Recently I’ve been on the hunt for a new place to keep my horse. I’ve searched high end, low end and everything in between. Regardless of price point, these are 5 things that every facility should be doing.
1) Providing good quality feed. Depending on your area, that may or may not include grain. Regardless, the hay should be good quality. There shouldn’t be mold in it, it shouldn’t be dried out and colorless or full of stems. Good quality hay should be a standard. We know hay is expensive and we understand. Some facilities have switched to hay cubes or hay pellets to save money. Whatever feed you decide to offer, please make sure your boarders know from the get go what it will be and that it is good quality!
2) Fly Control – Please provide it! We don’t want to show up at the barn and see our horse covered in flies. Whether that be a fly spray system, fly predators, or something as simple as storing the manure away from the horses so that it doesn’t attract all the flies to them. Please remember, when people are coming to visit your facility, no matter how wonderful it is when people look at the horses and see them covered in flies, they don’t see that as a good sign.
3) A drama free environment! We all want to enjoy our time at the barn. Please remember to provide a drama free environment for your boarders. The best way to do this is to lead by example. Post a clear set of rules and guidelines for everyone to follow and stick to them. Nobody should get special treatment.
4) Good footing is a must! Footing is one of the first things I check when visiting a new barn. So many injuries happen because of bad footing. Sometimes it’s too deep, sometimes it’s too hard, sometimes it’s full of rocks, and sometimes it’s non existent! Please provide great footing and maintain it daily to keep it nice.
5) Clean stalls, clean cross ties, clean barns! This should be a give in, but unfortunately it’s not. It doesn’t matter if the horses are in box stalls, outside corrals, pasture or anything else; they should all be kept clean. The cleaner your facility the less flies you will have. I’m not asking for flower pots on every corner, just pick up the manure, pick up the pee and keep your barn isles swept. If you set the standard, your boarders will follow.
I get it, some of these things cost more money. Just remember, most people would gladly spend a little bit more to be at a clean, drama free facility with good footing, good feed and no flies! Share this on Facebook if you agree!