An Open Letter to Boarders Everywhere

Photo by Kelly Conley. Photo by Kelly Conley.

We’re all trying. We’re trying to care for your horses to the best of our abilities, make you happy while also trying to make a living. Do you know how difficult it is? To wake up before the sun rises every morning to take care of horses we don’t own for little to no recognition or gratitude? To always put your happiness and your horses well being before our sleep or clean house?

Don’t get me wrong, we love it. We love getting to bond with your horses and seeing them mature. We love being able to build a relationship with you. We want to be apart of your life in a good way. We want you to trust us with the care of your horses, because we care.

It’s hard though. When you don’t come to see your own horses for weeks at a time, even though we are here everyday. Sometimes I wonder if we have a stronger connection with them now. In some cases we do.

We get that you each have very different, busy lives and can’t always make it out but you have to remember your horse depends on you. They want to see you because they are bonded to you. Sure, they know we feed them, but they also know you own them– not us. Please try to do right by them.

We are friends. It may not be the most professional move, to make friends with clients but it’s inevitable. We spend countless hours with you and your horse and have countless conversations with each other, at some point we formed a friendship. We speak the same language and home is the barn for us all.

When you move out, it hurts us more than it appears to. You take a piece of our hearts with you when you leave. Most of the time you say hurtful things when you go, that too hurts us. We’ve tried our hardest and you just disregard every sacrifice we have had to endure. We go nights with little sleep and days with hard labor to ensure the well being of your animal. Please don’t give up on us but if for some reason you do, be respectful.

We are thankful for you, although we get frustrated and have to get on your case sometimes, we wouldn’t be living our dream without you. We are thankful for your business, for your emotional support when we’re going through a hard time.

We are thankful for your loyalty and your willingness to pitch in when one of us has pneumonia. I couldn’t have my horses and compete if it wasn’t for you wll. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for enabling me to do what I love most.

When you move your horse not only does it hurt us personally, it hurts us financially. I know you may not take that side of things into consideration but when you leave we are losing money needed to pay our bills and take care of our families.

Your $300 may not be a big deal to you, but to us its the difference between keeping our electric on or using candles in the bathroom to shower. Paying before the first of the month may seem unnecessary to you, but we have bills that are due also. When you don’t pay on time, you make us late on our payments. Please, be mindful of what you’re going to effect on our end of things.

Our barn is our pride and joy. Chances are the owner of your farm has put a lot of time, money and effort into making the barn as clean and inviting as possible. When you don’t sweep up after yourselves you’re disrespecting our hard work.

You wouldn’t go to someone else’s house, break a glass and just leave it on the floor, would you? So why do you think its okay to leave your horses poop in the washrack or his hoof dirt in the isle? Please clean up after yourself and help us keep the barn a clean and safe place for everyone involved.

People spread rumors. Boarders come and go like a revolving door sometimes. That’s the business though. People leave unhappy with how much sawdust is in a stall and start spreading rumors that you starve horses or neglect them. These people left on a bad note and feel it their personal responsibility to try and ruin everything we work to build. Don’t believe those people.

If we didn’t care for the horses we wouldn’t have a boarding facility. We want to build something so very special– a legacy perhaps. Don’t make assumptions after hearing rumors from people who couldn’t afford our services. Make sure you always pick the boarding option you can afford and understand what all is entailed. Please don’t knock us ’til you try us.

We love you. We love each and everyone of you, past, future and present. We will always be here for you, through weddings and break ups, to graduations and the losses of your best horsey friends. You can always count on us.

And to the boarders who have come and gone: you have been my very bestfriends and have given me some of my favorite memories.  You all taught me so much about love, life and eventually forgiveness. I miss you all and will always hold you and your horses in my heart.

In the end, every barn owner around the world is working for you. We’re working to give you the best of everything we possibly can. But, it takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a perfect farm. Bare with us, for we will share our world with you and will cherish your horses just as much as you do.