HorseMom - I did this YESTERDAY! Breaking up is hard to do, but once you do, you'll feel great! For me, my horse has been at this facility for 8 years with 5 of those years with me, but I was only leasing her up until 3 months ago. Before I talked to the trainer and BO I visited the new place several times, it was immaculate and clean on my random unscheduled visits. I set up a lesson with the trainer/owner to make sure I liked her style and everything was in check. At the end I gave her a check, I insisted, to hold a place for me, I'll be going in 20 days.
I went straight to my barn and talked to the BO. I told her I needed to talk to her and made sure no one else was around so I wouldn't start a domino effect with the other boarders. I simply told her I was leaving because I felt unsafe riding in the arena with poor lighting. I also mentioned the arena footing but didn't go into detail. I wanted to tell her the specifics but didn't want to upset her. I really love the other boarders there and that family but that's not enough for me. My specific reasons:
Poor arena lighting, only 1/2 lit
Poor arena footing, dirt and they have been putting piles of fresh manure to make better
Poor footing contains surprises...I literally found a rusty round saw blade one day in it. Another horse's foot got a piece of metal punctured and driven up in hoof. Seriously. Think of nail in a tire scenario. Vet said if infected horse would need surgery, but it didn't result to that.
Poor arena footing creates ALOT of dust
Poor arena footing is attempting to be controlled by overwatering. Which creates massive slick spots. I've slipped a few times at the canter.
Rocks in the arena. Rocks.
Instead of fixing automatic waters in stalls that are leaking, giant buckets are placed under them. Some are just left as is and creates muddy spots in stalls.
Some horses are very thin. My got pretty ribby last summer.
Running children, no rules, people falling off horses getting spooked. Broken bones.
I asked for my horse to get additional hay at lunch time and I said I would pay for it, it never happened. I now buy extra hay from the barn and throw it in myself.
General bad neighborhood.
No drainage or even an even floor at wash rack. Mud. Broken spickets, at one point had to use a clamp to turn water on.
Why did I go here in the first place? People were great and facility was a lot nicer years ago. New place has beautiful footing, stadium lighting, and horses were fat and happy.