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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2008
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    SE, PA
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    1,074

    Default No good deed goes unpunished

    After posting to the "why BO's don't make a profit" thread, I had an email from one of my boarders. She owns an ancient mare that, b/c of her own physical ailments, can only come out to see 1-2x a year. She pays me what she can which amounts to about a third of my normal board and I'm ok with that. I pay out of pocket to feed the mare alfalfa cubes, rice bran & triple the grain of all the others, just to keep weight on her. I bought her a new blanket this year that was warmer than the sheet she had, and I paid to have her old one cleaned. All of this I do out of love and TRULY do NOT expect anything in return.

    Email says that someone who had been at my barn had reported to her that her horse had had "horrible" rain rot that we were not treating. Well, since it rained just about every week this summer - well, by gosh some of them DID get rain rot! None of it ever went untreated!

    Well, did some detective work & figured out who this "person" was and found out it was a young girl that I had taken under my wing. I took her on as a working student and found her to be lacking in both areas; working & student Finally had to just tell her that it wasn't working out but that she was welcome to come by and ride anytime. Now, I find out this out and it's just hurtful on so many levels!! You try to be kind to people and it just ends up smacking you in the face!

    Sorry for the long rant and thank you for listening....
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Location
    Cullowhere?, NC
    Posts
    8,635

    Default

    This will seem a little off the stream but ...

    I work at a university and work a lot with new first-year students. I was talking to a colleague who does the same, and we were vennting about some of the immature things that our students do. She told me that whenever she experiences one of these episodes, she says to herself "center of the universe" and that reminds her how, when she was 18, she, too, thought she was the center of the universe, and said and did things not so much out of simple stupidity, but out of lack of perspective about the real world. That, and a deep breath, helps us carry on.

    You're right, your experience is hurtful on many levels. But I'm not sure there is any satisfying cure, other than to further distance yourself from the person who has no perspective.

    For what it's worth, I appreciate what you have done for the horse and her owner, and, in general, appreciate good barn managers, who have a very demanding and difficult task--not only the relentless horse care, but juggling the demands of boarders.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,124

    Default

    It sounds like that girl was a disappointment and continues to be a disappointment. I hope the boarder was understanding -- despite the best of care, things happen and I hope she especially understands that! If she's not out to see her horse her imagination can run wild, especially if someone is saying her horse is in bad shape.

    I have a boarder kind of in that situation (she's very sick and can't get out to her horse). To cheer her up I've been sending photos taken with my cell phone to her a few times a week. She loves her horse so seeing his face makes her happy, but also she can see how he looks. I just sent one this morning and she can see he's out in the snow, munching hay, with his blanket w/the hood on. But probably if your boarder is really old she might not have the ability to receive photos.

    It sounds like you should have a conversation with the boarder. I hope she is coming from a place where her assumption is the care is really good, but things happen. If she's not, and jumps to conclusions and assumes the worst I think I would gently say that you can't work under these conditions -- she has to have the assumption that you are doing your best -- and that you are happy to answer any questions she has.

    I board a few horses and the owners are fantastic; I did have one owner's former barn manager question every single thing I did when their horse came here and it was really unpleasant (second guessing the vet's recommendation, e.g., finding a tiny (less than one inch long, 1/2 inch wide) bit of rain rot on the horse's heel (paddock bone dry!) that cleared up on its own etc and giving me a hard time about these things).

    Don't let it get to you!!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2007
    Posts
    348

    Default

    I'm sorry. That must be hurtful after all the extra care, $, and love that you sink into the horse.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,136

    Default

    Well, perhaps that person SINCERELY THOUGHT the horse had rain rot and it wasn't being treated. Did they SEE you treat it? How would they KNOW? Sounds to me like a person who cares about horses,

    And I don't see how this has anything to do with the horse you're taking partial care of or the working student twho wouldn't work or study that you said you fired, so the "punishment" aspect eludes me.



  6. #6

    Default

    Well, perhaps that person SINCERELY THOUGHT the horse had rain rot and it wasn't being treated. Did they SEE you treat it? How would they KNOW? Sounds to me like a person who cares about horses
    Then they should've confronted the BO first instead of spreading it around. Maybe the rainrot was especially stubborn, but just because you "think" the care isn't good, doesn't mean it isn't actually.

