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Having some concerns with horse sharing arrangement UPDATE

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  • Having some concerns with horse sharing arrangement UPDATE

    For the last few months I've been helping a lady I know with a five year old mare. Lady is a bit of a novice and the horse was a complete greenie with no schooling bought just to hack and plod around with for her and her teen daughter (I know, I know, but she was sold her by a dealer...!). I was asked if I would school the horse as she realised she was still a baby from talking to other owners at the stables and wanted to make sure she didn't miss out on her education- mare has come on in leaps and bounds, and now does a bit of competing in dressage, jumping (I've taken her, paid her fees and her travel expenses, would not ask owner to pay for that!) and goes out on rides alone where she would only go in company before (she was very stubborn about this one at first, but patience has got her through). When she began to get to this stage lady asked if I would mind chipping in a bit to her care, so I agreed to do so on an informal basis as I was very fond of horse and owner, and the amount was just a token. I also took full responsibility for the horse's care 3 days a week.

    Meanwhile lady's daughter has completely lost interest and chosen no longer to come to the stables. I agreed to step in and help her so now turn out and bring in every day, and do full care 4 days a week. It's been tough but I wanted to see her through as she looks for someone else. Now as she has had no luck yet have been asked to increase my financial contribution too. I like the horse, I like the lady too, but I just feel I can't give anymore. I'm working hard at the yard morning and night, I'm schooling 3 times a week and I'm paying for that too. Is it fair for me to say I am doing all I can and I just can't keep increasing the financial input too? I don't know whether she thinks as I am almost acting as the horse's owner I should assume more responsibility in both respects, but I'd be happy to revert to the less involved arrangement- just know there is no one else to help!
    Last edited by Cancara; Jan. 28, 2011, 11:26 AM. Reason: News- change of circs
    Horse Selling Hell
    My Writing
    People who think they know everything about horses know nothing

  • #2
    Seems to me that with all your effort they can turn around, sell the horse, net the profit. And leave you out.
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


    • #3
      They're asking you to pay them to train their horse? That's rich.

      I'd find a way to politely extricate yourself from this situation. What a great example of no good deed going unpunished.
      Full-time bargain hunter.


      • #4
        Can you explain to her the value of the work you've been doing with the horse? I think you have been providing a lot more than you've been getting.


        • #5
          Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" View Post
          Seems to me that with all your effort they can turn around, sell the horse, net the profit. And leave you out.
          Yeah, exactly. I think you're completely in line to say something like "Yeah, okay, I'll chip in some more....but when you decide to sell the horse I will need a cut of the sale price. Through my training I've increased the value of this horse....I didn't mind when I was riding for free, since I enjoy working with green horses and it seemed a good situation for everyone, but now that I'm paying to ride I'm either going to need to see a cut of the profits or I'm going to find a free horse to ride."


          • #6
            Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post
            Can you explain to her the value of the work you've been doing with the horse? I think you have been providing a lot more than you've been getting.
            This. She may really just not understand how much training costs--not to mention all the stable help. Be nice and positve and just try to explain. Tell her you would be happy to take a lesser role (in fact would prefer it). I wouldn't worry about her selling the horse and not getting a cut, since this was an informal agreement.


            • #7
              Wow, she's got a great deal going. She's convinced you to train the horse, for free. THEN she has you PAYING to train the horse. Then on top, doing all the work.

              If this was something YOU were reading, what would your response be?


              • #8
                maybe they will just give you the horse, if they did would you take it?


                • #9
                  The owner sounds like she's getting a tough introduction to horse ownership! You have done a lot to help cushion the blow.

                  The way you put it OP, "I can't give any more" is a fine way to start the conversation.

                  You may be shot as the messenger that delivers the bad news that training, care, buying the wrong horse, accepting a kid who changes her mind and bails are all expensive and part of owning horses. (ETA: My momma would have lost her mind and I would have lost a piece of my a$$ if I had announced that I had "lost interest" in the horse she bought for me.)

                  All you can do is be clear, firm and gentle. You need to think about where you'd like to draw the line with helping her first. Then give her time to consider her options-- ramp up her efforts to find someone to lease, sell the mare, get some help from you so she can learn to do more of the riding and work herself. But don't feel bad! These *are* her responsibilities whether she quite knows that yet or not.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat


                  • #10
                    I'd be presenting her with part-ownership papers at this point.
                    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                    • #11
                      I think it is definitely okay (and IMO, appropriate) for you to refuse to increase your financial support. You are not only training, but caring for the horse the better part of the week. You really should not be paying them a dime, IMO.
                      exploring the relationship between horse and human


                      • #12
                        Offer to purchase the horse from her for $1000....


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by kcmel View Post
                          This. She may really just not understand how much training costs--not to mention all the stable help. Be nice and positve and just try to explain. Tell her you would be happy to take a lesser role (in fact would prefer it). I wouldn't worry about her selling the horse and not getting a cut, since this was an informal agreement.
                          Thanks everyone for your replies.

