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Sometimes the right thing isn't always the easiest decision. What to do/Where to go?

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  • Sometimes the right thing isn't always the easiest decision. What to do/Where to go?

    Posting under an alter.. I apologize for this novel but I need help

    The opportunity I have been waiting years for presented itself to me last week. I have been waiting and waiting for an excuse to move my horse to a new barn. My parents are semi horse people, and my mom rides, and they have a large say in where the horse is kept, as they pay the bills.

    However, our trainer quit last week. We do not lesson with the head trainer as we do not get along with this trainer, and believe this trainer has lied to us on multiple occasions/ is unconcerned with the care of our horse. There has been mistreatment of the horse twice. Once with feed, and once with shoeing, as we are at a big show barn and trainer is a semi BNT who takes the barn to "big shows" all year round, and head trainer isn't always around to keep on eye on things, nor does head trainer care about the "little people."

    Now, all of this happened because I am away at college and wasn't able to ride very much, so no one was keeping an eye on the horse. My parents now understand basic horse care and my mother is capable of hacking the horse by herself. I'm able to ride 4 times a week now, and will be able to next year, so time is not an issue anymore. We can both keep an eye on the horse.

    We didn't end up leaving this barn (Barn A) because it is close to my parent's house, and they like being able to get out there quickly if something went wrong. Trainer that quit last week had gotten hired and this trainer was AWESOME and got along with both mom and me, and was able to keep an eye on the horse. This trainer got me back up and jumping big again (my horse was my junior jumper in high school). I would not lesson with BNT at the barn because I just felt I didn't get along with them and I was perfectly happy with other trainer.

    Well, since trainer quit and all that is left is BNT head trainer, I finally have my break to leave this barn and that is where barn B comes into the picture.

    Barn B is a little further, but not too bad. Barn B has my trainers of 12 years there. They were fired in replacement of BNT trainer at Barn A, and at the time my parents didn't want to move. I have missed Barn B trainers SO much and was SOOO excited to get this break and move barns. Parents are much more open to the idea of moving and are seriously considering it. I am having a hard time deciding though due to multiple pros and cons.

    Barn A pros and cons:

    Pros
    Tack and untack service
    Completely owner hands off barn (BNT believes owner should not have to do anything but ride)
    Clean everything for you (tack, saddle pads etc)
    Well lit and airy stalls
    full care (wrapping, cold hosing, walking, longing, clipping) when needed, no extra fee
    Awesome facility

    Cons
    BNT trainer has lied to us about the care of our horse which caused horse to get skinny/unshod for 9 weeks. This would not be a problem now, as we are able to keep an eye on the horse better.
    I was not getting anything out of lessons with BNT and was unhappy, hence the reason I stopped riding basically for a year.
    BNT is gone at horse shows all the time all over the country.

    Barn B
    Pros
    I would be back with my old trainers and happy
    European Hot walker when horses are unable to go outside
    Grass turnout 3+ hours a day
    outdoor HUGE riding field with cross country jumps
    Dressage trainer to lesson with when trainer goes to shows
    Trainers are only gone usually 2 weeks max at in state shows.

    Cons
    No tack up and untack (more a con for my beginner mom)
    Nothing is included (clipping, wrapping, cold hosing, magnetic therapy, game ready etc) are all separate.
    More impersonal than barn A from what I can tell. Multiple trainers, everyone kind of does their own thing.
    ***Stalls are kind of dark. The barn is not super well lit, but not horrible. They have a small window to look out, but nothing like barn A. This is a major negative for me.

    So, do I give BNT trainer another chance and take a few lessons before I make my decision, or do I pack up and leave? Both barns are around the same price...

    HELP! and thanks in advanced.. If I left anything out, feel free to ask and I'll add it...

  • #2
    Seems pretty simple. Barn A has a jerk for a trainer who has a history of dishonesty and you will have no one else to ride with. Barn B does not. I would not be freaking out about the light level in stalls.

    Comment


    • #3
      The answer is simple. Which one barn will you be more comfortable at once you pull into the driveway? Which one will allow you to sleep at night without worrying? Which one will let you answer your phone (when you see the caller is your trainer/barn) without having a heart attack? Which one will your horse be happier at?

      Having your tack cleaned for you is nice, but if you feel compelled to "swing by" more often to check to see that your horse has been fed, hayed, watered, turned out, brought in, etc. then what's the use?

