I don't want to ask too much...
Okay, so I love my barn. The people are great, the horses are awesome, I love the facilities, the atmosphere is pleasant... I only have two minor things that have been on my mind and I'm trying to decide if I should just let it go, or if I should ask for these things to be done, or just ask if I can do them myself.
I want my horse to have more hay at night, and fresh shavings in his stall once or twice a week. I am more than willing to provide these things, I'll even clean his stall out if I need to. I just don't want to be a pain in the ass. I know I can't expect perfection, but they are simple requests.
As of right now, if he gets hay in his stall, it's because I trudged out to the round bale in the pasture and grabbed a pile. I know hay is expensive and I don't expect special treatment, but if I provided it, would it be an imposition to ask her to give it to him? And if I offered to clean his stall out once a week and throw a new bag of shavings in, would that seem a little too... invasive? I dunno, I just don't want her to think I don't approve of how she does things.
What should I do?
What services are you currently paying for, exactly? I can't answer you until I know at least that.
Honestly I don't feel like that is much to ask, just have the hay ready for her to feed, and have the shavings by the stall, unless you are putting them in.
What does your boarding contract say? If those things aren't covered, then you'll have to see if you can pay for them to be done as extras or do them yourself. Though I find it odd that they would keep a horse in all night without food.
It depends on the services you're currently paying for. Are you paying for the stable to be cleaned and to be fed daily? If so, I don't think there should be a problem you supplying extra feed and requesting it be fed. You might be responsible for adding sawdust, but if its your stable you pay for then there should be no problem you adding it.
I do not think this is too much to ask at all. Asking for more hay here would be taken with a "Yeah, sure thing." and it's done. And our horses get new shavings every morning....And extra once a week won't hurt, especially if you offer to do it yourself.
Talk to the barn manager/owner about this requests. They aren't too much to ask at all. A fresh clean stall is better than a dirty one.
I pay for full stall board which includes grain, hay, bedding, turn out, worming... pretty much everything. So technically, I pay for what I would be asking for. I have no problem doing the stall by myself. I have cleaned stalls for years and honestly, I am pretty particular about it. I'm sure my horse would be fine otherwise, but I'd like to see it cleaner than it is.
As far as the hay goes, I mean, it's in my contract. She told me when I came in that she recently raised board to cover hay. I think if I asked her to throw him a few flakes at night, she would do it. I'm not really worried about it too much. If it comes down to it, I'll buy a few bales a week and give it to him myself. He only needs a flake or two, he gets plenty of grass during the day.
I just don't want to seem like a needy boarder. There are 22 horses on the property, they are all healthy and happy, and they have been doing things the same way on the farm for years. I just moved in last month and I don't want to be that person who comes in and starts demanding changes.
I guess I just need to know how to go about it without seeming unhappy. I could send her an email just saying that Riley is making a mess of his stall and I'd like to strip it... It's not untrue. Once I start cleaning it, I don't think it would seem strange to keep bringing new shavings every once in a while, right? It's just the initial request.
Maybe you could fudge a little and say your vet has suggested that your horse have extra hay at night to avoid ulcers and you'd be happy to supply it and have it ready for him if they wouldn't mind tossing it to him when he comes in.
If you don't like how the stalls are cleaned and everyone else's stalls look just like yours, then I wouldn't say anything, I'd just pick up a fork and make it how I wanted it. I would ask, but not in a demanding way, if I could have some extra shavings but I'd be prepared to buy the extras because a certain number of bags may be how they've figured the board. I know that I'm unusual in deep bedding all my stalls but I buy shavings in bulk, CHEAP, so I tend to 'spoil' the horses with nice deep bedding. I have heard of barns that buy by the bag and figure X amount of bags per month and will give you extra bags at cost or a little over, which can still save you money over buying retail.
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