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Boarding Expectations

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    Boarding Expectations

    I'm hoping for a reality/anxiety check. The basics: I pay what I think is a lot of money for board on the CT shoreline (works out to about 900-1000/month for full board that includes individual turnout, hay 3-4 times a day, an unattached indoor ring, no frills tackroom, no outdoor). The training is fabulous (and additional cost to the board)--my mare has come a long way in strength, balance, and conditioning. However, I have a few peeves that just feel wrong and I wanted people's take on it:

    1) the horses rotate/share stalls, so when the horses who are stalled at night go out for turn-out those that were outside come into the barn and fill those stalls. In the afternoon, stalls are picked clean of manure, but not much else unless a wet spot is obvious, and no new bedding is added, and buckets aren't scrubbed again. So my mare goes into a half cleaned stall for the next 12+ hours. She smells like urine in the morning since she lays down at night. When it's humid her skin definitely gets irritated to the point of a bad rash that requires medical treatment, and so I have begged the BO to keep her stall open to stay dry and air out. And while she tells me that she will do so, I often hear from others that her stall is often occupied, or find evidence of it myself--fly masks from other horses on her halter hook, a lot missing from her salt block, soggy stall in the AM. So, not only is there a trust question with the BO lying to me, but it just feels unhealthy to have this kind of situation, especially for the amount I pay. BO tells me that this is common and that she isn't charging extra for other amenities like blanket changes and fly boots.

    2) If I am not there, there is no one running a hand over her to check for bumps/rashes/cuts. So I have come to find minor cuts and scrapes that no one has noticed. Also, if fly boots or blankets are torn, no one communicates with me, so I find out whenever I go to put them back on. Should I be getting those notices? Should people taking them off be communicating that with BO?

    3) If I mention the rash or other dermatitis the BO doesn't look at it, and generally shrugs and either says nothing else or comments about not being surprised but shows no concern or willingness to try to remedy situation.

    4) Most afternoons kids under 18 are taking care of the horses and dosing meds in with the feeds, at times unsupervised with the trainer and BO off property and no adult on the premises. I think most do a decent job, but they are relatively inexperienced kids, and I do worry. Am I worrying over nothing? Is this common practice? The BO seems to think these kids can do no wrong, so that makes me doubly worried. LOL

    5) The trainer is often on the look out for the teens she teaches to gain experience by riding other horses; she has asked if she can have the kids work my mare instead of the trainer herself. Even if the trainer is in the ring, my mare is green and I express worry about liability, and also I feel that I shouldn't have to pay for that ride since the goal of training my mare seems secondary to the kids getting experience, which is noble and necessary for developing future riders, but it makes it feel like she doesn't have my interests/my horse's best interests first. Although again--really good training.

    4) I feel like the BO regards me as a bit of a high maintenance boarder because I point these things out, say no to kids "training" my horse, and make requests for communications and a freshly redone stall, or that it stay empty while my horse is out. (Literally, that's it. I don't make any other requests, take care of the horse' medical issues myself, and am helpful when I can be.) Are these high maintenance requests? No where in the boarding contract does it say that my horse will share her stall, or that I won't have access to it should I decide to ride in the afternoon instead of the morning before she goes out.

    Do I look for another place (Which is hard to find nearby)? OR be grateful for what I have and suck it up because the mare is doing well in our lessons and seems happy?

    Thanks for any input. Feel free to tell me this is normal or if I'm hyper critical...my gut just says it's not the way things should be done, but I understand that I could be worrying for nothing.

    #2
    I personally would not be able to stand that "stall sharing". Or teens riding my horse. You are being taken advantage of if you are paying for that. Your items 2 and 3 aren't things I would always expect from a B.O. I hope you can move.

    Comment


      #3
      The shared stalls would be a hard no for me. What happens when there's a bad ice storm or a severe storm and they need to be inside? The other stuff depends, some of it wouldn't bother me, some of it I would not be thrilled about. PMing you.

