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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2006
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    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie locks View Post
    I signed in thinking my horse would get adequate feed and bedding especially at this cost and now that he is not I am going to get charged MORE to provide it. Maybe I just assumed being in a show barn he would be pampered a bit. That's kind of why I moved. He's not a difficult keeper. I had him at a previous barn and he stayed fat no problem. I moved because I wanted to be in a full service, full training situation. And now my horse is getting "less" care than at a lower care facility. Which I guess surprises me.
    I think this is an extremely realistic expectation, especailly at your mentioned $2500 monthy expenses. I could board almost about 5 of my horses at that rate! But like others have said pricing is subjective. I think given you have a healthy budget to work with it is completely resasonable to find a facility with all of the ameneties that can create a custom feeding program (whether they hay more or compensate in grassy turnout/grain) and plenty of bedding.

    I would be wary of any place that make you sign a contract for a certain quantity of hay per day...



  2. #22
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    Feb. 19, 2009
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    4,662

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    the dingy bedding I could live with because honestly most shavings start looking dingy after a day, unless the cleaners are continually stripping the stalls and rebedding. It would be an issue if the horses were constantly standing in big piles of poo and pee. The weight loss and no flexibility on the hay or having other means of calories (like pelleted feed, alfalfa cubes, grain, etc) would be a no go because it does sound like you're supposed to be at a full service, show barn. Unless of course it is stated in your contract those are "extras".


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2012
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    111

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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    And you expected them to change their bedding practices once you moved in?
    When I already moved in I noticed my stall was not being kept like some of the other stalls. YES I expected my stall to look like the BO's stalls. AND as I stated already I understand the stall bedding situation IS SUBJECTIVE.

    I just don't get the feed issue and wondered how I can handle the situation!

    Edited to add that I was told before I moved it that my board would cover all needs and that I would not have to pay extra costs for anything. But sadly this was VERBAL. I feel the managers are being skimpy and cheap. That doesn't make me feel good at all.
    If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Currituck NC
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    1,267

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    I have a small boarding barn (more of a backyard place really) and I do about 3"-4" of shavings on top of mats in my stalls. Of course, most of my horses are pasture boarded so a majority of the stalls have minimal bedding (why bother when they mainly used to stick a horse in for an hour here or there).

    I do have one horse that is a total pig in the stall, major stall walker, paces, and stall has to be stripped every night (not a boarder...my own). She gets less then an inch...basically enough to soak up the urine.

    With that said...since they don't see much use, the shavings do start to look dingy after a while...but if the manure is picked out and the wet shavings removed, I feel that's fine and isn't hurting anyone.

    The hay would be a MAJOR deal breaker...my stall board is $300/month and that's unlimited free choice hay. Just for a night in the stall (6PM until about 7AM) they get 4-6 flakes of hay, plus Timothy/Orchard round bales during the day.



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    12,004

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie locks View Post
    I just don't get the feed issue and wondered how I can handle the situation!
    I think the BO already told you that you can buy more feed at an additional price.
    If you do not like that then find a different barn.

    Nothing we tell you here is going to suddenly make the BO feed differently.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2012
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    111

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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    I think the BO already told you that you can buy more feed at an additional price.
    If you do not like that then find a different barn.

    Nothing we tell you here is going to suddenly make the BO feed differently.
    Like most people that come to COTH for advice I am trying to make that decision if I want to move or if I want to shell out the money and "hopefully" get the feed that I pay extra for.

    Hearing if shelling out more money is actually fair for the price is something I WANT to hear. My horse will not suffer and I will make sure whatever choice I make it will be for his best interest.

    Hearing what others think IS helpful to me. I wonder too if I have a conversation with BO's about the cost and feed or if I can bring in my own hay was something I wanted to talk about too.

    Yeah you can simplify it as you have but things like this aren't always as simple as they seem. I do want input. Sorry if you disagree.

