I sometimes stop by this section of the Forum and feel so terrible for people who have experienced nightmare boarding scenarios. It almost makes me think we need some sort of a sticky thread here that's devoted to
A. Stories about what boarding looks like when it goes well; and
B. Contract language to ensure both BO and boarder are on the same page (I see a lot of threads asking for sample contract language, maybe we could just sticky this info?)
Anyway, I have a lot of work-related travel between now and October, and personally, boarding is a lifesaver for me, particularly when I have to be out of town. I would be lost without my amazing barn and BM.
The plusses (this is a barn with 12 horses, so I recognize not all of this is feasible depending on size/staffing):
This is all spelled out in my boarding contract....
-Horses have a consistent routine of turn-out, feeding, and being brought back in
-Horses are placed in appropriate herd situation or in individual turnout to meet their needs
-Clean water, and hay or pasture kept in front of horses at all times
-No charges for morning fly spray application, fly masks on/off, blankets on/off
-Hooves are picked in the evening when horses come in from the field
-BM or barn assistant willing to hold horses for farrier if needed and prearranged
-Barn, pastures, fencing, and arenas in good safe condition and well maintained
-Stalls thoroughly cleaned daily and stripped weekly
-Regular worming schedule of all horses on site
-BM is knowledgeable, friendly, and excellent with the horses- treats all horses as she would her own
Monthly boarding rates are comparable to other "pleasure" barns in my area and a little lower than show barns.
While it's a solid operation, it's certainly not perfect. These are the things I'd like to change, but in the scheme of things, I can live with these tradeoffs (others might have a different opinion...)
-Only one instructor on site, and no trainer
-Pastures are looking a little ragged but there's not really enough acreage to do a proper rotation of fields
-"Night" check doesn't happen as late as I'd like, meaning horses go for 10-12 hours alone overnight with no one looking in on them
-Have recently hired a couple of moody teenagers as barn assistants to replace a couple of stellar staff who left- in general, turnover for barn assistants is a little high
Most of the things in my "plusses" list above are things I simply can't do every day on my own given my work schedule; yet, even with my limitations, I know my horse is well cared for in my absence.
What would folks add to the above so that not everyone new to boarding ends up terrified about how bad it's going to be?