      Comment


        #4
        No, I wouldn't be ok with any of that. Board in my part of the state runs quite a lot higher than that, but that would be perfectly reasonable full board price in other parts of the state - for which I wouldn't expect to have so many corners cut.

        Comment


          #5
          Time to move the shared stall would be the deal breaker for me. They are making double what you are paying for each stall.

          Comment


            #6
            I think I became a lot better boarder when I started thinking of myself as a guest instead of a customer.

            Because we pay so much for board and training, we often think we deserve a “customer is always right” treatment.

            In reality, barn owners and trainers are welcoming you into their facility.

            Yes, you are paying them to be there. Yes, sometimes they provide terrible service. But at the end of the day, it is their barn and they are going to do things their way.

            It is the boarder’s responsibility to ask themselves if they will fit into a particular barn’s program. It is not the program’s responsibility to change because of a boarder.

            OP, I feel for you. I really do. Please don’t think I’m placing blame on you. Personally, I wouldn’t be a fan of the stall sharing. Personally, if I pay a trainer to ride my horse, I wouldn’t be thrilled if my horse got passed on to the students. But that’s where it’s the client’s job to ask questions up front before entering an agreement.

            Of course, sometimes we try to vet a barn thoroughly and still are blindsided by practices we didn’t anticipate. In those cases, you have to evaluate what’s the best course of action- be flexible and deal with it, discuss it with the owner to find a compromise, or find another facility. There isn’t one right answer, it all depends on the situation. In your case, it sounds like you have tried discussing it and it hasn’t gone over well. Which means you are probably only left with options 1 and 3.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by DressageMare View Post
              I'm hoping for a reality/anxiety check. The basics: I pay what I think is a lot of money for board on the CT shoreline (works out to about 900-1000/month for full board that includes individual turnout, hay 3-4 times a day, an unattached indoor ring, no frills tackroom, no outdoor). The training is fabulous (and additional cost to the board)--my mare has come a long way in strength, balance, and conditioning. However, I have a few peeves that just feel wrong and I wanted people's take on it:

              1) the horses rotate/share stalls, so when the horses who are stalled at night go out for turn-out those that were outside come into the barn and fill those stalls. In the afternoon, stalls are picked clean of manure, but not much else unless a wet spot is obvious, and no new bedding is added, and buckets aren't scrubbed again. So my mare goes into a half cleaned stall for the next 12+ hours. She smells like urine in the morning since she lays down at night. When it's humid her skin definitely gets irritated to the point of a bad rash that requires medical treatment, and so I have begged the BO to keep her stall open to stay dry and air out. And while she tells me that she will do so, I often hear from others that her stall is often occupied, or find evidence of it myself--fly masks from other horses on her halter hook, a lot missing from her salt block, soggy stall in the AM. So, not only is there a trust question with the BO lying to me, but it just feels unhealthy to have this kind of situation, especially for the amount I pay. BO tells me that this is common and that she isn't charging extra for other amenities like blanket changes and fly boots.

              2) If I am not there, there is no one running a hand over her to check for bumps/rashes/cuts. So I have come to find minor cuts and scrapes that no one has noticed. Also, if fly boots or blankets are torn, no one communicates with me, so I find out whenever I go to put them back on. Should I be getting those notices? Should people taking them off be communicating that with BO?

              3) If I mention the rash or other dermatitis the BO doesn't look at it, and generally shrugs and either says nothing else or comments about not being surprised but shows no concern or willingness to try to remedy situation.

              4) Most afternoons kids under 18 are taking care of the horses and dosing meds in with the feeds, at times unsupervised with the trainer and BO off property and no adult on the premises. I think most do a decent job, but they are relatively inexperienced kids, and I do worry. Am I worrying over nothing? Is this common practice? The BO seems to think these kids can do no wrong, so that makes me doubly worried. LOL

              5) The trainer is often on the look out for the teens she teaches to gain experience by riding other horses; she has asked if she can have the kids work my mare instead of the trainer herself. Even if the trainer is in the ring, my mare is green and I express worry about liability, and also I feel that I shouldn't have to pay for that ride since the goal of training my mare seems secondary to the kids getting experience, which is noble and necessary for developing future riders, but it makes it feel like she doesn't have my interests/my horse's best interests first. Although again--really good training.

