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Covid 19, Moving Barns, and Stress

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  • Covid 19, Moving Barns, and Stress

    Ugh. Covid 19 and it’s associated market uncertainties have resulted in a suspension of our search to buy property at this time. Granted rates are low but so is inventory and the stock market. My poor 401k has taken a beating. Nevertheless, I am grateful to so far only have these relatively minor financial impacts. SO and I are both still able to work as normal and I know that’s a blessing.

    I’ve given notice to my current barn. Nice time right? But since I won’t be moving him home anytime soon it seems, I need a different boarding situation. I’ve found a lovely facility quite close to home that offers a lovely array of amenities and services. My only concern is the turn out. The turn outs are impeccably fenced and maintained with an abundance of space and excellent grass. However the BO will not consider over night turn out. Horses are turned out all day every day bar thunderstorms or excessive heat. We live in FL so excessive heat is every day in the summer. During the summer horses go out half a day in the morning. BO is willing to accommodate my desire for extra turn out by also turning my boy out after pm feed around 5/6 until night check around 930. The stalls are traditional boxes, no attached paddock/run. Stalls are matted and bedded to a depth of @ 4”. I am unsure if it is concrete or clay under mats. I’m concerned about him standing in the stall so much. His physical and mental health are of course very important to me. I know that a lot of horses get less turn out. What say you COTHers? Is this adequate turnout? There is another farm a little further away that offers a more customizable turn out schedule up to 24/7 outside. But it is much busier and other aspects of care, while solid are not as customizable as my first choice.

    First choice barn also offers blanketing, boots, fly spray, fly mask on and off daily to my specifications included in cost. Also offers ability to supply my own feed of choice for an appropriate discount on board cost. BO states that her philosophy is horses should always have something to chew and feeds 4-5 flakes of hay in stalls on average and is willing to use my porta grazer in stall. I believe this enough hay for him to always have it in front of him. All stalls have exterior windows and half doors to center aisle that horses can put head through. So he would be able to look out front and back of stall. Two high velocity fans and three 5 gal water buckets in stalls. Would your horse be comfortable standing in this stall 15-18 hours a day? Am I being overly worried? I’m stressing out here!

  • #2
    Over worried. Our 34 horses are stalled 20 hours a day and survive just fine.
    www.settlementfarm.us

    Comment


    • #3
      What is not customizable at the other barn that you desperately need done differently than they do it? Is that more important than having your horse turned out?

      If your area is locked down which is more important for your horse's overall well being when you can't go out - turnout or the thing(s) they do differently than you would?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by RedHorses View Post
        What is not customizable at the other barn that you desperately need done differently than they do it? Is that more important than having your horse turned out?

        If your area is locked down which is more important for your horse's overall well being when you can't go out - turnout or the thing(s) they do differently than you would?
        The second choice barn doesn’t allow customizable feed / hay schedule. Or blanketing (at all) or fly spray services. The care is basic. Feed water hay bye. First choice is more hands on and likely to notice any issues much quicker. Each horse is thoroughly examined multiple times a day. Small program and BO treats all horses on property as precious pets.

        Blanketing is not a must. It’s FL he doesn’t NEED a blanket here. Lol. Fly spraying is a bit more important as the bugs are awful. But again not strictly necessary. The feeding regimen is a bit stickier. I’m desperate to get my horse back on higher quality feeds. I raised him on Triple Crown products with minimal or no supplements and he was always blooming with health. This second choice barn feeds a more “economical” grain. So I’ll have to continue with his current supplements regimen. And that may be problematic in a lock down. They throw hay in a pile in paddock or stall and when it’s gone it’s gone. No option to use my slow feeder. Or buy extra. Grass and fencing are adequate but not as nice. No shelters in pastures either. First choice has sun shelters with fly spray system in each turn out.

        As far as worst case scenarios are concerned. The first barn is a better choice. BO, BM, and head barn worker all live on property. BO is panic buying hay and grain. And in a real disaster situation the farm has enough grass to sustain equine life for quite some time without outside feeds being available. Doubt it would come to that, buuut I’m a worrier sooo...

