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What to expect when Boarding?

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  • What to expect when Boarding?

    I've found the perfect place to board - it's five minutes away from where I live, seems to be the ONLY barn in the area that is affordable/close (everything else is 45+ up), has beautiful paddocks and a lovely indoor. Best of all, it is a small, quiet barn with very little traffic and polite people.

    It seemed PERFECT until I noticed they do not turn out their horses. I've been there a few times and granted its winter, I still see no reason to not turn out. I've never been in a "boarder" situation before - I've always ether worked off board and have structured my horses TO myself or kept him at my parents or a coworker's. the BO does not want to do full turn out because there would be no companion for him - I don't see this as an issue so long as he was brought in during serious weather. They do individual turn out in the indoor - which to me is baffling as they have literally acres of pasture. As a boarding novice, is this normal? Would there be a way to politely ask the BO to accommodate this particular horse? He NEEDS full turnout (he is a young tb with an old stifle injury) and the limited turn out is a deal breaker for me.


  • #2
    Originally posted by beowulf View Post
    Would there be a way to politely ask the BO to accommodate this particular horse? He NEEDS full turnout (he is a young tb with an old stifle injury) and the limited turn out is a deal breaker for me.


    Certainly. Politely ask that your horse be turned out, and state your reasons. Be willing to compromise on which paddock (I will not turn horses out on my grass paddocks when the footing is bad, for their sake AND for the sake of the limited grass) and be willing to accomodate with an offer to help bring in whenever possible.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      Since you live 5 minutes away, perhaps you could handle his turnout yourself?

      It sounds like a great situation! I'd kill to live that close to the barn!


      • #4
        I've learnt to expect nothing. Everything must be talked through and everything should be in writing. I've actually developed a "question" list over the years, and I find the one thing I don't ask about (because it doesn't even cross my mind) is usually the thing that bothers me!

        The BO shouldn't be offended if you ask, just be prepared to get a "no".


        • Original Poster

          I did get a no about full turnout when I asked - thanks for all the replies. I want to bring it up again before I commit, but don't want to offend the BO. I just don't think the BO realizes its very important to me and if he can't get at least 12 hr turnout I don't want to board there. When I talked to her se was very much "no turnout in cold weather" but cold to her seems to be anything below 50. I'm starting to think it wouldn't be fair to the horse and I should look elsewhere, but it's such a perfect situation otherwise!

          I don't care which paddocks or whatever else, so long as he is not closed in a stall. When I explained he had the stifle issue the BO didn't seem to wish to accommodate me anymore than to say "we can put him in the indoor"
          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


          • #6
            "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


            • #7
              This sounds like a "my way or no way" type of boarding situation where the barn owner & not the horses come first. In my experience barn owners like that will NEVER change or accommodate ANYONE for ANY reason.

              You may get a grudging okay simply to get you to move in, but I sincerely believe you'd find out soon enough that things were being done exactly as the barn owner originally wanted. And even though you're only 5 minutes away, you won't be there 24/7. Do you really want to be wondering all the time if your horse is out or sitting in his stall?

              Regardless of how "perfect" this place appears to be, don't judge a book by its cover. I vote for not bothering to discuss the issue any further & looking elsewhere for a more accommodating horse-friendly situation.


              • #8
                i would never board in a place that does not turn out. My horse is on Pasture board b/c he needs it. If he was kept indoors, he'd be 400 lbs lighter, due to stressing, and a terror to ride.


                • #9
                  At my boarding barn, the "show" horses are not turned out outdoors, ever. They are turned out in the indoor (probably not every day, there are a lot of them) and exercised regularly. The boarders' horses are turned out for most of the day. Unless they are "show" horses and the boarders don't want them turned out.

                  I couldn't board at a place where my guy didn't get out but that's not a problem.
                  What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


                  • #10
                    When I have potential boarders come and look at my place......I lay out my contract and tell them what is included and then tell them that I am flexible and is there anything that I don't do that they would like to see......and now is the time to speak up and ask. My horses all have individual stalls and turn out 24/7 to a gravel paddock......in the summer they all get a few hours of pasture a couple of times a day. Believe it or not one of the questions I have been asked is will I lock horses in at the dinner hour and leave them locked in until morning......my answer is no but I would consider locking them in at late night.....but it will cost extra as I have more sawdust and more cleaning.....it's been a deal breaker for them. You just can't please everyone.



                    • #11
                      Next please!!!
                      If she is enough of a quack to say "no turnout when it's below 50" than what else is she a fruit loop about? No way. Mine go out in any weather with their blankets as long as they're not standing at the gate waiting to come in. Most horses are much happier out and not locked in a 12'x12'.


                      • #12
                        I do not find the BO to be a quack or anything of the sort. I assume the BO has their reasoning (maybe they do not want to ruin their turn outs, maybe they had a horse injured on bad winter footing once so now they are extra careful, etc). If you require turn out then find a barn that does turn out. Let the people who do not like their horses out in the bad weather board at this facility.
                        Neither the OP or the BO are wrong here, just not a good fit for each other.


