Should I stay or should I go? Constructive opinions, please!
I have been at a boarding facility for a couple of years now, and at first it was great…great care, attentive, great quality hay, etc. However things have started to change over this year that I’m not happy about. I’m not sure if I am being too picky, or if it is time to move on. Constructive opinions please!
Here is what I’ve been experiencing:
-Lower quality hay (dusty, have sometimes received moldy hay when one of the less attentive feeders -doesn’t pay attention)
-doesn’t always relay feeding changes to people feeding
-had the horses relying on overgrazed pasture grass during the summer without any hay at times, horses were eating at grass roots at times, and shut off it altogether at night (for roughly 12 hours. Horse lost weight. Eventually were given 1-2 flakes of hay each after I asked about the lack of grass). Currently on round bales for the winter until they run out.
-When most of the horses were losing weight this past spring due to not enough hay (square bales fed by flake) during the wet cold spring, the amount of hay wasn’t increased until a boarder complained about the weight loss
-When round bale runs out (currently on rounds for the winter), it is sometimes a few days before BO will put a new one out, so in the mean time they are fed from square bales by flake, amounts vary depending on who feeds. So inconsistent amounts of hay/calories being fed. Currently in the single and negative digits temp wise with even colder wind chills. When fed with square bales they have large gaps between meals where they don’t have forage to keep warm. Also some feeders will place piles too close together so more dominant horse will keep others away from the hay.
-One of my horses got a foot caught in the fence at least once (fence between pastures is like chicken fencing but with big enough holes to get hooves through. Talked about replacing it, hasn’t yet). Some fences are leaning, some broken boards are nailed back together with another piece of wood over the break instead of replaced.
-Have caught BO lying to me more than once.
-Two price increases in one year
-BO doesn’t always handle questions/concerns well, other boarders and I have felt like we are in trouble for bringing up issues such as weight loss in the horses.
-Food aggressive horse now in a pasture of otherwise well mannered horses.
I hate to leave because there aren't a ton of good options around here and I've been at worse places, but I just get so frustrated with some of the issues we seem to keep cycling through at the current place. Fear of the unknown (new places) I guess you could say.
HELP! I just want what's best for my horses and want to make sure I'm not making mountains out of mole hills.
Last edited by ASB2683; Dec. 10, 2013 at 04:09 PM.
If you want what's best for your horses its a no brainer. How can having horses loose weight because they are beeing deprived of hay be "making a mountain out of a mole hill?" Frankly, and I say this kindly, because sometimes we really don't know how to judge ourselves, I would say you are making a molehill out of a mountain.
Yes, move. Don't delay. I would be furious if my horse didn"t have enough hay for just one day, much less general trends during certain seasons.
The other facility sounds perfect. I hope bty the time you have a number of opinions here you have shaken yourself out of apathy and moved your horse.
Good luck! You will feel so much better not worrying about his feed. I;ve had to in the past, and it sucks fer sher.
Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1
I say go. There are two things you should never tolerate in a boarding situation: poor quality/not enough feed and unsafe turnout. You've got them both, time to move on--and let current BO know exactly why you are leaving!
Thanks for your replies. I too felt my concerns were justified, but when I've discussed things with the BO they always have a way of making me feel like I'm just being overly dramatic and that it's my issue. I have really been trying to make it work by discussing issues with the BO so they will hopefully be corrected, but it seems my efforts have been in vain in many cases.
If you have a better option that you can afford then I would go. Horses don't need hay 24/7 even in well below zero conditions to maintain weight and be warm ( ask me how I know) but they need an adequate amount of excellent quality forage daily and you are not getting that at all. That is a deal breaker for me.
Many boarding barns are having the same problems getting good hay lately, just like owners who keep their horses at home. To their defense they may be having a hard time getting the supply they need and probably paying way more for even the lower quality hay they can find. It would be helpful if the BO could be honest about what the problem is.
Don't let the current barn's crazy make you doubt yourself. While no place is perfect, you can do better for your horses and your own enjoyment of riding. I was in a frustrating (not as bad, though) situation recently. I did move, and I still find that I still get surprised when I get to the new barn and there's nothing wrong and nothing to piss me off. :-) All I find is a lack of drama and a readiness to try make horse and human happy (within reason, of course).
Sounds like a place I used to board at- dirt cheap, but you know the saying about getting what you pay for. It sounds like your gut is already telling you what to do or you probably wouldn't have posted about it The private place sounds nice and if you can afford it, I would move there.
I would start to look around and make sure you are not ending up in a worse situation - even barns that look amazing (new, clean etc) might have horrible caregivers and places that look awful have wonderful care; agree check w/farrier or vet - they often know of private places that don't advertise but want a few boarders.
You've been putting up with a lot. I left a place like this and it was good i did. Both human and equine are happier.
When boarding, it seems like no place is perfect, but there is a better place. My advice would be to prioritize your requirements. You learned a lot about what you want to be happy. Identify your non-negotiables (vs. nice to haves) and ask prospective places point blank about them. Tell them what you expect and make sure they agree and seem capable of delivering.