Suspect BO of overusing my horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-29-2020, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Suspect BO of overusing my horses

Hi everyone, I need suggestions for tracking devices that attach to my horse's halter.

Background: I have a contract with my BO stating my horses can be used 3 times a week in their lesson program, 45 mins each ride. It had come to my attention that one of my horses was used for a few hours. There is no proof of this and the people who told me have since left the barn. I confronted my BO and she denied it but later on I caught her in a lie when I found a girth rub on him, she confessed he was used once the week prior, which I have a hard time believing. Part of the deal is that I am made aware every time my horses are used. I am very suspicious but unfortunately due to my extremely demanding job I can't go out and check on them daily. I try to come at odd times ever since this came to my attention and I did catch my horses in the crossties about to be ridden twice without my knowledge. Due to how well my horses are doing (body condition wise, as well as my senior being able to interact with kids) I'm giving this BO one more chance. She has been very professional and kind throughout this whole thing and I love the barn and everyone there.

Reason I'm trying to stay here is because I have a senior who needs to be fed 4 times a day in order to keep his weight and it's incredibly difficult to find a place willing to do that for him in my area. This is our 5th barn, I really want this place to work which is why I want to try finding a gps tracking device that I can attach to a halter (they are only ridden in their halters) to collect evidence and to also bring me peace of mind in case these accusations are unfounded.

Any other suggestions on how to deal are greatly appreciated, again I would love to move but there are no other options in my area, the next step is to have them 2 hrs away from me.

Thundering Hooves likes this.

Last edited by FleabittenE; 09-29-2020 at 02:43 AM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-29-2020, 04:08 AM
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Hello, GPS trackers like that are exxy. And surely the horses aren't all left in halters eternally?? If I were going to use a tracker for that reason, I'd put it in thier tails. Can you have a friend go to the place to check for you? Perhaps a friend can book a riding lesson & see what they have available... Dunno what else you'd do. Perhaps if you do find it's still happening & you have proof, charge her for the use of your horses - & tell her you will be doing that in future.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-29-2020, 06:29 AM
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Welcome to the forum...

Seems a dilemma...
You I would imagine are reducing board cost for the barns use of your horses?
They though do have a limit on how much and how often to utilize them as is your "contract".
Do you believe a boarder who has left the facility for their parting shot or the B/O who not want to lose another boarder with multiple animals, a boarder who has lesson quality horses she is allowed to use not having to purchase her own and maintain them either...and now the B/O has been put on notice you know something is up and now B/O knows they are being watched carefully...
The girth sore bothers me that it happened...that to me is inexcusable and neglectful...they don't happen instantly without a animal telling of such occurring...then she not alert you it happened but is being treated and cared for..
The girth sore would of undone the deal...

Are you going to be able to rest and relax knowing the situation at this barn??
Not likely.
Start your search now cause you are either going to need to pay full board for each horse you own at a facility that will feed your special one special or swing with the flow of sometimes the horses being used more rather than less... and if you think it is more it probably is and once begun it is only going to escalate and them used when you won't be around expected...
A easy mount to quickly grab making B/O more $$.... seriously?

The seed of doubt planted, it is already driving you crazy...find a new barn cause you won't last here much longer.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-29-2020, 06:37 AM
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Is it at all possible OP that you could leave your oldie(presume he's not used?) there for the TLC he needs, but move the others?
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-29-2020, 11:17 AM
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Was it girth rub on the fur or a rub wound?

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-29-2020, 01:00 PM
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I do not wish to sound less than positive but I think the writing is on the wall here and you just may need to have an exit plan developed sooner than later, unfortunately.

You have suspicions that need to be put to rest. If the suspicions are founded, there will be a confrontation required and what would be the outcome? If the barn owner agrees to follow the contract moving forward, would you be able to trust her? What would be the possibility of a relapse?

The only thing I can think of is that you arrange to have someone check on your horses at random times right now and gather data. Maybe itís family or friend or maybe you hire someone (like a pet sitter scenario).

I hope things will work out for the best.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-30-2020, 06:27 AM
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I use a tracker on my horse.. coz I'm paranoid about being stolen from our new 24/7 turnout. I've tried 3. I was in a similar... probably worse... scenario than you for my horse being worked previously.

Option 1

The best one for me is the newest tractive tracker that comes in black and white. It costs £45 for the tracker and you can get multiple batteries . You do need to pay a yearly contract for the gps, live tracking and virtual fence features a bit like a phone contract and then you need to download the app on phone to use data on your end to ping the tracker via gps. You can also use wifi instead on your PC or phone if available. To buy the device and setup contract for 2 years unlimited use cost me £250 and includes replacements if damaged or lost. But that's it. I then just need wifi or phone data to use the app on my end.

It pings every 3-5 seconds when they are moving and goes sleep if they are still for a while. But if you need to see where they are right this second you can turn on live tracking which also gives you their mph if moving. The geofence is great if they get taken off property or across a wide field. Small spaces less accurate as it is gps afterall... it has a history function so even if you dotn catch it in the moment you can see where your horse has been at any time of day.

In outdoor conditions about 50f and limiting my use of the "live" feature battery has lasted 3 days. Will be worse when colder. I just bought two spare batteries and swap.

How do I stealthily hide it? It's designed for collars. I got the white tracker coz white tail. Glued a net around it but left access for battery. Chopped off some trail and weaved it through net and braided top and bottom. I braid tail at thickest/deepest part and braid it in and secure with cotton string.. the thick kind. It has a rubber collar attachment that j also sandwich her braid through. It took some perfecting lol but she doesnt mind it one bit. It is completely weatherproof and can take a solid beating.

Note: you can even put in their mane and just let bo know you feel comfortable with it on. It is what I would now do if in your situation.

Cons: is a bit dodgy somewhere built up in the city and doesnt work well indoors. But if the property is spacious it would catch the outdoor bit if going from a stable to an indoor based off my own experiences using it on my dogs.

---- second stalker option.. tho is it stalking if its ur own horse?!

I also have a wildlife cam. You can get a setup with the correct recharable batteries and storage card for about £60. You can set it to active only during daylight hours and then either hide it in stable or with view of. You can also set if it picks up movement how long to record for or to just take photos and how long an interval between shots. You can then connect to PC or buy an adapter to download on your phone or even just watch/delete files on the device itself.

You must make sure it is only able to view your horse and stable and preferably not get caught. It is dicey recording people without their consent but for just catching something like this I wouldn't hesitate. Better if you can stick it in the stable somehow where it cant be seen.

Cons: unless you pay for an expensive one you will need to physically get your hands on it to view/download photos and vids. You might also want a spare set of batteries and storage card if you want to do a quick swap.

But my second favourite option 100%.

Third stalker option----

A cheapo small bluetooth step tracker. You know what would be perfect? The tiny Fitbit one the size of my little finger that you can attach to a watch strap or stuff in a sock. Its quite old so wouldn't be that expensive and I'm sure there are other brands. Find a way to hide it on the saddle depending on design. Maybe disguise it as a pretty bridle or saddle decoration.

Fourth option...

Voice activated dictaphone to hide same as above. Good weatherproof ones are pricey though compared to say the step tracker. I have a great ond that is the size of my thumb but not many want to pay £60.

Ps... you can get child trackers like option 1 where u can live audio to hear what is going on or just to confuse your horse when he hears your voice by his bottom.


Zip tie or secure tack so it has to be cut. The bo not letting you know when horse being used? Have a note by tack "if you are using x please inform owner before cutting tie".

Or what about the combination of everything above?

Yeah... cant tell I've been stung eh? Thing is you have proof and they learn you are somehow monitoring them. Then what? Let them know that if they wish to use your horse these are xyz conditions in writing. That also includes they are aware that you will be monitoring your horse via tracker. I would even zip tie the tracker to a braid so you know if it's been cut away. But good luck putting it back on to try fool me with the way I do it....

I dont envy you I will never allow myself to be put in that position again. Good luck!
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-30-2020, 07:44 AM
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Is there not a schedule for lessons at this barn? A board somewhere, that keeps track of all horses used in lessons? Or can you talk to some of the clients taking lessons there and find it if they see your horse being used at times it wasn't supposed to be used? But of course, the BO may get wind of this and this will cause conflict.

A hidden camera in the stall seems like it would work better than a tracking device on the halter. Unless the horses are taken directly from turnout. I also like the idea of hiding a device in the saddle which should be relatively easy, assuming the horse always wears the same saddle. @Kalraii has some great suggestions for this!
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-30-2020, 08:24 AM
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If there are kids at the riding school - make friends with them. They can't wait to talk and aren't aware of what they should and shouldn't say. It's not exactly proof you can take to court but they will tell you if your horse has been ridden. You don't even have to ask, they will volunteer information. "I rode your horse and she was sooooo goooood for me"

I used this method when I was buying a horse. I live in a non-horsey country and most horse sellers are dodgy. It saved me a lot of grief with one horse. I just spent time at that yard, kids gravitated towards me and told me about that horse bucking off it's owner and going back to stomp them on top of it - which the owner conveniently forgot to mention. I know it's sneaky but so is a seller not sharing rather important information to a nervous novice rider.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-30-2020, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalraii View Post

A cheapo small bluetooth step tracker. You know what would be perfect? The tiny Fitbit one the size of my little finger that you can attach to a watch strap or stuff in a sock. Its quite old so wouldn't be that expensive and I'm sure there are other brands. Find a way to hide it on the saddle depending on design. Maybe disguise it as a pretty bridle or saddle decoration.
could you put it in a bell boot and tell the BO to keep them on? on the inside?

Out with the boys.....
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