14 Signs It Might Be Time To Change Boarding Barns

Because for all the reasons that exist to get kicked out of the boarding barn, there are an equal number of reasons that it might be time to leave on your own.

Flickr/John Clegg/CC

Flickr/John Clegg/CC

You loved our piece “12 Ways to Get Kicked Out of the Boarding Barn,” compiled from real feedback from actual boarding barn owners and managers. However, we at Horse Nation know that there are two sides to every story, so we gathered your feedback and threw in some of our own to compile this list in response: if you catch any of these things going on around the boarding barn, it might be time to move camp.

1. When the barn owner plants oleander along the pastures for some extra shade and privacy, your request that your horse not be turned out is ignored because “it’s not natural for a horse to live in a stall.”

2. The barn owner thinks she’s the best thing that has happened since sliced bread and Clinton Anderson. This means that your horse will be trained by her, whether you like it or not, especially when you’re not around.

3. The barn owner likes to put the weakest horses in with her monster-alpha-cannibal horses. He says they’ll either sink or swim if they’re going to board at her place. Natural herd dynamics are better for the animal.

4. The barn owner likes to feed the horses at brunch time instead of breakfast time.

5. The barn owner is a heavy drinker. She’s not the “fun, entertaining, functioning, get stuff done” drinker, she’s more of the “passed-out drunk, forgot to feed the horses and turn off the water, leave the blankets on in the summer, angry, abusive, crying” type of drinker.

6. Your full board agreement includes a clean stall, fresh shavings and clean water every day, but somehow every time you go to visit your horse, he’s standing knee-deep in manure, and there’s enough algae in his water trough to feed a whole school of fish … for a year.

7. You show up to find the veterinarian in the barn aisle stitching up a horse. It’s your horse and he sliced his shoulder open, but somehow no one ever called you to mention it.

8. The barn owner likes to take long vacations on a regular basis. She also expects you to feed and clean for your own horse while she’s gone. You’re still paying the full-board fee.

9. The barn owner has that one jerk of a dog that torments your horse on a regular basis. She also has made it very clear that her dog is her soul mate and life partner.

10. The barn owner runs low on hay on a regular basis, so divides one feeding into two to stretch it out before she has to make a hay run.

11. The barn owner knows nothing about horses, and is actually deathly afraid of them, but this beats his 9-5 job he had before he got into the boarding business.

12. Remember the drama llama we mentioned last time? It’s actually the barn owner, who likes to gossip about her clients … with her clients.

13. You’re paying for training board, and discover that “training” means letting the stall girl ride your horse after chores, or using your horse for lessons.

14. The barn owner goes to a weekend barefoot trimming clinic or mini-chiropractor school and decides to practice what he learned on your horse … don’t worry, he’ll just add it to your board bill for the month.

Go riding!

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