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My biggest pet peeve about working at a boarding barn...

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  • My biggest pet peeve about working at a boarding barn...

    I've called the boarder and apologized personally to her for airing dirty laundry online.

    I haven't read all five pages of this but have heard I created quite the kerfluffle and that it totally inappropriate and unprofessional of me.

    Barn business is barn business and thats that.
    Last edited by eponacowgirl; Feb. 3, 2011, 07:53 PM.
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    I'd sympathize except it hit 70oF where you are. We are looking at ice/snow/ice, more ice and snow, with temps in the single digits. So while I can understand how you feel, and agree, I keep thinking, "BUT IT WAS SEVENTY DEGREES OUT!!!"
    www.specialhorses.org
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" View Post
      I'd sympathize except it hit 70oF where you are. We are looking at ice/snow/ice, more ice and snow, with temps in the single digits. So while I can understand how you feel, and agree, I keep thinking, "BUT IT WAS SEVENTY DEGREES OUT!!!"
      DGRH... I know, I know, and I'm sorry. If it makes you feel better (and I know it won't) we've had the snowiest winter on record and our footing is still disgusting, so we couldn't really even ride yesterday. This is the first time we've had a day above freezing in a LONG time... of course, I moved to TN to escape Chicago winters and we've been about on par with them until yesterday... only they have snow plows, salt trucks and indoor arenas. I would have been better off there!

      Oh, and they'd only called for the high to be 52!
      Big Idea Eventing

      Comment


      • #4
        It is clear that your heart is in the right place, and I sympathize with your plight.

        Perhaps you can also see the BO's point of view as well, though.

        If the staff routinely provides the same services for the DIY-ers in the barn... the people who PAY for the service are probably going to stop writing those extra checks, since the horses are cared for either way.

        I think concern for a horse that gets sweaty and who might later become chilled/sick is legitimate; perhaps you can suggest to your boss that there be a "ground rule" about this type of situation. For example, she might advise the DIY boarders that if they do not come out and do "x" under "y" circumstances (remove blankets when the weather rises above 50 degrees, or something along those lines) then the barn staff will do it - and the clients will pay a fee of $Z.

        The one thing I would caution you about is the attitude you seem to have about the customers:

        The boarders go home, they come out and see their horse once a week, they write the check once a month and that's mostly all they think about their horse- they're not thinking about the day to day- we're out there 7 days a week watching their horse
        Really that is one heck of an assumption on your part, and frankly it's probably not valid. I'd lose the judgment if I were you.

        There are all sorts of reasons that a boarder might not come out as frequently as you think they should, but I doubt they only think about their horse once a week. And at the end of the day, it is the client's horse, the client's money and the client's choice about how they are managed... since your boss seems to be fine with it, I'd be cautious about getting into "tiffs" about stuff like that.
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

        Comment


        • #5
          Honey, you come over to my house for a chill out. I'll pour you a tall one and give you the remote. Your are going to burn out if you think this way.

          Don't get up on the "Well, we're the professionals. We're here 24/7. We need to protect the horses from owners who are negligent." They owner will come back with "I'm the owner so the buck stops with me." You are right. They are right, too. And the points either side is making does not speak to the other.

          And really don't lose your mind over a sweating horse. It's not what I'd want as your or the absentee owner. I'd call you and thank you for picking up the slack for me. But if you sounded imperious-- I'm the professional with the implication that as the DIY owner I sucked, it would be the wrong way to start the conversation.

          Pick your battles, my friend. It sounds like your BO did that in this case.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • #6
            A horse's owner has the right to keep their horse the way they choose, as long as it is not abusive. 70 degrees in a sheet may not be comfortable, but not abusive, and many show horses are kept in a sheet the day before a show at even higher temps. Their horse, their decision.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, the horse owner was pissed at the BO because she left instructions to leave it on... you should expect to hear about something like that.

              Going to go out on a limb here and just say a horse under a sheet in 70f with a lowish January sun in North Tenn. is not in any real danger. The biggest issue is it is an a la carte priced barn and they simply cannot start charging some for a service and not others or providing things they charge for for free or the business suffers.

              And it is a business and the business owner, your employer, sets the policy. And enforces it.

              So take a deep breath and cool down. When you work for somebody else, they get to call the shots. Any job.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd worry more about the horse getting colicy from the heat. I think it's a health issue and you are correct.
                Last edited by Stacie; Jan. 30, 2011, 11:55 AM.
                "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stacie View Post
                  I'd worry more about the horse getting colicy from the heat. I think it's health issue and you are correct.

                  This. Seriously. When there are drastic changes like that, that is what I worry about. In addition to how the footing goes from bone concussion hard to soul sucking gloppy.
                  www.specialhorses.org
                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Really that is one heck of an assumption on your part, and frankly it's probably not valid. I'd lose the judgment if I were you.
                    Agree. If you think that way, you really need to reconsider.
                    ---
                    They're small hearts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ugh. She should have been thanking you for looking out for her horse's health and welfare instead of complaining. Owners like that make it very frustrating to own or work in a boarding barn. You did the right thing. I couldn't look at a horse sweating under a winter blanket in 70 degrees, either, without doing something. The BO should have had your back on that one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hope all of your people that are horrified at a horse in 70 degrees with a sheet will remember this come summer when you are putting on those fly sheets that make them sweat.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In my 50+ years with horses ( and horse owners) the one constant I've learned is:

                          2 horsemen=3 opinions. You're wrong if you do and wrong if you don't.

                          If the owner is taking horsemanship lessons from you then you can inforce your ways. Otherwise you can only suggest to him/her.
                          Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow. I was right there with you until this:

                            [COLOR="teal"]The boarders go home, they come out and see their horse once a week, they write the check once a month and that's mostly all they think about their horse- they're not thinking about the day to day- we're out there 7 days a week watching their horse. If they're uncovered in the freezing cold, we see them shiver, if they're covered with flies, we see their irritation and most of the time, we try our best to make it better because WE are the ones seeing them everyday and they are not![/COLOR


                            As a "boarder", I would be really ticked if I heard this attitude from anyone who works at our barn. Not everyone who boards writes a check and then forgets about their horses the rest of the month for heaven's sake. While I have known other boarders who share the whole blanket my horse when it's hot idea, I think it is highly unusual. I would also like to point out that, as a boarder, I appreciate every single detail the barn professionals do for us (and I fully believe most boarders share this appreciation).

                            I would suggest you check your attitude, then discuss a policy with the BM/BO so that this issue is handled better in the future.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My sympathies to you. I know your heart is in the right place, and you are right that you see a lot more of the horse's discomfort. The owner may very well spend 3 hours ever day thinking about Dobbin, but Dobbin is in your face.

                              I think it *would* be helpful if your BO could set up a system like a previous poster said for DIYs where if X is not done under condition Y, then the barn staff will do it and automatically bill for Z amount. Especially as spring rolls around and you'll encounter this situation more (unexpected highs, etc). I'm at a barn like this, and if someone say doesn't clean their stall for more than like, 2 days-3 days, the barn staff will clean the stall and bill. And if becomes a regular thing, they'll just start doing it daily and bill, for the welfare of the horse. It's a very fair fee, too, so if they bring my horse in in the evening without prior arrangement (he was chewing/running/whatever), it's only an extra dollar... maybe 2. For the comfort of my horse, I definitely don't mind an extra 100 pennies on my bill, or even one thousand pennies.

                              The poster who pointed out flysheets make horses sweat, yes that's true. And I don't use them thusly. But, at least in the summer the horse has a summer coat under that meshy sheet. In this scenario, the horse was in a tightly woven sheet WITH a hair beast of a coat.

                              I wonder, if the horse had been left blanketed, got sweaty, and later had a health complication (or simply needed some serious grooming to make it comfortable again) who would have cared for it? I don't mean to sound assumptive, because I really don't know. But, if it were barn staff, I would imagine this actually saved the barn and client money/time.

                              I would at least have asked the BO, first, before de-blanketing the horse. What if there was a specific and necessary reason for the blanket being left on? (I can't think of a legitimate one, but it crossed my mind). Make your argument, and have the BO call the owner and say "this is a problem, this is why it's a problem, when can you be out to fix it, or should we just fix it now and bill you?".

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Some people will always be happier working in smaller barns where they can allow their love for the horses to motivate them to provide the same of level of care that the horses owner would provide if they were there to do things themselves.

                                In my experience, once a barn has more then about 40 horses, the care tends to fall to the short side. That just tends to be the logistics of running a larger barn.

                                My personal opinion is that it is a hazard to the health of a horse to let it become drenched with sweat under a sheet, and then leave that horse outside while the temperature then plunges to 30 degrees at night.

                                The result would be a wet horse with a compacted coat outside at night under a thin sheet while the temperature is 30 degrees!

                                Who's going to argue that this is not a potential health issue?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  perhaps you can suggest to your boss that there be a "ground rule" about this type of situation. For example, she might advise the DIY boarders that if they do not come out and do "x" under "y" circumstances (remove blankets when the weather rises above 50 degrees, or something along those lines) then the barn staff will do it - and the clients will pay a fee of $Z.
                                  I think that is a good idea. I know a lot of people don't like to be "nickeled and dimed," but I think that being able to choose which services you and your horse need is important. I pay for blanketing because I want to make sure that if it is going to be warm out, the blanket comes off. Some people at the barn don't blanket, and their horses do fine without the blanket. Some people do their own blanketing, and keep up with the weather perfectly. A rule as above would allow people the freedom to be in control, but still protect the horse if the situation warranted.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would have pulled the sheet also. I would prefer my horse dirty, rather than sick. BO should have explained this to owner.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I just looked at a boarding barn, they offer self care but if you dont clean your stall by 11, you get charged. Seems like a good system. Maybe your boss can come up with a similar plan (going by weather, of course)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Fairview, that is a rather odd, sweeping generalization. I don't see any corrolation between criticizing a lazy, careless owner who leaves a heavy winter blanket on a horse with a full winter coat on a hot, 70' day and using a fly sheet. I don't use fly sheets and I think the horse owner who let her horse swelter in a heavy winter weight blanket on a hot day is horrible.

                                        Comment

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