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ACTAlter
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:07 AM
To give a little background info: I currently ride at a barn with a trainer who is extremely rude and controlling, bad facilities, and a lot of drama, which is giving me very little reason to ride. I have been riding here for 8 years. Let's call this Barn A.

I am considering moving my gelding to a different barn in the area, with a nice trainer who is pretty well known, good facilities, and a fun and inviting atmosphere that is also professional at the same time. Let's call this Barn B.

As previously stated, trainer at Barn A is EXTREMELY controlling and rude. She always has to feel that she is in charge or else she starts firing off at people for no reason. If she knew that I was 'sneaking around' behind her back by planning on moving, she would wring my neck, which is why no one else at Barn A knows that I am moving and why I am posting under an alter.

So my predicament is this: How do I tell trainer at Barn A that I am leaving? I would like to do this without completely severing relationships with the people at this barn, but I am afraid that is impossible. I am grateful to the trainer at Barn A for getting me to where I am now in my riding, but I simply can't handle boarding there anymore, for numerous reasons.

I am planning on having trainer from Barn B come to pick my horse up with her trailer, as I don't have a trailer of my own. So... How much notice should I give trainer A that I am leaving? I can't tell her too far in advance or else she'll yell at me and I wont be able to ride until my gelding is at the new barn. Plus, I don't want to be harassed by everyone at Barn A on why I am leaving. However, I feel it would be in poor taste to tell her the day before my horse gets picked up.

Also, can I get my horse's negative Coggins from the vet without having to get him tested again (he has been tested within the last 3-4 months) or do I have to get that from trainer A? Should I also get his shot record directly from the vet? I have never moved barns before so I don't know any of this!

Are there any other helpful hints you guys have about moving barns?

Thanks in advance!

*Liz*
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:22 AM
Your vet should have all your shot records, and your coggins on hand. A simple phone call is usually all it takes.

I hate moving barns, and I've done it a lot. Unfortunately, it usually does involve drama. Generally speaking, you have 2 options:

1) Have a conversation with your BO about moving, explain your reasons as politely as possible. Tell her that you're looking for a more low-key experience, or simply tell her that you're ready for a change. Give 30 days notice, and suck it up and wait it out.

2) If you really don't want to give notice that far ahead, then prepare a check for the next 30 days, have a conversation with BO, and move the next day. This may not be the most kosher method, but I've done it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I did it because the drama was SO bad, I knew I couldn't stand to give 30 days. I still got harrassed by the BO, but at least my horses and I were gone.

Good luck! Remember, horses are a luxury, if it's not enjoyable for whatever reason, make a change! There's no reason you need to be unhappy when you're spending $$$ on your horse hobby.

DressageOverFences
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:29 AM
moving is no fun.
I have had different experiences in moving, some have been no drama at all where I still go out and visit because they totally understood why I need to leave, and an other barn, well, I still haven't really talked to the trainer x amount of years later. aka, major drama.

it sounds like in your case there will be drama. Do you know of anyone else who has left recently? That might give you a clue.
Give the trainer 30 days notice and just stick it out, unless you're willing to pay for an other month of board.
after you do this, dont go around bad mouthing the trainer to boarders, just say youre moving for some neutral reason (like, its a lot closer, cheaper, I just wanted a change after being at the same barn for 8 years, they go to the horse shows I want to go to) leave out the part about why youre really leaving for general barn friends because this spreads like wildfire and next thing you know you said the trainer is an evil controlling witch who abuses horses. That will not help your case and it wont even be your fault. :)

alliekat
Nov. 21, 2011, 08:31 AM
Most boarding contracts require a 30 day notice. I suggest doing it in writing and send it certified mail. You will not be able to control how the barn owner A reacts, heck it sounds like she can hardly control it. I certainly wouldn't allow anyone to speak to me that way, even more so when I am a paying customer. Good luck with your move and I hope that the new barn is the fun yet professional atmosphere you are looking for. Horses are way to expensive for it not to be.

magnolia73
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:17 AM
It's probably not going to be easy, but a letter, with your notice and write something like this...
"This is my 30 day notice. I will be leaving 1/1/12.

Thank you for the good care and training of my horse and I. I have enjoyed being a part of the barn and will miss it."

If anyone asks, you are moving to 1. save money or 2. be closer to home/work/whatever......Kill the trainer with kindness. Lots of compliments and thanks, even if they are ahem fake or just focus on what was good. Ususally bitches have big egos and won't attack the people who dish out compliments.

ACTAlter
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:53 AM
Thank you all so much for all of the replies!

