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Barns — They Make You Crazy

I tend to be pretty easy going about barns.  If the footing in the arena is good, the hay is quality, the stalls are cleaned and my horse gets turned out — I’m happy.  I’ll even live without blanket even though it gets really cold in Santa Fe.  He’s a horse.  If I don’t body clip him he grows a thick coat, and he has a stall.

But I’m at this fabulous facility (in terms of the physical plant), and I pay a lot of money to keep him there.  I’m supposed to get the basics, turn out, blanketing, and grain and hay.  Well, I buy my own grain because I prefer this Intensity product, the stalls are never bedded deeply enough.  Last snow storm there was snow blowing into his stall and he was down to the rubber mats because management hadn’t thought ahead and ordered new bags of shavings.  So there was no way for Vento to lay down in deep shavings and stay warm

Then today I arrive for a lesson to find a number of the borders gathered around a bucket filled with the hay they had pulled out of their horses stalls.  It was filled with these long branches that were lined with tiny needle-like thorns.  We were once again almost out of shavings, and a big storm is coming in tomorrow night.

My coach, Allen Swafford (who is fabulous btw) arrives, and is shown the crap hay.  I then start my lesson.  And Vento is really, really fussy.  Allen mentions he pulled a sticker out of the horse’s mouth yesterday.  So we stop and Allen looks in Vento’s mouth which is lined with sores.

Now I’m pissed.  I will put up with a lot, but not my horse suffering.  So I head off to the local feed store to buy hay.  Turns out they are no longer open on Sundays.  So I call a feed store in Albuquerque.  It is twenty to four and they close at four.  They tell me I can give them a credit card number, and they will leave the hay out by the gate.  I say okay.

I drive to Albuquerque, and call a friend to meet me and help me load the hay because the bales weight 75 pounds.  In exchange I buy him dinner.  I get back to the barn and roust out the barn manager, who isn’t actually managing anything, to help me unload the hay.  He’s making excuses about how it’s only 10 bales that had the crap in it, etc. etc.  But it’s a pattern at this place — fabulous facility — no management.

So, I’m trying to decide — do I leave?  The only barn that has a decent arena for a Grand Prix horse is Las Campanas.  90 stalls, but they have no runs, and I like my horse to be able to go outside of his 12×12 foot stall and say hi to other horses.  Also, you have to _buy_ a stall.  It’s like a condo thing.  This is nuts.  What if your horse dies?  You get to old to ride?  Now you own a stall, and I’m sure my stock broker and wills and trust attorney will think that’s just fabulous. 

But this may be my only option if things don’t turn around pretty damn fast, and stay turned around at my current barn.

Time to go shoot some Geth so I don’t yell at actual people. 

My mood — cranky.

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