                          I think this response is very true and I don't believe she is intentionally taking advantage of me, just that she has no idea what she has got from me, though she acknowledges that she can see the improvement in the horse- but I'm actually not sure if that's her or the other yard people telling her how well she is doing now! I almost hate to bring it up to her, of course I don't believe I am this wonderful trainer but I have a good few yrs and a couple of basic qualifications behind me, and I am calm and confident in hairy situations which seems to go a long way with the young uns, so I know I have done this horse good! She has asked me if I would ever consider buying the horse when she ran into problems looking for another sharer, but the time issue is major, I am at full stretch doing what I do and know that I am not in a position to have my own.

                          I don't think she knew what she was getting into at all, and as her health is somewhat intermittent was relying heavily on her (ungrateful swine!) of a daughter who as teens are want to do got heavily into horses for a year and has just as quickly got out of it. Problem is the horse has an adorable cuddly nature, in your pockets in a nice way, very gentle, sweet, whinnies when she sees you, will literally gallop across the field to be caught as she is so pleased to see her people, and the owner adores her as you might love a dog or cat- but this is a very expensive and demanding pet!

                          I know some of you think I am mad, and I can see where you're coming from believe me- non horsey friends nearly fainted when they found out I wasn't getting paid for my work- don't ask what their expressions were when I said I chipped in for shoes- even my horse friends said it was all getting a bit much and I shouldn't be paying when I took on the additional duties after her daughter dropped out. I just feel like she's been let down- by dealer, family etc... and I am doing my best to be the one constant, for her and the horse!

                          I am definitely not too fussed about a cut of any sale, as I have enjoyed my time with this mare and I feel bringing her on has been a great experience for us both. I have been able to ride lots and take her some real fun places- and I've kept the rosettes of course!

                          I just can't work and pay, I always intended to exchange hard labour for rides in future as my finances are often a little up and down, and I am wary of the contribution creeping up and up... if it is going to be a matter of my money making the difference to whether she keeps the horse I think she needs to reconsider her position as my contribution was always intended as a little bit of a bonus, not an essential bill payment.
                          Horse Selling Hell
                          My Writing
                          People who think they know everything about horses know nothing


                          • #14
                            I understand you really like the mare and want to help this woman out, but I'm dumbfounded that you helped pay for this horse (aside from competition fees, etc.) at ALL. You are essentially paying this woman to take care of and train her horse. At this point I see nothing wrong with politely explaining to her that in most circumstances SHE would have to pay YOU for all of the help you are providing, and that you simply can't put anything else into an animal that isn't yours.
                            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                            • #15
                              I agree with some of the other comments about explaining to the lady what this type of training and upkeep of the horse would normally cost. You might go as far as putting it into a spread sheet to show her what 3/4 training and full board would have cost her. Also put in a column(s) that shows what she has actually paid for this and what your have contributed. Put a dollar value on your time. Make it appropriate for the work done and what is paid for your area. Sometimes people just need to see pictures to truly understand.


                              • #16
                                I did something similar many years ago. Basically, it was a free lease. I took a very green horse and got it eventing. Won a ton, took it to the division championships and enjoyed every minute of it. The owner helped with the expenses as best she could.

                                At the end, I gave him back because I couldn't afford a horse.

                                I would just tell her that you really enjoy riding her but are not in the position to contribute financially and are already at the maximum of what you can do.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                • #17
                                  I would just tell her that although you enjoy riding her mare, you are not in the position to contribute financially and are already at the maximum of what you can do. Ask her if she'd rather you not ride her and school her, just to be clear on that point. You need either to be in, or to be out, of the relationship with the mare. You don't need to contribute a dime of your own money, in fact I'd stop that mess entirely.

                                  Me, I'm not paying someone else for the privilege of training their horse. The backstory has zero value in the light of day in my world.


                                  • #18
                                    it doesn't sound like this woman is intentionally taking advantage of you. Being a novice horse owner, just sounds like she has no clue of how its done. She figures she's doing you a favor by letting your ride her horse, but doesn't realize the huge favor you've done in return by making it more rideable.

                                    So I agree with others, tell her "sorry, I can't contribute any more time or money" and explain why. Don't fall for any sob stories either


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Hey, just thought I should let you know the outcome- someone has approached the owner and expressed an interest in buying the mare, and so she had decided it is best for all concerned if she does sell. She's devastated, barely able to come see the horse, so she has asked me to handle it, so am actually meeting this lady and showing off the mare tomorrow. Rode her today and her behaviour and responsiveness were excellent, so hope she keeps that up to impress prospective new mum, and hope they hit it off.

                                      I will miss this sweet little horse very much but when you don't own them you accept that your time together will come to an end somehow, and I far prefer this way then with things degenerating as they could have done when arguments over money reared their ugly head!
                                      Horse Selling Hell
                                      My Writing
                                      People who think they know everything about horses know nothing


                                      • #20
                                        Wow,you sure are an easy target! Woman not only gets someone to pay her for the priviledge of training her horse, she gets most of the horse care provided for her, and now she is going to have someone sell her horse for her- and you will probably just get a nice pat on the head and a "gee thanks", and then she will be on her way to the bank..while you sit there with nothing to show for all your work...