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Hallelujah - In praise of full board

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  • #21
    I miss the people. And I miss the indoor. And I hate when it’s cold and/or rainy.

    But I love walking 30 yards to give nighttime treats and snuggles. I love that having them at home allows me to have multiple retirees since it’s magnitudes cheaper. I love that they hear my backdoor slam and all nine let out a collective whinny and come running to see what I’m up to.

    There are definitely pros and cons to both. But at home edges out for me a majority of the time.
    Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.

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    • #22
      My barn is going though a “hostile takeover” style change of ownership. I’ve been told a different story every day this week. I’m supposed to be on full board, and my church certainty got cashed, but I’m still having to go out twice a day to make sure my horses have hay and water. The old owner who got bought out is having to be evicted and it’s mortifying to watch.

      I live on a 1/4 acre lot in suburbia, but I’m starting to wonder if I could keep my neighbors quiet with pony rides until this blows over. There is no drama like barn drama and I just hate it.

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      • #23
        Since I live in Canada where we’re stuck riding inside for 6 months I’m stuck boarding for the most part. We have 4 acres but it isn’t zoned for livestock (I do have illegal chickens though!). The babies and retirees get to go to my parents farm though. They’re out 24/7 unless the deer flies are bad. They come in once a day for grain, a once over.

        I also spent years working as a groom/BM so I’ve seen all sides.
        The only way I’m happy boarding is when my horse is out 24/7 with shelter, forage in front of him at all times, and a heated auto waterer. I only live 15 minutes away so I can do blanket changes, tend to injuries, etc. And I have access to facilities. They’ll hold him for the vet and farrier so I don’t have to be there. And since there are lots of people around I don’t have to worry if I’m away.

        Indoor board gave me too much anxiety, I’d rather my horse live like a horse. I would rather my horse be able to choose if he wants shelter or not, eat when he’s hungry, I’d rather he deal with changing weather as it happens instead of being turned out in the indoor because it’s too slippery for staff and rambunctious horses.

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        • #24
          This is the first time in decades that I have boarded all of my equines. I love it. I love not having to worry when I go out of town. I love not having to slog to the barn in the rain or in freezing temperatures - unless, for some inexplicable reason, I want to. I love having someone else mow pastures and scrub water troughs and make the farrier and vet appointments.

          I am so grateful to have found a place to board where the BO is knowledgeable, reliable, and responsible and who keeps the atmosphere drama-free.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson

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          • #25
            After boarding my entire adult life and constantly dealing with barn owners who can’t keep their promises (even when spelled out in the contract), I am so happy to be renting space at an extremely nice barn and having everything done exactly like I want. My horses get minimum 10 hours private turnout and free choice hay 24/7 which was nearly impossible to find anywhere within 45 minutes.
            I hired 2 different workers that do the morning and evening chores 5 days a week, so I still get to focus on riding most of the time. I think the key to making it work is hiring people to help, so you aren’t tied down every single day. I dread the day I ever have to board again!

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            • #26
              Mine are at home. The only way I can afford to have them. They have a much nicer situation than they would at the local boarding facility (and there is only one as I live in the boondocks). They have bigger stalls and access to a turn out area that is not giant but bigger than a small dressage arena. Plus they get apples every morning. I feed them from bale sized hay nets so they eat 24-7 no need to worry about feeding breakfast or dinner. Just refill nets every few days. Downside I shovel a lot of poop.

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              • #27
                Ode to my barn manager:

                Roses are red
                Violets are blue
                Please never leave
                Or I'll have an aneurysm.

                She's a superhero and that's all there is! She notices every little thing. I could not do what she does and, therefore, I have no aspirations of bringing mine home. I'd be a nervous wreck.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by angelssix View Post
                  I have had more than one B/O say to me, "I don't think people realize how much work this is". Well, I do. I lived, rode and helped day and night on a facility. I was fortunate that I was never by myself, of course; the B/O in that situation lived on the property, I lived in an apartment at the house and when things were really busy or the weather was expected to be bad, the man that worked at the barn full time stayed in the barn apartment. Even with three of us, it seemed like there was never enough hours in the day. The amazing thing was that most of the horses were fairly easy to deal with, but a couple of them made up for that in spades.
                  I learned some valuable lessons on that farm that I will carry with me forever. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of boarding facilities. I don't think people realize how much work it is.
                  This absolutely.

                  I'm no stranger to working in barns and did so as a child (to pay for lessons) and a young adult (pretty much to get any kind of horse fix at all.) When I came back to it, I was lucky enough to be offered an opportunity to help out at my current barn as well.

                  The first day I fed, turned out, and set/mucked stalls for 18 horses by myself in Maryland summer, I came home and mumbled to my SO "I never want to see a horse again" before drinking a lot of water and collapsing...

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