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Mistake made by person who is caring for your horses while you're away?

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  • Mistake made by person who is caring for your horses while you're away?

    Good Morning all!
    I got back from QH Congress yesterday. We left midday Friday. I had a boarder of mine (I manage the barn I board my horses at) that needs the cash, feed my two horses for me over the weekend. One mini and a stock horse filly. I will mention that the mini was fed correctly over the weekend.

    She fed Friday PM, Sat AM, Sun AM, the husband of the barn owner fed for me Sat PM. I let her know where my stock horse's grain with premixed supplements was, as well as her supplemental grass pellets, and where to get her hay from. My 2 year old stock filly is on some pretty important joint supplements as an old fracture was discovered after an injury from 2018. She is still not in full work and won't be for another year.

    My conundrum is the gal who fed for me, fed my stock horse out of the barn's grain, which luckily is the same pellet, just with an inclusion of oats, (I supply ALL the feed for my horses, and care for them myself), she did not get her supplements every day, even though I measured everything out and all she had to do was dump a gallon baggie in the feeder.

    At first I was super upset because it appeared that my horse had not gotten her grain all weekend, besides Sat PM because the owner's husband fed. I did approach her about it and asked what happened, and ask if she got fed out of the barn's grain, so I could make sure that I could pay for the grain that was given to her, or purchase a new bag if that was the case. She got defensive. She didn't answer any of my questions about what happened and just said that she would refund the BO for the grain. I told her that I would handle that, and that I was sorry my instructions were not clear enough. She then backtracked and said that she felt dumb because she couldn't find it, and didn't think to call/text and ask.

    The BO said don't worry about the grain, as it was such a little amount. So at least I don't have to worry about it for now, but I plan on giving her a couple scoops of my grain, which again is the same pellet with no oats, that she can mix in with hers.

    Do you think I should pay this gal the full amount that I told her I would pay? I know her time is valuable, but she did not follow directions, did not contact me immediately when she couldn't find my horse's grain, and in turn my horse did not receive those joint supplements that keep her inflammation free. I ended up having to stall her today with her BOT knee wraps and standing wraps to help bring the swelling down. She isn't lame, or in pain, which is great.

    I doubt I will be calling her again to care for my horses when I am away, or I'm just never going away again LMAO
    I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

    BaileyAnn Neal

  • #2
    Mistakes happen. I would pay as promised. While it isn’t super, animal sitters are hard to come by and I can never expect a short term person to be as attentive as I would be.

    I tend to expect that smartpaks or baggies will not find their way to the animals when I am gone. You can make it as simple as possible, but it can be overwhelming to try to remember at a strange farm, so if the animals are healthy, bright eyed and I. The correct paddocks/stalls- I call it a win.

    I would be a bit concerned that 2 days off of anti-inflammatories makes your baby that sore.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by rememberthenight View Post
      Mistakes happen. I would pay as promised. While it isn’t super, animal sitters are hard to come by and I can never expect a short term person to be as attentive as I would be.

      I tend to expect that smartpaks or baggies will not find their way to the animals when I am gone. You can make it as simple as possible, but it can be overwhelming to try to remember at a strange farm, so if the animals are healthy, bright eyed and I. The correct paddocks/stalls- I call it a win.

      I would be a bit concerned that 2 days off of anti-inflammatories makes your baby that sore.
      I mentioned that she was swollen, not sore. Sorry I was not clear with that. She just gets puffy in the knee, no heat. xrays have been taken and she is under vet care. The supplements are mostly MSM, Hemp and HA to keep her fluid and as comfortable as I can. The hemp really keeps the swelling down. I am sure she was tearing her pasture up while I was gone and that doesn't help either lol

      This gal boards at the farm, and is paid to do feedings for all pasture/stall boarded horses, so she knows the horses, where they go etc. I literally mixed her supplements in with the grain in gallon sized baggies, so there was no mistakes. All she had to do was dump the baggie in the feeder. I feel like I made it as easy as I could, dump one bag out of the pink bucket on the stall front into the feeder, dump one bag out of the blue bag on the stall front into the feeder, give her two flakes of hay, and make sure she was water.
      I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

      BaileyAnn Neal

      Comment


      • #4
        You pay her, you don't use her again.

        I understand you're upset, but in the long run, there's no harm here. Note for next time to be more clear, and underscore that you WANT to be contacted for questions/issues, no matter how trivial or small.

        Comment


        • #5
          No matter how you feel, never don't pay what you owe someone, especially for work done.

          If you think you need some compensation for what happened, you can try to deal AFTER you fulfill YOUR obligations first.

          Unless you have a contract with every detail in it about when you pay and when you don't if such and such goes wrong.
          Most people don't have contracts just to pinch-hit feeding for someone else, so swallow what you think you are paying that was not done correctly and just don't use the same unreliable person again.

