Wednesday, May 6, 2009

@#%&* Boarding Barn and another great lesson

GAH!! That's all I can say. We are so frusterated with our boarding barn. It just keeps getting worse. We pay board for two horses. We are not very demanding boarders at all. If our horses are fat and happy, we usually are too. We do not request special treatment, like our horses being turned out without any others because we have a horse that we show in the 4H and so we don't want them marked up (who does?) by fighting and picking in the pastures. Our horses are mares and last summer there was a big big issue with a draft gelding thinking they were HIS. The last straw, after weeks and weeks of attempting to catch our horses to ride after chasing them for 45 minutes each time only to have him keep chasing them away, was us leaving a nasy message on the board about not wanting to get killed while attempting to get our horses from the pasture. We had told the barn owner several times that it was very difficult with our horses being out with this one. He never had problems because he always brought this horse in first at feeding time. We were not going to take that horse in just to get ours in. We were not going to be responsible for someone else's horse. That day of the nasty message on the board was because that big draft was rearing up and fighting with another 1/2 draft idiot about 10 feet away from me. I was not having that so the note basically said do not turn our horses out anymore. Barn owner did not want that because then that meant using extra shavings for the stalls and extra hay as they would not be grazing. So he put then in the smaller pasture with the only other mare there, which is what he should have been doing all along. HE even told us when we first got there that mares do not belong with geldings because of that very reason. Tell me now, we were wrong in wanting that?? He's had attitude against us ever since. To add fuel to the fire, at the same time Sassie was getting trained, another horse was getting trained at the barn. He gave THAT boarder fee board if she cleaned stalls because her horse was getting trained and it was expensive for both board and training. Ummmm, so we were. AND we were paying for TWO horses. Were our expenses not just as much??? But we NEVER asked for reduced or free board because owner told us, again, that he doesn't do deals because then everyone wants them. Hmmmmm. Apparently that's only for certain boarders. It's just getting so ridiculous.

Now, there are two boarders who are in two different 4H groups. These groups have been meeting at their leaders place for the last two years. Now all of a sudden last week, one of the groups wanted to hold their meeting at our barn. So the owners CLOSES OFF THE INDOOR arena the day before their meeting and no one can ride in there (it was really windy out and none of the horses had been outside yet even to graze because it's been so flooded from all the rain) so that he can tear it up and water it for the 4H group. Doesn't do that for the boarders who are PAYING their hard earned money to be there, but does it for this ONE boarder's 4H groups. Then we find out they never even showed up. Then last night, the OTHER boarder puts up a note that HER daughter's 4H group is going to be meeting there now too. So, we are now down 2 nights of riding out there because of the two 4H groups and our boys now have soccer on two DIFFERENT nights leaving us to be able to ride out there 3 nights. Be honest with me, and I do mean that, are we getting mad for no reason? We are getting very irritated that this owner goes out of his way for just these two boarders. Very irritated. I don't know if it's irrational or not.

We have been looking around at houses with a little bit of acreage to eventually move to. Unfortunately it will be a little while before we will be able to make that happen. Talking honestly to this barn owner does not help. He does what he wants because that's what HE has decided is best regardless of anyone else's opinion or experiences. We have talked many times about switching barns, but there just aren't very many barns in a reasonable distance from our house. This barn is already about 1/2 hour -40 minutes depending on traffic. Our trainer gives lessons at a few other places and she actually is giving one today at a nice barn that we've heard about, but never knew where it was. So if it's close to what we pay now, we are going to make the switch I guess.

Everyone who has horses on your own property, what are the biggest pros and cons? When we have discussed moving them onto our own property when we can, it seems there are more cons than pros, BUT, the pros are bigger. You know, make more of a difference than the cons. Let me know what your pros and cons are.

And for other boarders similar to me (or those that have had to board in the past), what's your situation? Do you like where you board? Are there any conflicts that irritate you to no end? Are there cliques? Do the owners favor certain boarders over others? How do you deal with issues when they come up? Any suggestions for us? lol

I know, I know, so much hostility. Sometimes it just feels better to write it all out I suppose. We usually try to be helpful and accomodating. Last summer when the county fair was going on, the boarder that cleans stalls for free board was at the fair. She didn't want to leave the fair to clean stalls (which, she would have only had to do like twice a week really because the horses were turned out all day, therefore only messing their stalls at night) so she had the barn owner ask US to clean stalls. SHE wouldn't even ask us. Then, when we did and we fed all week, she didn't even thanks us for it. That's how she is. Her and the other boarder in 4H are the only two we have issue with because it's always all about them. Our horses are POS's, but THEIRS are gods gift to horse owners. NOT. Their horses are worthless to me, maybe not to them, but at least we don't make comments about them. At least not to their face, just amongst ourselves. It's just so ridiculous. GAHHHH!!!

On a brighter note, the weekend went well. Chuck E Cheese was better than we expected. I'm not a big fan, but the food was decent and we did have some fun talking to everyone we hadn't seen in awhile. Then the water park on Saturday was pretty fun. It was a little small to spend a whole weekend there or anything, but definitely a fun day trip type thing. Sunday was the First Communion. That went well. I have to get the pictures from my brother though. He has a great camera and was nice enough to take pictures for me :) We went for ice cream afterwards.

I had another lesson last night (which is where the ranting from above came out of, they both put their 4H meetings on the board last night) and it went awesome!! We started working last week on the extended jog because she's doing well with rounding in the corners and she's starting to keep a nice slower controled jog. So with doing the extended jog, we also post. I havn't done posting in like 8 years!!! lol My legs are definitely feeling it. I'm sure even worse tomorrow. The trainer wanted to try to focus on the lope a little more last night (she was frusterated with giving lessons to the one boarder's daughter, the one who gets free board, because they were being even nasty to her too!! She asked the girl if she had been riding and the girl said really nasty, almost proud, "NOPE!" so the trainer was really upset and is wondering why she even wastes her time because it doesn't even pay for her gas to get there). I think my horse has it out for the trainer. I said in my prior post that Sassie does this huge leap type bucky thing to get into the correct lead going to the left. Well, last night she kept almost stopping to do this buck thing, but she'd aim herself right at the trainer sitting on the mounting block!!! It was kind of funny, the trainer even got up and ran once (she was laughing too), and it didn't matter if I was 1/2 way across the arena, Sassie would aim straight for her!! I need to learn how to lean back a little more. Or sit back rather. When we lope to the left, I prepare myself, and that's not a good thing. I start leaning forward, anticipating that little buck and leap forward she does. My trainer said it's really bad to do that because she's afraid Sassie's head is going to come back and smack me and knock me out. But I lean forward because I always think I might fall off the back!! lol So, we need to find a compromise. The trainer is still amazed at how Sassie twists herself when trying to go to the left. I did notice too, that Sassie seems to know that she needs to get that inside leg to reach further, and that's why she kind of stops and hops to push herself up into it, but I think maybe with me anticipating it, I hold her back. So I think I might need to just sit tight and hang on and let her try her thing next time and see how it works. Once she starts going, I need to focus on just getting her to keep going and not letting her drop her shoulder in, which she was definitely doing. I felt like we were skidding around on a 45 degree angle. So yeah. Right side? No problemo at all. Goes right into it really smooth. I've been working her more on her left side to try to build it up. It's definitely taking awhile.

Ok, that's all for now. Off to have lunch with hubby at his work, which will be a nice change. Then home to continue cleaning and sorting the kids' clothes. Fun fun. I'm also cleaning off my desk so that I can SCRAPBOOK!! I've been off a month now and have not scrap booked one single time! It's crazyness. So I'm busting my butt with that. And finding a job :) Still working on that too. There have been a few really good ones I've found lately, so cross your fingers for me :)


Mrs Mom said...

Pros and cons?
Pros: horses are always here, when you need a few moments of peace to get calmed down again. Doing chores is relaxing, and gives you time to bond with the horses more. There is nothing quite like being able to look out the window and see your horses, any time you want.

Cons: The horses are always there. Chores are done twice a day, rain, sleet, snow, blistering heat. Poop. Lots of poop.

When I had to board, my horses did not get the care I wanted them to. Bringing them home was tougher on me if we wanted to go somewhere, but... Having them home, under MY care, was sooo much better for my peace of mind. Now, having Sonny looking in the window at me (today he is mad because the motor on his fan burned out and I have not replaced it yet...) Anyways- having Sonny and Snickers home has been a GOD SEND for me lately. It seems they are the only way I can keep my sanity, by slipping out after dark, and cuddling with my horse....

Fingers crossed that either the perfect home turns up for you guys PDQ, or another boarding situation turns up!! Hang in there!

Roxmysox said...

Hmm well my situation is, erm, different.
The yard belongs to my friend, the land belongs to him too and I look after his horse as well as my own.
Pros - I get pretty much free run of his house and land, I decide what to feed, what bedding to use and pretty much what happens when and how. I hold the keys and can come and go as I like.
Cons - I deal with his mare (he gave up horses and just says "Hi" every now and again)I muck out, haul haylage, buy feed, sort farrier and vet etc. I fix fences, organise ( with his son) harrowing, mowing, spraying,muck spreading etc, etc, etc.
I also get roped into things like the tree cutting scheme, the garden clearing scheme,he furniture moving scheme.
Some days I am there more than I am home ( most days actually).
If I can't do it and can't sort someone else to do it then it doesn't get done.

I sort the dogs out, house sit, etc etc etc.

But I wouldn't want to swap it.

kdwhorses said...

Well girl I'm sorry for what you are going through with the boarding barn! What a pain!

I don't know personally the pros and cons of using a boarding facility, as I have never boarded my horses.

Our horses are right here at the house, which is so nice! I can keep a eye on them for sickness, chores, grooming, riding, etc. The list is a mile long! I would deftinley say the pros out weigh the cons, but that's just my opinion. I'm here almost all day every day to take care of them. I spend ALOT of time with our horses~training, riding, grooming, etc. I know I'm blessed to be able to have them here.

I feel it will work out for you all too.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow. I'd be annoyed, too. It seems 4Hers are given lots of priorities, discounts and benefits all over the place and quite often, some of the 4Hers aren't really deserving or appreciative. It's as if they expect special treatment. We were in 4H for a while and we saw similar stuff happening and that's just not how we roll.

I hope you'll be able to find the perfect situation for you, whether that be another barn or your own property.

As you know we have horse property, although it's just over 3acres.
I've never boarded, but have known many who have, and have researched the possibility for me and decided against it.

Pros: You know what they're being fed, who and what is interacting with them, you can bond with them and spend tim with your horse every day, if even just for a few minutes. Everytime you're with your horse is an opportunity for training. You don't have to bend to barn rules or deal with toxic barn personalities or try to fit in the barn's limited hours to your limited hours. You can ride anytime you want. You and your horse have privacy and freedom to do what you want together. You can also choose whomever you like for farrier or vet care, too. You'll appreciate your horse's personality more and notice if anything is off much easier if your horse is home. Just hanging out with your horse at home, without any schedule is relaxing and calming....a great way to start and end each day.

Cons: You can't just go on vacation whenever you want to. You are in charge of setting up vet and farrier appts and must be there for them. You have to fit in twice a day feeding and barn chore time at least a few times a week. You are responsible for buying and hauling hay or having it delivered. Unless you have neighbors or friends (or online buddies)who are familiar with horses, you will be on your own with any problems you have or if you want to ride. If you are a social person, you might miss the activity at a barn. You are responsible for barn upkeep and maintenence.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do,

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I think the main difference between boarding and having them at home is the lifestyle change. Now when you want to go away for a weekend or a vacation you have to make horse arrangements on top of everything else. The fence has to be maintained, the pasture maintained, etc. You will be maintaining more than just the horses.

On the other hand you are in control, you are always the favorite boarder, your opinion is listened to when it comes to care since it is your place and your decision.

Do you think your mare's issues with picking up the canter (sorry, us english riders say canter instead of lope!) could be something other than behavioral? I was wondering as I read your post if a chiropractor might be helpful.

Leah Fry said...

It's great to look out the window watch them play. Or just hang out with them, just because you can. I was not prepared for how hard they are on the land. Good grazing doesn't just happen.

I'm lucky that when I board (to give the land a rest), it's at a small place where I know my horses are well cared for.

Hope you find a better place. I'd be ticked too if I was paying full fees and others were receiving preferential treatment. I hate double standards.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I've boarded a few times and got a little sick of it. Never ran into what you are dealing with though-that's rough. And not fair!

I've always preferred to keep my horses on my own property. But I suppose that might be because I grew up with horses in the backyard.;)

Don't forget to take into consideration, your riding space. That has always been the tough one. I always made sure to get a property that either had enough acreage so I had room to ride either on the property or had easily accessable trails. I've also been pretty fortunate that there has always been a public arena close-by. All the advantages of having a nice arena and none of the upkeep.;)

I feel bad for your trainer. I'd drop that girl as a client.

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

I've boarded for years and HATE HATE HATE it. I've been too many barns (from ages 12-26) and have found different issues at each of them. I have found the best barns are ones with the fewest boarders and who are backyard boarders (they just have a few of their own horses and a couple boards to help with costs). These people tend not to advertise so what I have done a few times in the past is drive out to areas that I like (close to trails or arenas) and that have larger sized properties with horses around and leave a sign on the mail box or in mail boxes letting people know I am looking for a private place to board my quiet, well mannered, easy keeper horse! You have to be selective and try to find people with simular ideas about feeding/care/handling etc. and you also have to be willing to respect their space but I found some good people who have actually CARED about my horse and treated them like their own (which is annoying sometimes but at least I know it came from a good place). Good luck.

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

PS- I meant "I've been been to too many barns" and at the postal office or on the group mail boxes or in personal mail boxes! LOL

Also, I have found a few properties using the above method where people have a barn or fields but no horses and are willing to rent you the pasture...usually for not much money. I've always wanted to board that way but have never benn in the right position to do it.

Andrea said...

Oh my goodness! What a mess. You need to tell me where you live and I can see if I now any trainers near you. I have a bunch of friends that train up there and they graduated from Findlay. They are really good. So, if you want, shoot me an email!!

Pros and Cons of having your horses in your backyard.

The horses are always there
You get to feed and make sure things are done how you like them
You get to spend more time with them
You can ride everyday
You have your own arena, if you have an arena
You can do your own thing

Never a day off
Always have to clean a stall
rain or shine feeding and cleaning
No vacation or have to find someone to feed or board while you go away
If you are sick you still have to do horse duties
Finding a place to dispose of manure
Finding good hay storage
buying hay
trailering to the trainer's place
Riding by yourself, no barn friends

Well, those are just some that I thought of real quick right off the top of my head. The cons sound bad, but I really don't mind any of them. I just sometimes hate to ride by myself. I miss the crowds of riders. It helps horses out to have busy riding situations. Well, at least I think so.

But I like the chores. Just make sure you have time twice a day to do them all.


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