Thanks for Managing With Care

I was walking laps through rain puddles with the big mare this evening under a rising full moon and thinking wistfully of the few exceptional resident barn owners/managers I’ve been able to count on over the years to go out of their way to ensure my horses and all the others trusted to their care were safe and healthy.

Is this horse napping or is he in distress? Would your barn manager know?

I mean someone I could tell that one of my horses somehow “wasn’t quite right” at some point in the day and she’d assure me she’d be certain to have a good look at that animal often in the course of her day and, especially, when she did her evening barn walk-through.

The kind of caring, conscientious person who could be trusted to:

  • Actually do a late-evening check of all the horses in her barn as a matter of course, and
  • Know enough about horses in general – and those in her care in particular – to spot when one wasn’t quite normal, and
  • Call me if something was wrong and even, sometimes, just to assure me all was well.

So thank-you again to Patty and Cheryl and Lisa for all the peace of mind you brought me and the rest of your clients. And gratitude to all the unsung horsewomen and -men the world over who quietly look after other people’s horses with caring competence.

And now I’m off into the moonlit chill to make sure the big mare is back to being the chow-hound I know her to be instead of standing demurely next to her gate watching her neighbor eat.

4 thoughts on “Thanks for Managing With Care

  1. You are SO right about trustworthy, experienced horse care! Worth their weight in diamonds! I have so many horror stories about coming to the barn, only to find my horse has been injured or not fed or has a bone dry water tank. One particularly incident happened to my then 2 yr old filly. I arrived at the barn around 7 pm to see the filly’s face COVERED in dried blood that had obviously been there for HOURS, starting from the puncture wound at her poll and running down her blaze face! And blood was still slowly dripping off her nose. That barn had a lot of different barn help: one person turned in, a different person fed and yet another person did night check and filled buckets. Not one person called me to report the incident. Needless to say I switched boarding barns – with varying degrees of care, but have not yet found anyone who cares for my horse as I would myself. Hay, water, shelter and a safe turn out. WHY is that so difficult? I’ve finally resigned myself to boarding close enough to home so I can check on him ever day. . . Until I can buy my own place.

    • I wish I knew why, Allana. But, from talking to a lot of people about their boarding situations over the past six months or so, I find the feelings of worry and pressure to be there every day to check on their horses is an all-too-common theme. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether the facility in question is a high-dollar full-care facility or any of the less pricey options. There’s something pretty wrong when horse owners are basically begging their fellow boarders to “please watch out for my horse and call me if you notice anything wrong” because owners/managers can’t be counted on to do what they are paid for – to care for horses.
      I hear a lot of “if only I had my own place” wishes, too, though that brings challenges and problems of its own. For myself, I just want my horses living in a place where I know if I go away on a vacation I won’t have to carry along a constant little concern that one of my horses could be standing in a stall bleeding or colicking for hours with nobody noticing.

  2. I agree! I have learned over time to have “horse owner’s peace of mind” is far more important than any special feature offered and money can not buy the sense of security it brings. It’s peaceful, consistent, honest care and communication that builds a high quality reputation.

    • So true. All the superficial amenities in the world can’t make up for caring, ethical, intelligent people looking out for your boarded horse day after day.

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