    I have been paying extra for shavings and my horses stall doesn't look any better than it did before.
    If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2003
    Location
    Kansas City, KS
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    270

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    I would find a better barn that suits your horses needs and make sure ALL the horses are cared for to your liking, not just the BO's horses. There are a lot of different barns in my area and I've noticed that a lot of the higher priced ones have lower quality pastures/stall care than some of the lower priced barns who take immaculate care of the horses. You might be able to find something less expensive with better care or you might have to pay extra to find what you want... but isn't the treatment of your horse the most important? If this place isn't cutting it shop around.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    5,933

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    Quote Originally Posted by TPF Hunter View Post
    Four flakes of hay a DAY? Please tell me thats the highest quality alfalfa hay available...

    Even at a low-cost boarding facility, I would expect my horses stall to be cleaned daily with fresh shavings added at least every other day. I can understand shavings being thin if your horse makes a total pigsty regardless of thick the shavings are... but thin shavings should at the very least be fresh.

    Sounds like you are at an upscale facility with grooms and the like... I would be furious if my horse was losing weight and sleeping on thin/dirty shavings.
    Our flakes tend to be about 10 lbs each. I'm trying to imagine any of our horses on 40lbs of alfalfa a day - even my large and energetic TB would be FAT. But I think everyone on this thread already knows using flakes is a terrible measurement to feed by except for low quality forage being given for horses to have something to chew on in large quantities because even bale to bale from the same batch varies greatly in weight/size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie locks View Post
    A lot of good thoughts here and helps me focus on the reality of my situation. I don't want to be a jerk but this just doesn't seem right to me.

    I get what you are saying about the care being subjective. The stall bedding for example is objective like a few posters have said. But when a horse looses weight I don't think that can really be argued when he was managed just fine on 25 pounds of hay a day prior. I have seen the hay they feed and it is very light weight.

    I have not been there very long and one of the things I did notice when I moved it was that the stalls were not bedded very good (about an inch thick if that) and looked dingy. I do notice BO horses are bedded well and their horses are fat. The cost is pretty high for where I live as far as cost and doesn't include training. I used to pay 400.00 for board no training or grooms. I am now paying 2,500 for board, grooming and training.

    I signed in thinking my horse would get adequate feed and bedding especially at this cost and now that he is not I am going to get charged MORE to provide it. Maybe I just assumed being in a show barn he would be pampered a bit. That's kind of why I moved. He's not a difficult keeper. I had him at a previous barn and he stayed fat no problem. I moved because I wanted to be in a full service, full training situation. And now my horse is getting "less" care than at a lower care facility. Which I guess surprises me.

    I signed a contract that says four flakes of hay. I guess that was a bad thing to do because they didn't say how heavy the flakes of hay are. So if one flake is only 2 pounds then the horse is only getting 8 pounds a day.
    I think it sounds like despite your requests the situation isn't going to change to a level you find acceptable. In that case, you should move. When our horses were boarded the contract and pricing was very clear - no more than 10lbs alfalfa per meal (two meals daily) and grass hay or more than 10lbs cost X amount. I was fine with that because it was laid out ahead of time - not like what you were told (below.) Every different service beyond the basics of daily pen cleaning (twice daily + shavings for stalls) was priced separately and laid out clearly. I chose to feed my own grain, lunch, blanket, turn out, etc. I lived less than a mile and a half from the barn and it was on my way home from work, so that was totally doable.

    Overall the situation just didn't work for my TB who needed to be out all the time, not just when I turned him out after riding daily. I ended up building to have him at home so I could manage it, though right now he's in full training where board and training together are less than you pay, but I live in one of the less expensive areas. To me, minimal good care is an absolute necessity, and if you can't get the feed situation fixed ASAP (even if it means you pay more) I would get out of there as quickly as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie locks View Post
    When I already moved in I noticed my stall was not being kept like some of the other stalls. YES I expected my stall to look like the BO's stalls. AND as I stated already I understand the stall bedding situation IS SUBJECTIVE.

    I just don't get the feed issue and wondered how I can handle the situation!

