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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    643

    Default I need a reality check. Does the rest of the world consider these things a problem?

    I've been struggling with the boarding options in my area for a few years now. I will admit I had gotten pretty spoiled, growing up first having horses at my grandparent's barn. As a kid, it was a TOTAL drag becuase everything was done by the book (and by my gram's "my way or the highway" approach, too), no screwing around, horses can get you killed, and you just don't take shortcuts and do stupid things that could bite you in the butt , and then I continued learning "how it should be done" by working for my old trainer for the next several years who ran a pretty tight ship as well. I have been just *dying* at boarding barns for the most part since then.

    The following things have been driving me bonkers at the barn I'm boarding at.

    It's a step up from the barn I was at for sure . The care is generally pretty good- they feed my horse the right amounts of the feed I provide, they give plenty of hay. I'm pickier about water bucket cleanliness than they are but... thats not a big deal. I just have it on my list of things to do when I visit- dump and refill. Done. Not so bad. Stalls are cleaned thoroughly every day, the arenas could be kept up a little better but it's not bad. they are nice to my boy (he's a barn favorite because he's a total novelty and sweet to boot), and the barn owners are about the nicest people you'd ever meet, but he barn is generally catering to more pleasure/trail riders/4-H level showing. I think they really have a totally different world view than I do, and this stuff doesn't seem to ruffle any feathers with their other boarders.

    The biggest thing that drives me up the wall is this:
    Loose horses! They run horses in a dinner time. they also allow select horses to and ponies to run loose on the farm periodically to graze on unfenced areas. This means that horses pass right through their parking lot, generally right past my car to go get dinner. Nobody has come close to hurting it yet, but... I get squeamish every time. Last night I went to leave and their big 18+hh belgian mare and percheron gelding were grazing less than 5 feet from my car.... I can't afford time off work because somebody decided to act like a horse and my car happens to get in the way.

    It also irritates me when I'm in the crossties grooming my horse and I have to shoo away the miniature pony who wants to come up and squeal and strike at my gelding, or the mini donkey has to repeatedly be sent packing because he wants to graze on the hay pile right next to the crossties....

    the other thing that drives me up the wall and seems like a major safety issue to me is that when you are crosstying in the aisleway (10 foot wide aisle), people expect to just hike up the crosstie and squeeze their horse right past. I don't like that. It seems like *asking* for a horse or a human to get hurt and I about had to have a conniption when the barns trainer walked up with her horse and starts squeezing past my gelding in the crossties (horse has been on the injured list for 6 months and only is just getting back to work. I do NOT take stupid risks with him.)


    The barn also just rearranged turnout groups based even less than before on temperament than before (my friend had to give up on showing halter and showmanship mid-season because her colt was too bitten and kicked up) and now is soley basing turnout groups on "horse that come in to stalls in the winter" and "horses who stay outside". And I would eventually like to be able to turn my gelding out when he's fully healed, but after the past several months, I just can't take a risk turning him out where he is going to get the crap kicked out of him.

    It seems like kind of just a whole barn-wide assumption of "my horse is quiet so nothing will happen"... I'm not sure bringing it up to the BO's is even worthwhile because nobody but my friend and I seem uncomfortable about these things..... I feel like even bringing the issue up is going to end up feeling like me saying "about everything you do is wrong". And pointing all this stuff out and them trying to fix it isn't going to keep me as a boarder- I've already been wanting to move pretty much since I moved in because the barn is too much of a commute and I have a better option closer to home.

    So... would these things bug you and would you say anything if you were leaving anyway?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2009
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    Area 51
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    Default

    I'm a paranoid person, so yes, loose horses would bother me. Potentially very dangerous situation, especially with the walking up to horses in cross ties. Also, the ignoring of herd dynamics seems negligent to me. Show horses shouldn't be getting bit and kicked up. I understand that a horse can get a scrape/hurt, but when it's obvious attacks from other horses, things need to change. Good luck.
    I LOVE my Chickens!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,770

    Default

    The turnout situation wouldn't work for me.

    But at this point, you know you don't like this place, we all know you don't like this place, your fellow boarders no doubt know you don't like this place and it's very likely that the barn management know you don't like this place.

