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opinions of self care/co op boarding stables?

Discussion in 'Horses, Donkeys and Mules' started by MsPony, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Oct 19, 2010
    MsPony

    MsPony Lovin' The Homestead

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    Ugh, I have the unfortunate luck of living in Santa Barbara/Goleta, smack in the middle so I am not close to any of the surrounding areas. I am trying desperately to find a new barn, all I want is pen with pasture turn out option and not a huge show barn. SO HARD. I have a KICK BUTT barn set up, err had, but its 45 mins away, closing time is 6 pm and I will be taking over 9am shifts at work while my coworker is on maternity. Its not appetizing to get up at 5am to go play woth Swinger, he's not a morning pony either.

    So I have one last barn to look at, I'm scanning the feed store ads, but today my customer was telling me about the local unversities HBA. Its self care/coop, CHEAP, they provide hay and a few minutes away from Swings and I favorite beach/bluffs.

    However, I have never done a self care/co op situation, what is everyones opinions on it? People will turn him out for a few hours when I can't, but there's no one living on premises. I'm worried about him colicking at night. I dunno :/ Thoughts? I know there are a few horse people on here who would know this stuff...
     
  2. Oct 19, 2010
    adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Lovin' The Homestead

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    I have done that type of set up. I also boarded for years. At 2 am no one is looking at your horses in either case. In the one self care place I was at there were more eyes around and more interested knowledgeable people than several of the boarding places I had been. The good side to that was that my horses were seen way more, and a note was left for me if they had any concerns, or I was called if it was more urgent. Some boarding barns are very quiet and no one notices anything if they are there. On the flip side some of those places are like a small town everyone knows your business type cliche too. It really all depends on the folks that participate. Go see it and spend enough time there to get to know the people that attend. Often they have care and work agreements between the members too, so you agree to clean up on Tuesdays and she does your horse pen on Fridays or such. That makes for a nice day off if you have other commitments.

    Now I'm in a place where my horses are at home and while I love it there is some things that I miss, the companionship of the riders there, and knowing some eyes are on my horses when I'm not around. My horses have never had such little supervision yet I can spend more time with them due to the zero commute. Sometimes I just take my coffee outside and sit with them in the pasture, never could do that before, but I head to work for a 12 hour shift and if they get tangled in wire 10 minutes after I leave it's not going to be a good sight by the time I get home.
     
  3. Oct 19, 2010
    FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Super Self-Sufficient

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    You have to go visit this place. Without seeing it first hand you really can't decide if it is right for your horse. Sounds good tho, but upon inspection you might say, OH Hell No....haha

    I board a few good years before buying my farm. I was always at a regular boarding stable when someone always was on the premises. Never did a self care option, always paid for full board lol

    I like the word cheap because boarding is getting so expensive everywhere. Buying ur own feed isn't bad and maybe the pastures will be exceptional. But go look.

    hope this place is wonderful for you...ya never know
     
  4. Oct 19, 2010
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Crazy Cat Lady

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    I think you should look into it. Especially since you are desperate.

    The part about nobody there at night is not (to me) so much a colic or injury issue -- because realistically at normal barns where someone DOES live on the premises, they are still not out there with the horses, and most places don't even do a late-night check -- as a theft type issue. But realistically, horse theft is quite rare. Especially with horse prices the way they are now, unless yours is obviously a very valuable performance animal.

    So I would approach it the same as looking at any boarding situation -- what are the fences like in terms of visibility and safety, how safe are the other parts of the facility, do the other horses there seem healthy and happy and well-worked-with -- with the addition that it becomes EXTRA important that you get along with, and approve of the general skills and attitudes of, the other people there. And feel comfortable that they will not go doing things that will be harmful to your horse or make you too crazy.

    Quite honestly I will tell you that all but one of the co-op boarding situations that I have known well enough to have an opinion of, I would sell my horse before keeping it there. HOWEVER that one other one was *great* and if I could have gotten in there I most certainly would have! (Moved out of area while still on their waiting list). So it certainly can work.

    Best of luck, hope this works out for you, I certainly do know how hard it can be to find affordable yet good-quality (or even just 'acceptable') boarding within say a 45 minute drive of where you live (ask me about when I used to live in NJ east of New Brunswick, heh),

    Pat
     
  5. Oct 21, 2010
    MsPony

    MsPony Lovin' The Homestead

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    Thanks for your help guys!! I'm going to go check it out and hoping its up to my standards :D Realllly hoping, I want to be NEXT to the beach so I don't have to hitch up and drive the 5 miles.
     
  6. Oct 21, 2010
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    I would say check it out and make sure it's what you want. Where I have my horses, it used to be a co-op situation. It was a private farm, and everyone was supposed to pitch in and help do the chores. And, at first, everyone did. Then, some people left, and others came in. And, the new people did not do squat. They more or less expected full service from the BO. So, she basically divided up the farm. Everyone has their own area, own run in, tack/feed area, etc. She provides basic care for those that pay "full" board. (Way less than at other barns, but w/out all the extras, like cleaning stalls. They want more, they can either do it themselves, or go someplace else.)

    As for me, I do self care now. Plus, I still help her out when I can. As a result, I pay way less than I would anyplace else. She let me build an 8 x 12 tack/feed shed on the property. I still have to finish the inside, but when it's done, I will basically be able to live in it if need be. (I have slept in it when I'm going away early the next morning.) I have a privacy shelter next to it w/a portable camping toilet in it, plus I have a battery operated "shower" so I can take a hot shower if need be. I use a solar shower to heat the water.

    She also lets me keep my chickens out there, and I have room to store my hay. I also have a camp stove out there, as well as a large pile of wood for burning outside. If it was a bit bigger, I'd have a wood stove inside. For me, it's the next best thing to having my horses in my backyard. I really enjoy building a fire, and sitting back to watch my horses.
     
  7. Oct 22, 2010
    valmom

    valmom Crafter

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    I boarded most of my life until 1998 when everyone moved to the home farm. It was never a coop, but I would think it could be either very good or very bad depending on how much the other people work to keep their horses. Some people's version of a clean stall or sufficient feed differs drastically from yours, and it may lead to conflicts. Other than that, it really is a time commitment to feed and clean if there aren't cooperative agreements between the boarders.
     
  8. Oct 22, 2010
    FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Super Self-Sufficient

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    the best day of my horse life was when I got my own land

    what a huge difference in how I viewed my horses at that point...so much fun to see them from the kitchen window in the pasture and no "other" boarders to deal with. I never had a nightmare stable while boarding, but nightmare owners were there boarding also...lol

    When are you going to check out this place...give a report back.
     

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