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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