• Report: #983708

Complaint Review: Fairy Tale Farm

  • Submitted: Tue, December 18, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, December 20, 2012

  • Reported By: Michelle — Ohio United States of America
Fairy Tale Farm
8764 Croton Road Johnstown, Ohio United States of America

Fairy Tale Farm Fary Tale Horse Farm Sweet then Sour Johnstown, Ohio

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Our clients will stand by us....

*Consumer Comment: Fabulous at Fairy Tale Farm

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I met the owner and instructor (sisters) when the owner contacted me to work with an aggressive pony for them.  We are close in age, and we soon became friends, or at least they claimed to be my friends.  I purchased a horse in March 2011 and immediately took him to their Johnstown facility, then moved my other horse there in June 2011.  It was great to begin with, a huge relief from the previous facility.

Stalls: at first were cleaned great, and I could rely on them getting done every day.  Unfortunately they've had trouble hiring people that continue working well after the first 2-3 months, and they have trouble properly disciplining bad work ethics and/or replacing bad employees in a timely manner.  My youngster had thrush for 10-11 straight weeks.  I tried four different treatment products to no avail.  My farrier said each time he came out that he had to have a dry stall at all times.  However, his stall was only dry when I cleaned it myself.  The stall cleaners seemed to not know what a wet spot is, and NEVER picked his out.  Also, the stalls are not matter, which meant that his wet spot would grow and spread through the dirt/screenings every day that it didn't get picked.  I would walk in his stall and liquid would squish out from under my shoes.  Disgusting.  This went on for months, and was still going on when I left.  From what I know, the same stall cleaner is still employed there.

Arenas:  Indoor is small but usable.  New sand was installed upon move in, as it was a newly built facility.  However about a year later, all the sand was settled, and the arena was rarely drug, to the point where it was extremely hard, too hard to jump in, I even felt bad flatting some days.  The outdoor "arena" is a turnout lot that was supposed to have been converted to a sand arena over a year ago.  It's a great size, but we were told October 2011 it would have sand.  Then they waited until after winter so as not to waste new sand since it would soon be unusable.  A date in March 2012 was promised, and went by without a word.  A date in May, a date in June, a date in July.  Specific dates were given for when sand would be delivered, and they went by with no sand coming.  I had to put shoes on my young guys' front feet, when the summer before I was able to jump him several times a week without a problem barefoot.  Coupled with the hard ground outside (drought) and the hard un-drug arena inside and his constant battle with thrush, he started coming up lame quite frequently, forcing me to put front shoes on him.  Please note that at my new barn (moved two months ago) I have been able to take his shoes off and jump him 3' with no problem.

Feed:  Started out okay - not amazing, but not difficult.  For my 14 year old I purchased Corn Oil, Alfalfa Cubes, Cool Calories, and Gleam & Gain Supreme in addition to his regular hay and grain.  I was told he was getting 8 flakes of hay a day and a scoop of grain at each meal.  His weight was more of a battle than it had been at any other barn.  My 6 year old is not a hard keeper at all, who actually started out the first winter getting fat on just hay and grain, I had to put on Cool Calories eventually because he started becoming thin.  Right around the time I left I found out they had cut both boys' hay down due to the increase in prices, and never bothered to tell me.  Also, their idea of a scoop is about 2/3 of mine, and their "2 flakes" was about a 4 inch wide section of hay - barely one flake in my opinion.  They both left this facility hinner than they've ever been.  Now, at my new barn, I only have my 14 year old on two scoops of a weight gain supplement, and my 6 year old on nothing, in addition to their hay and grain.  They both look better than they have anywhere before.  They've easily put on 150-200 pounds each since leaving Fairy Tale Farm.

Lesson program:  Because I thought they were my friends, I stupidly let the owner and instructor use my 14 year old in their lesson program.  He was supposed to have three set days a week that he was used.  They constantly asked me to use him other days and said they "wouldn't use him the original day he was scheduled for."  He's never had back problems, but the chiropractor had to spend about two hours on him at the end of the summer 2012.  Because he's 17hh, they used him for all of the adult beginners.  I understand beginners don't have control of theri seat yet, but I'd arrive at the barn during lessons and they would be "posting" and slamming their 200+ pounds on his back without either instructor even attempting to teach them how to post/sit softly.  Additionally, I suspected as much while I was there, shortly after leaving the facility I found out that they used my horse MUCH more than 3x a week - more like 5 times almost every single week.  When a horse is in their lesson program, they seem to think they "own" the horse and can do whatever they want with it.  They took him to shows and, even though I made it very clear his legs need wrapped for any and all hauling, they would not wrap his legs, nor would they leave him for the last load of horses so that I could get to the barn and wrap them myself as requested.  At his last show they put a KK Ultra in his mouth even though I gave them a plain full cheek snaffle to put on his bridle.  They were too lazy to swap the bit, so they put a completely unapproved bit in MY horse's mouth that he certainly did not need and I did not want in his mouth. 

