Monday, December 10, 2007

Moving Panama

I've decided to move Panama from the stables he is at now. There are many reasons for this, but they fall into two basic categories:

I don't feel he is safe and well cared for where he's at.

The owner is very lackadaisical about horse care and the upkeep of the facilities. Some of these are minor problems, some are more serious:

* Ongoing problems with mold in the hay, probably having to do with the fact that he stores some of it outside with only a tarp as protection from the elements...

* Infrequent breaking of the ice in their water troughs during cold weather — once I had to give a horse water because hers was frozen all the way through, even though the owner had already been out there that morning...

* Infrequent manure removal — there is a HUGE manure pile in the yard, and as many as four wheelbarrows frequently sit in the yard with full loads of manure...

* Lack of attention to the horses' needs or condition — one horse is so skinny her sides cave in behind her ribs; another boarder told me about a horse who got sick, stopped eating, and died over a period of several days, and the stable owner never noticed!

* Infrequent (two or three times a week at best) stall cleanings, even though he calls his facility "full care" — sometimes it's so bad that the horses are all standing in six inches of manure, and he actually told me once that he doesn't think they care!

* Poor maintenance in and around the barn — for example, once he pointed out to me a repair that needed done in one of the stalls, laughed about it, and said it was "an accident waiting to happen." Uh, whose responsibility does he think that is?

I can get real full care for less than $100 extra each month.

My visits to the stables are taking more and more time out of my days. I'm basically taking care of everything the stable owner should be: cleaning my horse's stall, turning him out, cleaning his water trough and filling it, even giving the other horses water! I really need to be able to work more hours, and I'm never going to be able to do that if Panama stays where he is.

I started looking at other facilities, and realized that there are quite a few that offer real full care — i.e. daily stall cleaning, daily turnout, etc. — for only about $100 more each month. I quickly found a place that I like — a place that actually treats it like both a business and a moral responsibility to provide good care for the horses. They get high quality hay there, clean water, daily turnout, and their stalls are cleaned daily. The horses even look and act happier than the ones where I am now.

I've given my notice at my current place, and just need to decide how much of an overlap I can afford to pay for — the sooner I can get Panama moved, the better!

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