I guess I'm on the flip side of most others here, since I don't really see where all this "resentment" is coming from.
It was YOUR responsibility to draw up what the "free lease" entailed when it started, & if you didn't have the foresight to include chores, vet/farrier payments, etc., at that time, well then too bad for you. To now intimate that you feel that this woman is taking advantage of you is ridiculous & unwarranted.
At this point, your only recourse is to sit down with this person & tell her that the time has come to rework the lease agreement. Put in writing what you expect her to do in exchange for what she expects to get out of riding your horses. And if she's not interested, then so be it. Part company as friends & look for someone else.
Time for a chat. Vxf111 (post above) really nailed it. I expect you'll come to a mutually acceptable arrangement, one that doesn't leave you at a real disadvantage. As other posters have mentioned, she has time and you have money. Since she's been nice, and you're obviously nice (and overly generous!), I expect it will work out just fine.
My recommendation is to really just let her know how much you appreciate her and love having her around, but you've been doing all this work (quantify that) and it leaves you with no time to ride. So essentially you're spending so much money and time to just watch somebody else ride your horses.
I think it will work out just fine and you'll be quite relieved once you've agreed to a more equitable arrangement.
I agree with the checklist. It might also be helpful to let her know that you'd like to evaluate how it's working out after awhile and she can initiate that, as well. That will keep the communication open and also give you an opportunity to make changes in the future (without feeling guilty or apprehensive!!).
All the best!!
It actually sounds like you both have been pretty happy with the arrangement for the past 2 years...
One quick suggestion - If you are paying her to ride the older horse 3 times a week, why not pay her to do chores 3 times a week and you ride 3 times a week? Just explain to her that you want to ride more, maybe you both can ride together since you enjoy her company.
As far as the shows, evaluate your goals before you talk with her. Do you want to show? Do you want your horse only to be shown? Do you want someone to help you and support you at shows? Or do you just need someone who can keep your show horse fit and trained?
Good luck to you both.
I think your guilt/anxiety comes from the fact that this arrangement was fine for a while but now you want to adjust. There is a chance the college student will react poorly but hopefully she has the maturity to understand that she has a great deal and it isn't a big deal for her to help out with chores. Either she will be willing to adapt or she will move on. Obviously you want her to stay but if she leaves then it gives you a fresh opportunity to set new parameters with another rider.
Drawing up an informal contract that outlines the chores, amount of riding, showing, etc. for the 2013 year might provide a good opportunity to discuss what is appropriate and fair for both parties.
Agree with written lists & specifics on frequency. That she never did the one task you had already asked of her (raking the ring) is a warning sign that she may need to be managed. If that happens, you'l need to nip it in the bud early. Just be consistent. If something is "wrong", it has to be wrong every time it happens-- you can't ignore once, ignore twice, ignore thrice and then BAM! you run out of patience and suddenly now it's a problem. Not much different than dealing with a horse :)
I was kind of in her shoes and now I am in yours.
In college I was allowed to board my horse for free in exchange for taking care of theirs, just pay hay and grain. I had free rein of several horses I could ride whenever I wanted as well. It made a huge improvement in my riding, I am about to start an arrangement with my in laws where I ride their horses in exchange for child care since my step MIL is at home and they were paying someone $20/ride. I am/would be/was more than happy to do any farm chores! I would love to learn how to use farm machinery (to date I can use a riding lawn mower and the Polaris very well, DH does all else) and I love to clean stalls, always have. In college I frequently brought their horses in for baths, grooming, helped with meds and worming, whatever. I knew I was getting a big favor and I so appreciate what that extra riding did for me as a rider.
I currently have someone riding my mare as much as she would like but she has no car so winds up coming out once a week. Now that I had DS2 I guess it works well since I can ride my mare more but I wish she could ride more. She helped me put up fencing and has offered to help build jumps, etc. What I desperately want is help feeding but there is no way schedule wise she can do that. I provide tack, shod the horse when she started riding and pay all that (and did for half my pregnancy before I could ride). I would have no problem asking her for more if I felt I needed it and she could do it... if she got offended she would be more than welcome to stop riding her but my mare is the only riding she gets and she cannot afford a lease at this point and she hopes to ride more often soon. So she would be shooting herself in the foot.
So will your rider, just be nice and say you feel overwhelmed and upset that you cannot ride and can she please help? Nothing rude about it, just have a heart to heart. If she is smart, she will help.
Ah, Bacardi - always so able to understand and see the other side, er, not.
I would feel somewhat the way of the OP, but to find the right person for your horse is also not easy. I have a similar situation - I have a wonderful horse just crying out for the right rider to take her showing or eventing, and all she has is me plopping along the trails...I, too would pay for the showing, but cannot see myself paying someone to do the riding..and if I did find someone, I would be thinking through this thred and the pitfalls.
Maybe she could take care of some of the physical work, like 'her' horse's stall,
unloading hay, grain, etc.
