Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I wanted to start out by showing you a cute picture of Lilly before I start complaining. At least that way I can say I posted something nice today.

There's nothing quite like a good roll when you've been cooped up in a stall for 19 days! I just love how far she's stretching out that top lip of hers... that's how you know it's good stuff!

So I feel pretty safe speaking openly... I can't think of a way that any of this could get back to the BO, and I'm not posting anything that isn't true, so it really doesn't matter even if it does. And I need to vent, especially after what happened this weekend.

A few short months ago I was contemplating a move... I was trying to decide if I should move the horses to my current location or leave them where they were. I weighed the pros and cons and decided to go ahead and do it. I remember saying, "I hope I don't regret this..."

Well I do.

Everyone is well aware of what Lilly and I have been through over the past 2.5 months, but to summarize: Loose shoe, ripped hoof, abscess, cellulitis, and now a reinjury of her ligament. Aside from the pain and suffering Lilly has endured, I have spent large amounts of money nursing her back to health.

And let's not forget the sacrifice AJ made with his tail.

I moved her so I could ride on a frequent basis and enjoy all the amenities this barn had to offer. As it turns out, I have only been able to ride a handful of times and the only amenities I've been able to enjoy are the stalls and the wash rack. Lots of time spent in both of those places...

While I hate placing blame, and the 'what-ifs' and 'if onlys' don't do me any good now, I know my horse and I know what happened to start this giant snowball.

I requested that my horses be given 3 days to get used to the goats and despite my request, the goats were put in the pasture that night by the BO. Lilly ran around terrified of the goats, stepped on her shoe, ripped her hoof, developed an abscess, got cellulitis, and reinjured her ligament. It's all because my original request was ignored.

I'm a bit of a doormat... I don't like confrontation and I don't like to stir the pot. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I hate thinking my request was deliberately ignored, but I don't know what else to call it. He agreed to my face and then went ahead and did what he wanted only a few hours later.

Lilly had been really lame for 3 days before the BO decided to tell me he thought she was lame. At that point, I was already treating her. He didn't call me when she developed cellulitis, so she stood around for an extra 24 hours without treatment until I saw her the next day. And now she hits her face hard enough on something to cause a softball sized area of swelling and I don't get a phone call. Each time something like this happens, I ask him to call me if he ever sees anything like this again. He never does.

I'm terrified of not going to the barn every, single day. I'm afraid of what I'll find when I get out there the next day. I find huge pieces of hoof missing, I find sloughing skin, and I find swollen faces.

Aside from those issues, I fought him tooth and nail about getting the goats out of AJ's pasture. It took AJ getting his tail chewed off (plus a few days after that even!) for him to agree to move the goats out of the pasture.

Lately I've been hearing gossip around the barn, but I've been trying not to take it too literally.

I heard rumors that sometimes the horses don't get breakfast... and I recall one day where Lilly seemed hungry. Her stall was a mess and she didn't have water. I never dreamed it was because she wasn't fed, but now I'm pretty sure that was the case.

I heard the BO does what he thinks regardless of what the owner wants done with his/her horse. Boarders have asked that their horses be kept in, but the BO decides it ok to put them out regardless. One horse ended up with a terrible sunburn on her nose that bled because the BO put her out despite the fact that her owner wanted her left in.

I've heard the BO thinks we baby our horses and we coddle them too much. "They're horses, not babies!" Perhaps that's why he doesn't bother to call any of us when our horses are injured? Perhaps he figures they'll be just fine. I don't know if he's seen mine lately, but she seems pretty dang fragile to me!

One boarder has already left, one gave notice, and yesterday when I was at the barn, all hell broke loose. The BO and a boarder had some type of special arrangement with her horse and each one claims the other didn't hold up their end of the bargain. Long story short, the mare went without food for the entire day and the conversation got really heated, really quickly. Between the yelling and screaming, the BO decided she was no longer welcome there and told her to essentially (in not so many kind words) "get her horse off his property by tomorrow morning". I'm not certain, but I think the 30 day notice thing works both ways, and the mare's owner said she wasn't going anywhere, that she paid board for the month and she can't just find a new barn in less than a day. The BO kicked her out of her stall and told her to put her horse out in the pasture (with a missing shoe) and to get her stuff out of the tack room.

It was bad, bad, bad...

I was trying to get my stuff done as quickly as possible and get the heck out of dodge. I was finishing up with Lilly when the BO stormed over to me and demanded I tell him what the mare's owner has been telling me. I was taken aback and a little fearful of what was transpiring and told him I didn't want to get involved. I gathered up my stuff, told the mare owner to call me if she needed anything, and left.

