Boarding gripe - Page 2

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Boarding gripe

This is a discussion on Boarding gripe within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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    01-30-2013, 06:08 PM
I think that some of your complaints are valid, and others not so much. I don't really know what keeping the horse stalled for a few weeks would really achieve when getting him used to a new barn.

I think it's possible that the horse was going stir crazy being in a barn alone, in a stall for so long. You said that you had concerns about him being a younger highly strung horse, so that's probably why they turned him out alone, as it was your concern about him being different from the other horses there.

I agree with FnB and also think that some of your requirements are services that you would expect from a $1k a month barn. They will usually be happy to keep a horse in, if that's what you want. And do all the blanket changes etc. Other places not so much.
If I want my horses blanket changed, I drive to the barn and change it. If a horse was in a stable blanket, it would be turned out in that, as I am at a $375 a month barn, rather than a $1k one, and that's what they do.

Other things like the feed and hay, are reasonable. I personally would move barns because of those concerns. I would not put the desire for an indoor or your own personal comfort over the needs of your horse.
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    01-30-2013, 06:15 PM
I agree with above, sounds like a little more diligence on your part could possibly make this place bearable... The prepped and portioned meals, the monograms, the locking up or keeping of things in your car. Not ideal, but sounds like not many options you have are.

Oh, and I most definitely second the idea of group turn out. If nothing else, those laid back plain old horses will rub off on your spirited youngster, provide him with some much needed mental and physical stimulation, and rid you of some other issues.
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    01-30-2013, 08:25 PM
Have you looked at Knollman Dressage? Not sure how far away her place is from where you live, but Rebecca (the owner) is a wonderful lady. Not sure her policy on outside trainers, but her barn looks wonderful. Might be worth a peek? Here is her website:

Knollman Dressage
    01-30-2013, 09:51 PM
Why would you have them p/u alfalfa pellets for you , when you state they are not feeding ? I would go out daily and feed my own horse and stand there for a while why it ate. I would move , even if it cut down on your riding, what is more important, your horses health issues and the fact it is not being fed, or you being able to ride.
    01-30-2013, 11:39 PM
I have no idea where you are or what your region is like, but where I am, you'd be lucky to only have a 30 min drive. ^shrug^. Guess it's all relative, but writing down your priorities in order might help you iron things out.
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    01-31-2013, 12:05 AM
I think there was some confusion from my post. I will try to clarify some things.

1) My horse, Quest (it's easier to type), is on full care board. I understand that price ranges are different in different areas. In my area, it's very common for things like turnout, feeding, and blanketing to be included in the full care board price. The only time I've EVER seen board over $1k was for a VERY nice dressage training facility. It is absolutely top of the line in every way imaginable and that price included the training and weekly lessons. My horse was at a Class A Arabian trainer and my board was under $800 for show training. That's just how the pricing in my area works. So, for what I'm paying and budgeting, I can easily expect things like blanketing, especially when I speak to the BM herself and clear special requests with her. I offered to pay extra and she said no because I'm full care. In a barn of 26 horses, there are 5 full care horses and her 3 personal horses. That means that 14 horses are cared for solely by their owners, except that the BM feeds, waters, and turns out horses as part of her boarding agreement. Self-care people have to clean their own stalls, provide their own hay and grain, blanket their own horses, yada yada. Full care does not. Full care has hay and grain provided, stalls cleaned, blanketing, turnout, etc. all included with the board.

2) He goes out in 5 acres with 2/3 other horses and does great with his group. He has been getting turned out since the 2nd week of July. I wanted him kept in and away because it's my horse and my choice. He wasn't going stir crazy, he has zero bad habits indoors, was being worked regularly, and let out in the indoor arena. He's no less active out there than he ever was before. Being around the "laid back" horses has had zero impact on how much he loves to play.

The horses at the barn only go outside when the pasture is mostly hard (whether frozen or dry) and as long as it's above freezing. These are by the BM herself. I have no issues with that. When the horses are inside, they take turns in groups of 1-3 for roughly an hour in the indoor arena. Quest has gone in the indoor with the 2 babies (weanlings, but they're just about his size) and they all had a blast running around and playing. The babies won't be going out with the other horses until next spring, so Quest is in the 5 acre field with the 2/3 other horses until the babies go out there.