    So it was time to move some while ago.


    11 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,348

    Default

    I haven't boarded a horse in over a decade and then it was just to gain access to an indoor arena (paid for a stall but kept horses at home). Years ago when I was a poor vet student, I kept my horse in a rough board situation. There was a barn where we could cross tie and tack up our horses who were kept out in different pasture groups. The problem was, as in your case, the barn owner let her horse run loose. One day while I was out and had my horse in the cross ties, her horse ran into the barn straight towards me and my horse. I waved my arms to ward him off and he turned around and double barreled me right in the chest. I was lucky because he connected mostly with one side. I cracked a rib but obviously I wasn't killed. I've known two people who were kicked in similar fashion that died due rupture/tear of their aorta. This is a HUGE safety issue and would be enough for me to leave.
    Ranch of Last Resort
    www.annwylid.com


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,996

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blairasb View Post
    I've been struggling with the boarding options in my area for a few years now. I will admit I had gotten pretty spoiled, growing up first having horses at my grandparent's barn. As a kid, it was a TOTAL drag becuase everything was done by the book (and by my gram's "my way or the highway" approach, too), no screwing around, horses can get you killed, and you just don't take shortcuts and do stupid things that could bite you in the butt , and then I continued learning "how it should be done" by working for my old trainer for the next several years who ran a pretty tight ship as well. I have been just *dying* at boarding barns for the most part since then.

    The following things have been driving me bonkers at the barn I'm boarding at.

    It's a step up from the barn I was at for sure . The care is generally pretty good- they feed my horse the right amounts of the feed I provide, they give plenty of hay. I'm pickier about water bucket cleanliness than they are but... thats not a big deal. I just have it on my list of things to do when I visit- dump and refill. Done. Not so bad. Stalls are cleaned thoroughly every day, the arenas could be kept up a little better but it's not bad. they are nice to my boy (he's a barn favorite because he's a total novelty and sweet to boot), and the barn owners are about the nicest people you'd ever meet, but he barn is generally catering to more pleasure/trail riders/4-H level showing. I think they really have a totally different world view than I do, and this stuff doesn't seem to ruffle any feathers with their other boarders.

    The biggest thing that drives me up the wall is this:
    Loose horses! They run horses in a dinner time. they also allow select horses to and ponies to run loose on the farm periodically to graze on unfenced areas. This means that horses pass right through their parking lot, generally right past my car to go get dinner. Nobody has come close to hurting it yet, but... I get squeamish every time. Last night I went to leave and their big 18+hh belgian mare and percheron gelding were grazing less than 5 feet from my car.... I can't afford time off work because somebody decided to act like a horse and my car happens to get in the way.

    It also irritates me when I'm in the crossties grooming my horse and I have to shoo away the miniature pony who wants to come up and squeal and strike at my gelding, or the mini donkey has to repeatedly be sent packing because he wants to graze on the hay pile right next to the crossties....

    the other thing that drives me up the wall and seems like a major safety issue to me is that when you are crosstying in the aisleway (10 foot wide aisle), people expect to just hike up the crosstie and squeeze their horse right past. I don't like that. It seems like *asking* for a horse or a human to get hurt and I about had to have a conniption when the barns trainer walked up with her horse and starts squeezing past my gelding in the crossties (horse has been on the injured list for 6 months and only is just getting back to work. I do NOT take stupid risks with him.)


    The barn also just rearranged turnout groups based even less than before on temperament than before (my friend had to give up on showing halter and showmanship mid-season because her colt was too bitten and kicked up) and now is soley basing turnout groups on "horse that come in to stalls in the winter" and "horses who stay outside". And I would eventually like to be able to turn my gelding out when he's fully healed, but after the past several months, I just can't take a risk turning him out where he is going to get the crap kicked out of him.

    It seems like kind of just a whole barn-wide assumption of "my horse is quiet so nothing will happen"... I'm not sure bringing it up to the BO's is even worthwhile because nobody but my friend and I seem uncomfortable about these things..... I feel like even bringing the issue up is going to end up feeling like me saying "about everything you do is wrong". And pointing all this stuff out and them trying to fix it isn't going to keep me as a boarder- I've already been wanting to move pretty much since I moved in because the barn is too much of a commute and I have a better option closer to home.