So yeah, now we come full circle with that whole regret thing.

Had I left my horses where they were, I'm confident I'd be taking Lilly to the State Fair next week and we'd be happy as clams. Instead, she's on stall rest and I'm feeling very anxious about where my horses are being kept.

There isn't anything I can do about what has happened thus far, but I can make sure nothing else happens in the future. I've decided to move my horses out of there.

The problem is, now I'm afraid to give my 30 day notice!! I'm afraid of what he'll say to me, or what he might do. I'm contemplating giving him my 30 day notice on the first of November and forfeiting my deposit as board for the month. That way I can give notice and get the hell out of there on the same day to avoid any conflict, but I don't know if that's a good idea or not...

This is assuming I can find another barn that will take a layup and a gelding that needs pasture board and 50 pounds.


  1. You need to move ASAP - but then you already know that. BO sounds like someone who's never going to change. Very sorry to hear, and good luck in finding a new place ASAP.

  2. I'm so sorry! :( It sounds like a horrible situation. I've been there, afraid of what you'll find when you get there.

    I'm the same way as you, making sure I give 30 days notice. But, if I were that nervous and scared about what would happen when I did give notice, I would just leave. Seriously. Quiety get your stuff gathered together, find another barn, and pick a time when BO isn't there....hook up trailer, load your horses and leave. I wouldn't tell another soul that that was your plan until your horses were safely off property. If he wants to come after you for loss of board/no 30-day notice, let him. You have pictures and proof of the lack of care your horses received while at his facility. And, I would seriously doubt he would have time or $$ to come after you anyway.

    ((hugs)) to you and the ponies.

  3. It's time to move. Things will only get worse. I'm so sorry. Do whatever you have to do to get Lilly safely out of there.

  4. I agree. Time to peace out! Good decision making on that one. Don't have didn't know this would happen. And I agree with spotteddrafter. Don't publicize leaving...get your stuff and go. I gave a 30 day notice at a craphole I was at (similiar situation...not taking owners requests and doing what they thought was best and running out of feed, etc) and the anxiety I had for those days was not worth any amount of money. That BO won't give two shits about your ponies after you give a 30 day notice and if it's bad when you're paying it surely won't get better when he knows you are outta there. You gotta do the best thing for Lilly & AJ. Good luck! keep us updated!

  5. I am so sorry. This is totally unacceptable. My barn would take you in a second, but Ohio is a little out of your commute range I think. :(

    What a shame that a nice facility is managed so poorly. There is no excuse for going against a horse owner's instructions.

    I love my current barn. The BM treats every horse like it's her own and is awesome about communication. It's such a relief after the last train wreck of a boarding barn. I cannot wait until the day I can have my own place. It'll be modest, but it'll be done right.

    I sure hope you find a great place. You've done your time in hell, it's time for a keeper. Good luck. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

  6. Oh my gosh! This is beyond words, so bad! I know that when you were looking around, this barn just seemed too good to be true, I guess it was :(. I cannot believe this BO's nerve! I am so sorry about this situation and I wish you the absolute best in your move.

  7. I would be so steamed. To make a long story short, I was in a similar situation where you are scared for your horses' safety once given the 30 day notice. But you already seem to know that moving is the best option. Im so sorry that things have gone so south by what seems couldn have been entirely avoided. I hope you find a good place soon. Please keep us all posted.

  8. Oh girl, I'm so sorry! I've been in iffy boarding situations. I hear you on nonconfrontational too...

    I would start looking and move ASAP with no notice. Pay him out for the extra 30 days, and consider it a fee you're paying to not have to deal with him ever again. And call the other barn you were considering - you never know if they might have an opening or know of another good facility!


  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your kind words of support!!

    I kept thinking that each issue would be the last, and they just keep coming. So it's time to make sure my horses are somewhere safe, where we can all be happy!

    I'm to the point where I hope the place sells soon because it is SO nice, but I don't really think I can wait that long.

    As Ashely said, "That BO won't give two shits about your ponies after you give a 30 day notice..." and that's my biggest fear about giving a 30 day notice, and why I think I'll just disappear from the barn at some point. No confrontation, no worrying about what else can happen during those 30 days. We'll just leave. My deposit will cover the last 30 days that we won't be there, so I won't owe him any money and I won't be breaking any rules in the contract.

    I need to be somewhere where I don't have to worry about my horses 24/7.

    Thanks again!!