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Boarder Issues....

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  • #21
    Originally posted by BOAlter2010 View Post
    BOs/Trainers please input!

    Boarder has a problem horse. Inveterate cribber (allowed to move in only b/c "controlled by a miracle collar" which he is NOT). Grumpy, miserable, doesn't get along with the other geldings in turnout, we're going to day turnout for winter and his only option is pretty much going to be a dirt paddock (with hay) alone (he never grazes anyway because even with a muzzle on he braces it on the top of the fence and tries to crib). His owner wants him to go out with the mares, who are my personal horses, which pasture includes a young, VALUABLE, long-awaited foal whose value would, needless to say, be severely impacted by acquiring cribbing behavior!
    Cribbing is not contagious, but that's irrelevant.
    It's your farm, your decision to make regarding turnout, and I'd certainly not want a "grumpy" gelding in with my mare band, especially if you already know he doesn't play well with the geldings.

    Boarder is high-maintenance. Horse has to have his stall cleaned JUST SO, buckets must be scrubbed daily (horse is a pig).
    Them's the breaks when you take a boarder. Sounds like what one pays for.

    Has to switch to high protein feed to fatten him up.... horse becomes fat AND too hot for her to ride, well she only MEANT for him to get a LITTLE BIT of higher protein feed, can I switch him back, etc. etc. But meanwhile do I think he can have some of my broodmare's alfalfa hay? (maybe she has a death wish).
    Protein is a very inefficient way of adding calories.

    Boarder does not take lessons (except for hauling out every month or so to a trainer a couple hours away with no noticeable improvement), which everyone else at the barn does. Supposedly serious competitor who is apparently happy to go to shows and come in last or close to it. NOT her horse's fault.... went out of town and paid me to ride him for a week, he went BEAUTIFULLY and I think she honestly was NOT happy to see his improvement because she tries to blame their poor placings on him 'not being built for dressage'. Spends every moment at the barn complaining to the help and the other boarders about everything (stall not perfect, buckets not perfect, not having a blanket on when everyone is running around in t-shirts, the arena/jump field isn't big enough for a rider competing at her level--despite several horses at that level or higher competing successfully based at this barn--the pasture footing is too hard for galloping for conditioning 'for her level' (same), etc. etc.) The working student hides from her and the other boarders avoid her for the most part. To me she's all sweetness and light, though.

    I'm about ready to tell her to get out at the end of the month and if she wants to leave earlier I'll refund her unused board. Thoughts?
    Just do it.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

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

    Comment


    • #22
      Cribbing= non issue. Best AO I ever owned turned best babysitter I ever owned cribbed, not a baby learned it ( see all the other ad nauseum threads about this topic)

      PITA= issue.

      Ask her to leave, tell her you'll give her a refund, whatever. Totally worth your peace of mind.
      Last edited by Pennywell Bay; Oct. 17, 2010, 03:51 PM.
      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

      Comment


      • #23
        not worth the aggrevation

        Bird has it correct....a very polite "I'm afraid we are not able to meet your expectations and suggestion you might be happier at another facility. Please consider this your XX day notice" no conversation, no debate, no whining, no second chance. And the sooner she can leave the better.

        I had a group of 6 that were a PITA...nothing made them happy, always trying to stir up the other boarders, breaking the rules (jumping without helmet type of rules), bad mouthing us to our team and tried to set up secret boarders meeting to discuss all our shortcomings and plan an ultimatium to us to change. Nothing material, just barn drama crap like it should be their choice to jump without a helmet.

        Sat them all down at the same time and told them exactly the above. Their jaws dropped and they could not believe I asked them to leave in mass. 4 went to the same facility and were kicked out of there in less than 4 months. It is absolutely not worth the aggrevation

        I 'interview' all perspective boarders and one questions I always ask is 'what expectations are not being met at your current facility'. Gives me good insight into whether or not they will fit in at our facility.

        Good Luck!!
        m

        Comment


        • #24
          [QUOTE=BOAlter2010;5162640]BOs/Trainers please input!

          His owner wants him to go out with the mares, who are my personal horses, which pasture includes a young, VALUABLE, long-awaited foal whose value would, needless to say, be severely impacted by acquiring cribbing behavior!

          Boarder is high-maintenance. Horse has to have his stall cleaned JUST SO, buckets must be scrubbed daily (horse is a pig). Has to switch to high protein feed to fatten him up.... horse becomes fat AND too hot for her to ride, well she only MEANT for him to get a LITTLE BIT of higher protein feed, can I switch him back, etc. etc. But meanwhile do I think he can have some of my broodmare's alfalfa hay? (maybe she has a death wish).

          QUOTE]

          As a barn owner you deciede what horses are safe to go out with what horses but in the 30plus years of training and boarding I have never seen cribbing being contagious, but is hard on your fencing.

          Higher fat not higher protien will help put weight on.

          I like my dishes washed every day after use so believe water buckets should be scrubed every day with fresh water.

          Feed alfalfa to all my horses TB and warmbloods never seen any behavior change.

          Comment


          • #25
            I feel for you!