              4) I feel like the BO regards me as a bit of a high maintenance boarder because I point these things out, say no to kids "training" my horse, and make requests for communications and a freshly redone stall, or that it stay empty while my horse is out. (Literally, that's it. I don't make any other requests, take care of the horse' medical issues myself, and am helpful when I can be.) Are these high maintenance requests? No where in the boarding contract does it say that my horse will share her stall, or that I won't have access to it should I decide to ride in the afternoon instead of the morning before she goes out.

              Do I look for another place (Which is hard to find nearby)? OR be grateful for what I have and suck it up because the mare is doing well in our lessons and seems happy?

              Thanks for any input. Feel free to tell me this is normal or if I'm hyper critical...my gut just says it's not the way things should be done, but I understand that I could be worrying for nothing.

              Personally, I find the stall sharing a very minor issue, unless the horse was going into a dirty stall. I think a reasonable picking out of the stall would be sufficient. Many places add bedding every other day, so I don't think it is a concern that fresh bedding isn't added twice a day. The caveat would be knowing that if for some reason your horse needed to be in 24/7 for an illness or injury, that the stall would be available. However, as a BO I also recognize that many boarding clients feel territorial about their horse's stall. It has nothing to do with the welfare of the horse and I can guarantee you the horse doesn't care, but it's just a "thing" that people feel that way.

              I think it is a good idea to be aware of the value your BO provides in terms of extra care like blanket changes and fly masks, fly boots, etc.--those services are time consuming and annoying to provide. Of course, it would be completely reasonable to compare the services you are getting and the cost to what other barns are delivering/charging.

              I think it is pretty normal for a BO not to inform owners of minor scrapes, cuts, small patch of hives, etc. A BO could spend all day sending out texts over minor cuts and scrapes. I definitely would not expect notification of rips and tears to sheets and blankets unless an essential item became unsafe or unwearable.

              I don't like the part where the kids under 18 are doing the feed and meds. However, this is really an "it depends" situation. I have hired and fired many farm workers over the years, and there are "responsible" seeming adults who are not adequately reliable about getting feed, meds and supplements correct, but I have had younger workers who took that type of work very seriously and were very trustworthy and accurate.

              As far as the teens riding, again, there are plusses and minuses and it is very much an "it depends" situation. There are teens who are lovely riders and whom under the watchful eye of an excellent instructor can be an extremely useful part of a horse's training regimen. A lot of instructors simply don't have the strength and energy to ride every horse every day, so being able to spread out some days among other riders can be very useful. Also, some trainers are very intense and mixing in some less intense, more relaxed rides by a teenager can be a good thing for the physical and mental well-being of the horse. Busy barns with active training programs tend to be great places for horses to develop. Of course, I totally agree that there is a potential liability issue with regard to letting others ride your horse and I think it is perfectly reasonable of you to choose not to have your horse ridden by other parties. If you have chosen NOT to have your horse ridden by teenagers (and I think that is 100% fine) and your instructor is honoring that, I think this is not a concern.

              I think Texarkana makes a good point that mentally boarding works better if you think of yourself as a guest. I know that you are spending a lot of money on board, but the reality is that it costs an outrageous amount to own and operate a boarding facility. The profit margin is invariably much lower than clients envision--and in many cases non-existent. Your trainer's business model does not sound terrible to me. She is making ends meet and making the finances work by having a smaller facility with fewer stalls and the horses sharing stalls, and by using working student type labor. If she expanded the size of her facility and hired adult f/t employees to do the work, I'm sure she would have to charge MUCH higher rates.