    I think the point is, the working student spread the rumor tot he owner of the partial care horse. They definitely go together, since the OP feels like she gave working student a good opportunity that student then squandered and proceeded to badmouth her to the owner of the horse that she's doing a good deed for (charging her way below what board ought to cost, paying the rest out of pocket).
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2008
    Location
    SE, PA
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    1,074

    Default

    Thank you analise - I was trying to think of a dignifiied answer to nightsong & couldn't find one....

    I would think if this student has been such a caring about horses type of person - she would have shown up to work when she was scheduled. Thankfully, I never trusted that she would & made sure that I was always there. She is actually one of those "IKE" type of girls and that every nick should be cause for a thorough vet exam.

    Also thankfully, the owner did second guess the source of the rumor, however it would have been nice if she had flat out told the person that they were completely off base - just from my history of care for this horse.

    But thank you my fellow Cothers for your support - I always know where to come for a shoulder!
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
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    2,197

    Default

    Moonwitch-thank you for taking such good care of this mare.

    I do believe in karma. Somewhere, somehow good deeds will be recognized and appreciated.

    Maybe that's why I keep rereading "what's the nicest thing" thread!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,405

    Default

    Sorry this happened to you!

    To have to "let go" a WS and then invite her to come by should she want a ride-- you are too kind.

    It does suck to think of the WS and owner getting up in arms. But sort things out.

    The owner *should* at least follow up, even if only to confirm that the horse is fine. That's her job as a responsible owner, and it must be hard for her not to be able to come out herself. Please don't take her e-mail personally.

    It does hurt that the WS implied your care was bad. She ought to know better. But can you distinguish being hurt from being surprised? Your description of the kid makes it sound like she's one to fly off the handle a bit.

    Sigh. A BO's work is never done. Hang in there!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    7,136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by analise View Post
    Then they should've confronted the BO first instead of spreading it around.
    What "spreading around"? If your interpretation of the admittedly confusing Original Post is correct, the fired student told an absent boarder that their horse had a problem that wasn't being addressed.

    Why do you think any "confrontation" was necessary?

    Why do you say the person who noticed the problem should go to the B.O. instead of letting the horse's owner know the standard of care? I think the fired student did EXACTLY the RIGHT thing.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonWitch View Post
    I would think if this student has been such a caring about horses type of person - she would have shown up to work when she was scheduled. Thankfully, I never trusted that she would & made sure that I was always there. She is actually one of those "IKE" type of girls and that every nick should be cause for a thorough vet exam.

    Also thankfully, the owner did second guess the source of the rumor, however it would have been nice if she had flat out told the person that they were completely off base - just from my history of care for this horse.
    Wow. You sure don't have anything nice to say, do you?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2007
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Please don't have any hard feelings toward the owner for calling - it is a good thing that she is calling to make sure that her old girl is ok! Even if she trusts you completely, if it's a horse she only gets to see once a year, once someone mentions a possible problem, she owes it to her girl to verify that it is a rumor! I'm glad she was so understanding, and it is a blessing what you are doing for her. Lucky mare having so many people to look out for her best interests in her retirement! Thanks for taking care of her like you do!



  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nightsong View Post
    What "spreading around"? If your interpretation of the admittedly confusing Original Post is correct, the fired student told an absent boarder that their horse had a problem that wasn't being addressed.

    Why do you think any "confrontation" was necessary?

    Why do you say the person who noticed the problem should go to the B.O. instead of letting the horse's owner know the standard of care? I think the fired student did EXACTLY the RIGHT thing.
    Going to the owner. You're right, there's no indication it went farther than that.

    I didn't mean confrontation in the confrontational sense. Just, "hey, I noticed Dobbin here has a lot of rainrot that's not going away. Have you seen it?" Then the BO gets the chance to say, "why yes, Susie, I have. We've been treating it every day with x-treatment but you're right, it's not exactly clearing up easily!".

    I mean, if I were at a barn and noticed something off with a horse, the FIRST person I'd mention it to is the one responsible for their care, in this case, the barn owner. Sure, if I mention it and it STILL doesn't look like anything is being done, I'd probably contact the owner and say, "hey, Dobbin's got something weird going on, you probably want to look at him/talk to the BO."

