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Am I over re-acting?

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  • Am I over re-acting?

    Here's the situation. I run a small, private boarding facility. The owner of the property lives alone in the house, and I lease the barn and acreage from her. I try to keep only 3 to 4 boarders, and I screen them carefully as this is a private residence. The gate is kept locked at all times, as is the tack room.

    One of the boarders has given the combination to the gate lock to some friends of hers and the hiding place of the key to the tack room so that they can get her feed for her and deliver it. This woman is paying for self-care board, but can't or won't do anything for herself, so she gets other people to go after her feed and shavings. I have asked her to make sure that she is present if other people come out, but this falls on deaf ears. She just says that she has known these people for years and they would never steal anything.

    Am I over-re-acting here? I am somewhat protective of the lady that lives on the property; I don't want her to have to worry about a strange truck she sees on the property. Also, I'm concerned that there may be a liability issue if these friends of hers were to get hurt.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Liz

  • #2
    Sounds like this needs to be discussed with all parties (property owner, boarders, yourself) face to face and put on paper. The property owner may be fine with it, may not--you probably need to find this out, set some parameters for who gets access, and get it all out in the open.

    Having electronic key cards instead of keys or combinations is nice, because you can't duplicate them and I believe they can even be identified as "which card" so if something happens you know whose card was used for access. You could also charge for extras and require a deposit if someone wants to have more than one.

    By saying the one boarder "can't or won't do anything for herself" you sort of give the impression you disapprove of her means of taking care of her horse(s). I have my own place and do my own care, but I certainly have help lined up when I need it!
    Click here before you buy.

    Comment


    • #3
      NO !!!! This would be Unacceptable to me ~

      Not over- reacting at all ~ IMHO ~ you do not want to take any chances on a "bad thing" occuring as then you will have to find another property to lease ~ YOU "don't know her people" ~ she should be the only one opening the gate and tack room for HER deliveries AND present during delivery ~ simply too much at stake. Good Luck ~ the key hiding place and combinations need to be changed ~ and everyone sign an agreement NOT to GIVE OUT the entrance codes or ways to get onto the property ~ if this is voilated then the "violator boarder" should be asked to leave and locks... changed at that boarder's expense. Get this signed ~ please ~
      Last edited by Zu Zu; Aug. 15, 2010, 10:24 AM. Reason: addition
      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's the thing:
        small. private. owner occupied.

        If I look out my window and see a familiar boarder, I go back to making my supper or whatever, at peace that the noises I am hearing are NOT burglars.

        If I see a strange car in the drive, and unfamiliar people going into the barn, no matter how innocent their motives, I jump out of my chair, go out to the barn and ask questions.

        This is a serious inconvenience to me as a property owner. The alternative is for the owner just not to care and therefore not to be able to tell when the real thieves arrive and take everyone elses'stuff. This is a serious inconvenience to everyone else. If your self boarder can't see that, she needs to hit the highway.

        Now if you calmly explain this to the self boarder and she still doesn't get it, you are not over-reacting to kick her out.

        If you come screaming down on her, talons out and spitting fire for rules she did not even know she was breaking, you are over-reacting.
        "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

        Comment


        • #5
          How many friends has she given the information to? Is it just a a pair that come out together to do the chores/deliveries for her or are there multiple strangers showing up? I think if she just has a person or two who helps her and the property owner doesn't mind then it shouldn't be a problem.

          A lot of this depends on the mindset of the property owner. If she is a worrywart than the extra people may drive her batty, if she's laid back, not so much. I've been the extra pair of hands before where the people had no clue and didn't care who was going back to care for the animals.

          So, to make a long answer short: talk to the property owner and then go from there.

          Comment


          • #6
            You already know that boarder is fudging on the "self care" by then relegating that, so why keep that boarder around?
            She doesn't seem to fit there, where you want a private, not public stable.
            I would just give her notice, as per contract and keep looking for a new boarder, along with adding to your contract that this is a private facility and not open to anyone other than those boarding there and without them present, no one else is permitted.

            Situations like yours there keep coming with little details you get to iron out as it goes, this one more of those.
            Better safe than sorry, let that boarder and her less than adequate caring practices, for the place, go somewhere else that is acceptable.

            Comment


            • #7
              I get annoyed when people bring their friends to my farm. I don't know them and this isn't a bar or restaurant.

