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SEAmom 01-30-2013 11:03 AM

Boarding gripe
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Not sure if this is the right place for this or not.

I'm really frustrated with my boarding barn and the barn manager. I've been there since last July and it just seems like one thing after another with this place. To start, my board was $25 more than I was told when I gave notice for moving in (they had 30 days notice). Then, I wanted him kept inside for a couple of weeks until he acclimated to the place and they acclimated to him. He's the only arab there in a sea of laid back horses. He's excitable and young and not what most of those people are used to. Plus, I wanted to make sure he wouldn't have any health issues with the barn change. After a couple of days, they were pouting him outside by himself and not asking me first. He's very social and will pace and be upset outside by himself and that's what he did. I went there early one day and he was completely sweaty and lathered and he was calling a lot. I told the BM that he can't go outside alone for that reason and he's fine in his stall for a couple more days. Then, they weren't turning on his July! They cut his feed in half without warning. I picked up my own feed and said I would provide it provide myself and how much to feed. She never changed the amount like I requested and then she completely switched feed the next month without saying a word to me let alone asking if it was okay. Then, things were okay for a bit. I'm still not happy about the feed, but I added a vit/min supplement to my smartpaks (even though I wouldn't have needed it with what I was wanting to provide) and moved on. He doesn't get enough hay...ever. The field he was in during the summer was almost completely weeds and she even admitted that it needed to be shocked this winter. Well, she wasn't throwing out hay for the horses in his field and she wasn't compensating for it in their stalls when they were in either. My young horse wa losing weight when he would normally be getting fat. So I bought alfalfa pellets to add to his feed. It was getting into winter and he loses weight in the winter. I asked to have him bumped up on feed and the BM agreed, but it never was changed. There was a barn meeting at the beginning of January and my board went up. She said if it would help, they'd pick up his alfalfa pellets. Well, he ran out 2 weeks ago and it still hasn't been replaced. Sunday, he was turned out with his stable blankets on instead of his turnout blanket. He's very active outside and he ended up ripping some of the seams in both of his blankets. In the fall, his nylon sheet had disappeared for 3 weeks and it was found crumpled in a corner of the tack room. It should never have been off his body because none of the horses were going outside and there weren't any warm days. My very nice cooler disappeared after I moved in and was never found. I had to spend $60 to buy a new one. Now, his jolly ball is missing. I just got it at Congress in October. It is nowhere to be found.

My husband is really mad and so am I. I'm bringing all of my concerns to the BM, but it's not making a difference. Unfortunately, there's nowhere comparable in size of the indoor arena and field sizes that is within my price range (those facilities are much nicer overall, but outside of what I can afford). I'm vibrantly on the lookout for a new place, but I'm stuck at the moment. I'm losing my mind!
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FaceTheMusic 01-30-2013 02:02 PM

I know how frustrated you feel. It's awful when you aren't happy with where you are keeping your horse. I agree completely that the situation is unacceptable. I've been there. The last barn I was at the BM decided it was a good idea to put all 27 horses in one pasture together... it ended up getting my horses constantly injured and my gelding developed a terrible attitude from always having to defend himself. Since I moved he has done a complete 180 and is back to his old goofy self.

I wish I knew of some places in your area but unfortunately I don't. If you haven't already, maybe you should look on, there are always tons of boarding barns on there.

I do hope you can find a nicer place for you and your horse!

themacpack 01-30-2013 02:05 PM


My husband is really mad and so am I. I'm bringing all of my concerns to the BM, but it's not making a difference. Unfortunately, there's nowhere comparable in size of the indoor arena and field sizes that is within my price range (those facilities are much nicer overall, but outside of what I can afford). I'm vibrantly on the lookout for a new place, but I'm stuck at the moment. I'm losing my mind!
My horse being properly fed and my belongings not being taken would take priority for me over the indoor arena - yes, it may mean not being able to ride for a while, but it will put you and your horse in a better situation while you find a barn that DOES have all you want and will provide the care you want.

