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Sticky Situation...Need Some Advice

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  • Sticky Situation...Need Some Advice

    Hi!

    So I own a very lovely and talented mare that is currently in a training program at a top jumper barn. She is on a free-lease to a friend of mine (an amateur) as I am full-time in university and do not have the funds (or time) to campaign her on the circuit.

    She is stabled approximately 45minutes away from my barn (where she's spent her entire life) and I try to visit her as regularly as I can...about 3 days a week when she is "home". I am the one who is constantly trying to stay "in the loop" with the mare as I miss her very much.

    So I went to see my friend have a lesson last night on her and as we are chatting ring-side, another girl approaches me and tells me all about how MY horse was when SHE lessoned with her.

    I was speechless as I had no idea she was "the barn's school horse" (as was described to me). I left for home soon after to think about this newfound knowledge of my horse being used for scheduled lessons.

    I feel quite hurt as it is hard enough that I've literally had to give my horse up (she was in FL for the last 6 months too...so I didn't get to see her too much then either). There's only been one other incident where the mare had an allergic reaction and now has scars on her front legs. I realize that these things happen and it was dealt with the most professional fashion....except I (the owner) did not find out until I went to visit her at a show.

    It's a tough situation as the mare is getting world-class care and is in an excellent program. My question is: is it right that I wasn't asked or even informed that someone that I was not aware of is riding, lessoning and jumping my horse? I have yet to ride or lesson on her myself as it is a "lease" situation. Both my friend and the trainer are good people and I respect them entirely. However, I feel deceived and don't know how to handle the next step!

    Any advice? I would really appreciate it!
    Sunset Farms-Home of the Stittsville Warmbloods
    Eventing, Show Jumping, Dressage, Foxhunting and Pleasure Driving
    Since 1997

  • #2
    What did your friend have to say?

    Comment


    • #3
      If that were my talented mare, on a lease, at a top barn, and I was only out there 3x a week, I would want a daily update of how she was doing. Did you write up a contract with the barn and the person leasing her? If not, I would and state what you want the horse doing and what is not allowed to be done (i.e. lessons). I would tell the BO/BM/Trainer that you were disappointed that no one called you to ask if your horse could be used in a lesson and you wouldn't expect something like that from such a professional and upstanding barn.

      JMHO.
      www.justworldinternational.org

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        My friend doesn't know that I found out, which is why I feel weird aboout it!

        The only problem and concern I have is that the mare gets sent home if I don't handle this properly. The only contract states that the friend is to ride her exclusively....

        I just don't want this to blow up in my face
        Sunset Farms-Home of the Stittsville Warmbloods
        Eventing, Show Jumping, Dressage, Foxhunting and Pleasure Driving
        Since 1997

        Comment


        • #5
          IMO, a free lease to a friend is just that- in exchange for expenses, she enjoys riding your nice horse without having to pay a lease fee or purchase her. Letting a horse be used in lessons should provide some compensation to YOU. And ummm- it opens you up to some new liabilities.

          IF you don't mind her being used in lessons, I'd say something to the trainer and friend- "XYZ mentioned riding Dobbin. I did not expect that. How will I be compensated for use of my horse, and is their any liability on my part if the horse injures the student".

          If you do mind it, I'd tell your friend, "XYZ mentioned she had ridden Dobbin. Unfortunately, I can't allow that due to liability and I'd prefer to have a say in who rides her".

          Comment


          • #6
            Unfortunately this happens in A barns, especially when the owner isn't around.

            I had my mare at a very very reputable barn for a month for training and she came back with the worst fungus all over her back! So painful for the poor girl.

            I would mention definitely the liability issue of letting other people ride the mare. Or perhaps find out their side of the story...you don't want to put your foot in your mouth only to find out something later.

            But yes, this would also bother me tremendously. Good luck
            HorseStableReview.com - Tell others what you know! Post your barn or review today.

            Comment


            • #7
              If I free leased a horse to a friend and more than six months in found out the horse was being used as "the barn school horse," I would frankly be ROYALLY ticked off. At my friend and at the professional who has the horse in his or her care. That is unacceptable (though I can't say it's surprising). I would also wonder what exactly my horse had an "allergic reaction" to on the fronts of her legs. Something that causes sensitivity/burns the skin perhaps? I commend you for keeping a cool head and stepping back to evaluate the situation, especially given your limited options due to being a fulltime student. That said, your mare is getting extra miles put on her that you were not expecting, thereby increasing her chances of injury (especially as a school horse), and you are being exposed to liability without your consent. Personally I would be unable to trust that situation going forward, even if I expressed my desire for the lessons to stop. Unless you are there, how will know what's going on with your mare? Were it me, I would try to find another situation and yank the lease. Failing that, I would expect payment for the use of the horse at least from the barn, if not your friend as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SunsetFarms View Post
                Both my friend and the trainer are good people and I respect them entirely.
                Is it possible that the other girl is trying to 'stir the pot'? Not that that ever happens at a show barn, mind you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by horselesswonder View Post
                  If I free leased a horse to a friend and more than six months in found out the horse was being used as "the barn school horse," I would frankly be ROYALLY ticked off. At my friend and at the professional who has the horse in his or her care. That is unacceptable (though I can't say it's surprising). I would also wonder what exactly my horse had an "allergic reaction" to on the fronts of her legs. Something that causes sensitivity/burns the skin perhaps? I commend you for keeping a cool head and stepping back to evaluate the situation, especially given your limited options due to being a fulltime student. That said, your mare is getting extra miles put on her that you were not expecting, thereby increasing her chances of injury (especially as a school horse), and you are being exposed to liability without your consent. Personally I would be unable to trust that situation going forward, even if I expressed my desire for the lessons to stop. Unless you are there, how will know what's going on with your mare? Were it me, I would try to find another situation and yank the lease. Failing that, I would expect payment for the use of the horse at least from the barn, if not your friend as well.
                  Absolutely, 100% DITTO!

