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LONG READ

This past week I've been debating about looking into moving barns. It fits everything I was looking for at the time. 32 stall barn, indoor arena, heated/AC observation room, hot/cold wash bay, 12x12 stalls, ect. I went and toured the barn. It was great.
Now here's the kicker. The property is 5 acres, with 37 horses on the property (there wasn't that many when I went to tour). They just purchased additional acreage but it's not fenced. The pastures are all giant mud pits with no way for the horses to get out of it. In the BO defense it has been raining a good bit and trying to figure out how to remedy the pastures. What has me a bit irritated is my horse seems to be paying the price of over crowding. Long story short, my horse is supposed to be pasture boarded. She was in a pasture with probably 9 other horses, caused no issues and seemed perfectly fine. Well a new horse shows up and decides to buddy up with her. My mare didn't care at all. But I get a text asking for when I come out again to put her in a different paddock because the other horse was causing issues because of his buddy sourness to my mare. I was like sure whatever, we'll she has me put her in another paddock with what I can only describe as the devils horse. Now, my mare is low man on the totem pole and doesn't make waves. Well this mare in the new pasture is absolutely horrid to my mare, to the point where she wasn't being allowed to eat and being attacked just because my mare was sitting there minding her own business. I showed up less then 24 hours and pulling in I see my mare being bitten and chased away from the giant hay bale. I spoke to the barn hand and he said yea that particular horse is dangerous and just plain mean. He said he knows for a fact that morning she had eaten her feed because he stood in the paddock and kept devil mare away from my girl so she could eat. (He's a really sweet worker and really cares about all the horses)
The devil mare broke his hand and knocked out one of his teeth on a separate occasion. Well I get my girl out of pasture and bring her into the indoor arena and gave her some hay. We got to talking and I told him it's not acceptable for my girl to be terrorized and not be able to eat it was 32 degrees outside she needs food. He totally agreed. Well I text the barn owner and tell her what's going on. The response I get is they normally work it out but has me put my girl in a stall until she has time to move other horses around and she'd put my girl back out in the pasture. I texted her yesterday asking what pasture my girl was in so I knew where to grab her from.. I get told she's still in a stall because mud is so bad and she's putting as many horses in a stall to give the ground a break. I told her my girl doesn't do we'll stalled..She gets anxious, she said she understoodand would figure out a place to turn her out...Well that was 2 days ago. I went there this afternoon and my girl is in the same stall she had me put her in on Friday. She was like why don't you lunge your girl. I asked where she was, she was like, "I don't know where she is, oh yea she's in the stall, I wouldn't try and take her out." Oddly enough when I showed up all the horses that were turned out were the same ones that were out when she said she was stalling other horses. So, I call BS.
Personally I feel she's a bit afraid of my girl because she's a mustang (she's tip trained but not broke) My horse hasn't done anything aggressive to her, only thing she's done is she wouldn't let her catch her in the pasture 1 time. I also get the suspicion that she's over extended. She's never managed a barn, I think it was they took lessons at that barn, it came up for sale, they bought it and didn't really formulate an actual business plan or any type of barn management, hence why there's to many horses on the 5 acres.
I do have an appointment with another barn to tour, its only a couple minutes farther from my house but from the photos it looks alot nicer. I'd feel bad about leaving because the owner is a sweet lady and the other boarders are nice but I feel like I need to do what's best for my girl.
Inputs? Opinions?
 

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I can’t give you much because I‘m newer to the horse world, but if you think you might just keep having problems and you and your mare won’t be happy, I would move. If you think the other barn will be better fitted for you and your mare I would give it a go! Going to see your girl should be an enjoyable experience, not something that causes you stress. I hope things improve for you! Sorry if this doesn’t help much, but I hope it did! ;)
 

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There’s no way 37 horses on 5 acres works. I would absolutely move.
I totally agree, its a bit excessive in my opinion. Personally I think she's in over her head, don't get me wrong she's extremely sweet and I like her as a person but it seems like it was one of those situations where she wanted horses for her family and buying a boarding facility was the answer. Basically trying to feed her habit so to speak. Because I know atleast 4-5 horses belong to her. And I know of 2 other folks that are doing lessons there and are looking to buy a horse and board it there.
I can’t give you much because I‘m newer to the horse world, but if you think you might just keep having problems and you and your mare won’t be happy, I would move. If you think the other barn will be better fitted for you and your mare I would give it a go! Going to see your girl should be an enjoyable experience, not something that causes you stress. I hope things improve for you! Sorry if this doesn’t help much, but I hope it did! ;)
It's not so much me I'm worried about stressing its my girl because at the end of the day she's the one there 24/7 and I want her to be as comfortable and safe as possible.
 

