Tell me about your self care board experiences...
I am currently on paddock board with my big guy but I am not happy with the quality of his care. The fella who does the feeding is not very consistent and if he even sees a tiny bit of hay left over from the previous feeding he will not hay him, even thought I pay for two feedings a day of hay and grain. I've worked very hard to put weight on him and I don't want him losing because the BO does not have his act together.
Most of the boarders do self care board at my barn for this very reason, no one trusts the BO to feed. I am just finding this out now that I've been there a while and the other boarders trust me now and as we chat they are confirming my fears.
I know I can get there once a day, I do that now to feed my boy lunch and have been doing it for 6 months. I always change out his water as well at that time. I could probably get out there a second time most of the time, but I'm concerned that sometimes I may not be able to. From what I am hearing he is already being fed in an inconsistent manner and I feel like I could most likely do a better job even if I'm not perfect... A couple of the other boarders help each other out and offered to help me as well. All the self care folks kind of look out for one another which is nice. I am about 8 miles away from my barn and it takes me 10-15 minutes to get over there depending on traffic. It will actually cost me about the same when I factor in the feed and hay I will need to buy myself and it will be more work, but I will get a stall and paddock instead of just a paddock with a run in shed. There is zero fly control at this barn as well and the flies in the paddock are really beating him up (his tail was chopped off and sold when he was going to slaughter and hasn't grown back enough to be much use to him this year against the flies), if I went self care I could put him inside in the stall during the day during the worst of it.
But I want to hear about other folks doing self care board. What do you like about it? What problems have you run into? I want to make the right decision thank you in advance for your input.
Ive often heard horror stories from the facilities and from other owners. I've heard many stories about facilities being stuck with the cost of feeding a horse because the owner isn't out enough. I personally know a few people who did a co-op type thing and tried to split up the cost and work between the three of them - sharing schedules and all that. One person constantly kept falling behind and the other two felt obligated to the horse because really who can let an animal starve.
I say be very careful. Keep your storage areas locked, keep track of how much hay and grain you use as well as how much is left. I'm on partial care myself and I am very happy with it. I am only not on self care because I like him to be fed pellets twice a day which just ensures that someone looks him over twice a day.
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Before I brought my horses home I did self-care boarding. I loved it. It gave me companionship in the form of other boarders/horsie type people and my horse thrived. He had his own small paddock which led out to a larger field just for him. We also had our own 1 stall barn with a tack room and hay storage. He was turned out alone but could touch noses with the other horses over the fence. I bought my own hay and grain and went out every morning and every night to feed and clean and spend time with him... I would do it again if I had to board.
I hated self care boarding, but then it was over a half hour drive for me, I worked night shifts, and the man that I made a deal with to feed each other's horses was taking advantage of the situation.
When I lived at my parent's I took full care of the horse no problem,
so its not that I had an issue with the going out there twice a day and the extra work, but when my schedule is a pain in the butt and you're dealing with the lazy bums, the work is no longer enjoyable. So I prefer full board with pasture, being a full-time working student.
Thank you for all the input. I am still thinking it over, getting info on feed delivery options and whatnot. There is a boarder feed area but it is not really lockable and I do have some concerns with that because there have been complaints of missing grain and hay. I also really think I need a stall at this point, my horse is either getting eaten alive by flies or rubbed badly by his fly sheets and I think keeping him in during the day and out at night would be a better option for him.
I really have to think about the commitment to going twice a day and how I can work that into my schedule. Not easy but probably doable, and I know I would enjoy the extra time with him but I'm not so sure my husband and kids would enjoy me being away at the barn even more than I already am :wink: and that is something I need to be aware of as well.
. You would need to factor in stall cleaning and bedding. If you bring in your own feed it will soon vanish with bale "borrowing". Same with the bedding. What exactly are you paying for?
