Breaking Up with Your Barn - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 11,772
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Originally Posted by HorseMom1025 View Post
How does this sound?

Dear BO,

This letter is to provide you with 30 days notice as per our boarding contract. We will be moving Barn Name (Registered Name) to a new facility on December 14, 2013 (Saturday).

Our final board payment will be $xxx.xx (prorated for December $xxx / 30 = $xx.xx per day x 14 days in December to complete 30 days notice) paid on 12/1/2013.

November 15 30 = 16 days
December 1 14 = 14 days

Thank you for the care you have provided to our horse and our family over the past three years. We really appreciate all you have done for us.


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Looks great.
You can talk to the BO face to face as well, but you always want stuff like this in writing.
You're moving. Period. Don't make it personal, if she asks just state you're moving to your trainer's barn.
People move. It's nothing personal, it happens. Different people expect different things from BOs.
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post #12 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 637
• Horses: 1
Oh, I have no intention of cowardly dropping the letter for her to find. I just wanted help in what to say (both the letter and in person). I am required by contract to give 30 days written notice.

I KNOW she will want to know why and I'm worried I will start blabbing which will give her an opportunity to attack, cry, make excuses, crazy promises, etc. It's hard to know which way this will go! Some days she's very reasonable and others she's a complete nut. My family likes her as a person, but her business skills are questionable. *sigh*

I'm hoping I can be prepared when I do give notice. I want to practice what I should and should not say and just prepare myself. It will not be easy because I know she will feel betrayed. I won't even mention our coach...because that isn't the reason we are leaving (it's just the best option for us).

We are leaving because:
I'm paying for full care.
I'm receiving partial care. The horses are fed, given hay and their water is filled each day. That is it.
The water is often empty or dirty when I arrive in the evening. The BO only cleans the water once every 3 days or so.
The feeding times are inconsistent. My horse receives her breakfast between 5 and 11 in the morning and her dinner between 4 and 9 at night.
The hay quality is not as good and my horse has a small paddock with a round bale. She's getting fat.
The paddocks are never raked or spread. My horse is standing in manure up to her ankles because the BO is not rotating pastures or practicing good manure management.
The flies are awful due to poor manure management. There are piles of manure everywhere. The BO does not fly spray her horse (or ours).
The arena is in bad shape because they never drag it except once a week. Our horse is tripped and getting sore due to poor footing.
The barn cats are fed in the tack room/feed room. The feed barrel is left uncovered and they have defecated in the feed. I told the owner, she covered the feed for 2 days the. Started leaving the cover off again.
No one is on the property from around 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays. Tack rooms are left unlocked (to allow the cats access) and if a horse gets into trouble, no one is there to help.
My horse had been left blanketed for two days in 60+ degree temps (it was in the 40s at night, thus the blanket).
Farrier and vet services are spotty. Our mare is barefoot and gets trimmed every 6 weeks. Farrier only wants to come out if it's worth his time (multiple horses). Few other boarders and lesson horses only receive care every 60 to 90 days. So, I'm having trouble getting our mare the maintenance she needs.

*all of the above issues have been discussed with the BO numerous times in polite terms*

PROS - Two covered/lighted arenas and we have the place to ourselves because no one else is there.

At the new facility I will pay full full care and receive even more.
Manure is hauled away weekly. The pastures are dragged and horses rotated.
The BO fly sprays all horses as needed.
Farrier schedule is set for the year and posted (vet and worming schedule too). BO sends out reminders, you drop off the $$ and the service is taken care of. No muss, no fuss.
Feeding is done at the same time daily (a 30 minute window). Water is checked 3x per day and buckets cleaned daily.
Blankets are put on when temps drop below 50 and removed once they go above 50 again.
Owner lives and works on site. Horses are checked regularly throughout the day.
Locked tack room with assigned spaces. No pets allowed in tack or feed rooms.
Riding ring is dragged 1-2x per day to maintain footing.

CONS - busy barn with lots of kids (my daughter's age) and only one small uncovered riding ring.
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Last edited by HorseMom1025; 11-07-2013 at 01:40 PM.
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post #13 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 637
• Horses: 1
Also, monthly boarding costs are the same at both places. I'm giving up a covered arena and complete privacy for 5 star care for our horse.

We are going to check one other facility that has a covered arena. They are courting our trainer to do lessons out there, if the facility is nice, our trainer is welcome, and the care is good, we may select them instead. (Same price as well).
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post #14 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,909
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
You don't need a reason to leave any facility, and the less said the better many times.

You mentioned wanting to return at some point in time, put that in your letter but leave it open, no date.

I would do....

Due to personal reasons and issues I am finding myself giving you 30 days notice of my vacating your boarding facility.
I have enjoyed my time here and my horse was well taken care of.
I hope someday to be able to return to this place that I hold fond memories of.
My horse and I will be shipping out on _____.

