to move or not to move - again. Mostly a rant, but advice would be welcome
Barn 1 - large lesson barn. Good trainer and fantastic arenas. Constant influx of inexperienced staff so horses may or may not be watered, may or may not be fed, may or may not be turned out. Staff afraid of some of the larger horses or the more high strung horses (mine are neither). Water is a big issue for me. Horses have no water, horses move to new barn.
Barn 2- smaller facility, mostly boarders, a few lesson horses. Trainer only taught beginner children (didn't know that when I moved there, but I figured I'd live without lessons for a while). Nice arenas, nice stalls/paddocks, automatic watering system. Owners must turnout horses and remain while horses are turned out. All stalls have attached paddocks, so horses have room to move around. I go everyday to give my guys turnout (barn 5 minutes from my house, so no problem). The problem - one barn employee who is responsible for stall cleaning only. He cleans stalls every other day. Feeding is done by "working students," read as beginner lesson students, who may or may not feed depending on if they remember. My guys were skipped multiple times. Not acceptable - didn't stay long there.
Barn 3. Small boarder facility with trainer. Trainer is ok. Nice outdoor arena. Ok indoor arena. Barn staff great. Unfortunately, BO takes care of horses on staff's day off and is totally incompetent to do so. Skips feeding a horse here and there, skips watering a horse here and there and cannot handle horses easily for turnout. Scary.
Barn 4. Small boarder facility. No trainer. Tons of turnout. Ok arena. Barn staff is a person who wants to learn to ride but can't afford a horse, so gets to ride BO's horses in exchange for cleaning stalls and watering. (BO does turnout and feed.) This person doesn't get the horses require watering every single day. BO talks to person, but attention to water gradually fades again. Totally not acceptable.
Barn 5. Small boarder facility with trainer/BO (same person). This trainer/BO is awesome. Love this one. Ok arena. But barn staff again leaves much to be desired. Horses aren't always turned out, even though they are supposed to be. Some days bay horse's stall looks like it hasn't been cleaned at all. Some days I have to water this same horse. I get the impression the staff doesn't like this horse. Talked to trainer, who had discussion with barn staff. Bay guy gets watered and gets turned out. But, now barn staff won't talk to me. Trainer/BO is paying extra attention right now, but when that stops, I expect to have the same problems. :mad:
I am running out of barns. Am I unreasonable expecting my horses to have water, be fed the appropriate amount, have their stalls cleaned once a day and be turned out? I pay for all of this - full care and all is stated in the board agreement. I don't expect the stall to be spotless when I show up after work, but I don't expect to see standing puddles of pee because the bedding can't soak it all up. No other stalls look like that. I don't expect to see empty water buckets ever, but it's really annoying when all other buckets are full. (Other horse always has water and his stall doesn't look bad.) Turnover for barn staff is pretty high in this area. If I grit my teeth long enough, they will disappear and new ones will take their place. Don't know if I can grit my teeth much longer. Tempted to go back to Barn 4 and offer to clean stalls/water for a discount on board just to make sure my guys are watered. Really want lessons, though. And really would like to spend my time with my guys instead of cleaning stalls for a dozen or so horses every night after working all day. Opinions? For those of you that read this far, thanks!