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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2006
    Location
    Maryland/Indiana/New York/Vermont
    Posts
    679

    Default What do I do?

    I just recently moved to a new barn. Our previous barn was just falling apart. The horses rarely got fed, got turned out once a week, the woman was a crazy psycho biotch. I moved with one of my friends and are doing dry stalls at a BEAUTIFUL facility that is home to some very expensive and fancy horses/ponies. I never went into this expecting to be a favorite. I just wanted to blend in and make a few new friends. The barn owner/manager said she would like us to exercise her horses and teach some lessons, saying this before she saw us ride. Then we did come and ride and I rode for her twice. The other girl who came rode once. I told her in person that we were not incredible Olympic-bound riders but we did have a considerable amount of experience, I trained my own horse who I am planning to move up to the 3'6" jumpers with next year because we have been very successful in the 3' jumpers this year and I show mainly for the fun of it and never do rated show because they are too expensive. We had to wait a month alter than we expected because our previous BO would not let us out of our 30 day contract (even though she did not hold up her end of the contract).

    We took one lesson with the BO/BM and she hasn't called us back since then. Now that we finally have moved in, she barely even acknowledges me. I'm not upset that I'm not getting rides because she did just bring in a second full-time girl who rides some of the horses everyday and she did have a few other people riding for her. I never wanted to teach lessons. But it really really hurts that she won't say hi to me and every time I try to strike up a conversation she walks away like she's very busy.

    Now here's my dilemma. My previous BO has a history of calling up whatever barn you are moving to after you leave and spreading lies about you. When I was looking for a new place to go to, several places that had her old boarders asked me not to tell her where we were going if we were to go there because my previous BO had called them up and harassed them for weeks about the boarders she had lost. All the people I talked to said everything she was saying about those boarders proved to be completely false. Now, before I left(we left a week before the month was up) I took 5 bales of hay with me to offset the move in costs a bit. I took them gradually over a period of 2 weeks. I didn't take any grain. I didn't take any shavings. I took only 5 bales of hay(which is 2 less than what my horse goes through in a week). I did not tell my previous BO that I did this because she was neurotic and never would have let me. Noone I told that I did this views it as stealing. They said I was taking what was owed to me. I agree. Well, my previous BO noticed that hay stopped disappearing. Another boarder told her that she had seen me put a bale in my trailer one day. I know for a fact there are many boarders who will throw their horses hay when the BO is not there and then feed the rest of the bale to the barn so she doesnt notice an open bale, the horse were that thin that they needed it. Now that I was gone, all that missing hay got blamed on me.

    I am 90% sure my previous BO called up my current BO/BM and told her a plethora of lies about me and one truth that I "stole" hay, although my previous BO was crazy enough to make it sound like a was a constant thief and I wouldn't put it past her to say that I was always stealing other boarders stuff and taking things without permission. I am not a thief. I took 5 bales of hay that I believe were owed to me. I have never nor will ever take or borrow something that belongs to someone else unless they give me their explicit permission to do so. In my opinion, I paid for that hay when I paid my $600 October board check.

    What do I do? My current BO/BM won't even talk to me. She seemed so friendly and nice when I first met her. She also never leaves me alone in the barn and goes out of her way to keep everything that mine of my friends separate from her stuff. I think she thinks I'm a thief and a bad person. She treat my friend much better than me even though I'm there more than my friend, do more work, and am considerably more knowledgeable than my friend. Should I approach her? I'm only 90% sure and I make it a point in my life to never make decisions based on speculation. A friend from my old barn is going to ask around and find out if my previous BO did call up my current BO/BM. I am also friendly with the woman that teaches lessons there and a woman that works there full time.

    If I do find out that my previous BO called up my current one, what do I do? I really do not want my current BO/BM thinking bad things about me. And if she thinks I'm a thief, those kind of impressions never fade. She won't even talk to me as it is. My dad, who goes up and turn out the horse Mon-Thurs while I'm in school, was going to casually bring it up to her but even that scares me.

    Tell me what to do COTH.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    In Jingle Town
    Posts
    36,143

    Default

    Seems like your ex BO has a well known history.

