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Boarding Question

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        04-29-2010, 09:08 PM
      #11
    Trained
    I've moved a lot lately. I have run up a rather extensive checklist. It all revolves around the fact that most barn owners apparently will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you in there only to later recant.

    1. Visit midday. Take notice if the horses have any hay left to eat and if the water buckets are sufficiently full. Most barn owners tell me on the phone that their horses get plenty of hay which is usually BS. If you don't see any hay on the ground, ask the BO why they have no food. The answer will determine whether you should just walk away right then and there. Also if the water buckets are empty, just leave. It won't change.

    2. Look at the horses. Are they outside or in their stalls? Do they have shelter from passing storms? Are they ribby or fat and happy? Are they happily dozing or do they look stressed out?

    3. Fencing - Simple stuff. Is the fencing strong and sturdy or about to flop over? Any jagged pieces sticking out? Any nails? Pieces of wire?

    4. Ask about the feeding program. Are all horses fed the same quantity of grain regardless of their needs, or is it talored to the individual horse? If the answer is all get the same and you're welcome to buy your own weight gain supplement, run for the door. I've been at barns where I thought I was saving $100 a month, but paying it all back out in supplements to keep weight on my horse.

    5. Check the footing in the ring or rings. Too deep - leg injuries. Too hard - same thing, just different injuries.

    6. Ask other boarders if they are happy with the place when you can get away from the BO. If you have time to make your choice, visit a few different days and times.

    Good luck
         
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        05-04-2010, 01:28 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Visiting mid-day is a little too specific. For example if someone visited my barn tomorrow at say 1pm...stalls wouldn't be clean or in the middle of being cleaned... buckets would be dirty and the isle way wouldn't be spotless.

    My husband turns horses out at 7:30 am when he gets home from work and my help arrives from noon-1.

    However, Puck did have a good point. Lets say your horses needs vary quite differently from the barn's regular program (exp. They feed strategy and feed coastal and you have a hard keeper on triple crown senior and alfalfa cubes soaked). If your horse is the ONLY one on that program then there may be problems.

    Another good example is a new boarder of mine came from a $700 a month show barn. They had an indoor, deep shavings and 4 hours of turn out alone every day. I charge $350.. outdoor ring only, and horses are turned out all day with 2 other horses.

    No I won't leave your horse in all day unless he's sick.. No you can't store 20 bales of alfalfa in my barn I don't have the room. No you can't buy your own feed because you will get low and I will end up buying it anyway. I have 3 feeds to choose from (Strategy, Ultium, Senior) if you don't like it go some where else. I will add some extra shavings but I'm not going to bed your horses stall 8 inches deep for at least 5 reasons I can think of that I don't feel like typing out. As a BO I will tailor needs to an extent but if you're completely off wall then all I can do is try.

    I think every boarder should do our job for at least a week. :o) It is like every horse person's dream job and it isn't. Can't you tell I'm on a mission to create understanding boarder awareness? LOL

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    I've moved a lot lately. I have run up a rather extensive checklist. It all revolves around the fact that most barn owners apparently will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you in there only to later recant.

    1. Visit midday. Take notice if the horses have any hay left to eat and if the water buckets are sufficiently full. Most barn owners tell me on the phone that their horses get plenty of hay which is usually BS. If you don't see any hay on the ground, ask the BO why they have no food. The answer will determine whether you should just walk away right then and there. Also if the water buckets are empty, just leave. It won't change.

    2. Look at the horses. Are they outside or in their stalls? Do they have shelter from passing storms? Are they ribby or fat and happy? Are they happily dozing or do they look stressed out?

    3. Fencing - Simple stuff. Is the fencing strong and sturdy or about to flop over? Any jagged pieces sticking out? Any nails? Pieces of wire?

