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Trainer driving me crazy

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  • Trainer driving me crazy

    I own a small not fancy (I like it that way) barn. I mostly offer self and full board. I do things a bit different though. All horses stay out 24/7 unless storming or too hot (95 and above). I don't feed hay in the summer unless they are stalled because I have an over abundance of grass that we keep sprayed for weeds and fertilized. I have one full boarder who also rides with my trainer. They pay a reduced board based off a deal that was worked out years ago.

    My trainer knows how I operate and she knows I don't care to change it. I work a full time job outside the barn and don't want to or have the time and money to run it the way she would like.

    Now said pony of full boarder is now unable to be out 24/7. He is getting hay am and pm now and costing more on power, feed and labor (cleaning stall twice a day every day). I have expressed that we may need to increase board. All I get in response is texts saying "pastures need.....", "I'm spending my own time and money to paint jumps" (which I didn't ask for), "when are you going to do....".
    I'm over it. I am considering getting rid of barn and horses. Its become unenjoyable and I feel unappreciated for what I actually do.

    any suggestions?

  • #2
    Is the issue that you want to maintain decorum with your trainer? If not, why not give them both (full boarder and trainer) ultimatums? It's your property; you can do things your way.

    Comment


    • #3
      If it were me and I felt this burned out, I'd think about getting rid of the boarder and trainer.

      It sounds as if they are expecting to take advantage of the nice amenities you are offering, but also want full board stall care on the previous "pasture board" care price.

      Since this increased level of care is not packaged into your cost[s], it should reflected in your new board care costs on the start of the new month. Since you are now providing additional services, you should be compensated for them.

      Any extra care or service provided outside of what is on the original contract should have an additional charge (you decide what makes it worth your while to do) for services rendered -- trainer/boarder can either pay up, or pack up.
      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yes. My trainer and I own a pony that we plan to sell together.

        Comment


        • #5
          Is this coming from the owner or the trainer?

          Honestly I think you are over-reacting from one grumbly demanding client when your program runs fine otherwise. Your mistake was to start accomodating this client if it runs counter to your business model and costs.

          What you say to client is: "My business model is 24/7 pasture in summer. It has worked for a long time. I don't have the time or energy or resources to do stall board and hay in the summer. I realize that this pasture model may not work for all horses. I will accept your 30 days notice and you can look for a barn that better suits your needs."

          In other words, you fire the client. You don't change your whole business model.

          Realize that if you make concessions for one client, all the other clients will start wanting their own concessions.

          If this client is now costing you more than its worth, then you are better off with an empty stall for a few months than continuing to let her push the envelope on what she can get for free from you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't discuss with trainer. Trainer is not your client. Discuss with the client and basically tell them to go back to pasture board or move on to another barn that suits their current needs better.

            Keep your own relationship with the trainer out of this.

            Comment


            • #7
              Your barn, your property, your rules. I would give the client an ultimatum.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thank you. Yes I'll talk with boarder. Unfortunately the pony now has a medical condition that will keep him unable to be on grass like he was previously. I understand their predicament....but I still don't have the resources to make it happen for them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It sounds like your first step is to clearly identify the problem(s), before you can hope to craft a solution.

                  The "easy" approach is to give this boarder notice that it is time to move on to another facility. This will reduce the time and expenses associated with this particular horse.

                  But your posts suggests there may be other issues here. First, your title says that the trainer is driving you crazy not the boarder. What is the issue with the trainer? Second, it seems like perhaps your boarder had a discounted board rate for reasons associated with the trainer. Does the trainer only travel if there is a minimum number of lessons/rides and the boarder is making it worthwhile for the trainer to travel? Does providing notice to the boarder mean that the trainer will no longer travel to your small facility? Third, there seems to be an investment pony with the trainer, but its unclear how that is affected by the boarder's horse requiring full care board.

                  Basically, we need more information before we can provide meaningful input. If the issues I've guessed at aren't actually issue at all, then an ultimatum/giving the boarder notice to leave is the easy answer here.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                    Don't discuss with trainer. Trainer is not your client. Discuss with the client and basically tell them to go back to pasture board or move on to another barn that suits their current needs better.

