Worried for my Mini's wellbeing at terrible boarding ranch - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 45
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Angry Worried for my Mini's wellbeing at terrible boarding ranch

Hey yall.

I board my Miniature, Koda, at a 'ranch' where I live. He's been there for a few months and I got a few signals that this place was kinda crappy (the owner is rude and thinks she is Queen of Horse Knowledge), but nothing too bad. They have no shelters for the horses (I was told they can go under the trees on the edge of the fences). My Mini stayed in a small pasture with an old Shetland. The board is $75 a month. There is trash, plastic bottles, bits of wire, baling twine, and even syringes with needles still attached littered throughout the pastures where the horses live. Lead ropes and halters lay all over the yard and never get picked up. My lead rope and halter periodically go missing, so I now keep all my stuff in my Jeep so nothing gets borrowed and lost.

A few weeks ago, the hot wire on their pasture went out and Koda started escaping. He would get out and eat grass until he was put back in (then would escape again). They wouldn't fix the fence and eventually stopped bothering to put him back in, so for about 5 days he wandered around the yard like a dog. I complained, and the barn owner said he was fine and if they had to go somewhere, they would put Koda in the next fence with the 2 year old QH stud colt. I was not happy about this.

They sold the QH colt, and so put Koda and his Shetland buddy in the colt's fence. It is a small dirt lot, with no grass inside (the QH picked it clean). The owner still hasn't fixed the fence on Koda's pasture and keeps making excuses.

The owner's daughter (10 years old) told me that she has a friend who loves my Mini so much and lets him out to wander around and eat grass when she's over. I told her that's not ok and to tell her friend I said not to do that.

I went down to feed Koda and the Shetland this morning, to find that the old Mustang gelding that lives on the property was inside their fence. I fed Koda and the Shetland, and the mustang stole both their food. He also chases Koda and the Shetland away if they get close to him. I asked the owner why he was in there, she gave me a few excuses, then noticed that one of her horses was not in the pasture and said she would look for it later and went back inside her trailer to finish watching her tv show.

The barn manager (the owner's sister) told me the mustang would be in there indefinitely and just to feed him at the same time I'm feeding the ponies so he doesn't steal their food. She went on to say that when she's there she lets Koda out to wander around the yard loose because "that's what he did when the fence was down and he was fine". I told her I'm NOT okay with that and she said she wouldn't do it again.

(PS to above - I have been there over 3 months. Today the barn manager called me and called Koda by the wrong names. Since there is only one other boarder at the place you'd think she could have learned our names by now.)

A quick note - there are about 15 horses on the property and most of them belong to the barn owner or the barn manager. The manager owns the Shetland that my horse stays with. The manager trims all the horse's feet, but I noticed that all the riding horses have ok-looking hooves but that her Shetland's hooves are so bad that they're starting to crack up the middle. I picked out his hooves the other day and they looked like they hadn't been touched in a long time. Poor thing.

I'm fed up with how they run their facility. I feel that Koda is going to end up getting hurt living there. So, I'm bringing him back to my hometown 1 hour away to live in his old paddock behind my dad's house (my dad said I could keep him there again and did not want me to pay him board, which is nice).

I tried to keep this short, but I wanted to get all this off my chest because I feel so bothered about it today! This is a terrible place to keep my horse, and all the other places around are way too expensive. I'd much rather see him once a week, and know that he's SAFE, than continue to keep him at this ranch where they don't care for his safety.

What do you think?


Last edited by oreotragus; 11-03-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
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What exactly were you expecting for $75.00 a month?

If there's all that trash in the pastures, didn't you notice it when you did a walk around of the place before you took your horse there? Or didn't you do due diligence?

Yes, the place sounds like a nightmare, but GOOD boarding barns cost money. You just found out that you get what you pay for, especially if you didn't take the time to scout the place before taking your horse there.

The blame is as much yours for leaving him there once you figured out what a dump it is.
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Last edited by Speed Racer; 11-03-2011 at 03:51 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I think it sounds like a very unhealthy place for horses and I wouldn't have left my horse there for three minutes let alone three months. Good thing you're getting Koda out of there before some real damage happens.

You said other boarding facilities were too expensive. What is "too expensive"? I'm not familiar with what the going rate is in your area.

Does someone at your dad's place know how to look after a horse? Since you mentioned you'd not be able to be there more than once a week.

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Georgia
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Exactly, Speed Racer.

