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I need a reality check. Does the rest of the world consider these things a problem?

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  • #21
    Personally, I think running loose horses into their stalls in one thundering herd is nothing more than pure laziness. If the setup was right (completely fenced property, etc.), I MIGHT consider it for 1 or 2 horses at a time, but then again, not if there was concrete or blacktop anywhere. One of my friends used to board at a "let 'em all loose to run to their stalls" barn; one day she came to find her horse with a broken wither. No proof, but based on watching the horses come running into the (concrete-aisle) barn on other occasions, it's entirely plausible that he slipped on the run in to his stall.

    Multiple loose horses grazing on the property, around cars and such? No way. I HATE that...

    There's a boarder at my current place who lets his mare out to self-graze. He thinks she's well-behaved and doesn't bother anyone; 99% of the time, she is. But if I happen to ride by, it irks me to no end when his mare starts wandering over to where I'm riding. She doesn't DO anything, but still, loose is loose. If I wanted to ride among loose horses, I'd ride in a pasture.

    Fortunately the protocol of our barn is that the staff hand-lead all horses to/from pastures, and the above-mentioned boarder is the only one who would ever consider leaving his horse loose to graze... He's a nice guy and is otherwise very helpful, so I don't rock the boat, but yeah, it bugs me.
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


    • #22
      Interesting- at our barn, they do not actually run into the barn (well, one does and so he is led in). They run up the chute, are stopped by a gate and then when that gate is opened, they meander to the barn and their stalls. Now and then a few will trot from the gate to the entrance to the barn but not once they are in. I don't have a problem with that.
      There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


      • #23
        The only problem I have with what you've outlined is squeezing thru cross ties. We have room to tie 2 horses at the front of the barn that aren't in the aisles and then more ties that are actually in the aisles, those aren't used much. My horse ground ties so she's rarely hooked up (maybe on 1 side only). I don't mind people ducking under but no, not horses. Even tho I trust them all, they know each other and I wouldn't be too concerned about my horse (or me) getting kicked it's still too much of a risk.

        Our horses are let in together and they all go to their own stall. And they don't "thunder" in either, they mosey. There are 3 different pastures, each is let in individually and there's never been a problem except for one horse who always wants my horses food. Easy fix, close her stall door. Lady is usually the last one in anyway so by the time she's in everyone else is where they belong and eating.

        Oh, I do have a problem with loose horses, that's just...stoopid! And horses will/do chew on cars, my previous SUV had the teeth marks to prove it!


        • #24
          Originally posted by blairasb View Post
          The following things have been driving me bonkers at the barn I'm boarding at.

          Loose horses! They run horses in a dinner time. they also allow select horses to and ponies to run loose on the farm periodically to graze on unfenced areas.

          When you are crosstying in the aisleway (10 foot wide aisle), people expect to just hike up the crosstie and squeeze their horse right past.

          The barn also just rearranged turnout groups based even less than before on temperament than before; now is soley basing turnout groups on "horse that come in to stalls in the winter" and "horses who stay outside".

          So... would these things bug you and would you say anything if you were leaving anyway?
          I agree that this seems to create unnecessary risks.

          My #1 issue would be with the turnout. We have 27 horses currently at the barn I board at. The majority are out in paddocks 24/7 (unless severe weather blows through). There are only 5 (maybe 6 now) that are stalled at night. However, they are interspersed between the 4 herds based on temperament and personality, not convenience.

          #2 issue is loose horses. My equine science instructor would let certain geldings "turn themselves out" by walking (nothing faster) down the aisle, through the wash stall, out a person-sized door (ensuring the one-at-a-time issue) and across the gated driveway into their paddock. But they were LONG-TIME boarders, so there weren't different horses coming & going, changing the herd dynamic constantly. There is NO earthly reason to have them loose & grazing. We hobble a couple of them, but they are at the back of the property, nowhere near cars + driveway.

          #3 horses passing while in crossties. This occurs quite frequently, although no one attempts to make a horse duck under; one crosstie is dropped for safe passage. My Percheron doesn't like crossties, so he is tied to his stall front with a quick-release knot, and moves over at request.

          BM makes sure that ALL the horses are mannerly while being moved; yes, there are some that wouldn't be in a herd together, but they aren't kicking and squealing if they have to pass each other. The majority of the horses at the barn are on the drill team together, so they have to get used to riding with a variety of horses depending on the team.

          I will admit I had gotten pretty spoiled, growing up first having horses at my grandparent's barn. As a kid, it was a TOTAL drag becuase everything was done by the book (and by my gram's "my way or the highway" approach, too), no screwing around, horses can get you killed, and you just don't take shortcuts and do stupid things that could bite you in the butt , and then I continued learning "how it should be done" by working for my old trainer for the next several years who ran a pretty tight ship as well.
          Time for another "I love BM" phone call. My BM loves when I hear about the craziness at other barns; it's usually good for a batch of her favorite cookies, and a hug (which she is less crazy about, but tolerates because it comes with cookies!)
          "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
          soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."

          Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


          • #25
            I'm pretty surprised by the number of people who think the things the OP described are just fine. I have boarded at quite a few places in my lifetime, and none of them did anything like what the OP described. I would never board at a place that does so many dangerous things! Geez!


            • #26
              Originally posted by red mares View Post
              The field is right off the barn, and they go in & out as thundering herd. Everyone usually finds the right stall. I've not seen any hurt. In 10 years.
              For another data point, I knew a barn that did this (boarded there for years) and I'd say 75% or more of the horses had periodic pasture injuries caused by the running in/out or excitement at "bring in time." I had 4 horses there over a period of about 5 years. I had a deep digital flexor tendon injury (9+ months stall rest), a suspensory (6 months stall rest), a giant wound down to the cannon bone that required emergency transport to the vet and stitches, a strained stifle (career ending incombination with other issues), and a cut that nearly required stitches to the pastern. Not to mention countless scrapes, smaller cuts, etc. Since those horses have been boarded elsewhere they have had no major pasture injuries. Aside from the disaster prone TB, these horses never had any issues before or after at any of the places they were boarded. One place had HUGE HUGE herds and the horses had no issues there. All of the injuries appeared to have been causing during the chaos of going out/coming in.

              And the process wasn't even AS chaotic as some described on this thread. The horses were in groups of 3-5. They ran up a chute and stood at the door to be individually let to their stalls. Often they would RUN in at FULL SPEED and less dominant horses would be chased into the corner or crashed into the door. During one particularly chaotic episode and horse was running, got cornered, and flipped over the fence onto his back. There was plenty of kicking out, biting, general herd dominance behavior. It didn't matter how long the herd had been together, the in/out process was like a new fight for herd dominance every day. At times it was dangerous for the humans (staff was stepped on, trampled, someone was kocked down, I had hooves inches from my face) and it certainly resulted in some very dangerous hores-to-horse behavior that I observed.
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


              • #27
                Diffrent strokes for different folks but the "running in" does not work for me.
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                • #28
                  The running loose thing would bother me. The crossties thing, less so.

                  That said, mine are at home and I open the pasture gate and let them trot to the barn (most of mine are too old/ lazy for much else) When they reach the barn, they get confused because their stall gates are shut and they stand and wait outside the barn for me to escort them in. It's a lovely arrangement

                  If someone were to do that in a boarding situation, I'd be out. I suppose this makes me a hypocrite.


                  • #29
                    Loose horses? No way.

                    "Running them in"? Might work for some, but my horse gets pretty anxious about her food and I could easily see her nailing other horses with hooves or teeth as they all come in.

                    Crossties: wouldn't ever ever lead a horse *under* cross ties. However, I've become pretty good at unclipping one and getting my horse to step sideways until she's against the wall so another horse/person can go by.

                    But... yeah. this would all bother me.
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                    • #30
                      I started boarding at a co-op barn many moons ago. The horses were allowed all come in as a group. There was one horse that would run in. That stopped the second day I fed. He was turned out with a neck strap. He drug me halfway down aisle before I got him stopped. Marched him back out, made him stand, then walked him in. If he tried pulling me down the aisle we stopped. Two days of that and being told to WALK, he would walk in like everybody else.
                      I preferred to let two or three in, go shut stall doors, let next group in and go shut doors.
                      As long as they walked in, and went to their stalls I had no problem with not hand leading the horses in.

                      It also prevented when happened to BM's teenaged son. He went to lead his gelding in around feed time and got double barrelled by his mare. The mare was top of the pecking order and did not appreciate gelding who was dead last in the pecking order going in first. Son got in the way. Bruised spleen and overnight stay at the hospital.
                      Although age and an understanding of herd dynamics would have prevented that.

                      This was a 12 horse barn.
                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                      • #31
                        Loose horses grazing at will bother me. People wanting to lead their horse under the cross ties while any horse is on them really, really bothers me.


                        • #32
                          Running in doesn't work for me and I've not been in a barn that allowed it. Now that I'm down to two horses, I bring the QH in and let the very ancient pony follow behind. He's very respectful of proper distance, stands and waits until the QH is in his stall before entering the barn.


                          • #33
                            I don't mind any of those things being done with my horses, at my house, under my supervision, but I wouldn't love any of it in a boarding situation.


                            • #34
                              All those things would drive me crazy.

                              I have a theory that if you are around horses long enough, every one of those safety rules will bite you in the butt if you ignore them.

                              I'd rather be overly cautious and considered crazy than to tempt fate like that.

                              I also have issues with feral children in stores.


                              • #35
                                There is way to let horses in and out that doesn't involve "thundering". I've been doing it for years they get let in one at time according to their hierarchy. No thundering or bad behavior allowed.


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                                  All those things would drive me crazy.

                                  I have a theory that if you are around horses long enough, every one of those safety rules will bite you in the butt if you ignore them.

                                  I'd rather be overly cautious and considered crazy than to tempt fate like that.

                                  I also have issues with feral children in stores.
                                  Exactly. I did something stupid (can't really remember, probably letting the horse walk behind me) a couple of years ago and told my husband...see, that's why I keep telling you never, ever do that.


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by bambam View Post
                                    Interesting- at our barn, they do not actually run into the barn (well, one does and so he is led in). They run up the chute, are stopped by a gate and then when that gate is opened, they meander to the barn and their stalls. Now and then a few will trot from the gate to the entrance to the barn but not once they are in. I don't have a problem with that.
                                    At my last barn the BO's breeding herd of just halter-broke horses did that. Never had an issue with it, but they were kept separate and the boarded horses were always led in. And same as you, the herd kinda strolled around, I never witnessed any mad rush - and since they all lived together they preserved their hierarchy while milling.

                                    The turnout would bother me. I move often and so my mare moves too, but the BO's have always been great about introductions and herd dynamics. Apart from some bitemarks the first week, which is pretty expected, she's never been hurt.
                                    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia