When I started selling off a bunch of extra horse stuff these last two weeks, I had a friend (shoutout to CARA!) ask if I was getting out of horses… actually, I have thought about doing just that these last three months. SERIOUSLY considering rehoming the last three and walking away.
And this was because of the friction and trouble of boarding my horses.
Now, I have small expectations from Barn Owners as I’ve found over the years that they have a fundamental problem: they refuse to understand that it is a BUSINESS and that they are providing a SERVICE which means I am a CLIENT.
As a client, using as service, I have a few basics I expect:
1.) The Business Owner/Barn Owner can tell me what my horse is being fed. Oh how many times has this SIMPLE QUESTION inflammed the BO to the point of yelling abuse on my head! Or telling me I’m stupid. Or telling me that it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS!????
Boy, the BO’s sound like my Mother in Law.
2.) The BO does a visual check on my horses throughout the day and can tell, from a distance, when things are right or wrong.
3.) There is fresh water, safe fencing, shelter, locked gates, hay/grass and limited access to my horses’ whereabouts on the property.
4.) The BO MANAGES the human element at the barn, such as limiting gossip, removing disruptive people from the barn atmosphere, and outlining/enforcing the rules for common use areas.
5.) The physical property is well maintained: drives are driveable, designated parking is available, arenas are harrowed, grass is mowed, fence is fixed, electrical fencing works, gates have functional latches, etc….
6.) The BO listens and implements my wishes on how I want my horses fed and cared for. If what I want, exceeds what they provide, the BO provides a list of charges if I want more in-depth care (i.e. application of medication etc…). Everything is upfront and aboveboard about what is done, what can be done, and what cannot.
That’s really all I ask – but I can’t tell you how many times I have been shouted at, screamed at, told I was stupid, told I was mean or lately, “rude”, because I wanted this very basic list of safety and service.