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Which Boarding Facility

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  • Which Boarding Facility

    I am trying to decide if I should move to another facility I found. Here is the details:

    Current Barn:

    Board $340

    Bedding: 3-2" in stall, end of the month is gets a little lax since money isn't there

    Stalls: 10x12, nice, autowaters (dont get cleaned, I clean them)matted

    Turnout: Dry lot with lean to, although they don't go out if it rains or snows.

    Barn: Stays about 35 all winter, autowaters shut off, buckets put in stalls, occasionally they freeze, my 3 are the only stall horses left. - the other 11 stalls a trainer had and pulled her horses out.

    Indoor: 60 - 120 - my boyfriend and I drag it, put salt in it, water it, BO/BM doesn't do anything to it.

    Outdoor: Not sure of the size, french drain, fenced, very large.

    Trailer storage - free

    Indoor Wash Rack - don't work in winter. Outdoor wash rack - summer only.

    I buy my own grain for my retired horse, I buy his grass hay. I add my own bedding from time to time when she runs out of $$. I have to pay in cash, she doesn't claim any of her board money. The BO/BM is gone about 1 - 2 weekends a month either to her boyfriends in another state, or horse show. I am go out twice a day on the weekends, and every night to make sure my horses are fed, have water and the one horse that dunks its hay (gross) has his bucket cleaned every day. We deal with a parrelli guy that beats his horse and uses the arena for 2-3 hours (same horse) every night. I spoke to the BO/BM and she says she talks to him, but nothing changes. I swear I am going to take a whip to him some night!

    Barn 2:

    Board $275 - I will supply my own grain

    Bedding: It will be put in the contract how much barn will supply, I can add to it if needed.

    Stalls: 12x12, nice, matted, buckets, heated buckets in winter

    Turnout: Dry lot with lean to, although they don't go out if it rains or snows. They will also have access to grass.

    Barn: It is a 6 stall barn, my 3, one other boarded and the lady that owns it will be bringing in 2 of her horses from her other farm to work through the winter.

    Indoor: 7 x 140 - they drag it and keep it flat when needed.

    Outdoor: Not sure of the size, french drain, not fenced, dressage size.

    Trailer storage - free

    Trails around the property and through the woods.

    Barn will get cold in the winter, it is insulated in the roof and there is hay storage above the asile of the barn that may help some.

    No wash rack - can use an area outside in the summer.

    These people currently own their own farm with horses, cattle etc. This is a second place they bought, their parents rent the house. Her father which has taken care of horses etc his whole life will be doing the chores and taking care of the horses. This is the first time they are boarding.

    I am wondering if I could be without a wash rack - I show my one horse and our first show is end of March - so an outside washrack wouldn't work, although I could wash him at the show. He is under lights at the current barn, the new barn doesn't have lights, so I am sure he will get a coat which will need to be body clipped in spring. But that is probably better for him anyway.

    I am sure the horses will get use to the colder temp in the barn, I am told horses like the cooler temps unlike their owners. The place I am at now the lady doesn't work, goes to school and money is a big issue to her, when she gets low on grain she just doesn't feed the rough board horses their grain until she has money to get more, she tells me mine are always grained am and pm.....makes me wonder. I don't trust her anymore, and I have no respect for her once she let the parrelli guy come in and abuse his horses.

    What would you do and what can you live without??

    Thank you for readin all this!

  • #2
    I'd keep looking.

    Your current barn has money problems, you're doing a ton of work, and you aren't sure your horses are being fed. That is not a bargain.

    The new barn is charging even less and promising more, but they have no experience boarding. Unless they have a very detailed budget planned out and could demonstrate to me that they have a realistic understanding of costs, I wouldn't board there. They'll end up in financial trouble sooner than later, and I've been there, got the tshirt. Not worth it.

    Keep looking.

    A wash rack is the least of the issues here.


    • Original Poster

      Good point didn't think of that. Anyone else have an opinion - normally this board is full of them.


      • #4
        Keep looking. You can do better.


        • #5
          Keep looking but number 2 if I had to choose


          • #6
            Can you see what the horses at the 2nd barn look like? Well fed, happy, healthy? How are the stalls? Clean, decently bedded? What does the hay smell/ look like? If these people are experienced owners themselves and you like how their horses look, I wouldn't hesitate to board there. $270.00 a month per horse doesn't mean they will go belly up and can't manage a business. they may grow hay on another place and be able to charge less.It is possible it could raise up in the future, but you pay more now. I would not want a heated barn or a wash rack in winter anyways. The indoor sounds narrow at 7 ft, but depending where you live if you can use the outdoor too it would be fine. If it were me I would give it a thorough look before dismissing it.


            • Original Poster

              Their horses look great. They are at their home though at a location down the road so I only could see them from the road. The one horse that boards there comes in and out has about 2 bags in the stall to soak up pee etc. when she comes in.

              They grow their own hay so they don't buy. The hay is a grass/alfalfa mix - good hay quality.

