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    Last edited by shadesofbay3; Mar. 22, 2013, 09:20 PM.

  • #2
    Though it sounds like a crappy situation some of the things on your list are either normal/common or things that you would have known going in.
    Blanketing for pasture horses around here is often $15 per blanket change.
    Some places charge if you want to book the arena for a lesson as it makes it difficult or impossible for others to ride at the same time.
    The arena footing I doubt changed a whole lot in the 15 months you were there, so if you saw what the footing was like when you looked into the place and decided it was ok then you can't really complain about it.
    And of course the jumps are moved when the ring is dragged. How else do you drag a ring fully?


    • #3
      Sorry...this thread sounds like sour grapes.


      • #4
        Originally posted by shadesofbay3

        I would like to notify the local community of an incident that has just happened at my last barn. I had been boarding my horse for the last year and a half at a barn by the name of Still Ridge located in Ashland, VA. This barn charges $495 a month for stall board, which is grossly over-priced for the lack of care the horses receive. Over the weekend of March 9-10, with no prior notice, I was told by the barn owner Pam that I had to leave the barn, immediately. The rationale provided was that my horse was urinating too much in her stall and was "destroying it." This was the first and only time this issue had been discussed with me. I was told to either put my horse on 24 hour turn out or to give my 30 days’ notice. I did not want to put my horse on pasture board, so I gave my notice. As upsetting and unfair as this is in itself (especially since I was forced to leave all my friends and my trainer), I then called my parents to inform them of the situation. At this point, Pam found out that I was on the phone and started screaming at me in front of my friends, accusing me of telling lies, and said that I had to vacate the barn THAT day. There was no regard for the horse or me whatsoever. I had no option to take a day or two to find a new barn. (This is illegal without the aforesaid 30 days’ notice.) There was no discussion about having another barn to go to or where my horse would be kept. There were only repeated questions about "...where is your father with the truck, when is he getting here, do you have all of your stuff out?" Thankfully I do have a trailer and a truck, though my dad had to drive the truck down from Northern VA (where my parents live), and Pam and her husband Doug harassed and followed me around until my parents arrived.

        Again I had been a good customer at this barn for about 15 months. There was no previous discussion between the barn management and me about this supposed issue.

        Fortunately, I had previously visited another barn in the area and luckily, they had an opening for me. My parents got down to the barn and were in the process of putting the truck in position to load the horse onto the trailer and Pam literally stood in front of the gate where I had my horse and told us that we were in the wrong location for loading. She refused to move away from the gate, not letting me get to my horse. Pam then called her husband, Doug, on her cell phone. I thought the situation was literally going to go to fisticuffs. My horse and I have since been moved to another barn.