I think I am going to go with Liz's second option- give a check for the next 30 days and leave the next day. I'll call the vet a few days in advance and get them to fax his Coggins and shot record to trainer B.

Does anyone have any general barn moving tips to make things easier?

BellaLuna
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:04 AM
I think that's what I would do too. You can stomach anything for 24 hours...

Adding my 2 cents to what has already been said - make sure that you take the high road in this. You will undoubtedly get calls, texts, and messages from fellow boarders asking you for the "real" reason that you left. (Come on, give us the dirt). No matter how tempting it would be to unload or share, just continue with the positive. Not only is it the right thing to do, it's refreshing to not engage in trashing. Makes your soul feel so light.

Good luck.

Lucassb
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:06 AM
I agree that paying for an overlapping month of board so you can leave when the notice is provided is often money well spent.

DO make sure you have paid all your bills, and if you can muster it, a small gift with a little note saying you've appreciated your time at that barn is always a nice touch. Doesn't have to be anything major, but a bottle of wine (among adults) or a nice frame, new gloves or something along those lines goes a long way to smoothing a situation like that over.

LeandraB
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:08 AM
If you are close to any of your barn mates, don't lose touch!
I had friends move barns and then fall off the face of the earth because they were afraid to talk to anyone at the barn. Despite popular belief, we are NOT our trainers and probably understand while you left.
Best of luck at the new facility!

HJPony
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:22 AM
if you plan on moving with the one day option..

Start moving your "things" out little by little when nobody is around if possible. At my barn, we all have lockers and it is quite obvious when somebody is leaving. Even though it seems they are leaving under mutual terms, the teens of the barn seem to get nosy and want to ask questions as to why all your stuff is going out to the parking lot so quickly. I'm sure you know to do so already but figured I'd add my share. Honestly, I'd pay my board and move within the week. If your leaving under such hasty conditions you're probably not the only one feeling that way and, therefore, your fellow boarder friends may be equally as understanding.:yes:

Spud&Saf
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:31 AM
I'd also just politely pay the extra month and go, if you can afford to do so. Once you give notice, it's always uncomfortable and especially so with types like Barn A.

If you can, try to pack your things at a quiet time when no one is around. Also, try to schedule the pick up of your horse during a quiet time. The less other people know about what you're doing, the easier it will be for you to go without much fanfare.

Mako
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:38 AM
I was at a drama filled barn with a terrible BO at one time too. It was uncomfortable after I gave notice. I came up when I knew people wouldn't be there but for the most part the BO left me alone but talked behind my back. The usual with her. So happy I left and you will be too!!

As for moving tips, start preparing a few weeks in advance. Move stuff out of your tack box a little at a time.

On the day of the move get there about 45min before the trailer is due to be there, get your horse ready make sure you do the once over to make sure you didn't forget something. Trailer comes, load the horse and it's off to your lovely new barn!!

When you get there, stick around a little bit to see how he settles in. In the meantime you can put all your stuff into your tack box etc..

Also if your nervous about moving, have some friends come out and help you on the day of the move. Helps to have some support if your nervous.

Good Luck with your move!

Daventry
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:06 AM
2) If you really don't want to give notice that far ahead, then prepare a check for the next 30 days, have a conversation with BO, and move the next day.



This! As everyone has said, it's normally customary to give 30 days notice...but in this case, I can totally understand why you don't want to give 30 days notice and wait it out. So paying for the next month in full should help solve that problem a bit.

BUT, I would make sure you pay in CASH, not with a cheque if you are going to levae the next day. Is the boarding facility owner also the trainer, or is trainer just working out of the barn? Good lord, this sounds like my first trainer. I wonder if it's the same one. lol

Dune
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:24 AM
BUT, I would make sure you pay in CASH, not with a cheque if you are going to levae the next day.

Good idea in theory, but unless she gives you a receipt (and in her frame of mind, I doubt she'll do it if upset) then you have NO proof of payment if she decides to be really difficult/dishonest. Maybe a money order or cashiers check because I understand Daventry's reasoning, you want the funds readily available and no chance she can say you bounced a check. :no:;)

equitationlane
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:55 AM
There WILL be drama,so just do it. Pay for the month and GO. Sounds as though they will bad mouth you no matter what, so don't try to sugar coat it.

findeight
Nov. 21, 2011, 12:18 PM
I think I am going to go with Liz's second option- give a check for the next 30 days and leave the next day. I'll call the vet a few days in advance and get them to fax his Coggins and shot record to trainer B.

Does anyone have any general barn moving tips to make things easier?