            The last two boarders that moved into the barn where I keep my horse, came with a list about a mile long of things that the horses needed on a daily basis, before shows, during shows, etc.

            My BO, according to the boarder, went through the list and said, no, we don't do that, no we don't do that, no we aren't doing that anymore and we won't be doing that.

            Boarders are happy as little clams - horses didn't need all the stuff on the list and are happier than they have ever been. Boarder just laughs at her "list" now.
            And nothing bad happened!

            Comment


            • #26
              I'd ask her to leave for your sake and the sake of your boarders.

              As a boarder, I come to ride in peace and quiet and NOTHING ruins that more that a PITA boarder who complains about everything!

              She'll never be happy, so why put up with her longer than you have to?
              MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
              http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by atr View Post
                (Nothing so much of a downer as driving up to the farm to see the car of the resident barn misery already there...)
                I know that feeling- all too well!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Being assertive and appropriately confrontational is hard for me. But I have been learning to do it, it is a skill you learn. I made a rule for myself. If I want to do something like leave a barn, leave a job, tattle on someone for something, that I would always talk to the person in question privately before doing anything. Being totally honest and letting the chips fall where they may. It gets easier every time I do it! I feel that you should talk to her and tell her how unhappy she is making you and what she will need to do to make you comfortable with her staying. I would also ask her if she can ever be happy with your barn and if she can't she should think about what would make her happy and could you two work it out. Sometimes people operate in her manner out of habit and ignorance as to how they are making people feel. You will feel great about her leaving if you have had an adult and caring conversation with her. There is nothing wrong with telling her how she makes you feel and that this is your sand box and she is not allowed to ruin it for you. JM2C Good luck
                  “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
                  ? Rumi






                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Re: buckets, her horse dumps feed and hay in his bucket as he eats (all day as he gets an enormous amount of hay) and it is just not practical to clean buckets four times a day. My barn worker finally resorted to cleaning one bucket, leaving the other half full, then trying to spot her coming up the drive so she could dump the other bucket and fill them both as she pulled up. She once insisted that the barn worker reclean his entire stall when she found a single PIECE of manure when he came in from turnout (i was not there that day). Of course this is according to the barn worker, but it IS consistent with what I hear from other boarders and what I have experienced firsthand with her.

                    I have actually never had a problem feeding alfalfa either, but then I've never had a horse turn into a NUT on higher protein feed like he did (according to her) either..... *shrug* Considering he is fat and shiny and she can't handle him as he is, adding alfalfa just seems rather silly.

                    I would be fine with managing the HORSE, who is, as I said, fat and shiny on free choice hay, 10% protein high fat/high fibre feed, beet pulp, and Cool Calories supplement which I provide at no additional charge.... I can even deal with tightening his cribbing strap daily after she leaves because she leaves it dangling like a scarf, resetting the jumps she demolishes every time she 'schools'..... If she would leave off complaining to the other boarders about stupid nonsense like the jump field isn't 'big enough to get ready for a show at her level' (again, multiple horses at that level or higher from this barn in the last few years, all significantly more successful), her horse not having his HEAVY blanket on when it has yet to get below 40 at night (none of the other horses have had any blankets on at all yet including the ones showing every other weekend), etc. etc.

                    So, basically, the secondhand complaining is getting to me but the turnout thing is going to be the dealbreaker/excuse. I have a pasture with pasture boarders.... including another cribber who IS controlled with a collar... but they have a round bale not a lot of grass, he simply MUST have grass to keep weight on (despite the fact that he does not graze, he stands by the gate and cribs through his muzzle!!!!!). He doesn't get along with the geldings. That leaves my mare pasture or a paddock with hay. Mare pasture has three horses including my foal, as well as cross-country jumps and immaculate wooden fencing. I'm sure she would prefer that I move those three horses into the small paddock and give him an entire pasture to himself so he can stand at the gate and crib with a pretty grass backdrop, but ain't gonna happen.....

                    So, I guess I'll just let her know that now that we're switching to day turnout there isn't going to be a way to accomodate her horse's needs, and suggest she find another barn....

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Best saying I have ever heard was "Don't get mad ADD" but by the sound of it the best thing you can do is let her know that there is nothing you can do to make her happy even though the horse is fine.
                      Boarders come and there are really great boarders out there and boarders leave and some you have to give a nudge out, sometimes it gets ugly to get them out but I will bet she has a clue it is coming.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Smile and say "Good-Bye" ~ when she leaves ~
                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          It sounds like you are already finished...your list-making indicates it.

                          Take the high road and be professional. Sounds like you might be a very nice person and got pushed around a bit (i.e. considering putting the gelding in with your own horses, etc.).

                          Taking the high road hopefully won't make any enemies or create back biting. And if it does, it won't be coming from you! Very tough job! Good luck.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Saidapal View Post
                            I agree with you. My mare could be a wood chewer - more a nibbler when she was bored. Give her enough hay and excercise and she was fine. Then another mare moved in next to her that was an absolute BEAVER. I have never seen a horse chew wood like this horse did. She went through several heavy, heavy oak boards that probably weighed as much as she did. So, my mare started chewing as well. As soon as that horse moved away, my mare stopped chewing and went back to normal.

