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Re: RC: Question for the serious trail rider.

I am on the east coast also, and have had mixed experiences with 
barn owners.  Most have had very open hours to ride, 6 am to 11 pm, 
and boarders can ride with lessons as long as they are respectful and 
ask for lines and changes of direction.  No one has ever complained 
if I trailered my horse back in the middle of the night, and they feed 
whatever I ask for which has included mashes, beet pulp, medications 
and so forth.  I am never charged extra for the feeds I've requested.  I 
would also stress that access to trails is a must!  At least an hours 
worth, directly from the barn.  An ring or dressage area is also 
essential, as is a wash stall with hot and cold running water.  These 
aspects, on top of good horse care [clean stalls and buckets, good 
fences, good turnout with run-in sheds].  Things not important are the 
snazzy aspects to a facility:  viewing areas, heated lounges or tack 
rooms, fancy wood paneling, brass fixtures, grooming areas etc.  
Beth Glace

> Roberta:
> I would change only one thing on your list:  I like my horses brought
> in = every night.  They key here is that the facility should do what
> the owner=
>  wants, not what they feel like doing.  I want mine in at night, you
>  only= want yours in to eat and in the bad weather.  I currently board
>  out my t=
> hree horses (which is going to become 4 or 5 very shortly).  I don't
> do i= t by choice, but my house doesn't have the land to keep them at
> home, and=
>  I'm not going to buy a property in Massachusetts and sell it in the
>  next= couple of years when I move to Oklahoma.  So I live with
>  boarding.  I al=
> so won't let anyone else take care of my horses (full board
> situation).  = I've done this twice and both times they nearly killed
> my mare.  So no on= e but me (and my 3 horse friends at my barn) can
> take care of my horses.
> I also live in the East and there is definitely something weird about
> hor= se people here.  I have friends who's barn is closed on Sunday. 
> Have you=
>  ever heard such a thing!  An where I am from if you complain that you
>  do=
> n't like something the barn is doing, you are very likely to be thrown
> ou= t.  So my girl friends and I are looking to rent a barn and run
> our own f= acility.  Any of you in the Stow, Hudson, Berlin, Harvard,
> MA area have a=
>  8+ stall barn, please email me. I'd be interested in renting the
>  entire =
> place.
> Carolyn Burgess
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Roberta Jo Lieberman
> Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2001 6:17 PM
> To: Cindy Young;
> Subject: RC: RC: Question for the serious trail rider.
> Hi Cindy,
> <If you were looking for a place to board and a serious trail rider,
> what would you be looking for in a boarding facility geared toward the
> trail rider?>
> To respond to your question in another way, here are some actual
> comments that have, over the years, caused me to keep looking:
> "You can't put up a stall guard because your horse might reach out and
> nip another horse walking by/in the cross ties."
> "The stall doors must be kept closed at all times so the horses won't
> eat our fancy wood paneling."
> "Our horses are turned out every day, and brought in to their stalls
> every night, regardless of the season, because THAT'S THE SCHEDULE."
> "You can provide supplements, [but they may or may not be fed because
> we never know who's going to show up to do chores that day]."
> "No, your horse can't have 'extra' hay because she might waste it."
> "Run-in sheds?  No, we'd rather bring the horses in because that's
> what most of our clients like. They don't want to have to walk too far
> to collect their horse."
> "We're 'closed' on Mondays and Thursdays, and we'd rather that you
> didn't come before 7 a.m. or after 11 p.m."
> "You're welcome to use the arena anytime [that we're not having a
> dressage clinic or giving lessons, which is between noon and one p.m.
> every other Wednesday]."
> Okay, here then are a few things that I would specifically look for in
> a boarding establishment:
> =E2=80=A2 the basics: safe fencing, clean pure water, high quality
> hay, competent help
> =E2=80=A2 the ability to provide my own feed and supplements
> =E2=80=A2 large stalls with Dutch doors or stall guards, with adequate
> ventilation, cleaned daily and adequately bedded; no ammonia fumes
> when you walk into the barn
> =E2=80=A2 clean, fresh water changed daily and buckets scrubbed out at
> le= ast weekly
> =E2=80=A2 rolling, roomy pastures that are not overgrazed; sufficient
> acr= eage to rotate pastures (where applicable)
> =E2=80=A2 horses brought in only to eat or during seriously bad
> weather
> =E2=80=A2 good pasture and manure management -- the pasture is not
> overru= n with weeds, and it's mowed to a height of not less than four
> inches (when horses are less likely to eat it)
> =E2=80=A2 an effort to keep stable and arena dust to a minimum
> =E2=80=A2 minimal chemical load, i.e., no requirement for year-round
> Stro= ngid C, automatic fly control, excessive vaccinations
> =E2=80=A2 an understanding that horses are healthier when they are
> allowe= d to be horses
> =E2=80=A2 a willingness (within reason) to be flexible to my horse's
> spec= ific needs
> =E2=80=A2 direct access to trails, and a place to park my trailer.
> In short, I would look for a place that _puts the horse first_.
> Most of the above experiences are from the Eastern time zone....I've
> found horsekeeping to be quite different in the West, where it's
> typical to provide your own feed and mix it up once a day.
> I will also say that boarding horses ain't will have
> demanding clients, will be pretty much on call 24/7...and you
> sometimes will have to "lay down the law." :) On the other hand,
> endurance folks make the best boarders (have you ever seen a tee-shirt
> that said "Endurance Queen"? Well, on second thought...:) If you
> decide to go for it, I wish you the best!
> Bobbie
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