The great barn search may be back on
 
 

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The great barn search may be back on

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        05-06-2014, 02:26 PM
      #1
    Started
    The great barn search may be back on

    It's been a wonderful past 8.5 months, but I may be looking for a new barn again. *sigh*

    After searching for 5 months last year, I finally found a great barn. Small, private facility with only a handful of adult boarders and a total of 11 horses. My gelding was sharing the pasture with one other gelding and they got along amazingly well. He was no longer coming in with bites, kicks, scrapes, etc. His whole demeanor changed and we're both obviously much happier. The BO owns the property and truly cars about the horses and is fairly knowledgeable. She feeds grain I like and hay that's pretty good quality (hard to do around here). Round bales in the pasture during winter. She's easy to talk to and get along with. The barn is quiet and I could go weeks without seeing any other boarders, just the BO. No drama. Just peace. Finally!

    The only issue I had was with blanketing because she wasn't blanketing per the boarding contract. I talked to her about it and things were pretty well taken care of.

    Well, a couple of weeks ago, a girl (previous boarder and friends with BO's youngest daughter, very early 20s, we'll call her T) moved her two horses back after finances got tight and she had to move back in with her parents. The mare, we'll call her S, is ~23 with obvious arthritis. She's stiff walking around the pasture. Sweet mare, very gentle. The gelding, we'll call him B, is ~14 and has a big issue with manners. S is his mom and he had been in a field with her for the past few years. He's taking the separation very poorly, even after a couple of weeks, and still paces the fence line trying to get her attention, but she ignores him for the most part. He's pushy on the ground, loud and calling out constantly, you get the idea. The BO says the three boys all get along perfectly fine. I would agree - no bangs and bumps on my gelding or the other geldings. They play when they first go out and then they settle down and eat grass. 2 Saturdays ago, B was found (assuming outside) with a cut on his rear fetlock and just below it. The vet was called out, did stitches, took a sample from the joint, and wrapped the leg. Said stall rest for 2 weeks. The sample from the joint came back high in white blood cells so he's now on antibiotics. He's feeling better now, but he's not doing well with the stall rest. He's getting more aggressive. He's rearing in stall and while being handled, kicking the stall often, acting like he's going to bite, charging at my guy in his stall, etc. The BO is going to have T speak to the vet about limited turnout in the round pen or something. In the meantime, S is also staying inside because B can't handle being alone or unable to see his mom. She's obviously miserable and her limp is very pronounced now. She's very stiff and avoids moving around much in her stall. I feel bad for her.

    T has made a handful of passive-aggressive comments to me about my horse. First, in the first week the boys were going out together, she said my boy chased B off from the fence line away from his mom and she couldn't believe B allowed it to happen. I let it go because I know he and the other gelding would switch off "watching over" the girls (the 2 fields are separated by a fence) during the day. My guy is always the lowest on the totem pole, so I know he wasn't being unacceptably aggressive. It's just not his nature. Second, the day after B got hurt before the vet came out, she made a comment to her horse asking if my guy beat him up. I let it slide because I know that's not the case. Then, a few days later, I was putting my guy away after working him and she made a comment, again to her horse, saying that she didn't know who beat him up, but "you two" need to get along. Then she looked straight at my horse (they stall next to each other). Again, I let it slide. Most recently, last Thursday I was putting my guy away after working him and she said to me that she thinks my guy is cute for an Arabian, even though she doesn't normally like them. I just agreed and said he's just lucky he's so cute and expressive. Then I moved on. Wth? Talk about a back-handed compliment and barely one at that.

    I don't do drama and don't have time to deal with it. The barn is my few minutes to myself. Otherwise, I'm very busy with the rest of my life.

    I'm always nice to her, offer to help her bring in horses when she's doing that for the BO (it's a full care facility, so I'm under no obligation to do so). I'd only met her once before she moved back in. When she was there before, it was just her gelding and the same third gelding who is still there (the one my guy goes out with). My horse is the "new" one and it sounds a lot like she's trying to blame him. She's only out in the evenings, so it's hard for me to avoid being out there with her.

