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Difficult half lease situation...

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  • Difficult half lease situation...

    Okay, this is going to be long, so please bear with me...

    Starting the first of this month, my barn owner's kid is half-leasing my horse to do the medals. The kid is awesome, hard working, extremely polite, very talented, and overall, a joy to work with and be around. She's in her early teens (still showing as a younger in the hunter rings), and I am extremely happy to be able to help her achieve her goals. In exchange for the lease, I am receiving free board/trailering to/daycare/coaching at shows. Per my choice, I am maintaining his farrier and vet bills, as I would like to keep control over that part of his care. It is a 50/50 lease- kid rides 3 times a week, I ride two, then we alternate. At shows, I ride in the Adult Eq, she shows in the medals. So far, so good. This is a HUGE HELP to me, as I'm a recent college grad with no job offers, and my horse expenses are killing me and my new husband (who, thankfully, has gainful employment).

    This week, we went to a large AA show. We went down early in the week, came home today, and will return later this week for the second round. On paper, everything went very well. She won 2 out of 3 of her medal classes, and both of her warm up trips. I was middle-of-the-pack in my classes, and was extremely happy with how I rode and how my horse performed.

    Here's the problem:

    Kid's mom and BO don't seem to understand that my horse is not a bottomless well of o/f classes. I was verbally berated ringside by BO at one point yesterday for not allowing the kid to show in an entire warm-up division, instead having her do one warm up class per day before her medal classes. My horse is in his early teens and is a seasoned equitation horse. He is also beginning to feel the jumps after 3 days of showing, and needs to be well maintained in order to stay comfortable. After he had 2 rails in a medal class yesterday (the lost class), I suggested he scratch one of his trips with the kid today (suggested scratching the warm up since the kid was winning that trip anyway...) in order to save him for next week. I was then told that we need to "push him in order to see if he will hold up to this amount of showing".

    I am PISSED. This is a HALF-LEASE. I am showing in ONE DIVISION at these shows- adult eq is a 3' class with 3 o/f rounds and a hack. It is unfair to expect me to scratch my "mini" division in order for my horse to be comfortable for the kid. But this is beginning to look like my only option, as I'm not going to watch him pulling rails again this week. Further, this lease started 2 weeks ago. My horse is not yet adjusted to being ridden by 2 goal-oriented riders in more than one lesson a week. He needs time to build up his fitness level and adjust to his new routine, IMHO, before being "pushed". Additionally, we've been suffering world's most ungodly heat wave here recently, and I am of the opinion that this should be taken into consideration when deciding how much my horse will be asked to do in the course of 3 days showing.

    I am concerned that I will end up with a horse that needs several months off after medal finals because BO and kid's mother decided they needed to "push him in order to see if he'll hold up" before he was fit enough to handle that. I need to address this issue before it gets any worse, but I am trying to approach it tactfully. Like I said, the expenses are killing me (board runs me about $1k/month for this horse), and this is a very feasible opportunity for me and the kid to both benefit from a "good thing". Clearly, it's working well for the kid and their side of the deal, so I feel like I can bring my concerns to the table and be met with reasonable consideration.

    How should I approach this discussion? Rest assured that if it's necessary, I will absolutely pull the plug on this arrangement. Finances are tight, but they aren't so tight that I have to sit helplessly ringside watching my horse get pounded into the ground. I have the best interests of my dear horse (whom I've owned for 8 years) at heart, and this is a month to month deal, so I am not bound into a contract that is impossible to break. But considering I would actually like to *try* and make it work, I'd like to bring my concerns forward in a non-confrontational manner that will be taken seriously and come across as firm, "deal breaker" type material...

  • #2
    It's great that you are so on top of things.

    I think you know what you need to do - sit down, lay down the law on how YOUR horse will be used/treated, and if they don't like it, then tell them they are free to find another extremely nice horse to lease with such a nice situation (as you describe it).

