the barn owner that are the problem. Not much will make a barn owner have a lack of respect for you more than complaining about uncontrollable circumstances loudly and accusingly. I promise, that is a fact.

There are any number of situations where COMPLAINING just makes you disliked - the "squeaky wheel" doesn't always get the grease - it often gets replaced. Don't forget that...

Do NOT misread this and believe that this to be advocacy for ALL barn owner... I'm only writing from my perspective. I absolutely recognize that there ARE barn owners out there who just don't care... I've had horses brought to my farm from those situations. However, THINK before you complain, use basic logic and analytical skills, and it will go a LONG way towards developing a strong, open line of communication with your barn owner.

I absolutely LOVE that I can talk to my boarders about any perceived problems with their horses - it goes both ways. I can call and say "Your horse is eating our max amount of grain allowed in the contract, he isn't maintaining his way, lets strategize here..." just as they can approach me and say "Hey, I've noticed my horse is looking on the thinner side, do have any ideas about what is going on?"

Remember - the squeaky wheel doesn't always get the grease, if it is badly in need of repair, it gets replaced.
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post #144 of 156 Old 05-08-2013, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Baytown, TX Close to Houston
Posts: 422
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many years ago, there was an article in one of the horsey mags called
"Do you have what it takes to be a barn lord?" It listed all of the negative issues involved, such as people stealing, gossiping, things being broken by boarders or their horses, and boarders bring hoards of people out to the barn, wanting to pet and ride other boarders horses, and having the nerve to think everything on the property was open to the use of boarders, including the family pool!!! The article stated that one BO had a pool, and boarders would show up with bathing suits and the whole family expecting to swim!!! It was a fun and informative article.
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post #145 of 156 Old 05-10-2013, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I think it comes down to understanding your contract and the barn rules/expectations. When you assume, you make an arse out of me and you. Lol For example, if you are at a full service barn, paying over $1,000 a month, your contract probably states you have to do diddly squat. If you are at a barn that costs $500 a month, your contract probably states that you are expected to clean up after yourself. If you don't know, ask. As for giving gifts, it is not required, but is appreciated. If your BO/staff goes above or you really like them, I would suggest giving a gift as a thank you. That is a suggestion. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Even some thing as simple as homemade cookies are a great way of saying thank you. If you don't feel your BO/staff deserve anything, that's fine. Perhaps you should evaluate why they don't deserve anything. Also, don't expect anyone to go above and beyond unless it's in your contract. That is unreasonable. If you are not paying to have your horse blanketed, why would you expect anyone to check the weather and put your horse's blanket on? That is unreasonable. Lastly, be respectful. Don't be condescending to anyone! That means the BO, staff, and other boarders. If you have a problem, bring it up in a professional manner to the parties involved. Gossiping or creating drama is frowned upon. A boarding facility is a business. Treat it as such.

Strength is not defined by physical ability. It is determined by your actions and the compassion of your soul.
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post #146 of 156 Old 05-10-2013, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 707
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How does everyone feel about closing gates? I always make a point to leave gates to the round pen, arena, etc. closed when I leave for the day. I feel like it looks nicer and its easier on the gates because they aren't getting blown around in the wind, maybe it helps with sagging too, I don't know.
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post #147 of 156 Old 05-10-2013, 10:09 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,567
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Closing gates does save the hinges. On my place, if you open a closed gate, you had better close it as soon as you are through. Saving the hinges is only one reason. The main reason is that I like to have as many barriers between the horses and the countryside as possible.

Learning never stops
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post #148 of 156 Old 05-11-2013, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 707
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Absolutely, I grew up on a dairy and you learn quick to leave a gate how you found it! The gates I was talking about aren't between horse and countryside though, however, if it does save the hinges then that's enough reason for me.
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post #149 of 156 Old 05-17-2013, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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from all aggistments ive seen is a big rule is DO NOT TOUCH OTHER PEOPLES HORSES WITHOUT PERMISSION. so if a coat is on a horse do not take it off as owner may want it on...and also DO NOT FEED OTHER PEOPLES HORSES.

they tend to be the big ones ive seen..and when i lived at last place they had aggisters and another rule was TACK ROOM /FEED ROOM MUST BE KEPT CLEAN
the hose was also a big one. hose must be put back where u found it and roll it up
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post #150 of 156 Old 05-17-2013, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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where im aggisting is horses will be quarintined for 10 days, 2 in 1 wormer must be done in front of them or u can pay 25$ and they can do it for you.

if u are behined in aggisting fee's (by a month or more) ur horse will be removed off the property..this is why they ask for month in advanced.

theres a sick bay, and a quarintine area where all horses go when they come for 10 days.

when they get out of quarintine they will be with 1 other horse..and rotated and put with a different horse.(forget how many months that takes place)
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