Friday, February 4, 2011

Trouble In Paradise

I guess I was expecting too much if I thought everything would be perfect at my new barn! Luckily, it doesn't require a call to the vet!

Earlier in the week I took my freshly shipped SmartPaks to the barn to fill up my bins. AJ's SmartPak has 2 different supplements but they make up a Pak with 5 wells. When I opened AJ's bin I saw an opened SmartPak that had 3 of the 5 wells missing.

"That's strange," I thought. "Maybe they're feeding him half in the morning and half at night." I figured that wasn't correct either, though, because I had specifically stated that they both get 1 SmartPak in the morning.

So I spoke with R, the wife of the BO, and she said it was a mix up and that she was sorry. Her husband, J, usually goes behind her and takes care of the supplements, but something happened, blah, blah, blah. I was still confused as to why AJ would have been given 3 and not 5 wells, but whatever. As long as we're on the same page.

Fast forward to today... I happened to see J (the BO) when I went to the barn to make sure they had left Lilly in as I requested. (I asked that on rainy days she be left inside so she isn't running around on wet grass and possibly slipping, and tearing a ligament.)

Am I checking up on them? YES!

He apologized for the mix up with AJ's supplements. As we were talking more about them, I mentioned that he has 2 different supplements in each Pak and he needs to be getting them both each day. To make a long conversation short, they were feeding him ONE WELL PER DAY instead of the whole SmartPak.

He's like, "Really? The WHOLE thing? I'm glad you told me!"

The day I took the horses over, we talked about supplements. They said they would only feed one supplement unless they were in SmartPaks... so I assumed they knew how SmartPaks worked. Evidently not. I never would have guessed in a million years that I would need to explain how to feed a SmartPak.

We're also going to have an issue when it comes to grain. Before we moved in, he told us that they only offer Equine Senior or Strategy, but M and I told them that we feed Safe Choice and didn't want our horses on Strategy. He seemed ok with adding another feed to his feed room and had a giant trash can full of Safe Choice when we moved in. Now he's telling us that he doesn't want to keep buying 3 different feeds and in June (when the pastures are at their best), we're going to have to switch over to Strategy.

Umm, no we're not.

I refuse to feed Lilly Strategy and told him that it makes the horses very hot and has a super high NSC content. His solution was to cut back the amount of grain they're getting.

Strategy and Equine Senior aren't exactly all around, all purpose type feeds. If you don't have a senior horse (or a horse with special needs), Senior is off the table, so that only leaves Strategy. I feel like he should offer another type of feed that can be fed to fat ponies like mine.

I'm hoping between now and then I can convince him (or his wife) otherwise because if not, we gots a problem.


  1. Oh my gosh! I just laughed out loud at the ONE well! hahahahahah too funny. Ugh- barn drama. We all have it :-/ Hope one day I can just get my own place. Too bad money doesn't grow on trees

  2. When I boarded horses last winter, I had Beretta on a specifically designed supplement for horses on grass hay and requested that she be fed ONLY grass hay. I showed the BO all of my additional feed and showed him the lumps on Beretta's joints and explained the whole thing (because he really did seem interested) and what did I keep finding?

    Alfalfa in her stall.


    As for your BO, isn't Safe-Choice cheaper than Strategy and Senior? That might be a good selling point?

    Darn the bad luck that you keep having these feeding problems.

  3. You've got to keep an eye on them, and maybe if they know you're watching, they'll be more careful. I've bought my own feed when needed, although that's an expensive option and you've still got to get them to feed it properly.

  4. your post reminded me of all the negatives of boarding. i was lucky and never had feed issues. but there were other things that were not up to par like the amount of shavings in my horses stall and that fact that she got those little bald spots outside of her hind legs from lying on insufficient bedding. turnout was not good. she would be sweating bullets (she is a senior) and never brought in. only at the specific time. then the idiot hired hand would jog them back to the barn. lovely...good luck, i know how you are feeling!

