Need to vent to some fellow horse people...
OK, sorry if this is a long one, but I seriously need to vent to some fellow horse people. Everyone at my barn is too gossipy to confide in. And please tell me if I'm being at all unreasonable, but I really don't think I am. The barn where I board my two horses is the only barn I've ever been, just a touch over 11 years now, so I don't know what it's like anywhere else really. Where to start...
Ok, first off my 21 year old gelding got thrush a little over a year ago now for the first time in the 10 years that I've owned him and I still haven't been able to get it cleared up because every time it starts looking better the BO decides to do something to mess it all up and put me back to square one. Like letting him out in to the knee muddy pastures. In the past I have BEGGED her to let my horses out and she never does, now I ask her to please not let him out in the mud while he has thrush and boom, she's letting him out all the time. I'm talking he's covered head to toe in mud (all of the pastures here have drainage issues and we've been having record breaking rain fall). When I confront her about it she says she forgot and that she's always heard that mud is good for thrush anyway. Ridiculous, I've told her I don't know how many times now to stop there's no way she can still be forgetting and second, I don't really care what she thinks is good for it. I'm the owner and if I say not to do something with my horse, then don't do it. Period. So I finally got her to stop this for the most part and was leaving my horses out overnight in the indoor arena once or twice a week. It was doing wonders to clear up his foot and the deep crack was starting to close up and then all of a sudden she decides indoor turnout is not allowed anymore starting January 1st. What the heck? This has been something that I've always done, for 11 years now, why all of a sudden change it? It doesn't hurt anything, and now I've come out to the barn at night and caught her horses being left out there overnight all the time. Her barn yes, but still I don't consider that right. And the sawdust is being delivered wet every time, so all of this is coming together to create the perfect storm for thrush apparently.
Now she's trying to limit my sawdust use, when I never use more than I feel is absolutely necessary to keep them from being wet and nasty. Whenever I try using less there's always puddles. The shavings are being delivered damp to start with every time which doesn't help things and my horses are never being let out except for the couple hours a couple times a week I'm there. And the stalls they're in need to be leveled out, built up with some gravel, and are only partially matted - all things she keeps promising to fix and hasn't. So if any of those things were changed, then maybe I could use less shavings, but I don't think I should have to use less and make my horses be cooped up in a nasty, wet mess.
Then there's the whole manure pile issue, the mud to get to it is so deep wheel barrels are breaking, it pulls my boots off, and I've twisted my ankle numerous times. Which I get she can't control the rain, but since people weren't going all the way to the very back of the pile to dump the wheel barrels she now has this big, hideous sign up saying to dump beyond this point, cones, trash cans, and other junk piled up to make people go a certain way. All because the manure pile looked bad. Are you kidding me? And all this junk looks fabulous! Right in between the dumpster and half built barn she never got around to finishing that looks like it's about ready to fall over (not the barn we use, it's just storage for all her junk). If she wants it all pushed back then I think the least she could do is put down a small gravel pathway to where we can get the wheel barrels out there without getting stuck, breaking the wheel barrels or our ankles. And I'm not the only one complaining about this, there's numerous boarders very unhappy with the situation.
What else...let's see...there's always a shortage of picks, and the ones there are are usually broken. She changed the horses in the barn's feed to either Tribute or a cheap pellet (my two falling into this group) without warning or reason, but then a few months later decided to increase board due to the increase in feed costs for the Tribute. I'm still looking into the feeds and seeing what I feel would be better for my horses before I confront her on this one, but I think it's wrong on numerous levels the changes she made. She keeps switching hays, some my horses won't even eat. Water buckets have stopped being dumped out when dirty before refilling them, and their hay gets thrown right over their water buckets going in them instead of over their door or using the stall windows. She never even bothers to be the one to actually feed and water anymore, always too "busy" even though this is her only job and I rarely see her down in the barn at all. Now her boyfriend, kids, or boarders are always the ones feeding and watering. Her own horses' stalls only get cleaned maybe once every two or so weeks even though once again this is her only job and she lives 300 feet tops away and is there everyday and has teenage kids who could also do it. She has it written on the message board to make sure HER dogs and cats have food and water everyday. Every time you talk to her her nose is stuck in her phone texting, not listening to a word you say. Oh, and she installed security cameras everywhere to spy on us.
Hmm, I'm sure I'm forgetting something but I think this is a good enough start lol. And I know some of the things are small issues, but when all added together it's pretty frustrating. So please tell me if I'm being unreasonable and what your experiences boarding are like? I'm hesitant to move because 1) I'm comfortable here because it's familiar I guess, 2) because going somewhere else could possibly be worse, 3) I still trust her on the big issues with my horses, and not to mention financial reasons as well.
