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Moving barns: WWYD?

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  • Moving barns: WWYD?

    Let's say you have fallen out with your barn owners, and you don't feel like you and they can communicate comfortably, effectively, and clearly about managing your 20-something horse. You're also travelling 30 miles to the yard, and it's super expensive for not a lot of facilities (i.e. one small outdoor/no indoor/no trails). You find a barn about 10 miles from where you live. You visit. It's pretty run down, the stables are kind of a mess, stuff everywhere, but the fields and arena look okay. You spend about half an hour there talking to the owner and she seems sane and says the right things. You decide to move the horse there. Moving a 20-something horse isn't ideal, but neither is staying at a place that's making you stressed out of your mind and isn't 100% suiting the horse, either.

    On the day you're meant to move the horse, a fellow boarder sends you a message saying she's from the area around the barn you're going to, and she's heard bad things about that place. Doesn't get into specifics, but says she has a reputation. You ask for specifics and she says, "Ask anyone who lives around X town." Um, great. You're in the process of trying to get horse ready to load and think some sweary thoughts, but at this point, it's an unsubstantiated rumour and you feel committed.

    Current BO intercepts you at the barn and snaps, in not a nice way (because nothing he ever says to you is done in a nice way), "You gotta be careful. The police and RSPCA (UK) have been called on that place. I hope you're being careful." Right, you think, not sure what to do.

    Then horse refuses to load. For an hour. Transporter lady, a very nice, accomodating woman who deserves a medal, says you should call the vet and give her some light sedation (no one has easy access to Ace in the UK in the same way they do in the US). You do. While you're waiting for the vet, BO's wife shouts, "You're taking her to a sh ** hole. They've had the police called on them. She's going to go downhill and die."

    Now you're getting worried. Sometimes, rumours are just rumours, because horse people. Sometimes they're totally valid, because horse people. You just have no idea, and you aren't in a position at that moment to do more investigation than Google and forum searches. But you say you can't stay where you are -- relationship with BOs has gone too far south. You call a barn you've been to for clinics, and find they have a space and will take the horse today. It's nice but also still 20+ miles from where you live.

    Vet shows up, two hours later. You ask the vet, "Can I have some of whatever you're about to give my horse?" Vet sedates horse, doesn't sedate you (sadly), and horse loads onto the rig.

    Do you (a) go to Plan A barn and just hope the rumours, which you have not been able to confirm nor deny, are in fact spurious, but could potentially land you and your non-loading 20-something horse in a bad situation, or (b), go to Plan B barn, which will probably be okay but is far, or (c), down half a bottle of whisky and wonder why you own horses.
    Last edited by Caol Ila; Nov. 1, 2019, 03:14 PM.
    Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

  • #2
    I would go to Barn B that the hauler recommended. Honestly 20 miles isn't that far.

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    • #3
      Barn B, no question.

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      • #4
        (B) followed by (C)!
        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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        • #5
          Plan B. Not worth the risk IMO until you've had more time to assess Barn A - if you think you're stressed now, just imagine if things are as bad as rumor suggests and poor old senior isn't getting adequate care.

          Sorry you're stuck in a lousy situation!
          thebaybondgirl.wordpress.com

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          • #6
            gas in GB is about $5 USD/US gallon ..so 20 miles is a big deal

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            • #7
              Nothing to add but you're a great writer and very amusing. Sorry about your situation.

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              • #8
                I agree with B then C. Inquiring minds want to know, what did you decide?? Sounds very stressful!
                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Definitely agree with B then C. And I love Mark Rashid!!!

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                  • #10
                    Another vote for Plan B. Good luck, however you decide...

                    On a lighter note, your post reminded me of that old saying: Americans think 100 years is a long time and Brits think 100 miles is a long distance.
                    "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive

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                    • #11
                      B. and then C, but with wine, not whiskey.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I decided on B, which was either a daft, irrational decision based on rumour and hearsay and kind of a dick move to barn A, or dodging a bullet. I'm still going back and forth in my head and internet stalking barn A, which unfortunately hasn't got me any closer to anything conclusive. All I've learned is that it's off-the-books, because it's not registered as a company with the government, which is worrying, and she made the local news saving a pony from a beesting, which is good. So, who knows? Not me.

                        Plan C will commence shortly.

                        I'm an American expat living in the UK, so can switch between jargon. I should really be writing about "yards" but I adjusted to the audience.
                        Last edited by Caol Ila; Nov. 1, 2019, 03:14 PM.
                        Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I might be the lone dissenter who says to go with Plan A and try it for a bit.

                          You already were on the property and no alarm bells were ringing - you started to second guess it only when others (from the barn you are leaving!) piled-on with negative rumors. Since property A is much closer to your home can you visit frequently to keep an eagle eye on your horse? Is it a month-to-month boarding scenario and taking your horse there does not require that you sign a locked in contract? Basically, try it out but monitor your horse heavily. If it starts to go sideways, take horse to your newly acquired plan B which you know has a spot available, although being farther away.

                          You also now know that your senior horse (unclear if this is a full retiree or a horse who is still healthy and ride-able) is no fan of loading. Best to work on that or at least have a plan for acquiring the needed drugs before the you and horse both get worked up when trailering may have to occur in the future.

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                          • #14
                            Even in the UK 20 miles is shorter than 30 miles!

                            I hope it works out for the best!

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                            • #15
                              Reading this made me go “DUH plan B!”

                              however, the more I think about it, I heard some pretty bad stories about where I board. Bought a horse, said goodbye to my old coach (good riddance) and off I went to the boarding barn.

                              I’ve been there 4 years and have had absolutely zero issues. I follow the rules and pay my board on time. It turns out, the people bad mouthing didn’t do one or the other of those two things.

                              I suppose my suggestion would be take rumours with a grain of salt and go where your gut tells you. That may be barn B, but don’t needlessly write off barn A either. As an above poster mentioned, you checked out barn A and didn’t feel off - that is, until you started hearing a rumour or two.

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                              • #16
                                I would have said Plan B as well. Let us know how it goes!

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                                • #17
                                  I’ve heard all kinds of rumors about my current BO being a horrible, unreasonable monster. Guess what, he’s not! I pay my board on time and tell him if I have concerns and he keeps my horses fat and their water clean. The people bad mouthing him were the kind that leave a balance everywhere they go. So consider the source of rumors. I’m also a big advocate of showing up at random times and asking questions if something looks wrong. Just a little, “I’m watching and I care.”

                                  I would probably have tried barn A, but I hope you love wherever you end up!

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BatCoach View Post
                                    I might be the lone dissenter who says to go with Plan A and try it for a bit.

                                    You already were on the property and no alarm bells were ringing - you started to second guess it only when others (from the barn you are leaving!) piled-on with negative rumors. Since property A is much closer to your home can you visit frequently to keep an eagle eye on your horse? Is it a month-to-month boarding scenario and taking your horse there does not require that you sign a locked in contract? Basically, try it out but monitor your horse heavily. If it starts to go sideways, take horse to your newly acquired plan B which you know has a spot available, although being farther away.

                                    You also now know that your senior horse (unclear if this is a full retiree or a horse who is still healthy and ride-able) is no fan of loading. Best to work on that or at least have a plan for acquiring the needed drugs before the you and horse both get worked up when trailering may have to occur in the future.
                                    ^^^ This. Well said. I would have gone to Plan A barn, monitored the situation closely, and done what I could to find out about the rumors. Which don't sound as if they have much substance to them.

                                    The rumors are just rumors. Your horse can be at Plan A barn and you have plenty of time to find out the real situation.


                                    Originally posted by Caol Ila View Post
                                    ...

                                    On the day you're meant to move the horse, a fellow boarder sends you a message saying she's from the area around the barn you're going to, and she's heard bad things about that place. Doesn't get into specifics, but says she has a reputation. You ask for specifics and she says, "Ask anyone who lives around X town." Um, great. You're in the process of trying to get horse ready to load and think some sweary thoughts, but at this point, it's an unsubstantiated rumour and you feel committed.
                                    So with apologies for being unkind, especially if this person doesn't deserve it, but my reaction to this is: What a pot-stirring total-bs non-answer answer !!! NOT something a real friend would ever say !!! Whoever said that is just a jerk whose only purpose is to pull your strings. That's how it comes across to me.


                                    Originally posted by Caol Ila View Post
                                    ...
                                    Current BO intercepts you at the barn and snaps, in not a nice way (because nothing he ever says to you is done in a nice way), "You gotta be careful. The police and RSPCA (UK) have been called on that place. I hope you're being careful." Right, you think, not sure what to do.
                                    Hmmm, let's think about this. A message trashing Plan A Barn from : A boarder of Current Barn. Another message trashing Plan A Barn from : The BO/BM of Current Barn.

                                    They did what they wanted to do: They chased you away from your first choice of new barn.

                                    They even spooked the hauler with unsubstantiated rumors, based on repetition and shouting. A tactic that does work (and is played out on social media every day).


                                    You are doing well to move on and put these people and their this pot-stirring drama in the rearview mirror. In your shoes, anything said by anyone associated with the barn just left I would count as not a factor. It's just noise from some unreliable trash-talking people who are no longer in my life.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Fellow boarder trashing Barn A and BO trashing Barn A. Hmm. Those don't sound like very reliable sources, TBH, considering the state of the relationship you stated existed between you and BO.

                                      I personally would probably have continued to Barn A, kept an eagle eye on the horse (visiting daily) for a while, and attempted to substantiate any rumors. BO's wife said the police had been called on them - should be easy enough to call the local non-emergency police # and ask.

                                      But, you've already moved to Barn B, and that's a fine choice too. 20 miles to me is nothing, 20-25 miles was my standard distance from the barn when I boarded. But I understand it may be a super long distance for some people/in some places. Now horse is out of the bad situation, you can take your time searching for a good facility closer to home.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Caol Ila View Post
                                        I decided on B, which was either a daft, irrational decision based on rumour and hearsay and kind of a dick move to barn A, or dodging a bullet. Hauler thinks I made the right call, so that's something. I'm still going back and forth in my head and internet stalking barn A, which unfortunately hasn't got me any closer to anything conclusive. All I've learned is that it's off-the-books, because it's not registered as a company with the government, which is worrying, and she made the local news saving a pony from a beesting, which is good. So, who knows? Not me.

                                        Plan C will commence shortly.

                                        I'm an American expat living in the UK, so can switch between jargon. I should really be writing about "yards" but I adjusted to the audience.
                                        Well, not being properly registered and that means inspected and certified regularly is a big red flag.

                                        That alone would be reason not to take chances, so B was a good choice.

                                        Maybe a good trainer in B can help you with the loading issue, as that is important, in case of an emergency move some day.

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