                        • #13
                          No turnout in cold weather??? Then the majority of horses in a good portion of the country would never see the outside during winter! Heck mine are out 24/7 unless a nasty storm is happening. I'd run not walk from this place!
                          "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                          • #14
                            I took lessons and boarded briefly at a barn that didn't *really* turn horses out. (Also in NY, so maybe the same barn, you can PM me if you want). Even though they had paddocks and said they turned horses out, the reality was that they really didn't. At most, horses were out an hour or two even in decent weather, and the two main reasons for not turning horses out were that the staff didn't have time to "watch them" and that horses "don't like being outside". And both were true in this case - because they would unblanket horses to go out, usually didn't put hay out for them, and often turned them out alone. (So, not surprisingly they wanted to come back in). In spring/summer/fall - no fly spray, fly masks, often no turnout buddies in sight. Again, not a surprise that horses would run the fenceline and staff needed to bring them back in.

                            So, I would ask very carefully about turnout (and even see if there is a turnout schedule) -- how many horses are turned out, how often, for how long, blankets, fly spray, etc. If they don't use their turnout paddocks, they might be quacks after all. (I mean, seriously, doesn't it at least make it easier to clean stalls when the horses are out? If not also benefiting the horses bodies and minds?)


                            • #15
                              If he can get at least 12 hrs in the indoor through the remaining winter months and then full turnout once it has warmed up and grass can take it, can't you live with that?
                              It sounds like you want the BO to bend her rules just for you but you aren't willing to bend at all.
                              Also, are you sure the alternate barns will have full turnout right now?
                              They may also be restricting turnut to prevent long-term damage to paddocks in winter.


                              • #16
                                If he can get at least 12 hrs in the indoor through the remaining winter months and then full turnout once it has warmed up and grass can take it, can't you live with that?
                                It sounds like you want the BO to bend her rules just for you but you aren't willing to bend at all.
                                Also, are you sure the alternate barns will have full turnout right now?
                                They may also be restricting turnut to prevent long-term damage to paddocks in winter.


                                • #17
                                  It's the walking. That's what the BO and/or staff don't want to do. It is very time consuming and exhausting to walk horses out to paddocks and back, particularly if they have individual turnout paddocks. It becomes a full time job if there are more horses than there are paddocks and the horses need to be rotated throughout the day--or if the paddocks are far from the barn.

                                  No one admits it. It is always "for the sake of the horses" but the walking is really what the issue is. If a barn is not COMMITTED to making sure that horses get turned out, then any excuse not to do it, and the horses will be in their stalls.
                                  I would pass on a place like this as others have said--the horse WILL be in his stall most of the time.
                                  "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                                  • #18
                                    RUN! RUN AWAY! As far and as fast as you can! Do not go to a barn that doesn't turn out. This BO sounds like a wack job. I boarded at a place last winter that didn't turn out. It was the most hellish boarding experience of my life, and I was lucky my horse did not die there. He literally bucked and reared and FELL DOWN in his stall constantly because he was so upset (and this was with me riding him at least once a day and sometimes twice!).

                                    The BO was absolutely CRAZY, and turnout wasn't the only thing she was weird about. But, literally, the ground would be bone dry and perfect, and she would assert that it was "too muddy" for turnout. It was constantly too cold, or too windy, or too still, or too warm, or too [fill in the blank] for turnout. My horse once went out exactly twice in a thirty day period there. It's bad. Really bad.

                                    AND, a horse there just broke its leg this winter while turned loose in the indoor...because the horses are all BONKERS from never being outside. RUN AWAY!!!

                                    RUN AWAY!!!


                                    Last edited by FineAlready; Mar. 4, 2013, 01:11 PM.


                                    • #19
                                      Well, no better way to unmask a fruit loop than to ask very specific, detailed questions about expectations. This is best done in a calm, dispassionate manner. If you get all sorts of squirming and hot air in response to a question like "can you accomodate a horse on full turnout?" then yes, you'll have your answer and can politely move on.

                                      It takes two to make a bad scene--a fruitbat BO cannot sustain fruit-battery without a willing (voluntary or no) recipient. And there are fruitbat owners out there, too, so I'm not being prejudiced. I wouldn't board there, but how funny would it be to tour a barn with fruitbat barn owners populated by fruitbat boarders?

                                      Just state your requests (get them in writing if necessary) as clearly and succinctly as possible and expect an answer in the same fashion. No need for anything to be overly dramatic at this point.
                                      Click here before you buy.


                                      • #20
                                        The thing about boarding barns is that you don't own the place, they do. So unless what the BO is currently doing EXACTLY fits your needs, you'll end up running into problems. Sometimes self-care, partial care, etc works, but not usually.

                                        Move on, it will save you a lot of drama and frustration.
                                        come what may

                                        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013