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deal breaker in a boarding situation-update barn B or C?

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  • deal breaker in a boarding situation-update barn B or C?

    Any place is going to have issues so Im just wondering which issues would be deal breakers for you guys.

    See new post at end.....
    Last edited by ActNatural; Mar. 18, 2013, 08:50 AM.

  • #2
    I'd talk to the BO and see if you could work something out. Is there a reason why they wouldn't be willing to leave your horse out all the time even if you're paying for stall board?

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a definite "will not go below this level" for almost every aspect of boarding, but have also boarded at a LOT of places and am old enough to know that no place is perfect and compromises are ALWAYS necessary.

      Fencing--one of my things where my tolerance for "bad" is minimal.

      Turnout--the more the better, but I'm OK with occasional days or short stretches of time where it's limited for the sake of safety/footing (for horses AND staff) and the survival of the paddocks. Reality.

      Hay--as long as it's not poor quality, I'm OK with restrictions as long as they're not ridiculous. I will buy my own or pay extra if needed. Hay is expensive. Reality.

      Bedding--same as for hay.

      Feed--I'm not terribly picky as none of mine is "special" in this regard. Obviously I want some input and won't tolerate the feeding of garbage, but IME that is pretty rare at barns I would consider in the first place. (ie, not scary mom-and-pop outfits who keep horses as an afterthought--I don't even go looking at places like that)

      Indoor arena--a must if I'm boarding in the winter and intend to ride, but I have been known to board without one if the horse is young/unbroken or taking the winter off.

      Stall size--the bigger the better but if turnout is plentiful I don't stress too much if the stalls are not huge.

      Water--no compromises on plentiful, clean water, but I don't have a stroke if I find an empty bucket once in a while. It happens.

      Just about everything else (tack storage, trailer parking, trails) is negotiable and optional as far as I'm concerned.
      Click here before you buy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Staff telling me that something is going to be done and then not doing it: Depending on what the "it" is, three strikes you're out. If the manager isn't communicating with day staff, or vice versa, that's a care problem. "I told X but she didn't do it" is not an acceptable excuse; if your staff aren't listening to you as the manager, you need to take care of your staff. (I've worked as day staff for farms and I'd have been crucified if I didn't do something my manager told me to do without an excellent reason, such as "I was dead in a ditch" or "I didn't get to Pooky's ear because Pony took her leg off in the fence and I was out with the vet.") I try not to be a pain in the ass, but occasionally I will ask management to do something specific. I don't mind being told "No, we can't accommodate that." I mind "Sure," and then it doesn't get done.

        Turnout: my guy is older and does better with more turnout. He's also a founder risk and can't be muzzled (breaks them in 15 minutes flat) so needs a dry lot or scrubby field in summer. This is non-negotiable and I don't board him anywhere that doesn't have the facility for this.

        Hay: As long as it's good quality. I will pay for extra if I don't feel they feed enough.

        Bedding: Ditto.

        Water: Clean, fresh, checked at least twice a day.

        Fencing: Safe and well-maintained. Period.

        Feed: Feed what I instruct, not more, not less, not anything else because you feel sorry for Tip with his sad eyes and his two handfuls of grain. I left a very good barn because the manager would not stop giving him extra grain and linseed meal. He was obese and it was affecting his joints. I said "He cannot have any more of that." She kept feeding it. Bye. I will provide the grain if your normal feed mill won't deliver it.

        Riding area: Good footing, well-maintained. I like to have a back field I can ride in, also.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

        Comment


        • #5
          As with most things: It depends. However, if I couldn't work out a deal in the current place and had to choose between the other two options, based on your description, I'd take the bad fencing.
          "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

          Comment


          • #6
            To the OP: Between your choices, I'd probably go with the "no outside trainer" place where you have to do all your own extras. But then again, lessons are at the very bottom of my requirements for a boarding facility

            But, go with your gut, too-- you don't have to pick one of the options right off the bat. If you're happy at your current place, stay there until you find somewhere with 24/7 turnout that doesn't give you pause for reluctance.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

            Comment


            • #7
              If you otherwise love the barn where you are now, I'd see how the horse fared on the 15-18 hours of turnout they offer. Horses DO sleep, after all, so it's not like your horse will be walking around 24/7 even if on pasture board.

              I have a very limited tolerance for bad fencing; the nails sticking out issue would be a deal breaker for me for sure. And it would also make me wonder about what other corners were being cut by the facility owner.
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

              Comment


              • #8
                1. Horse care / safety
                2. Quality feed/ hay
                3. Turnout
                Ask around, we found a private barn that has opened up to a few, choice clients. Maybe you will be lucky as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  While I am a BM, I could never, ever go back to boarding. I would be a horrible boarder. HORRIBLE. I would be a BM's worst nightmare....in large part because I am good at this gig and I know it just isn't that hard to do it right!! Apparently, I am one of a few that feels that way, though.

                  So, if, for whatever ungodly reason I was forced to pay someone else to care for my own horses (and, for everyone's sake, I hope that it never comes to that), these would be the non-negotiables:
                  -Safe, clean facilities. They don't have to be fancy. I KNOW they don't have to be fancy. But it doesn't take too much effort to ensure that older fencing stays safe. That aisles are clutter free. That a barn isn't a giant fire hazard. That human laziness doesn't put horses or humans at risk. Really, it doesn't.
                  -Turn out. If my horse is stalled, I want them to get out. I don't really care if they are in beautiful pastures, as long as the fence is safe, they're chucked enough hay to keep them busy, and they can be out of their stalls for a large portion of each day (8, at least, is sufficient in my book, but that's actually not hard and fast to me) getting to be horses. I am happy, because I know they'll be happy. More turnout is always better, but, also, smart turnout. If the footing is horrible or the weather is miserable, I'm ok if they are cozy in their stalls (try to keep the number of days to a minimum, though! Sometimes Ma Nature makes that hard, but if the footing is safe, and the weather isn't horrible, let's get them out). I really rather they not stand baking in the hot sun, stomping at flies and trashing their feet, so some flexibility in the summer on when they go out would be nice. I do this. It isn't hard.
                  - If they have a stall, adequate bedding is a MUST. And by adequate, I mean that if my horse has a pee, he's not then standing in a lake of his own urine. There should be enough bedding to absorb it easily. I won't pay more for bedding. I shouldn't have to. This should be a no brainer. I've provided adequate (abundant) bedding on a shoe string...you know why I can do that? Because if you do it right, you use LESS!
                  - Adequate hay. There is no reason, whatsoever, to skimp on hay if a horse requires it (I am fine with diet rations). Fine. My horse doesn't eat everything, then don't give him as much. But if he's gobbling up everything and then standing around looking hungry, he NEEDS MORE. I don't feel I should have to pay extra for this, although I am happy to provide something my picky eater WILL eat (ie, if the barn feeds grass or timothy, and my picky, hard keeper isn't eating it well, I'm perfectly happy to buy him some alfalfa or some chopped forage to supplement). But don't tell me every horse gets X number of flakes, whether they need it or not. My hard working, skinny little TB needs way more hay than that fat little QH over there that doesn't do anything!
                  - Quality feed. Or a break if I provide it (funny, I don't do this- right now that's my employer's policy- but I would want that option as a boarder!). And, I'm fine if you have a suggestion for my horses' weight, but please don't make changes unless we agree that's what they need.
                  - Blanket changes. While I make blanketing my horse overly complicated for myself, I would totally make it as easy as possible if I was a boarder (as a BM, I HATE blanketing and I HATE EVEN MORE overly complicated blanketing procedures). But, my horse has to be clipped, so he has to have blankets. I don't want him to roast or freeze. Please change his blankets as needed. It is a time consuming job, I get it, but it isn't HARD, and it is necessary.
                  - A good glance over morning and evening. You don't have to pick his feet, though that's nice if you do, but can you at least look at his legs and check for blood and missing shoes? And if you see any blood or not enough shoes, can you let me know? Better yet, let me know, and maybe make sure a vet doesn't need to be called? Bonus points if you wash the wound and don't just leave it encrusted in mud and blood.
                  - Be nice to my horses, but don't let them be assholes, especially the one who IS an asshole. I am fine with staff properly reinstalling manners on my horses. Hell, I'll even leave you a chain for the bad one. Please do what you need to do to keep yourself and my horse safe. But, don't beat up on him just because. Not cool.
                  - Along the same lines, staff that knows how to properly handle horses. I'm totally fine with well supervised working students. I'm fine with immigrant workers. I just want to feel like my horses are handled by people who know how to handle them, aren't afraid of them, or don't use brute force. You don't have to be the world's greatest horse trainer, but know how to properly put on and use a chain, know how to properly lead a horse, and know that allowing horses to barge through gates and stall doors is not appropriate or safe.
                  - Use good vets and farriers and/or have decent working relationships with good vets and farriers. If you require the same vet/farrier for everyone, it better be one I would let touch my horse, otherwise we're a no go. But if you don't require the same vet/farrier for everyone, please maintain good relationships with the professionals in the area so mine will come. The last thing I want to hear from my vet is "Oh, I won't go THERE."

                  I think that's about it. Things like good footing in the ring(s) and the like are borderline important for me. I can't imagine considering a place with really horrible footing. But I'll ride on grass if there's no ring. So, I'm particular, but not over the top.

