I normally post in the dressage forum, but I need some advice!
I've decided (I think) to put in my 30 day notice tomorrow and I'm trolling for COTH courage and bollocks and a little bit of "yes I'm making the right decision." I hate, HATE change and drama so this is a huge decision for me.
Some background - I've been there for 6 years - I've known the daughter of the BO since I was little. I wasn't exposed to a whole lot of drama because it was all family drama. Flash forward....Mom and daughter have a HUGE falling out and I remain to pick up the lesson program and to train the youngsters.
Along the way - BO and manager get more and more reclusive to the point where I'm paying 400 a month for facilities that I can't use. Lessons have been cancelled for no reason for over 2 months and the rules start to change so fast that I can't keep track. The manager (also BO's boyfriend) starts to play weird tricks, like arrange the hose "just so" so that he knows whether or not it's been touched. I had to move a tractor 2 feet back to get my horse through an aisle for turn out - it was blocking the door and the manager blows up at me in front of a student and then tears off in a car causing the cross-tied horse to spook and nearly run over my student. So, the behavior is getting erratic and dangerous.
I found a lovely place a few miles away - the problem is, the BO is not as knowledgeable about horses so I worry that the care will be a little lacking (my mare is a little hot-house flower and she can and will show signs of colic when things are not to her-highness's liking. It's fine with a bit of banamine.)
I know that this is kind of a dumb question...It seems to be a no-brainer and if I was the only one in the equation, I would have been gone ages ago. However, my girl is top priority and I need to think of her needs. I do know that when I'm over at the "new" barn - I enjoy horses again. I avoid my "old" barn like the plague. I know that this speaks volumes - but...I gotta think of my girl.
Also - if I move - should I change vets and farrier and all to keep barn visit costs down? Or should I retain vet and farrier services? What is the etiquette for this?
Thanks so much for any help!
Last edited by Reddfox; Feb. 28, 2010 at 06:13 PM.
Reason: Got too darn wordy...
In what you've posted - it is in your mare's best interest to move! Personally, (if you can afford it), I'd give notice and move at same time - just because it seems like the people are somewhat unbalanced and you don't need your horse or yourself in that situation.
At the new barn, write a nicely worded note about your mare's symptoms re colic - explain to the BM that you have concerns re same so you're providing this list as a precaution. Do not present it as if she/he wouldn't notice if the horse was colicking... as someone who has been a BM, I've always appreciated it when new clients gave me a heads up on the idiosyncracies of their horses.
Also - having just moved my guy to a boarding barn (which was very hard as I've had some BAD experiences) - I provided them with some info on him because of similar reasons - gave it to the BO & BM with a "Hey - just a heads up on my guy - if you see anything like this, please let me know asap" at the same time I provided emergency / vet / contact info. They were MOST understanding and very appreciative.
As for the vet/farrier - find out what new place's policy is - and do what is in your best interest. Most places in my area are fairly open about using which farrier or vet you want - but some are more restrictive.
Originally Posted by SmartAlex
Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.
When you are anxious and uptight, the horse picks it up and will become anxious too. This can add to her already tending to colic easily.
I'd say trust yourself and flee the place and get to a quieter place with little drama.
Most barns don't care if you have your own vet and farrier.
Ask up front.
Don't give the new barn owner the dirt on the last BO. Just ask her rules and position on various circumstances.
Most people want to know how you feel on subjects. Just give the basics and no melodrama from the old barn.
It ought to be refreshing after the barn you were in.
Just do your best to be a good boarder. The new BO will appreciate that.
I find myself most comfortable when I know I'm making my ultimate decision based on the well being of the horse.
That's the conundrum I see with your post. It seems as if you're a little unsure about the quality/consistency of care at the potential "new" barn.
My advice would be to go and sort that out. Ask questions...talk to the BO. Find out what the policy is about checking horses....find out what constitutes and emergency to the BO and how they communicate concerns to owners. Spend some time over there...hauling in perhaps?