    So... would these things bug you and would you say anything if you were leaving anyway?
    I hate boarding barns and would get out of horses if I had to sell my place, but this place sounds like a loose cannon just waiting to hurt someone. I'd have been gone.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    293

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blairasb View Post



    The biggest thing that drives me up the wall is this:
    Loose horses! They run horses in a dinner time. they also allow select horses to and ponies to run loose on the farm periodically to graze on unfenced areas.

    ............

    the other thing that drives me up the wall and seems like a major safety issue to me is that when you are crosstying in the aisleway (10 foot wide aisle), people expect to just hike up the crosstie and squeeze their horse right past.

    .............

    The barn also just rearranged turnout groups based even less than before on temperament than before

    When I was looking at barns before I moved my horse, I ruled one out solely because they allow the horses to run up to the barn and into stall by themselves. It sounded like a recipe for disaster to me. They had an indoor too, but that wasn't enough to counter the careless, lazy practice of bringing the horses in and out. I ended up at a place with no indoor, but, I don't have to worry about lazy or careless handling of my horse, so it's more than worth it to me.


    Loose horses, turn-out based on convenience rather than compatibility, and people leading horses past a horse on cross-ties would also worry me.

    As to whether or not to say anything probably depends on your relationship with the barn owner and whether or not you think that person would at least consider your input. On the one hand, letting them know WHY they're losing a client and possibly preventing a future accident by reconsidering their practices would be a huge plus. On the other, they may ignore your comments and you may end up burning a bridge behind you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Posts
    3,248

    Default

    My retirement barn does just about of the above.

    The field is right off the barn, and they go in & out as thundering herd. Everyone usually finds the right stall. I've not seen any hurt. In 10 years.

    We always take horses past one another in the aisle. They.Do.Not.Kick. Even the youngsters. Some of the horses in for training might kick when they come in, but they don't by the time they leave.

    The mares, foals and old mares get one field. The rest of the field is whomever left. The ponies go wherever they want; periodically they just go through the fence to the other field.

    Please, whatever you do, don't board with us.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2006
    Location
    Spooner, WI
    Posts
    2,617

    Default

    I for one would never cross tie a horse where others thought they could just pass on by especially only 10 foot wide. I would cross tie in the stall instead.

    I have a horse that is my "yard" horse he has free rein of the whole yard, barn etc. (hard keeper that never acclimated to herd life). However, when I take out another, "yard" horse gets a stall even if it's one of his buddies. Nothing but trouble can come from free horses mingling with tied/confined horses.

    I take many risks just by having horses, unnecessary risks are well...just unnecessary.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    15,319

    Default

    Having horses run in to stalls once a day I might be able to live with. Having loose horses in the public ways, around cross ties, and around the parking lot, I couldn't. The possibility of danger is fairly large to everyone and every thing, and daily.

    I am also unhappy with aisle cross-ties in general. A situation where you're having to walk horses by is not fun. The worst horse-related human injury I've seen was in an aisle cross-tie situation. For a private barn, it is fine, but for a boarding barn, I'd really prefer just about any other arrangement, even if it's that horses are tacked up and groomed in stalls.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3,861

    Default

    If it bothers you and it won't stop bothering you then you should probably leave because it does not matter that much what other people think.
    I guess I am in the minority because frankly, most of that stuff would not bother me.
    At a small barn with experienced people and low traffic, much of this stuff is not that big of a deal to me.
    I have been at several barns where horses were sent through chutes into the barns rather than being led in individually. The gates are set up so that they are routed in the correct general direction. It is not my first choice of methods, but I don't really have a problem with it (gates, chutes set up correctly, not going past areas where they could get in trouble by veering off like going to the wrong barn or into an areas where people ride, etc).
    The loose horses is a bigger issue and the fact they they are left unattended or can bother people is a problem and a safety issue.
    At our barn, we will cross under cross ties (although our aisles are wider than 10 feet). Not always and we always ask the person on the cross-ties first if it is okay. My horses could care less about doing it and they are turned out with most of the horses in the barn so I tell people go ahead when they ask and if I had a problem with it I would tack up in my stall.
    I have also never been at a barn where turn out group was not decided at least in part based on stall/field location and convenience of the barn owners. I do not assume there will be a problem with any given herd or new turnout. As long as introductions are done and problems addressed if they arise and there is no a known problem being turned out together regardless of that, I don't see why you would assume there will be a problem.
    Would I do these things at a boarding barn I owned- some yes, some no. Are they safety dealbreakers for me? Not necessarily and it depends on the cirumstances (size, traffic at the barn, etc).
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,746

    Default

    I think when you are upset by it, it becomes worse.

