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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I am looking into new full boarding facility. I got a horse this summer. Had horses and lessons all through my childhood , teens, and my 30’s. Haven’t had a horse in 10 years and couldn’t wait to get another horse. My kids are all adults and this is my recreation and i love it!

Here is my issue that I would like to see if anyone with horse and boarding experience can help me to understand better . I originally put my horse at a barn that had full boarding lessons and training available however it is 45 minutes from my house. All the horse people up there are very nice and the barn owner is very nice also.

About three months ago my lessons and training had to stop because the owner has been very busy doing national transports. I absolutely understand that someone had quit and that she is having to Pitch in and this is her business and she makes a lot of money off that.

However the reason I picked this barn 45 minutes away is because of everything it had to offer. I don’t want to list money amounts but I do know that I am overpaying for all of my services and I do not mind that because I was getting everything I was looking for in my new experience and getting restarted.

Most recently there was a time I went up twice to the barn and had to go back home because there were some very lively high energy horses in the arena and I wanted to wait and ride her when they weren’t in there. This has only happened two times and that’s not a lot. The problem is there is only one arena and nowhere outside to ride in the bad weather ice and snow and slush.

I have decided that since it’s such a far drive and I’m not able to get the lessons and training that I was wanting and it’s going to be many months until that would restart- I have decided to move her to another barn. As I said I very much like the owner and all of the people up there are very nice everyone that has a horse up there has been very kind. So I’m looking at three barns and one of these I definitely feel is my best option however I have to wait until around May perhaps a little sooner to get an opening. So I was going to put my horse temporarily at a different place and then move her hopefully someplace that has lessons and training. So I contacted these three Barns and I am touring them this week.

I explained why I was looking for a new place and it was mainly to get closer and get lessons and training the part about not being able to use the arena two times was not a big deal however I found myself with one of these New barn people asking me where I kept my horse. I gave them the general town but I didn’t know why they were asking me specifically where my horse was and I found it curious. I asked why the barn manager wanted to know where my horse was and his assistant told me that she mentioned about me not being able to ride in the arena. And she said she thinks he wants to do a background check because of concern over drama.

There has never been any drama at my current barn and I don’t think that not being able to ride two times in the arena is a big deal the bigger deal was the long drive and the lessons and the training stopping not to mention I know that I am overpaying for the board the lessons and the training which didn’t truly bother me until I stopped getting lessons and training all together. If it wasn’t for the drive I might be willing to wait until April where I’m at and restart lessons in training but there’s no guarantee that this won’t happen again so I’ve decided to move her closer.

I’m 50 years old and I’m never involved in drama and I may be taking this the wrong way and that’s why I’m looking for advice from horse people-

However I have to be honest I always pay ahead I pay cash I’m never late and I overpay. I get along with people I have no serious issues or stressors in my life and I find it a bit offensive that this barn manager wants to do a background check on me. They haven’t even met me I’m going this weekend to do a tour. I’m going to be honest I’m going to tour all three of these places this week and I’m not going to go take my horse to the barn that has already talked about doing a background check and mentioned drama to me when they haven’t even met me at all.

I told my sister about this and she laughed and laughed and laughed because it’s so absurd for anyone that knows me. So they can go ahead and do the background check but I’m already not taking my horse there but since I made an appointment I’m not going to cancel at the last minute I’m going to go and check it out and then I’m going to go to the other two barns and pick a different one.

If someone would’ve met me in person and told me that it’s standard for them to get a reference from the current barn owner I would have no problem with that the barn owner that I have now and I get along very well there’s never been an issue and all the people are nice. Perhaps it’s just the way it was handled with this message from the assistant or perhaps I’m such a new horse boarder that I don’t know that this is common???

