Honestly, I would let her go. And hey, I'm only 18, so let's not go on about unresponsible teeens okay? I handle the barn quite well by myself on Saturdays when I have my lesson days.
I wsouldn't fire her for a little mistake, and I almost wrote that you should keep her, and just lecture her a bit, but then I got back to thinking about my horse. My horse, who has a tendency to choke on Equine Senior, placed in the wrong stall with the wrong feed could have disatrous consequences. Almost anything other than this and I would have said forgive her, but I can't see taking the risk. Feed is just to important.
Atypical--you've never made a mistake?
Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous!
CANTER West Virginia
God no, I've made plenty of mistakes, but I'm anal when it comes to feeding and water. I've done my share of whoops, forgot to take jumps out of the arena, didn't notice when the field assignments have been switched kind of thing. I've even forgotten to do grain a couple of times and had to feed the horses late, but like I said, I'm super anal about feed. I'm at college now and still get palpitations when I think about other people feeding Tag for me.
My point was that just because she's a teen isn't a necessarily valid reason to just waive off what could ahve been a bad mistake. And to tell the truth it miffs me a little when people assume I, as a teenager, am irresponsible.
My first job as a hotwalker at the track. I was 16. I was holding a high dollar stake horse (Uno Roberto) in a foot tub one morning. The groom had to go somewhere, and told me to take the horse out of the tub and dry his legs when he was done soaking. I tied the horse to the wall to dry his legs off and accidentally LEFT HIM TIED TO THE WALL! He stayed there (no water, hay, etc) until they came back to feed at 3.
I went on to earn a college degree and was a valued employee to several people after that incident. But from then on, I always walked through the barn and look at all the horses before I left!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Atypical: My horse, who has a tendency to choke on Equine Senior, placed in the wrong stall with the wrong feed could have disatrous consequences. Almost anything other than this and I would have said forgive her, but I can't see taking the risk. Feed is just to important.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Give me a #@*ing break. I am in my 40's have worked with horses My whole life and this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. YOUR horse is not going to know the difference between regular grain and Equine Senior. And Unless the stall is way too small for the 17 hand horse Nothing is going to happen. Show horses are in different stalls every week.. No wonder so many of you have a hard time finding good help.
Excuse me, MB Stark, I'm very glad you've been around horses for so long, but don't tell me I'm an idiot. My horse has choked on Equine Senior before!!!!!! I've seen it and it scared the crap out of me. And no, he doesn't know the difference, but standing there holding his line as he's coughing, trying to expell the lump of feed stuck in his throat, I know the F***ing difference. God, sometimes I wonder why the hell I even offer my opinion if I'm just gonna get my head bit off.
You don't know me, you don't know my horse, so don't assume that you do! Geesh, do you perhaps need a vacation?????? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]
Would it occur to anyone to set the feed up in the tubs and cover it until the horses are ready to be fed?
Then your horse would have choked on regular grain that day as well. The ONLY difference is the vitamin and iron content. NOT the texture. It is still the SAME feed.
No I don't need a vacation, I am just sick of hearing comments from back yard one horse owners on something as stupid as this. And from barn owners who are so uptight that they want to fire someone over something like this and then go on to complain that they can't find any good help that stays.
I need to fire myself!!!!!
Ugh, the things I've inadvertently done over the years.
Flash44, that few hours of being tied....you got nothing on me. I left for work once, way back, before I had 2 stalls, and Pico ate tied in the aisle. Well....closer to 12 HOURS later, I got home and realized....and what was worse about it is that it was the DAY AFTER injections. Poor pony. But, no ill effects other than a stiff neck, and I know that this horse TIES.
Now, I take care of my neighbor's horses from time to time and he has 2 QH sorrels. One is a gelding, the other a mare. I had to check for the sheath for ages until I finally remembered that K has the skinny blaze and L the star. Of course, now, I know/notice that K has a round butt and L a square butt (when viewed from behind), but those two for whatever reason, took me a while.
My horses are all very distinctive. Bay, chestnut, bay roan w/ a blanket appaloosa, and blue roan w/ a blanket POA. Spotted butts and solids.
This is a tough crowd though. I'm "lucky" because I have healthy horses who live out mostly and a low stress life and not much grain.
When I go away and have someone else feeding, I usually cut the supplements or premix the feed to simplify and none of the supplements are medication, and in all truth, if I come home and nobody is sick, all have been fed, and there is water and the gates are closed, I'm not going to stress over it.
I think that has to be one of the most rude, snide comments I have ever heard. Some "back yard" people know a hell of a lot more than some people I know. I am not a back yard horse person either. I've shown, do show, teach lessons and help train our sale horses.
And thank you, the texture is different. My horse eats sweet feed fine, but has choked TWICE eating Equine Senior. I'm not going to argue with you about this because it happened. And yes, I only own one horse and I board him at a self care facility, I'm obviously an idiot. I can only afford one horse, can't afford full care.
DO you not see how unbelievably rude and belittling your posts toward me are? Or do you just not care that you're making snap judgements about someone you've never met? If you want to rationally discuss a difference of opinion that's fine, but don't you dare jumnp on me and call me an idiot. I am trying very hard right now not to become the raging, snarling b*** that I so want to be right now. How wonderful for you to be so all knowing... and what if these horses got supplements.
And, FYI,Our boarders got plenty pissed when some of their horses supplements were getting screwed up and the 24 yr old wasn't getting his daily isox. It is, despite what you might beleive a very big deal!
Guys- This thread is quickly getting out of hand, and beyond a intense discussion- it's getting personal. Remember- Issues not people.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and their views based on what they have learned.
