View Full Version : Sick of my agisters

21-08-06, 06:22 AM
Well excuse me while I have a whinge about why I am sick of running agistment.
First there's the TB mare who's owners do nothing for her. Her feet are just left until they start to crack, even though every time my horses are done I ring them and say 'would you like to get her feet trimmed?' but it's always 'ummm...no, we'll organise our own farrier...' which they never do. Last time I just got my farrier to do her feet anyway, then told her owners they owed me an extra $30 with their agistment fee. They were a bit miffed!
Another agistee has a very skinny TB but they provide no extra feed, even though I told them that over winter she would need it. She looked shocking, even though I was giving her some grass hay every day out of my own supplies. I also suggested that she needed a rug as that would help keep condition on; again, nothing.
Another agistee has a gelding who has to be kept on his own 'because he doesn't like other horses and is happier on his own'. This is frankly bulls*** as I see him every day interacting, playing and neck-grooming with my gelding over the fence. There is no aggression, and I think the real reason for his isolation is not to get his rugs damaged. The owner has now brought her own temporary electric fence and set it up 3 feet from the boundary fence between her gelding and the other horses because his neck rug was coming undone from him 'playing' over the fence. The horse is too heavily rugged anyway in my opinion, but his coat has to be kept perfect for showing, so now he can't even touch the other horses with his nose.
Shall I continue? I have a guy agisting his recently purchased yearling filly, again, she is 'too valuable' to be in with another horse so is on her own. She has barely been handled, and because when he comes to see her he can't catch her even in the smallish paddock, he has requested the use of my stable to keep her in for 'a few weeks' so he can handle her. Sorry, but I don't think this is a good enough justification for keeping her locked up and isolated from even the sight of other horses, except for his 1/2 hour daily visit.
This guy is Mr. Know it all when it comes to horses, he has asked that neither me nor any of my children or partner touch or handle his filly in any way, but to call him if she needs help. Yeah, sure, if she gets her rug (another over-rugger) over her head and panics, I will ring you at work and wait for you to arrive......NOT!!
I have come to the conclusion that everyday horse people are not only ignorant about horses and their needs, but arrogant and unwilling to accept advice. Maybe I should just quit having agistment, it's driving me nuts!

21-08-06, 06:45 AM
Hi sunday, (hehehe it is sunday too..lol)

I also wanted to have some land a run a agistment place of my own, maybe not now....lol where abouts are you? I was looking for agistment in Melb, but found some about 20 minutes away, you sound like you need a good drink.


Suzie Q
21-08-06, 07:25 AM
I KNOW exactly where you are coming from Sunday!!!

I am away from it at the moment and the only idiot I see around horses is ME!!!!

RH Bobbie
21-08-06, 07:27 AM
GAH I can totally sympathise with you sunday!
Although I must admit it is only one agisitor at my property who is driving me nuts lately. Well actually has been from the beginning.

It's taken me a while but Ive finally come to realise that I will not interfere with her horses in any way, shape or form unless its a life or death situation.
It's still very heart breaking having to sit back and watch the horrible things that go on but there is absolutely ntohing I can do.

Tramp... have you figured out a way to get rid of her? even though you found a nice new place I still want you to help me! heheh

show mum
21-08-06, 08:31 AM
Hi Sunday,

I can completely understand how you feel about how your agisters keep their horses,especially when they are right under your nose on your land.I would never want to agist on my property.It would probably annoy the ##### out of me.
Although in defence of the "over rugger" wanting to keep her horse separate I can relate to that.The cost of horses is huge and to look after them 100% you invest a lot of money into them.If another horse was to lash out and kick or hurt another a vet bill can be crippling.Not to mention ripped rugs needing repair.So the fact she wants to keep her loved one away from others is understandable.
Not handling another's horse is a fair call also.Especially if it's young and he wants to handle it his own way.
If these sought of people bother you,simply don't have them there.
Problem with horse people (not all) they think they're experts and it's their way or no way.As human beings we have an opinion on just about everthing whether we like what's going on or not.We just have to put up or shutup.Problem is what others do on your property directly affects you personally.
Your complaint about the others being underfed and the horses basic needs not being met are justified.That is what would truely bother me.It's not nice watching pure neglect in action.I hope you can resolve these issues with your agistees.Nothing worse than feeling angry.

Suzie Q
21-08-06, 09:12 AM
I completely agree Show Mum, those are not the agistors Sunday should be worrying about.

The ones that cause trouble are:-

Those that have agisted so long that they are now the boss and tell everyone else what to do including you.

Those that do not pay, but have new shoes, new colured hair, perms, etc, etc.

Those who think that as they are paying you money they have more right to be on your land than you do.

Those who do not bother to feed their horses.

Those who call after dark to ask you to feed their horse. After you have already been down to feed horses and have just warmed up again.

Those who just dump their horses and move houses.

I had better stop I could go on and on and on and on and on.