        On the flip side, I think the additional turn out is of course beneficial for him. I would be able to have days in stall and nights out during summer and 24/7 turn out all other seasons. With a price break when not using the stall daily! An ideal set up in this climate. The trade would be lack of individual feeding program and lack of individual attention. It’s a large program and horses are one of many.

        Comment


        • #5
          You need to decide what 3-4 things are most important to you and compromise on the rest. You're honestly really over the top in your demands. You can do that sort of thing when you have them at home but generally not in a boarding situation.

          Your only other solution would be to get dry stalls somewhere and care for them yourself and to your standards.

          Comment


          • #6
            If 75% of the year my horse was getting all-day turnout, summers were the morning, I'd find ways to work with that for the sake of the more customized/close care at the first facility. Not to mention that must be a pretty nice BO to agree to bending their schedule to let your horse out in the afternoon.

            I hear you, my preference would be as much turnout as possible. But hard to compare the two in terms of quality from what you've described.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Gainer View Post
              You need to decide what 3-4 things are most important to you and compromise on the rest. You're honestly really over the top in your demands. You can do that sort of thing when you have them at home but generally not in a boarding situation.

              Your only other solution would be to get dry stalls somewhere and care for them yourself and to your standards.
              Excuse me? I’ve re read my posts and I’ve made exactly zero demands.

              I know my posts are not the most organized and I have given a lot of details. Verbosity is my MO. Perhaps that is why you think I’m demanding over the top services. Or perhaps the list of detailed services offered at barn 1 sounds foreign to you and you’ve surmised I’m the worst kind of dressage diva.

              Regardless, top 3-4 must haves

              1. Safe turn out on grass. As much as possible.
              2. Arena with lights
              3. Unfettered access to water at all times, no exceptions
              4. As much forage as possible. Ideal 24/7 access.

              Both barns meet my minimum criteria. Barn 1 has more forage acces. Barn 2 has more turnout hours, but forage access is more restricted. Granted in turn out there is grass he can pick at but it looks pretty ragged. The pastures are not rotated or rested at barn 2. They are at barn 1 and it shows in the quality of the grass. Additionally both barns meet my tier 2 criteria of availability of riding areas and ability to stall my horse during the worst of the heat!

              I know I’m blessed. Two good boarding options that are within my preferred driving distance and budget!


              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by hybriseris View Post
                If 75% of the year my horse was getting all-day turnout, summers were the morning, I'd find ways to work with that for the sake of the more customized/close care at the first facility. Not to mention that must be a pretty nice BO to agree to bending their schedule to let your horse out in the afternoon.

                I hear you, my preference would be as much turnout as possible. But hard to compare the two in terms of quality from what you've described.
                BO is very nice. She showed me some of the special services she has in place for existing clients. She’s very willing to accommodate her clients. I really liked her and the horses all look excellent.

                I’m already plotting how I can manage my ride times to interrupt his turnout hours! The care is top notch. Yes it comes with a price tag but she will pretty much do anything you need. Barn 2 I would be stuck responsible for any kind of injury care. Barn 1 can soak, wrap, hand walk, medicate etc if needed. I think that’s an important consideration. Particularly if there is a lock down.