                  I know I would drive BMs insane. I know what being a bad boarder means, and I recognize those traits in myself. If it ever comes time for me to NOT run a barn where my horses will also live, I'll do everything in my power to be able to keep them myself....I just don't want to torture anyone with me!!!
                  Amanda

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                    While I am a BM, I could never, ever go back to boarding. I would be a horrible boarder. HORRIBLE. I would be a BM's worst nightmare....in large part because I am good at this gig and I know it just isn't that hard to do it right!! Apparently, I am one of a few that feels that way, though.

                    So, if, for whatever ungodly reason I was forced to pay someone else to care for my own horses (and, for everyone's sake, I hope that it never comes to that), these would be the non-negotiables:
                    -Safe, clean facilities. They don't have to be fancy. I KNOW they don't have to be fancy. But it doesn't take too much effort to ensure that older fencing stays safe. That aisles are clutter free. That a barn isn't a giant fire hazard. That human laziness doesn't put horses or humans at risk. Really, it doesn't.
                    -Turn out. If my horse is stalled, I want them to get out. I don't really care if they are in beautiful pastures, as long as the fence is safe, they're chucked enough hay to keep them busy, and they can be out of their stalls for a large portion of each day (8, at least, is sufficient in my book, but that's actually not hard and fast to me) getting to be horses. I am happy, because I know they'll be happy. More turnout is always better, but, also, smart turnout. If the footing is horrible or the weather is miserable, I'm ok if they are cozy in their stalls (try to keep the number of days to a minimum, though! Sometimes Ma Nature makes that hard, but if the footing is safe, and the weather isn't horrible, let's get them out). I really rather they not stand baking in the hot sun, stomping at flies and trashing their feet, so some flexibility in the summer on when they go out would be nice. I do this. It isn't hard.
                    - If they have a stall, adequate bedding is a MUST. And by adequate, I mean that if my horse has a pee, he's not then standing in a lake of his own urine. There should be enough bedding to absorb it easily. I won't pay more for bedding. I shouldn't have to. This should be a no brainer. I've provided adequate (abundant) bedding on a shoe string...you know why I can do that? Because if you do it right, you use LESS!
                    - Adequate hay. There is no reason, whatsoever, to skimp on hay if a horse requires it (I am fine with diet rations). Fine. My horse doesn't eat everything, then don't give him as much. But if he's gobbling up everything and then standing around looking hungry, he NEEDS MORE. I don't feel I should have to pay extra for this, although I am happy to provide something my picky eater WILL eat (ie, if the barn feeds grass or timothy, and my picky, hard keeper isn't eating it well, I'm perfectly happy to buy him some alfalfa or some chopped forage to supplement). But don't tell me every horse gets X number of flakes, whether they need it or not. My hard working, skinny little TB needs way more hay than that fat little QH over there that doesn't do anything!
                    - Quality feed. Or a break if I provide it (funny, I don't do this- right now that's my employer's policy- but I would want that option as a boarder!). And, I'm fine if you have a suggestion for my horses' weight, but please don't make changes unless we agree that's what they need.
                    - Blanket changes. While I make blanketing my horse overly complicated for myself, I would totally make it as easy as possible if I was a boarder (as a BM, I HATE blanketing and I HATE EVEN MORE overly complicated blanketing procedures). But, my horse has to be clipped, so he has to have blankets. I don't want him to roast or freeze. Please change his blankets as needed. It is a time consuming job, I get it, but it isn't HARD, and it is necessary.
                    - A good glance over morning and evening. You don't have to pick his feet, though that's nice if you do, but can you at least look at his legs and check for blood and missing shoes? And if you see any blood or not enough shoes, can you let me know? Better yet, let me know, and maybe make sure a vet doesn't need to be called? Bonus points if you wash the wound and don't just leave it encrusted in mud and blood.
                    - Be nice to my horses, but don't let them be assholes, especially the one who IS an asshole. I am fine with staff properly reinstalling manners on my horses. Hell, I'll even leave you a chain for the bad one. Please do what you need to do to keep yourself and my horse safe. But, don't beat up on him just because. Not cool.
                    - Along the same lines, staff that knows how to properly handle horses. I'm totally fine with well supervised working students. I'm fine with immigrant workers. I just want to feel like my horses are handled by people who know how to handle them, aren't afraid of them, or don't use brute force. You don't have to be the world's greatest horse trainer, but know how to properly put on and use a chain, know how to properly lead a horse, and know that allowing horses to barge through gates and stall doors is not appropriate or safe.
                    - Use good vets and farriers and/or have decent working relationships with good vets and farriers. If you require the same vet/farrier for everyone, it better be one I would let touch my horse, otherwise we're a no go. But if you don't require the same vet/farrier for everyone, please maintain good relationships with the professionals in the area so mine will come. The last thing I want to hear from my vet is "Oh, I won't go THERE."