                    Keep your own relationship with the trainer out of this.
                    Unfortunately the trainer inserts herself when I tell the boarder something and they run to the trainer, who in turn tells me that I can't or shouldn't do that. I in turn feel like I work for trainer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TiredofBS View Post

                      Unfortunately the trainer inserts herself when I tell the boarder something and they run to the trainer, who in turn tells me that I can't or shouldn't do that. I in turn feel like I work for trainer.
                      Tell the boarder that they have 30 days notice to move their horse and stand firm. If they overstay that 30 days, let them know there will be a 50$ a day charge.
                      Just ignore the trainer. It has nothing to do with them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        well, you can of course shut down your board&train business if you wish. That's totally up to you! If your problem is with an increasing cost to without increasing payment from them, then you can either charge more $ or give them a notice. As far as the trainer getting to you....no one is irreplaceable. I never allow threats to intimidate me....quite the opposite actually. Try to hold something over my head = "we're done!"
                        Consistency, Insistency, Persistency

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You are perfectly within your rights to increase board if the workload for you goes from pasture board to stall board. The time for that conversation is when they say, "The vet says he needs to be stalled for x time per day," at which point you reply "OK, but please be aware that the extra stall cleaning involved will be charged at $y per month." That is perfectly fair.

                          However, while I get being burned out, I think we need to revisit the difference between "basics" and "extras".
                          Cleaning a stall twice a day for a pony that needs to be in it (whatever you charge for this service), isn't an extra, it is a basic. If the pony needs to live in it, it needs to be cleaned.

                          Similarly, you seem to be annoyed that the trainer is painting your jumps. Let me ask you - are these jumps she gets to take along when she leaves, or are these your jumps? If they are your jumps, you should be maintaining them. If the trainer is painting them because she doesn't want to teach lessons or take sales pictures over homeless looking jumps, she is in fact doing work that really you should be doing as an owner of jumps. I have a washer and dryer in my basement that I allow my downstairs tenants to use free of charge. If downstairs spends their own time and money fixing my washer you BET I would get a text about it. If something breaks, I fix it, because it's MY washer and dryer. I also don't leave random parts of the property sloppy or unmaintained. The shared front and back stairs stay neat, if a sink clogs I unclog it, if something needs to be painted, it gets painted, if there are signs of rodents I call the exterminator, the front lawn and back yard are regularly mowed ...WELCOME TO OWNING SHIT.

                          You're also annoyed that she is texting you about what the pastures need. Were you not just saying that you prefer to offer 100% pasture board? Well then you BETTER BE maintaining the pastures! Yeah, the fence SHOULD BE shipshape and safe. Persistently boggy areas SHOULD BE filled in with item 4 or whatever else. Water troughs SHOULD BE cleaned regularly. You SHOULD BE mowing. You SHOULD BE whacking down the weeds along the fence line. You SHOULD BE making sure the gates don't have any sharp points or rusted areas. You SHOULD BE picking manure if there are heavily manured areas. OFFERING PASTURE BOARD MEANS YOU MAINTAIN THE PASTURES.

                          Your barn does not need to be fancy, but it does need to provide basic horse care. People get the basics and the extras confused. Cleaning the stall every day that a horse lives in it is a BASIC. A washer/dryer in the barn is an EXTRA. Performing standard maintenance on your jumps is a BASIC. Waxed sand footing and a boxwood hedge around the arena are EXTRAS. Mowing the pasture and maintaining the fences are BASICS. Providing HAY is, I'm sorry to say, a fairly standard BASIC.

                          If you are too burned out to provide basic horse care, you probably should close the operation. By the time you start dismissing basics as "fancy extras" and finding every excuse to do as little work as possible, it's time to get out of the business of caring for living creatures.
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You are perfectly within your rights to increase board if the workload for you goes from pasture board to stall board. The time for that conversation is when they say, "The vet says he needs to be stalled for x time per day," at which point you reply "OK, but please be aware that the extra stall cleaning involved will be charged at $y per month." That is perfectly fair.

                            However, while I get being burned out, I think we need to revisit the difference between "basics" and "extras".
                            Cleaning a stall twice a day for a pony that needs to be in it (whatever you charge for this service), isn't an extra, it is a basic. If the pony needs to live in it, it needs to be cleaned.