              FWIW, many boarding barns have much worse business models that save $$ in much worse places--poor quality feed and hay, inadequate labor/neglect, and a dangerous or poorly maintained facility. If I had to choose, I'd chose the shared stalls and teenage workers for sure.

              None of us can answer for certain what you should do, we can simply offer different perspectives to help you consider your situation and make the choice that is best for you.

              Comment


                #8
                4) Most afternoons kids under 18 are taking care of the horses and dosing meds in with the feeds, at times unsupervised with the trainer and BO off property and no adult on the premises

                NO ADULT? No way.

                Comment


                  #9
                  DressageMare What does your boarding/training contract say about your stall and the other things?

                  Threads that ask 'should I change barns' are hard to get a real answer on, unless the barn is leaving rusty nails and broken glass in your horse's paddock. What is important to one person is a non-issue for the next. I was shocked when I read my first thread here on COTH where people refused to board some place that did not have a real toilet room or did not have the owner living on site.

                  1) I personally would not like the shared stall thing, but I am like BeeHoney described above - territorial about my stall. Heck, even with my horses at home I like each horse to have their own personal space, set up how that horse likes it. Now, if I was boarding and the care was exceptional I would be willing to deal with the shared stall. I once boarded at a barn that the owner liked to rearrange stalls from time to time. Kind of the same situation (not really but...), I would show up and have to go find where my horse lived.

                  Do all the horses share stalls? Or is there just a little bit of overlap? Is it an option to come to some agreement with the barn owner about your horse having a stall that is not shared, even if you pay a little extra for that?

                  2) The no running a hand over thing does not surprise me or upset me. I assume on the days you pay for training rides that the horse gets a once over (pre and post ride grooming) and any dings that require attention are dealt with. If you want this type of treatment every day then pay for that service every day.

                  3) The barn owner not rushing over to look at your horse's new rash does not surprise me either. What exactly do you want them to do? I would guess if there was something serious going on the barn owner would come help, but a rash does not reach the level of 'drop what I am doing and come make it right' in the general world of being a barn owner in my eyes.

                  4) In my experience, minors feeding is not unusual at all. I am not a fan of minors not having any adult supervision for safety reasons, but I have no problem with minors doing horse care with out an adult following them around and documenting their every move. There are some very responsible teens in this world and some very not responsible adults.

                  5) I do not see the trainer asking you if a teen can ride your horse for experience as a red flag at all. No one made you do it. They just asked you if they could. That is where you do what you did which was state your rules if this was going to happen. If you and the trainer do not agree on those rules then it does not happen. No harm done. I do not see how this in any way makes it such that she does not have your best interest or your horse's best interest first. A teen getting on will help your trainer see if there are holes that might affect your success (stuff that works fine for the trainer that does not work fine if the horse is not asked perfectly).

                  4) (followed your numbering) To me this reads like the age old situation of it is easy to find things wrong with someone you want to find things wrong with. You are annoyed with this barn owner so it is easy to see anything they say or do as them slighting you.

                  Horse boarding is always that grass is not always greener thing. Nothing wrong with checking out what else is available out there. Just realize that no barn is going to be 100% exactly what you want it to be. Heck, my horses are at home and my barn is not 100% what I want it to be. You now have a list of things that matter to you that you would not have thought to ask before and make sure are included in your next contract if you decide to move.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I lived in Southern CT for a time and I'd start by figuring out what normal boarding rates were on the shoreline and then go see what the standard of care was in those barns. The fact that your mare is being ridden well, and you seem to have no complaints about the footing, the farriers or vets they use, are big plusses in this barn that you don't want to lose. Or rather, you don't want to lose those big things in pursuit of better little things, right?

                    Yanno, OP and friends at home, I almost never get my knickers in the kind of twist that I have to ask you all to help me about boarding. Rather, I look around at my market and choose the best barn for my horse, my commute and my wallet that I can. This truly is just a "go shopping" problem. If you can find better, go. If you cannot, stay and try to figure out how you can do some of the care that your BO will not.

                    I do think that as land and labor get more and more expensive, BOs start cutting more and more corners to keep the price in check. After all, this post started with "For the High Price I'm paying......". So we, their customers, help create this crunch for them.

                    This is the first instance of a BO saving money/making money by having two horses per stall. I don't see how this can work in storms or other special situations, as was pointed out up-thread. Also, you'd think they'd fully clean the stall between horses.

                    The little things about cuts or broken equipment would be something I'd expect to notice and take care of myself. But I have lived on farms and been a groom, so I'm used to thinking that I'm the buck-stopper in care for my horse. I expect the kind of "triage" your BO and someone else up-thread mentioned: If the problem isn't serious, I don't expect a call.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                      #11
                      1- This would be a hard pass for me. Problematic for a number of reasons- terrible weather, injuries that require stall rest, inability to use things like personal salt blocks, etc. If it is absolutely necessary on occasion, then the stall should be properly cleaned- including buckets- no excuse otherwise.

                      2- I wouldn’t expect notification for anything that didn’t require treatment (I don’t consider a smear of neosporin “treatment”, I mean things that require proper vet care). A text about a torn fly sheet might be nice, but again, not an emergency. Unless the fly sheet is so torn up that it is becoming a safety hazard, I don’t think that is BO’s responsibility.

                      3- What are you wanting from the BO in this circumstance? Are you wanting advice on how to treat it, or are you wanting her to take responsibility? Dermatitis, especially caused by a sensitivity to something in turnout or rain/humidity, isn’t something I would expect a BO to take responsibility for.

                      4- Responsible kids helping with feeding or chores, no problem. Unsupervised kids medicating- no way. It’s irresponsible and hazardous for both the kids and the horses.

                      5- it’s not unreasonable of the trainer to ask, but it’s also perfectly reasonable for you to say no. If trainer accepts this, no problems! If she keeps pushing the matter, yes, I would be annoyed.

                      6- IMO, some of your concerns are valid, and some border on high-maintenance. Your best option is probably to do a little barn shopping in the area and evaluate whether you have better options nearby. At the end of the day, only you can decide whether or not you are happy at your current place.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        As a barn manager, some of that is ridiculous, some of it is not.

                        1. All horses should have their own stalls period. What happens in the event of bad weather/icy pastures? Are there even enough stalls for the number of horses on the property?

                        2. I don't run my hands over every horse every day, but will fix blankets and fly gear, remove torn fly gear etc. But I usually don't tell the owner unless it's seriously damaged and needs to be thrown out. We also do not keep track of extra feed or supplements, deworming, schedule farrier, shots, coggins etc. That is up to the owner and is stated in the contract.

                        3. Your barn owner isn't a vet, while they can be knowledgeable it's not up to them to take the liability to tell you how to treat it. If there is an ongoing issue, you need to speak with your vet. I don't usually tell people how to treat anything because I don't want the liability of them taking my advice incorrectly and harming their horse.

                        4. Minors should not be working with medications unless it's for their own horse and under the supervision of a DVM. Unsupervised children medicating horses is a hard pass for me most of the time. I have one minor that I trust to do it, and I still dose it out for her. She only administers.

                        5. If you're paying for training, I'd expect the trainer to be putting the rides on horses. Not kids under her supervision. This would be hard pass for me. If she keeps pushing the matter, I would just leave and take your horses elsewhere. To me, who also trains and teaches lessons, she is looking for the money part of it and doesn't care enough about the training your horse receives. It's much easier to sit in the corner and yell at a kid than it is to actually ride. She's looking for the easy way out but still make the money.

                        6. If she is calling you high maintenance, LEAVE. Leave now. If you think that she thinks you're high maintenance, leave. Because you're probably right.




                        I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

                        BaileyAnn Neal

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for all the feedback and/or reality checks thus far. A few clarifications...

