September 25, 2013

Boarding Life

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”  
- Baruch
I understand that boarding is a compromise between what the horse owner wants and what the barn owner (BO) can do/wants to do. Honestly, the hubs and I really try to be as low key as possible. Our needs are simple and we will follow the rules of the barn as long as they are made clear to us. If there is a rule we can not live with, we will leave. I don't expect rules to be changed for us. All I want to do is go to the barn, get my Gemmiecakes, tack her up and forget the world.
I don't stir up drama between boarders, mainly because I just don't care to. I don't use the barn as my social hour. I use it as my time to decompress and bond with Gemmie. Basically, leave me alone and leave me out of it. I won't butt into your affairs with your horse and I I to butt out of mine. All I want for Gem is a safe and healthy environment where she is getting the nutrition she needs to be fit (not fat or skinny) and to not get the crap kicked out of her by her pasture mates. If you tell me you provide a service, then provide it. Otherwise, I will be there to meet my farrier and vet every time. I will not ask you to do annoying tasks such as hand walk my horse for me, pull or put on various equipment (boots, blankets, fly masks etc) or to feed an ungodly amount of various supplements. This is a business transaction - I am paying for a service that you are providing. No, you are not doing me a favor by allowing me to pay you to keep my horse. My money is for services rendered. I will be tidy and leave the barn as I found it every time. I will respect your property and that of other boarders and not touch what is not mine. I will put up with a fair amount of crap as long as Gem is healthy and happy and I am still enjoying myself. Once going to the barn becomes a chore something needs to be re-evaluated and changed.
Unfortunately, going to the barn has become a chore. For many reasons which I will bring to light here over the next post or so. The story begins pretty much at the beginning (don't they all?)  and ends last weekend when I was finally pushed past just being annoyed with the situation and into wanting to leave. Which we are. I have put in my 30 days notice and we are looking at a new barn tonight after work and I have a few other options hanging out there as well. None seem perfect just yet and I know I will need to compromise something on my list, but we will see where we end up.
So what has been going on? Well, let me tell you! In general terms, there is a mashing of personalities going on. While the hubs and I do not purposefully go out of our way to go against the grain, we will stick to our guns about something we feel is correct for us and apparently what we think is correct is just about as far off as what the barn thinks is correct as you can get. About just about everything. My first "annoyance" occurred about a month after we got here and the horses were finally taken off quarantine and  allowed in the barn to eat. We were aware that they would be split up. We weren't thrilled with it, but rules are rules so we said fine. What didn't need to occur was placing Gemmie in the outside back left corner of the barn and placing Pete in the outside front right corner of the barn. As far away from each other and out of sight as possible. Really? They couldn't be across the barn aisle? Fine. Be alpha female BO. I can live with that. What got really old really fast was that everyone felt the need to tell me every single time how they think Gem and Pete miss each other and how sad it is. Really? Rub it in a bit why don't you? It finally stopped when I snapped something not so friendly at someone about how it wasn't up to me to me separate them.
Next up was being scolded like a little school girl (which in general I don't take very well) for not cleaning out both horse stalls and scrubbing both water buckets when I am there. Huh? I am paying for full care board. Full care board means I show up, ride and take care of my tack and that's just about it. The feeding, turnout, water and stall cleaning is done by the barn. Otherwise it is partial care board and cheaper. It was explained to me in a very condescending tone which I didn't appreciate, that at this barn since it is family owned (um...aren't they all?) when I show up I am responsible to clean my own stalls and water buckets. Eh? Explain again to me why I'm paying you? But fine. I did it and vented to the hubs about it and we carried on. Really it makes going to the barn a hassle. I spend from 7pm-9pm at the barn. I ride for 30 minutes. The remaining time is spent getting scolded for something I did wrong, getting ready to ride, getting finished with riding and cleaning two stalls and water buckets. I pay so I don't have to do the latter.
Time kept marching on though and I got used to the headache of doing their chores for them. They know I have limited time and that I only show up at night. If I rode during the day the stalls would have been done the previous night and I would have nothing to do, but I ride at night so I'm stuck with it. Again, its just a show of alpha female going on and I bit my tongue because we liked the location being so close to home and we liked the large grassy pastures. But the hits just kept coming....

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