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Barn Shopping Rant

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  • Barn Shopping Rant

    Yesterday I traveled to look at some places to board my horse when I move this spring. I only made it to four places before it got dark. After all the threads about boarding and BO's lately, I wanted to share what I saw yesterday.

    I had an appointment at a barn (private), and I called when I was on my way, and when I got there no one was around. Slightly disappointing considering I had an appointment, but life happens.
    Second private place, the same thing happens! Strange.. but ok.

    Third place- I had researched them on the internet, and it looked nice, nice pastures, arena, etc. But when I got there it looked nothing like the website! The BM was trashing the other boarders and their horses to me! Hmm... That doesn't really make me want to bring my horse to your barn.... Then she shows me the heated tack room, but it's only for people that board in stalls (I want pasture).
    Then we go look at the "pastures". Recently they put up really beautiful 12x12ish steel run-in shelters in the pastures, but THEY HAVE NO SIDES! This really confused me... She told me that they didn't put sides on them because the didn't want the horses to chew on wood, and metal was too dangerous... I should mention that it's really cold and windy where we are, and shelters with no sides really don't do any good. And to top it all off, all of the horses in the pastures were underweight and sad looking .
    And then I was asking about lessons, and she started telling me about her $50K dressage horse instead of answering my questions... Anyways she did a great job of chasing me away from her facility! Silly woman.... No wonder why they had so many open stalls
    Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
    Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

  • #2
    UGH sounds like a totally unproductive day!!! Good Luck I am sure barn shopping is NOT fun, thankfully my parents care for our ponies on their farm and I KNOW they get excellent care ( all of ours live out and no one ever looks sad LOL) they are also all fat and happy!
    Keep looking hopefully you will find the perfect place!
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.


    • #3
      What a waste of time! Not that this is your fault, but to improve your productivity in the future, I would recommend spending more time on the phone or e-mailing ahead of time to ask more questions and get a better feel for the BO/BM. Not that that will insure that they are not going to stand you up (how inconsiderate!) but at least you might have an inkling if they either aren't really interested in another boarder or too busy to meet you, or too spacey.

      While it is very rude that first two BO's weren't there, I'm just going to say that as a BO potential clients don't show up sometimes either! So while it isn't acceptable to stand someone up like that, I can see how someone wouldn't plan their day around a prospective boarder.

      As discussed recently on several threads, boarding horses is not a good way to rake in the cash. Many barns have to skimp on important things to keep a barn running at the rates they charge. What are these barns charging in relation to other barns in the area? Are there some nicer (and possibly more expensive) barns in the area?


      • Original Poster

        I had spoken with all of the BO/BM's before I went, and they sounded sane... Haha! Maybe I'm not such a good judge of facilities over the phone!

        I did find one barn that would probably work just fine, but I'm picky about having pasture or daily turnout so it limits the number of places... And this place has pasture and an indoor, which are my two biggest priorities. All of the horses look fat and happy, and the BO is an old cowboy type. But I still have time to do some more searching!

        Thanks for listening to my rant....
        Happy New Years!
        Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
        Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products


        • #5
          This usually works

          If you are still in the area, find a local tack or feed store. Scope out their bulletin board and talk to the people working there.

          They'll give you the lowdown on places you can find through research from afar and will probably be able to accurately steer you to barns that meet your needs and which you didn't find.

          Best of luck to you! At least you are moving to a pasture situation in the spring where you don't have so many weather and feed problems to contend with.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • #6
            Originally posted by LoveGirl83102 View Post

            I had an appointment at a barn (private), and I called when I was on my way, and when I got there no one was around. Slightly disappointing considering I had an appointment, but life happens.
            Second private place, the same thing happens! Strange.. but ok.
            Completely unprofessional but I've been stood up by potential boarders at least three times in the 2 years we've been open. Then, a local barn burned down recently and I got a call from a woman frantic about needing to find a place for her horses until the barn got rebuilt. I'm full, but it was Christmas Eve and someone helped me out with my pregnant mare years ago....so I said I would make room, we talked about trailering, and she said she was going to go check on her horses and would get right back to me. I waited around all day, made calls to secure extra hay for the additional horses and...she never even bothered to call me back.

            In all these cases I was glad that such rude, self-centered people didn't actually move their horses here. In your case, be glad you didn't move your horses THERE.
            JB-Infinity Farm


            • #7
              No excuse for rudeness - on either end. I have spent hours showing potential boarders around; let them watch my lessons; answereed questions and invited them to stop out to speak to other boarders etc.

              I don't have open stalls for long and my theory is the right people come along at the right time. You will find the place you are meant to be and you will be happy there. Trust your heart and good luck with your search!
              "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren


              • #8
                I recently had to change barns and was AMAZED how easily it went.
                I recalled almost 20 years ago when I was planning on moving to Northampton MA, everyone told me it was "horse country" and finding a barn would be easy. Not so. Many were ridiculous prices, like $500/month (I was paying $125/month in NYS at the time) The ones in my price range were unbelievable; barbed wire fencing, holes in wood stall floors, bent sheet metal edges in stalls. Nothing suitable for my blind cob.
                I ended up finding a lady with an extra stall in her backyard in Worcester that was neat, clean and in my price range. I moved to Worcester instead of Northampton just because I found the perfect place for my wonderful horse.


                • #9
                  Leave yourself open to options, finding the right barn is sometimes about compromise..We all want to find BO's that give our critters good care.

                  I got lucky, I hope you find a great one too!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    If you are still in the area, find a local tack or feed store. Scope out their bulletin board and talk to the people working there.

                    They'll give you the lowdown on places you can find through research from afar and will probably be able to accurately steer you to barns that meet your needs and which you didn't find.

                    Best of luck to you! At least you are moving to a pasture situation in the spring where you don't have so many weather and feed problems to contend with.
                    I would add to this to talk to the vets on the side of town you're interested in--they'll usually have better information about a place than a tack store.

                    One of the major employees of a tack store here and I are not really fond of each other and she'll trash my place to anyone who asks--however, I foster for our state's TB placement program my vets gave the rescue a a nearly perfect rating based for upkeep and horse management on my place.

                    Same place, vastly different opinions, one I deal with regularly, the other not....


                    • #11
                      Ask around - COTH is a pretty groovy resource for this! When I was looking for a Toronto barn I asked on here and got a lot of really good recommendations. I went to the ones that came most heavily recommended, spent exactly one day touring a few facilities, and made my decision. Easiest barn decision I've ever made, once I got down to actually physically touring the facilities.

                      Hopefully I still like it when I start riding there next week!

                      Good luck with your search - sounds frustrating.