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horses at a new boarding place....dry lot?

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  • horses at a new boarding place....dry lot?

    OK, so I just moved to a new boarding place-I live on the property, but the barn owner does too. He seems nice, but the horses, my 3, are all in a communal dry-lot-they are used to pasture with hay twice a day when it's cold or when the grass is short. Well, here they are fed 10 pounds/horse/twice a day. great orchard grass hay with 20% alfalfa.

    I know, I am lucky to live with my horses, but one of them has an ulcer history and needs to be fed 3-4 times a day-the other is 31 and cannot go 10-12 hours between feedings. The other is a super easy keeper mustang mare and I think she will be OK.

    I just hate to have that much time between feedings. I am working on getting the old guy a stall since he needs to be dry and have food all night to keep his weight. His manure is half-what it is normally because he is not eating much hay since he is getting pushed off of it all the time. We have been here 2 days. I have been tying him up with a bucket of chopped alfalfa-for calories and roughage-at lunch just to make sure he gets enough fiber. I cannot keep doing this.

    But, the 2 mustangs-even if they just got a snack at lunch or before bed...something...
    That would mean the whole dry lot of 4 other horses have to get fed too, which is more $$ for barn owner in hay-but to me, its the right thing to do.

    Am I just being picky? Or, does this raise hairs for others?

    I go out with feed bags for my 2 mustangs AM and PM with their BP/Flax/Kelp/Diamond V yeast. The old man eats his TC senior/BP/Flax tied up outside of the pen. ALSO the old man is very submissive and is not getting enough hay-even if he is fed away from the group...

    I am the new boarder here-so I dont want to tick the BO off...but I have always done self-care and in this environment ,I am having to whine a little.

    Just to add some flavor here-the horses kept at this barn are all a bit light going into winter-a shade ribby, and the old horses get 2 flakes (like 3 pounds is 1 flake!!) twice a day, and the one with bad teeth is on 4 pounds flaked corn, some cheap senior-only 2 pounds, and 2 pounds alfalfa pellets, all twice a day, not soaked. This is really not how I keep horses-and I am trying to hope that the BO does not know better. The old horses there just do not look good. There are growing horses there too and they just get this hay routine and nothing else. They look pretty puny.

    The place is super-clean, everyone is on an aggressive worming schedule, and the boarders just couldnt be nicer....I am just hoping this is a bit of ignorance. There are 4 stalls-all occupied-but none have sawdust...just dirt??? Never seen that before.

    I think I could help these people to learn a better way.....tactfully...not sure how...thats where I need help.

    There were no other boarding options-that is why I am here.

  • #2
    It does not sound like this is the right boarding option for you. You said there was no other options....the you are going to have to make those extra daytime feedings -- even though you said you cannot keep doing that. IF it is your only option, then you really do not have a question. You already know the answer.

    In pasture turnout, it is what it is. They generally will not feed everyone individually and a lot of places will not feed 24 hour hay.

    I doubt if the BO sees his system working for everyone else, then he is not going to change just for you. It doesn't hurt to ask, but I wouldn'e be too surprised if he will not change.

    Definitely try to get your older guy a stall....

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      old man has a stall!

      Yes, we do have a stall for old man-BO said sure! so that problem is over. Of course-I buy the shavings-only too happy to give him a soft place to lay down. none of this dirt stall stuff...what the heck?

      I am looking for a new place-not sure how long its going to take. But, if this BO is not going to feed more hay-I htink I need to find a pasture or something around....here....

      got alot of feelers out right now-hopefully one knows where I can look.

      Comment


      • #4
        You have only had your horses there for two days and you are considering moving already??

        Did you ask any questions to the BO before you moved your horses? Like what is the feeding schedule etc?

        I would suggest you ask these questions to the next barns you contact especially if your horses have special needs like this.

        Kind of sounds like an inconvenience to the BO where you are at now that you moved your horses there and will have them leaving in a short time.

        But I see in a half an hour of your first post you now have a stall arranged with the BO for your older guy, so it sounds to me like the BO is more then willing to help you out with special requests. I would talk to them more about your concerns on feeding before you go and move the horses to a different place.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I was talking to other places to see what is customary for the special needs horses...only so when I talk to BO, i know what to compare to.

          yes, BO seems willing to accomodate with the older horse-but we will talk more this afternoon about more hay for the outside group-they would ALL benefit.

          It sounded MUCH better than anything else I checked out so that is why I went to this place-but now that I am here-it is not the way they made it sound. thats why I am a bit frustrated.

          its not just my horses I am a bit irked about-its all the horses there! like everyone has low standards and good intentions. maybe I can help them all learn...?

          Comment


          • #6
            Is that 10lbs per horse twice a day, meaning 20lbs of hay per day? Or 5lbs per feeding at 10lbs per day? If it's the first, then that's a good amount and meeting the required amounts of forage daily.

            Comment


            • #7
              Horses don't *need* free-choice hay. I think it's better for them, but it's not life or death if they get a few meals per day as long as it's good quality. Six of ours get three meals of hay daily, and are all chunky and happy with that.

              If the BO is going to feed more hay all through winter, board may very well increase. Significantly. Be aware of that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by El Tovar View Post
                its not just my horses I am a bit irked about-its all the horses there! like everyone has low standards and good intentions. maybe I can help them all learn...?

                No offense but you sound like a boarder from hell. You have been there two days and have decided no one at the barn knows anything so you hope they can all learn from you. I can't imagine too many BOs and boarders welcoming that attitude. IMO, any barn that you feel that way about is not the right barn for you.
                Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree. Rather than "teaching" them find a place that thinks like you do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Money talks.
                    I've never met a BO who wasn't willing to feed more hay - for a price.

                    I moved my horses to Southern California and they went into dry paddock/stalls. They were used to 24/7 pasture.
                    The guys who were feeding almost went into shock when I showed them how much hay my 2 big WB's needed to eat!

                    They fed 3X's the amount for about $100 extra per month, per horse, and were really nice about about it, adding the richer hay slowly over 5 days.

                    It pays to ask a lot of questions prior to moving your horses to a new place.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A couple of things jump out at me.
                      The first is didn't you notice any of this before you brought your horses there?

                      Next, we all know that horsekeeping varies greatly. How I keep my horses is not the same as how my neighbor keeps theirs, etc, etc.

                      I have large drafts, and when I have boarded, I am very up front about the amount of hay I want them to have, and since it is more than what other horses get, I am willing to pay more...its only fair imo.

                      As far as the shavings, well, again, totally individual. It certainly is a heck of a lot cheaper not using them. So, if that is how this BO beds horses, then guess what, its gonna cost you.

                      As far as your guys getting pushed off hay, unless the bo has separate paddocks, that is going to happen unfortunately. So, either you or BO will have to spend more time(money and compensation) for them to 'take' care of your older horses to give them time to eat without being pushed off the hay.

                      I totally agree with your horsekeeping skills, and would be very unhappy if my horses were in that kind of boarding situation.

                      I guess I have been there done that, so now know what I want and need, and if it is above what is offered, I negotiate with the BO, expecting full well to pay for my 'extras'. Afterall, I keep my horses at home, and know how much money and time it takes to keep them the way I want them kept. I would not expect a BO to do more without compensating them. However, I would also not move my horses without fulling understanding what situation my horses were going in.

                      It sounds like the owner knows how to provide good care, but on the cheap. That is the difference...some of us like to drive a mercedes and others like to drive a kia(no offense to either vehicle), but we have to pay for the perks that we want.
                      I am sure if you offered more money to have your needs met, the BO would accomodate you. In other words, you can't pay kia prices and expect a mercedes ride.
                      save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        sorry

                        seems like I have ticked some people off here, but really....I have never had to keep my horses at someone elses barn. this is temporary. I am disgruntled bc it was fasle advertising and I moved 8 hours up here to find that out.

                        I am now paying mega bucks to have it the way it should be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I believe the barn where I am is the only actual PASTURE board in Fort Collins: www.mvsaa.com We are not feeding hay yet (I don't think) but we do feed hay in the winter. We do not have skinny horses. We may have a spot for your old man up in the barn.

