Struggling to find a new boarding facility - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By SEAmom
  • 8 Post By ClearDonkey
  • 1 Post By horselovinguy
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  • 1 Post By BeckyFletcher
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SW Ohio
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Struggling to find a new boarding facility

Where I am now, the care is slipping. It's good for a while, then it's not so good. Then it's okay. Then it's not. Nothing egregiously wrong happens to my horse, but it's just those things that build up. Well, depending on how serious you consider putting my horse on full turnout when he's supposed to be on stall rest with a leg injury (that was in the past week or so) - barn owner told me he could go out....umm...what??? I didn't say that and vet didn't say that, so... Also, they frequently miss big wounds (the kind that require vet attention like my horse's latest leg injury).

Also, I'm trying to find a place with larger arenas than what they have because he needs the bigger space to move for his own comfort and there are no trails nearby (nor do I have a trailer or friends with one to ride along with).

So I've been trying to look for a place on the sly, but the BO is friends with all the other barns on FB. Of course, small world and everyone knows everyone else. I get it. I do. But it makes finding a new place darn near impossible when I can't just openly post something like "hey, I'm looking for a place with more riding space in X area". *sigh*
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The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SW Ohio
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I guess I'm just looking for some ideas on how to find a wider reach. Google and my own FB searches only get me so far.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Michigan
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Word of mouth... ask your farrier, vet, dentist, chiropractor... They may know a private barn that is looking to add just one more horse to their barn, and or a barn that isn't advertising.

Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
Minnie - 2013 Morgan
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 10:04 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2015
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I would also check with local 4-H groups etc and look for local horse groups on FB that advertise riding or horse shows. Flyers at feed stores or farm stores as well
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
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Posting something on Facebook is not the only way to get in touch with someone. You should be able to email or, you know, use your phone to actually call the other barns to ask about boarding. When I was looking for a new barn, I ended up having to call a couple. Lots of places don't really advertise online, they might just have one little line on someone else's website.

You can use Google to find other sites that list local barns and other horse services. I don't know if I can post those websites here, but they are not hard to find. Ask for recommendations on this and other horse forums. Ask your friends if you have horse-owning friends. If you're using Google, be aware that you will probably need to look through pages and pages of results to make sure you're finding everything. Search Yelp. Craiglist.

If you're up for the possible confrontation (I wouldn't be, but some are), you can just tell your barn owner that you're looking for a new boarding facility. It's possible that if you explained why, she might make the effort to change. Of course it's also possible that she would go nuts and start badmouthing you and/or your horse to other barns.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Pacific NW, USA
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I had to call around and ask barns if they had any openings for new boarders. The barn I am currently at does business that way - they use word of mouth. I got lucky when I called and they had a rare opening.
Craigslist, also. Places advertise there. But I just used Google Maps and started calling/emailing every place in the radius I was willing to go.

Of course, having a talk with the BO about what is making you unhappy is always an option. You are the paying customer - you are in charge of how you want your horse to be treated and you call the shots on things like stall rest. Unless your requests is harming your horse, the BO should not have any objections.
Maybe even hang instructions right on the stall door specifying exactly what to do/not do. You have rights, too!

Best of luck.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-19-2019, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 2,097
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All good suggestions!

Yeah, I know there's more than FB out there. I've done computer searches (google, craigslist, yelp, fb, equine oriented sites), checked out the local tack stores (we have 3), talked to my farrier, we share a vet and she's good friends with BO so I doubt I'll ask her, I've talked to the local people I know well enough (not many) to ask, I've called a few places that didn't have any information online (just a sign next to the road when I randomly drove past).

I do an intensive search every year or so and I've looked at any facility in a reasonable driving radius over the years. Including some that have since closed. Where I live, land is at a total premium, so almost every place either has small pasture space, VERY low quality pastures and don't supplement with round bales, tiny arenas, or some combination of all three. The rest I've found have a focus on their lesson/training program that I'd have to work around (been there, done that, didn't work all) or be in (no thanks) or their property is rundown and a little scary safety-wise.

Unfortunately, she can't make her arenas (especially the indoor) larger. That's one of the bigger reasons I'm looking around because it isn't something she can change with a conversation. I've been there for 5 years and I don't want to leave because it's familiar and I know my horse is mentally happy there compared to a couple other places we've been. She's a really nice person and will do a lot to help boarders.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-20-2019, 07:17 AM
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Make your list of pros and cons...
Join some online groups who do local listing of boarding, farriers, vets local, trainers, equipment and reason why you can't be a part of those without raising eyebrows.
If you want to look online but fear being seen, ask a friend/relative to place the correspondence for you or make a second account.
Families have more than one account with many online sites so it is not unheard of.
I second though use your vet as a source, carefully speak to the farrier who works in your barn...feed store often has a bulletin board where such items can be placed, local news-media {papers} and just a random internet search turns up tons of places you never knew existed...
Then do the shoe-leather, foot work...
If the barn finds out...level with the owner and just be honest and nice.
It is something you are investigating since your horse was injured and you know rehab is going to require time and space {indoor arena} that she is limited in size to access.
Stick to the facts, no emotions involved.
Leave the rest out since 5 years of boarding here obviously it is better often than worse or you would of been gone a long time ago.
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-20-2019, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,261
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I understand your frustration. Do you have a friend that can post something FOR you? I used to have my friends post for me about boarding barns etc. so my current BO/barn people didn't see that I was looking. You definitely should get out of there though, I hope you find something soon!
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-20-2019, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 85
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I just switched barns in a smaller area a week ago, and the two BOs have lots of history and most isn't good (they are both fine in their own way, things just happen) so that was interesting. I didn't want to burn any horses care was subpar and I didn't care any longer. I'm not taking him back there, I did nothing wrong, everything was paid up and gave proper notice. I decided I wouldn't be quiet about the main reason I moved. I'm not going out of my way (locally) to tell anyone, but if asked, I'm not worried about telling the truth. I feel like I've kept it very civil and now its in her hands to do the same if wanting to be considered a professional.
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