      Comment


      • #4
        Agreed. Barn B in a heartbeat. Doesn't matter how fancy the barn looks if you don't trust the barn owners/ trainers to take care of the horses. I've learned that one the hard way. I bet if you talked to the barn owner and groom they may be able to arrange tack up/untack services for your mom if you were willing to pay for it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Pick barn B. I am at home now, but I always have liked tacking and in tacking. If that's important to you then that's an issue.

          Barn A has a trainer you are not find of. This will affect your lessons etc. leave. Good luck.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

          Comment


          • #6
            You can teach your Mom to tack and untack. That is pretty much lesson one.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment


            • #7
              Teach your mom how to tack up and clean your own tack. Any beginner should be able to tack up mostly unsupervised (obviously barring the horse acting up) before they can w/t/c comfortably around the ring, IMO. Tack cleaning does not have to be time consuming - it takes less than 5 minutes to clean a bridle (incl. the bit) after a ride, and saddles don't need to be cleaned daily. In other words, Barn B. Without a doubt. What if you gave this trainer a second chance and he's good at first but then reverts back to his old ways?
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                You can teach your Mom to tack and untack. That is pretty much lesson one.
                Thank you for the replies thus far...

                Mom knows how to tack and untack, she's just a little uncomfortable with it still.. She's an old lady just getting into horses

                I've caught my horse colicing twice at night there, and no one would have noticed had I not gone out to the barn late to check on horse....

                I've been at Barn A for around 12 years now, so it's just scary taking that step and leaving... I trust the trainers completely at Barn B, but they are not there 24/7, as the share the barn with other trainers and only have a few clients there.. The grooms at that barn do night check at 9 though, which is nice...

                I'm just unfamiliar with barn B so it makes me a little nervous to jump into the unknown...

                Comment


                • #9
                  B. Your mom needs to known how to do that stuff. You may find you don't need every single aspect of full care. Clean your own tack, do what you can yourself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think there is any question. I would leave and go to Barn B. If you are comfortable with the facilities and your former trainer then go there. Without pictures (which I would not expect you to post) I cannot judge the physical appearance of the barn or stalls. Appearances aren't everything. Sometimes we can be at the prettiest and fanciest barns but that doesn't mean the horse receives the best care and vice versa.

                    I personally have never boarded at a barn that included tack and untack service and honestly I don't know that I would like that. I was raised to believe that part of being a good horseman is on the ground experience as well as building a bond with a horse, otherwise you are just a rider.

                    I have also never boarded at a facility that didn't charge extra for certain services such as clipping, wrapping, magnetic therapy, etc. That would be nice I must say. I never considered it nickel and diming when I was aware of these charges beforehand. That being said, I have boarded at very nice facilities that did have a lot of perks as well as simple barns where as the owner I had to do everything.

                    For me, I had to think about what made my horse most happy. I recently left a beautiful farm with a great trainer, immaculate fields, bluestone ring and many other amenities because it was not the best fit for my horse. Now we are at a small, private facility and he is the happiest he has ever been.

                    One trainer put it into perspective for me. He said "your horse doesn't care about automatic waterers, sliding stall doors and fancy lighting. He cares about being outside, getting to graze and just being a horse". That one comment made me realize that I had to put my desires on hold and think about my horse's needs first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Barn B, by what you're saying.

                      Bottom line is that you're unhappy at your current barn now that your trainer has left. The move from Barn A to Barn B won't be a detriment in your horse's care (the only other question I have is what the turn out is at Barn A as you mention 3 hours on grass as a pro at Barn B). I would not at all be concerned by the lighting in the stalls... I'm sure your horse won't mind either.

                      Why would you waste time taking lessons with the BNT at Barn A when you've gone down that road before and it made you quit riding for a year?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by anmoro View Post
                        I don't think there is any question. I would leave and go to Barn B. If you are comfortable with the facilities and your former trainer then go there. Without pictures (which I would not expect you to post) I cannot judge the physical appearance of the barn or stalls. Appearances aren't everything. Sometimes we can be at the prettiest and fanciest barns but that doesn't mean the horse receives the best care and vice versa.

                        I personally have never boarded at a barn that included tack and untack service and honestly I don't know that I would like that. I was raised to believe that part of being a good horseman is on the ground experience as well as building a bond with a horse, otherwise you are just a rider.

                        I have also never boarded at a facility that didn't charge extra for certain services such as clipping, wrapping, magnetic therapy, etc. That would be nice I must say. I never considered it nickel and diming when I was aware of these charges beforehand. That being said, I have boarded at very nice facilities that did have a lot of perks as well as simple barns where as the owner I had to do everything.