                          I don't expect notices about every mark, just ones that would need vet care, and the big ones we keep tabs on--like swollen legs or severe dermatitis (that if not caught ASAP turns to cellulitis in my horse in under 24 hours). Skin issues appear during the muddy season, high humidity and/or if her stall is super wet. I do all the care on cuts, scrapes, dermatitis myself, unless one of the barn staff has time on a day that I can't be there and offers to help (I work more than full time so I'm always on the run) and don't expect the BO to do that for me or tell me how to treat it.

                          I would like the kids who do the afternoons to just be alerting the BO about ripped fly boots, etc., and then the BO alerting me if she feels necessary instead of being unaware of emerging bad dermatitis outbreaks or unusable gear so I can bring necessary supplies on my trip to barn.

                          The BO used to be super helpful and communicative about the horse, the dermatitis, gear, etc...now I just don't know what I'll find in the morning...and she doesn't seem to care or seems annoyed. I know she can't change the humidity or the mud, but the wet stalls can be helped by either cleaning them welll in between horses or not sharing the stall....so I guess that's what I'm expecting her to help with. Stall sharing was never mentioned and I was told that minors never administer meds when I looked at the barn 3 years ago.

                          That part about the stall sharing, plus sharing my worries with BO about inexperienced staff administering equioxx and other prescriptions are the ones that seem to get me on the "high maintenance" list.

                          WildGooseChase: there are not enough stalls for every horse. There are 9 stalls, plus a run-in shed and a few paddocks with stall-sized overhangs. There 13, sometimes 14, horses. In bad weather, the nighttime outdoor horses go in the aisles with lots of hay.

                          Training is great, but I ride my horse, not the trainer. The trainer has taught me to work the horse better, which is amazing, but if I can't be there, it often seems like it's too big of an ask for trainer to ride horse (I pay). So yay! I have much better skills and can ride my horse really well, thanks to the trainer's teaching abilities. But a little stressful if I can't get to barn to ride and horse needs a session. She has probably ridden or lunged my horse a total of a dozen or so times in the 3 years I have been at the barn.

                          For the lessons alone, I know that is worth a lot, but I thank you all for helping me get perspective on the other stuff.

                          I think I'm pretty chill and definitely introspective so to have it alluded or have BO or some staffers hint that I ask a lot because of the stall thing seems a little harsh. But as I stated in OP, I realize I might need a reality check.

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                            #14
                            Editing my post got it flagged ::insert eye roll here since I can't::

                            Idk what’s “common” for your particular area, but I know that I have never heard of a barn charging full board prices and sharing stalls between two horses that are both paying for full board. This alone would be a big heck no for me.
                            ETA - I'm surprised some people have responded saying sharing a stall isn't a big deal. It's not a "territorial" thing, it's a pretty reasonable expectation that if you pay for a stall, you have a stall available whenever it is needed. If the horse needs stall rest, what will the BO do then if they've double-booked every stall? If there's a serious weather event, will BO leave half of the horses outside to fare their best while stalling the other half, and how will they choose which horses stay out? If my horse is on night turnout, and there's a horse in its stall during the day, and I come out to ride but need to put my horse in a stall for 20 minutes for any variety of plausible reasons, what am I supposed to do then? IMO this is just really bad management of both horses and business, to double-book stalls.
                            I won't even let pasture boarders use a stall boarder's stall for 20 minutes. I'll let them use my horse's stall if it's available, but if my horse is inside, tough luck, pasture board doesn't include stall usage.


                            Small/minor knicks and bumps do not require notification, IMO. They (hopefully) probably noticed them, but didn’t feel they were necessary to notify you about. Horses do things, it’s a fact of life. If blood isn’t drawn or horse isn’t lame, I’ve never expected a BO to text or call me about random scrapes.

                            Ripped/destroyed horse clothes, yeah it’d be nice to get a heads up so you can maybe swing by the tack store on your way to the barn to buy a replacement if desired. Not an absolute necessity, though.

                            I’ve heard it is quite common for working students to ride horses in training. I personally would not be okay with it. If I’m paying for training, it’s for training from a pro, not rides from inexperienced teens.

