Boarding can be so difficult, moving barns again! So done with this non sense!
Okay so I have to rant a bit cause I am pretty darn annoyed with the past two barns I have boarded my new horse at in the past 2 months. Luckily this will be the last move for a very very very very long time.
So I got Oliver at the beginning of August to a what you might call "high end" barn just by looking at it. It's 650 to board and you don't have to be in any training program but I really felt Oliver needed more solid work and training. We got there on the second, the trainer I chose from that barn went out to go see him and evaluate him for me to see if it was a safe and good fit, she agreed and even rode him and she said she would love to work with both of us, being very pleased with the essment I went ahead got him, he was delivered the next afternoon to the barn. I let him settle in for about a week and adjust to all the new stuff. I then later had my first lesson within the 2nd week of him being the, I had ridden him a couple times before and he was great.
Here is how our first lesson went...
The lesson was to be at 11am and so I was planning on getting there around 10 so I could get him ready and lunge him before getting on (Oliver is very green) so Im on my way out and I get s text from my trainer saying "oh so sorry I git double booked for your lesson, do you mind doing a group lesson?"
Trying to be understanding and knowing mstakes can happen I say sure, I guess I figured some coaching and help was better then none that day.
So then I get there and she introduces me to a young child, saying this is her first time riding and it was a lunging lesson....
Not so happy with this arrangment now I tel, my trainer. She tells me that she will esisky still be able to coach me. So I go on to get Oliver ready. After he is all tacked up I make me way to one of 4 arenas, I chose the big indoor as that was all he had been in and he can be a little spooky, after about 10 minutes of lunging she comes in with her beginner student and the horse they where using. I go on lunging and soon after get on....well as soon as I got on him I could feel he was extremely tense, so for awhile I worked just at the walk getting him to loosen up and relax. I am having issues as he is spooking and has his head up and here I am trying to just keep him calm (I have had my fair share of young green horses so this isn't an issue or new to me) Thinking she might give me some advice I bring him by where she is teaching....and wait...nit wanting to interrupt I waited some more....Oliver is now getting restless just standing, so I send him back out to work and still hoping for some words of advice I got nothing. I went to trot him and he got to wound up and building his shoulder and graving the bit. I had the gut feeling of "don't push much more or something bad might happen" so I brought him back down to walk where he is being good for 5 minutes and really testing me for 10 then back to good. By this point i am pretty frustrated but just trying to get some good out of this ride and not wanting to end on a bad note. My trainers lesson ends and she comes back out and says oh he looks great let's go up to canter....
Wait what? If my horse cant even trot and be even slightly eelaxed how am I supposed to expect him to give me canter without bolting off of bucking his shoulder. So I told her how I felt so far about him going on this ride and she tried reassuring me, feeling a little better and thinking " she knows what she doing, she wouldn't put me in a dangerous situation"
Go up to canter...not really sure of what i am about to get... And he gets super strong and buldges his shoulder and I feel so completely off balance. He is fired up, strung out, nervous and just not going safely at all so I bring him back down to trot, at the time my trainer informs me she will be right back and to keep cantering....she leaves...I get a few relaxed strides of trot and call my ride done.
Little to say my mom was also watching this lesson and came up to me in tears when I was back into his stall untacking him. Both of us being very un happy about this experience, little lat my trainer finds us and i confront her about how disappointed I am in this arrangment of a lesson and how i was not safe and this can't ever happen again if i am to ride with her, she gies on to tell us her dad over booked her when really we know if your a committed trainer you do your own books and schedualing, so why not flat out tell me this was not going to work out for a lesson.?
So trying to give her another chance she then goes on to schedule a a ew lesson that she then flakes out on, or tries ti get it to a group lesson. The lessons I did have all where jumping.
Summing this whole story up, I got 6 lessons and maybe 2 trainer rides. When in this full training program that I am paying 400 for, is 2 lesons a week and one training ride or whatever I want as long as it is 3 sessions a week. I was there from the 2nd to the 31 or whatever the last day of that month was an got him out of there... I payed the board and payed for half training and left a nite with how disappointed I was with this. Not to mention my girth was stolen at this barn the last day I was there.
So you can imgane how I felt to get out of there. I moved him to a barn a little further away that looked great, sounded great, horses looked happy and healthy, and you could bring in your own trainer, you had a locked locker space and just overall good place.
Well I have had Oliver there since the 1st of September, 2 weeks ago it got really cold and started to rain a lot, so I went and rode and blanketed Oliver, I ran into a gal that day who had her horse 3 stalls down from mine and she did self care and was a vet tech. She offers to take oliver's sheet off when it stops raining or warms up, I tel her that would be great, give her my number and leave that day feeling good thinking he would get the blanket off when it warmed up again (he also gets fungus really easy and I don't know the turnout sched and they get 4 hours of turnout) well I wasn't able to make it out again for a few days cause my mom was out of town and I didn't have a car, so going to to have another lesson the day after my mom gets back into town I arrive ti find my horse still has the freaking blanket on...and oh by the way it's very warm outside !! Very annoyed and worried about Oliver I take it off and he's soaked in sweat, he has drank all his water. I go onto fill his buckets, hose him down and try to keep him cool. The lady then shows up later and says " oh I felt so bad he had his blanket on" and I fiat out tell her I trusted her take it off it warmed up since she offered to do so, and how my horse could have gotten very sick. Also upset with the barn management though, one would think it would be common curtsy to take it off when it so warm out, I even had a note on my stall saying so and with my number... No one did so.