                        For me, I had to think about what made my horse most happy. I recently left a beautiful farm with a great trainer, immaculate fields, bluestone ring and many other amenities because it was not the best fit for my horse. Now we are at a small, private facility and he is the happiest he has ever been.

                        One trainer put it into perspective for me. He said "your horse doesn't care about automatic waterers, sliding stall doors and fancy lighting. He cares about being outside, getting to graze and just being a horse". That one comment made me realize that I had to put my desires on hold and think about my horse's needs first.
                        Well said.
                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Only By Night View Post
                          Barn B, by what you're saying.

                          Bottom line is that you're unhappy at your current barn now that your trainer has left. The move from Barn A to Barn B won't be a detriment in your horse's care (the only other question I have is what the turn out is at Barn A as you mention 3 hours on grass as a pro at Barn B). I would not at all be concerned by the lighting in the stalls... I'm sure your horse won't mind either.

                          Why would you waste time taking lessons with the BNT at Barn A when you've gone down that road before and it made you quit riding for a year?

                          Thanks again for the replies everyone.. you're definitely helping make this easier...

                          A few things that have come up:

                          Turnout at barn A is 1-1.5 hours on dry lots

                          So lighting in the barn isn't as big of a deal as I'm making it? I worry about the horses being in a dimly lit barn.. That was part of the Trainer's concern at barn B upon moving to this barn.. they felt the stalls were a little cave like.

                          I guess because I'm unfamiliar with the care at barn B that I'm worried. The horses there look good, one of the grooms there used to work for Mindy Darst, and they all seem pretty knowledgeable.. I just need to learn the system over there I guess
                          I trust my trainers to keep an eye on horse when I'm not there, but horse is my baby of 8 years, so I'm pretty protective.
                          I have no problem with tacking and untacking and it can be added for a fee each month, but I like taking care of my own horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No contest. Barn B.

                            Honestly, I think the only reason you're not at B already is because it's a change. You've clearly told us you trust the folks at barn B to take better care of your horse.

                            You clearly cannot and should not trust the folks at barn A to do so.

                            Therefore, there really is no choice. It's simple.

                            Your mom will learn how to tack up. And she will get to know people at barn B who will help her until she is confident she can do it on her own. It will be fine.
                            Last edited by ako; Apr. 15, 2013, 09:51 PM. Reason: Grammar
                            Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AlterlyDesperate View Post
                              A few things that have come up:

                              Turnout at barn A is 1-1.5 hours on dry lots
                              Then by the sounds of it, Barn B will be better for both you and your horse.

                              Originally posted by AlterlyDesperate View Post
                              So lighting in the barn isn't as big of a deal as I'm making it? I worry about the horses being in a dimly lit barn.. That was part of the Trainer's concern at barn B upon moving to this barn.. they felt the stalls were a little cave like.

                              I guess because I'm unfamiliar with the care at barn B that I'm worried. The horses there look good, one of the grooms there used to work for Mindy Darst, and they all seem pretty knowledgeable.. I just need to learn the system over there I guess
                              I trust my trainers to keep an eye on horse when I'm not there, but horse is my baby of 8 years, so I'm pretty protective.
                              I have no problem with tacking and untacking and it can be added for a fee each month, but I like taking care of my own horse.
                              I wouldn't think it's a huge deal, personally. Depends how dark it is, I suppose. But they'll be tucked safely into their stalls munching on hay so they won't exactly need superb lighting. I think doubling your horse's time outside is a MUCH bigger pro than poor indoor lighting is a con.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Wouldn't be a question for me at all...Barn B. Better/more turnout, a trainer you TRUST, and good care? Sold.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  So I just spoke with my parents.. My mom took my Dad out to see it today.

                                  They both hate the lighting in the barn... My mom thinks it's dark and dreary and she's giving the horse human emotions... She is thinking to herself, "If I was a horse, I wouldn't want to live in this dark box"

                                  She says it's nothing against the trainers, just the facility she doesn't really like...

                                  I don't know what to do... the facility he's at now is nice despite the turnout, and she's wiling to let me haul out for lessons, I just don't want to support this trainer's business...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Going out on a limb here, but is there perhaps an electrical outlet or two in the new barn where one could plug in a utility light to brighten up your stall area?

                                    Jennifer
                                    Third Charm Event Team

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      How often is your mom at the barn? A couple of hours a couple of times a week? How often does the horse have to live there? 24/7. Your horse deserves to live where it will be happiest and best cared for. Only you can decide which one that is.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Is BNT at Barn A planning to hire a new assistant trainer to replace the one who left? If you liked a new trainer as much as your old one, would you stay at Barn A?
                                        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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