<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: Re: [RC] Boarding injuries

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    Re: [RC] Boarding injuries - Bonnie Davis

    I should just keep my mouth shut -- but I'm going to come to the defense of boarding stables!!
    Not all of us have the luxury (or money) to afford property to put our horses on.  Or the TIME necessary to take care of them on that property.
    When it comes to selecting a boarding stable -- the owner of the horse does that.  And usually a boarding stable is selected in proportion to the amount of MONEY the horseowner wants to (or has to) spend on the monthly board bill. 
    So once the dollars are determined -- the horseowner starts to look for a boarding stable.  There are good stables.  There are bad stables.  But the boarding stable provides an atmosphere and services in which to keep the horse.  If the horseowner does not like that atmosphere or services -- don't move in or move out!
    I've boarded in the same stable for going on 31 years.  I stay because I ride through the pasture, cross a street and go into a park that has over 125 miles of trails.  Plus San Francisco Water Property to ride on!  I don't have to haul an inch to trail ride to my heart's content -- and we have a couple endurance people in there because they use the hills to condition on.
    There are horses in that barn who see owners only once and if lucky twice a month.  Let the horse get sick, get colic, get cold, get lame and it's the boarding stable's fault.  When winter arrives or the first leave falls, they run up to the barn, slap a blanket on the horse's back and come back next spring to remove.  They seem to have the feeling that the boarding stable is do everything when the boarding stable is basically providing a service -- house the horse, feed the horse and water the horse (all in a safe environment).  And even 'safe environment' can get tricky if you've got a horse prone to colic, a cribber, a windsucker, a weaver, a kicker.....
    Just because one board's a horse in a public (or private) stable doesn't mean the horse has to never be seen except when throwing a saddle on its back for a ride.  I know no one in Ride Camp is like that.  We all check our horses daily, make sure they have clean and fresh water (even if we have to lug it ourselves), clean mangers to keep dirt out, give 'em free choice salt and so on. 
    The problem with boarding stables or pastures or what have you are the PEOPLE.  As I said, I board but I'm still not going to walk past a broken board with a nail sticking up and say "Oh, the owners should fix that!".  I'll bend over and pick it up -- it could be MY horse that steps on it.  Or if a strand of wire is down, I'll coil up the span and hang on a fence post and then call the owner.  Again, it could be my horse that gets hung up in it.  If the water trough in the pasture is leaking or dry, I'll get off my horse and fix the leak or find out why the trough is empty.  
    I've always maintained if one doesn't like where they board, talk to the owners.  Explain their complaints and try to work it out.  Gossip and back bitting with and among the boarders does no one any good -- except to keep the pot boiling.  But if all else fails and one is still unhappy where they board -- move.  Find another stable. 
    In my case, I'm happy with where I am.  I can afford it, it's only 12 miles round trip from home to barn door, I have riding areas (arena and trails) and other than a few 'complainers' in the barns which are in every barn -- I don't plan on moving!  In fact, I'm looking for a third horse to move into the barn.....anybody got a 7-9 year old, 15-15.2, solid, gentle, big bone, big hooved, 1200 Quarter Horse gelding for sale?  He'll have a home for life -- I never sell a horse, they just get old, retired, die and I go broke!  But I wouldn't have it anyother way..............
    Bonnie Davis       
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Sunday, December 01, 2002 3:58 PM
    Subject: [RC] Boarding injuries

    (interesting how in your own home and herd they rarely=
     get the injuries I see at a boarding barn
    Laurie  and Rascal (who lives in his own muddy backyard, thank you)

    Isn't this the truth!  The second worst injury any of my horses have ever had was because at the boarding barn they decided all the pasture boarded horses should be separated into mares and geldings.  My gelding pawed at the fence to get to the mares he had shared a pasture with for the previous year and almost cut his left front foot off.  He'd never bothered ANY mares, but because they'd heard that not all geldings and mares get along, they split them up.  I know we've had discussions before on RC about the mare/gelding thing, but I've never had a problem. . .

    [RC] Boarding injuries, Mike & Laurie Hilyard