5 Hints for Hiring a Horse Sitter

Give careful consideration to your candidates to increase the odds of having a satisfactory outcome.

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Give careful consideration to your candidates to increase the odds of having a satisfactory outcome.

"Just because someone has been in horses a long time and has done lots of things with horses doesn’t necessarily mean they will recognize a problem. I do self-care at a barn down the road. The barn owners bred and showed Morgans for well over 30 years, so you’d think they would know what they were doing with horses.

"Once I was out of town for a week, and the two barn owners took care of my two Thoroughbreds (Lucie and Levi). I came home to find my gelding with not one, but two bowed tendons, both fronts. He could barely walk. The people had no idea there was anything wrong, even though they led both horses in and out of the barn twice a day for grain. It appeared he’d been in that condition for quite some time because his hind legs were stocked up, which only happens if he hasn’t been moving around for several days.

"Despite very descriptive notes printed out with bullets and important words bolded, things were left undone or done incorrectly or unsafely–gates closed but not locked, the feed door left wide open, Lucie getting Levi’s grain and Levi getting Lucie’s grain."

You don’t have to search hard to find horror tales about horse sitters. Ask around at your boarding barn or on an Internet discussion board, and you’ll hear about the sitter who didn’t show up or quit midway through, who wouldn’t walk into the stall or out into the pasture, who didn’t muck the stall, groom the horse, or address the scratched leg, among other offenses

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Written by:

Marcia King is an award-winning freelance writer based in Ohio who specializes in equine, canine, and feline veterinary topics. She’s schooled in hunt seat, dressage, and Western pleasure.

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