                    I think that's about it. Things like good footing in the ring(s) and the like are borderline important for me. I can't imagine considering a place with really horrible footing. But I'll ride on grass if there's no ring. So, I'm particular, but not over the top.

                    I know I would drive BMs insane. I know what being a bad boarder means, and I recognize those traits in myself. If it ever comes time for me to NOT run a barn where my horses will also live, I'll do everything in my power to be able to keep them myself....I just don't want to torture anyone with me!!!
                    yb, can I please board with you????
                    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
                      yb, can I please board with you????
                      YES, even if you DO have mares!
                      Amanda

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                        YES, even if you DO have mares!
                        LOL! Yeah, and "special needs" mares to boot--in that one needs to be out by herself or with "passive geldings", and the other is still a baby...

                        I can dream...
                        "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                        "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have three horses at home, and one I board for a goodly chunk of the year, and I find that if anything it makes me more realistic about what I expect from a boarding barn.

                          I do expect a clean, organized, well maintained, peaceful and professional environment with knowledgeable, hands-on management, safe, well maintained turnout and arena and a schedule that I can work around.

                          I don't need fancy.

                          I won't board with dirt, chaos or ignorance or stupidity.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks everyone for your replies. I think, as someone else mentioned, im in a good position because I can take my time looking for a barn with pasture board and if needed, be on a waiting list for awhile.

                            I think ill pick the second place that has a bit more self-care. Its very close to my house and I have a friend boarding there who can change her blanket in a pinch and the BO will too if I cant get out. There is a new place that I have not actually be out to see yet so Ill check that place out too.

                            The BO at the 2nd place is a good trainer but I just love my current one so thats a negative but care of my girl has to come first or else Ill get out of luck if something happens to her.

                            Thanks

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Must have a bathroom. Porta-potty not ideal, but certainly doable. But don't expect me to go in a stall on a daily basis. Not happenin'.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                HAHA. I have only had the opportunity of boarding in one place with a bathroom and the manager (a man) used it all the time but NEVER cared to clean it so it was nasty.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
                                  yb, can I please board with you????
                                  Me too!!!
                                  Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                                  Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                                  "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OP, if everything else about your current situation is good, then I would stay put. There are plenty of horses who have had joints injected on full board. 12-16 hours of turnout per day is a lot.

                                    I would put my efforts into a good joint maintenance program and a good riding program for your horse to keep him fit and active.
                                    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A bathroom is a must here, too. Fine if it's a porta-potty, even.

                                      The biggest deal-breaker for me would be a BO that lies to me, especially if it involves my horse.
                                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think it also depends on your needs and your horses needs. My horse lives at a place where I trust them 100%, but is everything done exactly how I would do it? No of course not, but for a facility with 30+ horses it is well run, safe, and provides quality feed and hay. Horses are out night time year round, yes it can be cold in the winter and wet, but they have shelter and blankets and yes sometimes go out in weather that I would prefer not to they are all in good health and really like to be out. They are provided hay pretty much 24/7, yes sometimes hay runs out in the pasture (have a round bale) and isn't replaced as quickly as everyone would like, but usually not because of laziness, but weather or tractor problems. But they always have hay inside in a haynet, my horse has a 12'X24' stall that he spends maybe 8 hours in. Is feed TC complete. And after going through several people stalls are clean and water is clean, I am extremely happy over all. Most problems are fixed right away or are a work in progress, like the BO put too much sand in the ring, but they worked on it until it was right. But it is NOT a place for high maintenance horses or owners there are not options for individual turn out, if you want special feed your provide it at your cost, and kids do afternoon feedings so it is kept as simple as possible. It is a kids barn so tough to handle horses are generally not allowed and dangerous ones that don't fit the program have been asked to leave. I will say very few injuries (outside of normal nicks and stuff like that, it is herd turnout!) and very few health problems related to care.

                                        For me biggest things would be safe turnout, adequate hay, and clean water. Often poor feed can be changed (even if it is at your cost) even hay and clean water can be fixed if you live close and can be there daily (but probably wouldn't want to board somewhere that doesn't think clean water isn't important!) but depending on location and price some of these things can be worked out, like blanketing, extra hay etc can be worked out between boarders of yourself if you live close enough and the price is right, obviously if I am paying $$$$ I would not expect to have to do those things, but for a much cheaper more of a self care place near by I would be willing to do some of it myself.
                                        http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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