    The BO said that B paces the fence line a lot and she thinks he cut it on the fence while doing that or on a stick or something. Which matches with the injury. I'm not worried about anyone else thinking my guy did it.

    That's that part of my frustration with the barn. Then, the BO recently got some chickens. No biggie. There's 5 and they're fairly entertaining, even if they're pooing everywhere. I can look past it. Last week, she got a pot belly pig that is wandering the barn now - also pooing peeing everywhere, including the horse's stalls. She is "stalled" next to my guy and he likes her. Sunday, he ran into the arena (through the gate) during my lesson and my husband had to chase him out. Funny once, sure, but it gets old quickly. I can look past that, too, for the most part. Now, she's looking at getting goats. I draw the line at goats. In the past, I've had goats destroy a lot of my good hay and $500 worth of my tack, blankets, etc. Because they literally ate the stuff (and pooed and peed all over the hay), including my $150 show bridle. I wasn't compensated and just had to suck it up at the time. In a passing conversation with my BO, I told her about my goat experiences and how much I dislike them. She agreed that they can be destructive. Well, her boyfriend's son wants one, so now she's looking for 2.

    I don't want to act rashly, but this may be my limit. I can't enjoy my horse time if I'm listening to the "new" boarder and dealing with chickens, a pig, and goats running amok.

    Sorry about the rant. It's just frustrating. Cookies to anyone who made it through this.
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        05-06-2014, 09:04 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Buy you a place and you won't have all the changes.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    SEAmom likes this.
         
        05-07-2014, 12:56 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    Unfortunately this sounds like it's the "family funhouse" instead of being a boarding business and you are trumped by 2 things- the other boarder is a family friend and also is paying board on 2 horses not just one.

    As barn drama usually goes, this seems pretty tame stuff to me but if you have any other place to move to I'd just pack up and go. Just be aware that barn drama happens in almost every stable as most are run by people who aren't really business inclined or just don't want to get involved.

    We have a lot worse things happening where I board and no one can really move out as the only other option out there is a trashy converted cowbarn with broken asphalt in the isles!
    SEAmom likes this.
         
        05-07-2014, 02:04 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    I agree with Chasin Ponies- the fellow boarder issues sound pretty tame. Don't let one person ruin your boarding stable. They shouldn't have that much control over your emotions.
    How do I know this? I have to deal with it almost everyday.

    "TurkishVan, your mare is so cute! She's a nice mover! But she doesn't have much impulsion, does she?"

    "I don't really like Friesians. I don't have a problem with your horse, but I've never been a fan. I had a friend who had a Morgan/Friesian cross, and that thing was crazy."

    "But Friesians are cart horses. They can't do dressage."

    [A lady referring to my mare who was shifting her weight in the crossties quietly while her horse was being a brat in another set of crossties]: "Careful, you'll freak yourself out back there."

    All of these are catty remarks made towards my reasonably well-behaved young mare. You know what I do with them? I tell my Mom about them, we laugh, then I move on. I don't forget them- because these are true signs of their character- but I move on. Some people are so obsessed with their horse that they transfer their horses bad behavior onto yours. Sounds crazy, but it happens! And some people get embarrassed by their horse's behavior, so they have to point out something as equally negative about your horse to even the scoring cards. It's a sign of a shallow person, and I avoid them at all costs. Unfortunately we now have two at my barn (they're friends too, I wonder why!). Just don't let her get to you. Because that's what she's TRYING to do!

    As far as the animals go... I could loan you my Mom's gelding! He likes to kill small animals for fun. Bet he'd take care of that pig and those goats in a jiffy!
         
        05-07-2014, 02:18 PM
      #5
    Trained
    The new boarder sounds like she's not very experienced with horses if she doesn't understand that a new horse introduced to a herd usually has some amount of chasing done to them. Her two horses sound spoiled. I've literally never seen horses introduced to each other and get along magically and flawlessly.

