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Boarder Issues....

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  • Boarder Issues....

    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!

    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).

    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?

  • #2
    You sound like a divorced person talking about his/her ex.

    And seem to be having all the thoughts worth having. Why ask for more?
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it your barn? If so, why keep someone around who isn't really part of the barn and is likely more trouble than the average boarder?

      You will sleep better and be happier coming out to the barn when she is gone.

      I do think it is important to do it tactfully and to perhaps even have a list of barns she can consider that have opennings.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

      Comment


      • #4
        I kick boarders like that out. I do it politely and be sure to give them full notice and sometimes even extra time, but I don't think the money they bring in is worth the headache, even down here where boarding spots can be hard to fill because almost everyone just keeps their horses in their yard.
        exploring the relationship between horse and human

        Comment


        • #5
          Cribbing: not a learned behavior.

          But definitely kick her sorry ass out. When I was a BO, I booted the person who dragged me through the mud behind my back. It got worse for a month, but then she was GONE!
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: cribbing, for everyone who cites research showing it isn't learned, there is someone whose horse never cribbed until a cribber moved into the next stall, it seems. Personally not going to gamble the future of my foal on it!

            Thanks for affirming what I suspected, folks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Had a boarder like that once...called her "The Black Cloud".

              Nicely explained that she was not fitting in, and helped her find another boarding barn where she enjoyed the "high drama" every day. Win-win!

              Comment


              • #8
                Get her out. Yesterday.
                Tell her why.
                Refund any monies she's paid up front.

                People like this get tossed out of barns under 'diplomatic' evictions and continue to harass the next BO down the line. She sounds under-educated, or at least sorely misinformed about horse care. IMHO, I'd tell her she needs to be out by X date...

                Because.... and then list the reasons, as you have here. She's being unreasonable, bordering on irrational in her requests. I really don't see anything to be gained in pussy footing around the issue that she's alienated herself at your barn.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My BO/trainer says "My barn, my rules!" She even has a sign above the lesson board that says it.
                  Seriously, my mare is a cribber and I take every precaution to make sure she stays welcome. We had a boarder a couple of years ago that made life miserable, sounds very similar to the OP. She was overheard in the tackroom telling off one of the younger riders and accusing her of stealing her "bits" and the BO overheard the conversation. I believe she moved the next day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would tell her you are very sorry but your facility can't meet her needs and she has 30 days to find a new one.
                    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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?
                      I would give her notice and refund if needed. It's not worth the effort to try and make her happy. No ONE should tell you who to put their horse out with. It's YOUR responsibility for their safety so it's your call.
                      Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It sounds like you and this boarder are a poor match. When I took boarders, I tried very hard to be upfront about what was and was not offered, what my expectations were, etc., and that what the potential client saw during a visit was what there was, do not expect any changes.

                        Nonetheless, there were a couple of occasions of mismatches, including a novice whose behavior was actually dangerous. I gave them notice, and I think you should, too, based on what I perceive as the fed-up tone in your OP. I just told these folks that my program was clearly not the best fit for them, gave them 30 days notice to move and offered a refund for unused board if they opted to leave early.

                        Good luck! Boarding is hard on both sides of the equation!
                        Equinox Equine Massage

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bird - that is a very diplomatic way to boot her.

                          Well done

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BOAlter2010 View Post
                            Re: cribbing, for everyone who cites research showing it isn't learned, there is someone whose horse never cribbed until a cribber moved into the next stall, it seems. Personally not going to gamble the future of my foal on it!

                            Thanks for affirming what I suspected, folks.
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.
                              Wood chewing and cribbing are completely different behaviors. If horses learned to crib by example then basically every horse that has ever been next to a cribber would be cribbing, however, that's not true. There's a young TB at the barn that's been stalled next to/pastured almost exclusively with this other, older TB who cribs like a maniac right through his collar. Young tb still doesn't crib. Neither do any of the other horses on the property who have been exposed to this horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If she is that unbearable to everyone around her, you run the risk of losing boarders and employees that you want in your facility. I would tactfully tell her the reason she is being asked to leave and let everyone ride in peace.

                                I once boarded at a facility that had a woman who made it miserable for everyone. Sounds like the same situation. She was demanding, critical of everyone around her, her horse was miserable. She had quite a few horses, so it was not feasible for the barn owners to evict her. Thankfully she moved on her own accord and what a change in the environment, definitely for the better.

                                Get rid of her before you lose the good ones.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well, it is YOUR facility and I agree, you need to let everyone know that "your barn, your rules".

                                  Furthermore, never feel pressured to allow a turnout that makes you uncomfortable. I have an absolute rule about not mixing mares and geldings - always results in vet bills - everytime I boarded a gelding and some idiot put a mare in with the herd (and this is something I always check before moving a horse in), it never failed that my gelding would be the injured party (this has happened with 3 different horses).

                                  But the real long and short of the matter is that life is too short to have to deal with toxic people that you don't absolutely have to put up with - 'nuff said.
                                  Originally posted by SmartAlex

                                  Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've had to ask two boarders to leave since I started boarding three years ago. One was also a cribber who was "controlled by a collar" who was intense with his cribbing that he tore off a stall door( I have a pipe barn, he broke it off at the hinges, a truly impressive feat) he also broke part of my fence. The other was high drama extreme ocd type. I agonized over asking them to leave, but once I did, I was much happier.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don't think the future foal cribbing is the issue. The real issue is the boarder is a royal pain drama queen, and needs to pack up her horse and go now. It's very sad that some people make everyone else happy by departing, but that is the way it is sometimes. I bet once she's gone that your other boarders, and the employees will be much happier. I just feel sorry for the next barn owner that gets stuck with the woman and her horse.
                                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The high maintenance horse, I would deal with, if the owner was a decent person who took responsibility for the extra effort her horse entails.

                                        But the human, no. She's got to go. She's unhappy, you are unhappy, no doubt your other boarders and your staff aren't exactly enjoying her company either.

                                        (Nothing so much of a downer as driving up to the farm to see the car of the resident barn misery already there...)

                                        Comment

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