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luvmyperch 10-16-2009 09:41 AM

Question for other BOs
I'd like to know what other barn owners would have done in yesterday's conditions... The place I currently board at (we're moving in a week so Noah will be close to home, yay!) will not blanket, period. Well, I went to see Noah last night, assuming that he had been stuck inside all day. It was in the upper 30s yesterday, with nasty hard rain and wind (it was even snowing for a while). Since there are no run-ins in the pastures, I figured the horses woulnd't have gotten turned out. Well, when I showed up at 6:30 last night, every horse in the barn was completely SOAKED. Noah was standing in the corner of his stall, head hanging dripping wet and felt cold to the touch. I brought him out and gave him a "spa" night. Good body grooming, put his cooler on to help him dry a bit (I wish I would have had some towels with me), painted his feet, clipped his whiskers, washed his face, and lots of little beauty treatments. The entire time, he just stood there with this look on his face like "oh, god, thank you!" When it was time to leave, I took his cooler off but he was still extremely wet. I had no choice but to put him back in his stall as is. It was really cold and crappy last night, and I would have liked to put a blanket on him, but the BO will not do anything with blankets and I would have needed to drive back over this morning to take it off (can't get there before work in the mornings).

I was a little upset about it last night. If he's going to go out in weather like that, I wish they would at least put a sheet or blanket on him, especially since there is no shelter outside. I jokingly put a status on my Facebook page last night about poor Noah looking like a drowned rat so we gave him a spa night. My BO saw it and commented that the horses were only out in the am, before the rain started. That bothered me more, since I know there is absolutely no way those horses were not out in the rain. They were all dripping wet at 6:30 at night! I'm sure he was fine, it just bothers me to see him so cold at wet at his age.

So, my question is to the other boarding facility owners... Do you turn horses out w/o shelter when the weather is that bad? Am I being overly sensitive?

sillybunny11486 10-16-2009 10:58 AM

thats why you shop around, and ask alot of questions. if a barn owner does that and something happens to the horse in their care... they are liable, even if you signed a release. its negligence. I will write a note on my horses stall, no turnout in bad weather. once i had to hide my horses halter because they kept turning him out anyway.

i would never turn a horse out in bad weather without a shelter, weither very hot or very cold. its just common sence. i dont like the blanketing policy. i dont think i would have brought my horse there in the first place, but thats just me. My mare lives out 24/7, with shelter. She usually stays inside the shelter but Im going to bring over my trunk of blankets, so we're prepared. Its the barn owners job to make judgement calls to care for the horses. Its what you pay them for. Unless your barn is heated, wet, cold horses are unacceptable.

luvmyperch 10-16-2009 11:06 AM

When I moved him there a few weeks ago, I talked to them about this specifically. One of my big concerns was him being out in bad weather without shelter. They told me then that they do not leave the horses out in any bad weather. A few sketchy things have happened, like the day I showed up while he was in quarantine (they kept him in their round pen for a week), and his water trough was bone dry. I freaked out because it was really warm out that day and he was nosing the empty bucket. They assured me that he had half a trough of water that morning and were just coming to check on it again. When they did fill it, he actually put his head in it while the hose was spashing on him. I've never seen him so desperate for water. He has one more week to get through, then he's moving to a new barn closer to home on the 25th. I really worry with the unusually bad weather we're having for the next couple of days.

sillybunny11486 10-16-2009 11:25 AM

a real quarantine would be like 30-90days. hopefully hell be ok for another week. you could get him a turnout sheet, fully waterproof that stays on him. i like to use sheets when its chilly or wet, but not below like 35-40 outside. do they not blanket at all? (I mean they dont allow blankets.) most barns will usually just charge a flat rate for the service per month.

luvmyperch 10-16-2009 11:29 AM

Nope, they will not deal with blankets. This was my own stupidity (I've never known a barn that will not do blankets) and I never asked before I moved him in. I have every type of blanket he would need, turnout sheet, heavy blanket, stable sheet, coolers, scrim sheets, fly sheets, etc. Right after he moved in, I started explaining to the BO where his blankets are if he needs them and she cut me off to say that if I want him to have a blanket, I can put it on and take it off, but they don't do it. I started to say that I don't want him blanketed every day, but they are there if he needs them. Didn't matter.

luvmyperch 10-16-2009 12:22 PM

I'm tempted to drive out there on my lunch hour today, just to see if he's out again. It's not raining quite as hard today, but is a steady rain with a high of 40 this afternoon.

qtrhrsecrazy 10-22-2009 11:20 PM

I would. I'd pull surprise visits as often as I could. Glad you're moving him out of there

luvmyperch 10-23-2009 08:54 AM

Yeah, my fiance and I stop out on lunch breaks now and then, even he and my dad stopped in the middle of the afternoon the other day while on a motorcycle ride. It's just sketchy over there and I hate feeling like someone is trying to pull something over on my and I have no idea what they're really doing with my horse. Tomorrow is the big day! He's moving at 3:00!!!

QtrHorse 10-24-2009 01:44 PM

As a BO/BM I can tell you that the bane of my existence is blanketing our boarders horses. I would not mind so much if the covers were cleaned, maintained and repaired as needed. There is nothing worse that trying to put on an exterior cover that is caked with mud and the interior is full of last seasons shed hair. Then, it is not weatherproof. I do it but it is the least favorite part of my job.
In your situation, a responsible barn manager would have bladed, covered with a dry sheet, removed it and then dried your horse under the lights before retiring it to the box for the evening. Especially if it is older equine model. Even though all of the horses here have an exterior stall to access during pasture turn out there are always those that prefer just to turn tail to the wind and get soaked. Sometimes a horse does get wet but we must take care of it in a professional and responsible manner.
If you really want to be nice to your BO/BM, purchase one of those new breathable outside/inside blankets that do not need to be changed when making that transition from outdoors to indoors.
And, be reasonable about when a horse does need to be covered. I have one boarder whose horse has more blankets than an orphanage and most of them are way too heavy for the situation in which she wants us to use them.

shortbusgeek 10-28-2009 03:37 PM

To me, the care (or lack thereof) your horse received is unacceptable. But then again, we strive to run a premier facility that keeps our customers' horses in top shape. We don't let horses stand out in the cold and rain without any form of a run-in. (In fact, we don't turn out on rainy days period.) We also don't let them stand in mud. A cold and wet horse isn't acceptable.

While blanketing isn't a fun chore, neither is mucking stalls. But it's necessary if you want to keep your horse in top shape. Sure, we're not the cheapest place around, but I can guarantee you that at our facility the horses receive some of the finest care around. I think you'll find that's the case in any part of the country... you get what you pay for. If you're paying $150 a month for boarding (just as an example, I don't know how much you're paying), you certainly can't expect the caretaker, groomer, barn manager or owner to spend much time with your equine. But in that scenario, you should be out there doing the work yourself. In the end, the horse is your responsibility. Part of that responsibility, you can pay someone else to do. That's called boarding. And if the facility isn't taking care of your horse in the way you feel you're paying them to do, find another facility that will live up to your standards. Just keep in mind that they might be a bit more expensive. :-)

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