Self care boarding vs full care-why & why not? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 46 Old 01-14-2012, 03:12 AM
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Our horses have always had to watch while others eat - in fact I don't know of many that haven't. It hasn't caused us any issues. The most dominant horse is the one who needs feeding most, sometimes he is fed in the paddock and keeps the others away on his own.

I can see how there are benefits to feeding all at once though.
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post #32 of 46 Old 01-15-2012, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hobbyhorse View Post
I don't think a BO can take the worry away from a horse owner. We horse owners worry about our horses no matter who cares for them.
Yes, worry comes with horse ownership.
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post #33 of 46 Old 01-15-2012, 09:43 AM
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I rented a barn that was part of a large ranch that offered self care. Basically everyone had their own separate barn/pasture but all shared my barn for winter hay storage. It was a great way to be able to operate my own business but very stressful when it came to feed times.

I was generally the first one on the ranch to feed and start barn chores. So the rest of the ranch would be screaming for breakfast from 4am till whenever their owner showed up (some as late as 10am). One thing I noticed was that the horses seemed more stressed and that there were a lot of vices like wood chewing, stall walking, weaving...etc. Even my steady eddy, adapt to all environments TB began eating his stall in the winter. Because all the boarders stored winter hay in my barn, they were in and out at all times of the evening or day getting hay... riling my guys that might be stuck in for whatever reason up.

Because some owners were less than stellar owners, I ended up watering half the farm in the afternoon. I couldn't just leave a pasture full of horses baking in the heat with no water. And because I was the closest one to the ranch, I was the emergency feeder... not fun when there was a group that had adopted wild mustangs and didn't bother socializing them but insisted you get them in stalls.

Lesson learned.

For the horse's sanity and my own... should I have my own place I would not allow self care boarders. It disrupts the schedule, stresses the horses out, and though may seem to create less work, unless it's done to standards, it's just more you have to check at the end of the day. I would however allow someone to work off their board doing stalls, feeding, helping out, provided they did it to my standards and schedule.

Self care takes a lot of responsibility. You can't just go away on a whim, need extra planning if you compete, and requires you to worry about where your horse's food is coming from rain, snow, sleet, or bad economy.

I would do it again, if the circumstances were right, I love getting up early and mucking stalls. It really cuts down on the alcohol consumption. HA HA.
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post #34 of 46 Old 01-15-2012, 11:17 AM
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Self care boarding can be chaotic, but that being said I prefer taking care of my own. I have boarded at a strictly self care place and had absolutely no problems (other than the BO stealing my feed for her own horses) and enjoyed it, but I'm the exception. The reason I have a horse is because I enjoy them, and I can't enjoy them unless I'm around them. I am not one of those people that see their horse a few times a month but like to announce to the world I'm a horse owner!
Now boarding at a full care where I still take care of my own for the most part because I want to, and there have been times because I've needed to... some barn helpers don't believe in fresh water or give the best care when the BO isn't looking if you know what I mean, and I won't have that. I'll take care of things myself to make sure it's done.
So there are both ends of the spectrum. You sound like a wonderful BO - wish they all were like you
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post #35 of 46 Old 01-17-2012, 08:50 PM
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I used to do self care at a barn I was at before I left for school, I did it for about two years and I thankfully was never put in a situation where I had to ask someone to care for my horses last minute and I made it out every day. They way they did it was you had to bring the horse in for dinner and then clean the stall and buy hay/shavings/ect. There was almost everyday a problem during turn-in because someone would be late and then there horse would be left outside running around like a nut because it wanted food and was alone and the BO did very little to prevent this from happening.

I did enjoy having a lot of control over what my horses got for food and making sure their stalls were very clean. But getting out their everyday could get a little challenging, especially when I didn't have my license and had to depend on my parents. If I was a BO I would not offer self care to anyone, it's way to much of a hassle for all the reasons you listed.
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post #36 of 46 Old 01-18-2012, 01:20 AM
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Where I am at now is an old cow farm that this guys grandfather had left to him when he died. I'm pretty sure he knows next to nothing about horses but he loves feeding them treats and petting them.

It's a 300/400 acre farm. 11 horses in the big pasture (60 acres) including mine. And 3 in the front pasture. (old man and babies)

I guess I do 'self care' if that's what you want to call it.

One of the boarders that has literally been there forever runs the whole horsey part. She feeds in the am. (givin grain to the ones that are grained and hay in the fields.) I have to supply my own grain and I had the choice of a stall or not. And I chose a stall. So that being said she feeds in the Am. Income at night feed in the Pm, clean my stall (I supply own shavings as well) and depending on the weather my guy stays in or goes back out. Hay is included I just buy my own grain and shavings.