I have no issues with how often he's turned out, who he's turned out with, etc. or even if he doesn't go outside for a few days. He gets along great with the other horses in the field with him. It makes me very happy actually since he used to get beat up a LOT at a different boarding place a couple of years ago.

I was upset because this past Sunday he was turned out with his stable blankets on. Heck, I'd rather him go out naked even though he's clipped than risk him injuring himself because he's being his usual goofy self in blankets that aren't meant for that kind of movement and play.

The BM doesn't always do the turning out or bringing in. Often other boarders will help bring in horses or turn out - always the same 1 or 2 people so they know the horses and lead them out with leadropes around their necks (can't do that with Quest so they leave the halter and lead rope on the post by the gate). On the weekends it's the boarder she has working on the weekends for her. The girl on the weekends knows the deal with turning him out and that he needs a turnout on because he's clipped. I also have it written on his stall in case someone different has to do it. No halter, and turn out blanket (I have 2 depending on the weather). That's all I ask and it's been coordinated with the BM and other people who handle him.

If I was on self-care he absolutely would get turned out in exactly what I last put on him. Unless there is some crazy temp swing and his health would be at risk (i.e. 20 degree F low and a 65 degree F high - kind of like today), he'd wear whatever outside. That's more because she cares about the horses and doesn't particularly want any of them dying or being seriously sick /injured because of something as small as taking off a blanket before turnout.

3) He gets fed. At no point was he not being fed. What I said (or tried to say) was that he isn't getting enough so I'm having to pay extra to make up for it. When he moved there last July I had brought a couple of bags of feed with me from the trainer's barn. He was on Tiz Whiz, but it's not available in this area. I knew what the BM fed and I didn't like it at all. Before even moving in, she agreed that I could provide whatever feed I wanted for about a month and she would have it added to what gets delivered to her after that. If there was a price difference, I was always more than happy to pay it. I never heard anything about a price difference and found out later when she was talking to another boarder that Quest was on her barn feed. She never said a word to me about him being on a different feed, never asked my thoughts, nothing.

Also, she feeds by the number of flakes, not by the volume or weight. So, all the horses (98% of which are considerably larger than my small Arab) get 2 light, small flakes because that's what is being baled - admitted by the BM's husband who puts away the hay when it comes in. They're getting on average 40-50 lb bales. They're aren't feeding the horses by an appropriate weight of hay for their bodies. I know if mine isn't getting enough, than the rest on full care definitely aren't except for the one who is paying extra for a LOT more hay by vet's orders.

All of the horses in the barn have their own feed "bins" (basically variations of the big trash cans) because that's how the BM wants it done. That includes the full care horses. If I want a different feed, all I'm supposed to do is provide a month of it and she'll order it from there and have it delivered. For whatever reason, she decided to put mine on what hers get. I'm still upset about that because it's my horse and without mentioning it to me, she could have easily put his health in danger if there had been a medical reason to have him on what I wanted or NOT on what she wanted. That, to me, makes sense.

Oh, and she personally portions out each horse's feed into named ziploc style bags for evening and morning feedings so that anyone can feed if she can't. She doesn't want self-care people feeding at odd times compared to the rest of the horses, so she does all the horses at the same time. Grain first, then hay, then water. I don't like the order at all, but I can't do anything about that.

I moved on from the grain thing and dealt with it by adding a vit/min supplement to his SmartPaks (that I already was getting with other supps in it anyway). When the temps started dropping, I said that Quest will need extra grain because he drops weight in the winter. So, she agreed to bump him up (not exceeding the amount allowed by the boarding agreement), but it never got changed and he started dropping weight. Again, to compensate, I bought alfalfa pellets. I bought them for 1.5-2 months and he was getting them with his grain and he started maintaining his weight. Not happy about spending the extra money, but I dealt with it.

4) I don't think my horse is "special" or needs special care or treatment. In fact, he's one of the lower maintenance of the 5 full care boarders at the barn. He is, however, completely different in personality than all the other horses (aside from the 2 babies, but I can't count them because they go in their own separate area and won't be introduced to the rest of the herd until the spring) and I hear that most often from the other boarders themselves. What I meant by my statement is that he has more energy than anyone there is used to and they tend to be intimidated by it. He's not bad, aggressive, or dangerous by any means. He's just more like an excited little kid. In fact, I compare him to my active 7 year old daughter a LOT. Once people get used to him, they're fine with him because he's completely harmless.

