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Boarding Barn Difficulties

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  • Boarding Barn Difficulties

    I swear, I hate being a boarder. I try to be a good boarder, honestly.

    So, my horse is clipped (well, mostly) because he is going to his 2nd show ever this weekend. I am at a barn that is full care, but not a show barn. Which doesn't bother me any, because I have one foot in the show life and one foot in the non-show life.

    Anyhow, I put his blanket on him because he is clipped and it is cold and wet. His pasture mates hate his blanket. They hate it to the point that they will not let him near the hay or water trough.

    The barn owner has offered to take him to his stall an additional two times per day so that he can eat hay and drink for this week, but after this week I will have to pay an additional price.

    I'm very frustrated. I feel like the other horses should be able to cope with a horse with a blanket. Why should I have to pay extra because the other horses in the barn can't deal with a horse with a blanket on it???? ARGH!

    I'm worried that they are going to stress him out running him around. What would you do? I can't take the blanket off at this point because he's naked.
    Meet Wendall the wonder horse
    and introducing Machado!

  • #2
    I think the BO is being nice by offering to bring him in 2x more times per day, even with an extra charge. Maybe the other horses will get used to the blanket or your boy can change pastures.


    • #3
      I would be very worried about his being run around and possibly taking a bad step, added to the not drinking. Is there any way he can get turned out by himself or with another horse that doesn't have blanket issues?

      Perhaps a nice dark solid-colored turnout would do the trick ...


      • #4
        So how long has he been wearing the blanket in the herd? It sounds like this was a recent development. Has anyone just let things be for a while and see if the herd can settle? In all due respect, it is easy enough to be sure a horse gets enough hay access in the field. As for water, I suspect he can get water if he bides his time. I've had never had the lowest horse in the pecking order become dehydrated because of the herd and I have some pretty interesting field combinations over the years.

        Since it doesn't sound like separate turn-out is an alternative, I would just give it time. Otherwise, I can understand the BO wanting to charge extra for leading a horse in and out throughout the day.
        Where Norwegian Fjords Rule


        • #5
          The horses may hate his blanket, but your horse's coat itself may be a different 'color' in his clipped state, so he looks like a completely different horse, or non-horse, to the herd's mind. Could that be part of it?


          • Original Poster

            I certainly understand that the being led in is an extra service, and if it was one that I requested, I'd be happy to pay the charge. I'm not a picky horseowner and I try to get along with everyone.

            He has only been wearing the blanket with the herd for last night and today.

            He's low on the totem pole anyway, and they have always chased him away from the water. They only recently started letting him be near them when they ate hay.

            What it feels like to me is that they don't want to deal with a blanketed horse. Though they said it was okay to put a blanket on (as long as I changed it etc., which I happily do), I get the feeling that they (the barn management) really don't want it on there. Maybe that's just my impression - I could be wrong. They didn't offer alternative turnout, nor did they ask me for suggestions.
            Meet Wendall the wonder horse
            and introducing Machado!


            • #7
              Can you buy a 2nd water trough (clean muck tub will do) for the field? And fill it yourself, if dragging water out there is not an easy chore? I don't think this warrants making extra work for the barn owner - there are enough of those situations anyway - try to look for a workaround.
              "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


              • #8
                I don't think it is at all unreasonable for your BM to charge for the service of bringing your horse in if it continues to be necessary.
                I think you need to give it a bit more time though and let the horses figure it out for themselves.
                "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Curb Appeal View Post
                  I don't think it is at all unreasonable for your BM to charge for the service of bringing your horse in if it continues to be necessary.
                  I think you need to give it a bit more time though and let the horses figure it out for themselves.
                  Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                  Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
                  "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


                  • #10
                    Your BO probably doesn't want to deal with a blanketed horse. They are more work. Yes, other horses should reason that the blanket doesn't change another horse into a horse-eating creature, but horses aren't known for their reasoning capabilities.

                    You could try giving the situation a little time -- maybe a few days? -- to acclimate the herd to the new look. The BO provided a solution, albeit one that costs you extra. Unless you can provide a reasonable counter solution, it looks like you'll have to take them up on the offer.


                    • #11
                      I'm confused. He's so low on the totem pole that the other horses have only recently allowed him to get near them while eating hay? So, has he been getting enough hay before the blanket was added to the mix? If not, why hasn't the hay been spread out more?

