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Boarder sneaking hay

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  • #41
    The bales here are three string and weigh about 100-110 lbs. Last longer, but almost impossible to move, especially as our backs and shoulders get older.
    So using a flake as describing an amount on a board like this is useless to me. same with "coffee can" as a feed measure, or scoop?!

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by TBMaggie View Post
      I used to work as a barn manager - and boarders stealing hay is nothing new. It seems that a great many people who board, and have never, ever managed their own horses (at home 24/7) always think that their poor horses never get enough to eat, clean enough water, or enough bedding. Seems that every boarding barn has at least one or two of these people. If not, than it's a wonderful barn to be in
      Lord, we have like a dozen of these. And man, there are few things I hate more than seeing wasted hay in the stalls of FAT horses!

      Originally posted by Androcles View Post
      OTOH, the BO setting up this 'trap' with the different types of hay, counting the flakes, etc., is pretty weird too. Just be direct without all the drama!
      I don't think it's weird. She wanted to be sure of what she was suspecting. It's generally prudent to avoid falsely accusing your boarders of lying and stealing without some sort of evidence. And obviously the direct method didn't work -- she's tried that and he lied to her and continued to steal. (As she said right here on this thread for all to read.)

      I wonder if you actually care what people post or if you just skim through looking for points to argue. Seems to be a pattern with you.

      Originally posted by SouthwestRerider View Post
      So using a flake as describing an amount on a board like this is useless to me. same with "coffee can" as a feed measure, or scoop?!
      Exactly. Our bales are generally 70-80 lbs, too. It's silly to guess what the OP's bales weigh. Just ask.

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by SouthwestRerider View Post
        The bales here are three string and weigh about 100-110 lbs. Last longer, but almost impossible to move, especially as our backs and shoulders get older.
        So using a flake as describing an amount on a board like this is useless to me. same with "coffee can" as a feed measure, or scoop?!

        Before I realized a "flake" or a "bale" could mean something totally different to people in other parts of the county my eye balls use to pop out of my head reading how much hay some of you fellow COTH'rs horses would eat. I get it now of course...

        Edited to add, bales in my area are also three string and 100 - 110 lbs.

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by atr View Post
          Hmmm. You are making assumptions about the size of the bales.

          My bales are 70-80lbs. I hate stacking the damned things...

          I think 240 70lb alfalfa/grass mix bales would keep the wolf from most horses doors, and some?
          Lucky SOB. Mine are 145lb fruitbatting monsters...
          Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
          Sam: A job? Does it pay?
          Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
          Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

          Comment


          • #45
            I did not read all the responses, but here's what I would do.

            Feed the horse hay from haynets (and get boarder to pay for nets), no more wastage.

            If boarder wants the horse to have that much hay so that the horse never runs out, that is totally okay, coz this is precisely what I expect when boarding. However boarder needs to pay the extra $'s for that.

            If boarder is paying the extra $'s for that, then provide it.


            Now a few years back I was boarding too. I paid the extra dollars in order to provide my horses ad-lib hay. Sadly this did not happen, yes they may have gotten two flakes extra a day vs the other horses, but that was by far not enough as my giants needed about 5 extra flakes a day, and mind you I paid the excess of a full bale daily to cover for this expense (hay & labor).
            I went to the BO and told him, that I did not feel I got sufficient hay eventhough I paid for it, so from that day on I was going to steal it from his cows and YES I openly went into his cowbarn daily with my wheelbarrow and took the hay I felt I was entitled to.
            Then BO said let's discuss. I told him, why don't you rent me some storage space where I can store 20 to 30 bales of purchased hay so I can top up myself.
            That worked great for starters, however when the grooms came round with the hay (as included in standard board) they skipped my horses as they figured they already had enough. So into the office I had to go again. Since I was there am & pm's in the end we agreed a discount on the board and I was to hay my horses myself from my purchased pile.

            Don't get upset with the boarder for him to want his horse to have ad-lib hay. However should he go out and steal from your horse's stall NO, he should come & talk to you. But perhaps he's fed up talking about it and figured this is the easiest way to bring it to your attention. Still it's not right and very cheeky as he's wrongdoing your horse and one should not do so!

            Good luck with this.

            Comment


            • #46
              I agree. Just feed the extra hay but keep charging more. It may go against the grain to see the hay wasted, but if the boarder will pay for it . . .

              I also agree with the idea of having a hay net or hay rack in the stall to keep the hay off the ground.

              It's hard to know how much hay the horse is actually getting by the 8 flakes measurement. My horses generally eat 25 - 30 lbs per day of hay. They are turned out 24/7 but there's not much grass left. I use a hay rack to cut down on waste.

              I also disagree that "fat" horses should not get "enough" hay. Most horses that get free choice hay start to self regulate. Unless the hay is very rich, having hay in front of a horse doesn't add a lot of weight, but does keep their digestive systems happy. We often buy two cuts of hay so that they can nibble during the day.
              Originally posted by dwblover View Post
              I agree that he should have just told you he wanted the horse to have even more hay. There is NO reason to steal hay out of a another horse's stall. I do think now that he's been caught red-handed he is probably really embarrassed and hopefully will not do this anymore. However, if he is paying for extra hay, then perhaps he just wants the horse to have hay in the stall at all times, wether it pees/poops in it or not. Just charge him more accordingly. I boarded somewhere that a woman had a mare who never ate her hay. Every morning there was just a big mess of pee hay, but the woman paid for extra bales so the extra hay was fed each day. If your boarder really wants the horse to have hay despite the wasting, just feed it and charge him even more for the hay and extra cleaning time.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

              Comment


              • #47
                It may help if the boarder can actually see how much hay his horse is wasting. I would clean the stall and put all of the wasted, "dirty" hay in a wheel barrel and save it for him to see. It may help him to quantify the amount of waste once he can see it for himself.

                There is a horse in our barn that came with feeding instructions that included a half a bale of hay per night (this was after being out on good quality grass for 8-10 hours). Needless to say, more than half the hay wound up as bedding and his ration was quickly cut to about a three flakes.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Addison
                  There is a horse in our barn that came with feeding instructions that included a half a bale of hay per night (this was after being out on good quality grass for 8-10 hours). Needless to say, more than half the hay wound up as bedding and his ration was quickly cut to about a three flakes.
                  I'm sorry but I so disagree with this approach. First off it's irrelevant whether the horse had been on good quality grass or not. The idea is that the horse has something to much on at ALL times!!
                  So the horse wastes his hay, so do mine, so do very many horses, sadly they are not all that smart to keep their hay clean.
                  Fix the problem in a different way : feed from racks, haynets, get boarder to buy a slow hayfeeder or what have you, prevent the horse from wasting his hay, but by no means fix the wastage by reducing the amount received.
                  That's human penny thinking not in line with what the animal may need naturally.
                  Sorry but this is something that's very close to me, since this is an issue I've had to deal with EACH time I boarded somewhere.
                  I honestly don't understand the thoughtprocess of some BO's. I was always standing there with my wallet WIDE open, waving money in their faces : pleeezze take my money, you will be making more out of my then any other boarding, just by giving me the extra hay. But no, somehow they just didn't get it.

                  Everything comes at a price, just charge, so the inconvenience is covered to you by the extra $'s you get. What the heck, just charge a surplus muck removal fee if this means the horse wastes more, poops more, etc.
                  I ended up paying double board on my horses because of the excess manure created, the extra bedding needed, the storage needed for my hay and the extra hay. Did that bother me, NO, I was damn happy to pay the price, coz that meant my horses had their ad-lib hay. In the end the BO finally figured we were his highest paying customers (and that he was making a nice profit out of us) and he was so sad to see us go when we moved country.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Lieslot,

                    I am with you on this one!

                    I have been the boarder, whose horse got ulcers, because the BO refused to give my 16.3 h, Appendix QH, in full work (eventer) more hay, than the 15h. pasture puff. Did this make me into an OCD boarder? You betcha.

