I was just curious if there is anyone who is a part of a Co-Op boarding facility and your thoughts and feelings about them! And how much your beliefs and actions have changed since you've taken a more active part in the care of your horse. I am a Co-Op boarder and I would never go back to a full board stable. :)
Yes I use to be at one. You got a stall & use of the facility etc. but you had to clean your own horses stall everyday & help with chores a few days a week....like turning the horses out & feeding & general up keep. I liked it a lot, but it would be hard if you live far from the barn or you can't make it out everyday. It was also run by committee which I think is a really bad idea.
In my experience, co-op barns that do work work VERY WELL. Co-op barns that aren't working perfectly fall to disaster very quickly.
If everyone is not totally committed then the barn cannot function, which is a problem.
I board at a "co-op" barn, however my family is the only boarder... it's me and my 1 horse and the BO with her 2 horses. It works pretty well because you get to spend a lot of time with the horses and you know that they are getting what they are supposed to get. Plus, you can still go on vacation because you are able to work out that others will take over your responsibilities.
You definitely have to have the right people boarding at a Co-Op stable and communication is a huge part of why it works. We have a once a month meeting where we talk about issues and future plans and ideas.
At our stable, we have indoor and outdoor boarding. Your horses receive "full board" care, such as blanketing, fly sprays, supplements, medications, all at no cost. Why? Because we treat all of the horses as we would want our own treated.
Co-Op's vary but at our place, boarders are only required to have one chore day a week, which consists of AM feeding, turnout (blanket/sprays), & cleaning of the stalls. Then PM turn in and feeding.
You are required to buy your own grain, hay, and/or shavings. You are totally in charge of how much or how little you want your horse to receive of each.
Our mares are at home with us, but 3 of the ladies that I ride with board their 6 horses at a co-op barn down the road and they love it. As others mentioned, you are basically paying for the pasture, a stall in the barn, and use of the facilities (barn/tack room, ring, trails, etc). They buy round bales from the BO and pay for their own feed, shavings, etc.