I’m actually concerned that they have a problem with drama themselves otherwise why would they be handling this like this you would think that they would meet me first and discuss this in person. Anyway I just would like to see what anyone else thinks about this. Thank you for your time and advice in advance
 

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Like you said yourself, they don't know you at all so they don't know what a great boarder you would be. Personally this would actually make this barn more attractive to me - it shows they actually pay attention to what kind of people board at their barn and try to keep their barn community getting along without problems. I wouldn't give up on the barn because of this; go see the barn, meet the people, and maybe you can get a better idea of what the situation really is. If it turns out to be bad the way you fear then no worries you can drop that one, but it could be a good place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like you said yourself, they don't know you at all so they don't know what a great boarder you would be. Personally this would actually make this barn more attractive to me - it shows they actually pay attention to what kind of people board at their barn and try to keep their barn community getting along without problems. I wouldn't give up on the barn because of this; go see the barn, meet the people, and maybe you can get a better idea of what the situation really is. If it turns out to be bad the way you fear then no worries you can drop that one, but it could be a good place.
thank you for your advice! It may have just been the way the young assistant phrased it to me. I am still going to tour the barn as i should look at all options. Thank you for your thoughts!!
 

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I agree with @JoBlueQuarter. It sounds like this is just their policy.

I'm not sure how I feel about that being their policy, though. On the one hand, maybe it will keep the crazies out. On the other hand, I know that my barn owner is pretty sensitive, and when people leave she tends to take it personally and then talk bad about them. So if she found out I was planning to switch to another barn, and that barn owner contacted her, I'm not sure they would get an objective opinion. So it seems potentially a little unfair.
 

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Horse people are crazy. I've only boarded a few times over the years. Because I had a full time job I didn't show up at the barn when most of the boarders were there so I missed out on most of them mess. One of the places I boarded at had so much drama that they padlocked the paddock (one of the boarders did so the person they were fighting with couldn't get their horse out) but it effected me. That happened to be one day that I came out to ride. I moved my horse that weekend. I don't do drama.

The other two places I boarded at didn't have any drama (that I noticed - but the owner was on site 24/7)

My guess is that the barn you were looking at his a high drama barn or had high drama and is trying to avoid it. It may be common practice at boarding facilities. I don't know but it feels like they should have at least talked to you about it first. I agree with maybe skipping that barn unless it's absolutely perfect.
 
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If the issue was not getting lessons and training time due to the instructor's scheduling conflict and you have decided that the distance you drive is more than you are willing to go at this point then mentioning that you feel you are overpaying and that you could not ride in the arena would suggest that those do bother you. That may translate to drama in their minds.

If those are truly not a big deal and you never mentioned them to your current BO then she has no reason to tell them you create drama. Just that you are planning to leave due to distance and circumstances (her not being able to provide lessons and training).
 

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I'm not going to get into your exact particulars but I can tell you that most barns make inquiries about prospective boarders for many reasons...
What you say and what is done is sometimes different and comes from different perspectives of yours, and or theirs...
Barns want to know the "new" is a on-time with the board paying boarder.
The person is easy-going, will mix in with the current clientele, is a good match for the barn.
The horse is not destructive, is easily handled...
Lessons if taken are taken not often cancelled as that is the gravy money for boarding barns to make.

You referred to leaving or looking to vacate because of distance traveled and the current trainer has other obligations which make you getting your lessons and your horse worked with by them near impossible, and you want/need the help so are looking elsewhere...
That riding in the ring thing if mentioned...yea, that opened drama to the scenario.

If you wanted to ride, unless you were told no, you were welcome to ride and should of...
Because there is another horse being ridden in the arena did not exclude you...you did in my eyes. sorry.
You made it drama related if you mentioned that cause what are you going to do if you get to any of these new places and other horses are being ridden at the same time...
Boarders are entitled to ride their horses, unless you rent the arena private, anyone is permitted to ride with courtesy to each other given is a barn rule most facilities have.
Exceptions are during lessons...you may be asked to wait or to join and do similar things depending upon skill level of riders present...