                    When I had a Vet perscription saying that my horse needed to be on free choice hay, which I would put into two hay nets myself and/or purchase the extra hay for him, do you think that this BO would agree? "The other boarders might think that your horse was getting more hay than theirs, which would cause a problem." Also, the BO's horses got a different, better quality hay and more of it, than the boarders horses. Yes, I checked. So, when you say that you put a different quality hay in your stall, just to catch your boarder taking it, do you save the better stuff for your guys, too?

                    Just like my Appenix QH, the mare that I own today eats almost every stem of hay that she can get. I have finally found a BO who believes, like I do, that horses should have free choice hay. Her horses waste some of their hay and pee on it, mine does not. Does she short change her horses because of this? No.

                    The last place that I boarded did not give the horses but two flakes in the AM and two in the PM. The BO did let me buy extra hay to give my horse at lunch. However, she had a filly that was foaled in the Spring that she wanted to make into a QH halter prospect. This filly was separated from her Dam and the other filly, with whom she spent the first six months of her life, and kept in a stall 24/7. The BO couldn't understand why this six month old filly got ulcers. This filly had no hay from around 9am to 5pm, every day. DUH!

                    OP,

                    If the guy will pay for extra hay, put up a hay bag and pay for the extra time that it takes to clean his horses' stall, then why not do it? He is paying you for a service. Is it really so difficult to do that for him? If he feels that his horse has enough hay, then he will not feel the "need" to steal.

                    Just a point of view from the other side of the stall.
                    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I was under the impression that horses should have either hay or pasture available to them at all times And that it's not good for their digestive health to go too many hours without roughage.

                      And it's for this reason that I worry when i see my horse's stall devoid of hay when I arrive in the morning. I'm lucky that the place I currently board is aware of that fact...and the barn owner told me before I even moved there they would never be upset with someone giving more hay as long as the horse wasn't wasting it. Ideally, I like to give my horse enough overnight that he has just a bit left in the morning--not huge waste, but not without either.

                      I'm not involved in this particular situation and haven't read all the replies to this thread, so can't contribute much. But I will say that I have been very frustrated in the past with BO's always thinking that the boarders' horses have enough hay because they gave an x-amount. I even had one that treated water the same way! She said that he doesn't need anymore because they've already refilled buckets for the day

                      Unless my understanding of basic horse care is completely wrong...I would say that it's good practice to have hay and water available at all times

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        NewbieEventer,

                        You are absolutely correct!!!

                        Unfortunately, I had a BO at another stable in NE Ohio, who thought that one bucket of water was sufficient in 90 degree weather, too. When I asked for a second bucket, because it was always dry (the BO and his wife worked other jobs and were not home during the day), he had a fit.
                        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
                          So the horse wastes his hay, so do mine, so do very many horses, sadly they are not all that smart to keep their hay clean.
                          Fix the problem in a different way : feed from racks, haynets, get boarder to buy a slow hayfeeder or what have you, prevent the horse from wasting his hay, but by no means fix the wastage by reducing the amount received.
                          That's human penny thinking not in line with what the animal may need naturally.
                          Sorry but this is something that's very close to me, since this is an issue I've had to deal with EACH time I boarded somewhere.
                          Should have read throught this first. Couldn't agree more Even at some of the most expensive places in the area I've boarded in the past, have experienced the same thing (I was hoping that higher monthly board = better care). The thing that upsets me even more than just simple ignorance are the BOs that know what's best for the horse, but chose to act differently simply to reduce operating cost by any means possible. The reason I know that these BO's "knew better" was that you never saw any of their personal competition horses without hay. I would rather error on the side of a little hay wastage than compromise the horse's digestive system.

                          If you have a strict limit on the number of flakes a day you will feed each horse, I think it's something that should be brought up as part of the boarding contract. Anything over that, the boarder pays. And if the boarder is paying extra for hay, hopefully the extra that he pays for does actually go to his horse and not used for others. Sorry if I sound a bit negative about all this...but my past experiences have left a bitter taste regarding this matter.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            I guess if a boarder is like Lieslot claims to be then fine, waste hay. But most boarders are not willing to pay for extra hay, extra cleaning, extra disposal, etc.

