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Need Opinions: lack of help

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  • Need Opinions: lack of help

    Hi, I was hoping I could get your input on what to do with the situation I am currently in.

    At the stable where my horses are boarded there are grooms. Their job is to muck out stalls and feed. I really care for my horses health but I work full time, have kids and I am unable to get to the stable every day. I love where they are boarded but I want them to be in the best care possible. The barn claims they offer full service options but I can see there would be no groom to take the position, as they are not very horse knowledgeable. I don't think anyone uses the full service option. I show rarely, but when I do, the grooms do not come. There are other helpers but usually they are the other people showing or the kids. Yet, you are charged a groom fee. I am not lazy, but as a busy adult I just do not have the time that a kid does.

    What are your opinions on this situation.

  • #2
    What is the full service option supposed to include?

    It is possible that because nobody uses that option that they didn't bother keeping staff around that had the needed skills. Or perhaps you have misjudged one of the staff.

    I would discuss with the barn owner and see if the full service option is stall a possibility and how it would be provided given your concerns.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • #3
      Well, first of all, if there is no groom and you are going to a horse show there should be no groom fee. That is ridiculous they are charging you to tack up your own horse.

      As for the rest, I don't think "full service" options are necessary to good care. My horses are currently pasture boarded and the barn owner feeds, waters, and maintains the property. That is all they require: if I go away for a week they will be just fine.
      When I kept them at places with stalls it was the same deal: they were fed, watered, stalls cleaned, turned out, and brought in. That place did their blankets in the winter, too. They don't need more.

      When I ride I do all the grooming and tacking myself.
      I don't do all of the wrapping and bubblewrapping that a lot of people do; they get a basic grooming and cooling out and put back in their house/field.
      If they need medical care I do it. (At the old barn I lived an hour and a half away and minor medical care like washing a cut or something was included in board.)

      Basically, the quality of the care your horses are receiving seems perfectly adequate as the situation is now. No need to go nuts unless you want more services to save time when you are able to come out and ride.

      If you want someone to tack and groom the horse for you on days you ride then it will be pretty easy to ascertain if you are getting what you are paying for by whether or not the horse actually IS tacked up or not when you arrive. But I don't think the horses will care either way who tacks them up. If you really want the services and you find that they aren't doing them then you can either quit paying for them and do your own work anyway or move somewhere else.
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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      • #4
        The place where I board used to have a pretty similar set up. There were grooms at home who fed, mucked and did turnout, blanket changes and so forth. They did not travel to shows.

        The trainer would enlist "helpers" to do the "grooming" at shows and would charge a grooming fee. The "groom" was usually another rider from the barn, often one of the kids, who traded that work for lessons, rides etc. They were fine for holding a horse, helping to tack up, etc but they were certainly NOT professional grooms. And there were several occasions where, being kids, they would not be particularly attentive and you'd look around needing a hand only to find they were off at the food stand, at ringside watching one of their friends, etc.

        The trainer got complaints about that, as you can imagine, and finally hired more pro help. (Yes, the costs did go up accordingly.) She does still augment that staff with kids, and sometimes a parent here or there, if a lot of horses are at a particular show or things are really busy, but it does work better now. She also offers full service at home, which means that the horses are groomed daily and tacked/untacked and cared for before and after their owners ride.
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


        • #5
          Why don't you just opt out of the 'grooming service' and hire your OWN groom? There must be competant teens around who can do a good job? I'm sure many of them could use a few extra bucks for lessons or gas money to get to the barn. Ask if you can put a flyer up at the barn requesting a personal groom....
          Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
          Full Time Dressage Addict


          • #6
            Originally posted by Concordia View Post
            Why don't you just opt out of the 'grooming service' and hire your OWN groom? There must be competant teens around who can do a good job? I'm sure many of them could use a few extra bucks for lessons or gas money to get to the barn. Ask if you can put a flyer up at the barn requesting a personal groom....
            If the farm/BO/trainer currently offers a full service option, that request might not go over so well. At the very least, they are going to ask why you feel their staff cannot do the job... which can lead to a pretty uncomfortable conversation. Saying, "well, it doesn't seem like the people you've hired know much about horses," (even if true) is probably not going to be received kindly.
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


            • #7
              Is self-care an option? If so, you might consider this if you are competent at caring for your own horse - less expensive too


              • #8
                Originally posted by juststartingout View Post
                Is self-care an option? If so, you might consider this if you are competent at caring for your own horse - less expensive too
                OP has kids and a job, the issue is she doesn't HAVE time to be there every day.

                Neither do I, but I don't worry about it. My barn is small (nine horses), and they get daily feeding, stall cleaning, and turnout. The BO lives on property, she handles things like vet and farrier and worming, but there's no grooming. He's fine.
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                • #9
                  Is there something specific you feel has been overlooked? I offer full-service, yet none of my clients participate, therefore I do not staff a pro groom to work after 3 pm. If someome were to request a tacking etc, in the evening I would just do it myself.

                  I charge a day rate for shows, it is all inclusive. The fee includes the am chores, bathing, schooling and ringside. I expect my group to work as a team, and it bonds everyone. Most of my ammies are young and I have several children/ juniors. We are one of the lesser expensive barns because we don't have "fluff" staff.

                  Again, if someone wanted a particular service we would try to meet their needs. We have some snags in our system, and work to improve upon them. It's helpful to talk with your BO/ trainer about your needs and expectations. I find the feed back from my clients super helpful.