DancingArabian 01-30-2013 02:07 PM

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I'd rather trailer to use an indoor or flat out not ride than put up with that.
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SEAmom 01-30-2013 02:38 PM

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I'd like to say I'm okay with just not riding until whenever, but I'm really not. Living in Ohio, I could go days or weeks without being able to ride outside, or months like in the winter. The weather here is ridiculous and to be honest, if I'm not comfortable I won't ride. If it's been raining and is mucky, there's ice on the ground, it's really windy, or below 20 degrees F, I won't ride outside. Having a younger, mischievous horse, being able to keep his mind working regularly is important. Where I live, the closest barns to me are at least 25 minutes away. I work an hour north of my house, so locations are very difficult to find that are convenient at all and a safe environment. This place is an hour from work and a half hour from my house. The other 3 places I'd been considering were the same, but one had very dangerous "pasture"area, one was $200/mo outside of my price range, and the third would not allow outside trainers and the woman running it has a bad trip with horses and an elitist attitude regarding dressage and everyone else. It was basically the lesser of the evils and I knew some of the people already at this place and they were familiar with my horse.

Plus, I have truck our trailer so I can't be trailering anywhere.

DancingArabian 01-30-2013 02:45 PM

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I get that, I do. I also hate not riding, but the stress and worry and potential for illness that I'm seeing in your post is not worth it to me. Good luck finding a new place - hope you can find a place soon!
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SEAmom 01-30-2013 02:48 PM

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I'm actually considering sending him 1.5 hours away to a barn where a friend of mine can train him at someones place. He won't be able to go out, but he'll be with peophle who will listen to my friend when she says what to feed and how much. My friend will be able to work him and I could go up once a week or so and get a "lesson" from her. I hate the idea if him being so far away, though.

Part of me was really hoping that you guys would tell me I'm over-reacting about the situation. I just hate feeling like I have to go out there and check him every day when the point of being on full-care is that I can skip days.

Oh, and sunday it was in the upper 40s here and he was turned out not just with stable blankets instead of turnout (i have the agreement worked out to have his blankets changed when he goes out since it isn't every day), but they left a modify blanket and the quilted liner on him. I know how much he runs and plays outside. Even though he's partially body-clipped, he was still hot underneath and steamed when I took them off.
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DancingArabian 01-30-2013 02:54 PM

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I once had my horse 45 minutes away and hated it. I'm on mobile so I can't see your profile. Where are you at? Maybe someone on here knows a nice place.
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SEAmom 01-30-2013 02:59 PM

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I'm in the northern Cincinnati, OH area. When he was at the trainer's he was 35 minutes away and that was really tough.
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franknbeans 01-30-2013 03:28 PM

First off, I am sorry you are frustrated. Did you have a boarding contract? If so, that should deal with at least some of these issues.

How big is this barn? I will say that to me, it sounds like you need a smaller place that can give you all the personalized attention you feel this horse needs because he is "different" than the "sea" of other horses at this farm. I can assure you, he is still a horse. I know of very few (except for those $1000 and up) who would do separate feed, all the blanket changes you ask for, etc. Many charge blanketing fees, actually, at about $5 a pop. Some also feed every horse the same feed-they buy in bulk as it saves $$ and everyone who has supplements has to do Smartpaks to simplify things for the feeding staff. That is also one way of the owners knowing their horse is getting it. It is an issue that your horse is losing weight, and perhaps he would be best off introduced to the herd and let out with the "sea" of them. Yes he may get some bumps and bruises, but it may be wonderful for him mentally as there is nothing that can teach a young horse quite like an older one.

As far as your stuff being missing-I would suggest you get a locked cabinet, and CLEARLY label everything that goes to the barn that is not to be locked up-like the everyday blankets, which can be monogrammed. The "special" coller would have been locked up, since I am guessing you only use it when you are there. I have my horses name on the right hip of every blanket we own. For both of them. It makes things really easy especially when he is at the trainers which is a large barn.

Good luck, but I am wondering why, if you knew folks who were happy there before you went there, your experience is so different? I doubt the whole place changed when you arrived.:wink:

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