January 18, 2016

Barn #3: Crazy Town

A couple of you have asked about the crazy lady. It seems to me that there is a disproportionate number of crazy horse people when compared to crazies in other hobbies/sports. Anyone know why that is? I'm guessing because it takes a certain amount of type A personality, determined attitude and ignorance of all the other fun things your money could be spent on while you are soaking your horses abscessed out hoof for the millionth time to be able to do this in the first place, let alone make yourself responsible for other people's horses. I don't know.

In making my calls to various potential new barns for the Dynamic Duo, I found the responses to be interesting. Some BOs were annoyed at my questioning, others used it as an opportunity to talk about their facilities and were obviously proud of what they had, and yet others seemed a little apologetic at their answers. And then there was Barn #3.

Here is a re-enactment of my phone call, as accurate as I can possibly be two weeks after the fact. I'm not embellishing or making this up. This was my call (barn name changed for privacy):


BO: Crazy Acres...hello?

Me: Hello. I found you on newhorse.com. I am in need of pasture board for a mare and a gelding. Do you have any space available?

BO: For what?

Me: For two horses on pasture board. They can be kept together, which I prefer, or separated if need be.

BO: Why don't you come on out and see the place and we will talk?

Me: Well, I don't want to waste anyone's time and would like to talk a bit about what you have and how much you charge before driving out there. Do you have space available?

BO: I could.

Me: If...?

BO: If you come out and see the place. I'm sure you'd love it. Why not come out this Sunday? Say 12 pm.

Me: Before I do that, I need to know if you even have room and how much you would charge.

BO: I charge based on what you need. Really you need to just come out here.

Me (beginning to wonder if I would be lured out to my death): Ok..well I need pasture for two horses, hay as needed when grass is not enough to sustain them and grain up to twice a day again depending on the grass and hay.

BO: Well, I don't charge like that.

Me: Oh..how do you charge?

BO: Each month is completely different. Winter versus summer. It all depends on what I do.

Me: What is the most basic fee you require each month to house my horses?

BO: If I had to pick a price it would be $150 for pasture, but nobody pays that.

Me: So what do people pay?

BO:  They pay whatever I charge them for the month.

Me: (at this point I was scanning online for other barns to call and taking deep breaths before asking a new question) How do you determine what to charge?

 BO: I do as I see fit and then charge for it. You'll know after I spent the money.

Me: But what are these expenses? Am I paying for hay and grain? If so, do I supply it or get to choose what they get? I'm sorry, but I am just really confused.

BO: If I see a horse start to lose weight, I'll give hay. Depending on the quality of hay and how much I give, I charge. I can't lose money here. Same with grain. I have grain and will give as much as they need, when they need it. You then pay for what I fed.

Me: Can I just supply my own grain?

BO: No. I have my own here and will use that as needed. Same with hay. I don't want to be responsible for storing it.

Me: Ok....so if you give hay and grain...do you call and ask me or let me know or do you just do it?

BO: I do as needed and you will know when I tell you board is due. The amount varies depending on what I did.

Me: Oh. I see. That's hard to budget for. Um..well, what trail access do you have? Your website stated trails on property. (trying to salvage the conversation and go to more promising ground)

BO: We don't have any trails here. Does my site say that? We are about 40 minutes from the nearest set of trails. This property is really beautiful. You'd know that if you came to see it. (Getting a little pissy that I won't come out without knowing information before)

Me:  Can I ride in a pasture or do you have an arena to use?

BO: Nope. I don't believe in working the horses.  We have had an arena in construction for a long time, but I don't see the sense in it.

Me: So there is no way to ride at all on the property?

BO: No.

Me: Do you have a tack room?

BO: Nope. No need when you don't ride.

Me: Can I park my trailer there?

BO: Sure. If you need to have it the next morning and want to park it over nght we can find a spot.

Me: But I can't leave it there permanently...

BO: Nope. So...I think the best thing is for you to come out at 12 pm Sunday then you can have time to go back home, pick up your horses and move them in that same afternoon. That would work out really well.

Me: I'll talk to my husband and get back to you.


  1. Seriously? Did her website say she didn't have riding facilities and that she would charge whatever the hell she wanted each month. Sounds as wonderful as the place I was at for a month (although, you have to admire her honesty). And OMG!! Maybe she was trying to find people to make disappear. What a nut.

    1. My head was spinning by the time I got off the phone. Her website says they have trail access, but didn't mention an arena. I was really concerned when she kept pushing for me to come out.

  2. Replies
    1. Very true. Its the reason I wanted to talk before going out to see it. What a waste of everyone's time to go out and see it if things wouldn't work out on the most basic level.

  3. o.O

    I'd file this one under "dodged a bullet."

    1. I doubt we would have lasted a day there

  4. So glad I found this post. I cackled uncontrollably three times. Thanks for that!: )

    I think there are levels of crazy in horse people, and the most crazy of all are the people who breed horses. Lots and lots of babies. Barns overflowing. The only thing crazier than that: people who breed cats. (OTOH the least crazy are the people who have just one or two horses and can't imagine needing more.)

    The other day my husband said, "Oh good you finally get to meet my horsey colleague." She owns a dressage training stable. I said, "Just cuz she's a horse person doesn't mean we'll get along. In fact, based on how socially awkward/crazy most horse people are, chances are we won't get along." Sadly it was true. She rides warmbloods, I like Arabs. That was a conversation killer right there (not for lack of my trying!).

    Best line: "You'll know after I've spent (your) money." I can't stop laughing...Someone really needs to start a community blog for people like us who have scary stories about boarding barns.

    1. That would be a great blog! So many scary situations out there.

  5. No way I got that far into the conversation. What a nut!Good for you for not exploding. Yikes.

    1. I think my job has really taught me a lot of patience and how to extract information from people. You would be surprised (well...maybe not given your job with the cats) how many people come in and tell me "my foot hurts" ok...where. "it just hurts. what's wrong with it?" Can you tell me when it hurts, what the pain feels like or what makes it better. "No, it just hurts."

  6. Oh wow! That is definitely a disturbing conversation to have with a boarding facility.

    1. I'm probably just overly cynical, but as she talked I just kept thinking about how she could charge whatever she wanted to without any proof that she actually gave the horses anything. I could easily end up paying for nothing.