It sounds like in the beginning you were happy with the arrangement and what you thought you were getting out of it, but that has changed over time. So, time to sit down and decide what it is you want out of the deal and go about finding it. You say finding the three above qualities in one person is almost impossible, yet you want to add even more criteria. Look at it objectively and realistically and not clouded by the resentment you are feeling.
Originally Posted by grey_mare
By all means if you are unhappy with the situation and want to adjust it, you should talk to the rider and present your asks, but do it in a thoughtful manner if you don't want to risk losing her. If she is not open to adding chores to her routine, then will you easily be able to find a replacement? What if a new person will do chores but is not as skilled a rider? Or not as pleasant to be around? What is most important to you? Your must-haves and nice-to-haves?
I totally understand where you are coming from feeling like you are getting the short end of the deal with never being able to ride, but it's also not fair to assume that your rider has all the free time in the world and just doesn't want to help out. Just as you only have so many hours in the day and end up spending them all on chores with none left to ride, your rider may be the in the same situation and only have a certain amount of time she can spend at your barn. So keep that in mind when trying to work out a deal that benefits you both.
Another solution might be that you hire someone else entirely to do chores, and ask your rider to share the costs. Then it's not like you're nagging this person to do work that she doesn't want to do, and you'd get to ride together with someone you like riding with.
And your point re: my comments here are what, exactly?? Have you read through the entire thread, or are you just popping in here desparate to hear yourself heard without bothering to read the whole thread - as sadly SO many here feel the need to do on so many threads?
Originally Posted by Foxtrot's
I said that the OP should have drawn up a written lease contract at the beginning, instead of whining now as to how she's doing more of the work for a free-lease than she expected. I also said that instead of whining, the time was now to sit the free-lease gal down now & re-work the lease agreement - in writing this time. If someone does a free lease with no paperwork & no "work in exchange for riding" contract, how, exactly is the current free-leaser a bad leaser for not doing any "work" in exchange for riding?
What, exactly, how/do you find fault with that? Maybe read a bit for comprehension & then put your wine glass down before posting Foxtrot.
I think these is a really good idea. She can pay a bit for a "lease" and you can put that towards getting someone to do chores if leasee isn't interested in chores.
Originally Posted by HungarianHippo
I agree with others who have said she likely has no idea how much work is involved. I have been in the exact same situation as you and even adults often don't get it. If they have never had a horse at home they simply don't know. Just make her aware and tell her you are stretched and would really appreciate her help.
This - exactly. I have been in your shoes (pretty much) - having a home barn and inviting a boarder to come in for free, in exchange for barn chores. It's very difficult to find someone you trust AND like, so you don't want to rock the boat.
Originally Posted by GraceLikeRain
But -- it will be for the best. You can tell her the truth -- even the part about *resenting* her (except that you would say you resent not having time to ride) ;) and that it is your fault for not thinking this through at the beginning (it is), but that that you were so happy to find someone like her that you didn't figure it all out.
And now, you'd like to discuss some changes, and understand if it doesn't work for her -- but you hope it will.
Be specific about chores; that was my first mistake. As the barn owner "everything" is my responsibility, except what I specifically assign out. And many people won't think about the small stuff (sweeping feed room, de-cluttering/wiping shelves, picking the hay out of the drain, etc.) So if you can assign "big" and discrete things -- drag ring, clean stalls, fill water tanks/buckets -- it will help you. Things like de-cluttering aren't regular chores and we all have different opinions of "good enough" for jobs like that.
Best of luck - I think it will work out!
Speak up, with a smile! Few people are mind readers!! Few people really expect an endless free ride.
Waiting for an update from the OP. Have you had a chance to talk to your rider yet?
Thanks COTHers. Got some great clarity from the replies. I did ask the person to help w/ chores, and it was no problem. I asked in a very casual "oh by the way would you mind if I asked you to help out" way. Thank you EVERYONE!
You sound like a great horse person, and great person for this girl to look up to....
im in a situation where the owner asked me to ride whenever i can. They dont ride the old man due to time constraints.
I constantly offer to pay farrier bills, chip in on vet, and do chores. I always get the response of "You do enough, thank you."
So I make damn sure that barn is swept clean, perfectly clean, water buckets are topped off, stalls are picked and whatever i can put away or tidy i do every timeim there. I know they appreciate me riding their horse, and i surely want them to know i appreciate them letting me by doing little things around the barn that show i care.
Sometimes its the little things that make the biggest difference.
So glad it worked out well for you. :)
Glad it worked out so well. For the sake of everyone's sanity, I still recommend writing down a concrete list of responsibilities. Don't assume she knows what to do!
Oh goodness, a huge DITTO here. I can only HOPE that this time around you have everything in writing, not just a verbal "yeah, I'll start to do some help". If the verbal is all that you did, please don't expect a whole lot of sympathy here the next time around.
Originally Posted by vxf111