That's the best bet...and it's too bad you had to stay with trainer A all those years. Nobody is that good, I don't care what you think she taught you. Once you get away, you will see it was not worth the angst and all that hatred is out of place in any service business.

24 hours is the max time I would give her...12 would be better. Like present the check and your notice the night before-wouldn't hurt to get a certified check or cash (get a receipt)- so she doesn't try to hold the horse until it clears. Any more time then that, if she is a nasty person at heart? Give her time to get over the surprise...and get even with you for leaving.

You know, IME, 95% of BOs and trainers are good people and understand people move. You did not marry them for life, they did not adopt you for life, they do not own you or your horse and there is no long term exclusive contract in place. It's not personal.

It's that other 5% that create all the problems. Sad that alot end up with them because they always have a vacancy :rolleyes:.

When faced with similar situations, I have had another trainer present the check (or cash) for the 30 days and just called to give notice and authorize them to remove the horse about an hour before they arrived with the trailer. Most will do that. Once left notice and the check in the office drop slot late at night and hauled out myself.

I would start getting your stuff out of the tack room gradually. You may be locked away from anything that is there after your horse goes so take it out in advance a few things at a time to avoid a confrontation.

I'd also not go with the other trainer to pick up the horse.

Hopefully, OPs trainer is not one of the extreme types. Good luck to her.

Oh, once gone? Be as professional as this trainer is not. DO NOT badmouth...even if it really was bad. Answer any questions honestly but no gossip.

red mares
Nov. 21, 2011, 12:27 PM
If you know of a time when no one is around, pack your stuff out then. Even in the instances when I left on good terms, it was easier to make the multiple trips back & forth to the car without being bothered. At one barn, I went down when everybody was at a show, it was easier all the way around.

If you have any tack that is being used by others, take some time outside of the barn & make a list of what you have there. Tack has a tendency to disappear when you move.

I would also do the cashier's check & 24 - 48 hour notice.

stolen virtue
Nov. 21, 2011, 12:38 PM
The number one best reason to leave a barn is to say that you cannot afford it anymore and you found a cheaper place. That is my standard response and no body asks questions. Nothing more needs to be said, you don't have to diss your trainer or make her other students feel uncomfortable.

I have left a few barns and that response has allowed me to keep on good terms with barns and trainers I have left. Good luck, sorry you put up with so much. Horses need to be fun !

Life is Good 2
Nov. 21, 2011, 01:45 PM
We moved last spring and it was the best decision ever. I called and stated my reasons for leaving, which they were aware of, and said they would get a call from the new trainer that afternoon. I went out with a check the next morning before the scheduled pickup to pay and found our horse was the only one without hay and in an uncleaned stall. My point is get out right away and pay for the month if that was in your contract or agreement. That trainer badmouthed our horse at every show we crossed pathes, a real jerk. With the new trainer we had the best show season ever and had fun. A groom who also left later told me horror stories that confirmed all my worries. If it is bad enough to leave don't wait, do it.

gottagrey
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:32 PM
The only way to avoid any animosity is really to suck up is to leave say on Dec 1 and hand her a check for Dec board w/ note - sorry I'm leaving. Who does your vet send bills to? You or trainer? Shouldn't matter it's your horse and ultimately you pay for the vets' services - call and ask for a copy of your coggins - don't offer an explanation other than you want to have a copy as well. If trainer hears from vet - tell her it's your horse, your coggins - again who's paying the bills.

As far as maintaining relationships w/ other boarders/clients at Barn A - no doubt they know trainer is rude etc. so they should understand your desire to leave.. true professionalism always comes out when a client leaves a barn...

GraceLikeRain
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:45 PM
A big ditto to what everyones said. A money order might be a good way to go if she seems like the type who would try to say that she is going to hold your horse until the check clears.

In that check I would also include the cost of 2 bales of hay to help your horse transition to the new barn. As long as you know what type of grain your horse is on you can just pick up a new bag from the feed store.

Don't forget to subtly get back all of the items you have lent out while you've been there (that extra set of spurs or that bit you rarely used). If your barn takes all of the blankets in to get them cleaned as a group make sure you've paid for the cleaning and remember to pick up all of your blankets so you don't have to awkwardly return in January for your heavy blanket.

Starting your horse on ulcerguard a few days before you leave might be a good preventative if you think the BM might be vindictive and withhold hay or upset your horses schedule to stress you out.

Rye
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:54 PM
Ish, sounds like youre in a high drama environment.