                          Welcome to Fort Collins...land of crappy boarding barns and frighteningly incompetent vets and farriers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            El Tovar....it sucks moving to a new area where you know no "history" on any place. Anyone can look rather decent for an interview...especially when you've never boarded before.

                            Before I moved to MI, I came up to look at barns. I settled on the one that seemed best. The DAY my horses were delivered, I started looking elsewhere. THey were only at that place for 2 weeks.

                            Yeah...everything sounded great. Yeah, everything looked good the day I had my schedule appointment. But now after living here a few years I know better.

                            That said...I didn't LIVE there....so you've got a double quandry.

                            Were I in your shoes, I'd try to buy my own hay or offer to pay more for the additional hay. I too don't think that just twice a day on dry lot for the type of critters you have is optimal.

                            And I don't think that being "old" is an excuse for being thin.

                            I'd keep my eyes open for a better spot, but in the meantime try to offer to pay for the additional services you want.
                            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My boarding philosophy these days is to find someone who agrees with me as much as possible, and then micromanage them as little as possible.

                              I learned that if you have philosophical differences in your horse keeping styles, you will constantly be in conflict. You will always be making special requests, and when you aren't there, you will always be wondering if your horse is being taken care of the way you want. Your BO will be irritated by your constant requests, and if he/she remembers to do things your way, it will be a contant, if minor, annoyance. If you are always having an issue with the way BO handles issues that may come up, BO won't feel comfortable using their best judgement, and instead will be stuck trying to think of what you would do (if they care).

                              I am paying the BO to use her best judgement on how to handle things since I cannot provide full care for my horse. I want someone who will treat her horses like I treat my horses, so I can tell her "just treat her like she's one of yours." My BO now is fantastic. She lets me know if anything comes up, and I am 100% confident that my horse is fine while I am not there. I am just not able to make those little day to day decisions, so it is a relief to have someone caring for her who I trust completely.

                              I know you had to pick a boarding situation long distance, but the long and short of it is, if someone doesn't take care of horses like you would, it is not likely that they are going to start just because you ask them to. You will probably have to move, or adjust your expectations.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you move again - maybe make sure more is called out in your contract?

                                My boarding contract covers how many flakes of grass and alfalfa how many times a day (he gets less in summer but the contract is the max I think he'd need.) It also calls out that he gets grain 2X/day. A lot of this was hand writen in. Or I crossed out the part about grain once a day and put in 2X a day just to make sure the contract matched what we discussed verbally. Once early on we had a miscommunication on alfalfa - the contract said grass only and they ran out of alfalfa and thought it would be okay to go to grass only. I think it was much easier to close this quickly when I pointed out that while their generic contract said that my contract that they had signed had that crossed off and called for alfalfa - and I pointed out alfalfa was cheaper. Within two days they had more alfalfa.

                                While it sometimes seems confrontational up front to do things like cross out their contract and re-write it - It saves so much frustration later on. Anything I was certain my horse needs is in the contract.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Lots of horses manage quite well with just hay 2x/day. Lots manage on just pasture. Lots manage in stalls 23 hours of the day swaddled in blankets packing an extra 150#. One of my old students boarded at a barn where the horses were out on overgrazed pasture during the day, and got ONE SMALL FLAKE of grass hay at night. This worked FINE for the BOs easy-keeping QHs, not so much for my student's 16.2h high-octane TB. And despite the fact that all the BOs easy-keeping QHs were morbidly obese by my standards, I certainly didn't feel any compulsion to lecture her about it--well-intentioned ignorance is not that common (it is simply NOT THAT HARD to learn better if you honestly want to!), willful ignorance is much more prevalent and harder to eradicate. So don't assume that your way is the only way, or even the best way, for every horse, or that the owners really even care that much. I suspect that the current arrangement at your barn is what works for the BO given the price he's charging (probably not much) and for the boarders given their budgets (ditto) and what they require of/for their horses (ditto).

