What a wonderful time of year this is. No matter how busy, the best feeling in the world is walking into our barn full of horses just waiting for us. I can't wait to take a horseback ride through the snow!
It's inevitable that we will have some sort of ice/snow emergency throughout the winter. In these instances it comes down to preparation. If the weather is going to occur overnight, we will all meet at the barn to "double down" our stalls. If the weather is coming in later in the day, the horses can stay out as long as possible, and the AM person will "double down" their usual stalls, and the PM person will arrive to do the rest. Everyone should get to the barn before the weather to help prep their horses if at all possible. I have found through personal experience with last years blizzard, the best way to do this;
1. Double or triple bed your stall. This will be a complete disaster the following day and there will be no bedding left to save. A stripping and rebedding of the stall will be necessary. Therefore, please make sure that you always have a minimum of two bags of bedding reserved for this instance and stored in the barn.
2. Water. We will add two buckets of water per stall to get them through an extended period. If you have room in your stall to hang another besides the two, then by all means! Non-heated buckets will be filled with warm water to delay freezing.
3. Hay. We will add enough hay to get them through an extended period of time in their stalls. This will mean stuffing the hay bag until it's at maximum, and then adding as much hay into the wall hay rack as it will hold.
4. Communication. This will more than likely mean a three way call as the storm is wrapping up. Once it's safe to drive, whomever can get to the barn first to check on the horses and water and give them their grain will. From there we will all meet back at the barn for the clean up. This will mean shoveling a path to the gate so the horses can get out, and then each of us taking care of our stalls and helping one another out.
Hopefully if any thing like this happens, it only happens once! Fingers crossed!
The horses are getting a full bale out in their pasture right now. (I am experimenting with the idea of bringing in a round bale, but have to speak to the landowners and property management first.) However, on days like today where it's 17 degrees outside, it's best to err on the side of caution and put two bales out. I've noticed them walking away from their hay for a while and then coming back to it later. This means that it's lasting a lot longer out there that I thought. Please keep observing to see if we need to add more hay at a later time in the day.
Since we are using more hay, please be sure to take some time at the end of your feed, or at least once per week, to bring over 3-6 bales of hay. The dolly can easily hold 3 bales, but if you really want some exercise you can just walk it over ;) We go through it too quickly now to stack any less than 3 at a time. It is much appreciated by each boarder the next day!
The spreader is down for a bit. For now, we are dumping in the aisle behind the gator and I am taking it out to the pile by the woods a few times per week. I ask any weekend shifts to help scoop some of the manure pile into the back of the gator for me to take out on Saturday evening. If we all do a little, then it won't be so bad!
The dumpster will be arriving the first week in January and we are working to make it so that the dumpster sits right outside the barn door. This way we can dump right into the container and not have to front end load it a few times per week. This means no pile!
Boarding Rates & Fees
- Beginning on April 1st, the new base rate for 2017 boarding fees will be as follows, (rates are subject to change base upon capacity);
- Co-op board - 4 feeds per week: $125.00; Co-op board - 3 feeds per week: 185.00; Co-op board - 2 feeds per week: $245.00; Full Board - $405.00. We will also be offering retirement board, but a price has not been determined as the planning phase is still underway.
- Board will be payable to JMP Equestrian Management Services by the 5th of the month so that I can deliver one check to the landlords by the 15th of the month. A receipt will be given for cash, check, and money orders. Rent not paid by the 16th will be subject to a late fee.
- In addition to this change, there is a $75.00 fee, per horse, due by June 15th. This cash will be held in a lockbox in the barn. We will all have access to it in order to pay for incidentals. This money will be used to replace broken pitch forks, or replacing a hose or extension cord etc., and a ledger and receipts for any purchases will be distributed to members quarterly. Any money not used at the end of the year will be put towards next year's fees whereby lowering the amount due the following June. It's amazing what necessary small expenses pop up through out the year, and as of right now, I've been covering them out of pocket.
- Any future boarders will pay a last months rent as a deposit to be held by the landlords.
- Stalls not continuously bedded, will be subject to a $160-$200 fee (based on going price for 1/4" thick mats from Tractor Supply) for the cost of replacing the stall mats. There will be an additional transport and instillation fee as well.
Blankets & Coolers
It's that time of year! If you have any special blanketing instructions to give the PM feed person, please don't forget to do so!
In the event that a boarder is going to be away for an extended period of time, it is advisable that each of us have the name and number of a person or persons, whom we can hire to come in to take our place. The means of which a boarder works this out in terms of payment, is completely up to the parties, but anyone coming in to help on your behalf needs to be trustworthy and well versed in our simple routine. They will also need to sign a waiver, and their contact information added to our emergency board.
The additional option that a boarder has is to pay an increased rate of board for the time that they need. For instance, if for a 30 day period a boarder can only feed 2x per week, then they can pay an increased rate of $170 and the additional $60 will be evenly divided among the boarders next month's board. We are all here to help one another in the true spirit of cooperative horsemanship, but it works best if we invest a small amount of time in making sure that we've covered as many bases as we can in order to not have to rely too heavily for too long on the others.
Vetting, Teeth Floating, & Worming
Vet: Dr. Goodall will be coming out at the end of January to give spring shots. This farm call is split between all owners who participate in this appointment. If you chose to do your shots at a later time, the farm call becomes part of your invoice. I ask that all inoculations be done by April.
Dentist: Our dentist will be out in February, date to be announced. Please let me know if you are joining in so that we can have everyone who needs to be done seen at one time. If your horse requires a tranquilizer, please inform me before I make the appointment so that preparations can be made. I will be on site to hold horses for the dentist.
Wormer: After much debate and research, I've become one of the 2x per year wormers. I rotate times and products every year. If my horses travelled or if our fields weren't constantly raked & rotated, I may do things differently. But the past 10 years of doing it this way have yielded zero problems. Alas if you chose to worm more than every 6 months, that is more than fine!
I started with October/April worming then the following year November/May, and now January/July. This time of year we need to use an Oxibendazole or a Fenbendazole formula. This rotation, I will be using Panacur Paste. For any of this to work the entire herd has to be done at once. I will be worming horses on January 14th. Please leave a tube(s) of Panacur with your January board check if you would like me to worm your horse for you. Alternatively, you can leave $10 in the tackroom the week before and I will happily pick it up for you on my supply run. If you are worming yourself that Friday, please leave me a note.
This year was a lot of hard work with a full house, but it was a great time for me. I hope that it was for all of you as well. I look forward to some snowfall rides with you all, maybe even a few trips down hill #1 in the sled! I look even more forward to spring, but we'll save that for next newsletter ;)
I leave you with sugar cookie & hot chocolate wishes for a very bright and highly prosperous new years! Merry Christmas!
Jenna & Scarlett
Best prices on wormer...and tax free!
DATES TO REMEMBER
- January 14th: Horses get wormed
- January 15th: January board is due
- January TBA: Spring shots