Trying to decide - stall or no stall?
Hoping some others will throw in opinions.
My current boarding facility is building a new barn with stalls. I'm trying to decide if I want one or not. Here's my options:
1. Stay with full care field board. No stall to use unless I rent it out per day $14/day. BO will feed my grain 2x/day, blanket/unblanket, flymask on/off. I'm currently paying $275/mo +$35/mo trailer parking, so $310 total.
2. Self care with a stall. I'd have a stall to use whenever I wanted. BO would provide hay/water. I'd provide my own bedding and be responsible for cleaning the stall. I'd have to feed myself and change blankets myself. This would be $370/mo with trailer parking.
1. The grain is not a big deal. He only gets a teeny bit of ration balancer pellets and is probably a bit overweight as is. I just liked that someone was looking at him twice a day, but she's proven to be not terribly observant and flat out missed a few injuries (minor things, but it does make me question if she would notice if something else were wrong).
2. The blanket changing would be a pain. I'm there once a day most days, but I don't know if I could afford the increase in gas cost to get there twice a day. During this time of year when the weather fluctutuates I'd have to carefully consider the blanketing, clipping is probably totally out for now, and I'd have to probably make sure that I get to the barn on that day I currently don't go. This would resolve itself when the weather is steadily cold and he would stay in his blanket all the time anyway, at which point I could reconsider clipping.
Full care with a stall isn't really an option. Her price would increase to the point that it's not worth being there anymore, since I could just spend another $50 on top of her fee and move to a place with better riding amenities. Full care with stall and trailer would cost me $470 a month, which I COULD afford, but I don't feel that I would be getting my money's worth due to the riding amenities available.
Is it worth an extra $60/month to have the option of a stall but lose the blanket changing and grain feeding services?
Edited to add: The only times I would use the stall is when I'm there (there's no grooming stalls and it's kind of a pain to have to haul out all my stuff from the tackroom because the only place to tie is a post out of direct sight.) and in the event of a big snowfall. He has only ever needed to be stalled for an injury once, and it was an abscess, and I stalled him because his then herd were jerks and were actively trying to beat on him.
In my opinion, no, it isn't. I would much rather have my horse out 24/7 as long as there was some form of shelter. I don't think that having a stall is really worth it unless you need to put your horse on stall rest for an injury. For the price to go up AND the responsibilities to increase... No thanks.
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I would stay outside. Unless there is a reason your horse needs to be stalled, it's not worth it.
I also wouldn't be bashing on your BO for not noticing minor things. They are changing blankets and feeding and cleaning and all the other things, I doubt she has time to carefully look over each horse for a minor limp or a small cut on the hock. That doesn't mean she won't notice if your horse takes a chunk out of his knee.
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You probably should make up a list of pros and cons and whats important and not important to you
Everyone has different needs based on what they do with their horses and what they can afford
I feel (for me) that I couldnt keep horses without a stable for each horse. I dont like starvation paddocks - I like my horses to be able to safely gallop around if they want too so having them stand in for part of the day restricts grazing and they need that. I can groom them, tack them up in comfort and as they all have different feed requirements I dont have to stand around worrying who is eating what.
I have a stable if a horse does get sick or lame and needs to be in
I have somewhere for my vet or farrier to deal with them thats out of the weather and well lit
We get a lot of snow here so I know in the stable they have water to drink and their fair share of hay and their hay isnt being blown away or buried in a blizzard in the night - or they arent miles away because the fence has been destroyed or buried. They still go out all day when I can see whats going on.
I've always found with field shelters that either only some will go in and the others wont be allowed in or none of them go in as they worry about where their buddy is
My horses vote with their feet, they are soon standing waiting to come in impatiently if they are fed up with the weather or with the biting bugs
Everyone has to do what works best for them and their individual horses
For me, no it would not be worth it - but I'm not a fan of stalling anyway, so that isn't a priority to me or something I'd be willing to pay extra for.
Personally, I would stay with the 24/7 out, and BO caring for the horse. You have a stall if there is a need for the extra fee. I debated the same thing, except I currently am full care inside, and was thinking, since I will be gone basically until spring, of just doing pasture board for the winter. However, I went with stall, since that way I know he will get checked at least 2x daily all over. If I was going to be around-I probably would go with outside. They really are fine.
There's one stall available if he needs to be kept in, but it's not very desirable because it's out of sight of other horses and it's small - 10'x10' I think. It's more of a holding stall. If there's a big enough snowfall, there is not a place to keep him in. The farrier comes during the evenings since all of us work, and I trailer to the vet since I use a different vet than everyone else (I get deep discounts from my current vet, as they are one of those multi-vet places and I also bring my dogs/cats there so I get a multi-pet discount + no farm call if I trailer the 10 minutes there). If I had an emergency vet call, I would be with my horse.
The blanketing is the bigger thing right now, and it really is just something temporary because once the weather is cold all the time his blanket will stay on all the time anyway. He gets an unlined rain sheet on the rainy days and when it's below 50 right now (so pretty much at night). It's taken off in the mornings unless it's rainy, but it's also not getting hot enough that if I didn't do that he'd be miserable.
Keep 'em coming!
The primary use of the stall would be: 1. convenience since there's no grooming stall, 2. bad weather nights as he gets miserable quick in 1+ feet of snow, 3. "just in case".
Wanted to add - I'm truly not decided either way, but I absolutely LOVE having the people on this board to be able to hash things out with.
[QUOTE=DancingArabian;1726773]Unless she fills them. There will only be 8 stalls available and her intent is to fill them. 4 are on hard reserve, 2 are on a soft reserve(one for me and one for someone else) and 2 are currently empty.
The primary use of the stall would be: 1. convenience since there's no grooming stall, 2. bad weather nights as he gets miserable quick in 1+ feet of snow, 3. "just in case".[/QUOTE]
Its the 'just in case' that would sway me - Ok if you can rely on a stall being there at any time but horses make a habit of not planning to have accidents or get ill they just sort of happen when you least expect them too - you would need a reliable back up plan to cover if the BO couldnt guarantee a stall in an emergency
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