RGF, the other place I could board is $375 a month and is stall board only (it's a Saddlebred show farm). A little pricey for me considering that Koda is just my buddy and I don't show him (I wanted a place with pasture board for him, not stall board). My husband is an active duty soldier, so we don't make that much per month to begin with.

My dad and stepmom have looked after Koda before (that's where he lived before I moved him up here after I moved to my current town when my husband came home from Iraq) so he's going to be much better off there.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
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I take it you're moving him then?

I would never in a million years let my horse stay somewhere with so much junk littered around a pasture even if they took exceptional care of him in every other way.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: canada
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I also would not have left my horse at that facility. In fact I would have never brought him there. I think the blame falls on you on this one. Yes the owners and manager should not have let your horse roam around and such but the other conditions of the farm sound horrific so I wouldn't expect them to care much about the health of the horse in the first place. A few months ago I got a new horse and decided I was going to put her up in a field for 50 per month until I could decide what to do with another of my horses that I was looking to sell. It had good references from the manager of the farm I board at so I thought why not. I had seen some of the property and it looked pretty nice and the owners were very friendly if not horse knowledgeable (np I'd be there every day as well as my farm manager and our numbers are posted in case of emergency). Well I brought my mare down and saw the only field she could go in that was not absolutely gigantic with waist high grass in parts (mare was very fat) had a string of barbed wire around the top of the fence, plastic pipes sticking out of the ground, although filled up, and a HUGE amount of flies. Needless to say I was pretty unhappy. A few days and many bug bites later (even with fly sheat and mask) I was ready to have my horse live in my backyard rather than stay in a field with barbed wire and pipes never mind the excessive amount of flies. I moved her to a small paddock on the property with proper fencing ASAP then discovered some days she was only being fed the once a day that I came up and gave her some hay and grain and a few times I was there just after she had been fed...about half a flake. I had already arranged to have her move to my other boarding facility on the first of the month but after that I fed her all her meals and felt terrible for ever bringing her there. That was my fault she was there even if it was only for a month until I could get her the hell out of there but I took responsibility every step of the way and ensured she was as safe as possible until I could get her somewhere I knew I could trust. The conditions of the property you had your mini on is somewhere I would never ever have allowed my horse to stay on even for a month. It is your responsibily to ensure your horses wellbeing and that he has safe conditions to live on not the owners of the property. If you found something unsafe it is your job to do what needs to be done to make sure your horse is living in proper conditions whether thats checking to make sure his feet are being done as agreed upon, asking the owners to clean up the field and fix fencing or if they refuse doing it yourself or getting your horse somewhere safe. You knew the conditions, you saw the field, knew fencing was down and that they were letting your horse out multiple times. It is on you the blame falls. If you can't afford to keep your horse somewhere safe you shouldn't own a horse just my opinion and sorry if that's harsh.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Needles in the pasture, good lord 0_0 I wouldn't have kept my horse there for 3 seconds, sure it's cheap but that's drawing the line. That sounds dirt cheap. Glad you're getting your mini out of there =)
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 11:31 PM
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Needles? good god what is wrong with people.

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post #9 of 13 Old 11-03-2011, 11:44 PM
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I have to second SR's question as I don't think you answered it. Did you not have a look at the place before you started boarding your horse there? Did you not see all the trash in the pasture? A bunch of trash in the pasture would be all I needed to see to know that isn't the place for my horse. Also, I'm sure you knew that your horse wouldn't have any shelter when you moved him. If they don't care about their own horses safety and well being, what makes you think they are going to yours?

I think you can find good deals on board, you just have to do lots and lots of searching. I pay $75 per month on my horse for stall board. We do take care of our own horses, though. We also do all the cleaning and fix the fencing when necessary. You can kind of expect that if you are paying board that cheap. If you want to get the little guy a bit closer, it may take a lot of looking and asking around but I think you can. I'd go ahead and move him immediately and just keep looking for something closer to home.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 04:02 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I can understand being on a tight budget, and so going for somewhere cheap, but I think there are things you could have done yourself. Why didn't you pick up the trash and fix the fence? Why did you leave your horse in a field with needles in it?

I am glad that you are planning to move your horse, but I do agree that you should have checked out the place first - and even if you didn't you should have done something about it once your horse was there.

If I see bailing twine in the field, I don't leave it there for the BO to deal with, I bend my own knees and pick it up and get rid of it.
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minature , mini horse

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