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Other boarder tied my horse up on a long lead in his stall and left him

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  • Other boarder tied my horse up on a long lead in his stall and left him

    there . He was found in morning tangled with rope burns to his hind pasterns, swelled hind legs, burns under his chest, cuts above his eyes . Vet was called .. he showed up 5 hours after intial call, did not bring an ultra sound to check his tendons, was to late for stitches over his eye lid. The girl who did this saw him Stall walking and decided he would be better off tied on a loose 8 ft lead so he could get at everything . I still need an Ultrasound I have vet bills and the barn owner is not interceeding on my behalf. How do I handle this. She is a 14 year old girl who has been a horse owner for 3 years . SHe is the rich kid in the barn and I have been told by the barn owner to handle this diplomatically. I have been told by the Mother it is alright for me to address her daughter on this matter if I treat it as a learning experience for her daughter. Opinions please. Opinions please.

  • #2
    OH man, I would be sooooo pissed

    Ok, first I wonder about the rules at your farm, as in whether or not it's allowed for an unauthorized person to handle another's horse. I'm betting it's not allowed, and if it is as such this is to your advantage: Yes, it can be a "learning experience" for the girl- she will learn that handling, touching, or otherwise making decisions for another person's horse is a bad thing and imaginably will not do it again in the future for obvious reasons.

    However, I personally would think that at the age of 14 and having owned horses for the last 3 years, she would know better, but that's just me.

    Then the "diplomacy" can come in.... you can courteously (but firmly!) suggest to her parents that they pay your horse's vet bills, and any other bills that accrue due to this incident- the ultrasounds I'm sure you'll have done, if there is any tendon damage then they can go ahead and throw some change in the pot to cover the Dx and treatment, too- including any wraps you'll have to buy, anti-inflammatories, etc.

    Personally, I think your BO/BM needs to step in to a) enforce the rules [provided there are any], and b) intercede on your behalf.

    Everyone knows that "shit happens" when it comes to horses, but this was not of your horse's (or another horse's) doing. It wasn't even an accident, it was just crappy decision-making. Although done with best intentions, the actions taken by the other boarder have led to a very costly and painful lesson on your and your horse's account; and if the parents won't "pony up," it is really punishing you for something their daughter did. (who I still maintain should have known better)

    I can pretty much guarantee that some posters are going to think I've taken it too far, regarding my opinions, but to be completely candid; I would absolutely persue complete financial coverage by the [ir]responsible parties involved in the whole debacle if it were me going through it with my horse.

    Just my $0.02
    Originally posted by Martha Drum
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.


    • #3
      Originally posted by MIKES MCS View Post
      I have been told by the Mother it is alright for me to address her daughter on this matter if I treat it as a learning experience for her daughter.
      Well, I can tell you, I'd have a very difficult time doing this "diplomatically"!

      Seems to me this should be (should have been) the barn manager's issue--what reason does this girl have for thinking your horse stall-walking was a problem she was responsible for "solving"? Why didn't she refer it to the barn staff? And who failed to teach her that you don't tie horses up on long leads and leave them unattended?

      Part of the "learning experience" should be her doing all of the extra care it will take to get your horse back to good condition. No exceptions for trips to the mall, dates, even lessons or shows. This comes first. She will have to be supervised, of course, which is an inconvenience for whoever has to supervise, but it will make it a more effective learning experience.

      Hope your horse recovers quickly.
      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

      Spay and neuter. Please.


      • #4
        I can understand your anger. Try to count your blessings. It could've been worse. Sounds like much of that is just surface or cosmetic, and it'll heal. Rope burns and scrapes aren't a big deal. Try to remain calm.

        The BO can't abritrate but she has some responsibility in this since it happened on her watch. If you wanted to get nasty, you could name HER in the lawsuit in addition to the girl who did this.

        What does the girl who did it say in her defense? Anything better than "duh it keeps him still?" Unfortunately she is 14, so it's going to fall back on either her parents and/or the BO.

        Be very polite and reasonable, and start with girl's parents. Without getting emotional, explain to them what happened and how their daughter admits to doing it. See how they react. If they're rich, they may just pick up the entire vet bill without a fuss. If they hesitate, politely let them know you are holding them responsible for the damage their daughter did & you'll be sending them the bills. When the vet bill comes in, mail them a copy with a polite-but-firm note reminding them of their obligation (certified/ return reciept mail).

        You could tack on something for loss of use or cosmetic damage, but they may be less likely to pay. I wouldn't go this route until the vet says the horse has long-term unsoundness. If you go this route you could ask for more money, but I'd bet you'd have to drag them into court to get it.

        Lawyers can be helpful for a situation like this, but they can also be costly. If this turns out to be only $500 worth of vet bills, it may not be worth it to hire a lawyer at $150/hour.

