I really like where we are, but there were a few things I wasnt super hot on. One, the quality of the stall cleaning wasnt exactly up to par for me (for one thing, the paddocks werent being cleaned, just the stall), and I am picky about the stall. I dont like a whole lot of "crumbs" left behind. So I found myself going back through frequently and recleaning it anyways. Second; the quality of the hay. I had initially seen the hay before we moved in, but it seemed after I got there it wasnt what I remembered (but I could have remembered wrong anyways). It looked like a local grass hay (around here, that isnt very good). Third, I needed to find a way to cut some horse costs here and there, and although I am saving on fuel from him being closer, I was still hoping to cut it a bit more (especially with my truck remaining unreliable, but running). Finally, I was getting pretty irritated with the numerous cuts and blanket rips Milo was sustaining from rough housing with his neighbor, Cabo. On Feb 28 when I came to the barn after a day off and saw dried blood down his face, again, and this time a larger cut on his forehead, I had had enough. The open stall was open now with but not cleaned out of bedding. I grabbed the wheelbarrow and cleaned it all out, then moved Milo over there that day. So I questioned to the BO if I could start a self care board. The Fjord's are on self care so I figured he would be open to it, and he was.
The first step was determining where I would get my hay. I had the option of buying the BO's bales at $8 each, but the quality of it was not what I was aiming for. After calculating self care board cost and hoping to still save some money monthly, I found that $14 a bale was the most I could spend. Sarah gets a really nice Timothy hay from Eastern Washington for $15 a bale, but she didn't have any for sale anyways. There is a hay dealer here in Seabeck only a few miles from both my house and the barn, and he offered a nice second cut grass hay for $14. He had a second cut Timothy available too for $15, but cost and the fact that Milo would need some transition time from the lacking local hay to the rich timothy would be needed anyways, so I settled on the grass. Maybe this will work well for him anyways, and if not, I can try and go for the timothy next month, so long as my total cost doesnt exceed the initial cost I was paying for full care ($310).
After paying for board cost, ten bales of hay (about a month's worth) and grain, I came out just barely under the above initial price. So although the price savings isnt huge, I still feel that this is a better situation. For about the same money I'm not only getting higher quality hay, better cleaning (to my liking with me doing it!), more time at the barn with an excuse to go daily too, and also grain I am more happy with. Milo doesnt get grain as a huge part of his diet. He only gets about a half cup of rolled oats once a day and just to get his supplements down. Pretty basic grain, unlike that he was getting as part of board, which had molasses in it - more sugars then he needs. I can also control the quantity that he is getting (I know the BO is a softy and was giving him a little more).
Anyways, the situation seems to be working out pretty well, here a week or so after trying it out. I clean his stall daily, and at least one feeding I provide, depending on my work schedule. Fortunately, the BO doesnt expect me to drive there twice daily, so he feeds for me either morning or night as I need it.
OK, so now onto some photos!
Check it out Milo!
New paddock; larger, less muddy (drains better) and on this side of the barn there are only two horses (including Milo) so he gets turnout every other day instead of every third day.
Oh yeah, we got eight inches of snow in less than 12 hours.