21-08-06, 09:33 AM
I'm on the other side of the fence, but have the same feelings. I agist and have done so for years. I pride myself on being a good responsible agister. I pay someone to feed my horse in the morning (approved by agistment owner), feed myself in the evening, rugs changed appropriate to the temperature (twice a day), keep my hay shed and feed shed area clean (and clean after others) and always polite and do my best to stay quite when going to a competition at some ridiculous hour of the morning! I'm going away for two weeks and have made sure to make enough feeds for 3 weeks (just in case) and have spare there too, plus feed store will deliver if something runs out. There are spare sets of rugs for both horses and vet knows I'm away too (has instructions in case something happens). Horseland also have my credit card in case something must be bought for them urgently. I have left numbers of 6 people to call if something goes wrong too plus a calendar pinned up of who is feeding when so if something goes wrong everyone knows who to contact. These other agisters that don't care for their horses bug me sooo much!! The horse in the paddock next to one of mine has had 2 doonas and lined canvas on all week and we have had sunny day where she just drips with sweat! I feel so guilty as she looks at me when I feed my horse and she wants some too :( Then there's the girl who believes she's better than everyone else and purposely gets in your way to upset your ride. It can be hard to find agistment at the best of times but when others ruin it it justs makes it harder!! So I sympathise with people that hate their agisters, but please remember there are some of us that are good too :D

Suzie Q
21-08-06, 09:55 AM
You sound like a dream Jacarina. Caring and Knowledgeable.

Not like the girl who woke us at 1.30am in the morning. I went down to find out that she had sneaked out of her house and used her horse as transport to get to a party. She had then galloped him home and now had a steaming horse in the middle of a winter's night.

Yes I was furious and no I did not hide the information from her parents.

I was even more furious the next morning when she threw biscuits of hay over the fence to a new skinny horse, even though we have it written that no other horse is to be touched or interfered with. Yes he was skinny. He was also under vet supervision as he had foundered and was on a strict diet.

Then finding her horse with a runny nose, even though I had done my best to get her to cool him down before letting him go in his paddock the night before, she took him for a walk and let him drink from Peppy's water trough!http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b30/SuzieQ_/Other/BANGHEAD8.gif

LOL and I promised not to go on and on and on and on and on ......

21-08-06, 11:10 AM
I can sympathise with you Sunday. I agist on a private property with only two other agisters whose horses are retired. I have it pretty good where I am but would like to eventually move as I'd love somewhere with a better arena, a bit more pasture, someone to ride with and someone reliable and experienced to help me out with feeds and rugs 3-4 times a week (I'm up there religiously morning and night, 7 days a week as the other reliable agister is a mum who is nervous of rugging my TB).
However, the thought of agisting somewhere with other people like the ones you have mentioned would drive me crazy, but I get the feeling that everywhere else has their share of them.
My instructor has had agistment for years but is slowly replacing them with cattle (less annoying, better on the pasture and can still bring in some money) as other people drive him crazy as well. He's said I'd always be welcome but he's 40 minutes away, though it's beginning to look more and more attractive.
I don't know what the answer is other than to be very fussy, have no qualms about booting people out and, if possible, only take in people taht you know something about. I think my ideal agister would be not too young, have a decent job, own only 1 or 2 horses and compete/ride fairly seriously (excluding showies- shoot me down in flames but less risk of having to look at fat, overrugged and underworked horses).

21-08-06, 01:07 PM
its like sharehousing, teaches you to be very tolerant.

If you really don't like the el cheapos, throw them out, charge $100 per week for full care, you feed, you rug and they turn up.

But remember - all horsepeople are control freaks. That's why we adore horses, its about control. We ALL have strong opinions on what we like and dislike, so you either don't agist, or you learn to 'give' a little.

21-08-06, 01:57 PM
I completely agree, I am the wrong sort of person to be running agistment!
Too late now, I've got the whole place set up with paddocks, pens, tack room, feed shed, u/c tie-up... if it was just my horses we wouldn't even have bought so many acres....aghh!! Plus removed all barbed wire for plain wire with electric, so its not even good for cows!
But actually some of my agistees have been very nice, so must calm down now and get over the current ones who are giving me ulcers.
And sometimes its pretty funny .. like today when the little filly's owner was chasing her round the paddock trying to catch her, with his jack russell terrier joining in. That filly was standing like an angel until he was a finger away from grabbing her halter, then she'd take off. She so had him figured out....when he came to the door to ask about putting her in the stable his face was purple and he was gasping for breath. I did keep a straight face, but it wasn't easy.

21-08-06, 02:09 PM
To hear from people who have people agisting on their properties, it does make you wonder as an agister how you come across. I know that I used to worry a bit to start with when we first had the pony and would knock on the door and ask questions but the lady was great in helping out like that with advice. I too try to keep the paddocks, water and feed room clean and swept, but it doesn't take long for the dust and hay to get spread around. Some horse people are fanatically clean, and others don't mind a bit of dirt. I'll come up and fix up rugs when the weather changes (as my daughter is at school), but they do the early feeds for us. A lot of people in the area who have a few spare paddocks won't have agisters on their properties, as they have had bad experiences with irresponsible young teenagers who have been left for the day and create disturbances. They aren't all like that, but a few can spoil it for the rest.

It must be frustrating to have a property full of horses that are owned by people with a lot of different ideas on how to care for a horse. You wonder why people wantto pay to keep a horse when they don't even come up and care for it.

Maybe you need to take a break for a while then only take people recommended by someone, and tell them you have certain expectations of them. It's your property!!

21-08-06, 02:09 PM
Just an idea; maybe you need to draw up a code of conduct and put in a prominent place in the stables. I know according to the RSPCA in cases of neglect and cruelty the property owner can be held liable to a certain degree and as an agistment owner/manager you have certain rights and obligations. Now I'm not suggesting for a moment that any of the horses at your place are RSPCA cases but you could make it very clear that the rules you put in place are 'in accordance with' or something like it. Like the waiver type signs that people have now to do with insurance etc...
They could be just common sense management rules like;
-unless prior arrangemets have been made all owners are expected to check their horses daily
-(accompanied by the 5 diagrams on condition scoring)owners are expected to provide adequate feed to their horses acording to individual needs to maintain healthy body weight. Three written warnings will be given; if you don't feed your horse you're out on your ear
-please find below the worming schedule for the entire property - no exceptions unless under veterinary advice
you get the idea. I reckon you're quite within your rights to do this and it might save some angst and arguments.