              Sorry the indoor is 70ft x 140ft. I left off the 0. It is bigger than most indoors and well lite.

              They own the boarding place and their own place down the road. This place only has 6 stalls so it is small. It would be my 3, one other boarder and she would bring 2 of her horses down to stall there so she has access to the large indoor. They showed us how they would fence off the turnout so my 3 can be together by themselves instead of with the other horses. They will have there own water tank with a heater.

              They just bought this place a month ago, they are still finding out which light switch turns what lights on. The husband is a city guy, he is an engineer and makes a good living. The wife has had horses her whole life and grew up on a farm with her family. She also works outside the home. Her dad will live on the property and do the chores and care. They don't know much about the facility like what the electric costs will be with the indoor used at night (by me if I went there), or the electric water buckets in the stalls. They bought this property as a second property as a business.

              It is a nice place, I am just leary because they are new to the boarding part of it. Althought they will only have 2 boarders to deal with. She is smart in putting how many bags the board rate covers so I will know right off hand what I will need to supply. My boys are very laid back so she won't have any problems with them, the only fault one has is he dunks his hay - which she said that her Fjords do the same thing. ????? Guess it ain't a problem. I guess I am gun shy after boarding a few places.


              • #8
                I wouldn't hesitate to move to the second barn. Being new to boarding wouldn't scare me as long as they are experienced and knowledgeable horse owners.
                I would make sure you get a good contract signed that includes details of who is buying grain, how much shavings are supplied, how much hay, etc.
                The indoor sounds great...a barn like this in my area would run $600 plus a month usually!
                No wash rack? Eh, I wouldn't be thrilled about that but as long as your horse stands properly for bathing I wouldn't consider it a problem.
                Having no lights wouldn't bother me either...I'd rather clip.
                Good trails would be a HUGE bonus for me!
                The outdoor sounds nice too, not having fencing wouldn't bother me for the most part, although I might be concerned if I had a horse that dumped me or took off on a regular basis.

                IIWY I would try to get to know the owners of the second place a little more and maybe visit the barn a few more times. Just tell them that you're fairly happy with your current situation and just want to make sure that this change is going to be good for you and your horses (if they question you wanting to visit so much).

                It sounds like the first barn is on its way down with the owner having money problems and sometimes not being able to buy grain or shavings. That would be a HUGE red flag for me and I would be out of there...fast! I don't like that you have to pay in cash or that the BO spends weekends away from the barn on a regular basis either. You do a lot of work at that place and it doesn't seem like the BO is compensating you for it at all. So yes, I would definitely move, if not to barn #2, to somewhere else.
                come what may

                Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sundance_Solo View Post
                  It sounds like the first barn is on its way down with the owner having money problems and sometimes not being able to buy grain or shavings. That would be a HUGE red flag for me and I would be out of there...fast! I don't like that you have to pay in cash or that the BO spends weekends away from the barn on a regular basis either. You do a lot of work at that place and it doesn't seem like the BO is compensating you for it at all. So yes, I would definitely move, if not to barn #2, to somewhere else.

                  Someone at Barn 1 doesnt care. Maybe its been going on awhile maybe not. Do you have anywhere else?
                  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                  • Original Poster

                    Its been going on for a long while I have found out from previous boarders. To bad to because the facility is gorgeous.

                    There isn't much around my area, I guess I will have to keep looking, someday something may come my way, until then I will continue to go to the barn every day and care for my boys.

                    Thanks everyone for your input! I appreciate it!


                    • #11
                      You pay $340 and do all that extra work at barn #1? Forget that. Leave.


                      • Original Poster

                        If only I could find somewhere else.


                        • #13
                          Sounds like Barn 2 is the better option and am I getting this right - Barn 2 owners have a place already and bought Barn 2 as a second facility? OP also says wife has had horses all of her life adn grew up on a farm. Apparently her father is now going to stay at Barn 2 and do the chores- depending on his age this doesn't sound bad to me at all.

                          OP - go find yourself a copy of Grooming to Win - there were tips in there about getting your horse clean. Evidently it was written before the days of hot water wash stalls. We used to hot towel our horses to get them clean, and goodness knows during the summers when we've had drought's we've had to hot towel and use those spot cleaning products - Cowboy Magic etc.


                          • Original Poster

                            I guess the decision has been made for me. Since I can't get in the indoor at night to work my 3 horses there is no use staying there. They have 2 parelli people that work their horses on the rail for 2 - 2 1/2 hours every night, cracking whips, running the horses in tight circles on the rail etc. We waited until 8:00 last night to use the arena and they never quit.

                            Anyway I will give my notice tonight and move to the other place, hopefully it will all work out. It is sad a really nice facility for show horses, has all the amenities (even though we do a lot of the work ourselves) and now there will be on parelli freak of a "trainer" and 11 rough board horses, and that is all. 18 stall barn sitting empty, in less than a month the BO went from making 9,000 a month cash to $2,000.

                            Thanks for everyones help.