I've boarded at several barns, managed several others from backyard to high-priced and caliber facilities...from training barns to show barns to recreational riders...to a bit of R&R for all equines.
Yes, prospective boarders are often inquired about, asked about in the horse community professional gossip areas, and with vets and farriers to see what you are like to deal with...
AND... you can bet if your barn did not know of your thinking to leave, they know now.
Horse world is small and gossip is fast and deadly...whether the gossip is factual or fabricated it is still someone telling someone about someone...ever play telephone?... Here you go..
Beware of what you say and how it is said. :cautious:
🐴....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Horse people are crazy. I've only boarded a few times over the years. Because I had a full time job I didn't show up at the barn when most of the boarders were there so I missed out on most of them mess. One of the places I boarded at had so much drama that they padlocked the paddock (one of the boarders did so the person they were fighting with couldn't get their horse out) but it effected me. That happened to be one day that I came out to ride. I moved my horse that weekend. I don't do drama.

The other two places I boarded at didn't have any drama (that I noticed - but the owner was on site 24/7)

My guess is that the barn you were looking at his a high drama barn or had high drama and is trying to avoid it. It may be common practice at boarding facilities. I don't know but it feels like they should have at least talked to you about it first. I agree with maybe skipping that barn unless it's absolutely perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thank you all for your advice. The barn owner where i am at now is very nice and honest. I Took a tour of the one barn today I’m visiting three and I gave him the name and phone number for him to do a reference check but I won’t be taking my horse there I later found out that a number of courses have been injured in the pasture there recently one getting a broken ankle so I was advised to not take my horse there by other people in the area. I did get the current barn owner a heads up that someone may contact her because she knows that I’m looking at moving my horse closer and I don’t really feel that she would badmouth me however the other barn that she is definitely moving to in the spring didn’t ask me for a name and phone number she just met with me in person and my horse will be going there in the spring for sure I’m just not sure if I’m staying where I’m at in the interim because besides just moving my horse closer I really would like the lessons maintenance training back and it’s just not an option where I’m at now. I just keep hearing about this horse drama and barn drama while I’m looking around and I have never experienced it. So it just worries me a bit of what that might be like hopefully I will not run into any of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with @JoBlueQuarter. It sounds like this is just their policy.

I'm not sure how I feel about that being their policy, though. On the one hand, maybe it will keep the crazies out. On the other hand, I know that my barn owner is pretty sensitive, and when people leave she tends to take it personally and then talk bad about them. So if she found out I was planning to switch to another barn, and that barn owner contacted her, I'm not sure they would get an objective opinion. So it seems potentially a little unfair.
I guess a person can never be sure 100% however the barn owner i have now is honest and kind. I don’t feel she would badmouth me. And she know that i am looking and she understands why we’ve both been honest with each other and have never had any issues and if I ever needed to I’m sure I could take my horse back there if I wanted to. I just have concerns about all these things I read on boarding facility advertisements about drama and I have never experienced that before
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If the issue was not getting lessons and training time due to the instructor's scheduling conflict and you have decided that the distance you drive is more than you are willing to go at this point then mentioning that you feel you are overpaying and that you could not ride in the arena would suggest that those do bother you. That may translate to drama in their minds.

If those are truly not a big deal and you never mentioned them to your current BO then she has no reason to tell them you create drama. Just that you are planning to leave due to distance and circumstances (her not being able to provide lessons and training).
My barn owner knows all the above and there is no issue with her or i. I understand that she is having to be away for a while and she understands that with my lessons in training stopping that I would want to find a place that offer that again and there are no hard feelings between us. The issue about not riding in the arena only happen two times in many months so I don’t consider that to be a very big deal. And ultimately I do want to get my horse a lot closer and she understands that. I just know there isn’t any drama where I am at and it concerns me that I might be moving my horse to a situation where there is drama.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not going to get into your exact particulars but I can tell you that most barns make inquiries about prospective boarders for many reasons...
What you say and what is done is sometimes different and comes from different perspectives of yours, and or theirs...
Barns want to know the "new" is a on-time with the board paying boarder.
The person is easy-going, will mix in with the current clientele, is a good match for the barn.
The horse is not destructive, is easily handled...
Lessons if taken are taken not often cancelled as that is the gravy money for boarding barns to make.