    I don't like aisle crossties and as a result I think I make more out of them than if I didn't care, the other things OP mentions I don't care for either but they don't bother me as much, apart from having to get out of the property by throwing rocks at the horses grazing right by the gate, but basically they have probably gotten away with the stuff for years and are not ever expecting anything to change.

    If the worst thing happens and they finally get a pushier yearling near the gate that knocks somebody down to bolt on out and get hit by a car, injuring the occupants, well, then they'll be having to make some changes, if the lawsuits don't close them completely.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,128

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    Sadly, running loose horses in at feeding time and ducking under occupied cross-ties with another horse are par for the course at most boarding barns here.

    I finally found one that doesn't do either, and when I board my horse that's where I go.

    I agree with you that both are bad practices that may get horses and humans hurt.

    Loose horses given the run of the place? Yeah, that's crossed the border into crazy land. I've also been at one barn where that was allowed. It was not, however, the craziest thing going on - but it was a symptom of way worse problems.

    I would be out of there, like, yesterday.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
    Posts
    2,575

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    I completely understand your feelings ... boarders do have to pick their battles and prioritize what their options are, and what they can live with and what they can't.

    The bottom line - there are too many safety issues for me. I few I might be able to manage - it's never perfect. But this level of indifference means probably more & worse goes on when I'm not there.

    This is my take on the individual items ...

    The horses going to their stalls by themselves I could live with if it ALWAYS goes well. This is an old, old practice that's probably been going on for as long as horses have been kept in barns. If the horses are good about it, it can work out without incident for generations. (Big "if".)

    The "strict" barn I first learned in did this with about a dozen horses, and over probably 20 years they never had an incident. They did manage the order the horses were allowed in and out, though. The BO/BM used to joke with non-horsey visitors that the horses read the name plates to know which stall was theirs.

    I could learn to live with the horses loose in the parking lot as long as it was never mine. It's foolish of the owners, but I don't expect the horses will hurt my car. Maybe if I saw this in action, though, I would feel differently.

    Horses loose in the barn, in areas where other horses are being handled or ridden - huge monster safety catastrophe that is coming. Especially with boarders, people from different backgrounds and levels of horse awareness. I am surprised the barn's liability insurance lets that go on. In fact if the insurance company knew, they would probably tell them to change their ways, or lose coverage.

    If I had to board there, I would probably not groom on the cross-ties, between horses passing and loose horses. I would probably clean up the stall a bit and groom there ... or find somewhere safer.

    The turnout is a deal-killer for me, even more than the loose horse situation. I could maneuver where I did my grooming and so forth to avoid the loose horses. But there is no way to defend my horse in a bad turnout group.

    If I didn't have too many other board options I might try to work this out. Regardless, before discussing anything with the BM/BO, I would first find another place I could board if things didn't work out, even if it were further away than I wanted.

    I would prioritize the turnout - if that's fixed, I could stay. Once my bailout options were in place, I would talk to the barn owner and explain that. I would tell the BO all my concerns - might write them out - but I would be soft on the other issues and tell her that if the turn-out is fixed, I can stay. Otherwise I cannot.

    AND I would give a date by which the turnout had to be fixed. Promises to do things in the unspecified future sometimes don't happen.

    For wicked fun I might innocently ask the BO what her barn liability insurance company thought of the loose horses in a board barn ... ... Wouldn't be a surprise to find out they aren't carrying liability insurance. That should give you pause as to how well they are really trying to run the barn.


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2007
    Location
    Canada
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    4,182

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    I think it is freaking crazy but then I don't own pleasure riding/ backyard horses. To me it is a huge deal if a horse injures himself and if it happens as a result of my carelessness/laziness/stupidity then that is even worse! I can't even imagine doing stuff like this with my own horses let alone someone else's.
    www.svhanoverians.com

    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    643

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    So glad that I'm not 100% going bonkers and a lot of people would have a problem with each of the issues...

    I feel bad about it because the people are very VERY nice people... but this place just isn't right for me. It's kind of one thing if you want to take risks with your own horse and property, but I'm not good with laying down a good chunk of change every month and having to worry about this type of stuff.

    The good news is, I heard back from the farm I was wanting to get him into and they are holding a stall for me until next month when my board is up. It's still amateur friendly and fun, but generally a much tighter ship with strict barn rules that get enforced. This should be a good change. I actually had reservations about moving him to the current barn before I even moved him there, but was under a lot of pressure to move him there from my friend and her SO who gave me the horse.... I was assured that it would be a worthwhile move. and it was convenient to my friend who needed help starting her colt under saddle... so I gave it a try.

    I feel bad because they just lost two other boarders due to non-barn issues... but I have to do what's right for me and my boy.


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2008
    Location
    NY
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    3,329

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    it sounds like they need a reality check!! some of the stuff you've mentioned is scary!!
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


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  17. #17
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    Jul. 10, 2003
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    It's not really mid nor west
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    Sounds like my *last* barn.
    Michigan too, but the other details don't add up
    I went above and beyond to be generous when I moved, giving two months of notice, and was rewarded with another nasty injury caused by carelessness. Moving to a new barn with a horse on total stall confinement was a blast.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
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    now in KCMO, and plan to stay there
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    3,237

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    That definitely is unsafe. Your Grandparents and old trainer did you a huge favor by running that boring tight ship and teaching you about safety. They were right. If the Grandparents are still alive, thank them profusely.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
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    Area VI
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    We duck horses under crossties all the time...but our aisles are about 15' or wider, not 10'. If we have one who is a little taller than normal or can be a dingbat, we'll unhook one side of the tied horse and pass by. However, we have *knock on wood* not had any issues, and since we have a show barn our horses are used to having other people and horses passing by in close quarters at a show...usually closer than they do at home.

    ETA - I have been at other barns where I would NEVER do this because the crossties were too low. They were generally connected to the wall (by a ring or something similar) right around person height. The barn I am at NOW, however, is different. Both sets of cross ties are attached to the support beam that runs above the stalls...We have to get a step ladder to reach them, making the clearance MUCH taller for passing horses under. Also, they are both attached to the beam with twine and all have breakaway snaps. One tie is actually the velcro version.

    The only horses who are EVER allowed to come in loose are the retiree (24) and his retired pony companion (32). You lead the pony, retiree follows. He is so attached he won't let him out of site. The entire property is fenced, and we only have about five boarders, so even on a "busy" day the straight, 50 foot pathway from the pasture to their corrals isn't blocked by anyone else. Now, the pony that likes to let herself out of her corral...she causes quite a commotion when she does her medium trot with her tail flagged over her back around the barn and other corrals.

    Letting horses in AS A HERD, loose, is beyond dangerous and stupid. A BO I boarded with in college did this occasionally with two horses....two BIG Warmbloods who would pretty much gallop into their stalls...scared the hell out of me. Thankfully he wasn't stupid enough to do it when other people or horses were out, but it was still REALLY stupid. Either of those horses were worth probably half or more of his total assets.

    The turnout situation would be a no-go for me, period. I am super picky about who my horses go out with. Bailey is very laid back and easy going. He'll play, but not hard or for long so he can go out either by himself or with another like-minded gelding. Sky can only go out with Bailey or by himself. He's acts just studly enough to make me worry, and I won't risk another person's horse.
    Last edited by runNjump86; Sep. 9, 2013 at 01:52 PM.


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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Connecticut
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    I'm glad you found a barn that will meet your needs, and I am sure you will be happier. Whether to say something about the issues or not, I would not go out of my way to carp about the place. The BO can't change the width of the aisles, and probably won't be changing anything else either. The horse world is very small, so I would probably just move one and not burn my bridges. Your choice. Good luck!
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/


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