21-08-06, 02:36 PM
Hey Sunday you've convinced me! We were thinking (sort of) of agisting some horses and we've had loads of queries. We're still setting up but we have great pasture, paddocks with shelters; horse-friendly fencing (electric with 3 sight wires (monofilament) and the top is equi-rope - by the way next door's herd of Jersey bulls keep well away from an electric fence - much more effective than barbed wire); round yard, other yards, American Barn with stables each with outside yard; Wash bay with hot and cold; and we're in the process of setting up a 60x20m dressage arena. The Barn also has a horse vet crush with scales built-in (took advice from our vet). BUT, we couldn't deal with the problems that you cite, so think we will just keep our little mob of horses going and maybe get some cattle in to fatten up to keep some of the pasture down. Very timely post!

21-08-06, 02:37 PM
Your not in an easy spot.

I am an agistor and to be honest I hate having the owners breath down my neck, where I am now is great, it has is problems, like many other agisters thinking they own the place, to the point where they try to tell me off for putting things in the recycle bin, and that the particular bin was for can's only, but I had spoken to the owner and they didn't care what went into it as long as it was recyclable. I have been at this place for a few years now I pay my money and I like to be left alone. I hate having people who think they know it all tell me how to do things.

As an owner you have many rights, but in some cases so do the people that pay to keep animals on your property, there comes a time where you have to ignore some of the minor things you donít agree with, Like another posted said, I would be worried about the feeding factor, more than horses being kept on there own.

I hate other people handling my horses, no matter how well intentioned you are, if the owner where I am went and had my horses feet done with out my permission I would go nuts, I donít care how badly the horse need them done, contact me first if you donít have any luck ask me to leave, or insist that they must be done or you would rather I take them else where, or if you feel that strongly and they are that bad call the RSPCA, but just because you own the land doesnít give you the right to interfere with what I am doing, right or wrong.

I have the intention of buying property in the future, I will be able to have a couple agistors, I will only be offering Full livery, that way I will have more of a say in the way the animals on my property are maintained.

Your not in an easy spot as it is obvious your are passionate and only want whatís best for the animals on your property, you have the option of either shutting up and putting up or asking them to leave, either way itís not an easy pathÖso hopefully it works out for you and all involved, and that both people and horses end up being the happy ones.


21-08-06, 07:11 PM
I sure don't envy you Sunday. I don't have my own property, but I've agisted horses at various places over the years and I have seen some real wackos and wierdos. Like the man who wouldn't pay for his horses feet trimming, prefering to do it himself with secateurs (!!!); the horse with his rug so twisted that the hem was up over the point of his hip - "but he likes it like that" said the owner; the near-foundering horses being fed scoops and scoops of completo each day; the toast rack horse getting two scoops of oaten chaff after a 3hr ride; the guy who puts a skinny hood on his horse because it keeps the mane nice (even though the hood twists constantly and covers the horse's eyes); the foal who's halter wasn't adjusted as he grew and ended up with damaged nasal cartlidge - I could go on forever...

And if you offer help or advice, you get your head bitten off! Or conversly, you are considered a horsey expert because you once went to Pony Club and got your D certificate so people hound you with endless questions constantly!!!

Oh, then there's the people who never see their pony during the week then rock up on the weekend with their 75,000 unruly children, plus their unruly children's friends and the equally poorly trained dog(s). Even though they only live 3 kms away, they haven't seen the poor pony all week. Never mind that it's rug came off on Monday and it's been shivering in the rain since then. They make a big fuss of the pony, all of the 75,000 children have a ride (only for about 3 minutes tho - as long as their attention span). Then the pony gets its measely bucket of chaff and the latest additive (that the owner's friend said they should put in but the pony doesn't actually need) and chucked in a yard. Soon the kids get bored and come and annoy you - "can I pat your horse?" "NO" (they do anyway), "can I ride your horse?" "NO!!", "Why are your horses so shiny?" (because I feed them properly!), "Why is your horse yellow? You should call her Barbie". So you scare them away with your best devil-banshee-from-hell impression and they go and annoy some other poor soul. Meanwhile the parents are fagging on with other parents of ponies and 75,000 children, completely ignoring the bedlam that their children and dog(s) are causing and the poor ponies are stuck in a yard with no food and no water until the owners go home several hours later.

I now keep my horses at a friends place on full livery. We are like minded in how we manage our horses, so there are no problems. And even though my horses are show horses, they live in with others. They sometimes get a few bite marks, but at least they are still living like HORSES!


21-08-06, 10:16 PM

I really feel for both sides of the story. People who provide and go nuts at basic stupidity - feed, rugs, health etc. and for those who adjist. Having to watch the said 'clueless ones' and being unable to do anything about it!

I'd seriously give a year's free adjistment to anyone bored enough to come and help me finish the fencing, yards, sheds etc. I've got grass up over my head (I'm 148cm) and I can't get anyone to turn it into hay. I'm willing to let them have the stuff, just come and hack it off!

