What would you do?
Kind of a vent thread... I'm starting to lose my temper with my barn. I'm trying to decide if I should stay and accept it, move or just talk to the BO. Unfortunately some of it is just stuff he seems unwilling to do much about, since it's been this way for months and I know of a couple people who have left already after he told them "if you don't like it, you can leave".
I purchased my horse from them, so leaving him at his accustomed barn was easiest. The barn is only about 4 miles from my house and literally across the lake from my school, so it's as handy as you can get. We live in the middle of college town, so there are not many board options to begin with. I was okay with the quality of the facility at first, but it's gotten very sloppy lately, the new people boarding drive me bonkers, and there are no "common courtesy" rules enforced.
The new boarders keep using the arena as a turn-out, which forces me to ride in the other arena. This "arena" is not graded, not lighted, and is full of softball sized rocks and trash - yesterday I looked down and saw orange slurpee all over my horse from a 7-11 cup he had kicked. You can't lope in there because the horses trip on all the rocks and uneven ground, there are no barrels or poles to use, nothing. There is a turnaround for cars right next to it (but off the property), and kids have made it a sport to come flying around the corner, honking their horns at the horses, so I almost got thrown yesterday when they terrified my horse. :evil: I haaaaaate that arena.
There is not enough room for the amount of boarders they have - there's probably 40 horses boarded, with one usable arena and one round pen.
When it's not being used as a turnout, it's normal to have 6 or 7 people in the arena (which is tiny, so it's very hard to do anything other than go in circles with that many people). Yesterday there was an unsupervised beginner in there, wandering aimlessly against the flow of traffic and cutting people off who were loping; mildly dangerous, IMO. They are always dragging the arena when there are people in it "because it's hot all day" - riiiiiight, it's too hot for you to sit on a tractor for 5 minutes at a time and drink a beer - and that means I have to dismount, move all my barrels and poles, wait for them, move them back. Pain in the arse. I swear they wait for me to set my stuff up to drag just to be annoying.
Then we have random other stuff, like that my board contract does not include turnout, yet I keep finding my horse's lead rope re-tied different ways like he has been taken out. This is totally not acceptable to me, as he is a problem horse that I'm re-training...I'm not comfortable with other people handling him. I had 2 lead ropes on his stall and one mysteriously disappeared; I found it a week later broken in half behind a garbage can. When I found it gone, that day he suddenly re-started yanking backwards when tied... makes me think someone took him out and he broke the rope on them. I've also come back after a couple of days off to find girth marks on him like he'd been ridden :shock: A few weeks ago, a stable hand announced to me that "he's pretty fat so I told xxx to cut his food back". EXCUSE ME? He's not your horse to do so with. Gah.
The property is now also full of piles of tin and metal and dirt heaps, that seem to be multiplying... when I arrived, they had one or two piles of scrap metal out of the way, now there's about 10. I had to clean the algae out of my waterer yesterday, and there is even algae growing on the wash rack concrete. My boyfriend came with one day and commented that the place looks like a pig sty :? I was also informed that they don't check vet/worming/Coggins records on their new intakes which is kind of sketchy to me.
I've been in contact with one of the boarders who did leave, and she says she was actually thrown out after she complained about things. Makes me think the staff won't hesitate to do the same with me. And I have no idea how to politely bring this stuff up.
Sooooo I have to decide if I'm gonna stay and deal with all this, or leave and have to drive an extra 10 miles or so out of my way to board.
I mean, I feel like I may be blowing this out of proportion, but it's become a daily routine of having to groan about something.
So your horse's health isn't as important to you as having the boarding barn be an easy, short commute for you?
Place sounds like a nightmare, and I'd have been out of there so fast with my horse I'd have broken the sound barrier.
I don't think any of the things you listed are acceptable.
Have you tried talking to them yet? If you're thinking about leaving anyways what's the worst that could happen? Even if they DO throw you out.
Sounds like it would be worth the extra 10 miles to know the horse is safe and being cared for.
It does sound like they're trying to get you to leave.
IMO, you need to do what's best for the horse. Convenience isn't always best. If he's not getting the care you want, move him.
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Make sure you have rinsed off all girth marks. Seems there should have been saddle marks also. Some horses revert back to bad behaviour now and then. If they are cutting down on feed, or taking and using your equipment, I would move. You can complain, but if they don’t care, and are turning the place into a junk heap, why stay. Start looking around Now for another facility.
I did not say his health wasn't important. The only really health-relevant thing was the lack of intake procedures, which I just became aware of 2 days ago, and has certainly alarmed me. My own horse is wormed and vaccinated and Coggins negative, and while I wasn't happy they tried to change my feed, he still gets plenty to eat.
Convenience has been a big issue because between working and school I am constantly driving and burning up hours commuting, so yes, moving 10 miles away in the opposite direction is not something I want to do unless absolutely necessary. Like I said, I was happy with the place at first, but it's gone very downhill in just a couple of months. As such, I am certainly considering moving very strongly because you are right that it is about care for the horse.
Julie, I just need to find a place before they throw me out... I don't need them to pull a "you need to be out tomorrow" and have me with nowhere to go is all, ya know? There's a very limited selection of barns around here as well so I have to hope there will be space open at one. There are only 2 within this 10 mile radius and one doesn't look very promising.
stevenson, I've occasionally rushed and not done my full brush routine and still had the saddle mark come off but the girth remain. I started hosing him off and making sure he was absolutely pristine after the first time I found marks and they persisted for another couple of weeks, along with his halter being re-arranged. They mysteriously stopped appearing as well, with no change in grooming. I also did consider that he was having a relapse, I know that's very common, except for finding the lead rope broken... I have no idea why else they would need my rope or how it would have snapped like that. It was just a strange coincidence... and either way, they should not have been taking my lead rope for anything.
I'm going to try to speak with the owner today; I just feel like this is a whole laundry list of issues and I'm going to get the "play nice with others" spiel. He apparently has played off the other complaints like the boarders are expecting too much.
But thank you all, that's why I posted this, in case I was being too uppity, because I am a pretty high strung person that expects a lot, especially when money is changing hands. I've always lived on horse property and never had to board, so I was unsure how much common courtesy and boarders-to-arena ratios to expect without being ridiculous.
Well at least once you bring it up and see how he reacts you'll know what the next step is.
Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised and he'll be willing to work with you, and if not you know you can start looking for other places.
I just went through the same type of situation with my horse. Continue to board at a dangerous barn with a negligent ranch owner that is only 6 miles away? Or bite the bullet and board at an excellent place with everything that is a long 12 miles further away with winding roads etc. I can only see my horse once a day now where I could see her twice a day before.
The safety of your horse has to come first with these types of things and it sounds like your horse's health is at risk where you are, not to mention your own.
I would be out of there in a heartbeat. I'm most likely moving barns soon for much less than that (BO decided to feed the horses about half of what they were getting before, without asking or notifying owners—that's the latest catalyst). It sucks that you don't have a lot of options for other places to go, and that you're looking at farther away, but none of those things you listed would be acceptable to me.
I'd also be outta there ASAP. His health and your ability to train and enjoy having him are more important than convenience. Move him and don't look back.
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