If the vet told the owner that the horse needed free choice hay 24/7, it is up to the owner to approach the BO and politely discuss the options available. Now, if the BO says no problem and does not follow through, that is a different matter...
This is the problem. We did discuss it and I was assured that my horse would have adequate hay as per the vet's recommendations. I was willing to pay extra for it. They did not provide the service they had said they would.
I completely understand not being able to provide free choice hay for many reasons. I don't expect it except in that one situation with that particular horse- and again, I was more than willing to pay extra for it as I know it is an expense.
The people at SR are flat out control freaks. For those of you who are questioning the OP's validity- take it from someone who also knows... the barn staff is extremely inexperienced; while the facility has a lot of potential, they don't maintain the riding rings (dragging); they charge not only to bring a trainer in when there is no in-house trainer, but they also charge you if you do not pick up manure in the ring; they want the barn to be considered a home away from home, however they are fanatical about what they consider to be "their space"...
I could go on and on and on. Regardless of what I say, I'm sure some people will think I am being a PITA but these people are honest to god nuts and they do NOT know horses.
PS: Coventry is LOVELY. While I haven't boarded there, I have been to some of their shows and am so impressed with the facility! I've heard great things about them, also.
they charge not only to bring a trainer in when there is no in-house trainer, but they also charge you if you do not pick up manure in the ring;
Both things that there are threads about around here from time to time and neither of which are unusual. If there is a rule about picking up manure in the ring, charging if you do not pick up after yourself seems reasonable.
You know what, i see nothing wrong with outing a barn that has management problems. Geesh, people what is it with the horse industry that everything has to be so hush,hush. If the OP and the other people that boarded there didn't like it, that is their right to say something. If the barn/Pam isn't doing anything wrong then they have nothing to worry about. As far as other barn owners here jumping on board, defending the barn, think of it this way, if by chance the stuff the OP says is true, is that the type of business you want to align yourself with. Think carefully before putting yourselves on this barns level.
I have no idea if this barn is in the wrong or not, and i for one would be checking other sources, besides a few posts on an internet board before i moved my horse there. Its called being a responsible horse owner.
People are entitled to their own opinions, right or wrong, it works both ways.
Frankly i would think the barn owner had better things to do, then come on here to defend themselves. Clients come and go its not a life changing situation.
Texan, I think it's less about outing a barn that isn't a good fit, and more about trying to tell the OP that most horse communities are small and that one can get enough of a reputation among BO's that ones boarding options become limited. I can name a couple of people in my area who ended up buying their own places because no one would take them on. Definitely feel free to rant, but keeping things a little more generic might be the wiser choice.
Reading about this place is unbelievable! It's so sad when BO/BM's care more about the appearance of their barns than they do about the horses. Forget about the boarders even, but at least care for the horses. It just makes me so thankful for the boarding barn I am at. it's a nice, safe place. Not nearly as fancy as the place across the street or down the road but the care is impecable and the people who run the place are second to none. Yes, our horses can have free choice hay and yes, the boarders can feed their horses as much hay as they want. No, no one takes advantage of that privilege because they see it as just that, a privilege. They also know that no other barn in the area allows that. We live in the NE and there is a hay shortage right about now but the BO's have managed to find suppliers who have kept round bales in our pastures 6 out of 7 days of the week. No charge for trainers coming in or blankets on or off or holding for the vet, farrier, dentist...again, nothing fancy but every horse has a stall, water buckets scrubbed every,single.day. Pasture troughs are sparkling clean too. There is nothing negative about this barn at.all. Why? because the BO's LOVE what they do and they do it first and foremost because they want happy, healthy horses. They know all to well how some boarding barns are and they want none of that in their place. THESE are the reasons that there is a waiting list a mile long to get in. I am so sorry that people are having such hard times at your boarding barns. i know all to well, sadly, how hard that is.
Yes, it's harsh, but it happens. And it's not always a fall-out with the BO that triggers a sudden move. A fire, flood, etc, can put a horse owner in the same boat. Ideally, people should have a mental list of barns they can call in an emergency (and a plan to get there). They don't have to be barns you'd stay at forever, just someplace that can take in the horse for a few days until you figure out a better long-term solution.
