Thursday, September 1, 2011


Big secret.. ok not so big... I've never been real happy about the level of care my mares get at my current boarding situation and things seem to be getting a bit worse.  Here we are in September and both my mares are loosing weight.  It's not drastic but I'd really love to see them with a bit more fat padding going into winter.  Then there is the whole turn out, or lack of it, during winter months, always battling to ensure they are getting enough hay and water, etc.

My goal this year was to move out of the little house in the big city and into a little house in the country and move the girls home.  Well economics says differently at this point in my life so I have some decisions to make.

To move the girls, or not to move and make the best of it.

Full Care, partial care, or self care


I've put my name and deposit down on a waiting list months ago at great full care place (A), but I need two stalls and they rarely have one available.  It's 12 miles north of my office, which makes it 32 miles from my house. It's $300 month per horse, and no fee for trailer parking.

Then I found a private barn owner who is leasing stalls out of her barn for $150 per stall, self care (B).  Location can not get much more perfect.  It is almost half way between home and work and private.  Fencing has to be redone and I need to run my own electric along top inside rail (keeps Rosie off new fence).  It is setup to be 24/7 turn out if I want it.

Contract is a bit harsh, wording like "if horse gets loose for any reason, it must be stalled immediately then removed from farm within 7 days".  Well PBO has 7 kids, am I to be held responsible if one of her kids leaves a gate open?  Must pay for trailer parking and not ready until after November.

Saturday, I'm going to look at another private barn, owner is leasing stalls at $175 partial care (C).  Stalls are available today. Partial care in this case means I provide grain/hay/bedding and clean my stalls.  They feed\water twice a day and turn out/in.  I don't know much more than that.  It's 20 minutes due East of my office not real convenient from home but I'm driving nearly an hour from home now and this will be about 30 minutes closer.

Only A has an indoor arena, C has an outdoor, and B the neighbor said I could use her outdoor arena (no indoor).  A and C are owned by trainers, and C claims to be a barefoot trimmer as well.  B is a family that has just purchased property which has barn, 6 acres and wants to board a few horses.  

I do know something needs to change.  I want to enjoy my horses and not dread what new nightmare I'm going to find when I go to the barn.  I can't afford vet\farrier bills that occur from the subpar care they are receiving.  I LOVE the barn's atmosphere itself though. It's quite, no drama, indoor and outdoor arenas, the boarders are like a family.  Not to mention the HOURS upon HOURS of trails to ride.


  1. You really can't put a price on peace of mind. In situations like this, it's usually good to trust your gut. You shouldn't have to worry about whether they are or are not getting the care they need -- that's why you pay all that money for board!

    The contract from barn B is just downright weird. I think I might steer clear based on that alone!

    Good luck... Finding the perfect barn is tough!

  2. lots to think about. Maybe it is a knee jerk reaction, but I would tak B right off the list . I don't know about full care board , but it just sounds a bit funky for 150 a month , you would think that they would be a little more accomodating . And what if one of the 7? kids is the reason your horse gets out?

  3. All I can say is I'm glad I don't live where you do or I could not afford to board my horses. Period.

    I agree that B should come off the list. You're looking for less to worry about, not more.

    Is there any way you can team up with a fellow boarder where you are to pick up the slack?

  4. That is tough. I know at the end of the day you will make the decision that you believe is best for your horses. I have faith in you.


  5. Oh my! Sounds like no matter which you choose you have to make compromises because none of the choices are perfect. You just have to decide which options/services are most important to you (and your horses) and what you're willing to put up with. Personally I'd choose the choice that has more pros and less cons.
    This just makes me so grateful I am able to keep my horse at home. I just wish I had close by trails to ride that didn't require me walking beside a busy road or dealing with loose crazy dogs.


  6. Is there any way place A could do pasture board? I don't know how your horses are in the winter though. But it could be a good interim solution until a stall opens up?

  7. Ouch... decisions like that really hurt my brain.
    You've done a great job of laying out the pros and cons. I guess now you'll have to decide the priorities or weight of the facilities, location, care. Tough!

  8. Atmosphere is so important, second only to care. I like Leah's idea, sounds like a great support system at your current place - maybe there is another way to remedy the situation? Every place has it's pro's & con's...I agree with the others, I wouldn't even consider place B.

    Best of luck with your tough decision!

  9. I wouldn't worry so much about the contract with B as I would the fact that they just purchased the property and are new to this. Sounds like a horse care night mare and I would be concerned for your horses. None of the situations sound extremely appealing. Good luck.


Happy Trails!