              Your boarder may need their help, however, and you need to decide if you need her. Does she care for her horses as you'd like? Does she pay on time? Is she courteous when present? Clean up after herself? If so, then I would tell her she doesn't give out key codes or key locations without bringing a boarding application from these people. If they are going to have access to the farm you need their pertinent info. Short and sweet. That is how it is.
              “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
              ? Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know where you are, but around here, no one would presume they could give others access to a private place, even if they board there, without asking first, especially if it involves locked keys and codes to enter.
                I think not having asked first shows lack of common sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We no longer have regular boarders, just training and retirement. When we did, we required a signed release (in my presence) of anyone who would be entering pastures, paddocks, stalls, riding, leading a horse, etc.

                  Sounds like a bad situation to me...I'd give her the boot. I agree with Bluey about permission and keys. Kick her out and change the locks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I appear to be in the minority here, but yes. I think you're overreacting.

                    I do understand why you don't want strangers about. I understand why you're uncomfortable with strangers being given combinations. I do not understand why you don't just ask to meet these people, and stress to the boarder that it is not appropriate to give combinations to people without asking you first.

                    A friend of mine has a mare at a barn where there is a padlock on the tack room door. She went on vacation for a few weeks, and I rode the mare for her. Before she left I went to the barn with her, I signed a release, she showed me where stuff was, and I said hi to the barn manager. It never occurred to me that the barn manager might have been freaked that a stranger (me) was given the combination.

                    Working under the assumption we're talking somewhere between 1 and 3 persons... why not just have the boarder's friends come over so you can say hi and ask them to sign releases? Maybe you can briefly touch on barn rules with them and make sure they're not totally horse impaired (hand them a horse on a leadrope and ask them to throw it in a stall for you or something). Then you will also be able to recognize them in the future. If you hate them or feel they're a liability, tell the boarder you're uncomfortable having that person around unattended.

                    If that idea still makes you uneasy, how about doing all that AND asking the boarder to give you a call if someone will be up doing something for her.

                    And if none of that sounds at all appealing... then your barn is not the place for her and it would be appropriate for you to ask her to leave.

                    But really, if Friend A comes to feed the horse 2x a week instead of Boarder doing it... as long as the person has signed a release, you know they're competent, and you know who they are... why should it matter? It's the same amount of barn traffic either way.

                    (I do acknowledge that others might feel differently, but I have a feeling that your boarder is thinking about this the same way I am)

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thank you all for your replies. I know that I do tend to be a bit of a "control freak", so I needed another perspective on this. This issue had come up before with this boarder when her friend showed up with a feed delivery, and told me he would be back later to give her horse a shot. I told him (calmly) at that time that I was leaving and the gate would be locked. If he needed to come back later, he needed to make arrangements with the boarder to meet her out there. Later that day I got a call from the boarder saying that I had threatened her friend that he'd better never set foot on the property, which was in no way what was said. I told her at that time that I did not want unescorted guests on the property, no matter how "honest" they may be. Apparently I wasn't clear, and I didn't put it in writing.

                      I appreciate all your suggestions.

                      Liz

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DesignerLabel View Post
                        Thank you all for your replies. I know that I do tend to be a bit of a "control freak", so I needed another perspective on this. This issue had come up before with this boarder when her friend showed up with a feed delivery, and told me he would be back later to give her horse a shot. I told him (calmly) at that time that I was leaving and the gate would be locked. If he needed to come back later, he needed to make arrangements with the boarder to meet her out there. Later that day I got a call from the boarder saying that I had threatened her friend that he'd better never set foot on the property, which was in no way what was said. I told her at that time that I did not want unescorted guests on the property, no matter how "honest" they may be. Apparently I wasn't clear, and I didn't put it in writing.
                        A stranger showing up to give the horse an injection? That is unreasonable.

                        In an overall sense, if we're talking about 1 or 2 people who you get to meet, see interact with the horses, and have okay'd... I think your boarder is within reason to request that they be allowed to feed occasionally or drop off bedding for her. Especially if you work out a system where she gives you advance notice these things will be happening.

                        But it sounds as though you're uncomfortable with that, which is also reasonable.