As I'm in the sub-tropics, I hardly ever rug and if I did feed everything would founder! My problem is that I'm not close enough to antwhere to make it a viable option, except for weekend trail riders or for broody mares raising their babies. So, is there anyone out there as bored as me? I just love fencing - not lol

21-08-06, 11:28 PM
Sunday I sympathise. I have had my fair share of bad agistors.
I got sick to death of the exact same things as what are annoying you. So I changed it.

You keep your horses here now under my terms. Like it or don't arrive.

First thing I did was to set up a contract. Outlined the levels of care and what was offered in that. If you want a private paddock,stable, me to change rugs etc be prepared to pay for it. Its all clear so theres no chance of people assuming whats they think should be happaning. It also outlines the responsibilities and obligations of the agistors.
The must agree to and sign the copy of the contract.

We have a whiteboard in the barn and all horses are listed and worming and farrier dates are there for all to see. When your horse comes to the top of the worming list it has to get wormed.
I don't insist that my agistors use my farrier but if they want me to attend the farrier then they must. Its clear on the whiteboard though when all horses are shod/trimmed and when they are due to be done again.

Since I have had this system I have had no further problems with agistors. Theres no grey areas and everyone knows what to expect.
I have never had anyone say No I don't want something so regulated but I guess they are the people that just choose not to bring their horses on. I have on the contrary had people congratulate me on my contract and say its great that we know exactly where we stand.

Over rugging is something thats a bit of a grey area as its a personal thing. I have on occasion told a grazer that their horse is too hot etc and made suggestions which thus far have been taken well but at the end of the day this is a personal issue and is a tough one if the person decided to continue down this track.

22-08-06, 04:41 AM
All horsepeople adore being control freaks ?

Personally, I don't adore controlling a critter, but I do adore finding ways to get along with them

22-08-06, 04:48 AM

I must stick up for your agister who wants her horse in its own paddock, and fences it off from the others. I have had 3 years of having horses go through fences through "having nose contact" with the other horses. Thewse were good fences, electric and all. They have also rolled into the fences. One completely lost to competition due to the injury too. I also rug well.. I also request that my horse is in its own paddock.. but i pay extra for that priveledge. I also feed my horses good feed. I cant stand putting your feed in, and not knowing exactly how much your horse has eaten.

To be honest, I think that you would be much better venting your annoyance at those that do not care for their horses at all... get stuck into them, and if they dont worm and dont get their feet done and dont feed them.. turf them out. I cant stand to see lack of care in horses. Would much rather see someone out there fencing off paddocks to keep their horse safe, and rug them to keep them looking good, than the alternative.

Where I agist now, We all worm on the same day, and have farrier out same day, and they all get done. Tahnkfully I have a great person who owns the agistment, and my horse is completely safe.

Its a shame that not everyone has that same level of respect and care for their horses. I for one dont think I could sit and watch someone not look after their horses... so keep going, be tough, and get rid of those that arent !!!! But let those that are do their job. Worst things could happen.

22-08-06, 04:55 AM
I used to agist as well ( sometimes I wish I still did - nothing like making you worry when you arent home and you just know the ponioes will do something silly...)

Luckily I was only at three agistment places - the first was awful.
The second was brilliant, but possibly the owners were too nice - this made some people take advantage and make life not so nice for the others, and the third place was fantastic as well - but had more rules - like JudithNZ, which suited me to the ground.

I like to think I am a nice agister - I try to do all the right stuff - am almost fanatical about cleanliness (well, I dont think so, but my OH does!!)and always rock up to feed, rug & clean.. The only problem I found was that I always seemed to be tidying up other peoples messes which drove me insane, but didnt go unnoticed.

The last place I was at had strict rules about worming, booking arenas for lessons, how the feed shed must be kept, poo pick up rules (also you got fined if you were lazy and didnt do it..which I think was fair) If you couldnt feed or rug for any reason and you couldnt get a mate to help you out then you paid the owner to do it for you.. It all worked pretty well. If I had to go back to agisting, or move back to the big smoke, this is the first place I would call!!! (altho - not sure how I would afford to keep both boys there!)

Rules, rules, rules - sounds tough, but is the only way to go. At least then you will get like minded people that do the right thing and care on your property - hopefully all issues will settle then!!
You do have the option if you really cant deal with it of booting them!! I would!!


22-08-06, 05:11 AM
I'm just in the process of changing my terms to full agistment only. I'm sick off ending up doing things that I'm not paid for. I keep getting tricked into feeding / rugging / picking up poo because I can't see the horses suffer because their owners are too busy / lazy to do it themselves but aren't willing to fork out the cash.

In other things that don't relate to the horses safety & wellbeing, I try to keep well out of it. If you ask for my advice on riding or something - happy to help, but I'm not going to stick my nose into those types of things unasked. I hate it when people tell me what to do, so I try not to do it to others.

22-08-06, 05:14 AM
I have young girl who lives near our new place who starved her horse to death! (no Im not kidding). First horse owner, knows nothing about horses, lives with her family on 5 acres but keeps the horse on less than 1/4 acres. NO FEED given (horse was bought off a friend of mine, nice 9 yr old TB with nothing wrong with him). Despite all of us neighbours telling they needed to feed the horse, he got emaciated but she kept riding him.

In the end he collpased under saddle a few times and injured his back end and was put down. My hubby was at our place when this happend.