    I would NOT go running to the horse-owner (as the OP is implying happened, basically, and that's all I have to go on) and say, "OMG your horse is covered in rainrot and BO isn't doing ANYTHING about it, isn't she terrible?"
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
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    3,788

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nightsong View Post
    Well, perhaps that person SINCERELY THOUGHT the horse had rain rot and it wasn't being treated. Did they SEE you treat it? How would they KNOW? Sounds to me like a person who cares about horses,

    And I don't see how this has anything to do with the horse you're taking partial care of or the working student twho wouldn't work or study that you said you fired, so the "punishment" aspect eludes me.

    "SINCERELY THOUGHT" isn't good enough. One GD well better KNOW FOR A FACT before they go shooting off their lip and making accusations.

    Rainrot isn't something that's going to kill a horse while well-meaning but not too bright ex-WS mulls around wondering whether (and to whom) to blab her concern and makes sure she knows what's what before she goes all yackety-yack.

    OP, I trust this twit's welcome to come ride has been permanently and vigorously rescinded? Whoever slaps her ears down now will be doing society a tremendous favor.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Location
    Dungeon of the Ivory Tower
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    20,394

    Default

    And what a shame that the owner, who has her own issues to deal with, had the added worry, thanks to the IKE WS. I hope she learns about possible repercussions of her actions before she gets much older.
    www.specialhorses.org
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues




  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
    Posts
    4,304

    Default

    Moonwitch, I agree with the comment that you should not hold hard feelings against the owner for checking up on the story, even though it came from a tainted source. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty to care for this old mare as diligently as you have, but the owner must be frustrated by her inability to be there, and she must still love the mare to call and double check.

    Regarding the little monster who spread the nasty story, I think you should call her on it. You did her a good turn by welcoming her into your barn and taking her under your wing, and she could be damaging your business and reputation with such stories. You might remind her that the horse world is very small, and if you get the reputation of being a lying, spiteful trouble maker, your chances of getting a decent job in a barn are about zero. In the perfect world, she owes you an apology, and she owes the horse owner a call to admit her lie and set the record straight.

    I would also suggest that you send weekly or monthly updates to the horse owner, complete with dated pictures so she can see that you are, indeed, taking great care of the mare. Rain rot is one of those things like kids in school getting lice...it can happen in the best of homes.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2008
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    SE, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nightsong View Post
    Wow. You sure don't have anything nice to say, do you?
    HUH??? Angry much? Wow - I was thinking the same thing about YOU!! BTW - please read - I did not FIRE the girl - I merely informed her that I did not have any work for her to do, and therefore would not require her ASSISTANCE!!! AND since she continually stood me up to ride or work, I just figured she didn't CARE. You sure are jumping to alot of conclusions here and making alot of assumptions!

    Now to all the other posters with constructive comments -
    I am not angry at the owner at all, and I truly understand her POV - if it were me & I wasn't able to get to the barn, I would probably think the same thing. I just hope I would have stopped and thought about "looking a gift horse in the mouth" type of thing. I can hear you all groaning!!
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2007
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    I am sorry you are having to endure this. Sometimes an act of kindness only widens our trials. However rest assured as we brave the trials our kindness is repaid 110 fold!

    Blessings dear.
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Dallas, NC
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    2,313

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nightsong View Post
    Wow. You sure don't have anything nice to say, do you?
    Pot-- meet kettle.
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2008
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    SE, PA
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    Default

    Thank you Woodland - and to those of you who offer support! I do it out of love for the grannymare and would hope that if I were in the same position, someone out there would look after my old man the same way. I too believe in karma (hence the name) and I have seen it come full circle.

    chai - I took your advice and forwarded the email to IKE with a "do you know what this is about - b/c I intend to get to the bottom of this" remark - waiting for a reply.

    I won't be jaded and I will continue to care for those that can't do so otherwise, and I will not let the unkind words or deeds of others turn me sour.

    I also have a new working student, who BTW is wonderful; shows up for work & brings in the grannymare to groom w/o being asked to do so.
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



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