          Anyone can make mistakes.
          What is wrong in that situation is lying about it.
          You can't trust those that lie.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes • pay her • don’t use her again •

            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

            Comment


            • #7
              Last time I went away (son's wedding 1000 miles away), had to find someone last minute as the person I had set upto come stay welched on me 2 days before we had to leave. The person who stayed at my house (finish carpenter that has been remodeling my house over the past 10 years, one project at a time) is great with our dogs & cats, but has no horse experience at all. I was forced to simplify everything to the max--hay only for the horses and donks, pre-weighed and in nets. Had everything written down explicitly--hang 2 green hay nets in the shed for donks, 1 purple net in the shed for the hinny, 2 black nets clipped in the big tire feeder for the horses X twice a day. It was May, so the llama just stayed in the pasture grazing. No equines allowed out to graze (muzzle wearers) no one got their supplements or vit/min pellets for the weekend while we were gone (hinny is PPID, and that worried me but he was fine). Dropped off a letter to my vet saying caretaker had my permission to bring dogs/cats in if there were any issues or place a farm call if there was an problem with any of the large animals, and that I would pay up on my return. Caretaker would not pick up manure or clean litter boxes, so I loaded the shed with extra bedding, and had extra litter boxes for the house kitties. Barn cat got gravity feeders for both food and water. All went smoothly, all animals survived just fine. I felt more comfortable using this guy as we've known him for such a long time he's almost "family" over a pet sitter I've never met as I have several friends who used pet sitting services and had horror stories about how things went. At this point, I just prefer to stay home and hope that was my last trip.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would pay as promised, and just not use her again if you are that upset.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Instructions must be written down with both parties clear on where to locate them.

                  You have to pay her. You don't have to use her again

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pay her.
                    She fed, just not what you left.
                    Did you show her where you were leaving the pre-bagged feed?
                    Even if you did, and for whatever reason - forgot, lazy, ??? - she used barn grain, horse still got fed.

                    I leave my farmsitter pre-filled bags for each of my 3.
                    Labeled Horse, Pony, Mini & left in the galvanized bin that holds their feed. Along with a check for PIF.
                    He leaves the empties in the bin so I know everyone got fed.
                    Can't just dump back in the bin as supplements are in the bags, not the bin.

                    The backpedaling would bother me.
                    But I still might give her another chance & be certain to show her where feed was stored.
                    Second "mistake" and she's done.
                    No 3rd Strike.
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not sure missing a couple days of the oral supplement is that harmful. I'm not convinced oral supplements are that helpful compared to the injectables like pentosan and adequan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pay the woman and chalk it up as a lesson to make your system even more dummy proof or find someone who pays more attention to detail.

                        As she seems to be a barn regular or well known around the barn you also don't want her telling people "I fed her horses but she didn't pay me!". That will make it more difficult to find a barn mate to fill in if word gets around.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't see any lying here. The sitter got defensive, said she'd pay the barn owner for the grain that was fed mistakenly, and then admitted to the error.

                          Yeah, getting defensive isn't ideal, but the OP was "super upset." It's hard to NOT be defensive when someone who is super upset complains about the work you've done.

                          I'd guess this is a communication issue. The OP didn't communicate where the grain was in a way that stuck with the sitter, the sitter didn't communicate the confusion to the OP, and the OP may not have communicated to the sitter that YES please reach out with ANY questions/concerns/whatever.

                          Live and learn. Guessing most of us have had surprises coming home (hopefully minor, like this!) It's all one big learning experience, especially when you're dealing with new sitters. Assume NOTHING, communicate allllllll the things, and leave instructions in multiple formats/places, because people sure do learn in different ways. And check in daily.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would definitely pay her.
                            She fed your horses.

                            Before you go away next time make sure your instructions include the fact that you are fine with your pet sitter calling or texting with ANY question and the location of all thins clearly spelled out. (Instead of saying give a baggie of grain say give a baggie of the grain that is located in the bucket that is in bottom of my tack locker.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WildGooseChase View Post
                              Good Morning all!
                              I got back from QH Congress yesterday. We left midday Friday. I had a boarder of mine (I manage the barn I board my horses at) that needs the cash, feed my two horses for me over the weekend. One mini and a stock horse filly. I will mention that the mini was fed correctly over the weekend.

                              She fed Friday PM, Sat AM, Sun AM, the husband of the barn owner fed for me Sat PM. I let her know where my stock horse's grain with premixed supplements was, as well as her supplemental grass pellets, and where to get her hay from. My 2 year old stock filly is on some pretty important joint supplements as an old fracture was discovered after an injury from 2018. She is still not in full work and won't be for another year.

                              My conundrum is the gal who fed for me, fed my stock horse out of the barn's grain, which luckily is the same pellet, just with an inclusion of oats, (I supply ALL the feed for my horses, and care for them myself), she did not get her supplements every day, even though I measured everything out and all she had to do was dump a gallon baggie in the feeder.

