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WWYD? friend and horse care issue

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  • WWYD? friend and horse care issue

    this is a crosspost from OT day- it is heavily horse related though:

    my friend and i both have horses we keep at the same two stall barn that we lease and share barn chores and feedings. our horses are VERY attached to eachother as they have been together for two years and me and friend, lets call her kate, are very close as well.

    kate has been going through a quarter life crisis it seems. her dad cut her off, and her job working as a receptionist for a vet clinic doesn't really provide the income needed to take care of her horse now that dad cut her off. so she's decided to sell the horse. which i understand and am not judging.

    however, knowing that her dad was about to cut her off she moved out of her parents house (which is five mins from our barn)to an expensive apartment in downtown atlanta (40 mins from barn) about six months ago and KNEW that paying the rent was going to be tough on her salary, she also got a new car and even though her parents still help her pay for insurance, she has to pay the payments- which is again tough. everyone here knows how expensive it is to have horses which adds to the stress. she just can't afford the lifestyle she wants. she has also joined crossfit- which is great, but very expensive!

    bottom line is, she is OVER the horse and the horse world in general. i know it's not my place to try to keep her interested in her horse, but she can't sell a horse she doesnt advertise and she says she can't afford to make the horse a nice ad to put in chronicle or any of the online sites etc.- which i think is a total cop out- but not really my business.

    this IS my business because as one half of the two stall barn, she is supposed to do half the barn chores and feedings. since she moved to ATL and can't make it up to the barn because of traffic, guess who takes care of her horse- me. guess who feeds, waters, hays, blankets and unblankets her horse- me. guess who grooms her horse when she comes in muddy, and makes sure she has all her shoes on, and calls to tell Kate when horse is low on food, hay, or needs to be shod, or needs new surcingle on blanket etc. - ME. and guess who has been picking giant freezing snow balls out of her horses feet all week from this weather- ME.

    I know she is just over having a horse, but its so selfish to just quit loving her and taking care of her and to heap it on me- because she knows good and well that i wouldn't let ANY animal in my care go without anything they need for a second. I do care about her horse and she is really a pretty easy keeper luckily, but ultimately- she not totally my responsibility.

    She sends her dad to do her feedings and pays a neighborhood kid to do her barn chores, but this also means that these people are handling my horse- and they are not experienced horse people. I have trained neighborhood boy and he has become an asset and a life saver to me as well, and a heck of a barn hand, but still, if my horse came in lame from pasture I don't think he would know it like she would, and she also expects me to pay half of his costs per month- which is really just silly when i think about it because he is in essence- doing her chores and i am paying for it.

    all week when we have had snow and ice she has not called ONCE to check on her horse- the last time she came out to see her horse was two weekends ago. when she is at the barn, she is great and takes greats care of both horses and i trust her, but i am just getting sick of not only doing all the work, but also just mad because her mare has done everything she has asked of her for years and now, she gets nothing in return unless i provide it for her. its not fair to the mare- and i think its just selfish behavior- again.

    so how do i tell her how i feel without ruining the friendship? telling someone they are selfish is not something anyone wants to hear! we are both VERY nonconfrontational and i know if she feels uncomfortable around me for telling her how i feel that she will avoid the barn even more- which is NOT what i want to happen. i realize that our interests and our lives are growing apart, and thats ok, but its not ok to stick me with your horse and neglect the animal that has worked hard for you- and then refuse to advertise her on top of that. she is now talking about donating her to UGA, which i have no control over, but i can tell you is NOT the best thing for this lovely mare who would absolutely excell in a hunter or eventer home. i know the economy sucks, but there's just no reason that this mare should be donated. this is an awesome, nice, jumps anything, sound, safe mare. if properly advertised, she would sell!

    do i risk the friendship and tell her all this? or mind my business, keep taking care of her horse and wait for her to donate her. i don't know what to do here at all. and im sad.
    __________________
    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

  • #2
    I wouldn't go there from a "point out her selfishness stand point" but I would go there.

    Alas, methinks you're gonna have to gently, yet firmly, give her 30 days notice to either pay you an additional dollar amount to take over care of her horse or move the horse someplace else. Her choice.

    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed with above. You don't have to say "you're being selfish". Keep the focus on yourself if you prefer a more non-confrontational style, tell her it's hard on you to do all the actual horse care for 2 horses and that you understand she can't make it out there because of traffic/time, but you too are running into time problems caring for 2 horses daily.