                            One time I had a horse with perpetual thrush. He had thrush for 10+ weeks in both front feet no matter what topical I used, even using it 2x per day. Farrier said the only thing that would get it away is a cleaner stall. Turned out they weren’t cleaning out his pee spot, just the poo. Take a wild guess if they did any better after what the farrier said. (They didn’t. I left. Thrush cleared up within days.) Sure, it's not the BO's responsibility to try different treatments and such, but it is their responsibility to acknowledge if the condition could be a result of management/something they're doing. I have a boarder whose horse keeps coming down with a cough, and together we've tried several things. I've tried wetting his hay, putting down PDZ his owner brought out in the stall even though there is not an ammonia stench and I always clean out pee spots, etc. Those things didn't work, and we now know it is seasonal allergies, but as a BO, I at least tried changing my management of the horse's daily routine to see if it helped lessen (or remove) the issue. Your BO either doesn’t think the rash is caused by the dirty stall, or is simply not concerned with the health of your horse enough to actually clean the stall fully between horses. I mean really, how hard is it to clean stalls? Why is it so common for people to not remove pee spots? Gross.

                            I’d be leaving.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by DressageMare View Post
                              5) The trainer is often on the look out for the teens she teaches to gain experience by riding other horses; she has asked if she can have the kids work my mare instead of the trainer herself. Even if the trainer is in the ring, my mare is green and I express worry about liability, and also I feel that I shouldn't have to pay for that ride since the goal of training my mare seems secondary to the kids getting experience, which is noble and necessary for developing future riders, but it makes it feel like she doesn't have my interests/my horse's best interests first.
                              Originally posted by DressageMare View Post

                              Training is great, but I ride my horse, not the trainer. The trainer has taught me to work the horse better, which is amazing, but if I can't be there, it often seems like it's too big of an ask for trainer to ride horse (I pay). So yay! I have much better skills and can ride my horse really well, thanks to the trainer's teaching abilities. But a little stressful if I can't get to barn to ride and horse needs a session. She has probably ridden or lunged my horse a total of a dozen or so times in the 3 years I have been at the barn.
                              If the trainer does not ride your horse (almost never) then what trainer riding is the trainer asking you to pay for but have kids ride instead?

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                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by trubandloki View Post



                                If the trainer does not ride your horse (almost never) then what trainer riding is the trainer asking you to pay for but have kids ride instead?
                                trubandloki the teens riding my mare comes up if I have a busy week and ask if she can ride my horse in lieu of our lesson together, or ask if she can put an additional ride in. I usually end up either rearranging my schedule or giving the horse another day off. I know some teenagers/young people who are far better riders than me, but these kids aren't it. They are decent, but IMO not adept at riding non-schoolmasters.

                                BTW: it is standard practice at my barn to swap out a lesson for a training ride, with the understanding that the ride will be shorter than the lesson to factor in tacking/grooming.
                                Last edited by DressageMare; Aug. 4, 2020, 12:33 PM. Reason: clarification

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by DressageMare View Post
                                  Thanks for all the feedback and/or reality checks thus far. A few clarifications...

                                  I don't expect notices about every mark, just ones that would need vet care, and the big ones we keep tabs on--like swollen legs or severe dermatitis (that if not caught ASAP turns to cellulitis in my horse in under 24 hours). Skin issues appear during the muddy season, high humidity and/or if her stall is super wet. I do all the care on cuts, scrapes, dermatitis myself, unless one of the barn staff has time on a day that I can't be there and offers to help (I work more than full time so I'm always on the run) and don't expect the BO to do that for me or tell me how to treat it.

                                  I would like the kids who do the afternoons to just be alerting the BO about ripped fly boots, etc., and then the BO alerting me if she feels necessary instead of being unaware of emerging bad dermatitis outbreaks or unusable gear so I can bring necessary supplies on my trip to barn.