                              At first I was super upset because it appeared that my horse had not gotten her grain all weekend, besides Sat PM because the owner's husband fed. I did approach her about it and asked what happened, and ask if she got fed out of the barn's grain, so I could make sure that I could pay for the grain that was given to her, or purchase a new bag if that was the case. She got defensive. She didn't answer any of my questions about what happened and just said that she would refund the BO for the grain. I told her that I would handle that, and that I was sorry my instructions were not clear enough. She then backtracked and said that she felt dumb because she couldn't find it, and didn't think to call/text and ask.

                              The BO said don't worry about the grain, as it was such a little amount. So at least I don't have to worry about it for now, but I plan on giving her a couple scoops of my grain, which again is the same pellet with no oats, that she can mix in with hers.

                              Do you think I should pay this gal the full amount that I told her I would pay? I know her time is valuable, but she did not follow directions, did not contact me immediately when she couldn't find my horse's grain, and in turn my horse did not receive those joint supplements that keep her inflammation free. I ended up having to stall her today with her BOT knee wraps and standing wraps to help bring the swelling down. She isn't lame, or in pain, which is great.

                              I doubt I will be calling her again to care for my horses when I am away, or I'm just never going away again LMAO
                              You pay and you take it as lesson learned that your feeding system is not idiot proof.

                              Make your feeding system idiot proof. Premeasure grain and add one into baggies for each feeding. Write the horses name and date on each baggie for instance Fluffy Saturday dinner. Put all these in a bucket. Put the bucket somewhere obvious. Put a check list on your stall door for each horse that lets care taker check off each meal or task. Put print out of feeding instructions on your door. Text sane info to the caretaker.

                              I am in a self board barn. Everyone has their own little system and own stash of feed. I have permanent instructions up in my tack loft onin case I get injured and someone needs to fill in. Remembering every ones special routine is impossible. And we are conscientious adults who genuinely help each other as needed.

                              In your case no harm done. A few days missed supplement is NBD. Psy the girl and if you haven't totally alienated her then even try using her again if you can idiot proof your feeding. But definitely idiot proof it for anyone on future as well.

                              Generally the non BM folks who routinely help out at barns for cash divide up into inexperienced kids and adults that aren't always the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. Plan for this.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks all! I do feel like I idiot proofed things well. All grain was premeasured, with supplements, and had the horses name and whether it was an AM or PM feeding, I was not able to show her where the grain was, but was very specific on where the grain was. I will pay her and chalk it up to a lesson learned. Thank you!
                                I have not alienated her in any way, and have even apologized to her.
                                I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

                                BaileyAnn Neal

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'd definitely pay. It sounds like an honest mistake. I don't think she purposefully fed your horse incorrectly.

                                  Perhaps next time you can have a "training day" before you leave. Have her do the feeding while you follow along. This would give her the opportunity to ask questions, and give you the opportunity to see where your plan can be improved upon.

                                  Glad your horses are okay!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by WildGooseChase View Post
                                    Thanks all! I do feel like I idiot proofed things well. All grain was premeasured, with supplements, and had the horses name and whether it was an AM or PM feeding, I was not able to show her where the grain was, but was very specific on where the grain was. I will pay her and chalk it up to a lesson learned. Thank you!
                                    I have not alienated her in any way, and have even apologized to her.
                                    So I just had an idea (for next time, whoever you use). Maybe get them a small something like a Starbucks card, candy, homebaked goodies and proactively reach out the first day or two of your trip.

                                    "Hey did you find your present in the (supplement bin/feed bin/next to the medication/near something important)? Dobbin heard you love (Reeses Peanut Butter Cups/chocolate chip cookies/etc) and insisted I leave you some for taking care of him while I'm gone. Let me know if you have any issues"

                                    Of course, make sure it is properly packaged to discourage mice or getting contaminated with a supplement. I know you're already paying the person but I'm just thinking something small. Not like a $50 Dover gift card or anything!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Maybe you weren't able to do this but I've found walking them through the routine on site, backed up with written instructions is the most effective way to show somebody the ropes. I've had really competent animal caregivers miss stuff with the list/verbal instruction only method.

                                      No question she gets paid, but not texting you to clear up minor snafus (can't find the baggies) would be a tip-off for me not to use her again.
                                      One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                                      William Shakespeare

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by WildGooseChase View Post
                                        Thanks all! I do feel like I idiot proofed things well. All grain was premeasured, with supplements, and had the horses name and whether it was an AM or PM feeding, I was not able to show her where the grain was, but was very specific on where the grain was.
                                        If she is capable of doing basic barn chores regularly and could not find your grain then it was not specific enough or clear enough. Lesson learned.

                                        I kind of like it that she was smart enough to feed the same feed that the barn has when she could not find yours.

                                        Comment

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