                            So, I believe they do learn by example. Or maybe the stress from the other horse conveys to them and they follow the behavior. I don't know. But I also wouldn't take any chances.

                            As far as the boarder, she's ruining it for everyone else. Time to send her on.
                            I had a horse once that chewed all the way threw the wall to his barn-mate. The bar-mate assisted in this joint "project" and I thought "great, now I have a wood chewer" - funny thing is, once I moved him to a barn with better turn-out, that behavior stopped. I realize wood chewing and cribbing are different, but I do wonder if my horse picked the behavior up from the "project manager".

                            As for the boarder? Please be kind, and what I mean by that, is please be gently honest and let her know what is bothering you. She cannot learn to become a better boarder/horsewoman if people just let her think "things are not working out" for vague reasoning. It's not very helpful. Though, I do realize she has not been with you long. It is up to you - only you know what you can handle. Good luck!
                            Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                            W. C. Fields

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post
                              I'd ask her to leave for your sake and the sake of your boarders.

                              As a boarder, I come to ride in peace and quiet and NOTHING ruins that more that a PITA boarder who complains about everything!

                              She'll never be happy, so why put up with her longer than you have to?
                              echo this

                              better to lose one than your whole yard asits upet the applecart

                              keep it in harmony next time when advertising cribbers/widsuckers strictly forbidden

                              then you have fencing and stables left lol

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I am sorry to say that she needs to buy her own farm and take care of her horse herself. There will NEVER be anyone who will be able to do it the right way in her mind.
                                And don't feel bad about it for a second, she is clueless.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Give her a nice letter with the 30 day notice, and an offer to prorate board if she leaves early. If you are nicer, add a list of area facilities.

                                  If she asks why let her know that with the turnout change you can no longer accomodate her cribber.

                                  And honestly, sometimes things simply don't work because they don't work. I moved my horse from 2 decent facilities because the care did not work for me and they could not change things to work for me. The one farm owner simply said, I'm sorry we can't make you happy, maybe you would be happy elsewhere. Their barn is still doing great, with happy boarders and I have been very happy at my new barn for the past year. It was fine, and I would rather it be suggested to move than be strung along by people quietly grumbling about my requests.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Just ask her to leave and keep it professional. I, too, would present her with a letter giving her notice, with a prorate if she leaves early (money well "lost"), with the reason of an unsuitable match in expectations.

                                    I had to do this in the past and later on heard through the rumor mill that she said when I kicked her out, at least I handled it professionally. And she sent me a nice note a couple of years later when I lost a nice young filly. I just about fell over, because she was unhappy and I was unhappy while she was here.

                                    I've really gotten big on being clear on what I'll do and what I won't do during the interview process for new boarders.

                                    And I have had a TB here in the past who couldn't handle alfalfa. He'd act like he wanted to crawl out of his skin.
                                    www.hollyrunstables.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Well I thought I was pretty clear.... guess it did not occur to me to explicitly state that I would not compromise the care of my personal horses and endanger my jumps, my fences, etc. so that her horse could have pretty grass to ignore. Silly me. What I did explicitly state was that her horse would be turned out with a compatible group, if possible, of no more than four horses, with free-choice hay. Which I remain willing to do--along with everything else I've done above and beyond the boarding contract--but not if I then have to listen to reports of her griping about it. Sigh.

                                      Is a letter best, or trying to discuss it in person? Sticking a letter on her stall door seems kind of cold, but then discussing it in person could get unpleasant.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by BOAlter2010 View Post
                                        Well I thought I was pretty clear.... guess it did not occur to me to explicitly state that I would not compromise the care of my personal horses and endanger my jumps, my fences, etc. so that her horse could have pretty grass to ignore. Silly me. What I did explicitly state was that her horse would be turned out with a compatible group, if possible, of no more than four horses, with free-choice hay. Which I remain willing to do--along with everything else I've done above and beyond the boarding contract--but not if I then have to listen to reports of her griping about it. Sigh.

                                        Is a letter best, or trying to discuss it in person? Sticking a letter on her stall door seems kind of cold, but then discussing it in person could get unpleasant.
                                        I get the sense that this is very hard for you. I encourage you to talk to her honestly. It will be a growing experience for both of you. A letter to follow up to the talk if you can't work things out might be a good idea to make things clear.
                                        “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
                                        ? Rumi






                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by BOAlter2010 View Post
                                          Is a letter best, or trying to discuss it in person? Sticking a letter on her stall door seems kind of cold, but then discussing it in person could get unpleasant.
                                          I liked to speak to the offending boarder in person, and have a letter in hand to give them. Having the written notice gives them something to refer to; there you can spell out the terms of any prorating, date by which you expect her to leave, etc. But it is more professional to actually speak to the person (calmly, firmly and unemotionally, it goes without saying).

                                          Good luck; let us know how it goes.
                                          Equinox Equine Massage

                                          In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                          -Albert Camus

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