The FULL Story on My Other Post "Is This a Reasonable Price?"
So, if you read my post called "Is This a Reasonable Price?" you might know that I wanted to know if $600 a month is a good price for full board. Well, there are a few reasons that I'm questioning staying at my current place, and I would like to put them out here to clarify things.
First of all, I truly love my current barn. It's where I started riding at age 7, where I met my first horse, and where I now board and take lessons. So don't get me wrong, I truly love the place and everyone there.
But there are a few problems that I have just started noticing. Whe I was 10, I startrd volunteering at the barn. I would groom and tack up the horses, fill water buckets, muck stalls, ect. Anyways, there was never any doubt in my mind that my barn was doing everything right. Now that I own a horse and have the responsibility to do everything that I can to make sure that he's safe, I realize that the barn has been taking many shortcuts. For example, instead of properly fitting a saddle, they simply add saddle pads under the saddle to "help the fit". Sure, it works temporarily, but the horses backs will eventually be very sore. Also, for grooming, we groom once a day, which is just a run-over with a hard brush, even when the horses are filthy. They almost never get baths, and when they do it's for shows.
When they muck stalls, they just pick up the surface stuff. they don't go under the shavings to get everything, and then they just put clean shavings on top of it. This isn't for boarders, just school horses. They also leave saddles on the school horses all day instead of having the people groom and tack up before the lesson.
I have noticed the way that some of the workers treat the boarder horses is a bit rougher than I would like, although it's not harmful or painful to the horse. For instance, when they bring in the horses, they yank on their faces if they get a bit excited, and when they put them back in their stalls, they just rip off the halter and fly mask. The stalls are always very clean in the boarder barn which I LOVE and they feed on time and everything.
Now, the other barn that I'm looking at, I've never seen before (hopefully going sometime in the next few weeks just to look). But from what I can tell, they're a very nice place. I would get pretty much all the same facilities (I think there's one less ring) for $200 less. Plus, it's only 20 minutes away from my house as opposed to 30 to my current barn.
Do you think I should even consider switching?
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I agree with corinowalk.
I personally wouldn't even take lessons at a barn where staff tacked up the horse for me. I just don't think it's the proper way to teach students or to manage horses. (The saddles-on-all-day and cheap grooming job being two reasons why). But, most barns take way better care of boarded horses than schoolies. Have you checked into whether there's a difference in treatment?
Well, we unsaddle each horse after each lesson, we hose each horse, each child has a "buddy" horse they are responsible for, and they even come early or extra to bathe, brush those horses If you have an hour lesson, you get there early to take care of your horse. If I am paying someone to take care of my horse, they had better not jerk on her face, and it's not allowed from kids on down, I don't care how big of a hurry they are in there is no excuse for poor care.
In my opinion, if you feel the horses are inferiorly taken care of, move. If you are happy there, stay.
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You have some legitimate complaints, and you have to decide if you want to stay or move, but don't limit yourself to this one other place you've identified.
Go visit a few boarding facilities - even if you are pretty sure you won't move to one of them. Being able to compare is an education, and will help you narrow down what to look for, and what to look out for.
As someone else mentioned - there is a reason why the other place is $200/month less. They might sound great based on what you know, but appearances can be deceiving. That $200 reduction might be due to things you don't care about, or it might be due to critical things that involve horse health and safety. If you haven't even been out to visit the place yet, you are in no position to start to decide if it would be a better situation for you.
I've seen too many horror boarding facilities first hand, and heard stories about too many more, to ever trust a place without a personal visit (preferably a few).
But if you are unhappy with things you're seeing where you currently are - then do look for an alternative. Just make sure your unhappiness there doesn't blind you to problems at other places. A move is never easy, so it's always best to try to minimize the number you have to make - which means doing your best to make the right decision the first time (not that you'll always succeed, but there are things you can do to put the chances in your favor).
I agree with corinowalk 100% on this one.
If those are the only complaints you have about your current barn, then you're doing ok. Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't move. $200 dollars is a lot of money to be saving a month. Just investigate the new barn thoroughly and talk to the other boarders. I'd go more than once. Just make sure it will be a move for the good and not one that will make you or your horse miserable in the big picture.
I also totally agree with Corino!
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