Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No, it's not modern sculpture...

Sept. 27, 10pm
I'm at Devon, and three guesses as to what this is (scroll down to see the answer).

Some sharp criticism for Devon management
Devon is notorious for dangerous stalls, and I know several years ago there was a thread on COTH about how  management was working on fixing things up. The Hilltop and Iron Springs barns were upgraded to palatial splendor. You'd think most of the regular stalls would be cleaned up by now.

Decidedly not.

The stall with Riley's name on it had probably 30-50 industrial staples in the interior walls-- most of the staples were partially pulled out, sharp edges exposed, about the height of his eye. I got some needle nosed pliers from my tack box and went to work.  After pulling about 20 out, I started collecting them, so there were more than are pictured above. The horses sat on the trailer for 45 minutes while I stood on a stool with those pliers. The whole time we were holding up a line of trailers waiting to unload their horses. The guys who managed parking were nice but they wanted us to unload and move on. I was pretty steamed.

A brief but heartfelt rant
Devon management claims they will charge you a cleanup fee if you leave manure. Manure! I'd welcome manure compared to this! Someone should be checking the stalls, removing this dangerous stuff, and charging the former incumbents. I didn't just get unlucky either. About half-way through my cleanup it occurred to me that I should just move to another stall (there were lots of free stalls), but when I checked, all of them had nails and staples (though not as many as my end stall, which was probably a tack stall).

After removing all of these staples we finally got Riley settled in. The front of his stall is a dutch door style with a wood frame above. Riley hung his head out, and I was petting him, and happened to look up--directly over his head, protruding 4" from the inside of the frame, was a big nail.  If he'd lifted his head higher than the doorframe -- well I won't go there. I re-inspected the stall and found two similar nails on the stall walls.

What idiots would leave a stall in this condition!!!!! This is making me really angry, so I'll sign off :-(.

Tomorrow is another day, and our class is bright and early. Bye now...


  1. I've had lots of experience with show stalls - especially the cheap or free ones - having debris or sharp objects in them. One time, I was at a Morgan show in Ohio and all four of our stalls had at least five sharp objects protruding from the walls and floor - and one of our stalls (the one we kept out 19 yr old mare that was prone to injuries in) had a big, thick, sharp nail sticking out of the side that was at her hip level. Tsk, tsk, tsk. It should be mandatory that show grounds have clean-up crews that check the stalls for debris and dangerous objects before and after every show, shouldn't it?

  2. Relieved that you are such a conscientious owner who thinks to check before putting the horse in the stall!!

    What a nightmare.

    Hope you raise a big stink about it with management - they deserve to have a scene made.

  3. IME that's just the way show stalls are.

    In addition to "extra hardware" I once was assigned an end stall missing a wall! Amazingly it took several hours for the crew to come up with a wall panel to enclose my 4 year old stallion! Then they secured it so poorly he knocked one end loose before they were able to walk away!

  4. Wow. Lesson well learned.

    Blame the show staff, but how about the people who used the stall before you did and left it that way. They bear some of the responsibility as well.

  5. Appalling! You have every right to be angry. You should send management a bill for your nail pulling services and it should equal whatever you had to pay for that death trap.

  6. That's really scary. Good thing you thought to check...I'm sure it wouldn't even occur to a lot of folks to inspect the stall in the first place. Actually, I'm surprised they haven't gotten sued over it in the past; I can't believe they've had no injuries from leaving the stalls in that kind of condition.

  7. A solidly good reminder Stacey thank you! We will be hauling up to a show here in two weeks, a good reminder to check the stalls before going in! I would be really frustrated, especially the part of the impatient people pulling in.


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