Worried for my Mini's wellbeing at terrible boarding ranch
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.