Personally if I owned my own place i would let people work off board but never total self care (unless I knew and trusted them).
Alot of 'forgetful' people who wouldn't remember to feed/clean buckets/ stalls, etc.
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post #37 of 46 Old 01-22-2012, 10:09 PM
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As a horse owner, I was always pretty particular about how I liked my stalls cleaned, bedded, etc which is why I preferred self care. I enjoyed cleaning my stalls - it was my downtime in the evenings and I found it relaxing. I took a lot of pride in my stall cleaning, and it always made me feel good to bring my boys in to their stalls in the evening, knowing they would "sleep well". I kind of miss cleaning stalls now that my boys are on pasture with a run-in 24/7.

However, if I agree with the BO's here and if I were a barn owner, I wouldn't allow self care either. I saw too often at the places I boarded how people wouldn't properly care for their horses - didn't clean the stalls daily, or cleaned the stalls poorly, left the horses standing in their own mess for used to make me so mad.

Last edited by AllegroAdante; 01-22-2012 at 10:11 PM.
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post #38 of 46 Old 01-23-2012, 12:20 PM
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I was at a place for a year here in CO that the BO did the feeding and cleaning and us horse owners supplied the feed and hay...I didn't mind the situation, since we were all in seperate pens.

Well mid-way through this year, my horse and another horse swapped pens, I was cool with that, since my mare was in a larger run. But then a couple of months later, the BO decided to bring in another horse into the large pen with my horse...she didn't really discuss it with me, either, just all of a sudden said hey, there's another horse moving in with your horse. What???

During this time I was also dealing with some kind of illness that made hauling hay impossible for me, and my husband and I were tossing around the idea of moving her to a full care boarding facility that supplied hay and feed anyway, but the BO bringing in another horse without our consent, and us still having to supply our own hay and not knowing what kind of hay this other owner would provide, kind of sealed the deal for us.

My mare did have to be with the new horse for a few weeks until we found a new barn that worked for our budget, and had what I wanted, and then we had to set up a day to have her hauled.

If I could, I would prefer to have my horse in my own backyard...I hate having to board, but it is what it is! My current boarding place is pretty good; the owners are down to earth, the trainer is friendly, and pleasant to talk too, and always asks how you are and how your horse is. It is a bigger stable too, and nothing fancy, but it I like it, and my horse is content there, so that is what matters.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 01-23-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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post #39 of 46 Old 01-27-2012, 05:02 PM
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When I was in college I boarded at a self care barn. My barn owner would feed in the morning, and provide the hay and bedding straw. We would clean our stalls every day, fill our containers of grain, and leave the amount of hay we wanted fed in portions in front of the stalls.

We were a really nice group and had turn in and turn out schedules, with some other "jobs" that would be allocated in a bi-annual meeting. People that could make it in the morning would turn out, and those that would make it in the afternoon/evening would turn in and feed. If one of us needed to go away, we'd always have a friend who could clean our stall for us.

I only remember one girl that was there for a while that would never clean her stall, and we felt so bad for her poor horse, that we ended up cleaning it for her, on the days that she didnt come in.

We would meet for people's birthdays, always put on a Christmas show, go on group rides, would always have cookies and coffee with as a group on the days our trainers would come in.

It was a great time with amazing people (about 15 of us) and I fondly think back on those days. However, now that I have my own barn, I do not offer self board. I know I am thorough, and I know other people my try "their" best, but that is not good enough to have my name on it.

I really just can't get enough of anything horse
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post #40 of 46 Old 02-01-2012, 01:32 PM
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I think self care works better on a smaller scale, generally. My boyfriends mom recently bought a place that has a little bit of acreage, a barn, and run in shelters. She only wanted the house on the property to run a business out of. I suggested to her that she should offer boarding since everything would be sitting unused otherwise.

So I help her set up everything and told her that we can do complete self care. The benefit being we get to see/pet horses daily and get money but don't have to care for them. The place is zoned for 7 horses, but the first two women just had single or two horses. The women were on the property at separate times. Long story short, neither of them worked out because they just weren't responsible and were complete "female dogs" to us. One of them constantly left gates open letting animals out and the other just had no idea what she was doing.

Anywho, we never exactly could figure out a way to board more than just one person/family at a time due to storage issues. But we got really lucky and got a family with three mustangs and paint that board with us now. They are responsible, nice, and clean up things. So like I said, on a small scale, they can work well.

I used to manage a 20 horse boarding barn that was self care. Overall most of the horses were taken care of well, had a few duds as usual, and nobody wanted to do chores so we always ended up doing most of the things but it ran relatively smoothly. I can see why people to full care though with multiple people boarding.
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