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What do you expect to be notified about at your boarding stable?

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  • What do you expect to be notified about at your boarding stable?

    What do you guys expect to be notified about at your boarding stable?
    Do you expect to be told when the feed program is changed?
    or When your horse has a minor ish injury like cuts or limping?
    How about free arena time changes?

    I recently found out the stable i board at has cut out feeding cubes! My horses are in a semi private group paddock which i pay an extra 85$ for things like poop clean up in the pen and for 3 feedings: Hay in the morning, cubes for lunch, and hay in the afternoon.
    Now The poop hasnt been cleaned up in 3 months... 4 horses + no poop clean up = hazardous frozen poopsicles!
    But the other day i also discovered the stable has cut out feeding cubes and hasnt told anyone about it as well as they have cut down the extra hay my horses semi private pen gets????
    Do you think it is acceptable or reasonable to cut the food program and not tell anyone...? (some boarders have no clue still)
    One of my horses has actually become really ribby (didnt realize because of the winter coat)
    Im paying an extra 85$ for two horses for what???
    I wanna know what everyone expects from their stables?
    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Yes I would expect to have an feeding changes discussed with me prior to the change.

    I would also not be boarding where poop was not cleaned up from the paddocks on a daily basis.



    • #3
      I expect to be talked to about feeding regimes right off the bat and upon discovering none of the things I am paying for are not being done, I would move, plain and simple, if those are not done, what else is being skimped on?
      Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
      I am pro-Slaughter


      • #4
        I would expect to be notified of feeding changes. I would promptly move.


        • #5
          In legal terms, I wouldn't expect to be informed about anything unless it was in the contract. If the contract simply said "Food and water will be provided," then they haven't broken any rules. If the contract specifically said "Hay cubes will be provided once daily", then yes, they should have informed you.

          In non-legal terms, aka "Where I would feel comfortable boarding", I would expect to be informed about an upcoming feed change. Ditto with a major change in my horse's turnout arrangement (although I trust my BO to make the call about whether the horses stay in on yucky days. I'm talking about something like changing his turnout buddies or a more permanent change to his turnout schedule.)

          You do have to be reasonable about what is possible for a BO and what is merely convenient for you. IMO the feed should have been announced, but what do you expect them to do about arena free time changes? In my barn there's a white board calendar where you're expected to post any lessons or special arena needs, but I wouldn't expect to be personally notified every time the calendar was altered. Similarly, there's no easy way to remove frozen poopsicles in the winter time. Assuming the poop removal has been good when the weather is above freezing, I might let that one slide.
          Last edited by jn4jenny; Jan. 17, 2010, 10:11 AM.
          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


          • #6
            I would expect to be notified of a feed change but realistically, most boarding places don't. They don't want to the push-back.

            Have your horses dropped weight since the hay cubes were cut out? Not saying I agree, but from the BO's perspective, this might be a non-issue if the horses' weight & condition has been maintained.
            "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


            • #7
              I would expect to be notified of any changes to my horse's care or routine including feed, turnout schedule (including new horses introduced into turnout and/or change in paddock/field), any cuts, lameness or missing/loose shoes found when my horse is brought in. Most backyard boarding operations don't do much of this, but I have boarded at a couple of places where the owner was informed about any changes. Of course, there are those horse owners also that don't want to be involved with their own horse's care. They want to pay their board and ride their horse. If/when I have a boarding facility I would involve the owners in their horse's care and notify them of any changes. I would however reserve the right to make certain decisions about feed, etc. I find alot of people think they know more than they do. Communication is very important.


              • #8
                If I was paying for any additional services, I would absolutely expect to be notified that they were discontinuing them. I think I'd go so far as to ask for a refund for the fees I've paid for the time I paid and they didnt provide the service.

                As to my expectations, I'd expect to be called in the event my horse is injured, I'd like to be notified if for some reason my horse is not turned in for the evening. If I am providing my own feed or hay, I'd like to be notified that either is running low as well.

                I do think feeding changes should be discussed with the owner, not just administed at the BO's discretion.
                Tracy Geller
                Find me on Facebook!


                • #9
                  It's all in the approach

                  I think it's sad that someone should have to post a question or a gripe here first. No offense to the OP, but that tells me that a few things are wrong. Some of the responses by other posters suggest that there's a lot wrong at many barns. The ones that mention BOs withholding info from boarders because they fear "push back" is a problem.

                  It's a problem with the relationship between owner and BO.

                  If you are paying for extra services, by all rights you are entitled to them. But that's not quite the line of thought I'd take in discussing it with the BO. Perhaps weather or staffing problems have meant that BO had to sacrifice paddock picking for a while. If that hasn't happened in 4 months, the owner had plenty of time to notice and ask "hey, what happened?" before it became a problem to be added to the list.

                  Feed change-- a serious difference in stuff fed or more or less-- is something the owner ought to know about. If the horses have lost weight, certainly ask firmly that the feed be restored.

                  For other things-- new T/O buddies, lost shoes, cuts, too hot/cold/wet because blanketing isn't attended to-- your expectations about these elements of horse care are things you talk about up front or in the first few months that you're in your new barn.

                  I always cover those by *offering* the info the B/O might need. E. g.-- "Let me know if you need to change up T/O groups. I'd like to be there when Fluffy gets introduced to his new group." Or "Here's my vet/farrier info. If he loses a shoe or gets a ding, let me know, but you are welcome to call either of these guys pronto if the problem looks serious." Or "Here are my blankets, and what my horse tends to wear for different conditions. Let me know if you need something different or want to try a wardrobe change." Of "He's in good weight now. This is what I'm trying to maintain. If you think you have a better way to feed him, let me know."