It's difficult in all situations. Me being a barn owner, I get frustrated with the horse owners and their lack of responsibility to their horses. They do make sure they have feed and grain but the're outside alot and don't clean their stalls like they should, nor do they spend alot of time with them. Everyone being friends makes it even harder for me (as a small barn owner) but we're tight knit and spend most of the weekend there. Although I'm there everyday checking on everyone and feeding my 2 paints who spend alot of time inside in the summer so they don't get sunburned. Everything has it's pros and cons, yes they get on my nerves but they look out for my horses when they're there and I am not (which is not often). Good Luck to you and hope it works out....
board or self care
The only way to know if you're horse is being cared for correctly is to do the job yourself. There are some excellent yards/barns and you can judge how good they are by how your horse looks and behaves. You are seeing negatives so its time to make a change
Even if you can keep your horse out 24/7 and its happy like that I don't know how anyone can manage without having access to a stable should they need one for emergencies
We've had an awful fly and biting bug problem this year and my lot almost knock me over in the rush to get into their stables the moment I open the barn door, the same goes if the weathers bad - they know where they want to be
I am sure my situation is unique since I board on a military base. Our stables is self-care and run by four volunteer members as an Executive Committee and are voted on annually.
We pay very low board cost, but have to purchase all feed along with anything else necessary to care for our horses. Our facility has two and four horse herd pastures. A four horse pasture is almost an acre and the two horse ones are half that. They come with 3-sided run in shelters, hay bins, water troughs, hoses and timers. We are allowed to use panels to create paddocks, if needed for feeding. Our hay is palleted with tarps. We have connex box tack rooms.
I will say that we have built the grounds from nothing, literally. The base provided tape fencing, water spigots, connex boxes and the land for us to even have a stables at all. We are very grateful. Everything else we build as a club using funds from our board that go directly back into the club. We are required to volunteer 6 hours per family per month towards the facility. We also have meetings and mandatory work parties for large projects.
It is not for everyone. We work very hard and most of us are crazy, obsessed people. We are definately not for the people who want to see their horse once a week or just come out to ride. We also have to be sure our pastures have manure picked up, keep up with sprinklers to keep grass alive at all, clean water troughs, go purchase and haul our hay and feed etc. Also, if your horse is sick....you are the one to call for the vet and take care of your horse. We don't yet have a barn. I slept on a hay bale by the firepit last fall when my horse coliced.
I will say....we work together as a club and are very proud of everything we have done. We spend countless hours making it a nice place for our families to hang out and have bar-b-q's, as well as, a wonderful home for our horses where we are in charge of our own animals care. We also can ride anywhere on base and go out the gate off base in all of the farmer fields. We are two hours from the mountains and two hours from the coast. Unlimited opportunities. We have playdates at other barns. We are truely grateful for NAS Lemoore for giving us our Heaven!
I keep both my boys on a DIY basis. What I will say is that if you can factor in the commitment, it is fantastic. I loved it when I was only working part time - now I'm working full time and have 2 kids (one is 5 and the other 1) and I'm struggling with it, as my day starts at 5:30 and I don't sit down for dinner until about 8pm.
What I have found though concerning "assistance" from other boarders is that at some stage they will let you down. The last yard I was at one of the girls had offered to turn out Bandit in the mornings when I worked (2 days a week)... and the day after I found out I was pregnant (and 6 months gone at that!) she told me she couldn't do it anymore as it was too much stress. All she was doing was letting him out, but alas, not her problem and I wouldn't have minded if not for the timing. I was let down again at the current yard, I kept coming out in the mornings and that would have fed him, turned him out and mucked him out and I was constantly told not to worry about him in the morning... move on a few months and I go out and the boys haven't been looked at - they didn't tell me, they just stopped without a thought of how it would affect the horses. If your going to go for DIY, Do as it says and do it yourself.
I am currently looking at moving the boys to a new yard with full livery, I won't like the fact that I'm no longer in control but with the kids and job I know come the winter and cold mornings, it will be the best option.
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