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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some advice from all you lovely people! The fantastic barn I was boarding at went under with very little notice. I moved to a new barn with one of the junior trainers last week. My horse is a thoroughbred who is not good with change, he's taking time to adjust to the new barn. Before my previous barn went under I decided to sell my horse (we aren't a good match and I've become a nervous rider with him, my fault not his).

Anyway, long story short I'm not sure about new barn. The stalls are small and look temporary, no mats in the stalls just some shavings on a wood floor. Today I went to check on my horse and he had managed to completely lose his winter blanket in his paddock it's (-10C right now here) and was in only his stable blanket ... No one noticed, and if his blanket had been put on right he wouldn't have been able to get it off. The shavings in his stall had huge ice chunks in them. To be fair they have plenty of horses boarded outside who look happy and healthy, just indoor board seems to be a bit of a shambles.

Board at this place isn't cheap I can afford to move him elsewhere. There are a couple of openings with some reputable trainers near by. My horse is stressed from the first move and this junior trainer was going to help me sell him from this current barn.

So, should I move him again even with the chance this will really stress him out? Am I making a big deal out of his current care conditions? How do I gracefully extract myself if I decide to move?

I am leaning towards moving him, also because I have become nervous handling him when he is stressed (and this makes him more stressed) and might be better off at a barn that can offer more support.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.
 

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Have you talked to the BO where you are now about the things you have noticed? How is someone supposed to know that you are bothered by something if they have no idea.

If you have talked to them about it and they don't think it is a big deal(or are not willing to change something), then I think it would be better to move him now rather than later.

Why let him get settled into the place you are at now if he is going to stress about a move again in a few weeks or months?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haven't had a chance to discuss with the BO yet, it's a very fair point this just happened tonight. The BO is hands off, they have a guy who manages the barn who does seem quite knowledgable but has more of a tough love philosophy - eg he doesn't believe in de-worming. So we maybe have more of a philisophical difference on horse care :) I will discuss with him. I basically had to move to the new place sight unseen because my old barn went under so quickly and I was out of town at the time. This current trainer did me a favour by moving him here. I dont think I would have chosen this place if I had had more time to decide, so my dilemma is to try and stick it out or just move him to a place I feel more comfortable with immediately.
 

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I'd talk to the BO and see if the concerns are addressed within the next week or so. If not, I'd be asking myself which matters more - my horse potentially being uncomfortable for the foreseeable future, or some stress from another move followed by an eventual improved level of comfort.

I don't get the "Doesn't believe in deworming" thing though. As I've said before, I'm no pro, but having seen the results of worms on a horse, it sure seems important to me. That alone might have caused a big question mark to pop into my head about the situation.
 

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Would one of the reputable trainers at the other barns be able to help you sell him, or be interested in him themselves? If you are still planning on selling him, you may get better exposure at one of their barns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes that's a good thought, I have talked to a couple of them and they could help me sell my horse. The current trainer I'm with is just starting out, she's young but she does have connections and she knows my horse well. I do think I might have better luck selling him through a better known barn / trainer just because I anticipate he will be hard to sell.

My main worry with piping up about some of my care concerns with my horse is that my current trainer is friends with the BOs daughter, and that's why they let her come and train at this barn when our other barn went under. I really don't want to cause any problems for her as she has done me a favour in taking us in last minute. So, I'm trying to tread lightly and make sure my horse gets good care as well.
 

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If you think your horse will be hard to sell and you know him the best, including any baggage, why even attempt to sell? Are there any good rescues in your area that would accept your horse? I don't know how much you are paying on board per month but it may be worth it if you think he will take time to sell.

If that isn't an option, if I were you if move. Knowledgable horse people don't have to know your horse to sell it. I stayed loyal to a barn for a long time because I loved the people, but there was a lot about the barn itself that I didn't agree. So I left, with my high strung easily stressed out TB, and we are both so much more happy. You will be too.
 

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First, I would say that change is harder for the owners than the horses, in most cases. Personally-I would move. I would not like that they turned him out in his stable sheet in -10 weather and did not even know enough to put it on right, as well as the fact it came off and they didn't even notice.