So my trainer after hearing all this has told me she wants me to have Oliver come to her barn, so I went and fell in love with it, bigger stalls, pasture turnout, big indoor arena, many people on sight, all the hors get the same care, blanketing and feed, turnout. And I know my trainer is great with her horses and care. So we plan on moving him on the 15th, thank freaking goodness.
But this last Friday came out to work Oliver and come around 6pm and open his stall to find 2 large flakes of alflafa...my horse is one of the last to ever need this. Not to mention it is made clear n the stalk, I told the barn owners when we signed the papers...I'm about ready to punch the next person that is near me when I find something going on wrong before he moves.
I'm so sick of this nonsense, if this place backfires for w.e reason I might just loose my mind.
I will be so relieved when i don't have to worry about my horse anymore.
I think you will always worry unless you take care of everything your self. Seems no one does it the way you would. I always worry when I am boarding.
Oh yes, but I shouldn't be this stressed out when I am not at the barn! I am so used to dong self care, knowing just how much my horses set, drink, what their poop looks like everyday, and now that I am in college I am forced to board with not having all that free time! I felt a sense of belonging at my trainers barn and am also now her working student, so I will be a lot more involved with his care day to day and get regular updates when i am not able to make it out for a couple of days when so caught up in school! Makes me feel calmer just thinking about it! Had to rant though cause I was just ready to scream or cry I don't know witch one... Lol
I think leaving your current barn is a good idea, based upon how unhappy you are there.
Choose your boarding facility based upon whether or not you believe the facility would take care of your horse the same way you would, whether you agree with the way they do things, etc. It is very important to have things spelled out EXACTLY.
Did your contract include blanketing services being provided? This isn't something that is typically provided for free, and if it is, most barns would gladly offer you this information when they are trying to woo you. It drives me bonkers, however, when people at my barn make demands (quite rudely, I might add) and expect me to jump up and down when they say to, only to have them go "OH... nevermind" when they realize what they are asking for is an additional service that they've got to pay for. Sure, I'll gladly do it, but not because you leave a note. It will be done when you and I discuss it and you understand the fees involved. Granted... our contracts state all of this, including the amount/type/number of feedings.
The trainer thing would make me very upset, too. Their "system" of overscheduling themselves and the like sounds like a sham to me. So, the move sounds like you are making a wise choice... just be careful to dot your "i"s and cross your "t"s before you move in with your trainer. This will help to squelch any misunderstandings that arise out of your expectations of the level and quality of care given to your horse.
Thank you, she is fully aware of what I have gone through in that past month before I came across her, she truly is a god send! I have learned a lot in the past two months. I can only hope it gets better from here, and sine I left the first barn I had Oliver at he has nit been so up tight, nervous or spooky.
My (new) trainer is awesome, we sat down and had a meeting after my first lesson with her and talked about my goals for the next three months that are realistically to be met for a young horse and me being a full time college student.
Thanks for reading my rant, it really helps to know people listen after typing all of that! Lol
This pretty much confirms what I've learned which is that finding a good coach to teach beyond intermediate levels is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
2nd : You have got to stop thinking everyone will do everything for you. It is YOUR horse so YOU are the one responsible for the care. Just because someone agrees/offers to do something for you/your horse does not mean it will be done/happen. It is your responsibility to check up on it. Get that persons phone number so you can call and double check if it was or was not done.
3rd : We all go through ups and down with trainers but one thing you can do to avoid BAD trainers is to ask to sit it on group/private lessons to see how the trainer works with his/her students.
Hang in there. 4th time was the charm for me. I'm finally at a place that is good all the way around. Hopefully the next move will be your last.
Sierram- of course I always in way worry about my horse unless he's at my house, right now I can't have in my back yard... I don't think everyone...anyone does everything for me. I pay for them to keep my horse healthy....it's common sense to call an owner at least if you see there horse sweating to death in there stall....you only learn through experaince weather it be boarding problems or trainers... I felt accussed of not doing anything right after reading your response to my rant, yes I am upset with all that's gone on so I didn't need to have you inform me I wasn't taking proper care of my horse and make me sound like I pawn my resposnibilties on other people, that has never been the case. I was hurt and frustrated after reading your response.
One thing I would like to add is regarding age of trainers, I learned more from my previous trainer who was 18 than I did from the two before him who were in their 30's and who owned their own barns. Sure, immaturity or lack of responsibility could be explained away by a young age, but good and bad trainers exists in all age groups.
Good luck with your new barn and trainer!
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