running horses in

I get funny looks, when I tell people our horses are currently living 45 minutes away. They look perplexed. My answer to a common question is always the same - yes there are many stables closer. Including options less then 15 minutes away from home, and I wouldn't keep my horses at any of them.

We would love to move our horses closer to home, when we find a reasonable boarding place that fit's us. One that doesn't run horses into stalls, paddocks or holding areas, with a four wheeler, whistle or bell. Better yet, we would love to move our horses to our own home! Sigh. 

Running horses in, is my pet peeve. One that I would waiver on, under certain circumstances. Like thousands of acres, where large herds are a different scenario. I get that. I'm also not talking about calling your own horses to the gate. Picture feeding time with boarded horses from different homes, racing to be the first one to eat through a narrowing space, into a narrowing space. Keyword, narrow.

There are so many things wrong with running domesticated horses in for the evening, and so many benefits to taking the time to lead them in. Yes I know, it takes longer. A lot longer. It's a golden opportunity to reinforce respect. Doesn't matter to me how wonderful anything else is, if you don't care enough to safely lead my horse. It speaks volumes. Can you hear it? Among other things it says, you won't be "taking care" of my horses anytime soon.

I was recently asked for a boarding stable recommendation, in my general area. I was only able to give one. It's high end, and all the stuff that goes along with that. It's typically full. I know of others, but nothing recommendable. Apparently the other horse people that were asked said they also know plenty of stables in the area, but none they would recommend either. How sad. 

Know that not all the boarding stables in this area run horses in. We do have good stables, and not so good stables, that hand lead horses. With other things factored in, so far what I've seen, is not a good fit for us. They are either breed/discipline specific, costly/high end, location or other things that don't bode well. 

I sure hope there are other good boarding stables, we've yet to discover. The kind that understand the importance of hand leading. I don't care how fancy a place is, as long as it's safe. I care how my horses (and us humans) are treated. For now, we will continue to drive. It's worth it. 

Koda, Cierra and Nemo (L-R)


Anonymous said...

It's a major safety issue, and I won't board at a barn that does this. It's a barn manager's way of cutting barn costs, at the expense of horse safety. If they're cutting corners that way, they're probably doing it in other ways too.

C-ingspots said...

Absolutely Aurora!! When we entrust the care of our animals to someone other than ourselves, we have to trust. That's something that's earned, and it doesn't come cheap. At least not where my horses are concerned. I don't blame you one bit. Money well-spent if you have trust and quality care.

Shirley said...

For some reason I thought you did have your horses at home.

aurora said...

I've noticed a common theme among those that do, one of general disregard.

Shirley, our horses were living at my husbands family "home" farm for years. Unfortunately the only part we own, is the land parcel our house sits on. Altho I truly miss taking care of our horses, they are much happier now.

fernvalley01 said...

safe and happy matters far less than the mileage, I cannot believe they chase them in with a quad! I do not run a boarding facility , but if it wre my livelihood I would certainly not want to add risk of serious injury to the stock to my potential costs

Willow said...

I know what you mean, and there's no place like home. Lucky for 8 years now we have them home.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I've never heard of this practice of running horses in. I worked for a short while as a stable hand and brought every horse in by hand at dinner. It was often a bit of a feeding frenzy at the gate, but I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Stick to your guns. You'll find the right place.