Saturday, January 16, 2016

The post in which I think I need to move my horse.

This title leaves nothing to the imagination, does it?

I've been meaning to write some posts but have so far failed at doing so. To be honest, nottt a whole ton of Digby stuff going on. I'm about to start working night shift again so that's usually the time of year my blog reading and posting ramps up. 

Back to the point of this post. My barn owner/manager has moved off the property a few months ago. She still runs the barn but someone else is living on the property. This doesn't upset me too much, as she promised she would be around and still checking on them. I enjoyed the care in the summer when I was helping turnout and she still lived there. It has decreased ten fold since then. Ok Becky, settle down. Not everyone is perfect and his basic needs are still being met. He has a clean stall, has water, has some hay, and gets turned out. That being said, in case you haven't ever read my blog, my horse is not subtle when he is unhappy. This is fine because I expect this from him and I'm not subtle. It is not fine in the fact that he's being an absolute *insert allllll the profanity here*. Probably because he's miserable.

I had written a post about an month ago and then deleted it because it was whiny as all hell. The basis was I went to the barn, they were bringing in. I helped bring in Digby and his turnout buddy, Ghost. Ghost has a fun trick where he slams his head to the ground to eat grass. It's pretty annoying and one of my horse pet peeves. Ghost, in true form, tried to do this. He almost succeeded. In my semi battle with Ghost, Digby had started grazing. I thought nothing of this other than, again, my pet peeve but he is well trained, and asked them to keep walking. Digby decided he didn't want to and planted his feet. I clucked and pulled on the lead rope and he pulled back. He then backed up when I didn't give in on asking him to move forward. We proceeded to back the entire length of their field until he realized it was probably easier to just do what I asked. They both walked in perfectly after that. The barn owner told me afterwards that she was glad Digby did that with me. I asked her what she meant and she told me that he does that all the time now. I apologized as I didn't know he had been being bad with her and told her to bring a crop. The next time he refuses to go forward, tap him and he'll go. My horse is quite clever and will take advantage of people if he thinks he can get something good out of the deal. She laughed at me and said she wouldn't do that because then he'd get away from her…

I'm not sure if I wrote about that incident but she had left the horses in (rightfully so) one day due to unusually cold temps and it was pouring all day. I had told her husband who helps with the horses that Digby can be bad when going out if he's been in for a while so be careful tomorrow. I stressed this heavily and made sure that he knew I was leaving Digby's rope halter out or they could use a chain if they wanted. Digby tends to hate chains and fight them harder. I like his rope halter because it adds extra brakes without making him fight you but honestly, whatever they were more comfortable with and thought they'd be safe with. They are both older, in their late 60s, and we didn't need Digby injuring either of them. They turnout around 9 AM and I'm at work, otherwise I'd help put him out. He said thanks for the heads up. Apparently the message didn't get passed along or they poo-pooed my story thinking it was an exaggeration. Digby got loose and was running around the property for about 10 minutes before they caught him. He didn't get hurt and they didn't get hurt which was good. Since then, she's been a bit afraid of him. They now use a chain daily over his nose for turnout. In case you met my horse, this reaaaally isn't necessary for daily turnout. Whatever.

Basically my horse lacks all manners. I have to install them into him almost every time I see him. Super.  So they're afraid of him, he's smart and knows he can get away with almost anything. Among other things, they will no longer change his blanket. I work nights so I sleep in the afternoon. I will not be able to do blanket changes at 4 PM when they come in. I will not be able to check on him around 8 PM to make sure he has tons of hay to last until 8-9 AM when she comes in to feed. We're in the middle of an EHV-1 crisis (read Alli's post on it here) and they allowed a new boarder to come onto the property, with zero quarantine, put him within 20 feet of my horse and then lied to me about where the horse is being turned out. I drove past the barn yesterday (I was working but luckily got to drive right past the barn!) and this new horse was OUT WITH MY HORSE. I almost crashed the farm truck. I had specifically asked where it was going out and they said alone for the first few weeks. I didn't bother to check because I believed them. Well, ok then. I guess I shouldn't have?

As one horse professional to another, it is not acceptable to say you'll do blanket changes, it's included in board, I ask for a blanket to be taken off (it was below 20 at night and 45 and sunny during the day) and then when I come to the barn, my horse is turned out wearing his blanket. More than once. It is not acceptable to turn a new horse out with my horse, after I specifically mentioned the EHV news and that 4 horses have died. It is not acceptable to regularly feed at 5 PM, leave the barn by 5:15 PM and not return until 8-9 AM. It is not acceptable to not open a stall door all the way and have another boarders horse slice open her entire side and then pretend it isn't a big deal and get sassy at me, a client who is paying you, when I asked how it happened and why you used all my betadine to clean it. It is not acceptable to not respond to my texts 95% of the time. It is not acceptable to shit talk (no other way to word that) other boarders if they leave. It's not reasonable for me to pay for full board and then still have to go make sure he has enough hay to get through the night, make sure he has enough water because a few times he didn't, give him his electrolytes in the extreme weather changes because you can't remember to, and do all blanket changes myself. All this after a board increase? Nah, I'm good.

Moral of the story, I have had zero luck finding Digby a new home and I very much did not want to move him. I believe I'm going to have to anyway. Damnit. So, wish me luck?


  1. Sending good vibes. If it was up to me I would be the only human my horses ever came into contact with hahah

    1. Exactly this. Maybe a few exceptions. Do you ever look at other horse owners who aren't as OCD and simultaneously feel horrified they aren't as particular as you and wish you could be a little more like that? I do. But I know I won't change my standards of horse care, even tho it's exhausting because almost no one/barn does it 100% the way I would.

    2. Right?! I think it makes it worse when you work with horses yourself. I wish I could be less particular but at the same time, I expect professionalism out of barn owners/managers/farriers/vets.

  2. ugh what a crappy situation, i'm so sorry. i'd be pretty unhappy with that situation too. sincerely wishing you the best of luck finding a more permanent solution for Digby :(

  3. Thanks! You're always so nice and positive :)