Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Barn notes: Not 3 hours, not 2 1/2, but...

At every barn it seems there are some horses who don't fare well on turnout. They run, they get picked on, they have soundness issues, whatever. Instead they go out for a few hours when the other horses are in. I get why this is necessary, but some requests seem a bit over the top. The whiteboard note below is a case in point...

This particular horse needed boots all around and a blanketing change for his 2 3/4 hour turnout. I don't mind providing individual care to horses if it doesn't get too out of hand, and if I understand the reasoning. This turnout request was a pain because I already had so much to do, and my routine had to be rearranged so I'd be at a good stopping place to bring this horse in. You know what I mean?

Whoops, can't move the spreader up, it'll block the 2 3/4 hour horse's stall.
Nope, can't do outside water buckets, the 2 3/4 hour horse will have to come in soon.
Geez, don't have time to water the ring before bringing in the 2 3/4 hour horse.
What CAN I do? Guess I'll just sweep, even though I usually wait do that after I hay...
Have I gone on long enough??? Wait, don't answer that. Nuf said.


  1. 2.75 hours. Yeech. Even I, at my worst, would never have been that picky. What are you supposed to do, look at your watch every 15 minutes to make sure horse turnout is accurate? Or set a timer?

    All, right, I'll stop too. I could go on.....yeesh.

  2. My horse is one of those who, according to my barn owner, is not great in turnout. So I work him up 15 minutes more every day or so. The problem is that the BO then starts to insist that I *must be present* when he is turned out. I for one have rarely seen him doing the running around that she insists he does. Fair? All of her horses get hours and hours of turnout (like 12 hours a day). Suggestions? I really want my horse to be out maybe half a day and I'm happy to work up to that but she seems to think that it should all be on ME to organize it. This is a full care boarding situation to boot.
    Maybe you could do a post about BO's horses vs. boarders and whether boarders should be expecting second class treatment...ok rant over!

  3. Wow Amanda, that's tough. What is the rationale for 15 minute increments? Why do you need to be there? So the problem is just that he runs?

    At barns I've been at in the past, bms usually can get a sense of when the horse starts to run (after one, two, four hours, whatever) and they adjust things accordingly.

    Okay, another "crazy" story. I was supposed to watch a horse turned out in a round pen while working at the barn. I was VERY watchful b/c that horse had already freaked out once. At around 2pm, I was cold, and tired, so I moved my car to a vantage point where I could see the horse, and then turned on my car to warm up. A friend of the horse's owner got to the barn, did not see my car, and called the owner to tell her I was AWOL while her horse was out. The next time the owner saw me she accused me of leaving her horse out alone. She would not listen when I tried to explain WHY my car appeared to be gone, that I'd moved to JUST TO OBSERVE HER HORSE. The coup de grace was that technically I was "off the clock" -- barn work done. I was watching her horse, in my car, on my own time while waiting for a friend. I could have just brought him in but wanted him to have extra time outside so long as he was quiet. Truly no good deed goes unpunished.

  4. I think we need a post just on white board comments/requests. At times, I shake my head in wonder for the poor barn manager.

  5. It's mind boggling how many folks there are out there whose Mom never told them that "The world doesn't revolve around you". Pretty sure mine told me that at least once a day growing up *grin*.
    Sure am glad all our furballs are right muss, no fuss. Whew! ;o)

  6. I think you should charge by the quarter hour for that kind of work. ;)

    I like to see my horse run and buck and play in the turn out. Then I know he is a happy horse. Of course, I do not have to worry about blankets, boots, or shoes and he is at the top of the totem pole.

  7. This kinda stuff just makes me so glad I keep my horses in my "backyard" and I am the boss of it all!!!!

  8. I've used incrments of 15 minutes for horses being rehabbed, but I charged as much for rehab as for training. A PITA to be sure, and should be properly compensated for!

  9. I think there is a need for a blog named "redicolous horseowners and stupit things they want to be done" :D
    I´m a barn worker and the whiteboard and sometimes stall-doors have some rally redicoluos tasks writen on for workers.
    Sorry my spelling probably is wrong. Not from englysh speaking country.


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