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Is this boarding stable worth staying at?
Ok guys, this is a long one!
So I've been at this boarding facility for over 5 years (Since I was 13). The mare I own currently (Who is 4 1/2) was born on the property when my trainer was still living/breeding and working as the barn manager at this place. To say the very least, there is ALOT of history with the people at this facility and I know everyone (They all really like me... It's kinda weird, but they do.). So in the last year or so, the place has gone down hill. There is a really terrible trainer training at the facility along with 7 other, YES, 7 other trainers. It's ridiculously scattered and Saturday mornings are horrible now. The bad trainer is, in my opinion, abusive to the 2 horses in the barn she's allowed to touch and she also leaves all her lesson horses manure for someone else to clean. I've mentioned this to the owner repeatedly but all she says is, "She's getting better!!"... She's not. Nope. And when I mention it to the manager, she nods and says she'll take care of it and never does. You see, the owner has just gotten over treating cancer and the manager just had a baby... So, literally, no one is running this place.
The facilities aren't great. There is two round pens, one 45 foot one (It's tiny) footed with sand, and a 60 foot one footed with hazelnut shells. There is one indoor arena, that I cannot stand but am forced to ride in all winter long that is 60x120 and footed with basically small gravel. There is a huge outdoor but it's only useable in July and August because the base sucks and cannot stand up against the Oregon rain.
There is daily turn out, which I like, but in the winter months they put 6 or 7 horses in 3 acre pastures that are just mud and muck. The horses are literally up to their fetlocks in mud all day every day and they're fed their hay on it, which freaks me out.
So what I'm wondering is, even if I'm leaving for college next Fall anyways, is it worth it to move? Everyone would be shocked that I would be leaving, but I'm really getting fed up with being brushed aside and having horses I care about being mistreated. My trainer would teach me anywhere I go and is super supportive (She bred my mare and has high hopes for her in the evening cicuit too.). What do you think??
Emmi, If that was me I would hightail it out of there quick smart. Who knows wahts going on when you are not there. It sound very unsafe during the winter months. Your trainer might know someone with a spare spot in their barn..
Good luck matey...
Not to be a huge downer, but in our area of Oregon (I'm from, and keep my horse, in Gresham) I have less than high hopes for you finding a better place. If you do, I'd LOVE to hear about it! Around here we really seem to have more than our fair share of sketchy trainers and every facility (cheaper places on the east side and Corbett, one in Eagle Creek) I've been at has been not so great. I've basically resigned myself to only trail riding and not getting access to an indoor because I just haven't been able to find a good place with an indoor...
I mean, it's sad, but I'm totally jealous that you even have some sort of footing other than mud! Haha
But anyway, on the bright side, if you can live without having a trainer on hand, you may be able to find somewhere perfect for your horse by just asking around. Currently I keep my horse at my neighbor's house (pasture board) and it's really the best situation I've been in yet. There aren't any "facilities" except for a run in/barn sort of deal, but I'm the only boarder, my neighbor lets me keep my horse there for free, there are miles of trails around, and he's really nice, so I'm pretty happy with it.
I've heard that there are some really nice, classy barns in Lake Oswego, if you want to go the $$ route, but I haven't had any hands-on experience with them.
On the mud front, I think, in Oregon, in any sort of pasture board situation, there is going to be a ton of mud. I hate it too, I totally understand! At my neighbor's house, even with just my horse and two llamas being the only traffic on a 3 acre plot, it's muddy, especially outside their run-in. I almost lost a boot outside the run-in yesterday! Haha Last year she was kept in a 1/2 acre paddock with 6 other horses and that thing was pure mud (I actually did lose a boot!). However, she really wasn't any worse off for it, if that makes you feel better at all. She did get a little thrushy in her hooves but that was quickly solved with some AVC and even though she was fed off mud, she survived.
Anyway, I'm still super envious that you have an indoor to ride in! Haha Good luck! It's hard choosing to leave people you love, I totally get it. However, if you're able to end up leaving on good terms and go to a new barn that you love and you feel benefits you more, you can have the best of both worlds! You'll still have your friends but you'll feel tons better about what you're doing. :)
Rant (part in fun, part because it's true): It drives me bonkers when people complain about MUD. Anywhere where you have multiple horses in a turn-out and it rains, what grass there is gets turned into mud within a few bucks and "feel good" moments with horses. If you have 10 acres per pasture and only a few horses in it, then only the horse's favorite areas will become "mud". However, the only remedy to those situations is either a: a big, huge, rich person owned 100 acre facility with fenced rolling green hills, or b: buy your own farm and only keep one horse in a gigantic pasture and rotate when the weather gets bad.
At our farm, we have an abundance of smaller paddocks that tend to get muddy because we use them frequently. We have HUGE grass pastures, but only use them when it is dry because otherwise they, too, would have MUD. It is a fact of life and nature. If you own horses, you will get very familiar with mud. My suggestion to take care of the mud? Pray to whomever you believe is in charge of creating it by causing precipitation and ask them to let up. ;)
I'm up north of you, in WA, and I have to agree with the other posters on mud.
Be happy you actually have a covered area to ride. I have to haul out to one now that my horses are at home.
If you don't like your horse turned out on mud, then tell the staff not to turn yours out. Mud only up to their fetlocks is nothing. That's less than 6 inches. I just dumped 2 semi loads of sand into our sacrafice area because the horses were almost up to their knees right in front of their (dry footing) run in shed. It happens. It sucks, but it happens. we have slippery ground in some of our pastures, but it's not mud, because we have a smaller area penned off. It just takes ground maintance.
As far as the specific trainer being rude or dumb. Not a lot you can do. Do they have a specific spot of their own? a stall, or tack locker? If they have been repeatedly asked to clean up after their horse, and still aren't, I'd be inclined to start dumping all their left behind poops right in front of their stall, or office or whatever little bit of personal space they have. That is, if you know for sure it came from their animal.
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