Tack Room:  I allowed the use of ONE of my saddles to be used on my horse only in his lessons.  My other saddle and other items of mine (saddle pads, brushes, etc) would randomly be in other parts of the tack room or the stirrup irons different from what I use, etc - obviously were used.  Everytime I simply asked the instructor (who recently became the "barn manager") if she had noticed anyone using my tack, she'd get a huge attitude with me and say things like "I'm not at the barn 24/7."  Look, I pay you, friend or not, to care for my horses and ensure the safety of my stuff to the best of your ability.  I didn't accuse you of using it, I simply asked if you'd seen anyone using it.  The attitude is unneccessary and extremely unprofessional.  I was then informed, during an email-argument with the barn owner, shortly before I left (after I had given notice of leaving) that "This is a lesson barn, it's to be expected that your stuff will get used."  Last time I checked, WRONG.  Every lesson barn I took lessons at, boarders' tack was completely OFF LIMITS.

This is an amazing facility that unfortunately is going to waste.  However if what you're looking for is a boarding barn that will take pretend like they own your horse and do whatever they want with it so you can only come out once a month, then this place should be just fine.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/18/2012 08:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fairy-Tale-Farm/Johnstown-Ohio-/Fairy-Tale-Farm-Fary-Tale-Horse-Farm-Sweet-then-Sour-Johnstown-Ohio-983708. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Our clients will stand by us....

AUTHOR: Meghan - (United States of America)

I am the owner of this farm and the person who filed this report left the farm over three months ago. Her horses always received the best care possible. We feed quality hay and grain and take pride in our facility. Her horse was never used more than the days that were agreed to and he never carried heavy riders due to the fact of his poor body condition, caused by lack of dental care (he had never been done and had terrible hooks). His chirpopractic care was paid for by me. Her other horse never had a weight issue and stayed sound even though she jumped him almost every time she rode him. His stall was matted so I'm not sure why she said it wasn't. We have a full lesson program and a waiting list for boarders. This person is obviously angry that no one made a stink when she left and all of my clients would agree that the barn atmosphere is much better now that she is gone. She was abusive to her and others horses, she lacked basic care knowledge, and she lacked professionalism. She also took several of my jumps cups when she left and had a balance on her account. She continues to write reviews on any site she can access. If we do such a bad job at so many things, why would be have so many clients?
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#2 Consumer Comment

Fabulous at Fairy Tale Farm

AUTHOR: slategray6 - (United States of America)

After reading the above report, I could not imagine having such an experience at Fairy Tale Farm. I have been riding for nearly 20 years and I have been a part of many notable farms throughout my career. My experience at Fairy Tale Farm has been completely opposite of the one listed here.

Care: By far, FTF  gives their horses the most exceptional care that I have seen. They rescue, rehabilitate, and responsibly use all the horses under their ownership. It's rare to see a farm so committed to the aged, "un-superstar",  and sometimes problematic horses that live happily at FTF. Owning a farm is a business. Businesses need money to survive. Unlike many other farms, FTF never sacrifices the well being of their animals to make money or please unrealistic clients. FTF maintains a strict usage schedule for horses in their school program and I have never witnessed a horse being ridden more than it should be within the lesson program. In addition to the strict schedule, all their horses, not just boarders, get the same generous amount of turnout. Several prominent show barns I was a former client of hardly batted an eye when their school horses didn't receive more than one or two turnouts per week. 

Cleanliness: The horse I lease at FTF has always had a tidy stall, free of puddles, standing water, feces, and urine. When he did show signs of thrush from the wet season we've had, it was easily taken care of and has not returned since. The farm's farrier has done
an exceptional job maintaining his feet and the issues he had (he came from Sugar Creek's auction) have disappeared. 

My Horse: My horse is the poster child of what FTF can do for a former slaughter-bound animal. He came to the farm with behavior issues stemming from poor training and abuse. He had worms and was terribly out of shape. Through the owner's patience, expertise, and training, and the countless hours I have spent with him, he is now healthy, happy, fit, and jumping 3'. This would not have been possible without a place like FTF.

Farm: I regularly use both indoor and outdoor arenas. While I agree that the footing in the outdoor can be improved, I have seen no issues with the indoor. The footing has always been soft enough for all activities and the space is organized and comfortable for groups to ride together. I keep most of my tack in the tack room. I have lent my tack to students and it has always been returned. I have never witnessed my equipment being abused or used without my consent. We have to understand that FTF caters to children and it is not a specific FTF issue if a child grabs a piece of equipment that they are not supposed to use. This is a normal occurrence in most, if not all, barns.

Training: Both the owner and her sister strive to enrich their students with the best possible practices in both riding and ground training. They are knowledgeable horse women who put their horses and their clients first.  As of this "attitude" you speak of, both sisters routinely instruct "problematic" children who keep returning week after week to enjoy their lessons. They work well with riders of all abilities and confidence levels. They are patient and kind to even the most unruly client. I for one would not have the same level of compassion to successfully instruct the countless lessons that these two do with smiles on their faces and genuine enthusiasm in their duties.

To summarize, if you are looking for a fantastic place to learn to ride, board your horse, or advance your abilities, FTF is the place to go. The atmosphere is safe and perfect for equestrians of all ages. Their rates fit any budget and their facility is growing to accommodate the lengthy wait-list of boarders and clients. FTF has enriched my life and the lives of many other horse people and horses alike. I can't wait to ride at Fairy Tale Farm tomorrow.
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