    4. Ask about the feeding program. Are all horses fed the same quantity of grain regardless of their needs, or is it talored to the individual horse? If the answer is all get the same and you're welcome to buy your own weight gain supplement, run for the door. I've been at barns where I thought I was saving $100 a month, but paying it all back out in supplements to keep weight on my horse.

    5. Check the footing in the ring or rings. Too deep - leg injuries. Too hard - same thing, just different injuries.

    6. Ask other boarders if they are happy with the place when you can get away from the BO. If you have time to make your choice, visit a few different days and times.

    Good luck
         
        05-05-2010, 10:12 PM
      #13
    Trained
    With the midday visit thing, it was solely a way of determining if the horses are fed and watered as advertised. I can't count how many times BO's have told me on the phone that horses have hay in front of them all day only to get there and find the horses standing around with not a scrap to eat. At some of the barns the water buckets were very low too. The BOs who like to embellish probably just throw hay with morning and evening grain and assume nobody's going to be around in the daytime to find out otherwise.
         
        05-06-2010, 04:18 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by starlinestables    
    Visiting mid-day is a little too specific. For example if someone visited my barn tomorrow at say 1pm...stalls wouldn't be clean or in the middle of being cleaned... buckets would be dirty and the isle way wouldn't be spotless.

    My husband turns horses out at 7:30 am when he gets home from work and my help arrives from noon-1.

    However, Puck did have a good point. Lets say your horses needs vary quite differently from the barn's regular program (exp. They feed strategy and feed coastal and you have a hard keeper on triple crown senior and alfalfa cubes soaked). If your horse is the ONLY one on that program then there may be problems.

    Another good example is a new boarder of mine came from a $700 a month show barn. They had an indoor, deep shavings and 4 hours of turn out alone every day. I charge $350.. outdoor ring only, and horses are turned out all day with 2 other horses.

    No I won't leave your horse in all day unless he's sick.. No you can't store 20 bales of alfalfa in my barn I don't have the room. No you can't buy your own feed because you will get low and I will end up buying it anyway. I have 3 feeds to choose from (Strategy, Ultium, Senior) if you don't like it go some where else. I will add some extra shavings but I'm not going to bed your horses stall 8 inches deep for at least 5 reasons I can think of that I don't feel like typing out. As a BO I will tailor needs to an extent but if you're completely off wall then all I can do is try.

    I think every boarder should do our job for at least a week. :o) It is like every horse person's dream job and it isn't. Can't you tell I'm on a mission to create understanding boarder awareness? LOL
    Starline.....I have boarded and owned my own facility. As long as the feeding program is regulated and my horses are safe, then I do not EXPECT the barn owners to do MY job as I own the horse and he is my responsibility. If there is a problem or an injury/illness I expect to be contacted immediately. There are many boarders and friends that complain about the littlest of things. It makes me chuckle as I fed my horse recently three huge flakes of hay and they were gone within 2 hours. To think that it is inexpensive to own a horse and expect he has hay in front of him at all time is crazy at least in the Northeast! At $7 per bale the minimum cost to do that would be $210, what about bedding, feed, supplements, electricity, insurance, water....I think boarders think you are making a ton of money........NOT TRUE. I appreciate my BO more than words can express. They work so hard, feed and care for our horses very well, and the only people complaining were those people that couldn't do it themselves. For all you do.......Thank You!
         
        05-06-2010, 07:35 PM
      #15
    Trained
    All I'm saying is, if the BO tells me on the phone that they get hay all day, I expect that to be the case. I have seen a lot of places this year, and it's amazing how many BO's will tell you whatever you want to hear over the phone, or even in person, only to later change their tune once you're horse is there. I have been at several places that have free choice hay, and I am also in CT, so they do exist, even at $7 a bale.
         
        05-06-2010, 11:34 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    MyGalSal Thank you for the understanding! My husband and I personally loaded up 140 (75lb coastal) bales which cost me $6.50 a bale. I feed 12-15 lbs of hay in the evening once a day and alot of times we have some left over! My horses get turned out though. If horses are in stalls all day.. I think its fairly reasonable to expect hay two or three times a day. But each horse is slightly different and eat at different rates and may change with their surroundings with no notice!

