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Dressage Pony Lease - Should I refund?

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  • Dressage Pony Lease - Should I refund?

    So wasn't sure where to put this, and seeing as it involves a dressage pony and lessons here it is...

    Situation... I had a girl back in February Lease one of my ponies. The lease was a part lease for 3 days a week (Sun, Wed Fri clearly stated on the lease agreement - Friday being a lesson). She did a six month lease. She always had one excuse or another not to ride, and would send an e-mail that she would be out Tuesday or Thursday etc to ride - I let her. She also had a few rides rained out, so feeling bad I extended her lease to a seventh month free of charge. At the end of the term she decided to pay one month at a time. The lease clearly states the lease is to be paid on the 1st day of the month, and 30 days notice must be given to terminate lease.

    The last week of September we had horrible rain and flooding. I had also canceled a lesson the previous week. On Oct 2nd she e-mailed to let me know she could not afford an October lease, but would still do weekly lessons, and pick up the lease in November. Then a couple of days later she decided she would not do November lease either. I e-mailed her, and told her that because the pony was not making a steady income for me I was going to sell him and wanted to give her first refusal. She said she couldn't buy him and had found another barn closer to her (she drives 45 minutes to get to me), so wanted a refund on the week of the lease she missed and the 2 lessons. I told her that she could make up the 1 week anytime and I would consider a refund on the lessons.

    But honestly I am not feeling so giving anymore. There is no reason she can't have the lessons. She didn't give 30 days notice, I have not sold the pony yet, and have several other horses she can ride as well.

    Opinions please?

  • #2
    You could tell her you will apply the prepaid lessons to the 30 days notice worth of lease she owes you.

    Or you could be nice and give her a % back.

    But no, I don't think you owe her anything.

    I saw alot of myself in this posting...you were so flexible and giving that you lost value in her eyes. I bet the new barn will not be so flexible and she will find a way to pay more to get what she wants.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • #3
      I wouldn't give a refund and nor would I expect one. I think what you offered is fair. And if the contract states 30 days notice..then she owes YOU,not the other way around. Stick to your guns and say NO.


      • #4
        It's not typical to receive make-up rides during a lease, some owners are generous & try to accomodate days that are missed: from your description you've already been extraordinarily considerate & your leasor has entered the state of taking you for granted

        On Oct 2nd she e-mailed to let me know she could not afford an October lease, but would still do weekly lessons, and pick up the lease in November. Then a couple of days later she decided she would not do November lease either.
        Generally, there are financial consequences for breaking contracts - you owe her nothing, she is fortunate that you're not enforcing the 30day notice; if you offer her the opportunity to make up these lessons/ride times, that is already more generous than many would do.


        • #5
          You have been more than generous. What you offered is more than enough. I've been running into this a lot with leasing a horse lately, too. I don't mind being flexible, but it gets ridiculous.


          • Original Poster

            Yeah, I know that I bend more than other people. Not good for business, but generally good for my conscience. I am feeling lately that I am not feeling as generous though, because when you are giving people start to take advantage. Think I will give the refund, but not bend from what I have stipulated in a contract in the future.

            Thanks for your opinions.


            • Original Poster

              I think my generosity just ran out - found this posted on my FB wall. The girl had decided to make her rained out week this week...

              "I'm afraid there's no way I can make it out today. I've got to clean up and unfortunately my new dog had an accident in the car that also must be cleaned! "...


              • #8
                "I need to enforce my 30 day notice because unfortunately, my pony needs to eat"

                I would never put up with crap. Some of you ladies are really lenient people!
                "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."


                • #9
                  I had a similar situation this summer. Long time clients wanted to lease a horse for the summer. Problem was they wanted me to make-up days due to their vacations etc. At first I wanted to make it work for them but after much consideration stuck to the contract. They chose to leave town and miss out on the rides. I didn't cause the rides to be missed.

                  I finally mentioned to them that they still pay for their house, car, gym membership etc. when they aren't home. I also let them know that I pay board and expenses if they horses are not getting used or if I go on vacation.

                  They weren't happy but they didn't leave over it.


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by high hat View Post
                    I finally mentioned to them that they still pay for their house, car, gym membership etc. when they aren't home. I also let them know that I pay board and expenses if they horses are not getting used or if I go on vacation.

                    They weren't happy but they didn't leave over it.
                    Course I lesson at a barn with a covered arena so cancellations don't usually happen sans hurricane. Trainer LOVES me cause she knows rain, snow, sleet or shine my a$$ will be in the saddle at the appointed time.
                    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                    Originally Posted by alicen:
                    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.