    Edited to add that I was told before I moved it that my board would cover all needs and that I would not have to pay extra costs for anything. But sadly this was VERBAL. I feel the managers are being skimpy and cheap. That doesn't make me feel good at all.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2011
    Location
    Southern WI
    Posts
    311

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    The bottom line is: if you don't feel that your horse is being maintained at an appropriate weight, then move him. State your reasons for leaving clearly, but I don't think that I would ask the BO to up their feed if they don't believe the horse is not getting adequate feed. It might get better for a while, then slowly peter off again. Feed and a healthy-looking horse is not negotiable.

    Bedding - I would let that go unless your horse has sores, is constantly standing in urine/poo, or other problems. I have boarded at a place that bedded on a light 1/2" dusting of bedding over mats. I didn't like it, but the horse was fine and is none the worse for wear. With that same horse at home in a clay floor stall, I don't use much bedding at all either. About two inches in the back 2/3 of the stall and the front clear so she can scatter hay as she likes. From what I gather from many on COTH, that is still inadequate. To each their own, until it becomes unsanitary or unsafe.



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2013
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    176

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    If I was paying $1300 for board I would expect my horse to be able to maintain a proper weight. As for bedding, if there arn't puddles of urine and my horse doesn't have any sores I wouldn't be as concerned about that.



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    Bottom line: If your horse is underweight, they are skimping on food. If they're skimping on food, what else are they skimping on? Bedding, OK. But I would be uncomfortable, as you clearly are.

    I don't like the fact that your BO's horses are bedded more deeply than the boarders'. That's bad business, obviously, but it would also make me uneasy.

    Look around, hopefully you can find something better, maybe even for less money!

    In my case, I'm at my third barn in about 8 years. If anybody's horses get less, it's the BO's. The place isn't fancy, but my horses want for nothing (except more grass). There are no extra charges aside from grooming, training, and trailering. And the trainer is good!

    In looking around for good barns, the show barns really didn't have better care. Yes, the horses and the place were immaculate. But food and turnout? Not as good as at some of the less fancy places.

    Good luck!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2010
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    1,693

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    I'm a breeder doing most of the work myself, with someone that I've used for years who does my barn on Thurs and Fridays. That said, with or without good pasture, mine get good concentrates twice a day, three times for the late-term broodmares, and always hay on demand, as much as they can eat without waste. My supplies per horse average $200 per month for concentrates, hay, bedding, and supplements. Bags of feed, hay on demand, and bedding cost the barn owner about 15% of what you are paying per month, labor and her profit margin would bring it up to your total monthly board of $1300. Unless your board includes A LOT of other services, you are paying too much unless you board in an area where hay/alfalfa is extremely expensive like S. FLA or CA. I'd say that your BO's profit margin is extremely high and you are being ripped off. I'd think about moving.

    The other point is that if a matted stall is poorly bedded, the ammonia level down low, where many horses keep their noses, can lead to permanent heaves. That reason alone would make me start shopping.

    Diane Halpin/Laurel Leaf Hanoverians: Facebook
    Great Falls, VA.



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2011
    Location
    Cheney, WA
    Posts
    541

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    I boarded at a barn, and this wasn't an upper level barn by any means, and when I moved in my 17 hd TB was out in pasture and the owner was feeding him good thick flakes. (horse needed more weight) Horse eventually got banned from pasture since BO put a dominant horse in with mine (he had not been out with others and turns out he was also dominant) and they would get into fights sometimes, especially at feeding time when they would go in the same stall. So mine got kicked out and he wouldn't put him in another pasture. Anyhow, as more boarders came in the amount of food my horse was getting got less and less. It ended up with him feeding my aforementioned 17 hd TB the same that he was feeding the 14.2 Qh's. I don't mind paying extra if my horse needs more food, but I think he should at least be getting fed enough or a horse of his size first! Barn owner refused to give horse more food without me paying, flakes were literally 2" or so thick and he got two, he should have had at least twice that! The frustrating part was that he WAS feeding him enough for a while and suddenly stopped. We eventually had a falling out and I packed up and left within like a week or so (when I told him I was leaving suddenly my horse had broken a waterer from almost a year before when he was in the pasture with the other horse so I wasn't getting my deposit back. Which is fine, if I had been told at any point that he had broken something!) I moved him to a show facility that fed what/as much as you wanted without charging extra. It was great!



