First of all, I truly love my current barn. It's where I started riding at age 7, where I met my first horse, and where I now board and take lessons. So don't get me wrong, I truly love the place and everyone there.
But there are a few problems that I have just started noticing. Whe I was 10, I startrd volunteering at the barn. I would groom and tack up the horses, fill water buckets, muck stalls, ect. Anyways, there was never any doubt in my mind that my barn was doing everything right. Now that I own a horse and have the responsibility to do everything that I can to make sure that he's safe, I realize that the barn has been taking many shortcuts. For example, instead of properly fitting a saddle, they simply add saddle pads under the saddle to "help the fit". Sure, it works temporarily, but the horses backs will eventually be very sore. Also, for grooming, we groom once a day, which is just a run-over with a hard brush, even when the horses are filthy. They almost never get baths, and when they do it's for shows.
When they muck stalls, they just pick up the surface stuff. They don't go under the shavings to get everything, and then they just put clean shavings on top of it. This isn't for boarders, just school horses. They also leave saddles on the school horses all day instead of having the people groom and tack up before the lesson.
I have noticed the way that some of the workers treat the boarder horses is a bit rougher than I would like, although it's not harmful or painful to the horse. For instance, when they bring in the horses, they yank on their faces if they get a bit excited, and when they put them back in their stalls, they just rip off the halter and fly mask. The stalls are always very clean in the boarder barn which I LOVE and they feed on time and everything.
Now, the other barn that I'm looking at, I've never seen before (hopefully going sometime in the next few weeks just to look). But from what I can tell, they're a very nice place. I would get pretty much all the same facilities (I think there's one less ring) for $200 less. Plus, it's only 20 minutes away from my house as opposed to 30 to my current barn.
Do you think I should even consider switching?
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