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Should I move farms?

Due to increasing charges, I had to move my gelding to a new facility in July.

I’ve had a lot of trouble as a rider and am wondering what would you do?

-Super close
-I trust the handling of my horse
-Lots of turnout
-Lots of hay
-My horse is relaxed and content
-I’ve made some new friends
-the barn layout is easy for my boy - my horse is quirky with doorways.

-indoor ring is hardly drug and has a huge rut all the time
-Indoor ring is super narrow
-Outdoor ring is deep, hard and/or muddy in many spots
-Barn is very busy based on size of arenas and riding space is tight based on the above comments
-MICE. I’ve spent over $100 buying traps, repellent and totes. I had baby mice chewing my splint boots and saddle pads. There is debris all over- blankets, saddle pads, garbage, untouched crap all over. They cleaned the grain room and found a family of 7 under the pallets of grain
-They often leave horses outside in severe weather- there are no runins or shelter at all
-I have found mealworm larvae in my supplement bin, meaning they are infesting the grain or hay or something. I’ve found 3 in the last week.
-communication is not good. I am often left out of the loop or not informed about things. They gave my horse hay after getting this teeth floated an hour before the vet said was OK. They didn’t ask me or tell me and I had been in and out all day.

I’m hesitant to move him because:
-I just literally moved him
-it’s going to be winter very soon. My horse is quirky about doorways and I don’t want to unsettle him and have an issue
-my other option is a 35 to 40 minute drive compared to a 10 min drive. I’m talking 50+ miles round trip compared to 10 miles.
-the other option is also another $100. Definitely doable but has been nice to save $$

Is enough enough? Should I just bite the bullet, deal with the drive and go? Or should I winter it out?

Since your horse is comfortable I would wait until spring and then consider the options then.


What does this mean? It seems like a very strange thing to use in choosing a facility. It seems to me that it would be simpler to train your horse to behave appropriately when walking through doorways than to choose facilities based on this one hole in his training.

Leaving that aside, I generally choose horse welfare over rider convenience. It sounds like your current facility may not be ideal on either front, though? I would choose the facility that provides the healthiest environment and best care for your horse.


It’s not a hole in training- he’s been abused / had some trauma. It’s panic and sometimes terror. Set yourself up for success is my motto. The less scary doorways the better for all involved parties.

That’s what i’m asking CotH- are these things acceptable? Am I being dramatic? Or are these things seriously not OK?

I’m a footing freak so that would be enough for me to move. Bad footing is an accident waiting to happen.
FWIW, it’s probably pantry moths not mealworms. Once you get an infestation it’s really hard to eradicate them. They aren’t dangerous just irritating.


The footing really kills me. I was told it was regularly drug and I didn’t know the outdoor was the way it was till I moved in.

I figured the worms weren’t dangerous… but worms and mice? It’s heeby jeeby gross.

I would move but my reasoning would be the mice and them doing little to prevent population gross. They are nasty little creatures that give me the heeby jeebies. I have a massive fear of mice if you can’t tell.

I know every barn has mice, mine does, but I have traps everywhere and they aren’t living in my feed room.

The lack of communication and footing issues would be my deal breakers.


Mice are a PITA and if you have a barn, you constantly deal with field mice. You always have to have some sort of trap around for them. They try to move in when it gets colder. However, if they are eating tack that’s an infestation, not a few trying to find a warm place to spend the winter.

I think field mice are adorable (they remind me of my gerbil I had growing up) but I still trap them because I mice spread diseases are not adorable.


RE: The Mice

It is an infestation. I’ve had mice dive bomb me when I was getting something out of my locker. I had 5 babies in my locker. I’ve sprayed so much repellent. I’ve had 2 caught and killed. One was thrown from my locker. I have put EVERYTHING into large totes and kept my saddle in my car for two weeks. I go every other day to the barn so my stuff is touched and moved on the regular.

The owner put some poison in my locker and I’ve seen dead ones around, but there’s piles of crap every where. Blankets and saddle pads and bags and tarps and open food containers. They will never go away if these conditions exist. Based on what I see – they will forever have a place to hide and food to eat inside the barn.

In the mornings, I flip on the lights and see some scurry away. When I’m alone in the morning, I’ve heard MULTIPLE crawling around in other people’s lockers.

I’ve cried. Taken so many hot showers after the barn. I’ve had nightmares and sleepless nights about the mice. They are cute, but they are ruining my shit and they JUMP AT ME!

At one point, they were in my medical bin and chewed the packaging of gauze. Two girls at the barn ousted a family from my locker. They came back the next day.

They peed and pooped all over my saddle pads and polos. They even chewed one of my saddle pads (which is when I started the tote thing)

I’m in constant fear a mouse is going to pop out of my locker. I have two traps in there. A repellent pouch. I spray it with repellent every other day (which gives me a sore throat). I still find fresh poop.

I CAN fortify my locker like fort knox. But should I just move? LOL

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Re The Mice

I would be out of there like a shot. I got to the phrase “swarmed by mice” and I was NOPE. What with that and the footing issues I would be so out of there.


It is time to bid this part of your boarding experience adieu and move on to something that will allow you to get a proper night’s sleep.



I am grossed out just reading your post about mice. That is UNACCEPTABLE. And unsanitary.

Move. Now.

The mice around is enough. Especially because they carry viruses and it sounds like they are in your horse’s food.


I wasn’t sure if I was just being a baby. I know mice happen. And yes I’m a girl and squeal and run away crying.

I texted the owner like “Sorry to be annoying but the mice are really bad and jumped out at me”
Her reply was, " :rofl: "

That was it. That’s when I was like “time start looking at barns again”


I would have never returned except with a trailer if a mouse jumped out at me. That’s an insane infestation and reeks of lack of an unhealthy environment.

F&ck that. Leave…… now.


In the meantime Rap Last works well to repel the little diseased creatures. Spray the outside of your locker with it.

I spray the perimeter of my stalls, feed room, and my house with it monthly.


We are dealing with rats at our barn. We had a population explosion the past year after second generation rat poison was banned in our province

It takes a coordinated approach. Everyone has to tidy up and store blankets and crap. Everyone has to put feed in rodent proof containers. Then you need to rat proof anything you can, like feed rooms and storage lockers etc. Then a coordinated trapping program and poison if allowed in your jurisdiction.

You cannot control rodents in your area if the rest of the barn is slobs and doesn’t care. And the problem will not solve itself.

I would move.


Thank you. I am going to look at another barn this evening.

My thoughts were exactly that – if everyone continues to be a slob and leave open feed containers around, they will just keep coming back. There are things sitting around that haven’t been touched in years. Just piles of junk. Ugh.


yeah get out now.
adding up what you have spent on rat traps, ruined equipment, and of course the inevitable future vet bills, I think what you will spend in gas driving further to another barn will be much cheaper and you can’t put a price on peace of mind. Get out.


I am by no means a spic and span show barn person. That kind of tidiness would drive me crazy. I like a lived in Barn. But I also can not stand major disorder that starts to impact the functionality of a place, whether a home or workplace or barn. When things get that bad, it’s a sign of not quite coping, and that can spread to other things. It can also be a sign of hoarding. I would expect to find more things not done right over time, of which tolerating a major mouse infestation is just the most obvious symptom. Horse people tend to have access to pickup trucks and some able bodied extra help, so they have the tools to organize a clean up and dump run affordably.

Also hantavirus. You really dont want to be breathing mouse poop nonstop