boarder rant/BO appreciation
I've seen SO many threads addressing bad experiences with barn owners- but has anyone brought up the flip side, bad boarders? I think *most* barn owners are not doing this to make money, and I do EVERYTHING I can to be a good, reasonable boarder. I've been at 10 different barns throughout my life, and have left every single one on good terms. During this season, I go to my barn and pick up extra chores so my BO can have some time off, which is well deserved. So, to all the WONDERFUL barn owners out there, thank you for taking care of our babies :) I always have done chores in exchange for board, and I have SO MANY nightmare boarder stories- there are some VERY VERY unreasonable people out there! Just working in a barn and trying to please 30 different people (who are all right, btw, because the only thing 2 horse people can agree on is that the 3rd horse person is wrong- haha!) is enough to drain you! So, next time you're at the barn, after you hug your horse, hug the BO too. They probably need it :)
I've been witness to a bad boarder where I used to ride. The entire family was really snotty, actually. The kid the horse belonged to was maybe 12. They only came around maybe once a month to lead the horse around the front of the barn and in the parking lot for maybe ten minutes before sticking him back into his "parking space" stall (the new barn management has been trying to fix up the place and make larger stalls, old management was horrible). The pony is otherwise not allowed to be let outside in any of the fields, so he's stuck tied in his little spot 24/7. Nobody is happy about that, except the family. One time when I was doing volunteer work there I had to bite my tongue and walk away to do something else because the kid was leading the horse around and he wanted to eat the grass...instead of tugging the rope to pull his head up (which I know he would have done cause he's a very polite pony), she gave him a very HARD kick in the face...
I work at my barn and I'm there all the time. I could tell you loads of stories of "..wut" from boarders because I know almost everything that goes on around the barn.
This one isn't exactly a bad boarder, just..out there. One lady has some extreme paranoia issues. She needs professional help, but from what another boarder (a friend of hers) said, it comes and goes. When it's "off," she's very nice, but when it's "on," she's nuts. She thought she was being followed so she calls the trainer. I'm not sure why you would call your horse trainer if you thought you were being stalked, but she does. Trainer told her to call the cops if she felt threatened, but it was just strange. She leaves 2 minute voicemails about nothing for said trainer now.
This woman thinks her gelding is being poisoned now. She has no evidence and his health hasn't remotely changed. Oh, she also hates me. She thinks I'm abusive because I was lunging this pony of my BOs' who pulled out, tripped herself, and fell. And because I whack my horse if she deserves it. She refuses to ride anywhere I am.
As for a bad boarder, there was one guy who just left. He owns a 17.2hh WB who has zero respect half the time. He travels often for his job, so he comes out rarely. This gelding has broken gate latches, fences, beat the crap out of other horses, broken his stall door several times, cross ties, his feed bin in his stall, etc. Owner refused to pay for any of it without receipts. He's bolted on everyone working there at least a handful of times.
It took months before the owner admitted it was because he's not out often and doesn't work this gelding. He'd be a great horse if he was worked daily and had a job. He's green at best. Finally, the owner realized his problems when whenever he'd come out, he'd bolt out of crossties and go tearing around outside. Of course, he wouldn't discipline him, just a wagging finger and "Oh, you naughty boy!" This was every time the guy came out.
His girlfriend also boarded there and she could have worked him, but he wouldn't let her because she's a woman. Yep. His girlfriend has two wonderfully mannered horses, she's just crazy. She'd drive across town at 10pm just to make sure we watered her horses and creep. We have never not watered them. I don't even know. She just broods around if anyone else is around also. Occasionally I'll get a "Hi" back when I say hi. Now just ignore both of them. She's leaving within the next week also.
That is the way it is. You do not need a license to own a horse and owning one dose not make you an excerpt :?