But guess what? she now has ANOTHER horse - TB type, kept in the same conditions. I am keeping an eye on the horse and will take action if necessary.
http://minioldies.oldies.org.uk/smoscar.gif http://www.boomspeed.com/egraphics/jkg82.gif http://www.boomspeed.com/egraphics/plw81.gif http://www.boomspeed.com/egraphics/5t5s2.gif

22-08-06, 05:27 AM
(Bobbie - I cant think of anything yet! - maybe put some red food dye in her horses water! she might think its algi)

I cant stand agistment places, I feel so sorry for the owners all the politics & bitching going on! some worse than others.

Its funny though, having been brought up on a horsy property all my child life & generally keeping my horses at home I was always jealous of the girls at my school that agisted & where able to see each other everyday after school & ride together . . . but I'm sure they where jealous I was able to go out anytime of the day & see my horses out of my window.

Thank God my parents never had agistees! I would have hated the idea of having to line up to use the arena (yeah so im selfish
:P )

With regards to the actual topic itself (got a bit sidetracked there)
I think you need to assert yourself & remind them who owns the property!
I know theyíre the ones paying the money, but if there werenít any agistment properties they would be stuffed so i think you have the upper hand in a way! (easy to so I know)

I'm a bit of a meddler when it comes to other horses (in a good way) I'm one of those people that stops on the side of the highway & fixes a horses rug, but thatís just me!

22-08-06, 05:31 AM
Sorry almost forgot, I used to agist next door to a girl that had a mare & foal (QH) horse never got fed, so I started feeding it out of my own pocket - Mare dried up & foal couldnt feed, So i told the owner of the property he advised her if he didnt feed the mare he would kick her out , it sort of worked she came up a bit more & fed them & I ended up buying them a round bale.

Her excuse was she lived too far away & could only come a certain amount of times a week . . . . I lived 40km from there & worked 45km from there & lived 50km from work I went there twice a day
& I drove a V8.

I'm sure you can do the maths.

22-08-06, 05:48 AM
If you are an agistment owner, be sure to check the tone of voice that you speak to your clients in and make sure you are holding up your end of an agreement. There are plenty of agistment owners who are quick to bitch about their clients, but not quick to act on maintenance, rugging, arena upkeep etc.

One place I agisted at was recommended by this forum and I would think some of the people who recommended it would be horrified at the demise of this lovely agistment centre, caused only by the owners b*tchiness, laziness and greed of the almighty dollar.

To those doing the right thing, if you don't like what you see, then kindly ask the offending agistors to leave. Then it no longer becomes your problem and you no longer have to stress out about it.

22-08-06, 05:52 AM
I, too, have changed to only full care agistment.
I include our standard feed, worming and trim in a private paddock in the base cost.

Extra for vet, shoeing, special feed or stable.

This way I know I have healthy horses in my paddocks, apart from those that are in post vet. care.

And pay in advance.

Having established our base, we can negotiate from there.
Our long term 'good' clients, I can then give discounts as deserved, or some run a 'tab' - work around the place against their fees.
..Or give selected horses a 'play time' together on the sand or in a fresh paddock, etc.
It's as if the 'extras' are priveledges and not taken for granted or abused.
Works well at the moment.

22-08-06, 06:00 AM
that's really horrible, autumn.. hopefully it won't get to that point again... hopefully..
i can empathise with you, sunday, even though i've never been an agistee nor an agistor(?)! there are a few horses near to our place that aren't really looked after properly... feet are long and cracked, heavy rugs left on all day and in the heat of the day.... which can get pretty hot up here in QLD! they're definitely not RSPCA cases as their paddock conditions are pretty good, but i imagine they're still not particularly comfortable and really it is a case of neglect, just at the lesser extreme... and that does irk me quite a bit.. but what can you do, really.
in your case, i like travers' idea of putting up a 'conditions of agistment notice'... that might help somehow!

22-08-06, 06:35 AM
Well, I've always been an agistee, on 3 different places, and have always been on good terms with the management and other agisters. I think the only way to go is full board - that way the property owner controls the feeding and other management aspects on a daily basis.

I always ask what the rules are, and abide by those. If I don't like them, I'd have to move - but I respect the right of the property owner to decide. I've pretty much found that the experienced horse people who have run my agistments were possibly better judges than me of feeding..... they're not so sentimental! I'm more likely to spoil my horse than them :+ I do choose what he gets, but I certainly take their advice. As for shoeing or trimming - I'm often away with work, and when I'm around it's mainly weekends. If they notice my horses feet need doing - I'm fine with that. I appreciate the fact that they pay enough attention to notice!

My horse gets drenched in a cycle with the others, and they don't ring me in advance - I expect them to manage the health of the horses, and it's what I'm paying for after all :)

"Reason to Smile #1: Every 7 mintues of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring."

22-08-06, 07:19 AM
I'm sorry it's driving you so crazy, Sunday, and I sympathise with all of you who are agistment owners.

It's always a great shame when a bad few spoil it for the rest.

But....surely some of these things fall into the grey area of differences in opinion on horse management?

It seems to me as if you may need to get rid of the people you consider 'bad apples', or to have a few more rules. Drenching on X date for all horses is a common one, for example. If you don't agree with horses being kept on their own (I don't either and wouldn't do it, but I have seen it done and the horses were healthy enough), then don't have any private paddocks, have only group ones. If you really consider that a horse is not having its feet done enough or is not fed enough (and I would have been miffed too, if you had just had my horse's feet done and then charged me after) then you need to build something into the agistment agreement about how if you have concerns about a horse's welfare, the agistee will get x number of written warnings, or action will be taken or they will be asked to leave. After all, you didn't tell those people with the TB and the bad feet how concerned you were - you didn't give them notice that you wanted action taken - what you said was, 'would you like to get her feet trimmed?' Now, maybe they should have taken a hint...but you didn't tell them.