        I am concerned about the bigger picture:
        - a barn that lets 14 yr olds run loose, especially teens who are known to have attitudes
        - a barn that doesn't do night checks after boarders leave
        - a BO who couldn't find a vet to come out promptly
        - and a BO who wants nothing to do with what just happened in HER barn. Why isn't she concerned? What if the horse died? Is she changing any rules to be sure this won't happen again? Will the teen always have her parent with her to supervise at all times?

        In short, bill the parents... and shop for a new boarding barn.
        Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


        • #5
          I agree - bill the parents. It is the Barn Owner's/Barn Manager's responsibility to enforce the Barn Rules...not yours. What's the point in having a Barn Manager if they're not going to do anything?
          Border Reiver - 2000 OTTB gelding
          Te Conquistare - 1998 OTTB gelding
          Kaiser Tobey - big goofy German Shepherd
          My OTTB is a nerd clique


          • #6

            Diplomatically means you, the barn owner/manager, the girl and her parents meet together wherein you present them with a bill and an agreement to be signed in blue by all parties.

            Said agreement states that girl acknowledges and accepts responsibility for violating barn rules about handling another owner's horse, for causing the injuries to said horse by her misaction and agrees to never touch another person's horse again.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


            • #7
              I'd probably be more pissed at the management than the kid.

              Why didn't anyone on the staff notice this before it was allowed to go overnight?
              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


              • #8
                ditto others. one handed typing so brief--not being curt

                1)parents are responsible for child financiallky and otherwise--not up to you to punish, teach, etc...but i would present them with the bill

                2) as for educating, sure...talk about why we tie horses short or not at all, why you do not touch other people's horses without permission.

                ultimately, horse will likely be okay....good news. but they are responsible. period, end of story.

                get the feeling that they will be responsive to remedy if everything is kept civil....
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  Doesn't anyone do a barn check at night? As a BO, either my husband or myself does a barn check between 9 & 10pm EVERY night.

                  Also, I would not allow another boarder to handle someone else's horse without written permission (say the owner is out of town and the horse needs something.)

                  I'd seriously consider moving to another barn after an incident like this....
                  Enough with the drama!


                  • #10
                    I think the girl's parents should pay the vet bills. The barn owner needs to speak to her about not handling other people's horses. If the parents refuse to pay, you can sue the girl/parents. At her age, her parents are just as responsible (as guardians of a minor).


                    • #11
                      Kid's parents should *unquestionably* pay. But there's a cause of action against BM as well, for letting the horse stand there overnight... That's GROSS negligence (there's a difference!).

                      Do exactly what MayS said, provided you're feeling nice. (Be sure and keep a written record of any/all conversations you may have with any of these people.)

                      If you're not feeling nice (and I wouldn't be either), get a lawyer and sue the living sh*$ out of both the parents and the BM.

                      Then move.
                      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                      • #12
                        I agree with what others have posted - keep a record, and seek legal counsel. And let them know you have done so.

                        However - I would LEAVE THIS BARN.

                        I like what WA has to say. Sue the sh!t out of them.
                        a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                        • #13
                          I do not believe you should be dealing with this child or her parents. The BM is responsible. They need to pay the vet bills. If they can get the money out of the parents, good for them. But it is neither your job, nor responsibilty. How can they possibly expect you to be diplomatic? That's a crock.

                          Since there has been no US yet, you do not know the extent of the damage, nor if it is permanent or not. Ditto scars that could impact the value. Ditto your loss of use. Let alone your time in tending the wounds and rehab OR your poor horse's pain and suffering. Rope burns HURT.

                          I think it is rediculous that they are trying to lay this all off on you. You need to firmly explain that this needs to be made right and you will ensure that it is. Take a deep breath and lay out the facts. First thing they need to do is inform their insurance company. They have one right?

                          The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



                          • #14
                            Why didn't the barn owner or an employee of the barn owner check the horses after all the cutomers had left for the night? Why was a minor, under the age of 16, in the barn alone and worse yet in a starneg horse's stall alone? I would be finding a new barn and sueing the barn owner and this kid's parents.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thank You all for your fast responses. I will be meeting with this girl tonight, and hopefully her mother and father. I will be asking for repayment of vet bills and will tell them l'll schedule an ultra sound for Monday which I will expect them to pay for. If any permanant damage is found I will have to decide what to do at that point. But you all are right I should be looking for another barn. It is very hard I've been there for over a year and the turnout is the best there is in a 1 hour radius. But this stuff keeps happening and it really is as you all have pointed out the barn owners responsibility. I am debating on wether or not to print this thread and show it to her. Maybe she doesn't realize this is her responsibility . If she doesn't then it's a lesson learned for her and perhaps she will change her policy if She doesn't see the problem then I wil have to move as this sort of thing will just keep happening. Again Thank You for your help .