Ive had tons of bad boarders. Most of them were messy, broke crap and didnt replace it and STOLE. Yes TAKING hay, grain and bedding that you are not supposed to touch IS stealing. We dont make very much so EVERYTHING is budgeted to give our boarders the best price possible. Needless to say I have a zero tolerance policy of bad boarders and they are evicted immedietly
I am SO thankful for the "barn" we stay at. It's just a run in area into a barn with a huge pasture for four horses. It's my husband's friend's farm and we pay him $100 a month to board her. He grows his own hay, and she eats little grain. We give him $100 because he wasn't going to charge us and my husband said to please at least let us pay that. The barn owner knows that whenever he is out of town I'm more than happy to come out and help feed, or hold for farriers/vets/etc. We also help in the cutting of the hay. While the distance out there sucks (it's a 30+ minute drive) my horse won't be moving till we have our own farm. And the BO is fine with that because my girly is very sweet and his mare adores her.
As a BO myself, I go out of my way everyday to keep all the horses happy and healthy that are in my care. I also spend extra energy making sure that my boarders are happy with my service and keeping them informed of everything that is happening with their horses.
I have yet to have a boarder leave unhappy. I have had to bite my tongue on many an occasion, but at other times have had to make sure that I speak up as an advocate for their horse. It is a delicate balance, but can *usually* be managed with tact and grace. I find if I really let the boarder understand where I am coming from with my decisions and that they are decisions made that are there to benifit their horse they usually come around.
The one boarder I have had that really got out of line would threaten to put her horse down any time she did not want to comply with her contract and provide appropriate and timely veterinary, dental and hoof care. She had me so upset on many occasions that I would break down in tears for fear for her horse. Each time I was eventually able to convince her to have the care given, but each time was super distressing to me.
I work with horses because I LOVE them. The threat of their suffering just hurts my heart.
I know lots of horror stories related to boarders, but they were all passed along from BOs and I don't want to breach their confidence.
However I witness, almost daily boarders who won't even help with their own horses. My horse is field boarded, but I tend to be there at feeding time. My horse does not have a stall in the barn, but every time I am there I will help the BO feed and bring in the horses. Some owners will watch this happen and not even lead in their own horse.
It blows my mind that so many people have the attitude that they won't help because they are paying for something. If my BO is cleaning up, I join in and help. The only time he has to clean out my horses paddock is if I have not been able to get there for a few days, or if he beats me to it.
I just cannot understand the logic of standing there talking to him while he is working, and not helping out.
I work at my barn and almost daily I want to strangle people. People think that at a semi-care barn you don't need to pick up the poo your pasture horse just left in the barn. Pick up your stuff and if you don't, don't complain the dog ran off with it.
The tack room was remodeled with cubbies and tons of saddle racks about a month or two ago. Now, there's stuff all over the place and no one remembers to put their stuff away....
Then they complain that we aren't feeding their horses 50lbs of hay per day per horse, yes we actually had someone get upset their PONY was only getting 30lbs of hay per day.... they pay for it they can feed it. But then that was the same person who denied a drought and that hay prices were going up....
As a boarder, I can only praise my BO and her care of our horse.
We are new to horse ownership an look to our BO to help educate us. She has always been helpful and patient as we learn. In return, I make sure I always pay our board on time, that we keep her informed of our lesson/show/training schedule. My DH and I help out during play days (I keep score and help with registration, DH helps reset barrels and poles, checks girths, and any other task that is requested.). If we're there at the proper time, we always offer to feed/blanket/water our horse. I make sure our tack and gear is organized and stored neatly in the tack room. If we see trash, we pick it up and we're always willing to lend a hand when asked. This Christmas, I'm sewing 10 horse costumes she can use in parades and at her summer camps. Our horses are going to look amazing at the Christmas parade this year. ;)
I've seen how much work our BO does and know how hard it can be. One of the reasons we chose to board rather than buy land ourselves is because DH and I want the horse, but not the back-breaking labor and time commitment too. It sounds selfish, but we're realists and willing to pay for that privilege.
I'm very thankful for our BO. I tell her so all the time and make sure I show our appreciation as often as I can.
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