Write a nice note, enclose cash for the next 30 days...hand it to barn manager and have the horse picked up the next day.

pryme_thyme
Nov. 21, 2011, 04:18 PM
I made the decision to leave my current barn at the beginning of this month with the help of fellow COTH'er's. I had a similiar predicament but it was the opposite teir as your controlling/ agressive BO.
Mine was overly emotional and had the lap dog complex. I attempted to call but instead I wrote a nice letter stating in a professional way that I appreciated everything she had done for me but my equine career was leading me in a separate direction.
Finishing the letter with I hoped to maintain a respectful friendship.

Since you have been at Barn A for such a period, it would be very easy to chalk the move up to needing a new experience.

ACTAlter
Nov. 21, 2011, 06:32 PM
Thank you all so much! What I have decided to do is this:

Tell trainer A I am leaving on a Saturday afternoon with my mother. I will hand her a nice note and a cashiers' check for the next 30 days. I will take my things then (don't have tack trunks/lockers at this barn - all I have is saddle, bridle, and grooming bag). I'll have trainer B pick up my gelding the next morning (very few people at the barn on Sundays). I'll arrive 30 minutes before her to get my horse prepped and give a quick once over to make sure I haven't left anything.

After I've left, if anyone contacts me from Barn A asking why I left, I will tell them that I left because I wanted to do rated shows (which really is part of the reason I want to leave) and I won't bad mouth Barn A.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Foundgreenergrass
Nov. 21, 2011, 07:30 PM
Good Luck lady.
I just went through this recently.. I have 2 families that I still talk to from my old barn. My old trainer was controling and had a massive anger issue when she felt like someone was questioning her even if they werent. It was so awkward and I did not have enough money to pay board at two places so I had to stay there for a month. It was AWFUL... the two families I still talk to called me and asked how things were and know how she is so I did not even have to explain myself.

Gotta love real friends :)

Its hard right now but it will be sooo much better when you just bite the bullet and do it...Hint my name ;)

mildot
Nov. 21, 2011, 07:40 PM
If she knew that I was 'sneaking around' behind her back by planning on moving, she would wring my neck

As a 45 yo man, I have a hard time grasping this.

If my daughter ever even hinted that she felt that way, I would be the one collecting the horse and it will be a fun day for anyone messing with us.

Platinum Equestrian
Nov. 21, 2011, 07:47 PM
I went out with a check the next morning before the scheduled pickup to pay and found our horse was the only one without hay and in an uncleaned stall. My point is get out right away and pay for the month if that was in your contract or agreement. That trainer badmouthed our horse at every show we crossed pathes, a real jerk. With the new trainer we had the best show season ever and had fun. A groom who also left later told me horror stories that confirmed all my worries. If it is bad enough to leave don't wait, do it.

That is sad when the horse suffers...

Guin
Nov. 21, 2011, 07:56 PM
As a 45 yo man, I have a hard time grasping this.

If my daughter ever even hinted that she felt that way, I would be the one collecting the horse and it will be a fun day for anyone messing with us.

:D:D:D:D:D:D Maybe the OP should hire you as a back up.

ACTAlter
Nov. 21, 2011, 08:00 PM
As a 45 yo man, I have a hard time grasping this.

If my daughter ever even hinted that she felt that way, I would be the one collecting the horse and it will be a fun day for anyone messing with us.

And the problem is, my mother doesn't want me to move! I would have been out of there years ago, but she thinks it is "safe" (because I am jumping so low) and she doesn't want to make the drive to Barn B (about 20 minutes farther).

Thankfully, my father is very supportive of my plan and he is taking me for a lesson at Barn B on Saturday. I have been there before because my friend rides there and I have heard awesome things about the trainer and spoken to her and she is very professional and friendly.

I'm hoping to be out of Barn A by mid-December; I just want to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible by planning ahead.

Heinz 57
Nov. 21, 2011, 08:15 PM
Thankfully, my father is very supportive of my plan and he is taking me for a lesson at Barn B on Saturday. I have been there before because my friend rides there and I have heard awesome things about the trainer and spoken to her and she is very professional and friendly.


Can your father talk to the old trainer and write/deliver the letter? If you're not 18 and they are footing the bill, it's really your parents' matter to deal with anyway. And I have a feeling trainer would be less likely to 'wring your [father's] neck'.

bjd2013
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:11 PM
Your situation was similar to one I just had to go through. Except I had no horse out there and was a working student. I just had to get up and leave, the Trainer and her daughter were way controlling, thought they owned me, and were overall rude. I figured bridges were going to be completely burned no matter what, and they were going to spread stuff about me anyway, so why have to suffer for a month (they required a month notice for anything), and I just emailed them and told them I wasn't coming back (barn owner/trainer is a scary lady, the get in your face and scream type), because I didn't want to get yelled at and deal with them.