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I totally agree, its a bit excessive in my opinion. Personally I think she's in over her head, don't get me wrong she's extremely sweet and I like her as a person but it seems like it was one of those situations where she wanted horses for her family and buying a boarding facility was the answer. Basically trying to feed her habit so to speak. Because I know atleast 4-5 horses belong to her. And I know of 2 other folks that are doing lessons there and are looking to buy a horse and board it there.

It's not so much me I'm worried about stressing its my girl because at the end of the day she's the one there 24/7 and I want her to be as comfortable and safe as possible.
I completely understand, I would feel the same way. Then do whatever you think will keep her the happiest and safest she can be. I also agree with @egrogan it sounds crowded, and she might not be getting the care she deserves because of it. I hope things work out for you and your mare, best of luck!
 

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I totally agree, its a bit excessive in my opinion. Personally I think she's in over her head, don't get me wrong she's extremely sweet and I like her as a person but it seems like it was one of those situations where she wanted horses for her family and buying a boarding facility was the answer. Basically trying to feed her habit so to speak. Because I know atleast 4-5 horses belong to her. And I know of 2 other folks that are doing lessons there and are looking to buy a horse and board it there.

It's not so much me I'm worried about stressing its my girl because at the end of the day she's the one there 24/7 and I want her to be as comfortable and safe as possible.
Also what I meant was if your mare isn’t happy, I know you wouldn’t be happy! And our horses mean a lot to us, and she should feel safe and happy!😊
 

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Still trying to understand 37 horses on 5 acres and how there can be ANY turn out at all!
Over crowding is how..It's been broken up into 7 paddocks. 2 bigger ones (probably about an acre each) and 5 smaller ones. And alot stay stalled or turned out to the outdoor arena and normally 1 in the indoor arena when not in use.
 

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Over crowding is how..It's been broken up into 7 paddocks. 2 bigger ones (probably about an acre each) and 5 smaller ones. And alot stay stalled or turned out to the outdoor arena and normally 1 in the indoor arena when not in use.
The new barn im going to this week has a total of 65 acres and 35 acres of pasture and not as many horses. So that right there is a plus for me
 

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Definitely move. I'm glad you are looking at a new barn, yeah, overcrowding is bad. Seems like they took in too many boarders & can't get it together.
 

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I moved my horse from a top notch facility with zero turnout to a rather ramshackle barn with turnout. My mare is happy, but we get to ride in literal mud instead of a nicely manicured heated indoor arena. Like yourself, my priority is her happiness.
 

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Well, I toured the new barn that I was interested in today. Let me tell ya'll it may not have an indoor arena but the pastures are amazing. There is 35 acres fenced pasture and a total of only 16 horses. My mare wouldn't be stalled what so ever unless absolutely necessary or I requested it. The barn owner has more of a no none sense approach with caring for the horses on the property but still approachable. I know for a fact my girl would love all the space and grass. So now to formulate a conversation with the old boarding facility to nicely tell her why I'm planning on moving my mare.
 

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You are doing the right thing. You are a client and don't owe loyalty to your barn. A nice letter about why you are leaving would not burn bridges. I recently did that, leaving a barn I had been at for 7 and half years. I gave reasons that were not a criticism of the owners, rather citing things that they could not change (rocky ground, stones in the arena sand and my mare's predisposition to get hoof abscesses) I told them that I wanted a pasture board situation as my mare is anxious and does better when not stalled for 20 hours a day, basically putting it on my mare's unique quirks and conditions rather than their management. You don't have to get detailed about every little thing and you can compliment the good things about your barn and thank them for your time there.
 
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