You referred to leaving or looking to vacate because of distance traveled and the current trainer has other obligations which make you getting your lessons and your horse worked with by them near impossible, and you want/need the help so are looking elsewhere...
That riding in the ring thing if mentioned...yea, that opened drama to the scenario.

If you wanted to ride, unless you were told no, you were welcome to ride and should of...
Because there is another horse being ridden in the arena did not exclude you...you did in my eyes. sorry.
You made it drama related if you mentioned that cause what are you going to do if you get to any of these new places and other horses are being ridden at the same time...
Boarders are entitled to ride their horses, unless you rent the arena private, anyone is permitted to ride with courtesy to each other given is a barn rule most facilities have.
Exceptions are during lessons...you may be asked to wait or to join and do similar things depending upon skill level of riders present...

I've boarded at several barns, managed several others from backyard to high-priced and caliber facilities...from training barns to show barns to recreational riders...to a bit of R&R for all equines.
Yes, prospective boarders are often inquired about, asked about in the horse community professional gossip areas, and with vets and farriers to see what you are like to deal with...
AND... you can bet if your barn did not know of your thinking to leave, they know now.
Horse world is small and gossip is fast and deadly...whether the gossip is factual or fabricated it is still someone telling someone about someone...ever play telephone?... Here you go..
Beware of what you say and how it is said. :cautious:
🐴....
Reading what I have from everyone I perhaps should never have mentioned that two times I could not ride in the arena because that’s really not the main thing here it really is the long drive and the lessons and the training in my barn owner already knows that I’m looking and she is perfectly understanding. There are no issues between us and no hard feelings. I don’t fault her for doing the transport to make more money and she does not fault me for wanting to get my lessons and training back and be closer we get along very well and things are good. I had mentioned the arena thing that happened twice and asked her if there was a time of day that would be better for me to come out none of that was a big issue for me. That’s what made me realize it might be a good idea to get closer that way I could leave and come back if the arena was busy and find a barn that has an outdoor arena on top of an indoor arena so I would have another place to ride. But that really is not the main reason for looking around
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’m not concerned about a reference check I’ve been a good border I get along well with others my horses very well behaved and I always pay in advance. I just get concerned when someone mentions drama because I have not been around any drama and I don’t really want to fall IntoI am definitely too old for that kind of stuff. I may just leave my horse where she is until the barn that is close to my house gets opening she is well taken care of where she is.
 

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I am so glad I have my own place. I boarded for about 10 years before I got my own farm and the barn drama was one of the biggest complaints I had and it existed in some form at every barn. I started out at a small backyard farm, boarding because that was all I could afford. Then, when I started showing and was with trainers it was better but the drama was just better hidden. It just felt like 10th grade all over again. This clique or that clique, I just hated it.

I can understand the need to do reference checks, but the way this lady handled asking you about it says to me a lot about her communication style/ skills. You can say the same thing but it's all in how it's said and the appropriateness of when it is said. Maybe this metaphor isn't a great example, but when you go in for a job interview, unless it's working for McDonalds- the first question you ask isn't "So, how much do you pay and what kind of benefits do I get?". Even though, everyone wants to know the salary that will be offered- you may have a range but have to wait through a series of interviews to get an offer.

I'm sure you will find a barn that is a good fit, but be prepared barn drama exists just about everywhere. It sounds like you are a dream boarder, so I'm sure it will all work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for your response. I have decided to stay where i am until the barn close to me that has lessons and maintenance training comes open. My horse has been well taken care of at my current place and i like and respect the barn owner and all the people there are friendly. The barn owner understands and she agrees i need the continued lessons and support and she says i can always bring my horse back anytime. So i believe everything will work out well. Thank you all. I hope to never encounter this “barn drama” stuff. But at least there is a forum to ask experienced people about it! Thanks!
 
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