I'm an agister, and have been for many years. I am always paid up, I hope I am always considerate, and I abide by the rules that are going. But, to look at the other side of the coin, I have had my fair share of narky, arrogant and bl**dy rude agistment owners - some of whom never fixed anything (fences, water, you name it).

The thing that really surprises me about this thread is how many CHers think it would be ok to just insist on full board. I don't have horses to have someone else look after them and make decisions about them. I have them to do that stuff myself. I like thinking about feeds. I like being there for the farrier. I don't want someone else deciding what is "best" for them. I don't want to just turn up and ride, or turn up and do cuddles. I want to do all the yards, be they hard or easy. I want to pick up the poo and clean out the water trough and yada yada yada.

As my agistment owner, if you have concerns, I am willing to discuss them. And I would be happy to learn something I didn't know before. But if you want to tell me not to lock up my laminitic pony in spring...forget it. If you want to tell me not to rug my photosensitive pinto in cottons in summer....forget it. If you want to tell me not to shoe my riding horse because you think he'll be fine barefoot on stony tracks....forget it.

As I say, I do believe it's a difficult role, being an agistment owner, and you have my sympathy. And it can't be easy, watching things that are neglect or potentially neglect (like the skinny TB). But don't we all have to 'give' a little, when it's a case of someone doing something differently from how one would do it oneself?

22-08-06, 07:23 AM
Im a first time agistee. Have lived on properties all my life, now have to agist my horse due to suburbia living. My gripe is with the agistment owners. Well, the place I keep my horse isnt really an agistment place, Im the only agistee. They are basically great people and I get along with them really well. I get full use of whatever I like, including their tack if I need it etc, so Im pretty happy, though discovered a problem on the weekend. They had gone away for the weekend to a comp, but had left members of their family home to look after all their other animals (assorted dogs, cats, cattle, horses, and a sheep) Dogs and cats are fine, horses and cattle are out in paddocks, the sheep is tethered though as he is a complete nuisance if free (tethered to a tire, so he can move around, just not at full pace). At the moment Im there twice a day to unrug and rug, so while there I just keep an eye on things, even though members of the family are still there. So I arrive friday afternoon to rug and notice the sheep doesnt have any water and his bucket is upturned. I didnt think much of it as I really didnt want to interfere. Sat morning and night water bucket is still in same place. I ummed and arghed but then thought that Im sure someone has given him water. Get there on sunday and bucket is still in same position, so it gets the better of me and I go and fill it up. This poor sheep must have drunk about 20 litres in one mouthful he was that thirsty. At which time a member of the family comes out and says "Oh thankyou, he keeps knocking it over" Now I know full well that that bucket hasnt moved for the last 2 days and its not that he has just been knocking it over! If I hadnt filled it, he would have been without water for over 3 full days (I felt guilty enough for letting it go til sunday morning). They will be home this afternoon, so I will be making mention of this. Then on the sunday afternoon I took my horse out for a pick of green grass, was standing next to the fence with one of their horses on the other side when I noticed it was wearing 4 rugs! a cotton, 2 doonas and a lined canvas. It was about 25 degrees here yesterday! I just feel bad mentioning anything as it is their property, but I just feel for their poor animals!

Sunday, its your place, you can set what rules you like! If you dont like something, say something, if they dont like it, they can leave.


22-08-06, 07:23 AM
I agist at a colleagues property. It is just me there so I pretty much have the run of the place. Eventually I hope to find part-board agistment close to where he is now. I go and feed twice a day (not always at the sametime). I keep my feed shed relatively clean :) and I much out the paddock regularly and the stable every morning. I do my own repair work and improvements to the property i.e. putting lights in the shed and stable. Owner had the cabling but I paid for the hire of the machine and the sparky to hook it all up.

When I'm in a position financially to move him, I don't want to go to an "agistment centre". I would much rather find someone who perhpas has their own property and would like someone there for a bit of company and support. I would not want full board agistment as I would want to see my boy at least once a day :) I would also be happy to look after the other persons horse(s) if they go away and would be flexable about feeding i.e. would prefer to only come in the evening but would be happy to do the morning if the owner had plans in the evening etc.

Unfortunately, not sure where I'm going to find a place like this :)

22-08-06, 07:30 AM
ive always been an agister. I have come across the odd wacko and idiot but also made some fantastic friends along the way.

The worst thing that has happened to me was when the girl i was sharing a yard with decided to lock my horse up to let hers out. Basically she didnt open the stable wide enough and my horse ended up getting caught in the fence!!! $400 of vet bills later i wasnt a happy camper!

22-08-06, 07:31 AM
As I said in my post above yours, I wouldn't want full board agistment either. I don't get to ride very often, but I enjoy seeing my boy each day. If I had him in full board - a big part of the enjoyment factor would be gone!