                            And the OP says that this boarders horse already does get extra hay. Must we always assume that every barn owner is evil and trying to screw over the boarders?
                            The horses owner says the horse looks great too.

                            And the bottom line is, the boarder IS stealing.

                            I do not think that is ever OK, even to give more hay.

                            And no, not all horses can have hay or grass in front of them 24/7 with out becoming severely obese. So great theory but not always practical or healthy.

                            And gosh, if you go with hay bags, slow feeder, racks or the like, the anti hay bag/rack/feeder people will tell you that you are evil for doing that.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Auburn View Post
                              NewbieEventer,

                              You are absolutely correct!!!

                              Unfortunately, I had a BO at another stable in NE Ohio, who thought that one bucket of water was sufficient in 90 degree weather, too. When I asked for a second bucket, because it was always dry (the BO and his wife worked other jobs and were not home during the day), he had a fit.
                              I was at one place where I constantly found dry water buckets (horse had 2) in the AM. I had approached the BO several times as non-confrontational as I could...each time she promised to keep an eye on it. Nothing changed. I continued to pursue this with the BO, at which point she said I shouldn't worry because he's already getting 2 buckets a day...and that they always give them water at noon So ONCE a day? I was livid. The nonchalant attitude just made it that much more unbearable. In the BO's opinion, I was the unreasonable/demanding one, wanting water available at all times when my horse was already getting a "full 2 buckets" a day

                              Needless to say, I've been seriously saving up to buy my own place since then Can't wait 'till I finally get a place that's my own. No more bickering about water and hay....seemingly simple things. But when you're on someone else's property, it's their rules and not much you can do about it unless you want to move (I have always made sure to sign a fair boarding contract, but the BO never seems to hold up their end of the contract). There just are not many (if any) honest boarding places available anymore

                              I have found that it's often easy for the BO to rationalize things in their own favor. Examples:
                              - horse doesn't need more water, he's already had 2 full buckets today. (BO's reason for bone-dry water buckets)
                              - horse doesn't need to be turned out...he's too fat and the grass is too rich (maybe true, but there are other solutions than keeping horse stalled 24/7 without letting owner know)
                              - horse is only going to get 2 flakes of hay even though you're paying for an extra bail a day because he sometimes poops or messes on his hay (if you're only going to feed 2 flakes regardless of how much extra I pay, then let me know! Don't just pocket my money and continue to skimp)

                              It's all too easy when it comes to animals/babies/elderly to cut corners to save costs/labor. You see this in infant day cares and nursing homes all the time. Because they can't speak for themselves, their care is often compromised

                              Sorry for turning this into a huge rant. Now, back to work so I can buy my own place

                              ETA: My above way is in no way aimed at the OP. Just a random rant from my past experiences.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Newbie, I can not imagine staying at a barn where the BO left dry buckets. But I guess we all have our priorities.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Trubandloki-I couldn't agree more!!

                                  If you judge your horses care by what you observe for the finite amount of time that you are in the barn, you can misinterpret what you see.

                                  I feed the recommended 1.5-2% body weight in hay in addition to grass pastures. I try to feed as close to free choice as possible but I am feeding good quality NY grass hay and I don't plan to waste any as bedding. I treat all the horses here equally. I have some horses that don't finish the hay I leave for them(all hay is fed in slow feeder hay nets) and one that would wolf down 2 bales per day if I let him. He stands at the hay net and finishes every last whisp of hay while all the other horses eat some hay, graze a bit, then come back and eat a bit more hay. To the owner of the horse who would blimp out more if fed free choice, it looks like he gets less hay than the others because his net is empty faster. I do believe that horse would literally gorge himself if allowed the chance. Yes, he is overweight and I've discussed the possibility of a metabolic disorder but in the end, it is up to the owner to decide. I can only do what I feel is best for that horse.

                                  As someone noted earlier, it does depend on trust, too. If you don't trust your BO, maybe it's not the right barn for you. From a BOs point of view, it is hell to have boarders who think that everything you do is for ulterior motives. I truly do what I think is best for all the horses here-my boarders and my own-and I discuss my decisions with my boarders to get their feedback. I update my management as I continue to learn(thanks Coth!!) so that each year things are hopefully even better than last year. Yet there will always be boarders that don't trust me for one reason or the other. I've found that it is best for my sanity if we part ways-why should either of us stay up at night worrying-it's just too stressful.

                                  I'm not the perfect BO-I've made mistakes in the past for not taking a firmer stand on things I believed and I should have been more direct. I've learned. Sometimes I agreed to things that I thought would work out that didn't. From a boarders point of view, it can look like I changed the rules after they moved here so it can appear that I deceived them. That's not what was intended-maybe I decided that locking the horses in their paddocks at night would save the pastures in the winter or whatever. When I do make a change in management, I do explain why to my boarders-and there always is a reason. In the end, for me, I work best with boarders who trust me and have the same outlook on horse care as I do. We all sleep better at night that way.
                                  http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                    And the OP says that this boarders horse already does get extra hay. Must we always assume that every barn owner is evil and trying to screw over the boarders?
                                    No, not every BO. But from my limited experience (and probably my bad luck), most I have come across have not been the most honest people I've dealt with. I cannot stand the ones that appear to bend over backwards with promises (not without extra fees, of course), and then don't deliver (but pockets the cash anyway). [/QUOTE]



                                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                    I do not think that is ever OK, even to give more hay.
                                    This would bother me and I would not board at a place that had this rule.

                                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                    And no, not all horses can have hay or grass in front of them 24/7 with out becoming severely obese. So great theory but not always practical or healthy.
                                    I'm sure there are horses with special health conditions that require other arrangements. But there are other ways to combat these problems that would be least detrimental to the horse. For example, instead of no turnout at all, turn out on dry lot. Or put one of those muzzle grazers on. Horses need turnout. And if the hay is too rich for the horse, you can always get a hay with lower nutrition value. The equine digestive system is not meant to withstand long periods without roughage. Buy some lower-nutrient hay so that you don't compromise its GI. Fat horses get ulcers too, btw. IMO, witholding hay, water, or turnout is never a long-term solution. It's for this reason that I love my current barn. It's not fancy by any means, but water, hay, and turnout are not compromised. ever.
                                    [/QUOTE]

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      NewbieEventer- I am so sorry that you've had such bad experiences because there is no excuse for empty water buckets or poor care!

                                      There are horrible boarding places out there but not every BO is the devil incarnate. Not every boarder is a PITA, either. It is really hard to find the people you can mesh with-especially if it is on your own property.

                                      And let's face it-trying to make a decision or whether or not you're comfortable with a person(BO or boarder) on a short encounter is difficult. Trying to read between the lines and decide if this person is trustworthy (or sane-as we all know kooky horsepeople) is really hard. It's like trying to find a roomate through the classifieds! Unfortunately, it's after you move in that your find the problems!
                                      http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                        Newbie, I can not imagine staying at a barn where the BO left dry buckets. But I guess we all have our priorities.
                                        I didn't! In fact I started informally looking at new places the 2nd time I found the dry buckets. It's not always easy to find a new place And I wanted to make sure I wasn't going from a bad situation to a worse situation. I ended up going to the barn 2x a day to top off his buckets for the remainder of my stay there.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                                          NewbieEventer- I am so sorry that you've had such bad experiences because there is no excuse for empty water buckets or poor care!

                                          There are horrible boarding places out there but not every BO is the devil incarnate. Not every boarder is a PITA, either. It is really hard to find the people you can mesh with-especially if it is on your own property.

                                          And let's face it-trying to make a decision or whether or not you're comfortable with a person(BO or boarder) on a short encounter is difficult. Trying to read between the lines and decide if this person is trustworthy (or sane-as we all know kooky horsepeople) is really hard. It's like trying to find a roomate through the classifieds! Unfortunately, it's after you move in that your find the problems!

                                          Comment

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