If you're not on the same page care-wise, it's going to be a short lived situation.
I can deal with not being able to ride, not having awesome facilities, etc if my HORSE is okay...but all the amenities in the world mean nothing if your horse is constantly at risk.
My general measure is: Would I feel comfortable going away for a week and know that my horse was okay?
If not...if I feel like I have to be there daily just to make sure the basics are covered? Big no.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Sometimes we must do things that are in our best interest, for our sanity! As long as your horses will be safe an happy, make your move. Your Vets and Farriers know your animals, so don't just dump them to be PC, good ones are hard to find!
Do what is going to make you happy--your mare will be fine.
I had a majorly high maintenance horse, yet I moved her several times including cross country. She lived.
Take a deep breath and have a little faith in the new BO. I really don't understand why you aren't off loading your mare up and moving her.
Life is too short to tolerate the antics of Aholes.
My thoughts exactly. You can educate the less informed. I believe even the experts are glad to learn out of love for the animal or their chosen discipline. Dangerous is just that...and not an easy or sometimes possible fix without at least a Master's in Psychology.
Good luck at your new barn
Perhaps your mare was prone to colic at your current place as she may have been picking up the negative vibes for quite a while? Just something to think about.
Perhaps if she is moved to this new place, without the negative energy, she'll be just fine.
If you are happy with your current vet and farrier, and they are able to keep you as a client at the new place, stick with them. If you think they'll just drag over the negative energy with them (hopefully not) then perhaps it's time to make a change there as well.
the problem is, the BO is not as knowledgeable about horses so I worry that the care will be a little lacking (my mare is a little hot-house flower and she can and will show signs of colic when things are not to her-highness's liking. It's fine with a bit of banamine
I'd not be keen to move my horse to a place where I felt the BO was not very knowledgeable. Who will be giving the banamine? Are you expecting that this BO will give your horse banamine when she is colicky? Can they do IV shots?
These are things you'll want to be clear on before you move there.
I do know that when I'm over at the "new" barn - I enjoy horses again. I avoid my "old" barn like the plague. I know that this speaks volumes - but...I gotta think of my girl.
Just want to agree with what you already know.
When, for whatever reason, the barn atmosphere interferes with your ability to enjoy your horse... it's time to move. I've been stuck in situations like this, because I was trying to save money or preserve a personal relationship. The same people I'm avoiding by staying away as much as possible, or keeping odd hours, are often eager to speculate about absenteeism to anyone who will listen.
For an amateur, it's too expensive a hobby to let someone else take the fun out of it. For a pro, it's too hard a job to dread going to work.
And either way, your good name can suffer.
"I never panic when I get lost. I just change where I want to go." -Rita Rudner
Update: The deed is done! I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Thank you so much for all the advice! I grew a pair and told the BO the truth...and at this point - it's amicable.
I do still worry a bit about the new barn, but I've spent time there and there's a lot of knowledgeable borders who can help me keep an eye on things. I'm going to take Oldenmare's approach and write down what to watch for and what to do and hang it on her door. BuddyRoo nailed it in saying that, "I find myself most comfortable when I know I'm making my ultimate decision based on the well being of the horse." I wasn't sure that this was the best for the well-being of my horse. But, I can and will be there everyday to help switch her into her new routine. So we'll be just fine!
I'm happy now - already and I've not even moved her yet. I'm looking forward to a wonderful spring/summer of trails, training and shows with a great group of people...why oh WHY didn't I do this sooner!!!
Actually I'd load up my horse and move it first, if necessary say you are trailering out for a lesson, trail ride what ever, then once she is safely out give your notice. The place sounds likes a key of dynamite ready to blow. Move to the new place but keep an eye on how the new BO does. Maybe she knows more then she lead on and if not maybe she is concerned enough to call when she is in doubt. Your mare might actually do better at a low stress place.