22-08-06, 07:42 AM
I think people are starting to forget the best interests of the horses here! I hate it when I see a horse that hasnít had its feet done for 6 months I hate seeing a horse starve when I battling illness & have lost my drivers licence can come up twice a day & feed them . . . . . & I think in situations where people need to have full livery it can be great. The place I'm moving to gives you the option to add your own feed to the mix, But I figure a Warmblood would know more about feeding than myself anyway.

as for the rugs, I don't like being told I over rug my horses epically seeming mine are clipped & the owner of the property had school ponies, but Hey thatís life I just ignore her!
I think its hard for both agistees & agistment owners

22-08-06, 07:48 AM
I think you do need to be tolerant to be an agistment owner or have firm rules that everyone is aware of.
I was offered agistment at a lovely private property owned by a lovely lady but I could see that it wouldn't have worked as she wanted to do all the feeding and rugging so that her horses wouldn't be upset if mine were being fed and hers weren't. I could understand perfectly from her point of view but as far as I'm concerned I pay agistment for the use of the land and the facilities. If I require extra services I'm happy to pay for them also but I wouldn't like my access and interaction with my horses to be restricted in any way.
I guess both parties need to find places and people who are likeminded; not always easy in the horse world!

22-08-06, 07:57 AM
Thsi is the first time I have had a gripe on the forum but I feel I need to.....

I seem to get the impression that SOMe of the people offering agistment want to have their cake and eat it to... and perhaps they can to a degree. You get $ for the landand/or services you offer...
You hate people who over rug. I always get picked on for NOT rugging my horses (thats my choice and I do it as I feel its more naural).
I have had my horses in an agistment place where I am the only one that seems to care for my horses...I had a case of rain scald last month and told some kids who were playing and patting the horses to better not do that just in case-did not want it to be spread aroudn the herd....Next day got my head bitten off from the kids father.. how dare I tell the kids what the y can/cannt do... (Its my horse though!!). Next week, owner asks is I can move my isolated mare (rainscald) back into the big paddock with the others...My reaction "I would prefer not to.. I think jsut in case I might leave her for another week just to make sure she is fully rainscald and infection free-thought I was doing a good service for the other horses and agistors...)next thing I know he moves my mare himself...!!!

Secondly: Fences are non existant-lucky I have nice horses.
3 rd: I have looked for alternative agistment but it all either more than I can afford (and No I'm not stingy I just have to budget ); or you guys are scaring me to even think about moving as it sounds like a nightmare...Perhaps I'm better off staying with the devils I know???

22-08-06, 08:08 AM
I think we'd all agree, Tramp, that it's very hard when a horse is genuinely not being looked after. Noone likes to see awful, overgrown or cracked feet.

And I agree, I love it when a place offers full livery, or additional services (feeding, rugging etc)(and I'm happy to pay extra for those additional services, when I need them). As you said, it's just fantastic to have that available, when you need it.

It's just that I, personally, prefer to have it as an option, rather than as a given or built in. Like Deelee said, I don't ride that often...but looking after my horses every day is where the pleasure in horse-owning is, for me.

I suppose we'd all like to have our cake and eat it too....I suppose I just have mixed feelings about this thread and wanted to indicate that the agister/agistee thing is a relationship and needs to be nurtured on both sides.

22-08-06, 08:31 AM
Yeah I was thinking about this the other day . . . I actually enjoy being with my horses more than riding.

Same with competing! I like preparing over competing.

Coz My mare needs foaling facilities I'd prefer full livery for the time being until she had the foal = just so there is someone there during the day keeping an eye on her, not just at night & early morning when I would go.

& the rugs on & off thing is good! especially when you have to get up @ 5.30am in the rain.

I'm lucky the new place I'm moving to, the lady who runs it is Fantastic & down to earth, & not all Lardy dah like where I am now!

22-08-06, 08:42 AM
I've been reading this thread my horses will live as long as possible where they are not that I was thinking about it either. I am lucky. I keep my horse at a friends place. They feed my horses in the morning for me and take rugs off during the week if needed. One of my horses lives in a paddock with theirs and to stop fights who ever feed them feeds both and they get the same. If I want to do something with my horse then thats fine. They will give me their advise but it is my choice. I often ask for their advise anyway but generally we have similar opinions on how a horse should be looked after.

As for the original post I would look at the contract thing so that everyone knows where they stand no grey areas and if people don't like it then they will move their horses anyway.

22-08-06, 11:35 AM
Oh how I feel for anyone who decided to open up an agistment place. When I was in Wollongong I chose to share my paddocks with people because as land got scarcer and scarcer they had nowhere to keep their horses, well me being the kind hearted person I was I said yeah come share with me. BIG misatake. I hated it, my rugs were ripped, my ponies feed eated, water was not kept up to them, I hated it. Well I finally got up enough courage to tell them to move. I have always said to myself NEVER again. Now I live on property I have so many people asking to agist their ponies at my place I now just say Sorry no grass.
You are better of by yourself!

22-08-06, 12:33 PM
I could never just sit back and say nothing if someone is doing what I consider to be the wrong thing...(I can hear you people gasping No really??!!)
The little filly is now in my stable because I compromised with owner, said 1 week only so she can be handled.
Here was my suggestion to him to solve her catching problem; put one of my horses in her paddock, as they will all walk up to people. Also a companion would calm her down in general. No, she's too valuable. (even my kid's 12hh, 20 yr old pony mare was too much of a danger).
Up until she came to my place, she has been running on a big property with her mum and about 20 other horses. Meant to be a yearling but she's tiny. Not much human interaction. And now she's in the far far corner of my stable. How typical of her owner to care about her physical well-being so much (as in, whether she gets any small unsightly scars that might reduce her value) but care nothing about her mental well-being.
Anyway, might have to tell future agisters I want all horses to have at least one companion. As for the neglecting feet people, it was my farrier's idea to just do her shocking feet and then charge them afterwards...and I think it was the right thing to do. They were miffed but they paid, and maybe they'll get her done themselves now or else my farrier and I will just do the same thing in another 6 months time!