    Just don't let the mother or the BO try to throw their weight around and bully you, especially the mom.
    Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

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    • #3
      I think you expressed it very well. Horse first. Absolutely. You sound like you *are* tactful. Better to be clear and firm now then wait til he's lame.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would say you need to make it standard operating procedure to sit down before the show, as a group, with the prizelist and thoroughly discuss which classes the horse will enter. Discuss alternatives, what classes may be added or dropped depending on circumstances. To me it sounds like you've got a *potentially* great lease deal, you just haven't worked out the details.

        I would say, "Hey, super excited about the show. Can we sit down and discuss what classes horse will be doing? I want to make sure we plan his schedule carefully so he gives both of us a great performance and holds up until Medal finals and beyond."

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow, that is a tough position to be in, but in the end, this is your horse, and his wellness is, of course, your responsibility, both morally and financially. Do you really think that your BO or the kid's mom is going to pay your vet bills when your horse breaks down? Doubtful. The kid sounds pretty innocent in this, sounds like a typical HSM to me. I say, your horse, your rules. If the mom or the B0 give you attitude, clearly they are not horsemen, since a horseman puts the horse ahead of ribbons (as you are having to consider doing to keep the kid showing). You clearly have a clear head on this, don't let them bully you! Maybe you could suggest taking it easy until the horse is in better shape? Good luck!
          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fentre...24774504235082

          http://fentressfieldsequestriancenter.com/

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          • #6
            Ask to schedule a sit down with kid, mom, and trainer. If you don't address this entitled-ness head on, it will only get worse. Explain that you and only you will dictate how much is too much for your horse.

            I would ask that a plan is made for each show ahead of time, with the default being she gets x classes, no more than x per day. You get x classes, no more than x per day. If your classes conflict (both on the same day)- the default is (we take turns as to who sits out, I get priority, we both skip our warm-up trips, etc.).

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            • #7
              I wouldn't get pissed, just firmly express these sentiments as you so clearly and reasonably did here to the Mom. As to the BO, is the BO also the trainer? in this case the BO/trainer should be your horse's advocate as well, or should stay out of the situation.

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              • #8
                WOW! If I had had that kind of situation available to me when I was a kid, I'd have fallen to my knees and kissed your feet.

                You need to be sure that trainer is on board with your concerns. Is trainer the BO or not?

                For a trainer, having access to a nice medal horse with no upfront cost is a huge opportunity. For the horse owner it is a PITA. You may always find yourself fighting unless you push back before the next show. You must not allow them to see your horse as a means to an end.

                Based on your post, you seem to be a reasonable person. I'd call for a meeting before the next show and say what you did here. You still have goals and while the lease can and should be suitable for all, if your in the interest of keeping Dobbin sound and sane you have to giveup your time/goals with him, the lease cannot work.
                F O.B
                Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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                • #9
                  I read it as the BO is the mom AND the trainer? or do you have a 3rd adult in the situation training.

                  I'd say point blank that they either need to A) allow you to set limits on classes for you and the kid. in the event you dont show she can have X extras. OR if you show and she doesnt...you still get shipped ect free right?

                  B) map out shows and classes WELL in advance so you can do the same

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                  • #10
                    I agree with joiedevie99. This can't be done on a show-by-show basis, because you'll just get berated before every show. The maximum number of o/f classes (inc warm-ups) per day per show, maybe with higher numbers if it's just a 1-day show v a 3-day show, need to be put into the lease itself.

                    After all, if your horse fails to "hold up to this amount of showing", the BO and daughter will have lost nothing but some time in searching for a new medals horse they can use. The losers will be you and your horse.
                    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SkipChange View Post
                      I would say you need to make it standard operating procedure to sit down before the show, as a group, with the prizelist and thoroughly discuss which classes the horse will enter. Discuss alternatives, what classes may be added or dropped depending on circumstances. To me it sounds like you've got a *potentially* great lease deal, you just haven't worked out the details.

                      I would say, "Hey, super excited about the show. Can we sit down and discuss what classes horse will be doing? I want to make sure we plan his schedule carefully so he gives both of us a great performance and holds up until Medal finals and beyond."
                      I agree with this.

                      Also, why not have your vet come out and do a check-up, talk to her about your concerns and get her advice? Then, either have her speak with the others involved, or speak with them yourself and give them the vet's information. They can't really argue with the vet.