                      How large is the paddock / pasture? Are these other horses guarding the water trough all day so he never has a chance to drink? That's highly unlikely, I would think, unless it's a smaller paddock.

                      I agree with the suggestion to add another water trough if you can be responsible for cleaning / filling it yourself (IF he really isn't getting any water).

                      I also agree, however, that the horses probably just need some time to figure it out. Give it a few days and see how it goes.

                      Also, I'd thank the BO for being willing to provide the extra service free of charge for a week - bringing him in to eat / drink. I'd try to see if you can ascertain if it's necessary, though. I'd think they'd get used to the blanket in a few days.


                      • #12
                        Is there private/individual tunrout that he can be placed in? If not you may just have to deal with paying extra until it warms up.
                        I want to be like Barbie because that bitch has everything!


                        • Original Poster

                          They have finally allowed him to get close to them while eating the hay, so my guess is no, he was not getting adequate hay prior to the blanket being applied. However, they still had grass until very recently (unseasonably warm weather).

                          The pasture isn't huge, but it's not tiny either. I'd say it's about a quarter acre?

                          I don't believe that they would guard it 24/7, and they already chase him away from it any time he goes near it if they are in the vicinity. I have observed this behavior quite a bit. It's really only two of the horses who bully the rest of the horses in the same manner. It's just that they dislike him especially with the blanket on.

                          I'd like to reiterate that I didn't ask for the BO to do it, and I'm only peeved because it feels like my horse is suffering because of these two big horses's (who bully all the rest of the herd as well, not just my horse) lack of manners. I know, that sounds terrible, I'm just frustrated. I have managed barns before, and I always took horses that were antisocial like these two are OUT of the herd, instead of making the horses that get picked on have special arrangements. Maybe that's just my philosophy though, because it sounds like the majority of the posters are saying "get over it".
                          Meet Wendall the wonder horse
                          and introducing Machado!


                          • #14
                            If they chase him away, there needs to be two water and hay sources in the pasture. I have to do that for my largest field. I would not assume they don't want to deal with the blankets, because I HATE it when my boarders assume things about me!
                            Ask, if you want to know.


                            • Original Poster

                              I did ask, and initially they told me that it was fine to blanket as long as I came out and changed blankets etc. when necessary. Which I will happily do - I'm no stranger to the fact that blanketing can be a PITA.

                              However, the BM doesn't like blankets and has gone on rants where he talks about the stupidity of humans who clip horses and then put blankets on. Largely I have chalked it up to being an old coot (he's a nice guy, and I say that tongue in cheek) who has one method of working with horses. I wouldn't blanket my horse if it weren't for the fact that he needs to be clipped to show - it's not like I'm just being a fussy horse owner or over-pampering my horse.
                              Meet Wendall the wonder horse
                              and introducing Machado!


                              • #16
                                I say this very hesitantly, but maybe, just maybe if you're going to show and need a clipped horse you need a different barn. I have been there and I had to move my horse to a more show oriented barn where people understand show horses and show people.

                                My horse is clipped and blanketed and I know the blanket wouldn't have worked out at my old barn (because I tried it). When it came down to it, I had to move to be able to go in the direction I wanted to go in.

                                Just my personal experience and I really do hope that you can make this work.
                                Aren't these lovely... Designer Browbands You know you want one!


                                • #17
                                  .25 acre is small for 3+ horses to my mind
                                  Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                  The reports states, Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.


                                  • #18
                                    Could you provide an additional water tub and put it on the opposite side of the paddock/pasture along with his hay?

                                    I know what you mean about being a boarder. We are currently looking for a horse property - not easy to find...
                                    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by SGray View Post
                                      .25 acre is small for 3+ horses to my mind
                                      I second that this seems very small. Can he be moved into another pasture at all? If he has been low man on the totem, and is being picked on, it seems reasonable to ask him to be moved to another group.
                                      ~ Kimberlee


                                      • #20
                                        I geuss I don't undestand what the BO's problem is, actually. Dealing with a blanketed horse? They are different from nekkid horses?

                                        I think he just thinks the clipping is foolish (as you said) and maybe he fears some sort of mishap with it, during turnout? Or maybe he just doesn't like looking at them? Whatever the case, if he could add another water tub, it would resolve a lot of those paddock issues, I bet.