  5. Ashley, if I wasn't so irritated it would be quite humorous! LOL

    Seems like your BO would have jumped at the chance to feed grass hay instead of alfalfa, Cowgirls! I'm sure the grass hay is much cheaper!

    We did tell him that Safe Choice was cheaper. That was one of the first things he asked when we told him we were feeding it. I don't really understand how it can be such a big deal since he's getting feed anyway. I could see if his dealer didn't carry it, but he said they do.

    Kate, I'm learning not to take anything for granted anymore. Because of what Lilly has been through I don't know if I'll ever be able to relax. We might end up buying our own feed too, if that's what it comes down to. It would be nice if he'd take some $$ of the board bill, but I doubt it.

    Thanks, Kritter! Isn't boarding wonderful? Luckily the stalls here are quite full of shavings and everything else seems good so far, but this is one more reason for me to send AJ on up to my parent's place. At least he'll be taken care of just the way he needs.

  6. This is why I can't board. I'd go insane if I didn't have 100% control over my horse's feed. Ugh.

  7. In the greater picture, mixing up AJ's supplement for a day or two wont kill him, I know its not good but if thats the worst thing that happens I still think you made the right dicision!

  8. Finding a good boarding situation is so hard. It seems there are always problems. Hope yo ugetthigs worked out.

  9. I work where I board at and the easiest thing we have found for boarders to do is tape instructions right on the bin with the feed. I always use to just tell the guys that fed what the instructions were for the supplements and then when I started feeding forty horses myself I quickly discovered I couldn't remember every single horse's instructions if it wasn't right in front of me, it is on their feed card on the stall but being on the bin really helps. Maybe that will help?

  10. Dom, the feed thing will definitely be a big issue come June. I want her fed how I want her fed, not what suits them. I don't want her fed Strategy and if we can't come to some kind of agreement...

    Justaplainsam, the SmartPak issue definitely isn't a big deal, especially because I caught it so early. Some of those supplements take a long time to build up in their system, though. I'm not sure about my supplements, but my horses went almost a week without being properly supplemented. I just found it strange that they were so confused about how to feed the SmartPaks.

    I'm still definitely glad I move the horses, though! This is a much better situation for me and the horses. :)

    He has a giant dry erase board in the feed room with all the feeding, turnout, and blanketing instructions. I think he was just confused by what "one SmartPak in the morning" meant. Hopefully we're all on the same page now, but in the future I'll probably write it more specifically on the bin or something like you suggest, Horsemom.

    Thanks, Carol... me too! Hopefully we're good to go now. Or at least until June.

  11. aw man, hopefully its not going to be another "i tell you this but you do THAT" sort of thing! And that is just rude he is now telling you oh you ARE going to feed your horse what I tell you. Excusehh meee?? I agree with the strategy making horses hot as well, it did the same thing to my horse previous to Daisy. Not cool.

  12. I'm a feeding Natzi now and can get quite pissy if I think things aren't being followed as directed for the health of my horse. If you board covers hay/feed, then YES they should buy and feed our your grain/feed of choice. Otherwise they can cut back the costs and you provide..either way, they should accommodate your request.
    Supplements are tricky..the last place I had Laz at (for a minute) would feed HER horses her boarders, if she chose to do that in FRONT of us..what does she do behind our backs. The place we've been at for a while are great about supplements, feeding per each horse's needs. MAKES A HUGE difference. There are days, where we disagree of course, but at the end of it, they respect me as their boarder and do so.
    Sometimes it takes time for BO's to let go of 'old school' techniques and LEARN about other options. All about personality. Good luck!

  13. Teeth gnashing! I feel for you. Boarding is tough. Only 2 feed choices amazes me. We have two different kinds of bran, 3 different feeds, and 2 different hays - for 4 horses! lol! Plus supplements! We keep saying "can we possibly make this more complicated?"