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luvmyperch 01-29-2010 02:17 PM

Thinking of looking for a new barn... Super LONG!
So, things have been "strange" at my barn recently. The girl who takes care of all the horses works only for free board. The problem is that she works 7 days a week, about 6-10 hours a day taking care of everything around the barn and all 18 horses at the farm. My BO comes out of the house to give lessons, and that's it. The caretaker is back in school for the Spring semester and there have been several issues popping up. Most recently, is that I found out that none of the horses were fed Monday night when the caretaker has class. She also has class on Wednesdays, and when I asked her who is taking care of them Monday & Wednesday nights, she told me that the BO won't do Mondays since it's her designated "day off" and won't do Wednesdays because she teaches a lesson from 4:30 - 5:30. Apparently, it's on this girl to find a fill in person to feed Mondays & Wednesdays. The BO is taking no responsibility for it. The poor girl is already working about 50 hours a week for $300 a month worth of pasture board! I see it as the BOs responsibility to find someone to take care of the horses as she is well aware that this girl is in school during fall and spring semesters. I went out Wednesday night to feed everyone, worried that it wouldn't otherwise get done. The BO had every intention of going back into the house when she finished giving her lesson at 5:30 and leaving me, her boarder, to feed all of the horses! After about 20 minutes of giving her the look of death, she finally said, "oh, I'll help." Gee, thanks.

Several small things have happened lately where it seems as though the BO just doesn't care about the horses. A few weeks ago, one of the older free leased lesson horses choked during his dinner. The girl taking care of them didn't know what to do and called the BO, who was at the movies. The BO told her to put him in the indoor and watch him, and wait til she got back. The BO didn't bother coming back for three hours. When I got to the barn that night, I stayed with the horse til the BO got back so the caretaker could leave since it was two hours past her time to go home. During the last bad winter storm, the caretaker called the BO to tell her that she couldn't get there. The horses were left inside due to the bad weather, and the BO never bothered to clean any of the stalls for two days during the storm. Over the past weekend, one of the horses who in blind in her left eye has a huge gash through her lower eyelid. When I saw it, I thought it should really been seen by a vet and be stitched up. The caretaker tried calling the BO several times to come out and look at it, but the BO wouldn't get out of bed for another half hour. Later that same day, I got to the end of the driveway and found a pony grazing by the road after he broke the fence. I called up to the barn as I grabbed him and put him in a paddock. Apparently, the BO had seen the pony out when she came up the driveway a half hour earlier and laughed when I called about it because she didn't think it was a big deal. Also, my horse is supposed to be getting a half cup of oil in his grain every feeding to prevent colicing. I can tell from the amount of oil left that he is only getting it when the caretaker feeds him, not when the BO feeds or anyone else. All of the boarder's horses are supposed to be getting free choice hay. I know Danny has only been getting 2 flakes in the am and 2 flakes in the pm. She told the caretaker that she is only allowed to go through 5 bales of hay per day for all 18 horses. All the horses on pasture board are getting hay am only, but there is NO grass at all in the pastures.

I know that in themselves these are not HUGE issues, but I'm just being left with the overall impression that the BO does not care what happens to the horses. She has made comments to the caretaker that "she's done her years of grunt work and shouldn't have to clean stalls or feed, water, etc." Ummm, not when its your farm! I kinda feel like I have a contract with the BO and am paying her each month. I don't really care if she wants to do things or not, its her responsiblity to make sure they get done, one way or another. I don't want to lay in bed every night worrying if my boy is being taken care of, or if he's standing in his stall wondering where his dinner is.

Lastly, she is in the middle of a lawsuit with her former employer for breech of contract. I have a strong feeling that she will lose and owe a large settlement. If that happens, the farm will go under immediately. I suspect anxiety over this may be partially the reason that she wants to hide out in the house all the time, but although I hate to sound mean, its not my problem. And, I certainly don't want to end up in a situation where I have three days to move my horse because she's going under.

Am I overreacting or should I start looking for a new facility?


luvmyperch 01-29-2010 02:18 PM

Geez... it actually looks even longer after I posted it! Sorry guys, I just needed to vent!

Kashmere 01-29-2010 02:29 PM

Cookies for me! :D
Ok now..

Oh. My god..
How a BO can act like THIS is unbelieveable!

I don't think going away will help you and your horse, but it wouldn't help improve the situation which obviously has to change.
How many people board there?
Do they also think some improvement is needed?

Why not try to ALL get together, get up to the BO and basicly demand some action to be taken.
Frankly, her attitude needs to change, a LOT..

ShutUpJoe 01-29-2010 02:31 PM

I know I don't have much room to talk as I'm in the position of the caretaker and have not done a thing about it. (Except look for another place) If I were in your shoes I would start looking for another place and address your issues with your BO. If things don't get any better they are either going to stay the same or get worse.....

luvmyperch 01-29-2010 02:35 PM

Unfortunately, the only boarders are me, a 13 year old girl who has only ever ridden with her and knows nothing else, and the girl who takes care of all the horses. The rest of the horses are a combo of the BOs and horses that have been free leased to the BO. So, I'm really the only standard, full paying boarder she has. I know she has made several comments to people about how she dreads having boarders. I really don't think she'll give a crap if we leave.

One last thing I forgot to mention, the big selling point with moving there in the first place is that I get a weekly lesson included with my board. Great, right? Umm, not when the instructor doesn't bother to give actual instruction! I'm her only adult and her idea of instruction is to let the kids go around in circles bouncing all over the place telling them how great they are. She has yet to criticize or correct a single student in all the lessons I've watched. She has students that have been taking weekly lessons and summer camps with her for more than a year. They are still unable to steer, have their feet jammed in the stirrups, and are unable to post with the horse's movement. Then she'll let these kids jump! I'm acutally surprised I haven't seen anyone get hurt yet.

luvmyperch 01-29-2010 02:38 PM

I am overly protective of Danny and I can't stand thinking that he's not being taken care of like he's supposed to be. The final straw was when the caretaker told me that BO gave her a hard time for calling me at 6:00 am during Danny's trial period when he wasn't eating. We were told that he is prone to colic, and I explicitly told everyone that if they notice ANYTHING funny to call me immediately until we understand his signs. The BO told her she should have never called and made a big deal out of nothing. I told the poor girl I was extremely grateful to her for letting me know and that I was able to come up and check on him myself.

Kashmere 01-29-2010 02:39 PM

Actually if that is the case I assume it indeed is better to go ahead and tell her to either fix stuff, or go away.
Because as yuo said the big selling point was that you get a weekly lesson, and since that one basicly isn't what it should be, think of other reasons that make you want to stay.

I don't know if they'll make you decide if it's worth it or not.
But definitely start lookig out for a new place!

sillybunny11486 01-29-2010 02:54 PM

I would leave asap. You shouldnt have to deal with that crap. If shes not being responsible, sitting down for a talk will fix nothing. I probably woulds say anything untill the day I leave, for fear or retaliation against me or my horse. I know a BO who kept a horse in a stall for two weeks, without cleaning, just feeding the horse, because the girl decided to giver her 30 days notice. The fact that she'll probably loose the farm is enough for me to leave.

Ive been in alot of crappy situations, because you dont know whats going on with a barn untill you're there, right in the middle of it.

What I do to make sure my horse is getting fed daily: make a bag of food up for each feeding for a week, and label it monday, tuesday..., same for supplements (but i think you have smartpak?) if you see a feeding not done I would address the BO about it.

luvmyperch 01-29-2010 03:02 PM

I'm up there at a minimum every 24 hours. I usually go up on my lunch hour most days, and up after work at night. I've just started eyeing my can of oil each time I'm there so I can see how much is gone. Before I leave at night, I always casually ask, "did he eat his dinner before I rode? if not, i'll feed him now." Because so many things seemed to spiral this past week, now I'm worried that she won't be honest about it anyway.

Luckily, Danny is a stall kicker! If they ever tried to leave him inside during the day, he'd kick til the door came down! LOL! He'd do the same thing if they fed the others and didn't bother to feed him.

We're looking at a place that borders Quakertown/Coopersburg tomorrow. I'm really hopeful that all goes well and I can move him March 1. I can't afford to pay her for 30 days notice and move him right away. I just hope that by being up there as much as I am, I can make sure he's still being taken care of in the mean time...

Sillybunny, let me know if you have any barn recommendations in northern Bucks / Lehigh County areas!

sillybunny11486 01-29-2010 03:14 PM

Im actually going to be moving into a new apt soon. I'm really trying to get the bf to consider quakertown. So I might move my guys up there, depending on if I can find field board at a place I like.

I have a list of barns in the area on a website lemme find it for you.

I think I saw a few ads on craigslist as well.

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