    Where is the tack stored? If it's all out in the open and not in a closeable room then I definitely see the concern. Is there space for the tack to be put behind a closed door so that goats can't get to it? Instead of telling the BO you had a bad experience and hate goats, did you explain their propensity to eat everything in their path - including tack? Otherwise, if it's a full care facility and they're eating the BO's hay, well, she'll just have to buy more hay.

    The Arabian comments? Pfft. I used to get those too. I would respond with something like, "Yeah a lot of people can't handle intelligent animals" or something and leave it at that.

    Personally, I find the baby-talking passive-aggressive thing to be childish and rude. *I* would cheer my horse on and tell him he was handling his business but tell him that the other horse's momma was being fussy over her baby so to please try to leave him alone though I know it's hard because he's annoying. The horse doesn't understand what I'm saying so it's not like I'm egging him on.

    The pig in the arena sucks, but consider it a training opportunity. Your horse needs to learn how to handle a pig, a goat, a dog, a child, whatever, coming in his path. If your concern is for the pig, use your horse to chase the thing out. Pigs are smart, they can be taught things - they're smarter than some dogs.
    SEAmom and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        05-07-2014, 02:33 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    I'm with everyone else on these issues. XD Overall, these seem to be small problems. There will be overly opinionated people in every hobby--and those that think you actually /want/ to hear what they have to say. XD There is a boarder like that where I keep my gelding, who has something instructive or constructive everytime I see her. I just smile and nod. I've been doing this long enough... if I need help, I will ask for it xD

    As far as the animals... Are they damaging your property, or anything like that?

    But, really the bottom line is... If you're unhappy with the situation, move. (:
    SEAmom and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        05-07-2014, 02:59 PM
      #7
    Yearling
    Nobody wants to hear that their problems are small or they are being blown out of proportion. Any marriage counselor will tell you that! These are real issues to you.

    However, I'm going to chime in.... It could be a WHOLE lot worse.

    People stink. Bottom line. If she is the only one you don't get along famously with, well, smile and tell her "Why thank you. Bless your heart you're so special" every time she says something snarky or ugly to you.

    I am a northerner transplanted to the south and I am told that those words are pretty close to, well, pretty bad stuff. But it sounds so POLITE and warm and just down right caring and appreciated.

    Now, goats and tack. If your tack is exposed to the goats, my suggestion would be to invest in one of those portable tack closets (better known at Lowe's as a outdoor storage box. Without being critical, ask the barn owner where something like that would be out of the way on the property. (I'm not referring to a barn or garage, but a little cubby that locks and is waterproof. Some are generously sized where you could fit a saddle rack and a few rubber made bins. You could also affix a halter holder, etc.

    Even if the "best spot" is outdoors, the unit should be watertight against rain and you can put a lock on it. Goat problem - fixed. Plus your tack is all nice and tidy. I put shelving in the tack room I use to keep my belongings in the shared space separate from the other boarders and tidy.

    Pigs and chickens. The poop would gross me out. There is barn dirt and then there is unsanitary dirt. I have my limits. But, agree with others. Dodging the farm animals is good for your horse.

    Frequently, okay, every lesson, I generally have to trot around a dog's tail, a cat pooping in the arena or some other animal just wandering in. I'm supposed to keep my horse next to the wall, but here is this massive dog head laying across the track. The first few months it unnerved me completely and now I take it in stride. Half way around the ring I yell out, "(dogname) MOVE!"

    This one cat decided to walk in and just lay and stare at me. What do you do? Use it as a cavelletti or go around?

    If the board fee is reasonable, you get along with everyone else especially the owner, and you can find a way to mitigate the rest, I would find a way to make lemonade from the few lemons you have.

    I definitely wouldn't move because of a live obstacle course.

    I would like my cookie please.
    Wallaby, SEAmom, EliRose and 3 others like this.
         
        05-07-2014, 05:01 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    The only way to not deal with any drama at a stable is the one solution already made.
    Purchase your own property.
    That's how it is . Your bridles and saddles blankets etc, should be kept up and locked away when you are not using them, how did a goat pee on your show bridle? Was it on the floor or ground? There are fences, welded wire panels you can put up to keep the goats out.
    SEAmom and horseluvr2524 like this.
         