    And frankly, if you don't care what other people think of you, you live much easier.

    Say hello, mind your business and leave it at that.

    be known by your actions.

    And FWIW I'd justify taking the hay to ease the horse into the new feed, should ahve taken some grain, too...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    54,608

    Default

    I don't think you should have taken the hay or anything else, especially not without letting the BO know.

    That place was better left without any hint of any questionable actions by you, the baggage too large already.

    Now, all you can do is do everything right and prove that you are a good boarder.
    Actions will trump false accusations, if they really were made.

    Or you could just ask the current BO if the former BO called her and tell her that she does that regularly and badmouths former boarders, if you can give examples, is not just gossip.

    I still think leaving well enough alone on your end probably will be best in the long run.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2000
    Location
    Out of the loop
    Posts
    3,177

    Default

    Just ask! Really, open and direct communication solves a lot of real and imagined problems. If you can't grab her for a casual, spur-of-the-moment conversation, make an appointment for a meeting. I'd say something like: "Hey, New BO, it may be my overactive imagination, but I'm getting a rather tense vibe from you, not at all like the friendly and welcoming feeling I got when we initially agreed I would fit well with your clientele here. Have I unwittingly broken some barn rule or offended you in any way? What can I do to relieve this tension?"

    Open the door for her to tell you what she is thinking. It may be that she feels she was too gushy at first and is trying to pull back to a more professional demeanor. It may be that she has other things on her mind and is just distracted and focusing on the needs of the business. It may be that you are overly sensitive to nothing. Or it may be that she did talk to your old BO.

    And let's be clear: You took hay that belonged to the old BO without her knowledge or permission, correct? Whether you thought it was "owed" you is irrelevant. You stole hay. Cop to it. Maybe you were justified, maybe not. But you did not discuss it first with the person who purchased the hay, therefore you are, in fact, a hay thief. You say it's a one-time thing; fine. And be clear on this when/if it comes up with the new BO: "New BO, I'm sorry to hear you have had bad reports about me. I can assure you the bulk of the accusations are simply not true. Ask around -- here are the names of some other BOs who have boarders who used to be with Old BO -- she has a reputation for trashing old clients. I will be honest: I took 5 bales of hay without discussing it with Old BO. Because of the problems with feeding, I felt this was fair. I did not want to try to reach agreement with Old BO because she had previously stuffed spiders in the ears of another client who asked about a similar arrangement, and I am deathly afraid of spiders."

    If you are unwilling to open the doors of communication, you're just going to have to suck it up, and wait for time and consistently "good boarder behavior" on your part to prove to your new BO that you are a suitable and trustworthy client.
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    5,521

    Default

    It sounds like having taken the hay makes you seem like a thief - in YOUR mind. You're the only one calling yourself a thief, right now. You're the only one justifying the hay you took, which in a sense you paid for, I agree. You're the only one I have heard about yet who doubts yourself.

    Do your work and forget about what people think of you. You're making up all this that the new BO "thinks" of you. You haven't heard it from her - until you hear it from a person themselves, its only rumor, remember that.

    You can slouch around based on what your imagination tells you or decide to live your life based on what you want to do and say and how hard your work for yourself, not for how other people see you. Pick yourself up and be whoever you are. If anyone says difrerently, that's their problem.

    The sooner you learn this lesson in life, the happier you will be, and the less blown this way and that by the winds of gossip you will be. See what I mean?

    Goodluck.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    19,173

    Default

    Do nothing but be a good boarder.

    Wait.

    Don't rip off hay or anything else.

    Pay your bills on time.

    You can see how the old BO would consider this stealing, right? If she didn't think she owed the horses in her care enough food, why would she concede that she owed you anything?

    You can't worry about "evening the score" on your own terms and in a less-than-direct way, and then worry about your reputation as a good boarder in the same breath, IMO.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2009
    Location
    The Left Coast
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Do nothing but be a good boarder.

    Wait.

    Don't rip off hay or anything else.

    Pay your bills on time.