      And maybe put a bug in dad's ear about the horse not being advertised at all? Maybe he won't be so eager to take over her feedings if he knows she's not doing anything to get rid of horse.
      Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

      Comment


      • #4
        Not to get yourself even further involved, but... Is this a horse that you yourself would be able to market and sell? Maybe offer to take over the horse's care, start riding her, and start marketing her. If she's as marketable as you say, you might be able to get a nice price pretty quickly. Then split the proceeds with your friend however you see fit based on how much time/$$ you've invested. Maybe 50/50, maybe 75/25, whatever seems fair to you and her. Then you'd be doing her a favor, avoiding confrontation, getting rid of the horse, and making some money all at once. Get it in writing first though.

        OR a less invasive idea as Coanteen said would be to tell her dad and see if he'd foot the bill for some ads.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like JCS's advice, the offer to help market and sell the horse, then you will have a stall to get another boarder to help you with the chores and expenses, and maintain your friendship on a non-horse level.

          I'm sure all of us that have been in a shared horse care self-care situation have been faced with this issue or something similar (at least I know I have).

          Or maybe find someone to lease the horse, that can take over the care and cost?
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            First I would gently suggest to you that Kate is not your friend. You may be fond acquaintances who shared (note the past tense) a wonderful hobby, but a friend doesn't take advantage of a friend as she's taking advantage of you. Or deliberately put a friend in the situation she's put you in.

            My friends would bail me out if I had to leave town suddenly to take care of an aging or sick parent. Or ..... (insert emergency situation here). Call the vet, hold my mare for farrier, buy her grain, groom and tend to her as if she were their own. They would do it without question, and I would do the same for them.

            But this is not an emergency. This is her, acting childish.

            Given that, I'd call to ask what her arrangements are going to be, because you can't continue as you have. Offer up the excellent suggestion of you taking on horse as a project to sell, with a 65% share of profit going to you. You're doing all the work. Give her a couple of days to ponder that, then call Dad with the same offer and ask if he'll pay for the ads.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Can you offer to make an ad for the horse yourself? You know the horse as well as she does and could probably make a good ad, then you can make sure (as well as you can make sure) that she goes to a good home. Or, not sure of your situation but it sounds like maybe you don't want her (not in a bad way, just one horse is all you need right now) maybe she could give her to you? Write up a bill of sale though, even between good friends, sometime in the future if you don't have a bill of sale it could come back and bite you.

              Edited to add-- Ah JCS, I let this sit too long before I posted my idea, which the ad and selling is the same as yours.
              I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

              Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

              Comment


              • #8
                Kate is not your friend. You are merely the person she has dumped her horse's care on so she can do what she wants. And apparently Kate does have money--she just doesn't want to spend it on her horse or horse's bills.

                Tell her the situation is no longer working for you cause she has changed things around since the original agreement. Tell her you are not paying for the barnworker to do her share of the chores. If she finagels somebody else into working for her, let her do it on her own dime. And since this isn't going to make her happy, figure this is your chance to just say "it's been fun, but this isn't working for me or my horse so I need to find another situation". And either she moves out in 30 days or you do. Then stick to it. Believe me...you'll be a lot happier.

                And FWIW--you can't change Kate. You can't make her care for her horse more or visit more. You could keep an ear open if you hear of anybody wanting a horse & pass her info along, but I don't even know if I would get into that whole mess. I can see you getting the horse dumped on you at all your cost & depending what the horse is--may be a very hard re-sale for you. Perhaps her dad is aware of things you aren't and there is a reason she got cut-off & moved out.
                "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                Comment


                • #9
                  How she cares (or who cares) for her horse isn't really the conversation. You have agreed to share the chores, but should the horse disappear tomorrow, you're stuck in with both halves of the two stall barn. Is there one person on the lease of this property, or are you both on the lease? You need to know what her plans are so you can plan accordingly (e.g. do you need to find another potential boarder, or do you need to find a new place to move your horse?).

                  The day is coming that 1) she is going to quit paying & 2) no one is coming to care for her horse unless you do.

                  You need to cover yourself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What would *I* do? Rant here (on CoTH) and take note of the variety great advice.

                    I'd leave friendship and feelings out of my discussion with kate. She's not treating you like a friend, she's treating you like ... well, like barn help. So, I'd respond in that role, only elevated to horse care manager.

                    If I had the time, talent and skills, what I would do is buy the horse from kate to completely separate the "friendship" from the "horse care obligation". I've read far too many posts here about "friends" who suddenly regained interest in their horses just when things were starting to come together--you get the mare going and oh, she suddenly has money to show? you find a leaser or a buyer and ... well, you know where I'm going.

                    If I couldn't afford to buy and keep the horse (wait, you're already doing that!) while working on a sale, I'd offer to help and if it was accepted be absolutely sure to get the agreement in WRITING about who pays what and who gets what.

