The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently board at a county owned barn. I have been there for 8 years! This year the barn has new management, new lesson instructors and new employees. I am debating whether or not to move so I need your guys opinions! In the past 2 months this has happened....

- 4 horses got colic and two of them died
- 3 horses have strangles currently
- 3 horses are sick with cold like symptoms
- the barn manager and supervisor do not get along
- when the first horse got colic none of the boarders were notified until 4 days later
- my horse had his feet done over a month ago and I just received the bill from the barn manager. Now I have to pay a late fee to the farriar.

However on the plus side....

- the facilities are amazing
- my horse is well fed ( well I think so)
- my horse has not been sick but I am afraid he's next
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
i personally would never move a horse from a barn that has stangles until all the sick horses are cleared by a vet to no longer be contagious. freaking out about strangles and moving your horse to another barn is a sure fire way for strangles to spread, even if your horse isn't sick, he could easily carry the bacteria to the new facility.

colic is not a contagious thing, so notifying the boarders would simply be a matter of the boarders then knowing a horse had colicked and to keep an extra close eye on that horse. now if the horses are colicking due to lack of water in winter, that is a huge concern.

if there are other barns in your area that provide the same services and amenties for the same or close to the same boarding cost, and you are unhappy with your current barn, then move after the strangles at your barn is all cleared up and vet approved that it is no longer contagious.

as for the management of disease / sick horses at your current barn (the ones with strangles and 'cold like' symptoms), is the management doing all they can to keep the horses comfortable and get them healthy again? if so, i would say stay. a barn that cares well for sick horses is good in my books. horses get sick sometimes, and all we can do is our best to get them better.

as for the late fee for farrier due to the bill not being given to you in a timely manner - is there a protocol/timeline that is supposed to be in place for billing that wasn't followed this time around? if so, i'd say the barn manager is on the hook for the late fee! or can you request the farrier to bill you directly instead of through the barn? with my farrier, i pay him directly the day he is out, right after he works on my horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,337 Posts
I currently board at a county owned barn. I have been there for 8 years! This year the barn has new management, new lesson instructors and new employees. I am debating whether or not to move so I need your guys opinions! In the past 2 months this has happened....

- 4 horses got colic and two of them died
- 3 horses have strangles currently
- 3 horses are sick with cold like symptoms
- the barn manager and supervisor do not get along
- when the first horse got colic none of the boarders were notified until 4 days later
- my horse had his feet done over a month ago and I just received the bill from the barn manager. Now I have to pay a late fee to the farriar.

However on the plus side....

- the facilities are amazing
- my horse is well fed ( well I think so)
- my horse has not been sick but I am afraid he's next
If this was a barn where I boarded, I'd need the answers to more questions.

How many horses total are there (i.e. 4 horses out of XX, colicked in the last 2 months, so %)?

Does the barn require negative Coggins and current Health Certs on all new horses?

Are all new horses kept separate from the current boarders for a time?

Have the sick horses, ones with confirmed strangles at least, been separated from the healthy horses?

What care is being provided to the sick horses?

How good is the facility's & employee's bio security? Do the care for the sick horses last, with different equipment? Do they wash hands, dip boots and equipment in a disinfectant solution after they've handled the sick horses? How will/Will they disinfect the facilities the sick horses have been in and used?

Unfortunately, you can do every trick you have in your barn manager's trick bag and horses will still colic and get sick. It's the frequency of the illnesses and the percentage of the horses getting sick that would concern me. For instance, 4 out 200 horses got colic in the last 2 months, wouldn't concern me much. 4 out of 8 would make me look very hard at what/how they're being fed and how cold their water is, how much water are they getting? What is causing the colic? Strangles happens in boarding barns, especially if new horses are brought in and just placed in stalls with the rest of the horses with no quarantine period. Bio security in the case of Strangles or any other contagious disease would be the main concern for me in that case.

Communication from a barn manager is important but it wouldn't occur to me to notify everyone in the barn that a horse had colicked, unless I thought the hay or grain was suspect. If it was just a one time occurrence then I'd just notify the horses owner and I'd advise the staff to keep a close eye on the one horse. If feed or hay was suspect, I'd let the entire barn & staff know that I suspected some kind of contamination had occurred and to watch the horses extra closely and I'd pull the suspect feed.

As for the late fee to the farrier, I would pay the bill and let the barn manager know that I would be deducting the amount of the late fee from my next board bill, and then I'd do it. I suspect that will fix that problem.

Relations between the barn manager and her supervisor aren't any of your business, so that wouldn't be a deciding factor in move/don't move for me, but I suspect if that doesn't change and quickly, then the BM will be replaced.

If you have Strangles in the barn, more than likely everyone nearby knows about it and you wouldn't be allowed to move in to a new barn until the old has been cleared. If you tried to move in to my barn without telling me of the Strangles in your old barn, when I found out what you had done, I'd evict you very quickly. That would also get around and you might have a very hard time finding someone to take you, so be very careful what you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. And yes I would obviously wait at least wait till the strangles was gone. I am not moving in the near future I meant I want to move once strangles is COMPLETELY gone. There are 50 horses currently boarded at the barn. They do not separate new horses because they don't have the room! That's another thing the barn has a limit on how many horses it can hold and that is around 40 but they have 50 horses there. The pens are tiny and they put 4 or 5 horses per pen. Since the manager and supervisor don't like each other there is a lack of communication putting the horses at risk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,900 Posts
The size of a pen is relative-actual measurements would be more helpful- 48' round...24x24', 1/2 acre, 5 acres. Are all the horses in the barn? How are 10 "extra" horses stuffed in there? Is the manure picked up at least daily? If there is a county limit on the number of horses, they could be cited.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,205 Posts
If this is a county owned barn is it also a county run barn or is it "leased" out to a private organization?
NO new horse should ever just be put into a stall without a quarantine period being done...away from the general horse population and "Hands Off" policy enforced to all workers, boarders...anyone and everyone...the less handling a new horse till sure of clear health the safer for all horses.

4 colics... we are now in February...dead of winter.
Is the colic attributed to cold weather changes, changes in water consumption or was the feed and hay changed overnight and did that bring on a colic episode...
Colic cases rise with abrupt weather changes...sounds like much of the North American continent has had that going on this year.
Did anyone have a necropsy (autopsy) done to determine the cause?
Again, if it isn't your horse affected, it truly is not your business to know if so & so horse coliced this afternoon..colic is not contagious.
Even strangles can be kept quiet...again if not your horse, you really shouldn't be walking around touching others horses either... you then are the carrier of illness, not the horse or barns fault. And except to know that their is a sign on the stall that states Do Not Touch... not your business necessarily.

Management bickering...no different than 2 people not getting along at any job...if it doesn't involve you directly then it isn't your business. If though that bickering results in spiteful treatment or negligent care of my horse...then it is my problem and issue and will be dealt with!
Everyone has a supervisor but make darn sure you have facts and figures accurate, truthfully done and thoroughly done to back you up and not it just be hear-say or he-said, she-said nonsense.

Are you positive on the number of horses the barn is allowed? Have you seen the contract with those numbers on it?
Not every horse must be in a stall, but they must have shelter, food & water and clean living conditions. If they have a t/o with a shed...that is all they technically need.

The farriers bill...well honestly...it is no ones fault but the farrier actually for not sending you the bill directly.
He has your name and address if you pay him by check and I bet he has your phone number from when you call to schedule...
I would not be paying a late fee, but I would be putting a stinging bee in the farriers ear and that of the barn manager, it really is none of his business what your horse has done and for what cost, nor to hold onto your horses hoof care bill to present it to you!

If your horses needs are being met... clean stall, quality feed and hay, knowledgeable workers with skill and caring attitude, clean and safe environment, ability to have lessons from their instructors or you can haul out if not allowed to being outsiders in, proper health care from licensed vets, proper hoof care from a accomplished farrier...

I don't know if I would leave for the reasons you give... most of it has absolutely nothing to do with you...just new management practices being put in place and some resentful employees it sounds like...give it some more time to iron itself out or for a "house-cleaning" to take place.
Keep a vigilant eye on your horses care, stall and attitude. If any of those things change to the negative...then maybe you need to leave if after bringing your concerns to management
{do not talk to other boarders} nothing is fixed...
If you were to leave now and a horse at your new barn contracted strangles and there were no other cases... you could find yourself held liable for the bills and costs associated with that illness..

Be careful in what you do and what you say to others in passing.

A new regime in attendance can take many a position you may not like.

jmo...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
I currently board at a county owned barn. I have been there for 8 years! This year the barn has new management, new lesson instructors and new employees. I am debating whether or not to move so I need your guys opinions! In the past 2 months this has happened....

- 4 horses got colic and two of them died
- 3 horses have strangles currently
- 3 horses are sick with cold like symptoms
- the barn manager and supervisor do not get along
- when the first horse got colic none of the boarders were notified until 4 days later
- my horse had his feet done over a month ago and I just received the bill from the barn manager. Now I have to pay a late fee to the farriar.

However on the plus side....

- the facilities are amazing
- my horse is well fed ( well I think so)
- my horse has not been sick but I am afraid he's next
I would not stay there even if the board was free! You'd be doing your horse and yourself a huge favor by moving-the 'pros' do not weigh with the 'cons' by far!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks everyone for the replys and I am going to straighten a few details out that I left out...
1. when I said we were not notified about colic I meant to say strangles ( my bad) I do not care if someone elses horse got colic but I do care if there is an outbreak of strangles
2. There are no stalls left for pasture horses if they become sick or hurt, ( that is a safety concern for my pasture horse)
3. I DO NOT need information on what colic or strangles is I am already well educated on that subject, I am Obviously not going to take my horse out of the stable until strangles is gone ( that would just be stupid and I am already aware)
4. I do not know the exact measurements of the pastures but you could put 20 stalls in each lot, and there are 4 to 5 horses per lot.
5. the supervisor and manger not getting along does concern me since they are not communicating which could put my horses at risk if there is a problem found by the supervisor but he does not tell the manager.....
6. colic could be weather related I am not sure but in all the years I have been going to this barn there has never been that many horses colic in one month and I don't know if its a coincidence or not that there is all new employees
7. The barn is run by the manager but the manager is not highly educated in horse health, the county has been contacted but they have no knowledge in horses and only trust the barn manager.
8. Boarders have come together and we will be going to the next county meeting to give our concerns. There is evidence that we have showing the manager had knowledge of new horses being brought in who did not have the strangles vaccine and had a chance of carrying strangles. Yet they did nothing to keep them separate from other horses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
there are 11 pens, dry lot and all 11 pens sit on about one acre of land ( to give you an idea of how small the pens are) there are no stalls left at all ( so if my horse who doesn't have a stall gets sick or injured he wouldn't have any stall to go to. I do need to get more facts on the situation there is more problems I haven't discussed but that is the main points.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,205 Posts
If your horse is on pasture board are you entitled to a stall? I don't think so...stall board is stall entitled, pasture board is in the pasture with some form of weather protection...but illness or injury doesn't entitle you to a stall unless your boarding contract clearly states that.
To me a pitfall of pasture board is exactly this...you don't get a assigned stall.
Now, if you pay for a stall and don't put your horse in it that is your choice as long as you also aren't taking a pasture spot away from another.
If however you pay to have a stall for your horse, have access to 24/7 turnout, use that option and your stall is given away then there is a problem and one that needs your attention to straighten it out.

If you have a pasture with space for 20 stalls = horses...and only 4-5 horses occupying that space..there is plenty of free space for horses to roam around at free will.
An acre is approximately 220 feet by 198 feet or it could be 660' x 66' or many other configurations...it also can be configured into many "pen" sizes. If you have 40 stalls and 50 horses on site that accounts for needing sheltered space for 10 horses to be kept in pens or paddocks. A fast calculation of 22' x 198' per horse is not tiny but maybe narrow...so configure it differently and it is more than adequate space. If the "pens" are configured for 4-5 animals per confined area...unless I am totally misunderstanding you {not purposely} you are talking about 10 animals in a space of an acre for pasture board... that is not to me a issue.{The remaining horses are kept inside the barn in stalls}. They are not relying on the land for forage, that is provided.
They are relying on the space for exercise, roaming and keeping them safely contained and available in close proximity to the riding areas of the barn.

The workers not communicating could be an issue, yes, if it becomes neglectful care.
I know by me the ones in charge of the animal services division are very-well educated and qualified...they may not "know" horses but might have degrees in animal husbandry.
Counties don't usually hire for these kind of positions without some pretty in depth education present.
People skills may be sorely lacking, but animal smarts not.
Remember you are the one stating their is a worker problem of animosity... that is going to show up in everyday work activities too.

All I can say is ouch to the entire situation.
If truly unhappy, move your horse once the strangles has cleared and not deal with this any more.
I would though suggest you tread carefully when you approach your county board with your concerns, gripes and founded claims...barns are not money-makers usually.
They are huge money pits....someone with connections at one point in time did much string-pulling to get the county to build, operate, insure such a venue, a boarding stable has huge risks of liability associated with it.
The county is still responsible for much as they are the property owner and when push comes to shove they close them down if they create to many issues and are not worth keeping for the small amount of people they service in the community.
Not that you should settle or ignore problems, but word your comments and present them very carefully...with the swipe of the gavel and opinion swayed the county board can close a facility in the blink of an eye...pick what you say and your battle carefully.

Something to think about...

jmo...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
^ before the barn had new employees and management, there was at least 2 empty stalls for pasture horses so if they got hurt the owner could pay for a stall boarding while that horse heals. I don't expect to have a stall for just my horse but I expect an option for all the pasture horses to have a stall in case one got hurt.

Also to some people that may not seem like a small space but to me that is tiny pasture. I believe if horses are going to be outside they should have more room to at least trot around, and not walk in a circle. my personal opinion though.

Luckily I will not be doing any of the talking at the county board meeting. 3 boarders will be representing the boarders and the are very smart business people, ( one is the president of a big company) so I believe they will be smart in what they will say. I don't know if I will move but if nothing changes there is a good possibility so I stay happy and more horse!

Thanks everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
If pasture horses are entitled to a stall should they get sick or injured are you and the other outdoor boarders willing to have their board raised to cover the revenue the facility would receive if they rented it out monthly? (Here indoor goes for $700.00 month). You can't expect a facility to not rent out a stall on the whim it may be needed. Very few facilities can give up that kind of revenue. You pay for outdoor board, that is what you get, shelter, water, feed. If they have a stall free for that purpose "bonus".
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,205 Posts
Haley...this may be the exact reason why there is new management and employees.

Running a business efficiently and making money is what this place probably needed. You possibly have a business manager in place to stop the "bleeding" and make it a money-making not losing scenario trying to save it.
You are not use to it being run as such, neither is the employee and the fact that the decisions may be being made in a cost constructive and loss prevention way is very different than how it was run. Even "new" employees may not like the cost cutting measures and balk at some things, hence disharmony in the work place.
Cost containment, stopping the losing $$ fiasco is not pleasant to see or be part of for either side, but with you not knowing if this place had a chopping block put on it for cost over-run...these measures may be being done to keep this barn alive, open and running.

Some of the illness just happens when horses come and go...and it may not be the horses that brought it but a human made contact and carried the ailment in on them.

Where I am from pasture to stall board is more than a $250 difference in cost. Stall board is over $800++ a month for a so-so boarding facility not a "backyard barn".
Horses are in dry lots, paddock not pasture. There are very few barns with pasture turnout of any kind as land values are astronomical. {No stall is left open for a "what-if" when it can be filled and make money...just the way it is.}
Their needs of feed, hay and water are all brought to them
{in fact they have round bales 24/7 and baled hay also given to them}, they don't need to "graze" on grass and they have a very large run-in for weather nastiness and a few trees. A paddock around 150' x 150' has 8 horses... they don't often look to run around anyway so it rarely is a issue...they just mosey around for the most part if not out being ridden by their owners.
They do have a quarantine 30' round pen under trees, no stall for 21 days or even near another horse and they are the last one fed everyday then the worker goes and changes clothes and washes up before starting their regular assigned work. They are completely off limits to everyone.
They have had horses colic for no apparent reason, many in a few weeks time and no changes in anything, just happened...and some did die or were put down.
Horses injured in the pasture board scenario are given a choice of in or out if a stall is available and the owner will pay the $$ difference, otherwise care is given {you pay for that if done by a worker} and the horse stays in their pasture.
The place is a business and is run like a business...friends is friends, business is business and the two shall not cross if you wish to retain both interests.
:-|
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top