    You can see how the old BO would consider this stealing, right? If she didn't think she owed the horses in her care enough food, why would she concede that she owed you anything?

    You can't worry about "evening the score" on your own terms and in a less-than-direct way, and then worry about your reputation as a good boarder in the same breath, IMO.
    ditto

    It was wrong to steal.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    1,354

    Default

    I agree with MVP. Once new BO sees that you are a good boarder, she will forget what old BO said. Unless old BO didn't call and say anything and then, I don't know.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    4,242

    Default

    Although you say that what you did was right, if you felt that in your heart you wouldn't have written asking what to do. Have you thought about sending the BO a cheque for those 5 bales?

    "Flywheel".



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2006
    Location
    Maryland/Indiana/New York/Vermont
    Posts
    679

    Default

    The problem is, I'm being blamed for 20 bales of hay missing over the last month. I'm sure the other 15 were fed out by other boarders trying to sneak their horse some more food and I was the easiest one to point the finger at since I no longer resided at that barn.

    AnotherRound- how many times did I say I am not a thief in my OP? I don't think I'm guilty. Sorry for giving you the whole story.

    I'm not at all gonna get myself worked up over what happened at the last barn. What I'm concerned about is the here and now. Maybe I'm just too used to getting along with everyone. But to me, your barnmates are like family in a way and I want to fit in with my new family. Maybe its growing pains but I can definitely tell you I am not imagining things about her wierdness towards me. My friend has noticed it too.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    11,822

    Default

    I say you have two options:

    Option 1 (my choice) is to ignore it. She wants to be whatever around you, fine, it's her prerogative. As long as the riding and lessons you were planning on doing wasn't something you need to offset board, don't even worry about that.

    Option 2 is to ask her. Say hi and when she blows you off, ask, "Jane...have I done something wrong?"
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    54,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Not So Practical Horse(WO)man View Post
    The problem is, I'm being blamed for 20 bales of hay missing over the last month. I'm sure the other 15 were fed out by other boarders trying to sneak their horse some more food and I was the easiest one to point the finger at since I no longer resided at that barn.

    AnotherRound- how many times did I say I am not a thief in my OP? I don't think I'm guilty. Sorry for giving you the whole story.

    I'm not at all gonna get myself worked up over what happened at the last barn. What I'm concerned about is the here and now. Maybe I'm just too used to getting along with everyone. But to me, your barnmates are like family in a way and I want to fit in with my new family. Maybe its growing pains but I can definitely tell you I am not imagining things about her wierdness towards me. My friend has noticed it too.
    I think that you have talked yourself into believing that taking the hay and in a way the BO would not notice is right.
    Sorry, looking at the big picture, it was wrong to take that hay without confronting the BO about it, no way out of that, in the situation you described.
    Even in a court of law, you would have to prove that the hay was really yours and that would be hard to prove, because you didn't have an agreement that that hay was yours to take with you when you left.

    Now, that you are blamed for 20 bales, that is not your fault, you are right, but no one is asking you to pay for them or you are confronted by the BO about it, just have heard that somewhere, maybe.

    I don't see how you can make friends there, if they don't want to be friendly, for whatever reason.
    Maybe you ought to look for another place and try for a better start, if you don't want to give this some more time and see if they come around eventually?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    9,068

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    I say you have two options:

    Option 1 (my choice) is to ignore it. She wants to be whatever around you, fine, it's her prerogative. As long as the riding and lessons you were planning on doing wasn't something you need to offset board, don't even worry about that.

    Option 2 is to ask her. Say hi and when she blows you off, ask, "Jane...have I done something wrong?"
    Agree....
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
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    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,038

    Default

    I had a somewhat similar experience happen to me and a couple of other boarders, at our old barn. We became increasingly concerned about the care, or lack thereof, that our horses were receiving, and decided to start barn shopping. Somehow, the BO found out about it and took it upon herself to call around and trash us. To this day, I'm not sure how many barns she might have called, but she did call the BO of the barn we did eventually move to. It was kind of funny, because old BO while trying to bolster her case against us, confirmed why we were unhappy at her barn. She flat out told new BO that we would count our Smartpaks to make sure they were getting fed everyday and she told new BO that sure, she didn't always feed them. She also said how we expected our stalls to be cleaned everyday, but that she didn't always get to it, but that we were being excessively picky about them getting done everyday.

