I've had the delightful experience of being charged extra (on top of board fees) for hay and grain that my horse never got (during the winter, when she wasn't holding weight.) I have had my grooming supplies stolen, used, thrown away. (And various other items in my tack box as well. ) I had my mild-mannered horse's blanket ruined by the barn owner's horse, I've had my horse kicked and bitten to the point of becoming unsound and needing vet care and rest. (And no pasture changes were made either time, so the damage continued. ) I will leave my horse in crossties, and she'll be moved while I've stepped into the tack room to grab something from my box. I'll come back and she's been missing. They've usually moved her and of course I'm freaking out and thinking she's gone missing. Monday-Friday, the barn owner's got about 15+ horses that need to be worked and roughly 20+ stalls that need to be cleaned. After that, I am not permitted to use the arena because there are lessons. I am not permitted to work the horse outside of the barn on a flat grassy area because it "tears up the grass". There are no additional places for me to work my horse, so I can literally only work her 2 times a week if I come at a really inconvenient time for me (but is a convenient interval between lessons/work/etc. for the barn workers and the owner. See also: their day off) I used to work around this by coming in really late and working her. The barn has now added hours for insurance purposes, so I need to be done with everything and off the property by 9pm. I have tried to come in after lessons doing the week, but they've started working additional horses during those hours, or doing general maintenance that involves the arena and me not being permitted to use it for any reason.
I am not permitted to turn the lights on if it is daytime, because I "can see good enough" and will run the bill up. There's a rule for everything, and it constantly changing. One week the gates must stay open, and the next week, the gates can't stay open no matter what. I am not permitted to close the gates in the arena to ride my horse because it "disrupts the airflow" of cool air through the barn. (Even with a fan on each stall door, giant fans at the beginning and end of each aisle, and all the barn doors open. ) I am constantly having "advice" rammed down my throat, and I've even had items snatched out of my hand by the barn owner because I wasn't doing it the way she liked.
I found some solace in just going out in the pasture and finding a shady spot to sit. My horse might approach and graze around me. She might not. Other horses may have done the same, and they may have ignored me altogether. The final straw was when the barn owner told me that I was "spoiling my horse too much" and that "sitting in the pasture gets her beaten up by the other horses, and you are not permitted to go out and pet on her, or give her treats or even sit out in the pasture with her anymore."
I'm done. I've tolerated a lot of hooey at this barn, and I can't do it anymore. From the barn cats staying up in the loft and urinating all over the hay that they feed all the horses to the ridiculous policies made up by the barn owner, I am just done.
I am just frustrated that I'm kind of trapped here until another barn that I actually have toured and like opens up a space.
So, that's me being cranky! Here's the part I'm curious about:
My board contract doesn't seem to specify on this I suppose, so not sure what I can do.
My horse is off grain, because she is not being worked often (see above) and she is a bit heavy. Board is $10/day roughly. Am I permitted to ask to not be charged for the grain she isn't getting? She is pasture only.