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  1. #1
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    Default Board Termination/Notice Question

    Oh my, me thinks its a bit early in the morning, but here we go!

    A very dear friend of mine, aspiring horseman, Marine, and probably Sweetest Person Ever has recently reached out to me for advice, and I am further reaching out to COTH for opinions about this particular situation.

    In a nutshell Sweetest Guy Ever bought a very promising young mare several months ago- all around awesome horse and a steal of a deal, but he hadn't been actively looking, and there weren't any stalls open at the barn he was currently at. Found another barn with BO-trainer who upon meeting seemed like a great fit, if perhaps not a little anal- but being a military man himself, this wasn't a bad thing. Because the mare is young and still somewhat green he decided to put her in training with this BO-trainer.

    After a month of full-training Sweetest Guy Ever wasn't entirely thrilled with the mare's progress (or lack thereof?), discussed his concerns and reiterated his goals for the mare with the trainer, and they agreed to another month of training. Three weeks into the second month of training Sweetest Guy still isn't super thrilled- chalks it up to it just not being a great match, but decides privately that for the results he is best to save his money for the time being until finding a more appropriate trainer for this particular mare- tells the BO-trainer that he'd like to take mare out of training, and signs a new regular-board contract, complete with a 6 week notice clause. BO was apparently a bit pissy about this, presumably due to her decreased income, and has had an attitude since.

    Shortly after the poor guy receives rush PCS orders halfway across the country (but closer to ME! Yay!). Luckily he has found a great place to live and a wonderful barn with enough stalls for all his kids, already secured for the first of the month. Sweetest Guy Ever alerted both BOs of his PCS as soon as he received them, which with the trailering he has been able to find only allowed him 28 days notice. First barn said of course, no problem, we wish you well.

    Second barn however is a different story... BO is apparently being rather evasive when it comes to the matter of what will be owed. The mare will be leaving for her new barn on the 28th day of notice (which is the very beginning of the month) out of their required 42 days. I guess there was some language in the contract that led Sweetest Guy Ever to believe that he would only be responsible for the 42 after giving notice, but BO is saying he will be responsible for the entire month that his notice ends in. In this case that would mean he's paying for 56 days after giving notice.... :/ To me the point of the six versus four weeks notice is so that you have that extra guaranteed time to find a replacement boarder, or at least the income; if he had only been asked to give a single month's notice and that had run out mid-month, I would perhaps expect to be asked to pay through that month. Additionally the BO is now not cooperating when being asked to see the original board contract, which to me says something is afoul.

    For what it's worth board at this particular farm runs in the $700-$800 range..

    Thoughts?
    "Sit back and prepare to be pissed off!"

    Eventer, Ballerina, Dancer, Model, and Waitress Extraordinaire (cos a girls gotta eat!).



  2. #2
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    OK, Mr Sweetest Guy Ever (gotta love that handle ) already gave notice before his orders came down?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Default

    Now, as a barn owner myself I don't say this lightly:

    I'd tell Mr. Sweetest Guy Ever to move his horse, pay that extra two weeks, and leave. BO can come after him in court if she wants, but she doesn't have a single leg to stand on. And I suspect she knows it.

    Quite frankly, were I the BO in question, I wouldn't even ask for that extra two weeks. Receiving orders to move a huge distance is one of those "understandable" issues that I would give someone a free pass on....it's not like he's just swapping to a different local barn.


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  4. #4
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    Maybe Sweetest Guy Ever can ask a local attorney? Doesn't the military have someone on staff who can take a look at his contract?
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  5. #5
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    Default

    He signed a one-month training board contract for Month One, then another one-month training board contract for Month Two, then he signed the "six weeks notice" regular board contract at the beginning of Month Three, and shortly thereafter got his PCS (face palm anyone?) requiring him to move within about a month's time. So he had no intention of leaving the area or the barn when he signed the 42 (why not 45??) day notice board agreement.

    For the record- he has said he is happy to the pay the remaining 14 days on a pro-rated basis.
    "Sit back and prepare to be pissed off!"

    Eventer, Ballerina, Dancer, Model, and Waitress Extraordinaire (cos a girls gotta eat!).



  6. #6
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    I think it would be great if the BO would give him a break since it's not really up to him to move. But he should just pay the 14 days extra per the contract and move his horses. If the BO wants to fuss over it she can try to bring it up as a legal matter but it doesn't sound like she has any chance.
    www.hogbackhillfarm.com


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  7. #7
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    Mr Sweetest Guy Ever can tell BO he'll hand it over to JAG, I am sure.

    I would think in this day and age most people bend over backwards to extend some kind of courtesy to military personal....but since the BO does not sound all great to begin with....

    I would think - since the BO is being a...well, let's not do name calling - the worst he has to pay the 42 days.

