Self care boarding vs full care-why & why not?
Someone in another thread was wondering why some barns do not offer self board. That's an interesting question. Let's talk about it.
I'm a BO who does not offer self board. Here are my reasons.
-Most people do not realize the amount of time involved-every day
-Anything not done I would have to do. I plan my day according to what needs to be done. I don't want a dirty stall or water bucket waiting for someone to come & clean it. I also don't want any last minute phone calls asking me to feed or clean because roads are bad, hangovers, sick or have something better to do ie: more fun
-Feeding would have to be done individually & that may mean bringing your own horse in to feed, then turn back out or require individual turn out. How many times will someone hang around while their horse munches on hay before they are tired of doing that? The horses here are in small groups when outside & eat breakfast & lunch outside when not on pasture.
-I don't have room for people to store their own feed/hay/bedding etc.
-Too many stories of people buying bad hay or running out & stealing good hay from someone else
-If someone runs out of food I would have to feed their horse my food anyway
-I feed 4 times a day every 6 hours, the last feeding after midnight. I couldn't feed only mine while others nicker for some too.
-Many self care boarders get the "it's none of your business" attitude when it comes to how their horse is taken care of, which can cause problems. If a horse is at my place it is my business
-I don't want to be a nagging baby sitter
-The horses here get a high standard of care & the only way I can ensure that is to do it myself.
I hear of some self care facilities that run smoothly but I've never personally seen one where at least one horse didn't get pity from other boarders because of the way it's cared for.
I would never board self care for all the reasons you have stated.
I ran a large barn once that offered it and it was a nightmare.
Sounds reasonable to me, have never had to board so I am not much help lol.
Before I came along, my spouse had allowed people to "work off"their board...not full "self care", but stall cleaning. I wondered, too, why we didn't offer that and relieve ourselves from some of the work. He showed me a video he took, showing an owner how to clean a stall. O.M.G.
Apparently, the people would scoop the manure ou
t, but leave the wet stuff and just throw new stuff on
top. They built up a two foot base of wet sawdust, and my spouse had to do a ton of repair work to the stall after cleaning it. He showed the video to the people and said "no more..."
Additionally, the idea of having someone come in and doing their own thing seems like it wood certainly increase the already high risks involved in horse boarding...
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Geeze! What times do you sleep?? LOL
I completely agree! Sometimes it does work out, like young girls who, you know for a fact will come everyday to see their horse, they might want to get more involved in the taking care of horses. But I have heard a lot about self-care soon becoming No-care.
I am at a self care place right now as a boarder, and were I running a facility, there is ZERO chance I would allow self care given what I see. Not that anyone is abusing their horses where I am at or anything, but I still would not be willing to allow such a low standard of care at a place with my name attached.
I once had a cop stop at my place at 2 AM because he saw all the barn lights on & thought something was wrong. I was working a horse.
I do self care right now but I'm also the only "boarder" (I "work" off board, which takes really no work at all since I board from the nicest little old people ever). It's also my neighbor's house which makes it really easy for me to get out there everyday.
However, if I were a BO, I wouldn't allow self care except for under very specific circumstances with strict guidelines for care.
I might allow self care to a very responsible, mature person who lived close but other than that, no way. I certainly wouldn't offer if to people who were trying to use self care as a way to cheap out on their horse, or if I did, I'd have ridiculously high punishment fines for failure to follow the care guidelines. However, since I'm a huge softy, it's probably in my best interest to not ever offer self care. hahaha
Such a different culture! I can't even imagine not having 100% control over my horses care. Though some days when i'm out there in the rain feeding, I think it would be nice, lol!
I'm have what's kinda in-between self-care and full-care.
I have my horse about 10mins away from me at a barn with 7 other horses/ponies. The couple I board with feeds and turns him out during the day. At some point during the day or early evening, I clean all 8 stalls (they provide shavings) and if a water bucket is dirty and something else needs or should be done, I'll take care of it. So a couple weeks ago when their gelding dug a hole to china in his run, I found it, so I filled it in. When my horse escaped and ended up with a minor gash, they cleaned and treated it, then chained his gate.
They blanket/fly mask/whatever as needed but if I am there and the sun comes out and it's hot, I'll pull off everyone's blankies/sheets. Or if the temperature suddenly drops, it's starts hailing/pouring/whatever, I'll bring everyone in or throw blankets on. Every time any of us are walk past a water trough, we check and clean/refill if needed. If the horses are stuck inside for the day, I throw everyone extra hay while I clean stalls.
They provide grass hay and beet pulp, breakfast and lunch are served in turnout, dinner in stalls. My horse needs alfalfa, I store it at my place, haul in 10 bales at a time and stack them in the corner of the barn. Since breakfast/lunch are done in turn-out, I had to accept he would share his alfalfa with his turnout buddies. He attacked one of his buddies, so dodohead ended up with individual turnout but he still manages to share his alfalfa through the fence with an ancient pony. It is what it is.... I can't expect them to stand out there and tell him to quit sharing!!
Since my horse gets almost 2x the quantity of grass hay as everyone else, I haul timothy hay over (I have horse-quality hay for my cows) and he gets half timothy, half their grass hay (their grass hay supply is limited due to the hay shortage here). I provide his grain/supplements.
Whenever I go on vacation, they do everything. When they go on vacation, I do everything. Since most of the horses have very specific dietary needs (IE soaked for the toothless, grain 3x per day for a thin rescue, alfalfa and 2 kinds of hay for my guy) we both prefer it this way as there are zero worries about feed or horse mix-ups. The BO hired a "professional vacation care provider" last year during a trip and he mixed up a white Welsh with a bay Morgan despite having been left a guide with PICTURES! Thankfully they were eating basically the same diet.
It works out well for us but then I am the only boarder. I could see issues if there was multiple boarders. Nothing goes missing or gets taken.... other than occasionally if someone escapes I'll find bites taken out of my alfalfa bales!
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