                        The problem here is I think twofold. First, a lack of communication between you two. Second, a fundamental lack of congruence your beliefs and those of your boarder about the nature of a boarding facility. Since you're the BO, it might be best to ask her to move on to a boarding situation more appropriate to her needs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A stranger showing up to give the horse an injection? That is unreasonable.
                          But the person was not a stranger to the horse's owner, apparently. It's not like some random person off the street was tiptoeing around with a syringe.

                          Yes, it would have been smart of the owner to let the OP know that someone was coming to give her horse a shot, but a lot of boarders, IME, don't see things that way--especially in a "self care" situation the feeling is that the horse and what happens to it are the problem of the horse's owner, not the BM or BO.

                          I'm thinking about when I used to board, and I still do keep a horse at my trainer's for months at a time sometimes. Yes, I would call if I was going to have someone "do something" with my horse. But if I'd cleared things to have that person working with or handling my horse, I wouldn't expect to have to call every time that person was going out. And yes, I'd totally expect for that person to have to sign releases, etc.

                          Sounds like better communication on both sides could turn this into a non-issue, really.
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DesignerLabel View Post
                            I have asked her to make sure that she is present if other people come out, but this falls on deaf ears. She just says that she has known these people for years and they would never steal anything.
                            I think this is the essence of your problem and your boarder needs a Come To Jesus meeting. I don't usually think people need that, or that it's one person's right to be this hard on another. But I think your boarder has blown you off in this "answer" to your request.

                            In your spot, I wouldn't give a good god damn what she thinks of her friends. That's not the point. You asked her to be there when they were and she neither did that, nor considered your position. As you say, you might be worried about your relationship with a fussy property owner or worried about boarder's buddies getting hurt, or your insurance company or whatever. She doesn't know what you are juggling, but did agree to your terms when she moved in. They aren't 100% hers to modify and then tell you how its going to be.

                            On second thought, you don't have to be mean but you should decide what you want and then make it clear to your boarder that she needs to comply or choose another barn.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ok, I don't get it. Why can't people follow the rules.
                              Do you have a rule, and if you don't, I would institute one. No one on the property without your permission or accompanying a boarder. PERIOD.

                              When I boarded my horse back in high school(and for many years after), the owner said, no friends, and don't come after dark. End of story. Ok, so I was told the expectation, and didn't challenge it.

                              Why can't people just follow the fricking rules? Or for that matter, have some consideration for others?
                              save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The point isn't that the boarder has someone care for her horse, but that people who don't have waivers, are unknown to the barn manager and barn owner are coming on the property because they have been given access by a boarder. Since the boarder apparently doesn't get the point then she/he needs to take their horse and leave for another barn. Then you need to change the locks and key location. Even if her friends are reliable and trustworthy, plus very careful in gate closure, etc, what is to stop this boarder from getting other helpers, or letting other friends come by and see the horses? Don't wait until someone leaves a gate open, or until someone is injured on your property and everyone gets sued.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by DesignerLabel View Post
                                  Here's the situation. I run a small, private boarding facility. The owner of the property lives alone in the house, and I lease the barn and acreage from her. I try to keep only 3 to 4 boarders, and I screen them carefully as this is a private residence. The gate is kept locked at all times, as is the tack room.

                                  One of the boarders has given the combination to the gate lock to some friends of hers and the hiding place of the key to the tack room so that they can get her feed for her and deliver it. This woman is paying for self-care board, but can't or won't do anything for herself, so she gets other people to go after her feed and shavings. I have asked her to make sure that she is present if other people come out, but this falls on deaf ears. She just says that she has known these people for years and they would never steal anything.

                                  Am I over-re-acting here? I am somewhat protective of the lady that lives on the property; I don't want her to have to worry about a strange truck she sees on the property. Also, I'm concerned that there may be a liability issue if these friends of hers were to get hurt.

                                  Let me know your thoughts.

                                  Liz
                                  Have had several wonderful boarding situations ended due to one boarder who 'did their thing' and caused the the property owner to throw everyone out.
                                  My suggestion is review the situation with property owner so you are both on the same page. If PO agrees. . .
                                  Next - sit down with boarder and calmly explain your responsibilities as BM, which includes 'vetting' all parties entering the property. So boarder needs to bring her 'friends' over for an interview, signing of releases and outline of their respective duties for said boarder.
                                  Determine next course of action if the boarder does not agree. My suggestion is to give the boarder a 30-day notice if she fails to comply.
                                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                                  Courtesy my cousin Tim

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