Calling people overly anal, 'backyard one horse owners making stupid comments', ect. is unfair and taking things to far.
It's the internet- no one but FlightCheck knows this girl, so of course, people are going to draw their own conclusions about her intelligence level. Let's just leave it at that.
Let's play nice and see if we can't keep this thread constructive.....
Okay- now that I've said that.. I have an intelligent question..
In regards to the feed- Pellets and senior feed are different consistancy, aren't they? (ie, a grain vs. a pellet...) Could a change like that on a horses stomach cause colic? I've always heard that a sudden change in feed can wreck havoc on a horses gut.... Is that true? I know that the colic would probably be in extreme situations, but is it possible??
(I hope that question made sense.....)
"Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping."~ Julius Hare
You say the horses/halters etc. are color coded. Please consider the possibility that the person is color blind. If so, it doesn't matter what the horse's color is or what the halter is they will all look the same. So no matter what your note said, she still would have difficulty seeing the correct animal.
Also, consider this a chance to educate the next generation of horsewomen. Use your experience to help this person. There are too many variables to judge this person based on a single incident. If I was judged by the first mistake I made in working at a barn, working at the vet hospital, or in my medical research (and yes some of these resulted in dire consequences) and fired, then I also would not have had the chance to save the lives of as many animals as I have, nor would I have had the chance to go on and become a doctor. We all pay for our mistakes and if your help is truly eager to make up for the mix up and wants to try hard, then I would suggest giving her another chance like I am sure others have done for you. If things don't improve to your liking, THEN consider your options.
Without being snide or rude, and after reading thru the entire thread...I have changed my opinion in reference to the ORIGINAL question - while I still don't consider it a firing offense (unless it was blatently, purposely done out of spite...which it doesn't sound like). However, perhaps you should steer clear of teenagers/college students and stick to a professional, mature person to assist in your barn. It sounds like that would be more appropriate for the work ethic you expect. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
***My horse bucked off your honor student!***
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MB Stark:
No I don't need a vacation, I am just sick of hearing comments from back yard one horse owners on something as stupid as this.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
That was one of the rudest things I have ever read on here. So you're saying that somehow, the opinions of people who only own one horse are less important than you and the other 'pros' on here? Sheesh. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
"You might think there would be an explanation for this... but you would be wrong."
Apparantly I have touched quite a nerve!
I am truly trying to make a business decision. I am examining why this was such a BIG deal to me - am I making too much of it - before letting someone go.
On the one hand, no one colicked, and all I had to do was go out and get the horse that was out and put out the horse that was in, and make a few barn checks during the night.
However...how difficult is it to go to a pasture, get the horse with the green halter on, put it in the stall (where the sign says "green halter), and give him the (already made up for pm feed) green bucket? Or put the horse with the black halter in his correct stall?
Or double check your work at the end of the day (hmm, green halter is in black stall, oh crap, fix the problem, leave note left on bulletin board OR call me on cell).
~still analyzing in anguish~
When I met the man who took care of Secretariat - during the breeding shed years - he told me a story of leaving the stall door unlatched and the horse got out. Imagine watching all those millions of dollars gallop up and down the lanes along a broodmare field. Thankfully the horse was unharmed, and the man wasn't fired.
We were leaning on the stallion fencing and he let the story slip out. I had done almost the same thing - with a stallion too (but worth only one million).
Horses die from mistakes. Managers/owners have to train people to prevent errors. Otherwise you have to do all the work yourself. If the worker continues to do irresponsible acts, then send her packing. I wonder if she knows how a mix-up in feed/hay could kill or get a horse sick. That would sure make a big impression on me, if I were a kid (again).
MB, you're looking at the picture as a worker, think of the owner who'd be up all night walking a sick horse, the vet who has to arrive (at 2am) and the possibly sick horse... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
(and yes MB, I do remember the stories of the horse getting shipped with the accupuncture needles still in; and horses showing on grass without studs; and the groom who stuck an artery and the horse ran around the WPB fairgrounds - blind as a bat...)
Sigh....(removing my horse from equation) I suppose if nothing actually happened to the horses you could use it as a teaching/learning experience for the girl, if she is repentent of course. But feed really is essential.....okay, I'm really on the fence with this one. Then again, what if it had been a boarder's horse and something had happened, then you as the barn owner would be liable.... it is definitely a tricky situation to deal with. Anything but feed........
Yes I am looking at it from a workers point of view and from a horse owner's point of view and from a Managers point of view.
Yes the horses need the right feed and medicine but if you don't want any mistakes do it yourself. It was said that this was the girls first night on her own. No horse got sick and no horse was hurt. So Why would you fire her?????
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FlightCheck:
I may telephone her today after school and ask for more details - was she confused, was the work too difficult, what can we do to avoid this in the future (with her or someone else).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Pellets and senior feed are different consistancy, aren't they? (ie, a grain vs. a pellet...) Could a change like that on a horses stomach cause colic? I've always heard that a sudden change in feed can wreck havoc on a horses gut.... Is that true? I know that the colic would probably be in extreme situations, but is it possible??
Also- could the hay mixup (I know alfalfa is a lot more concentrated then a lot of hays) cause gut problems as well?
(I hope that question made sense.....)
My original post I posted that this offense could have had some really bad consequences because I was thinking about the possibility of colic or other serious problems... I'm curious now- from the posts concerning how there shouldn't be any difference in the feed besides the vitamin and stuff- if it was correct to think that as major a mistake as I did..
I think part of where I'm coming from is that even though nothing serious DID happen, that it COULD have easily...
"Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping."~ Julius Hare