                Thank you for your input!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Barn one, hands down. The tone of your description for barn one is far more positive than barn two. Horses will adapt and if they are relaxed and happy at a barn then turn out is less important as a stress buster.
                  "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would take into account it is possible your town or state could go on human quarantine lockdown or the barn could ban owners from visiting. Pick the barn you feel best about if that happens.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Barn 1 definitely. No shelter in Barn 2 fields would be a deal breaker. My crew lives out with access to stalls. I notice that in the heat of the day - the time your horse would be brought in - they spend most of their time in those stalls out of the sun and under the fans. So I don’t think your horse would miss those turnout hours at all if he is in with friends and plenty to eat.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It seems obvious to me that you would prefer barn one. You don't need our permission!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          is option 3 staying put a viable option ? Food for thought.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                            Barn one, hands down. The tone of your description for barn one is far more positive than barn two. Horses will adapt and if they are relaxed and happy at a barn then turn out is less important as a stress buster.
                            Thank you. You pegged it. I like barn 1 much better! I think hope he will be happy.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by lcw579 View Post
                              Barn 1 definitely. No shelter in Barn 2 fields would be a deal breaker. My crew lives out with access to stalls. I notice that in the heat of the day - the time your horse would be brought in - they spend most of their time in those stalls out of the sun and under the fans. So I don’t think your horse would miss those turnout hours at all if he is in with friends and plenty to eat.
                              Thank you for your input. I think you’re right that he will be happy to hang out under fans and munch hay with his friends

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by RedHorses View Post
                                It seems obvious to me that you would prefer barn one. You don't need our permission!
                                Lol! I was concerned I was being foolish to pass over the option for basically unlimited turn out. So many of us struggle to find situations that offer enough turn out! Thank you for your empowering support!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                  I would take into account it is possible your town or state could go on human quarantine lockdown or the barn could ban owners from visiting. Pick the barn you feel best about if that happens.
                                  That will be barn 1. Thank you!!!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by dnv View Post
                                    is option 3 staying put a viable option ? Food for thought.
                                    I wish it was. I will miss my barn friends and the BO. All very very nice people. The BO has done her level best to help me with any concerns I have had. Sadly it’s just not a good fit for me anymore.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by hybriseris View Post
                                      If 75% of the year my horse was getting all-day turnout, summers were the morning, I'd find ways to work with that for the sake of the more customized/close care at the first facility. Not to mention that must be a pretty nice BO to agree to bending their schedule to let your horse out in the afternoon.
                                      In most of FL, summer is more like 65%+ of the year, not 25%. It's already been in the high 80s and low 90s where I am for about 10 days.

                                      Personally, I don't consider day turnout to be nearly enough, much less only ~six hours in the morning all summer long. Mine are out 24/7 all year long. But, thousands of people stall their horses that much or more and they survive, so if you are more comfortable with the rest of Barn 1, give it a go.

                                      A non-customizable feeding plan where you can't even provide your own extra hay or grain is a No Go for me, period, at least with all the horses I've ever had. All were/are moderately hard to very hard keepers. Not all horses need the same diet.

                                      If/WHEN there's a stay-in-place order put into effect, it does still allow for essential care of animals. If you, the HO, are required to provide your horse that extra care, such as in Barn 2, it would be permitted.
                                      Custom tack racks!
                                      www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                        In most of FL, summer is more like 65%+ of the year, not 25%. It's already been in the high 80s and low 90s where I am for about 10 days.

                                        Personally, I don't consider day turnout to be nearly enough, much less only ~six hours in the morning all summer long. Mine are out 24/7 all year long. But, thousands of people stall their horses that much or more and they survive, so if you are more comfortable with the rest of Barn 1, give it a go.

                                        A non-customizable feeding plan where you can't even provide your own extra hay or grain is a No Go for me, period, at least with all the horses I've ever had. All were/are moderately hard to very hard keepers. Not all horses need the same diet.

                                        If/WHEN there's a stay-in-place order put into effect, it does still allow for essential care of animals. If you, the HO, are required to provide your horse that extra care, such as in Barn 2, it would be permitted.
                                        It certainly is excessively hot in here in FL. BO at barn 1 states she tries to keep the shortened turn out limited to mid June through mid September. And she is willing to turn my boy back out for a few hours in the late evenings during that time. It’s not ideal, but I am going to give it a try. I can always move him again if it isn’t working out.

                                        I’m not sure why some BOs are so resistant to to customizable feed plans if the owner is willing to pay for it. But it’s their call.

                                        It is all very worrisome! Thank you for your time

                                        Comment

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