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2013
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    582

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    Are you staying to work with a trainer? If there isn't a compelling reason and your horse would get the basics (food and a clean stall) at another barn, I'd move. I'd never board at a place that didn't feed according to my horses needs



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2012
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    1,412

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie locks View Post
    I have been paying extra for shavings and my horses stall doesn't look any better than it did before.
    It sounds like you have your answer. All I can tell you is that when I ran a training facility I would do what is necessary for all my horses and boarders horses to look great. The only time I would charge more is if a horse needed something so special and expensive that it was alot different than the average horse. My owners wouldn't have to worry about getting their horse to look good because I was on it all the time. It reflected on my farm as far as I was concerned. Seems like you are missing that pride with your BO. I'd move on.
    You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!



  16. #36

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    I've boarded at 4 or 5 show barns and about the same number of non-show barns. In my experience my horse has ALWAYS lost weight and had the worst care at the show barns. Right now he is at a small family owned barn, where there are two other regular boarders, a few retirement boarders, and the rest BO's horses. He's been there two years now and gets immaculate care for $310/month. Granted, he is field boarded and always has been, but that is no excuse for him losing weight/getting injured. Sure, I have to deal with a tiny arena and no on site shows, but he gets fed my own grain twice a day (with a discount and grain picked up b/c otherwise she would feed the grain included in the board) w/ provided supplements, blanketed according to the weather, fly masks on in the morning and off at night in the summer, brought up at night into a smaller paddock w/ a run in at night in the winter and day in the summer, turned out otherwise on a large, well maintained pasture, use of a stall on nights before shows, and allows us to take their hay to shows. All of this at no extra charge. The only thing that is charged extra is lunging/exercising, deworming/fecals, grooming, or holding for vet/farrier.

    I honestly think that our BO takes better care of my horse than I probably would myself. And unless I am able to own my own facility one day, I will probably never move him.

    Also, I have a TB, and he's not necessarily a hard keeper, but he's gained 150+lbs. since we moved to this barn, whereas at almost every other barn, he's lost a considerable amount of weight.

    So if I were you, I would move to a less fancy facility, if it means getting better care. If you were to take your horse to a show, and him be underweight, no one is going to care how fancy of a farm you board at. Quality over quantity.
    Last edited by cosmo_momo; May. 1, 2013 at 07:28 PM. Reason: typos



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    8

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    I've never posted here before but this topic strikes home with me. I just recently moved from a place that was not feeding my horse enough- the BO constantly had a reason "he's a growing boy etc" so I ended up supplimenting the poor quality hay with my own food at my expense and having to pay for them to feed it. That got old. Some of my friends at the barn would say "no place is perfect". Interesting thought process since if I went to a hair salon and got a bad haircut half the time I wouldnt go back. Why do we allow for so many excuses for horse businesses but not others?


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  18. #38
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
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    5,553

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    Lots of good advice here, starting with: move, if the BO isn't feeding your horse enough to maintain his weight. You had an agreement and the BO isn't honoring it, and it doesn't sound like the BO is likely to honor it.

    I'm at a barn that isn't cheap, but is less expensive than yours, and a good deal for my area. Now my little horse, while not an easy keeper, eats a lot less than your typical TB or big WB, and is happiest on cheap grass hay. She is very neat in her stall, but she pees volumes one wouldn't think possible for such a small horse! (This has always been the case BTW.) So she gets fed less, but it takes more shavings to keep her stall reasonably clean. It all balances out.

    As for personnel costs... labor costs eat up a lot of income, especially for places that want to keep their staff, or if you don't want to board at a place that uses illegal immigrants. I've turned down places for that reason; I'm politically quite liberal and don't like the idea of Americans taking advantage of another person's immigration status to underpay them. It's just a "thing" for me. Other people have other "things."

    I do resent it when the BO's horses are treated better than the boarders' horses. That suggests a BO who's unfairly dipping into the other horses' allotment for their own horse.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



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