P.S. Which reminds me, I lease my mare out to help financially right now (covering two horses board in this economy is tough right now) and she always tries to take over the lease completely. She found another boarder in the barn to lease her and therefore took over completely the arrangements for the lease and all communication between us. She tells me one thing and then the person leasing her another. Drives me crazy. I posted about this in someone else's thread, but the girl/family leasing her and I are rarely at the barn at the same time and so it's been tough to correct this, but I think I have now finally after a year. Lots more to this situation, but I'll leave it at that for now. Was just another point I wanted to make. But I'm also definitely stuck here until at least the end of summer because of the lease agreement.
Well, the security cameras are probably a good thing really as they would deter thieves hopefully, and therefore make your horses safer. Also, is there any way you can get out there everyday to give them turnout? You could graze your gelding in hand to keep him out of the mud.
Hope he gets better soon.
Well where I board it is certainly not that bad. I love my place only been there almost three months but the BO makes sure everything is working. Yes we have mud and lots of it but it's starting to dry up thankfully.
But I do agree that your situation doesn't sound to good. I would be out of there so fast. Especially due to her changing feed and handling the lease when you didn't ask. Look at your contract if she's breaking anything in there you might not have to stay through summer. But if you can't hopefully the mud will dry up soon and you can manage until you can move.
By the way thrush sucks. No matter what I do it seems I've been battling that stuff since I got my horse in January. Good luck I hope your horse gets better.
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Are there any other barns in the area that you could move to? I think that would hopefully solve all of your issues with mud, thrush, and the contact between the girl who leases your mare.
It sounds like a stressful situation and moving is really the only thing I can think of that would make things better for you. ;)
I really can't move right this moment. I'm thinking it would be at least a few months, but more like August before I could think about moving to another barn. I'm hoping that exchanging phone numbers with the girl leasing my mare and writing her a letter making some things clear about what I expect corrects that whole issue. It remains to be seen, but I don't have a big enough issue with that girl and her family as of now to break the lease and cause her to possibly not be able to show this year. She's only like 12 or 13, so as long as they follow what I asked of them and I'm making a point to keep in better contact with them all should be better on that front.
And I wish I could get out there everyday, but that's also just not possible right now with gas prices. I usually go out there 3 times a week when I can, never less than 2.
The best thing to do would be to move barns. However if you want to stay there are few things you can do. First, for turnout. Leave a note on his stall door by where it opens. That way they can't stay that they missed it. Big large letters that say NO TURNOUT. It unfortunate that she won't allow indoor turnout, but sadly that is her decision. Like another poster said, maybe you could at least get them out to handgraze. The saw dust thing you can argue as much as you like, but in the end it is her barn and if she won't do it then just another reason to move. For the manure pile ask if you can put boards down over the mud. As for the feed, it is YOUR horse, and it is YOUR decision as to what grain he gets. You need to stick up to her here and make sure he gets the feed that is best for him (which you did say you were researching :) ) Lastly, how can she control the lease? She doesn't own him, do you have a lease contract? Again, this is a situation where you just need to stand up to her and tell her it is YOUR horse and you are in control of him, not her. Really, you just need to move barns.. going to the barn and taking care of you horse really should not be that stressful. Both you and your horses will be happy that you moved.
Thanks for all the replies. Yeah, I really would like to move to a better situation if I could. And all the advice is greatly appreciated, but I also just wanted to vent and just see what everyone else's situation is like.
Yes, in the end it is her barn and I understand that. But I really feel like as a paying boarder, I should be able to let her know I'm unhappy with all of the changes she's making and that she should care.
Make a sign and display it prominently - No turnout when muddy. It sounds like the BO is finding the job of boarding horses overwhelming. When you mention something to her it sounds like she's needs to feel she controls everything. I don't think your contract would hold water if you moved your horse and she took you to court. From now on make note of every time your horse is turned out in the mud (aggravating medical condition) A judge or magistrate would likely be sympathetic to this. If the shavings are damp, they may be too green, as in standing in the forest two days ago. In my experience these are a waste of money as the moisture content is too high. Perhaps it's all she can get. Don't be afraid of civil court, it is civil, somewhat informal and not criminal court. If someone threatens me it always throws them off when I say "great, name the day and I'll be there with bells on".
You are completely right, she should care! I didn't see your other post before I posted before, so I missed where you said you couldn't really move right now. If the reason is just because of the leaser, you could always talk to them and tell them that you would still like them to lease her and welcome them to join you at the new barn. They might have the same concerns as you do with the current barn and might be willing to move too!
When I became the owner of my horse she was boarded (unfortunately!) in a stable that had become severely run down like this - I found another one in our area and did not hesitate for one second to get her out of there, and into a gorgeous stable that even cost less than what I was being charged!!!!! I was paid up through the month, but trailered her out of there the very same day I found the other stable and I remember almost crying with relief that morning standing next to my horse in her clean, fresh, manure/mud-free paddock. Now I have her home, and love it, but I will tell you - you will never regret making a sudden move for the better like I did! Best of luck! :)
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