Several of us consulted lawyers and there was some talk about forcing the BO/BM to honor the 30 days' notice through legal channels, but in the end I believe everyone just left. I'm not sure if anyone else pursued getting their money back. I trusted the BM's word longer than I should have and by the time I realized I needed to take it in my own hands, I had too much else going on and it wasn't worth the added time/effort, even for small claims. I have no doubt I would have won in court. I do have doubts about whether I would have ever been able to collect.
Yeah, the small claims route can end up just being more money wasted. Plus a hassle.
It is a good idea to have a back up plan, unfortuneatly most don't. In years past I have hauled other peoples horses when they were in a jam, but I don't do that anymore. My last trailer had multiple dings in the back from a womans horse kicking the entire time. After the first few minutes I wants to drop them off on the side of the road.
I do not find the BO not allowing boarders to touch the hay and grain as a red flag. Having boarded with people who insist Dobbin needs constant hay when Dobbin beds himself in it and wastes half of what he is given I can totally see why BO's make rules like that.
If I were to run a boarding barn I would keep all feed under lock and key. I hate to say it but unless you have kept a horse at home or at a self care barn where you do all the feeding, the average horse boarding owner has no clue about feeding. When I boarded we didn't keep hay under lock and key and people would think "princess" wasn't getting enough and toss a few flakes in. We that cleaned the stalls took out those two flakes the next day via wheelbarrow urine sodden and trod into the bedding. Hay is too expensive to cart to the manure pile. I don't blame any BO for that rule as long as the horses there are in good flesh.
So of this stuff sounds crazy really. Then on the other hand I know many barns that make you put up jumps around here when you ate done because they don't tailor to just jumpers. So I don't find that crazy. I also don't find it to crazy that they want you to get the manure out of the ring. Manure grows weeds (ask me how I know) and grass in a ring if you let it mix in and set long enough. I have my own arena and have learn the hard way to pick it up. Maybe a ring that is used often, like 10 times or more a day might not have an issue but one like mine does.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
Boy I am glad I do not board a horse anymore! I had good experiences!
Edited to add.. That thing about putting jumps away drove me nuts, Especially when the one barn I was at the trainer was an eventer, and several eventers were there. You would get a course all set up and a few days later it was down.
I'm no BO but have boarded out for 40 some odd years, big barns, little barns, private self care, co op and fancy smantzy so have a unique perspective on boarding barn practices. I have also given notice, did a midnite move, rode out and never came back and gotten kicked out( pointed out the hay was moldy on one occasion and asking for more the 1 bucket of water a day at another place). So am no novice to such things.
80% of what OP complained about is common to many boarding barns and is usually clearly communicated to boarders via written contract and posted rules. Insist on them when looking for a barn.
The other 20% of her complaint is probably valid and BOs conduct is beyond childish but plastering names on here does nothing to resolve the situation and comes off as "I'll get you for that". Not helpful.
Somebody asked "Just how much do BOs want from us?" a few posts up????? Well breaking even while providing every detail to make every boarder happy would be a start but that would mean charging more. Do the math sometime, boarding is barely break even at best with hay, gas, taxes and insurance skyrocketing. Barns make more on lessons (especially on client owned horses)and sales then they ever clear on boarding.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
I haven't read through all of these but I once allowed a friend leasing my horse to board at this farm. The owner is one of those who knows everything (but nothing) about horses. It ended very, very badly and almost cost my horse his life due to the mismanagement and her idiot dogs.
The thing is - the facility does look nice and well-kept. When we were there (I was also on the boarding contract), the outdoor ring was in good condition. The indoor is small but there was access to trails. The BO seems sincere and comes across as having common sense. Ohhhh - the disillusion starts quickly, doesn't it?
Let's just say, we started encountering issues and the BO has a real Dr Jekyll/Ms Hyde personality.
Samantha's issues with the BO were also completely valid. Thing is, you just can't reason with crazy.
OP - please feel free to contact me if you're looking for other places. I'm very well known and respected in the area.
OP - If it makes you feel any better, I used her own contract wording to move my horse without notice. Hey - she waited several hours before notifying me of the injuries, he almost DIED and on top of it, she LIED to me about the extent of the injuries as well as causation. She's lucky I didn't rip her fool head off. LOL - we still see each other occasionally and she refuses to acknowledge me. So, of course, I always greet her politely. As you now know her, you can imagine how she feels about it!!!
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.