As far as selling-if you know he will be a hard sell, try at the other barn if you like, but honestly, I would go with practically giving him away. I have been there with one I owned. He was just not the horse for me. I never felt safe on him. Moved him to a big h/j barn to have a friend, the BO help "sell" him, at over $500/mo. Several months went by-he did not sell, I was out the board, and ended up basically giving him to another trainer for $500……just to get him "off the payroll" and cut my losses. I had paid $4500 not 6 months earlier, and the horse retrained beautifully and sold for $15K. But, I was able to move forward……and get a horse I could ride and enjoy. Food for thought.
 

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I would be out the door to another facility. Period.

Ice chunks for his stall bedding...OK so loose shavings that got wet enough to freeze into chunks...how dry a living environment will they become after he grinds them from trodding on them into pulverization?
He is turned out with his blanket on...but loses it and no one notices...OK...horses can be Houdini and get out of their blankets... my problem would be if this is his only stable blanket he was put out in what now could be wet from being on the ground and or ripped it beyond safe use and you have nothing else to cover him with.

If you get a gut feeling that the barn inside is in shambles, go with it. You were in a nice barn and know what and how things should be and are not here.
What else is happening that you are not seeing, yet?

A philosophy of not believing in worming bothers me. I don't just worm for the sake of worming either but do test and react accordingly to what is needed.

As for a junior trainer just starting out... eh...how many horses has she sold for clients? How often is she bringing in someone to look at sale horses....
Why not scope out a new barn and their trainers, their clientele and the quality of the horses for sale in that barn...
Remember that appearances do mean much to many prospective buyers.
If you pulled into a barn to look at a sale prospect and saw a horse with a lost blanket in the dirt, or a blanket not put on correctly, then saw stalls as you describe them... what caliber & quality of horse is coming from there? From a place that allows this kind of environment for their animals to live in...:?

Your horse will settle in and adjust just fine to another barn. He needs competent handling by the staff, trainers and you his rider. If you truly need to sell him or just want another horse, there are barns that do training/consignment/sales and have numerous sales a month....better known as a sale barn. You could just outright sell him to one and take the sale proceeds and go find a more suitable mount and not be saddled with trainer fees, board, farrier and vet care along with other expenses you still incur...winter is a rough time to sell. Sometimes cutting a deal and getting out from under now not later is actually financially smarter than hanging on for another thousand but spending fifteen hundred more during the wait time...does that make sense.:think:

Bottom line, I would move the horse.
Biggest part of that is YOU are not happy where you are, question the care and environment for your horse and are not working with "the trainer" but now working with "the junior trainer" who was there during a bad time and made decisions for you & your horse that you would not have chosen in the first place...do you truly, flat out, completley trust this persons judgement?:think:
Where did "the trainer" go???
If the junior trainer wants to show him for sale, work with him and take her cut/percentage and you have the time and $$ to invest and wait... otherwise get him into a barn atmosphere where established trainers, sale horses and their environment are pluses not negative aspects...

Best of luck.

jmo...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the helpful responses! I totally agree with all the comments about selling him. I'm not hung up on a price more that I'd like to find him a good home. It's not fun shelling out a bunch of money on a horse you don't feel comfortable riding, but he's still my horse and my responsibility.

The trainer at my old barn basically quit the business shut the barn and moved to another part of the country... That's a whole other story ;)

I'm going to see a barn on Saturday that sounds promising. The BO trains her daughter who is now a GP rider, they have lots of great horses / students of various abilities. She's known as being very honest AND this barn is cheaper than the situation I'm in now (which makes this all seem even more ridiculous). She said she's also got some students who just need a horse to ride so we could work something out with lessons / training or leasing until we can get him sold. Agree this feels a bit like throwing good money after bad but I'm willing to give it another couple of months in the right environment to find him a good home. If that doesn't work I will look at any and all options.

Fingers crossed this barn looks good! Should I give my current trainer a heads up that I'm looking at other barns?
 

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I wouldn't, until you have found one. Then 30 days or whatever is in your contract.If I were in your shoes I would most likely notify them and leave ASAP, but pay the 30 days.
 
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