        My concern now is for the animals and individuals still remaining at the facility and those who may possibly have interest in becoming boarders based off Pam’s fabrications. There have been other issues during my one and a half years at Still Ridge:
        • The false advertising of their indoor ring. This ring is totally unusable because there is not nearly enough footing in the ring and is as hard as macadam in some areas and very deep in others.
        • Inconsistencies – Many things were said that were not true and not followed through on. I’m not going to go into many details, but many times I would ask something to be done and later find out the exact opposite happened. Fabrications seemed to be a way of life at Still Ridge.
        • I had to regularly fill and scrub my horse’s water buckets if I wanted her to have water in her stall. They were dirty and/or empty on a regular basis.
        • Pam/Cathy Jo (barn manager) restricted the amount of hay the horses were allowed to eat on a regular basis. Most of the time horses stood with nothing in their stalls. Many of these horses had digestive or weight problems and NEEDED to be eating something.
        • I supplied and paid for (as did the majority of boarders) my own feed because the barn's feed was substandard. Both the barn manager and Pam promoted the barn feed as good quality and healthy, yet none of their horses ate it.
        • Lush grass is planted in each of the two paddocks in Still Ridge. All horses must wear muzzles. Last summer, two horses foundered. Only one field has no lush grass. Only Pam/Cathy Jo’s horses are allowed back there.
        • Extra fees – each month your board gets higher and higher. If you’re a pasture boarder, each time a blanket is taken on or off, it’s $2. This will adds up. Want to take a lesson? $10 for each time you want to use the ring.
        • Ring conditions – The $10 that is charged on the ring fee will never be put into the ring. Neither the indoor OR outdoor ring has enough footing. The outdoor ring has tons of pointy rocks, is swampy at the bottom portion, isn’t dragged frequently enough, and doesn’t have a full set of jumps (which are also moved whenever the ring is dragged). I have also found nails on one occasion in the ring.
        • Unauthorized use - I came to the barn one day to see my trailer had been moved. While I admit I am not the best at backing my trailer into the small spot they gave me, it is incredibly against the law to hitch your truck to my trailer and move it without my consent. I had to spend $40 on a coupler lock. Not to mention they did this to my friend’s trailer and broke the wheel off her hitch. Whoops.
        • Illegal activity- At a specific period in time, all boarders were offered a break on their board if they considered paying in cash instead of check. ….Tax evasion? It is also a little suspicious that none of the money we pay goes to any improvement in the facility, the ring, the amount of hay we receive or quality of feed our horses get…
        • The incident – As a rule (the owner) is to be informed as to any changes being made with your horse. My friend’s pony was turned out by Cathy Jo in a paddock with an aggressive horse. He got kicked. Hard. Got a bone chip. $10,000+ worth of vet bills. He is still not the same, over a year later.
        • Finally, to be forced out like this is just not right. The barn manager, who one would think would have some care about the horse, much less the rider was completely unconcerned about where I should go.

        I am not telling you all of this to be a tattle tale or because my feelings are hurt, but because I know how frustrating it is to think something is perfect on the outside, and then see it crumble from within. DON’T SUBJECT YOUR HORSES OR YOURSELF TO THIS DISASTER. Don’t board at Still Ridge Farm.
        For posterity.
        If you love me let me go....


        • #5
          wait. she told her experience as she sees it. how the heck is that sour grapes?

          OP: i hope your new barn is a better match and the BO sane and ethical.


          • #6
            I'd really like to hear the other side of the story....

            This is not a case of abuse or fraud -- it's a garden-variety boarding-situation-gone-sour. You have presented no facts that require a high-drama OMG DANGER DANGER STAY AWAY!!!!! PSA. Boarders come on here to vent about BOs and vice versa, but in a generic way. Naming names should be reserved for when there is clear and present danger to the public. "This person has lousy footing and will move your trailer" does not fit the bill. Calling people out in public over a "he-said, she-said" situation when the accused can't defend themselves lacks class.

            Hope you are happier in your new situation.

            (ETA: I'm not saying you don't have legitimate complaints; you may well have. This, however, is not the way to resolve them.)
            I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.


            • #7
              Originally posted by mbm View Post
              wait. she told her experience as she sees it. how the heck is that sour grapes?

              OP: i hope your new barn is a better match and the BO sane and ethical.
              Someone finds a barn acceptable for a year and a half (in spite of unrideable indoor, ring with pointy rocks/swamp, etc) and lets say is a good boarder, and they are going to get kicked out with no notice because their horse pees too much in a stall? And no 30 day notice when she finds out boarder is talking on phone to parents...
              Sorry. I don't buy it. There is more to it than what was stated, and I'm sure the BO would have a completely different story.


              • #8
                Duck pucky. Not that I know the place, and don't care to, but crikey, reread the post, OP. Sounds nutz to me. Five whole posts, huh??

                Anyone know the owner of the barn mentioned and get her side of the story?? Clue her in this story is up on a major horse forum and see what she has to say?
                GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                • #9
                  OP has posted this thread in 3 different forums.

                  Here's my answer from the H/J forum:

                  I'd really like to hear the other side of the story....

                  This is not a case of abuse or fraud -- it's a garden-variety boarding-situation-gone-sour. You have presented no facts that require a high-drama OMG DANGER DANGER STAY AWAY!!!!! PSA. Boarders come on here to vent about BOs and vice versa, but in a generic way. Naming names should be reserved for when there is clear and present danger to the public. "This person has lousy footing and will move your trailer" does not fit the bill. Calling people out in public over a "he-said, she-said" situation when the accused can't defend themselves lacks class.

                  Hope you are happier in your new situation.

                  (ETA: I'm not saying you don't have legitimate complaints; you may well have. This, however, is not the way to resolve them.)

                  OP, I think you need to take a deep breath and reconsider your posts.
                  I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.


                  • #10
                    I agree. Op I think you should reconsider your post.
                    You are unhappy with the BO and the BO is unhappy with you.

                    You may have genuine grievances, however,slamming the barn and BO on a national BB, and especially suggesting "illegal activity" is not wise and doesn't reflect well on you.


                    • #11

                      Multiple ways to contact Pam and get her side of things.
                      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                      • #12
                        You list quite a few issues with the barn/BO. What I don't understand is that you chose to stay at this barn for a over a year, yet are very critical of the barn including ring conditions, turnouts, and feed. That to me, doesn't add up. As someone already said, the charges for blanketing, moving a boarder's trailer to another spot are both pretty standard, clearing jumps to drag a ring, are all normal elements of boarding. Caps on the amount hay or feed incl. in board without an extra fee(s) are unheard of either.

                        I hope that you and your horse happy in your new boarding situation, but I also agree with previous posters that posting on a national BB with names may not be the best route here. I don't know the barn nor the situation, but I would strongly encourage you to take a step back for a moment. Using names is very different then a generic vent and expression of concerns.
                        Last edited by BellaFortuna; Mar. 22, 2013, 03:42 AM. Reason: Typo.


                        • #13
                          I hear ya OP, really, I do. But here's the thing: COTH ain't Yelp. Publicly smearing any person's reputation on a BB is rarely a good idea, even if that person wronged you.

                          And if the facility, care, and management of the farm are really as bad as you say, why would anyone need a PSA to stay away from the place? Wouldn't the decrepit conditions speak for themselves? Particularly if the place is overpriced.

                          I'm sorry OP, because no matter what happened at your former farm, I know you feel victimized. But going forward it is a good idea to resit the urge to vent your frustrations about specific individuals on the internet.


                          • #14
                            OP, make your post more generic. I can see how you may stay, though I don't get the whole muzzle thing for all horses. My friend happily supied her own grain and supplemented her hay and stayed in a not ideal situation because it was what she could afford and horse was generally happy.

                            Generalize the OP and rant away!
                            Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                            • #15
                              I have nothing to add to the discussion other than that I love the OP's username


                              • #16
                                Welcome to the wild, wild world of boarding

                                Most barns in our area want horse owners to pay for stall board, but in reality, turn horses out 24/7. BTDT. Most cheap on hay and grain.

                                One cother, not our owner, said she wanted to write a book and title it "Boarding Barn Blues."

                                You are lucky that you got your horse out before something bad happened to her. You know you can make a police report of the incident so that there is a record. If something bad happens to another boarder, that boarder can then use your report for a civil suit against the barn owner.


                                • #17
                                  I don't have a dog in the fight and have no statement on the appropriateness of this thread. But to everyone who says that if it was so terrible she should've moved sooner, it's not so impossible or ridiculous for people to stay in a really crappy situation. If you want to take the concept to extremes, victims of domestic abuse go back to their abusers all the time. If you want to keep it horse-related, not all areas are overflowing with great alternatives and fear of the unknown (and other people telling you how much worse, how much more crazy, etc. other places are) can keep someone in a pretty crummy boarding facility.


                                  • #18
                                    Oh boy, another one. I call foul, If the indoor and outdoor and all the other problems were so bad why were you a happy boarder for 15 months.
                                    Sorry, don't buy it.


                                    • #19
                                      If what you say is true, it will all "come out in the wash" and the BO will soon be out of business. Move on and count it as a life lesson and be wiser in the future.
                                      Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


                                      • #20
                                        Meh, sometimes the issues crop up one at a time, and each one alone
                                        isn't a deal breaker. But when you look back and realize just how many
                                        issues there are ... then you think Holy Crap.

                                        This is what's happening where I've been for the last 7 years. And the
                                        last incident is the deal breaker, and so I'm looking for a new place.