Is this normal?
Hi, I board my horse at a small facility, this is my first horse so I have a couple of questions about things that I wonder if are just normal at boarding facilities:
1. When I'm not there other boarders and their friends/families visit with my horse, let their kids pet him, give treats, etc. I just recently found this out, and I'm a little uncomfortable about it, especially hand-feeding treats to him. Is this just normal part of boarding?
2. My horse has an in and out. There are rubber mats in the stall, no shavings, board owner doesn't believe in shavings, says it affects breathing. Well, he goes to bathroom in his stall most of the time, very rarely outside. I have arrived unexpectedly a couple of times, and there is a stall chain across outside opening so he is kept outside. This is in hot weather and there are a lot of bugs this year. He does have water outside. He is a thin skinned TB, big baby about bugs, and has an eye condition, I have told her nicely, that I don't want him prevented from going into his stall especially in hot sunny weather and I thought it was agreed, but it happened again yesterday,(not my usual day I'm there). What can I do about this? Should I do something about this, should I look for another place, or is this no big deal and the norm?
I just want to add, that I muck his stall when I'm there, clean up any mess I make, and sometimes others if they left it, pay my board right on time, and treat the facility as I would want mine treated. So just wanted a little input, if I'm making too much of these matters. Thanks for any input and your time to read this.
Three options: suck it up, talk to your BO or leave.
If you don't want people feeding your horse, you have to let them know. If you want a reason to give, tell him his diet is regulated or he bites or something.
I have to wonder why they would lock him out of his stall though. Could they be sticking another horse in there?
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I didnt know people were feeding him, their schedules are opposite to mine and I haven't been there to see it to ask them not to, just found out in a recent conversation. I would never feed or touch anyone's horse without permission from the owner first, I thought that was what you were supposed to do.
I believe he is locked out of stall so he can't go to bathroom in there, but I pay extra for the in and out so he is not out in hot sun all day, and can go out when he prefers at night, because of his eye. He prefers to stay in during the day.
I did talk to BO about locking him outside and she knows about his eye and has talked with the Vet, she said she wouldn't do it anymore, so I thought it wasn't being done anymore. I was surprised to find it was still going on.
You are right - people really shouldn't feed a horse without the owners permission. I find though that unless there's a big deal made out of it, sometimes people will do whatever they want anyway. They really should have asked, and you didn't know not to tell them. If you want them to stop, next time you see them ask them to stop. If you're afraid that they might be offended, tell them his diet needs to be regulated or he bites or something that makes them think its a big deal. I totally understand not wanting someone feeding your horse unknown things! I wouldn't like it either.
Can you put up a sign or take away the chain that blocks him from coming in? She could have forgotten.
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1. At my barn, yes this is normal. It completely depends on the place. If you're worried about it I would just put a sign outside his door asking people not to feed him.
2. I've never heard of someone not using shavings. It'd bother me that his stall was chained off though. Have you asked the BO if there was a reason for this? I'd make it clear that this is a big deal for your horse and he needs to be able to go in.
I'd try to resolve these things before looking around for anther place. You sound like a responsible boarder that they'd like to keep around.
ETA: just saw there were replies- I had this thread up on my phone before any replies (and I didn't just read them all so sorry if something was answered)
I will probably make a small sign to put up and just say that he can't have treats by hand, no matter how much he begs LOL, so as not to offend anyone.
I called her when I saw the chain up, she admitted putting it up on purpose, I reminded her nicely that I didn't want him locked out, she said okay, but she's said that before, and she acted a little guilty because she said but what are you doing here today, did you have a day off, so I guess she didn't expect me there and thought she wouldn't be caught doing it. I'm just wondering if I should trust her word now, I can't be there everyday to check. I should also mention, when he was locked out, 15 minutes after I got there was a huge thunderstorm with lightening, he would have been stuck out in it if I hadn't happened to be there, kind of worries me. And believe me, I know I probably worry too much, horses are pretty resilient.
Is he turned out with other horses, or by himself? If he's with others, there's a reason for the chain across the doorway; the BO doesn't want all the horses in the barn, milling around.
There's no way to turn him out and let him have access to his stall unless the stall has a private paddock attached to it. If that's the case, I don't see why she's keeping him out.
The no shavings thing would bother me. It's much easier to keep a stall clean with bedding, plus it's less harsh on the horse.
He has a private paddock attached to his stall. Only him no other horses have access. The shavings thing does get to me. Easier to clean up, urine doesn't pool on floor, etc. Before I moved him there, I did say that I wanted shavings, she said she would if it didn't work out with no shavings, I said it wasn't working out without shavings but she's a little stubborn and now refuses to put down shavings, she will not allow me to buy my own and put them down either. I'm trying to weigh pros and cons to see if moving is right to do, trying to prioritize what is most important for horse.
I also should have added, that I do appreciate this is BO's place and she certainly doesn't have to change how she runs the place to suit me. I'm just trying to get input on whether the things that are bothering me are things that would concern others or am I expecting too much, before I make decision to move or not. I worry that she is just yessing me and will do what she wants anyway, then trust because an issue.
I wonder IF there is no shavings HOW the BO cleans up the pee? As for the dust good shavings don't produce all that much of dust. I'd try to talk to BO.
As for feeding and messing with the horse while he's in his own paddock if you don't like it that much I'd first warn the BO, and 2nd would put a sign "No feeding, he's on special diet". Although personally I don't see it as that big of a deal (at least petting him), as long as they are gentle and give him good stuff (and he's not a biter) - you can consider it as an extra-training to communicate with other people.
Does he has ANY shelter in his paddock at all? If not then you have to be very firm with BO that he MUST have an access to the stall during a day to get some shade.
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