____ _____

No drama, no false promises... just fact and keep it simple and don't elaborate.
They are also not entitled to know where you are going unless you tell them...
Remember to notify your blacksmith and especially your vet of the change so you can continue with their services as needed.
I absolutely agree with this post. Short, simple, to the point. Keep it business, possibly even request a final itemized bill if you think there could be any squabbling over incidentals. I would NOT put where you are moving, and honestly, if the existing Barn Owner asks where you are going, I would politely say "I'd rather not talk details."

By the way, if the facility with the indoor-arena happens to be more south of your current location, PM me the details! I love my barn but I'd love a covered arena more.
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post #15 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 16,846
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I like how your letter was put together, more so than the other poster's. It's simple, concise and does not come across in any other way than professional.

It's always better to be professional and slightly vague when you depart a barn. Getting too much into detail usually puts the barn on the defensive side where things get ugly.

Best of luck with the move :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #16 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
Posts: 6,101
• Horses: 4
Of course you are free to board wherever you want without giving a reason.
A few things come to mind reading your wants. If an arena needs dragging 1-2x/day I suspect the footing is faulty or there is so much traffic I would be concerned about crowding.
I would worry that frequently checked buckets are often empty, hence the need to check so often. Most places that clean buckets daily let them run low so they don't have to dump full ones. There's nothing wrong with daily cleaning as long as they are never empty.
I hope the new place is everything you want.
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post #17 of 42 Old 11-07-2013, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 637
• Horses: 1
The one I described is our coach's barn. I am confident of the care because I've been there many times for clinics, extra lessons, etc.

She gives multiple lessons everyday, so she drags in the morning before lessons and afternoon if needed due to high traffic.

She checks the water regularly because she is OCD about it. They don't always need filled, but here in Texas, the water can evaporate quickly in the summer and some of the horses also like to "play" and it gets muddy/dirty. She hates dirty water. ;)

I do worry a bit about traffic, but almost everyone there is a lesson kid and knows the rules. Right now, Kitten (my daughter) has no one to ride with. At this barn she will meet other, like minded girls her age.

Overall, we are happy with this option. We still plan to check out that other barn, just in case.

Thanks everyone!
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post #18 of 42 Old 11-08-2013, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,721
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I would be hesitant to go into so many of the care issues with her. If you are leaving regardless then it doesn't really matter what the issue is. By stating your issues as feeding times are inconsistent, water buckets are dirty, etc, you are giving her a reason to be defensive, edgy, and upset. If you give reasons that are beyond your control, such as your coach, then there is nothing (or shouldn't be) anything personal about it. Also, I can almost guarantee that the care would become almost impeccable immediately after giving notice. This is in a drastic effort to get you to stay, but if you did decide to stay then things would slide right back to where they were afterwards. Regardless of what I think though, it's your call of what to say.

When you confront her have your set of talking points and stick with them. Don't deviate, and if she whines or presses more questions say you don't wish to discuss it and move on. Say that you are sorry to be leaving and walk away.
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post #19 of 42 Old 11-08-2013, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 637
• Horses: 1
I wasn't planning to discuss those issues with her again (I wanted to list them so others here would understand). I've mentioned almost all those things to her in the past in a non-confrontational way.

We're going out to a second facility tomorrow (Saturday) that has a covered arena. I need to make sure our coach would be welcome if we move there. I don't want to change barns only to lose our coach too! That is just too much change for both my daughter and her horse.

I know we are leaving. I don't believe there is anything the current BO could do (except hire a full time BM to run the place) to make me stay. And I know for a fact that is not going to happen. I've been patient and understanding for the past two years (the beginning of the decline)...I've reached to end of my rope because I fear our horse is beginning to feel the impact.
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post #20 of 42 Old 11-09-2013, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 38
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I saw the title of this thread and jumped to it. I'm going through the EXACT same thing. My horse now is boarded about 45 minutes away. I found a farm about 20 minutes from my house and would like to move her.

My BO and I have never seen eye to eye and takes every little thing I say or suggest for my horse so personally, it always ends up in her getting defensive, getting into an argument and then her apologizing.

They have recently gotten a new horse at the barn that has totally damaged my horse. She has 10 bites on one side and three wounds on the other from another Clydesdale that she got into a fight with. I was upset and asked her to keep this aggressive horse away from mine and she got really upset. Said they were separated for 4 days, but I was told that night they were together the morning prior. When I told her this is what I was told, she went into a rage saying I was calling her a liar etc..

I hadn't decided on moving my horse, but when she flipped out I told her Shiloh would be gone in two weeks. Kind of made my decision for me.

I wanted to leave on good terms, but it looks like it's going to be awkward until i take my horse. =(
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