Stuck. (Mostly venting.)
I am, unfortunately, in a position where I can't switch barns until a spot opens up somewhere else. I have pretty bad anxiety anyway, and so I go to the barn to relax and be with horse, and it calms me down quite a bit. It's gotten to the point where hiding at home is actually more soothing than spending time with my horse, and I really, REALLY hate that.
I've had the delightful experience of being charged extra (on top of board fees) for hay and grain that my horse never got (during the winter, when she wasn't holding weight.) I have had my grooming supplies stolen, used, thrown away. (And various other items in my tack box as well. ) I had my mild-mannered horse's blanket ruined by the barn owner's horse, I've had my horse kicked and bitten to the point of becoming unsound and needing vet care and rest. (And no pasture changes were made either time, so the damage continued. ) I will leave my horse in crossties, and she'll be moved while I've stepped into the tack room to grab something from my box. I'll come back and she's been missing. They've usually moved her and of course I'm freaking out and thinking she's gone missing. Monday-Friday, the barn owner's got about 15+ horses that need to be worked and roughly 20+ stalls that need to be cleaned. After that, I am not permitted to use the arena because there are lessons. I am not permitted to work the horse outside of the barn on a flat grassy area because it "tears up the grass". There are no additional places for me to work my horse, so I can literally only work her 2 times a week if I come at a really inconvenient time for me (but is a convenient interval between lessons/work/etc. for the barn workers and the owner. see also: their day off) I used to work around this by coming in really late and working her. The barn has now added hours for insurance purposes, so I need to be done with everything and off the property by 9pm. I have tried to come in after lessons doing the week, but they've started working additional horses during those hours, or doing general maintenance that involves the arena and me not being permitted to use it for any reason.
I am not permitted to turn the lights on if it is daytime, because I "can see good enough" and will run the bill up. There's a rule for everything, and it constantly changing. One week the gates must stay open, and the next week, the gates can't stay open no matter what. I am not permitted to close the gates in the arena to ride my horse because it "disrupts the airflow" of cool air through the barn. (Even with a fan on each stall door, giant fans at the beginning and end of each aisle, and all the barn doors open. ) I am constantly having "advice" rammed down my throat, and I've even had items snatched out of my hand by the barn owner because I wasn't doing it the way she liked.
I found some solace in just going out in the pasture and finding a shady spot to sit. My horse might approach and graze around me. She might not. Other horses may have done the same, and they may have ignored me altogether. The final straw was when the barn owner told me that I was "spoiling my horse too much" and that "sitting in the pasture gets her beaten up by the other horses, and you are not permitted to go out and pet on her, or give her treats or even sit out in the pasture with her anymore."
I'm done. I've tolerated a lot of hooey at this barn, and I can't do it anymore. From the barn cats staying up in the loft and urinating all over the hay that they feed all the horses to the ridiculous policies made up by the barn owner, I am just done.
I am just frustrated that I'm kind of trapped here until another barn that I actually have toured and like opens up a space.
So, that's me being cranky! Here's the part I'm curious about:
My board contract doesn't seem to specify on this I suppose, so not sure what I can do.
My horse is off grain, because she is not being worked often (see above) and she is a bit heavy. Board is $10/day roughly. Am I permitted to ask to not be charged for the grain she isn't getting? She is pasture only.
As for the grain - it depends on what's in your contract. Usually they will have a feeding section where it says what your horse will get with what kind of board, and anything extra they have the right to charge you for. I would look at it. It couldn't hurt to ask either way but be prepared to her a big fat no.
That sounds awful. I would be up the wall if someone moved my horse from where I tied her. Sure, you can ASK me to move her. Don't you DARE go move her yourself unless I tell you you can. That just sounds like a terrible situation and if my barn owner said I couldn't so much as sit in the pasture, I'd leave. But it's hard to do that when there's no place available!
Call around. Ask to be notified when space comes available. Be put on the waitlists. ANYTHING is better than what you'd dealing with now.
ETA: I love sitting in the pasture and watching the horses. I have yet to see my horse get beat up because of it.
Sounds like you have had some of the same problems I had when I moved my horse many times. I had the same problem with the lesson thing and not allowed to the use the arena. I got mad at the owner and told him if I dont get to use the arena then I will sue. It said in the contact I was allowed to use the arena anytime I needed to. Then being told I cant. That shut him up many times.
I've never had a problem with lessons. I've always asked when a lesson is going on if they'd prefer I don't use the arena, and every time I'm assured that it's okay, and the arena is big enough for two. We just stick to our respective sides and it all works out, and we don't have the hugest arena.
I draw/paint and my horse happens to love listening to music with me. So it's a huge stressor for me to not have a way to unwind now. I need to be able to sit in the pasture with my horse. She's good for more than just riding and it's a show barn, so I'm not 100% sure they get it. There are maybe 6 boarders in total? Two of them are show horses and the rest of them are horses owned by older women who only want to come out and ride once a month, or just stand in the stall and pet their horse.
My horse hates being stalled, so that wouldn't even be an option for me if I wanted to pay $375 a month just to be told I'd get charged more due to my mare tearing up her stall so often.
I was up the wall angry when I was out of town. Another friend I had at the barn said to me that the BO wanted to bring my horse in and use her for this birthday party/event thing they were having with a ton of children to groom and ride her and I was livid.
I dont even want to go back to that barn, but there's nowhere else to go right now. :/ Super frustrating!!! Hopefully I'll get some calls back soon. I have been asking around, so hopefully I can get her out in the next month or so.
I have to give notice, of course.. but since she's off grain, and she's out with one or two of the BO's horses, I know she'll get watered at least! I've seen them neglect to feed horses who were on their last days of being boarded there. Ugh.
If I knew then what I know now!
I'm not permitted to do so, as all of the students are paying for "private lessons" and are to be able to do so without other horses in the arena. Parents get upset if there are other horses in the arena, so they'd rather appease the parents than the boarders I suppose.
I've been trying to push the issues I've had with the BO, but if I've got my mind made up that I need to go, then that's just what I need to do and I don't want her to be treated unkindly in the meantime.
Boy, that sounds like fun place to keep your horse, NOT! Rant heard, now get the hell out of Dodge & don't look back.
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