Okay, so I don't know if anyone from my barn including the barn owner or barn manager reads COTH, but I have to brag. I LOVE MY BARN!
We moved here in July, and it is the best barn I ever been at! I've always boarded my horses at barns where they get good care and are safe, but this barn just goes above and beyond in everything. The owner (You're awesome Susan!) built the barn for her own horses, and she does everything right the first way. It's a beautifully property and well built/designed barn and layout. She's also always making improvements to everything. The property is on 40 acres, and she just bought 6 more that we built and put a few small cross country jumps in.
The barn manager (Dana if you're reading this...you rock!) is as OCD as I am about the horses. She took care of Tiamo for me while I was out of town for a few days. During that time, he got a tiny (and I mean tiny) cut on his fetlock that was a bit warm. She texted me and told me she had been coldhosing it every day, wrapped his legs just in case during the day, soaked him down with fly spray so he wouldn't be stomping at flies, etc. Also, this is the CLEANEST barn I ever been at. Thank you Susan, Dana, and Oscar, the wonderful barn worker, who scrub the barn down with Pine Sol, hose out the aisle, and scrub water and feed buckets almost every day.
They are super flexible about feed and supplements. You can bring in your own vet, farrier, and trainer. There are no closed days or hours as long as you are respectful of the fact that Oscar and the BO live on property.
This winter when the temps get low, they feed "alfalfa tea"- watered down alfalfa cubes, mineral oil, and apple cider vinegar every few days to keep things moving. And because of this terrible, long dry spell they couldn't reseed the pastures as planned so they are buying round bales for the horses this winter. Which by the way, all the pastures have 4-board fences and almost all have run in sheds, and the horses get 12-14 hours of turn out every day. And finally, they print out the 10 day forecast and write down the plan for sheets/blankets on the whiteboard.
Sorry it's long, but I had to brag! Now brag about your amazing, OCD, wonderful BMs and BOs now. And yes, be jealous.
Having an owner you can have faith in is so valuable. I was at a H/J barn and very unhappy. The BO was rude, condescending, and just plain nasty to me (she trained but I was not her student - I went with her only other trainer that I had known for ten years)
I left in June for an eventing barn and my equine life has truly made a 180. Where I used to feel my stomach turn in knots when I saw my old BO's car at the barn, I'm always smiling when I pull in here. First off, my BO lives on the property which is over 200 acres, not including the 90 miles of state-maintained trails that run right through the property. She is available 24/7 for her boarders, but she also expects her boarders to put their horses first - if you don't put in the effort, she's not going to jump to help you. When my horse ripped half of his right eyelid off the day before I left for vacation she gave him his medication 4x daily in his 30 acre pasture for a week and just said - don't worry, I'll just ask you for a favor sometime. No one at my previous barn would have done that for me. At least not without trying to charge me for it!
She gives the horses the best care I have ever seen at any facility. She is picky about her boarders and so the barn is filled with wonderful, drama free, horse lovers. It's a great barn!
I love my barn owner & barn. We don't have any boarders aside from me right now, just lost the last one to college, but we're looking for more. My BO is the sweetest, most overly concerned, obsessive horse care nut ever. I love her! I trust her implicitly and she trusts me. I couldn't ask for a better situation. I just had a trainer offer me a spot for my horses and I had to say 'no'. I'd love to go work for said trainer, but I wouldn't want to move my horses. They are sooooo well taken care of where they are. I'm totally in love with my boarding situation! Thanks Gayle!!!!!!!!
I love my barn & BO/BMs so much that when I moved 7 hours away, out-of-state, I left my two retired/semi-retired Morgans there. Anyone who knows me knows how much of a crazy over-protective mother I am about those two (I've had one for 17 years, the other for 11 years), so it is a huge testament that I trust the barn enough to leave my "babies" in their care. And I plan this move only to be temporary (for a job), so I'm trying to fit my career around moving back there so I can be in close proximity to that barn again.
I am extrememly fortunate to have a wonderful BO and BM. When the place where I had boarded went up for sale (which was also a really great place to board), they were very kind to let me come to their place.
They are willing to put up with Tessie's colic prevention program, which is totally different from what they feed. Plus, she gets all of the very good quality hay that she wants.
The BO and BM are positive people. They have 49 acres with a lovely outdoor arena/jumps and some cross country jumps in the fields. Tess has a gelding buddy for turnout. We have boarded places where she was turned out alone and did not settle well.
The BM is very observant. I have had Tess for 11 years and thought that I knew her pretty well. Because he pays attention, he has told me things about her that I did not know. He cleans the stall in the morning, then picks again in the evening.
When I was so sick this summer, I did not worry about Tessie's care. If you can say that about your boarding situation, then you have found a good one.
In our household, when Tess is happy, then everybody is happy.
My Mother and StepFather are my BO/BM's
They are awesome!!!!!
My Mom takes care of my old man Georgie for me! and My StepFateher doesnt make me pay any board!! ( his idea, I offered many many times )
I know one day when my son is in school and I have more time during the day I'll have to move my horse closer to me, and board for the first time in my life ( 30 years). But for now I have awesome care, great facilities, and a free baby sitter for my son while I ride!
I wish I could brag, I just had to emergency move my horses due to a particularly hostile situation after giving notice.
I can brag that my coach made room for me when she wasnt really ready since I had nowhere else to take them on such short notice, and they are very happy now, and I am not longer fretting about their care.
I love my BO, who is actually BO/BM and Trainer. I just don't worry about things, and my mare is glossy and happy. It's not the biggest/fanciest (it's NICE, but not super ritzy), but the facility is safe and well maintained. Feed program is tied directly to the training program. If the weather changes, blankets will get pulled/added. I can wrap in the evening after a show, and someone will pull them at turnout the next morning. It's a small training barn, so everyone is on a program (even if just one lesson a week), so you're not dealing with hoards of people doing different things and following different "rules".
Oh yeah, and she won't take crazies as boarders any more...
"Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."
I have to chime in. Vicky is the best BO! When I was looking for a new place where my horse would be turned out 24/7 w/ shelter and buddies, she told me she cares for her boarders' (there are 4 of us) horses like she does her own two ponies. It turned out to be true. Great hay, fresh water, clean stalls to roam in and out of when they want to stand in front of the fan, etc. She will even replace the fly masks that get ripped off when the boys are especially playful (a daily occurrence). When I could not get out to cold hose/ice/medicate an injury, she offered to do it for me (at no extra charge). Can't say enough about the great care my boy gets at her little barn.