    (I did read that right that the BO wanted more money than that?, for the other two weeks after the 42 day notice?)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    I would think in this day and age most people bend over backwards to extend some kind of courtesy to military personal....but since the BO does not sound all great to begin with....
    Agree. No normal person holds someone to notice requirements in the face of a military transfer.
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin


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  9. #9
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    Aug. 11, 2002
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    Given what so many serving in the military sacrifice for the rest of us, it would seem appropriate for the BO to release this nice man from any obligation beyond the days his horses are actually in the barn regardless of what the contract says. And do it cheerfully while she thanks him for his service. Anything less would be shameful.
    Kate


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  10. #10
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    He should pay the amount due according to the six week contract. However, a classy barn owner would say "thirty days is fine, and thank you for your service".


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  11. #11
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    Perhaps BO isn't impressed with service-to-our-country because he is "military man himself."

    While every rental agreement I've seen identifies PCS or even long-term TDY as cause to end early, for ME, paying the extra two weeks is a small price to feel confident that my horse will be well-treated for the time when I'm not there to ensure her comfort and safety.
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  12. #12
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    Aug. 15, 2012
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    Have your friend go to legal. If he presents a copy of his orders, I am fairly certain that they are obligated to honor his request to terminate his contract.

    I have stopped services with a number of companies that normally are very stubborn with a copy of PCS orders.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.


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  13. #13
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    If the Marine goes to Legal Assistance he'll likely be told that unless his boarding contract has a "military clause" he's stuck for the extra two weeks.

    If the amount in controversy is half a month's board ($400?) he's better off to pay it, suck it up, and negotiate a "military clause" in his next boarding contract.

    This sucks and I'd make sure that the local horse community knows who did what (which barn was reasonable and which one wasn't).

    Fair winds and following seas to him in his new assignment.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  14. #14
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    A) I think the BO is being a piss ant. She should roll with what Marine Sweetness needs, fitting into the grander scheme of things.

    But secondly) What's a PCS. And if Marine Sweetness knew he could get one of these and that it would uproot him in fewer than 30 days (when he signed the BO's contract), or in fewer then six weeks when he said yes to that deal.... well.... then he did have a part in it. Don't make promises you can't keep, eh?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  15. #15
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    I would abide by the terms of the contract. Pay for the month where the mare will actually be there, then pay for the rest of the days up to 42 (if that's what the contract says) on a pro rata basis. Good luck to her if she wants to go after him in Court for something that isn't written in the contract (i.e. money for the rest of the days in the second month).


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    A) I think the BO is being a piss ant. She should roll with what Marine Sweetness needs, fitting into the grander scheme of things.

    But secondly) What's a PCS. And if Marine Sweetness knew he could get one of these and that it would uproot him in fewer than 30 days (when he signed the BO's contract), or in fewer then six weeks when he said yes to that deal.... well.... then he did have a part in it. Don't make promises you can't keep, eh?
    PCS is "permanent change of station." Every one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children (and the rest of the DoD uniformed establishment) can get them. They are usually something that's planned in advance, but not always. The Needs of the Service trump everything else.

    Most reputable businesses are pretty understanding of short-notice PCS orders. Boarding can be more difficult, as barns need to make longer term commitments for purchases of forage, fodder, bedding, etc. If the BO has really laid out real money then he should pay the bill. If the notice is administrative and doesn't cost the BO anything then it's poor form to hold to the contract.

    Still, paying off the last two weeks is likely the quickest method of resolution.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  17. #17
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    Normally I would say suck it up buttercup, the norm is 30 days as the month ends.
    However, since the contract is already outside of the norm (6 weeks) and promotes leaving mid month, and depending on the wording I would say pack the horse and leave. Would love to read the wording of the phrase in the contract.



  18. #18
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    but BO is saying he will be responsible for the entire month that his notice ends in.
    HAH, I did not imagine things!

    that would make it not only 42 days but 42+two weeks (plus/minus a few days) NOT covered by the contract....

    Yes, I think there is something fishy....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    HAH, I did not imagine things!

    that would make it not only 42 days but 42+two weeks (plus/minus a few days) NOT covered by the contract....

    Yes, I think there is something fishy....
    That's isn't the industry norm. IME, it's 30 days from the date that notice is given, be that the 2nd or the 10th or the 28th. And I'm old enough to remember when 30 days' notice was not the norm. Now it seems we are all going to moving horses around the first of the month.

    IMO, the BO is picking the wrong case in which to start making a HO go above and beyond. After all, this is a nice guy who is constrained by a capricious government.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    That's isn't the industry norm. IME, it's 30 days from the date that notice is given, be that the 2nd or the 10th or the 28th. And I'm old enough to remember when 30 days' notice was not the norm. Now it seems we are all going to moving horses around the first of the month.

    IMO, the BO is picking the wrong case in which to start making a HO go above and beyond. After all, this is a nice guy who is constrained by a capricious government.
    I don't think we are talking norm here anyhow.

    but the 6 weeks/42 days is weird....insisting/intimating/implying the other two weeks are owed as well...that's nuts!
    That would make the notice more like 60 days...certainly not the norm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



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