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                      • #12
                        "push him in order to see if he will hold up to this amount of showing".

                        That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. If someone said that to me...OMG...!
                        How did you respond when she said that?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                          Ask to schedule a sit down with kid, mom, and trainer. If you don't address this entitled-ness head on, it will only get worse. Explain that you and only you will dictate how much is too much for your horse.

                          I would ask that a plan is made for each show ahead of time, with the default being she gets x classes, no more than x per day. You get x classes, no more than x per day. If your classes conflict (both on the same day)- the default is (we take turns as to who sits out, I get priority, we both skip our warm-up trips, etc.).
                          I agree with this, and think it is wonderful that you are keeping your horse's welfare as the main priority .

                          That being said, keep in mind that what is listed below are very generous terms for a half lease. You may need to be willing to make some financial concessions depending on how much you limit the use of your horse. It sounds like that would be worth it.

                          Originally posted by Faulter View Post
                          Starting the first of this month, my barn owner's kid is half-leasing my horse to do the medals. <snip> In exchange for the lease, I am receiving free board/trailering to/daycare/coaching at shows. Per my choice, I am maintaining his farrier and vet bills, as I would like to keep control over that part of his care. It is a 50/50 lease- kid rides 3 times a week, I ride two, then we alternate. At shows, I ride in the Adult Eq, she shows in the medals. So far, so good.
                          Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                          Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is a "good deal" for you--but this is a great deal for them...if you think about it, they basically are paying for grain and someone to muck a stall for a very nice horse--most people would be paying a lease fee AND board for a horse like this...

                            Draw the line in the sand right now, and if they try to push you around, then tell them it's not working for you - that your horse's safety and health is more important to you. My guess is they know this is a great deal for them, and will back peddle and accomidate your wishes.

                            Personally I'd find a new trainer- she kinda sounds like a jerk.

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                            • #15
                              YOU have options. You could pull your horse out, put your showing ambitions on hold and pasture him somewhere for a couple hundred a month.

                              Where the heck are they going to find a medal-winning eq horse for basically the cost of feed and mucking his stall, as has been pointed out?

                              Lay down the law, it's YOUR horse and you will still be stuck with his upkeep even if they ruin him!!

                              Jennifer
                              Third Charm Event Team

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I agree with Third Charm. However, given that you like the kid, and your lease is month to month, I'd terminate the current lease agreement and write up a new lease that includes a limit on number of classes per show.... only if you wanted to help the kid out.

                                It is NO WAY acceptable to "push a horse" to see it it can hold up to being overworked. It's not a motorcycle and the kid needs to learn that horses are not a means to winning ribbons, but living creatures who need good care and thoughtful work to keep in working condition.

                                If the horse goes lame- they get to walk with no obligation to pay for his treatments and you are out a horse to ride.

                                Honestly, I'd sit down with kid and mom, express to them your concerns, present the new lease terms and let them know that jumping your horse into the ground is not acceptable. If they say no, fine- many other barns to ride at and honestly, you can probably easily find a half leaser who will be glad to accept your terms and not ride your horse into the ground. I say include the kid, because mom and trainer sound like idiots and at least the kid can learn that some people put the horse first and she can understand the consequences of pounding a horse through class after class.

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                                • #17
                                  Remember the part about you covering the vet expenses? Nip it in the bud now. Say exactly what you just typed. It was clear and honest and extremely reasonable.
                                  "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                                  http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                                  • #18
                                    I agree you should discuss this with them asap. You know your horse better than anyone. It's been unbearably hot, he is pulling rails and sending a message. Hopefully, they will realize what you are saying will ultimately be best for everyone.
                                    Good luck

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Real horsemen know that a horse only has so many jumps in it, and "pushing it to see if it will stand up to that much showing" usually only results in breaking it.

                                      Does the kid have a practice horse? It sounds like your horse knows his job well and probably doesn't need to jump in 2 lessons a week.

                                      Stick to your guns.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think that's a good phrase to use "he's only got so many jumps in him," emphasize that he knows his job and doesn't need to be schooled to death.

                                        It needs to work for both parties!! Good luck!

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