I've had one friend take her 4 horses why they were at church, and leave them a check and change her phone number, so that is always a choice :D

Just do what you think. Tell them why, and what was wrong (in a polite manor), and either leave the next day, or wait the month.

mildot
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:19 PM
Can your father talk to the old trainer and write/deliver the letter? If you're not 18 and they are footing the bill, it's really your parents' matter to deal with anyway. And I have a feeling trainer would be less likely to 'wring your [father's] neck'.

OP, take this advice. Seriously.

BeeHoney
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:59 PM
Sounds to me like you have a good plan. I think it is worth emphasizing the part about it being really worth it to try to end on good terms. I think that it would be worth it to choke back some of your frustrations and try to think of some nice things to say about the first trainer when you tell her you are leaving.

I agree with those who suggest packing and moving in a discreet (but not secretive) manner. If the current barn is the kind of place where some of your belongings may be mixed in with any one else's stuff, be sure to have items identified and sorted well in advance of the move.

As mildot alludes to in his post, trainers do not own clients and have no right to know every detail about their clients and their decisions. You are doing nothing wrong by deciding to leave for whatever reasons you want.

stolen virtue
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:37 PM
I do not think anything needs to be said when, before or after leaving. Getting some space between you and a situation as emotional as horses will change anyone's perspective.

I live in a small town, and I may need a barn or trainer later on. My very close friends know me and how I feel. However, the horse community is small and I see no need to alienate people. Tread lightly when leaving.

Mukluk
Nov. 22, 2011, 01:33 AM
It's sad how petty people can be. Fortunately I have never experienced "barn drama" and hope that I never do. If someone wants to move it should be their business and horse should be cared for and rider respected at all times- regardless of when notice of leaving is provided. Sounds like a bunch of pre-schoolers!!!!! Grow up people!!!! Not every barn is a good fit for every situation. Geez.

alliekat
Nov. 22, 2011, 07:39 AM
OP I wish you luck in your move, but please what ever you do, DO NOT hand cash to Trainer A as finally payment. A check, PO money order, Bank cashiers check, something that has a paper trail for you. I would also write on there some where that this check is for (Dec. board and was given with a 30 day notice) Please dot all your i's and cross all your t's with this trainer. I would want a paper trail that covers my butt if I were you.
ETA if you are under 18 you should have your father write the letter and deliver your final payment.

Chaotic Chloe
Nov. 22, 2011, 09:17 AM
As a 45 yo man, I have a hard time grasping this.

If my daughter ever even hinted that she felt that way, I would be the one collecting the horse and it will be a fun day for anyone messing with us.

Touche! It's nice to see some people have a spine and won't put up with the insane crap that goes on.:D

Chaotic Chloe
Nov. 22, 2011, 09:32 AM
We moved last spring and it was the best decision ever. I called and stated my reasons for leaving, which they were aware of, and said they would get a call from the new trainer that afternoon. I went out with a check the next morning before the scheduled pickup to pay and found our horse was the only one without hay and in an uncleaned stall.

This kind of stuff happens often. It's ridiculous to pay for a months board and leave early, because you're afraid of the repercussions. Really what kind of people are we dealing with here?
If I know it's going to be a bad situation, I just leave. No notice, no money.......period. My horses are very dear to me and I spend hundreds and thousands of dollars, to make sure they are well cared for. There's no way a BO is going to hold me hostage and receive money they don't deserve.:mad:

jeta
Nov. 22, 2011, 09:50 AM
I had to move barns a few years ago......It was clear BO just had a need to needle.....She seemed to pick at the boarders until they eventually left.....She left me alone at first and seemed nice enough, but I read the writing on the wall pretty quickly when I became the only boarder.....First time she started with me, I started looking for a new place for my horse and gave notice as per my contract.....Left 1//2 way through the 30 days.....

As much of a nutter I think she is, I did my best to be polite, give her my check and move on.....I figured I shouldn't burn a bridge as you never know when you might need someone in an emergency....

Keep your chin up and if you can get your Father to go with you to deliver the news, do it......

Good luck to you....

Gnalli
Nov. 22, 2011, 11:55 AM
OP, take this advice. Seriously.

YEP. Fathers are good at this kind of stuff. My dh was completely against us moving, and when the crud happened, he point blank said-all of them are moving, not just the 1, and proceeded to hook up the trailer.