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I wanted to give something to the woman who runs the stable I've been keeping my horse at. I've been boarding there for almost a year and at first, things were great. I paid the woman extra to feed my large mare more and things seemed fine. There were times when the stall was a little messy and it never bothered me to clean it.
For over 2 months now I have noticed a serious decline. On a personal note, the barn owner has been a friend for the entire time boarding there. She's even on my facebook and we're hung out several times.
I don't know where I stand with her. I first brought up being unhappy when I arrived to find a bunch of trash--empty bags of pet food, and a chewed up carrot bag, which scared me as my horse could have eaten the carrot bag, simply because it probably smelled like carrots.
I told her I had to pick trash out of my horses's stall and her answer was "Yeah I saw that this morning before I left for work."
So the second time I metioned something was when I noticed my horses getting skinny. She said something as well, and I figured she would fix the problem.
Now at this point, the stalls are being neglected, not cleaned for what appears to be days as the stall is really saturated with urine when I arrive to see my horse.
The hay has switched, no more oats in the hay. The other boarders start talking about it as well and we all feel the same way, the hay is not suitable for our horses.
I call the owner at this point and my exact words are-- I had a really bad time last night when I went and seen my horse. My stall was wet, the food looks terrible...
She assurred me she would fix things, so I tried to be nice and hopeful.
The next day she seemed concern, but as the days passed, it just seemed to get worse.
Now I am picking bailing twine out of my horse's stall on a daily basis, her stall is always wet , and she appears to be starving all the time. The hay is just gross.
Now I am posting this anon on a message board without any of her info as I want to remain somewhat civil, however I want her to know how and why I am leaving. Her entire barn has cleared out and the people left have expressed their disgust. I can only come to the conclusion that she just does not realize severity of the situation, and does not understand why people are upset.
Here is the picture of our horses, and the hay, and the stalls. Let me know if you think I am overreacting about this and if I am being foolish. This situation has caused me a great deal of sadness as I can't believe a friend would treat my horse like this.

This is the disgusting puddles in her stall.




This is the hay.

this is one horse.



this is the other horse. Part draft.



btw, the pics are after we clean the stalls
 

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It's definitely time to pack up and leave. No need to exchange nasty words just get yourself and your precious horse out of that situation.

Also you could always contact your local animal control and give them a reason to check out the barn. No need to give your name.
 

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My question is, why are any of you still at this facility, if its so deplorable? If she doesn't have any business, her practices, or lack thereof, will be a moot point. If all of you have said something to this BO, and nothing has been done, the simple answer is leave. Don't worry about hurting "your friend', obviously she is not one if the horses that you are paying her to take care of are not taken care of. Those horses don't look starved to me, I can see the barest hint of ribs in the gray, but its hard to tell. The part draft's hips do seem to protrude slightly also, but again, its hard to tell because of the angle. It would be better if we had before/after pictures to go by..... The first picture is too small to really see anything other than dark stuff and light stuff.

If she owns horses of her own, continue taking pictures of the conditions with a digital camera over a course of a couple weeks--make sure to include date and time stamps on these photos. Take pictures of the stall conditions, pasture conditions, conformation-type pictures of the horses and anything that may be of concern....festering wounds, hooves in need of a trim, etc. Document everything and then present it to your local authorities. If she doesn't have horses of her own, then I would honestly be concerned as to why you or any of the other horse owners at this place have let things go on for this long. You do genuinely sound concerned in your post, but IMO if I had to ask someone else's opinion on this situation, I'd already have my answer as to how to solve it.
 

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Wow your story sounds JUST like a situation I was in! It is deff time to leave....your horses health is way more important! If you are paying someone to take care of your horse...and they aren't....then you are just wasting your money and putting your horse in danger. I hope everything works out for you!
 

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Are you sure she doesn't have something medically or mentally wrong? If she is your friend maybe you could talk to her about it more seriously and away from the barn . That doesn't mean you still have to leave your horse there but she may have something mentally wrong if she has just changed all of the sudden and not had problems before. Depending on where you live it can be hard to get quality hay with the change in weather.
 

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Are you sure she doesn't have something medically or mentally wrong? If she is your friend maybe you could talk to her about it more seriously and away from the barn . That doesn't mean you still have to leave your horse there but she may have something mentally wrong if she has just changed all of the sudden and not had problems before. Depending on where you live it can be hard to get quality hay with the change in weather.
I agree 250% with this. You don't know why she has all of a sudden stopped taking good care of the animals. She could be suffering, and really struggling to provide the same level of care that she would like. Again, you can still move your horse for his sake, but don't just abandon your friend. She may need someone's help, and from the sound of it, no one else at the barn seems to care if she needs help. Just make sure she is ok, in all aspects. I hope your problem is resolved quickly and peacefully.
 

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Talk with your feet. You need to leave before paying this woman another cent. You've already tried expressing your concerns in a civil mannor. Yelling or getting nasty won't help things. Just leave, ASAP.

A "friend" would NOT let the stalls get that mucky or feed such bad hay. A "friend" would tell you what's going on and ask for help!! This woman is most definitely NOT your friend, and never has been. Cut her off and don't talk to her again. Block her from your facebook account after you move and count yourself lucky your horse was not injured or made ill.
 

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I don't care what's going on in someone's personal life, there's no excuse for the horses being that thin or the stalls being that disgusting. It only takes 2 minutes to make a phone call and explain what's going on and ask for help. You're PAYING HER to feed and care for your horse. If she can't do that for whatever reason, she needs to stop taking your money (or take a LOT less) and ask you to feed and care for the horses yourself. If she really CARED for the horses or for you (as a friend or just as a human), she would have asked for help a long time ago...
 