                  If your horse is being used in lessons, then YOU deserve compensation, whether it is in reduction of boarding costs, free lessons, etc...
                  Unashamed Member of the Dressage Arab Clique
                  CRAYOLA POSSE= Thistle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by horselesswonder View Post
                    I would also wonder what exactly my horse had an "allergic reaction" to on the fronts of her legs. Something that causes sensitivity/burns the skin perhaps?
                    I don't know if I would jump to that particular conclusion. My hunter is allergic to neoprene. Wanna know how we found out? He wore neoprene lined boots when we were playing field hunter. All of the skin came off his legs where the boots had been. Talk about horrifying. All I'm saying is, there are legitimate allergies that can cause scaring. I wouldn't immediately jump to "ZOMG they are using chemicals on my horse!"

                    As to the rest - I had a similar situation occur a couple of years ago. I was extremely upset about the whole thing, but it did turn out to be the result of a miscommunication between me and the lessee. Should the pro involved have contacted me for clarification/permission? IMO, yes, but she wasn't fully informed either. My advice? Talk to the lessee and find out why this is happening. Don't lose your head yet though, wait until you know the whole story.
                    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                    -George Morris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Er ... world-class care = random people you do not know and haven't approved riding YOUR horse without your permission or knowledge? Or world-class care = your horse having an "allergic reaction" serious enough to leave scars on her legs but not, apparently, serious enough for you to be notified?

                      Either of those situations would chap my ass big time, and my horse would be leaving said "world-class" establishment.

                      I know it's never that cut and dried, but I cannot and do not trust people who fail to communicate with me about my animals and their care.

                      There are better situations out there, run by true professionals. If I were you, I would start looking for one.
                      Full-time bargain hunter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If she was my horse she would be in my barn chomping hay right now, because I would have trailered her out of there asap. The liability to the owner for rider injuries is huge, and being lied to by a friend is bad also. I agree with horselesswonder-wonder how she got the 'burns' and why no one told you if it was simply an allergic reaction.
                        You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          terrible situation.
                          liability of the horse hurting the rider PLUS
                          chance of unapproved rider hurting your beloved horse

                          lesson programs can be HARD on horses you need to be getting compensation and have all of this in writing.

                          Discuss this with your friend and the barn manager/trainer (whoever is responsibly for her use in lessons) ASAP

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                            Is it possible that the other girl is trying to 'stir the pot'? Not that that ever happens at a show barn, mind you.

                            Sorry, that just made me laugh out loud!!!

                            http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff
                            \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You have a contract with your friend stating that only friend is to ride the horse, correct?

                              And you have such a reasonably nice horse that A) she is willing to pay board at a nice place in order to lease and B) she is able to compete with said horse. Correct?

                              But...you're afraid that if you were to terminate this lease, you'd also be unable to afford to keep the horse, correct?

                              I think if it were me, I'd approach the person leasing your horse and I'd just be straightforward. "Hey...I went to visit Dobbin the other day and this girl said she's been going really well in lessons. What's that about?"

                              Then see what she says.

                              Personally, given your situation I might reiterate that the contract states that you don't want anyone else riding BECAUSE you only trust HER to be riding the horse.

                              If she confirms that others have been riding the horse, I'd consider calling BO and asking where your cut is? And reiterating that it's your horse and you have a contract with another person--not with the barn with regards to riding.

                              I'd be looking for another situation though. I think they probably have a lot more to lose than you do--given this horse is of the caliber to be heading to FL for the winter and showing...I bet you can find another lease.
                              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                              Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This happened to me, but my horse wasn't leased out. I came to ride him and he was being used.

                                I advise simply telling the BO that your horse is never to be ridden without your permission except by the one leasing him. Ever.
                                <><

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Why is your mare out on a FREE lease? In my experience, when something is free, people tend to not take as good of care of it. What if you charged for your horse? If the horse competed in Florida, you should be able to get about 30% of her value per year, and I would bet that your horse would no longer be treated as a school horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Before you attack or accuse your friend and the trainer, PLEASE just ask them about what was going on. Yes, you absolutely should have been asked, but it may not be a "barn lesson horse thing". Lots of things could be the reason that would NOT be worth ending a seemingly good lease on.

                                    I'd set up a lunch date with friend to go over the contract, update as necessary.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by onelanerode View Post
                                      Er ... world-class care = random people you do not know and haven't approved riding YOUR horse without your permission or knowledge? Or world-class care = your horse having an "allergic reaction" serious enough to leave scars on her legs but not, apparently, serious enough for you to be notified?

                                      Either of those situations would chap my ass big time, and my horse would be leaving said "world-class" establishment.

                                      I know it's never that cut and dried, but I cannot and do not trust people who fail to communicate with me about my animals and their care.

                                      There are better situations out there, run by true professionals. If I were you, I would start looking for one.
                                      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'd find out first if the friend knew. She may NOT know that the BO/BM/trainer was also using the mare. If she knew, whammo the mare would be back in my barn sooner rather than later. If she didn't know, I have a talk with the BO/BM/trainer asap regarding unprofessionalism, and how I'm going to get compensated for PAST use...and then moving my mare back to my barn.

                                        Liability liability liability
                                        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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