6) My blankets, sheets, coolers, etc are ALL marked with my name, my horse's name, and my phone number. Every single one of them. All of my stuff is put away in my rolling box (that doesn't lock, nothing I can do about that) or in my upright tack. I'm not locking up a wet cooler. That's why I have a blanket rack on my stall door and all of my information on the the inside of my "horse clothing". The only person at the barn with permission to get into my stuff is the BM for when my horse injures himself outside, which is fairly often because he is who he is. I don't want her to worry about calling me over a cut or using any of her own stuff (because she probably would), so I just make sure I keep my stuff supplied and readily available to her in my rolling box.

As for things like a sheet that went temporarily missing and was found stuffed into a corner of the tack room and my jolly ball. Those are things that should never have left his stall or his body in the first place. At the time, there had been no reason for his sheet to not be on his body. Even the BM had no idea how it had gotten there and, yes, his name was in the sheet along with my info. The jolly really has no reason to not be anywhere in the barn. I had 2 other people helping me look with no luck. With the missing cooler, I haven't seen if anyone else has been using one, but I can't imagine it would fit a single horse there in the slightest. No clue what happened to the stuff that has gone missing and not been found, but it's incredibly frustrating. I've done as much as I reasonably can. It's not practical by any stretch of the imagination for me to haul my stuff around in my car. I have a family. It just doesn't work like that.


I know he's a horse. I have always treated him like a horse. He's not a person. I don't presume to treat him as such. I've been working with and around horses for most of my life, and I don't have any intention of letting them think I'm anything other than the leader at any point.

I really hope that cleared some things up. That's what I get for typing a post on my phone. Stupid phone wouldn't let me even go back and make corrections for spelling if I missed it initially. Ugh!

Whew! That was a LOT!! My apologies for making it so long. I just wanted to be as clear as possible.
    01-31-2013, 12:16 AM
Tazzie, I sent an email to her through her website. I doubt she'll have an open trainer policy since she's a trainer herself. I have zero interest in dressage training with my horse at this point, but I'm certainly willing to look into it. Her place is almost the same distance away as this one, but in opposite. It's almost an hour from my house and it's roughly 30 minutes from work. We'll see, though!
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    01-31-2013, 12:17 AM
Hemms, I'm near a major city, so getting out to the country takes a long time. Where I lived before I moved into my husband's house, I was only 12 minutes away from the barn where my horse was boarded. Most people I know with horses live within 15 minutes of a barn. I just am in a poor location. There's one place that's 20 minutes from my house, but it's 20 minutes south of my house so it's even further from work. I do almost all of my barn visits after work and I can't spend all night driving to the barn. Otherwise, I'll never see my daughter before bed.
    01-31-2013, 12:29 AM
FranknBeans, things were going smoothly for a while. There have been other issues with other boarders as well. I'm not the only having problems with quality of care and boarding agreements. I was irritated about some of the things that happened early on, but things were great for months. The BM and her husband just started leasing the facility early last summer, so they weren't at it for long when I moved in. Many of us have noticed the changes over the past few months. So my experience isn't all that much different from many of theirs - particularly the full care boarders.

I was excited when I first moved there to get things worked out, find a BM who spent years showing Arabs class A and didn't have that annoying breed prejudice that I often find in the area, and even know some of the people and horses. I have no issues at all with any of the boarders, everyone is nice to me and I to them.

The BM and her husband are nice people and they care about the horses, but they also have the attitude that they know better than all of us and that just isn't the case for all of us boarders. Some of us have spent just as much time in horses and they have. I know the BM will ask for my opinion when she's talking to other people because she knows I know what I'm talking about. By no means do I think I'm the "bomb diggity", but I know enough that I'm not just another ignorant horse owner. Those are all too often the case around here, sadly.

I can honestly say that when it comes to things like feeding and basic care of my horse, I know at least as much as the BM does. So, when I ask her for feeding changes, we discuss them, and an agreement is reached, I do expect it to be honored.
    01-31-2013, 01:29 AM
Whew. Reads like it's time to move. Just too much drama and chaos. Some deal breakers for me in there, anyhow. I will again suggest your own personal priority list. Logical formulas make decisions like this a lot clearer for myself.
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