Due to a changing career and financial situation, I have decided to lease out my horse. She is healthy, sound, working on 3rd level dressage, 12 years old. Since I bought her a year and a half ago (I had known and ridden her for 5 years prior) she has been on Sentinel LS grain. It is 12% protein, 13% fat, 20% fiber with the main ingredients being beet pulp, alfalfa stem, soybean hulls. NO corn, NO molasses. I LOVE this grain. My girl looks amazing, she feels good, and I think the high fiber of the grain and of the nearly free choice hay have really gotten her stomach super healthy. Best temperament and health she's had since I've owned her. That can also be attributed to calm, all day turnout with friends. Anyway...
The new barn she is going to does not feed my grain I was told they feed Nutrena SafeGuard, Senior, and XTN. I did my research and I don't like any of them! YIKES! XTN I am pretty sure would make her nuts, Senior doesn't have nearly enough fat for her work level, and SafeGuard has corn in questionable amounts and too much NSC. How do I ask the BO to keep her on my grain?? Her turnout will be reduced with the new lease as well. Makes me especially want to keep her on the high fiber, minimum sugar diet.
What would you do? Would I be a PITA if I asked them to purchase her grain?
Yes, you would be a PIA if you asked them to purchase her grain. That does not mean you should not ask. Just accept that the answer might be no. Then you move on to finding if they will allow YOU to purchase her grain and they feed it for no extra fee or you provide baggies, etc.
That would be totally fine with me, however this lease is happening 2 hours away from me until the summer when I move. So buying it myself isn't feasible. Should I just take a deep breath, let the nutrition nut out of me, and feed her grain that the horses at that barn do well on? I would pick SafeGuard... I could just hold my breath..
If the horse is thriving in her current program, I certainly wouldn't change it w/o VERY good reason. If this barn cannot meet your mare's needs, why not require that your leaser locate one that does, both nutritionally and in terms of turnout? What will happen if your horse's performance begins to deteriorate or health suffer due to changes? As the horse owner, you can set whatever requirements you want of the leaser. (And I say this having been on both sides of the lease equation!) For what sounds like a fairly well-trained horse, the leaser should be willing to jump through a hoop or two for her well-being (and continued good performance, which is in the leaser's best interest, as well as yours).
The reason for the lease is because I can't afford the best for her, and she deserves the best. So I am hesitant to pay for her grain. It is a full lease away from me, but a half lease between two very nice amateurs. They are already paying 450 each per month, shoes, and each 1/3 of the insurance. Is it still reasonable to ask them for grain help? Should I just talk to the BO and say I'm sorry to be a pain but can I please ask you to get this grain? Sorry for being a little neurotic about this! It is a pricey barn, big trainer, big clinics, etc. which I think might be intimidating me a bit
Your answer is probably already in the boarding contract. There is probably something spelled out as to what they provide and how they handle feed or supplements provided by the owner. So once you've read that, the question will probably change to, "how do I tell the new leasors that they'll have the added expense of purchasing, and the added burden of providing, grain for my mare?" If your leasors are paying that much each per month then you're probably making something on the deal; figure out if you want to reduce their lease fee proportionately or pay for it yourself.
I'm actually still losing money as I will pay for shots and supplements.. Board at that barn is actually 900! (I know...) I will check out the boarding contract though, that is a good point. Since I'm not paying board I forgot about that
I disagree with stipulating that your horse remain on your chosen grain unless you have a documented medical reason (i.e. she tested IR or has allergies, etc.). I think horse people get very stuck in their own ways. Just because your horse does well on your program doesn't mean that she won't do well on someone else's. If these people are competent enough horse people that you will lease them your horse 2 hours away, give them the chance to take care of her too. And follow up with occasional site visits, just in case.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince
This horse is also going to have a big change in hay, grass, and environment. Some horses are calmer or crazier at one barn or another just based on facility layout, traffic, etc. Not to mention the 2 diff riders. So maybe you can worry about it more when the horse is moved, and you see how it goes.