                              So you all know, I had to do some detective work to find out who did this and at first the girl lied , but when she realized I had pretty much narrowed it down to her , she went to her mother who told her she needed to tell me what she did. I did not yell at her , I just calmly said I would talk with her tonight. SO I will try and hold my temper , but I believe this girl needs more then an educational experience, two weeks ago she caused an accident in the barn in which another girl was hurt with 3 teeth knocked out and and a trip in the ambulance to the emergancy room, and a future of oral surgeries for the summer.


                              • #16
                                It's an outrage that another boarder took it upon themselves to handle your horse in such a way.
                                It's an outrage that the BO/BM didn't catch and undo the mess before poor horse was injured.
                                It's an outrage that, having failed to either have appropriate rules or inform boarders of rules or enforce them, the BO/BM tries to make it your problem.

                                They are right on one point only. As tempting as it might be to commit violence, or at least yell, be diplomatic and do not raise your voice.

                                How very nice of Mrs. Rich B to tell you you may speak with her daughter. It's not your responsibility to educate or supervise someone else's child, nor is it your job to enforce barn rules. I would keep communication with her daughter at an absolute minimum. Avoid her like the plague. Although I would, with witness, have a brief conference with Mrs. Rich B and Little Rich Girl to cordially explain that she is never to handle your horse again. That's all the education you need to give her.

                                Tally your losses -- vet bills, time for caretaking, loss of use, pain and suffering inflicted on your horse.

                                Explain to the BO that they failed to provide adequate care and protection and therefore are responsible to pay in full. And give them their 30 days notice. They can choose to get the money from rich parents or not, as they please. That is their problem.

                                Move your horse as soon as it is safe to do so. Provide BO with copy of bills. If they give you any kind of hard time, refer all future communication to your lawyer or file in small claims (usually for under $5K). And get your horse the heck out of there!!!!!

                                I'm so sorry for your poor horse. I'm soooo glad I don't board out any more!!!!


                                • #17
                                  first of all, this is not the fault of the BM or the BO. this girl willfully walked into the stall and did this without their knowledge. any barn can have a few weird boarders. trust me on that. the parents WILL pay your damages and if there are permanent damages, i would have to sue them. this is unacceptable. is there anything in the boarding contract about not going near another boarder's horse without permission? b/c there is in MY contract. i would not leave, i would ask the BM to ask them to leave. they broke the rules.


                                  • #18
                                    1) Start shopping for a new place to board - this place is poorly run, as you've no doubt figured out by now. Everybody who is conscientious checks the barn after boarders leave, and a horse tied in its stall isn't exactly easy to miss.

                                    2)Ask the barn owner if she is reporting the injury to your horse caused by her negligence to her insurance or would she like you to do so?

                                    3)Present the barn owner with all your vet bills.

                                    4)Continue shopping for a new home for horsey by visiting other boarding barns and asking about night check procedures as well as their policy on who handles horses (who would have thought these were questions that needed to be asked?).

                                    5)Advise Mom that she needs to deal with her daughter in terms of learning experiences, and a good start would be learning to mi8nd her own business with regards to others' horses; if she has a concern it should be presented to management.

                                    6)Consult with an attorney regarding writing a letter to the barn owner/insurance company making a demand for your vet bills. Many will write letters for small fees.

                                    7)Move your horse as soon as you find a more suitable place.

                                    Good luck.


                                    • #19
                                      I think it would be best for the parents to be there - who knows what the girl will say to others if there is no one around during your meeting. Also, since she is a minor, it would be best for her parents to be there since they are legally responsible for her.

                                      Sorry to hear about your horse and best of luck on the ultrasound!
                                      Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by MIKES MCS View Post
                                        there . He was found in morning tangled with rope burns to his hind pasterns, swelled hind legs, burns under his chest, cuts above his eyes . Vet was called .. he showed up 5 hours after intial call, did not bring an ultra sound to check his tendons, was to late for stitches over his eye lid. The girl who did this saw him Stall walking and decided he would be better off tied on a loose 8 ft lead so he could get at everything . I still need an Ultrasound I have vet bills and the barn owner is not interceeding on my behalf. How do I handle this. She is a 14 year old girl who has been a horse owner for 3 years . SHe is the rich kid in the barn and I have been told by the barn owner to handle this diplomatically. I have been told by the Mother it is alright for me to address her daughter on this matter if I treat it as a learning experience for her daughter. Opinions please. Opinions please.

                                        Speak to the child's parents about it, and send them the vet bills.
                                        Roseknoll Sporthorses