    I'm not sure how cold calling barns and complaining about your boarders is supposed to help yourself, when you in fact do want those individuals to move out. Kind of hard for them to find other arrangements when you are throwing obstacles up in front of them....

    Anyhow, despite what our "new" barn owner heard, she still took us in, and is very happy with at least the two of us, because we don't constantly bother her about petty stuff, like some of the other boarders do. Of course, coming from the barn we had just left, we were, and still are, thrilled with the care our horses get. That is to say, all their basic needs are met and we don't have to worry about them having water, getting hay, supplements, or grained appropriately, and their stalls are cleaned daily and usually picked several times throughout the day if they are in for some reason.

    Oh yeah, that "old" BO, she was very similar to what the original poster described of her new BO. This person was so friendly and excited for us to move to her barn, and even wanted me to teach dressage lessons to the barn brats that were there and help train one of her horses. It wasn't until she got lazy/burned out, that we started having issues....



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    4,242

    Default

    It doesn't matter how many you are being blamed with. Pay for the ones you took. Who cares what anyone else says after that? You have owned up as a responsible adult.

    Then if the issue of your trash talking old BO and the hay comes up, you can come clean rather than trying to justify what you did. You can honestly say that despite knowing you really were owed those bales as per the board agreement, the BO may have felt you were not entitled. Since you had not asked the BO in advance because of the dynamics of the situation, you felt the most appropriate way to address the how the old BO felt, was to pay her for the 5 bales.

    Put your self in the new BOs position, how would you like the situation worked out?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2009
    Location
    Newark OH
    Posts
    203

    Default

    I would just be up front and ask. If she states things I would explain anything and everything to her. Then after the conversation just continue to be a great boarder and let it go.
    Good luck!!
    Proud Owner of Acertifiable Sonny 1996 AQHA Sorrel Gelding
    -- I loff my QH Clique



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Come Shine View Post
    You can honestly say that despite knowing you really were owed those bales as per the board agreement,
    Really? The board agreement said, "Lessee may take as much of Barn Owner's feed as she wishes"?

    Honey, you're a THIEF. If word got to the new barn owner/manager, no WONDER she watches you like a HAWK.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    You only should have taken hay after discussing it with the previous barn owner. Just because she is annoying, doesn't give you the right to take hay. 'Offsetting the cost of the move'? Come on. It's wrong. You stole hay.

    Now you need to prove to the new barn owner that you're reliable and honest. Good luck.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    19,173

    Default

    You can spend as much time as you want telling anyone who will listen that you aren't a thief.

    The BO may be unfair to blame you for the missing 15 bales. But if you were the only one who was caught with your hand in the cookie jar, why not lay all blame on you? I agree that reason ought to tell anyone that you alone didn't stuff 20 extra bales of hay into your single horse. The BO, as wack as she may be, psychologically needs to make you the bad apple. Otherwise, she must admit that the stealing problem will go on and on in her own barn. Don't worry, she probably knows it is and, if it is any consolation, is having a really bad time thinking all of her boarders suck.

    The sooner you can drop it, the happier you will be.

    If I were feeling very mature and brave on one particular day, I'd swing by my old barn and leave some cash for the 5 bails I took and a short note of explanation (not justification!) and apology. Then, knowing I had kept my side of the street clean, I'd let the rest of the chips fall where they will. In your position, however, it might take me some time to get so bold as to venture back with my nice note.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    35

    Default

    If the old BO does this all the time then others will realize she likes to spread rumors and likely dismiss her statements. People don't respect gossips. You shouldn't have taken the hay - that was stealing, send her a check for it or it will bug you the rest of your life. I agree with several of the others, the best way to prove you are a good boarder is to be one. Be friendly and helpful, don't gossip about other boarders, follow the rules, take good care of your horse and always leave the barn cleaner than you found it. The best mistakes are the ones we can learn from!



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