                                  Next time, ASK specific questions--what the turnout situation is, what the feeding schedule is, and get it in writing. "We take good care of our horses" is not, in this case, false advertising--it is just a matter of opinion unless conditions would warrant calling animal control! "We feed hay 4x/day and grain 2x/day and provide plenty of fresh bedding daily" would, on the other hand, be false advertising.


                                  Jennifer
                                  Third Charm Event Team

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    this is good!

                                    I had a talk with the BO-just low key, totally non-confrontational, like, hey, don't you think that it would be better for your older horses to gain weight ? Would you like me to formulate one for them? HE SAID YES_that he has only been in horses for a few years and realizes that if there is a better way to do something, then please do it-even if it costs more. So, his 3 old skinnies, were getting alfalfa pellets, NO HAY bc he thinks they would choke-even though they never had-and flaked corn, with sweet feed and cheapo senior. thats a 10 pound bucket of feed twice a day here.

                                    I offered to feed his crew lunch-to make a diet with beetpulp/rb/flax/etc...and add the regional vit/min for the area. The man was elated. He simply had no idea that horses cannot eat that much in a serving, that their gut gets overwhelmed with that much starch-pounds of pounds of corn...and all that sweet stuff...and he really means well but did not know.

                                    so I also asked him if we could double the amount of hay AM and PM for the drylotters...he said sure! I pulled out my fishing scale and showed him that HIS flakes were only a couple pounds and here is what a horse really needs... I just explained that they were all finishing in 20 minutes and they really need to be munching for longer than that.

                                    AND I asked if oldster could go in a pasture for the day so he could be nibbling...he owns a few acres down the road-like 5 minutes walk-and he said if I fix the hotwire and put a tank down there, no problem and no extra $. so mr ulcer and oldster can hang out nibbling all day...maybe one of his oldsters can come too.

                                    amazing-I give this guy alot of credit for being well intentioned and open to learning. it helps that my oldster looks like he's 10....it shows that I might know something about feeding that age group. so that is very helpful.

                                    The man seems very happy to learn. Thank God. Thankyou for all of your suggestions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      good for you!
                                      sounds like you were able to really get through to him.
                                      Nice job.
                                      "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."

                                      http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=eca0d15457

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by El Tovar View Post
                                        I had a talk with the BO-just low key, totally non-confrontational, like, hey, don't you think that it would be better for your older horses to gain weight ? Would you like me to formulate one for them? HE SAID YES_that he has only been in horses for a few years and realizes that if there is a better way to do something, then please do it-even if it costs more. So, his 3 old skinnies, were getting alfalfa pellets, NO HAY bc he thinks they would choke-even though they never had-and flaked corn, with sweet feed and cheapo senior. thats a 10 pound bucket of feed twice a day here.

                                        I offered to feed his crew lunch-to make a diet with beetpulp/rb/flax/etc...and add the regional vit/min for the area. The man was elated. He simply had no idea that horses cannot eat that much in a serving, that their gut gets overwhelmed with that much starch-pounds of pounds of corn...and all that sweet stuff...and he really means well but did not know.

                                        so I also asked him if we could double the amount of hay AM and PM for the drylotters...he said sure! I pulled out my fishing scale and showed him that HIS flakes were only a couple pounds and here is what a horse really needs... I just explained that they were all finishing in 20 minutes and they really need to be munching for longer than that.

                                        AND I asked if oldster could go in a pasture for the day so he could be nibbling...he owns a few acres down the road-like 5 minutes walk-and he said if I fix the hotwire and put a tank down there, no problem and no extra $. so mr ulcer and oldster can hang out nibbling all day...maybe one of his oldsters can come too.

                                        amazing-I give this guy alot of credit for being well intentioned and open to learning. it helps that my oldster looks like he's 10....it shows that I might know something about feeding that age group. so that is very helpful.

                                        The man seems very happy to learn. Thank God. Thankyou for all of your suggestions.

                                        That is fantastic! Good for you for taking the iniative to let your BO know what you want. I'm glad it's worked out for you.
                                        http://tailsoftheottb.blogspot.com

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