January 7, 2016

Moving On

The problem began the moment we moved in. We were too nice. Too easy going. Too amenable. It is a habit we have and the scenario has played out at pretty much every single barn we have been at.

It sets up the relationship between BO and us, the client, all backwards. Makes it seem like everything they do is a favor to us and not like we are owed it because we are paying for it. 

Example: The second barn we were at in WI gave a very nice tack locker to every boarder. When we moved in there was only one open because someone was taking two when they were only supposed to have one. We said "No problem, we can share."

Except it was a problem. We were paying full price for both horses. We were owed two tack lockers. Thats what was in the contract and what were were paying for. We should have demanded the locker except we aren't that type of people and so we let it go. 

But then I began to accumulate more stuff and we needed the room an extra locker would provide. When we approached them about getting it, they made a big deal out of it. Made it seem like they were doing us a big favor. Going out of their way. 

It created a bit of bad blood like we were all of a sudden becoming demanding, PITA boarders. 

At our current barn, we did it again. Said things weren't a big deal and we would adjust which sets up the relationship not as a business transaction where we are paying for certain services, but instead one where the BO is doing us a favor by providing the care we expect and deserve. Little things like not having access to the tack room because we use the trailer when we should be able to use it for our stuff. 

Is that why Gem has lost weight and coliced? No, but had I been a more forceful boarder it may not have happened. At each barn, there is always that person who's horse is treated like gold. Who gets everything they want just how they want it. And do you know why? Because from the very beginning they laid out the expectations and demanded they all get followed through on. Because they keep the interaction a business one, as it should be. 

Now, I'm not saying to be an obnoxious drama queen, but if there is a basic level of care you are needing and it is agreed upon prior to moving in, then you have every right to demand that it occurs. 

So, as we begin barn shopping I plan to go in with a more strict attitude. Lay out what I require and if it matches up and we decide to move in, then make sure from day one that everything is being followed through on. 

No more bending over backwards to make the BO's life easier when I am paying for this service. No favors are being done when it comes to basic care. I am paying for that and by golly I will get it!


  1. I hope you can find a better place. For me, there has always been something I have compromise on (trail access, feed, turnout, cost), but I agree that you need to get what you pay for, especially feed!

    1. Yeah, we have never found the perfect spot, although the second barn in WI was pretty darn close. I loved it there and never would have left if it wasn't for our move to SC. The biggest compromise this time is going to be on distance from home. All the barns we are looking tare 35-40 minutes way.

  2. This is why I've always been happiest with self-care type situations: I pay for the BO for my field or paddock or stall and I do most of the work the way I want it done. If I need something extra, I then pay extra to have it done or do a work exchange. It worked beautifully in FL where the climate was the same year-round but it's more of a problem when you have real winters = you can't always make it to the barn if the roads are dangerous. Regardless of climate, self-care also makes it mandatory that the barn be close to home or work or both. I know self-care isn't an option for you; I'm just expressing that I share your frustration with the difficulty of finding a place where the BO does what they actually say they're going to do! :) Why is that always so hard??

    I hope with all my heart that you can find a place that's as close as possible to your ideal at a reasonable distance from home!

    1. I wish we could do self care. Then I could purchase my own feed and hay and know exactly what was being done. Unfortunately we just can't do it.