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oh no I'm out

I found a place asap and Im moving them tommorow. I just feel like maybe I should tell her or print something out for her? I dunno> It's just really confusing to me because she seemed like a real bff . Does that look like normal hay to you??
 

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Your white horse looks underweight..you can see it's ribs.
The hay looks NASTY and I wouldn't eat it if I was a horse.
And there shouldn't be puddles in the stall. It should be relatively clean and dry!

I would say it's time to go.
You can always find better stables where your horses can be taken care of
in a nice,clean,safe environment. You shouldn't have to worry about your horse eating plastic or twine.
 

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I found a place asap and Im moving them tommorow. I just feel like maybe I should tell her or print something out for her? I dunno> It's just really confusing to me because she seemed like a real bff . Does that look like normal hay to you??
No, it's very poor quality hay. I have seen some like it, but won't feed it to my horses. It's got a lot of mature growth in it, that looks similar to "straw." Horses can't digest that coarse of hay, hense the weight loss.

If you don't have a contract that says you have to, do NOT tell her until you're loading up the horse. She doesn't exactly sound honest or stable, and you wouldn't want anything negative happening to your horse before the move...
 

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Some of the anger in these post really shocks me. Of course you should tell her your leaving instead of her just seeing you gone. I would tell her in an email so you can think about it reread before you send it. Staying calm and professional and state that it has nothing to do with your friendship, you just thought your horse might do better elsewhere. I wouldn't burn any bridges you never know you may not like it elsewhere.
 

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I had a very similar situation. Half the time they had no water, crappy hay. The day we pulled Hunter out it looked like his pen hadn't been cleaned in days and he was up to his knees in water. We took him that day. I still talk to the original bo and even went riding there once but I will never take my horse back there.
 

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What is it you want OP, validation for moving your horses, or an okay to rip the BO a new one?

I'd move my horses too, if they started dropping weight and the stalls were never cleaned.

Even though you're justifiably angry that your horse's care went downhill, there's no reason to not be polite about why you're leaving.

The BO could be in financial difficulty, which is why the quality of the hay and feed have declined.

The horse world is small and the condition of the BO's barn will get around. Your snarking about it will only make you look bitter. Be polite but firm, and tell her exactly why you're leaving. If she really is a friend, you owe her at least that.
 

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Some of the anger in these post really shocks me. Of course you should tell her your leaving instead of her just seeing you gone. I would tell her in an email so you can think about it reread before you send it. Staying calm and professional and state that it has nothing to do with your friendship, you just thought your horse might do better elsewhere. I wouldn't burn any bridges you never know you may not like it elsewhere.
It sounds like you have been lucky and have not had to deal with crazy barn owners/managers :wink:. Anyone who treats horses this way does not deserve any kindness or thoughfulness. I'm not saying to yell or be mean, just hurry out of there without a backward glance.

Everyone else has jumped ship on this lady. If she's still treating the horses this poorly, then it's likely to get worse with any kind of forewarning of the exit of her last remaining boarder(s).
 

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Write up your notice. All you have to say is my horses will no longer be boarded at your facility as of _____________.

If you would like to elaborate you can very simply say you have found a situation that works better.

As was mentioned you do not want to burn bridges. Chances are you will never board with her again but if she mentions to a friend who mentions to a friend that you were nasty, word gets out you are hard to deal with.

The poster who mentioned it didn't matter what the BO was going through - wrong. This may be a symptom of something terrible in the BO's life. If the OP is a friend, she can ask - if there is anything she can do to help. If the offer of a shoulder is refused, the OP can't feel guilty for offering.

OP - You have mentioned your concern about your horses and the situation has become worse - as a BO myself, I can certainly understand your need to move your horses.
 

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It sounds like you have been lucky and have not had to deal with crazy barn owners/managers :wink:. Anyone who treats horses this way does not deserve any kindness or thoughfulness. I'm not saying to yell or be mean, just hurry out of there without a backward glance.
I have dealt with bad BOs.

I am still polite and follow the contract I signed. I give proper notice in writing, pay the last months board (per the contract) and remove my horse as soon as I possibly can (so paying board at two places).

A bad barn owner is no reason for a good horse owner to become a bad person.


And I agree, if this BO is a friend of yours OP I think it is time for you to sit down and be a friend. Ask them what is going on and if there is anything you can do to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
why I posted this thread

Because I'm obviously leaving, but I'm asking advice on whether or not I should tell her the real reason why I'm leaving. She's gonna say things about me either way, that's how people work, everyones got a problem but her right.
When I asked about the hay, she replied there was nothing wrong with it-it was fine. She tried to blame the stall cleaning on someone else, but I feel like if I pay you, then it's up to you to make sure it's done.
I'm also quite upset with her at this point for treated my horses this way and expecting me to pay the last 14 days to stay there, that's the rest of my notice. But after going out there just yesterday and having to endure the puddles, so much when I stepped in her stall it soaked my boot through with urine.
I paid 300 per horse--600 total for this treatment, plus I'm expected to pay 150 on the 1st.
I don't want to pay her a freakin penny, but I probably will, just to keep the peace.
 

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and for those of you who think I should sit her down and talk to her like a friend--- I did talk to her, I did and I was really nice about it, but firm about how upset I was and how everyone else felt. What else can you say, after already stating how you feel? I feel like everytime I go to see my horse it's a big F-U to me and my horse. Like, take this cos your my friend and accept the ****ty care I'm providing.
 
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