        05-07-2014, 09:54 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    Drama is everywhere. Move to the middle of nowhere and you can still get drama, like I did. People never cease to amaze me. As a lot of others said here, just smile and nod. Let it go. Otherwise, you are allowing them to take your fun away.

    As far as the animals go, if you are that worried about your tack just don't leave it there. Keep it in the trunk of your car. If you don't use your expensive show tack everyday, leave it at home. I wouldn't be leaving expensive tack at a boarding barn anyway, simply because people have a tendency to touch and take things that aren't theirs.

    If the animals go in the horse stalls and make messes, does it matter if the stalls are kept clean? If the stalls are not kept clean, be a self-care boarder and you can see to your horse's welfare yourself.

    If the whole barn bothers you horribly, then leave =) Unfortunately, I do not believe there is a perfect boarding barn on the face of the planet. There will always be things that bother you or someone else. Just think, I got called the equivalent of a psycho and kicked out of the barn for clipping and blanketing my horse.
    SEAmom, EliRose and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        05-07-2014, 10:49 PM
      #10
    Started
    Well, I didn't really think I'd get any responses, but I certainly appreciate that I did.

    I know all too well how much drama can be at barns. I've seen a lot of crazy stuff in my years. This is definitely the least amount of drama I've had to deal with or witness. It was just so wonderful with there only being 2 others boarders besides myself and all kinds of peace and quiet after my super stressful days at work.

    To answer the questions I can remember, I did tell the BO why I didn't like goats and the type of damage they around the barn where I was. It was back when I was 19-20 (a few years ago) that I had my experience with goats. My show bridle was hanging on a stall drying for a show the next weekend and they chewed it up and ate part of it. I would never leave it on the ground, and it had to hang to dry while we finished getting things packed and ready for the show. They did damage to my friend's stuff, too. They figured out how to get into our big plastic totes with our stuff in them and ate the cord on my radio among other things. Chewed up a few of our blankets (used for shows), too. We never left stuff laying around if we could help it, so imagine our surprise when we walked into a barn with our stuff from the tack stall (there was no way to lock it, so we tied twine to keep it shut) strewn about and half-eaten, chewed up, pottied on, etc. The goats found new homes shortly after they started eating blankets when they were on the property owner's horses.

    I do ignore the girl as much as possible or respond vaguely when she talks about things that don't make sense. I'm still nice and helpful when I can be, so I can say I tried to kill her with kindness. I even helped the BO turn her two horses out in the space between the indoor last night with her mare walking almost on top of me.

    All of my show tack stays in my temperature-controlled basement. :)

    We considered buying property to keep my horse at home, but it's not practical for us for a huge variety of reasons. Not to mention it's very difficult to come by that much space anywhere near my area.

    My horse loves all the animals, so not much "learning" happening there. Since the pig is his neighbor, he didn't care at all that it was loose in the arena. I was more concerned for the pig. Plus, it's hard to have a real lesson with a pig running amok. We already deal with chasing chickens and cats around the arena when they get in the way while I'm riding. Their droppings go beyond my level of comfort, so I sweep them away when they're in my path. I don't particularly enjoy seeing the pig pee and poo on top of the hay the BO threw in early for dinner while my horse was outside. That's also beyond my level of comfort.

    Like I said, I'm waiting to see how things pan out, but after my previous experience I won't deal with free-roaming goats again. I do like everyone else there. The BO is great - we even took our CCW license training together a few weeks ago. I've never had a BO like that. The board is actually considerably more than I was paying previously, but even with these irritations, it's leaps and bounds better than the last place. I'm still holding out hope for a mini donkey instead of the goats.

    As far as the cookies, I can mail them to you, but I always end up turning them hard as rocks somehow. You are better off buying some for yourself and pretending like I gave them to you. It's the thought that counts, right? :)
         

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