15 Telltale Signs of a Bad Horse Boarding Facility

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 2:00pm
by Andrea Schweikler

Having lived in a handful of different cities, I’ve experienced my fair share of horse boarding facilities. Some were absolutely wonderful. Others – total nightmares! Between myself and a few friends, we’ve compiled a list of our top 15 bad experiences. These are all true. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. How do you know when you’re at a bad boarding barn?

1. When the barn manager uses manure for arena footing in lieu of sand, because it’s basically the same thing. If you fall off, try to keep your mouth closed.

2. When the barn staff has a beer in his hand at 8 a.m. 5 o’clock somewhere.

3. When the head trainer steals your Banamine out of your tack trunk for personal use on himself.

4. When the barn manager calls you at 7 p.m. and tells you to come bring in your own horse for the evening. You pay full board…

5. When the barn manager threatens to fine you $50 if you don’t pick your horse’s poop up off the wash rack. Walking towards the shovel now.

6. When you pay extra for a private turnout and find your horse out with some random other horse and no one knows why.

7. When the barn manager asks you to move your tack out of the tack room since you have a house you can keep it at.

8. When your horse is in his stall for the evening, as he should be, but with his halter still on and lead rope dangling.

9. When the barn staff leaves the hose on to fill up the water trough, forgets about it all day and floods the entire pasture… on a regular basis.

10. When you are riding in the arena and the barn manager turns a loose horse out there with you.

11. When the barn manager repairs cars in the barn aisle and makes said barn “off-limits” until he’s done. Teach your horse to ground tie and tack up in the parking lot.

12. When you sign up for boarding on one day, and the very next day are informed there’s going to be a $100/month hay surcharge.

13. When the barn manager never cleans water buckets, so you clean them yourself, and get yelled at.

14. When you knock on the barn manager’s door, during business hours, and she answers in her underpants. One cannot unsee that.

15. When the barn manager calls the police out for moving your own tack, because she doesn’t want to take any chances of you “stealing” hers.

If you find instances like these happening a little too often, it might be time to look for a new barn. Do you have a boarding barn nightmare to share? Tell us your worst experiences in the comments below.