22-08-06, 12:53 PM
ive only ever agisted, i have no land, and chances are, i never will....if i had my own land, i can tell you right now, i would NEVER have any agisters!!!

ive had nothing but bad experiences...first place i had my horse, cheap as chips sure, looked after your own horse, what you did, you did kind of thing, because my horse was fed, others were not, and very wormy, feet never ever done, they were getting more and more lealous(the horses), got to a point to get in and out of my own paddock with my horse my dad had to wave his walking stick around, was trying to find somewhere else, but it was to alte

these horses ended up just down right attacking my girl, witness saw it she was standing next to the fence asleep, they both came over and did the attack as a pair, kicked her into the fence, and even when she was down, kept on kicking her, they didnt stop...found her when i went to feed her the next day, she had lost an amazing amount of blood, vet said himself, dont put her back in there, they will kill her...I GOT KICKED OUT, yep, thats right, i got kicked out for the horses attacking mine, because i had the gall to be upset, because i had said something for months, about these horses, but nothing was ever done...not that i was going to put her in there, but still....

moved on from there, months later(had to have her stashed in an emergancy paddock for months) and went to another place, do everything yourself thing again, which ive always done....fences were never done, i had to do them, was paddocked with a horse that was getting mroe and more aggressive, towards horses AND ppl, was a mare, who was mounting other mares(yep, i reckon hormone problem or cysts aswell, but was told we were idiots), never would do anything, even though their own kids were to scared to go in that paddock without a huge stick because of it...horses neded up going to attack mine when i was doing the rugs got me, broke my hand, bone broke through skin, finger had to be dislocated 3 times to get it facing the correct was....she was moved to a differant paddock and my agistment went up.
was still at this place, this MORON who owned the place, put horses, who had been in with a horse infected with strangles in the paddock with mine, mare got strangles, luckily, my foal didnt, she couldnt drink, eat, anything, got a nice vet bill, so left that place.

on to the best for last!!

moved the horses about 40 mins away, but was paying for them to be fed, rugs done etc, all was OK for a few weeks, then my foal got sick, mare and foal had to be stabled to stop the foal from moving around, mare started losing weight, but i had never stabled her, assumed it was from stress...lol was i wrong....she isisted on giving the foal her medication to 'help out' ....she was stealing the food, not feeding or watering the horses, and stealing the foals medication....i was lucky i didnt lose the foal, mare lost a lot of weight, and milk dried up, of course, didnt find out about this when i needed to know...about $600 in vet bills to try and work out why the medication wasnt working, not to mention going there every day.

moved from there, was paid to the very day i left, but nooo that wasnt good enough, she wanted money for after i left, i refused to pay, why would i!!! hell even if i did owe money, sure as hell wouldnt have paid with the amount of food and medication she stole....soo the threats started, the bogus bills, started off as $72 being owed, because i wouldnt pay what i didnt owe, it ended up with all these extra costs, she ended up making it come to $800...threatened legal action...go ahead i tells her, ill see you in court, but it never happened....but that still wasnt good enough to harrass me with bogus legal threats and harrassment, no she tracked me down to the next place i went to, i was there for perhaps a whole week, she contacted them, told them i was a theif, basically reversed the story, i stole feed off her etc, and never paid, and that if they let me stay there, she would call the cops, so i got kicked out...........did a door to door knock, looking for agistment, temp paddock at a stud where i helped at till i found something....the door knocking paid off, have the paddock i have now, its small, its just a paddock, and associated problems because of its located(basically, idiots in the area) but the ppl who own it...you couldnt find better, more caring ppl if you tried, you do right by them, they will do right by you, i adore them, best ppl you will EVER know.

so agisting isnt all peachy, believe me, but i sure as hell would have ppl on my land, thats for sure!!!

23-08-06, 04:02 AM
Having horses is just like having kids.

Some parentslike to be responsible for all aspects of care, others use child care, hire a nanny etc, to take on some of those roles.

Some parents like to buy expensive clothers; others are on a budget.

Some parents dress their kids in a thousand layers; others let them run around almost naked.

Some parents are happy to let their kids get dirty; others change their kids clothes several times a day.

Some parents feed their kids junk feed; others are very fussy and careful.

We read a thousand books on raising kids and they all very with some very strict and others allowing a lot more freedom.

Every other parent we meet has strong opinions on the right way of raising kids, and no 2 people are the same...and they will always find fault with the way you do it.

For those who are parents we should be used to all this, yet a horse seems so much more vunerable because it can't always get across how it is feeling...hot, cold hungry and unhappy. except in its behaviour (which we don't always understand). Hey, I suppose that is the same with kids too. We as horse owners, agisters, agistment owners who do care take this aspect very seriously and get frstrated when others don't seem t care.

23-08-06, 04:42 AM
Hi Sunday,

Regarding the underfed TBs you mentioned, you as the property owner are legally liable if a cruelty complaint is made to the authorities (eg RSPCA). In Victoria (not sure where you are) you can only lighten this liability if you have a written agistment agreement, signed by you and by the agistee, that spells out the horse owner's responsibilities, such as feeding, vet care etc.

It is sad that some owners don't provide the necessary care for their horses, but it is understandable, and aceptable, that you decide to feed them. As the agistment property owner you are legally responsible for the animals, so you set the rules (ie responsibilities that are deferred to the owner) and they obey them or leave. You can get some guidelines on agistment agreements on the VIc DPI website: