Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hell Week Continued... Boarding Nightmare

So I hinted on Monday that Rosie was sick. Well after a $111 ~10 minute vet visit, I was left standing with a canister of granular antibiotic, diagnosis of a bad respiratory infection, and a major attitude and severe disappointment in this new barn.

My heavy draft has lost approximately 200 to 300 lbs in the time I've been at this barn. You can almost see her ribs. I was mortified for the vet to see her like that.

I explained to vet how much Rosie and Bonnie each are supposed to be fed and asked if I should be feeding more:

These are my written instructions and they are posted on their stalls -- well they WERE. Someone has taken them down =/

Rosie: 2 scoops of 12% pellets and 1/2 bale of hay 2x's a day. Her supplements are Weight Gain and hoof grow 1x day. Unlimited water.

Bonnie: 1 scoop of 12% pellets and 3 flakes of hay 2x's a day. Supplements are hoof grow and mare calm 1x day. Unlimited water

Vet asked Barn manager how much he's feeding Rosie in hay (not "are you feeding as much as the owner has requested" I liked that). He said "3 flakes once a day". When I asked 1. Where did my instructions go, and 2. why they were not being followed - I was not provided with any real explanation. Thank God my Vet went off before I did.

On top of all this they have not been turned out. They are not turning out any horses because "it's muddy and the horses will ruin our paddocks".


So I'm putting the feeding/care instructions back up on the stalls. I'm showing up every evening to ensure they both have hay and water (Rosie's water bucket seems to always end up outside her stall door). I have to show up to make sure Rosie get's her meds anyway. I don't trust them to not give them. If I can't make it Jodie lives 10 minutes away she said she would.

I don't understand... I checked this place out well. I talked to other boarders. I showed up with 5 minutes notice, 3 times. Each different days and different times of days. The other drafts in the barn all look good.

Oh did I mention that when Rosie started coughing they NEVER CALLED ME?!?! When I asked "How long has she had this white ropey snotty nose" was told "I never noticed that".

I want to talk to the owner of the barn but I don't know how to approach her on this without sounding like I'm whining. So I'm going to wait until my temper calms down a bit and my brain is not so scrambled. Then I'm going to write a letter and get documentation from my Vet about the horses weight. Lucky for me, I was able to keep my normal Vet at this barn. So it's someone who knows me and my horses.



  1. Oh girl....I feel so BAD for you!! What a crappy week you have had! I don't know much about boarding horses but I do know they are NOT doing what they are supposed to!! My SIL boards her horse and I know it's still a lot of work for her but she NEVER has had any issues like this! WEIGHT loss?! Now that's just crap! On that alone is plenty of ground to make contact with the owner!! I commend you for deciding to wait until your calm, I don't have that good of self restraint LOL!! I hope Rosie gets well soon! Please keep us posted!

  2. Ugh - somebody seems to think it's OK to feed all horses the same thing and who cares if they gain or lose weight? And, look at the horses, why bother? Sounds like something the owner needs to know about - much better supervision of barn workers seems to be needed. Good luck - but talk to the barn owner ASAP.

  3. Yep. A quiet discussion with barn owner. You are paying for this service, you should be receiving it. A two hundred pound weight loss is not acceptable(and why your mare and not the others?). Not good.

  4. I'm catching up...been super busy and haven't been able to do much blog reading. First, I'm so sorry you had to part with your Sadie dog. I have an 11 year old Sadie dog. I wish dogs lived longer. Your Sadie sounds like she was very special. Second, oh no! I'm so sorry about the poor care at the new barn. It sounded like a good place. What a disappointment. Something is really wrong there. 3 flakes once a day?! That is shameful. Why are they feeding only once a day? Glad your vet let them know they are being neglectful. I hope Rosie is well soon. When I boarded Misty, I was constantly annoyed at the feeding practices. She had feeding instructions posted on her stall that went ignored frequently. I used to stop by the barn at least once a day, sometimes twice...on may way to work in the morning and after work. Where is your BO? Does she live on the property or nearby? I hope things improve right away.

  5. Yah Boarding does suck. I'm crafting a letter with pictures to the BO now that I'm not so..umm.... no nice way to say this PISSED!

    Once Upon, thank you for your kind words in regards to my Sadie Lady. I had a slight panic attack when I got home yesterday and she was not in the kennel... habits are hard to break

  6. I'm sorry that you are having such a rough time there, I understand completely, they never called me to tell me about Siaga's behavior with other horses or anything of that nature. I find myself frequently calling the barn owner to check on him. I don't think Shannon would mind if you called her or went and had a talk with her about Rosies health.

    As for the water bucket, James takes it out when she gets restless; since the horses aren't getting turned out, she gets upset that she's in, and chews/ pushes around the bucket, therefore sloshing all of her water all over her stall. At least spring is coming and they will be getting turned out soon.

    Siaga's dying to get out of his stall, as well. He was always on free reign of his stall and paddock, so he isn't really used to all the confinement.

  7. Oh, so sorry about the situation! I am so glad that I have me boys here on our farm. I would not like to have to board, that would be hard.
    Hope you get things worked out, poor Rosie.

  8. Oh no, that's horrible! It's been my experience that people never feed enough hay. 3 flakes a day in the winter for a draft is just a snack. Shame on them. I hope you get them straighted out!

  9. Anyone worth their salt would want to know of, and fix,these types of's graze all day long in nature. Unless they are self feeding, 2X a day is standard care... I could go on, but I'm pretty sure we all know the rant. I'm truly sorry your horse are being mistreated this way - shame on them! Best of luck as you resolve their care. Keep us posted when you can.

  10. Oh my sweet girl..I couldn't EVEN read to the end of the post for feelings of anger and disappointment- again - welling up in me!
    I have a "Boarding EXPOSE" blog...I have never invited anyone to read it as I totally Vent and RANT on..and to me it is soooo ugly..I hate feeling like all those feelings. BUT, It has become a place for me to vent and get it out.

    I actually only have 1 barn "vented out" present. But the Second barn...did what you are describing to my Thoroughbred mare.
    As you know, I ride the hooves off my mare and for her to not have her 'GROCERIES" as the vet says, I criminal!
    The woman I boarded with in my 2nd barn...took it upon herself to stop feeding my grain altogether!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that more calories or protein or any of supps... just a handful of oats and half the amount of hay she requires! I have weighed it out..for her exercise and weight...5-7 lbs of quality hay..that is 4- 7 flakes...she got 3.

    I was told NOT to ride her by the vet and my horse therapist...when she failed to water her the next month..and she coliced...I moved out- with out notice-as she seemed to be vindictive and I feared for my mare's life! She also stopped turning reason offered as the paddocks were already mudd.And, on top of this all...she yelled at me, intermittently,for no reason at all...I would be tacked up ready to ride...she would come in and scream at me, slam things around...I would untack, w/o riding and go home. I couldn't take it!

    Be careful, and maybe think of looking for a more reasonable person to care for you horses. I am sorry, it can be extremely hard to find.But, peace of mind in the management department is tantamount!!!
    Praying for you...KK

  11. Thank you everyone so much. Rosie is currently on 10 days rest - NOT STALL rest. Vets instructions to the barn manager was turn out AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE and all the hay she can eat, and then some.

  12. So sorry you're having to go through all this. I'm trying to catch up and it sounds like you've had a very rough week.
    I'm glad the vet stepped in and prescribed what Rosie MUST have. Sheesh!
    Why is that many people treat horses like things and not like living creatures.
    If there were children in a day care program you would receive reports and always know if something wasn't right. They also follow instructions to the letter, too.
    Why should it be different with animals in someone's care?

    I'm so sorry!



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