                  If the BO "pushes back" at any of these implied requests for my involvement or standards of care, I know I may have a problem. But give the BO a chance!
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat


                  • #10
                    If you have contracted for certain services and are paying for such, you should be informed of any proposed change to that contract, to enable you to re-negotiate. If the BO was smart there should have been a mention, in said contract, of their right to raise prices, and that would have been the better choice if they are short of income. What they are doing negates any contract they have and just causes a raft of problems.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dalemma View Post

                      I would also not be boarding where poop was not cleaned up from the paddocks on a daily basis.

                      When the temps get really cold (high of 10 degrees for example), there is no way to remove any poop that has been on the ground for longer than 30 minutes-it freezes solid, especially this year where there is no snow on the ground, just ice for it stick to. We remove all the poop that we possibly can on a daily basis, but there are always some frozen piles left that we can only get once the temp spikes above freezing. This weekend it did, so we were able to remove quite a bit of manure that had previously been frozen solid. However, unless you expect me, the BO, to patrol the paddocks every hour on the hour for manure, you'd be out of luck on those exceptionally cold days. There is a degree of reasonableness that needs to be taken into account.

                      Regarding the feed, I always notify owners of major changes, such as when we switched from Nutrena to Blue Seal. However, minor things, like adding a pound or two of Haystretcher to a hard keeper's daily ration in the dead of winter isn't explicitly spelled out, but my boarders trust me and their horses are all in excellent weight.

                      I think your issue is that you pay extra for things such as extra feedings and hay cubes and those extras are not being provided. Talk to the BO, stop paying the extra $, and look for another place to board.
                      JB-Infinity Farm


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
                        When the temps get really cold (high of 10 degrees for example), there is no way to remove any poop that has been on the ground for longer than 30 minutes-it freezes solid, especially this year where there is no snow on the ground, just ice for it stick to.
                        But the OP said the poop hasn't been cleaned in 3 months. I don't know where they are, but I would think in 3 months there would be a temp break.


                        • #13
                          Well my girl friend lives in Dawson Creek where temps are minus 30 ceilus and she still picks poop up...she gives the poop a tap with the hammer and they usually release.......plus like the other poster said there are breaks in the weather to allow this....for example my girl friend has had plus 5 all last week so easy to pick in that weather.



                          • #14
                            You'd have to pay me a *ridiculous* amount of money to go out and smack frozen manure with a hammer on a daily basis...
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                            • #15
                              I have kept my horse at 2 different barn, one a show barn and one a lesson barn. In both cases the BM made most of the decisions.
                              At the show barn all the horses looked great and small changes in grain and turnout would not be discussed and many times the owners would never know (ie horse is getting chubby BM reduces grain) There was only small group turn out on grass and dry lots. The groups were 3 horses max, and they would changes locations and the groups as needed. My horse was often changed because he was easy going and didn't go to as many shows as the rest so he would get put with others not at the show that didn't want to go out by themselves. It did not bother me because I knew before it would happen.

                              At the lesson barn most of the boarded horses are owned by children so again the BM made many of the choices but often did check to make sure it was ok, but many of them agreed because they didn't really know. I have not boarded at a mostly boarding barn where people wanted to be involved.

                              What I would like to be informed of:
                              major changes like they are changing the type of grain my horse eats, small amount changes due to weight do not bother me
                              major changes in turnout ie from small group to big group
                              major wounds or swelling that did not look like simple stocking up, any lameness that is noticed
                              eye problems
                              not acting right

                              In the OP's case they are paying for services that are not being done, I would ask why then am I getting charged? It is fine if you dont want to do them anymore but I will not pay for what is not getting done.


                              • #16
                                Oh Ghazzu, you always make me laugh I'm with you 100% on the 'smashing poop with a hammer' issue.

                                Aside from that, OP go and talk to your BO for goodness sake. Face to face/up close and personal will soothe and solve many issues.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                  You'd have to pay me a *ridiculous* amount of money to go out and smack frozen manure with a hammer on a daily basis...
                                  This made me laugh out loud. I was thinking the same thing when I read that comment. I'm sure it works, but what a crappy job (suitable pun.)


                                  • #18
                                    I expect to be notified of turnout changes, feed changes, dings and scrapes big enough to need meds, and if the dang things are acting like complete fools for a prolonged period of time lol. Seeing as I do their care...its not too hard! BUT if the BO is covering for me, she tells me. And I tell the other owners if I notice something (i do morning feeds etc), change in routine etc. BUT we are a small barn.


                                    • #19
                                      What Spotmenow and Ghazzu said.

                                      If you were paying for your horse to be wormed regularly, and found out it wans't done, would you keep paying for someone to do nothing for you? Of course not. Same rule applies here.
                                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                                      • #20
                                        At my barn, we have always stated we want to be there when new horses are introduced to our two who were their own herd. Now down to our 1 alpha gelding. We have witnessed the BO's poor judgment in putting two mares together that kicked each apart in minutes. And other such similar things. BO is not a horsey person and tends to humanize the horses with bad results.

                                        I spoke nicely about keeping our two as they were, alone & was told " I can do what I want as I am the BO".

                                        This does make me uncomfortable. So I try to be there, but still our alpha boy bit another horse he was getting introduced to & he got kicked (other horse had back shoes). However they were separated and no lasting hurt was done so maybe BO learned lesson.
                                        Most of the time, these things are discussed ahead of time.

                                        What is threatened is half day turn out if not allowed to mix. Which is why we allowed BO to try other horse in w/our two which didn't work.