                    But I would not keep concerns about this relationship from asking for the financial and physical support that's due.
                    *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry about your problem Skip. I agree with the advice Chocomare gave you about charging her for care and love the advice about marketing her yourself if you have the time for an extra horse. It is a hard situation when you realize that a friend is not doing right by a horse. I had this happen to me once and lost the friendship over it, which I do regret.

                      One way you could approach her is to let her know you need to find another boarder so when her horse sells, is donated etc... your horse will not be alone. That may open up the conversation as too what she is doing and when.

                      Hugs to you and sorry. It is tough!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How about a dose of guilt? "Your mare has been depressed lately, I think she really misses you." Something along those lines so she gets that you noticed she is never around without insulting her directly. But eventually you will have to say something that your friend won't like. You can't take care of her horse forever. Not a great situation for you and I'm sorry you are in it. But the horse thanks you for being so kind!!!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          update:
                          Kate has given me permission to sell her horse and keep any profits I make over her desired price or 10% of purchase price, whichever is greater. I can show the mare and basically do whatever I want with her- which is great! As soon as weather clears I am going to do a video and pics for a flyer etc. and have already signed up for a little show in Feb. This is a fabulous and dependable mare and she deserves a great home- someone will surely recognize that!

                          The issue of what to do when the mare is sold is hopefully solved as well- I might have just found my dream come true when it comes to boarder and horse!

                          Thanks COTH for all of your good advice!
                          Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                          Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Coanteen View Post
                            Agreed with above. You don't have to say "you're being selfish". Keep the focus on yourself if you prefer a more non-confrontational style, tell her it's hard on you to do all the actual horse care for 2 horses and that you understand she can't make it out there because of traffic/time, but you too are running into time problems caring for 2 horses daily.
                            Ditto. I have been in a very similar situation myself when I was boarding a friends horse for next to nothing. She lost interest and despite the fact was very close by failed to show up for months. Spring came along and I told her that due to the fact her horse was destroying our wood fencing and using my gelding as his chew toy she would need to put up some electric fencing to make a separate paddock and put up some sort of shelter so they could be separated. I knew she wouldn't go for that so she ended up moving him to her place. Problem solved! I did feel used and unappreciated (not to mention felt bad for the horse) during that time but because I handled it tactfully we are still very good friends.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by skip916 View Post
                              update:
                              Kate has given me permission to sell her horse and keep any profits I make over her desired price or 10% of purchase price, whichever is greater. I can show the mare and basically do whatever I want with her- which is great! As soon as weather clears I am going to do a video and pics for a flyer etc. and have already signed up for a little show in Feb. This is a fabulous and dependable mare and she deserves a great home- someone will surely recognize that!

                              The issue of what to do when the mare is sold is hopefully solved as well- I might have just found my dream come true when it comes to boarder and horse!

                              Thanks COTH for all of your good advice!
                              While that sounds great, I would make sure Kate has permission to sell the horse. You mention her father being involved...is he aware Kate gave you permission to sell the horse and act as it's agent? Also is Kate pricing the horse realistically so you are not going to end up investing several months of time & money into a horse you won't see a penny from after you pay the bills? Only cause I assume since Kate has no money you will be paying for the "extras" like showing, advertising, etc... the horse.
                              "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by skip916 View Post
                                update:
                                Kate has given me permission to sell her horse and keep any profits I make over her desired price or 10% of purchase price, whichever is greater. I can show the mare and basically do whatever I want with her- which is great! As soon as weather clears I am going to do a video and pics for a flyer etc. and have already signed up for a little show in Feb. This is a fabulous and dependable mare and she deserves a great home- someone will surely recognize that!

                                The issue of what to do when the mare is sold is hopefully solved as well- I might have just found my dream come true when it comes to boarder and horse!

                                Thanks COTH for all of your good advice!
                                Hallelujah! Hope for all that she sells quick.... especially in light of last Saturday's development --- wink wink/nudge nudge
                                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm glad she's given you the chance to market and rehome her mare!

                                  Although if she hadn't my response would have been to say "Well, since you don't seem to mind what happens to her so much anymore, ads on Craigslist are free."

                                  There's free ads everywhere, mostly text only, but they are available if you want to invest the time. I'm sorry that you got put in that position. Its no fun, especially when it isn't just a business matter and you're friends with the other person.

                                  Good luck!!!
                                  Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
                                  RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
                                  RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
                                  RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would see a lawyer and get this in writing. You don't want to go to the trouble of selling the horse and have it backfire.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Tough tough situation. You like the mare and most of all your horse likes her. I am sorry you are dealing with this.

                                      Good suggestions here, another might be to see if there is a person that may want to lease or lease-purchase the mare. (ads for this) You may need to continue to be involved just to insure and protect your own heart from being hurt more with whatever comes out of this.

                                      Blessings for warmer days ahead

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