                                  The BO used to be super helpful and communicative about the horse, the dermatitis, gear, etc...now I just don't know what I'll find in the morning...and she doesn't seem to care or seems annoyed. I know she can't change the humidity or the mud, but the wet stalls can be helped by either cleaning them welll in between horses or not sharing the stall....so I guess that's what I'm expecting her to help with. Stall sharing was never mentioned and I was told that minors never administer meds when I looked at the barn 3 years ago.

                                  That part about the stall sharing, plus sharing my worries with BO about inexperienced staff administering equioxx and other prescriptions are the ones that seem to get me on the "high maintenance" list.

                                  WildGooseChase: there are not enough stalls for every horse. There are 9 stalls, plus a run-in shed and a few paddocks with stall-sized overhangs. There 13, sometimes 14, horses. In bad weather, the nighttime outdoor horses go in the aisles with lots of hay.

                                  Training is great, but I ride my horse, not the trainer. The trainer has taught me to work the horse better, which is amazing, but if I can't be there, it often seems like it's too big of an ask for trainer to ride horse (I pay). So yay! I have much better skills and can ride my horse really well, thanks to the trainer's teaching abilities. But a little stressful if I can't get to barn to ride and horse needs a session. She has probably ridden or lunged my horse a total of a dozen or so times in the 3 years I have been at the barn.

                                  For the lessons alone, I know that is worth a lot, but I thank you all for helping me get perspective on the other stuff.

                                  I think I'm pretty chill and definitely introspective so to have it alluded or have BO or some staffers hint that I ask a lot because of the stall thing seems a little harsh. But as I stated in OP, I realize I might need a reality check.
                                  Yikes, yikes, yikes!! I would leave and quickly. If there are not enough stalls for every horse whose horse ends up with the short end of the stick and outside when the pastures are in poor condition or severe weather comes through? What if your horse is injured and needs 24/7 stall rest for weeks or months at a time? Will your BO be able to accomodate that? Sounds like that's a no.

                                  We used to board this way too. We had 25-27 horses on a 22 stall property. We were always getting complaints even though the pasture boarders knew that they were not entitled to nor paying for stall access. We don't board this way because we want every horse to have it's own stall for severe weather, when the pastures are muddy and icy, and if a horse injures themselves. We also found that the property itself could not handle more horses than stalls if that makes sense.

                                  Edited to add: The extra horses are loose in the aisles???? Holy smokes girl, leave! That's an accident waiting to happen!
                                  I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

                                  BaileyAnn Neal

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by DressageMare View Post

                                    there are not enough stalls for every horse. There are 9 stalls, plus a run-in shed and a few paddocks with stall-sized overhangs. There 13, sometimes 14, horses. In bad weather, the nighttime outdoor horses go in the aisles with lots of hay.
                                    All other things aside, this is a hard no for me. NO.

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                                      #19
                                      As you likely know. space can be at a premium on the shoreline, so finding a place that has all day turnout plus the indoor and training can be a challenge! It sounds like mostly you have lost good communication and faith with the BO. Perhaps a meeting and discussion might help. Maybe offer to pay extra for the stall to not be used by others and to stay extra dry due to your horse's skin issues.
                                      I wouldn't expect a hands-on examination of my horse when I wasn't around, but would expect a call for anything obvious and serious. If skin issues can go badly very quickly for your horse, I would leave a note on the stall asking to be called if they notice XYZ.
                                      At least the trainer asked about having others ride your horse and, to your knowledge, has not done so without permission.
                                      The teens feeding wouldn't worry me unless they were handling something like Regumate.

                                      I think my first step might be to closely examine any boarding options you might have. Your lack of confidence in the trainer has made you a bit high maintenance but you might find a program that suits you better. Investigate carefully before rocking the boat too much at your current place!

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Greedy BO!

                                        Double stalling, using kids for barn help- fine if they are only doing stalls, but not fine if medicating and feeding.

                                        Trainer not really training!

                                        What an outfit.
                                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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