                            Similarly, you seem to be annoyed that the trainer is painting your jumps. Let me ask you - are these jumps she gets to take along when she leaves, or are these your jumps? If they are your jumps, you should be maintaining them. If the trainer is painting them because she doesn't want to teach lessons or take sales pictures over homeless looking jumps, she is in fact doing work that really you should be doing as an owner of jumps. I have a washer and dryer in my basement that I allow my downstairs tenants to use free of charge. If downstairs spends their own time and money fixing my washer you BET I would get a text about it. If something breaks, I fix it, because it's MY washer and dryer. I also don't leave random parts of the property sloppy or unmaintained. The shared front and back stairs stay neat, if a sink clogs I unclog it, if something needs to be painted, it gets painted, if there are signs of rodents I call the exterminator, the front lawn and back yard are regularly mowed ...WELCOME TO OWNING SHIT.

                            You're also annoyed that she is texting you about what the pastures need. Were you not just saying that you prefer to offer 100% pasture board? Well then you BETTER BE maintaining the pastures! Yeah, the fence SHOULD BE shipshape and safe. Persistently boggy areas SHOULD BE filled in with item 4 or whatever else. Water troughs SHOULD BE cleaned regularly. You SHOULD BE mowing. You SHOULD BE whacking down the weeds along the fence line. You SHOULD BE making sure the gates don't have any sharp points or rusted areas. You SHOULD BE picking manure if there are heavily manured areas. OFFERING PASTURE BOARD MEANS YOU MAINTAIN THE PASTURES.

                            Your barn does not need to be fancy, but it does need to provide basic horse care. People get the basics and the extras confused. Cleaning the stall every day that a horse lives in it is a BASIC. A washer/dryer in the barn is an EXTRA. Performing standard maintenance on your jumps is a BASIC. Waxed sand footing and a boxwood hedge around the arena are EXTRAS. Mowing the pasture and maintaining the fences are BASICS. Providing HAY is, I'm sorry to say, a fairly standard BASIC.

                            If you are too burned out to provide basic horse care, you probably should close the operation. By the time you start dismissing basics as "fancy extras" and finding every excuse to do as little work as possible, it's time to get out of the business of caring for living creatures.
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              While I agree with meupatdoes, i also understand that there are levels of boarding facilities. You get what you pay for. I don't deal with disagreeable people very well either in any capacity. If i owned a boarding facility i'd weed out the unpleasant clients very quickly. And if i boarded, i would either feel like i was getting what i am paying for or i would quickly move to a better kept barn. In my experience, rarely does 'work for board' turn out well in the long run. I would not accept work for payment for something i didn't request or agree to at the onset....like painting. I have painted my own stalls at barns...bought redrock flooring and new mats. Had waterers fixed by a plumber i hired... And that was on me. I was improving what 'came-with' the rent i'd agreed to pay.
                              Consistency, Insistency, Persistency

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you are in any way interested in continuing boarding this pony I would set up a fee schedule and a true cost of boarding. If pony gets x,y,z it costs A. If you do chore 1 = B dollars deducted from board and so on. As long as you charge a fair board and pay a fair rate nobody should feel abused. If it sin't reasonable to keep the pony in, then as others said, you just need to let them know it's time to make other arrangments.
                                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by TiredofBS View Post
                                  Thank you. Yes I'll talk with boarder. Unfortunately the pony now has a medical condition that will keep him unable to be on grass like he was previously. I understand their predicament....but I still don't have the resources to make it happen for them.
                                  And that is totally fine. You are not obligated, as a barn owner, to provide accommodations that may suit every single possible horse/owner/situation that may ever exist. You provide what you provide, they (pony owner and trainer) can accept it or find another barn to board at. Period. You'll have to be more firm with the trainer. It's your barn, it's not a co-owned barn or some kind of agreement where trainer is also BM, right? Your barn, your rules.
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                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you are offering pasture board and the pony cannot be on pasture for medical reasons, there are two options.


                                    The client moves to another barn. Or you provide stall board, which IME is typically twice the cost of pasture board. If pasture board around here is average $300, then stall board is average $600. If the client or the client's trainer expects you to provide stall board for the cost of pasture board, then they are trying to take advantage of you.

                                    There are legitimate reasons why a horse can't go on pasture (laminitis, injuries, obesity, etc). But there is no reason why *you* have to accommodate that particular horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Unfortunately, many horses have to be restricted from too much grass. If your business needs to be based on no grass restrictions, you may need to seek a different clientele often.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TiredofBS View Post
                                        Yes. My trainer and I own a pony that we plan to sell together.
                                        So, the pony you own together is a different pony from the one that can't live outside?

                                        If you want to be done with the trainer and full boarder, you could always work out a deal where she buys you out of your interest in the co-owned pony, or vice versa.

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