    Personally I say, save yourself the mid day trips or waiting in the barn for hours..View the facility, get the basic answers and just ask for 3 references.
         
        05-10-2010, 05:10 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    • Adequate shelter in pasture or turnouts (NOT just trees...)
    • Fences all in good repair
    • Does the property have a perimeter fence, in case horses do get out
    • Does someone live on the property
    • Are tack rooms secure (locked when not in use)
    • Is there a bathroom
    • Arena footing good/safe
    • Pastures safe & free of debris
    • Does the barn provide quality hay, up to free choice
    • Will they feed my feed and supplements at no extra cost
    • Is there a heated & air conditioned office or lounge? (a MUST here in Arkansas IMO!!)
    • Are outside trainers allowed
    Bonus items, but not necessary:
    • Trail access
    • Indoor or Covered arena
    • Trailering services available
    • Trainer on premises
    • Shows or clinics held on property
    At the barn I run I provide most of my "must haves" at the top and 2 of the 5 "bonus items" I like. I'm working on covering everything on my list, but I'm young and our business is new & small. We'll get there eventually .
         
        05-12-2010, 11:17 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
    • Adequate shelter in pasture or turnouts (NOT just trees...)
    • Fences all in good repair
    • Does the property have a perimeter fence, in case horses do get out
    • Does someone live on the property
    • Are tack rooms secure (locked when not in use)
    • Is there a bathroom
    • Arena footing good/safe
    • Pastures safe & free of debris
    • Does the barn provide quality hay, up to free choice
    • Will they feed my feed and supplements at no extra cost
    • Is there a heated & air conditioned office or lounge? (a MUST here in Arkansas IMO!!)
    • Are outside trainers allowed
    Bonus items, but not necessary:
    • Trail access
    • Indoor or Covered arena
    • Trailering services available
    • Trainer on premises
    • Shows or clinics held on property
    At the barn I run I provide most of my "must haves" at the top and 2 of the 5 "bonus items" I like. I'm working on covering everything on my list, but I'm young and our business is new & small. We'll get there eventually .
    Where were you when I was looking?? This is a great list. The only thing I would add is "adequate turnout space". I know every horse is different, but mine likes some space to run around and kick up his heels. Fortunately I already found everything on it other than a secure tack room, but my saddle's so high up, a thief would have to be very motivated to grab it. Also the dog would eat him/her before there was time to steal it. I saw many places before I found one with everything I wanted and am very happy that I held out for the whole ball of wax. Horsey is very happy.
         
        05-12-2010, 11:34 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    I look at the stalls... are they clean....are they filthy.... if there is an injured horse on the property, how is it being treated. Are the other boarders friendly or bossy. I think it should be obvious that the fences are in good repair, the pastures are not filled with rusting junk, and the water is only one day dirty. The barn owner sells the place for me. Are they knowledgable? Will they know if my horse is ill, since most of the time I won't be out there..... Are they friendly? It is the best to see a friendly barn owner who gives a mini report on your horse for the time you have been gone... even if it is just "Citrus played alot with River and Winter.... then he ate like crazy". I find that comforting.
         
        05-13-2010, 02:26 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Good one Citrus, a definite concern is how often the stalls are cleaned. I looked at one place that only cleaned them ONCE A WEEK! I was APPALLED to say the least...

    I only clean stalls as needed at my barn, which is usually 1-2 times a week, but I only keep the horses in to be fed, then right back out. Any horses that are stalled have their stalls cleaned once, and sometimes twice a day.

    I also like to know how often they feed. If the hay isn't free choice, then I want them fed hay at least twice a day, preferably three times a day. I'm good with one hard feed a day, but I don't feed my horses much, so splitting "feed" into two feedings isn't a big deal for me.
         

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