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A barn owner/trainer you love, slacking on the care of your horse. Time to move?

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  • A barn owner/trainer you love, slacking on the care of your horse. Time to move?

    Hi COTH, I'm posting under a different user because I know some people on here know where I board.

    This is going to be a little long, so thank you for reading!

    I have boarded for the last 2 years at the place my horse is at now. We have a great time there, and usually the care is very good. Great hay, clean paddock/stall and horses are happy. Trainer/BO is a really great lady, that I have a good time at shows with (we shall call her Sue). Sue is a well accomplished trainer and has a few good championships under her belt. She is funny, driven, but also very very set in her ways. SOMETIMES if she thinks it is supposed to be one way- it goes that way. She is extremely helpful at shows and gets your horse groomed and you mentally prepared to be there.

    This summer my horse was injured. I paid Sue extra for the lay up time. I have a full time job, and can't be there to help all the time. I expect to pay extra because of this and I do. After all was said and done, I ended up going out 3 times a day to make sure horse was okay, and stall was clean. Wherever I couldn't get out, bandages were not changed, and horse was just left as I had left him - thankfully horse healed, but vet said to start dropping his heels. I took out a ruler, and marked where his heels were and showed it to Sue. I told her everytime the farrier comes out, he could use this as a guide.

    Fast forward to now. Sue is going through a divorce. My husband and I are trying to be as supporting as possible. We go out and help with chores - and don't ask for any board refunds. My horse has become injured- badly injured. Everything I'm being told and what the vet is saying (when i talk to him) is that he should be rested, and bandaged. First few days, Sue tells me she has talked to the vet, and my horse should keep walking so it doesn't get worse- so no stalling. After a day of this (and being told that he was being cared for) I get that bad feeling in my stomach and go check. Of course, the bandage has not been changed and horse is now in a lot of pain. Call vet myself, he says to rest the horse in a stall. I stall the horse myself, and say i will be out in the morning (AGAIN, I have a full time job, and pay her to help me because I can't be there). I come out and horse is turned out. I ask what is going on. She says she talked to vet, and he said to turn him back out. Considering I talked to vet at 7:30 last night, and was out at 6am this morning this is doubtful. The stall he was in is FILTHY and uncleaned. I think because of the extra work it would take, she turned him out.

    Back to my horses feet- I measured them yesterday, and his heels are TALLER then when I measured them this summer.

    I am extremely frustrated. I am looking for new places to move to, but, in our smallish town Sue knows everyone, and everyone likes Sue. She is a fun lady, but my horse is suffering because of her lack of care- and I'm frustrated with all the money I give her, and nothing happening. Am I over-reacting though? At this point, I'm just frustrated and tired.

  • #2
    If you have to ask on COTH, you already know the answer.
    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


    • #3
      What "TheJenners" said. If you have to ask, you know the answer.

      Some boarding facilities are just not built to accomodate the wounded/rehabbing horse. For the wellbeing of your horse, it is okay for you to move on.
      "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
      "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
      Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

      Comment


      • #4
        Turning out when the vet has told you not to turn out is something that would bug me.

        The hoof angle/heel thing to me is your problem not hers.
        I too have a full time job. If you have a special request of your farrier call your farrier and talk with them. Take the time off from work and be there in person if you feel that is needed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow. She is claiming that the vet told her to turn the horse out after the vet told you to keep him stalled? I would check with the vet to find out if there is crumb of truth to her claim. It's one thing for her to say that she disagrees with the vet's prescription; quite another to lie about what the vet said to suit her purposes. Is that really who you want to be in charge of your horse's care? I'm sorry for your situation, but I'm with TheJenners....
          I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am going through the same thing - boarding place was great for the first couple months, then we get the "I am a single mother excuse" stalls aren't cleaned, she leaves 2 weekends a month to see the BF, water buckets are never cleaned, she runs out of grain and claims she has more at her house and is bringing it to the barn, not the horses go without, she doesn't fill outside waterers so horses go without - one of her horses coliced and it was in a stall for a week and a half in pain and looked horrible, she didn't call vet, she doesn't have much money and horse isn't worth it- yet won't get a job, everyone has moved except me - well I gave my notice - I have been out there every day to care for my horses and I won't pay for something I am not getting.

            For the welfare of your horse move - maybe it is because of the divorce but there isn't an excuse for neglecting the care of animals. Everyone will find out the truth in the end.

            I know because my BOs barn will be empty in a couple weeks and there isn't anyone that will board there because of what everyone has said about the care.

            Comment


            • #7
              If she won't do what you ask her and pay her to do, you leave. This is x2 with respect to the question of Vet instructions.

              If I tell my barn manager (and pay for it) that my vet says to put a blue halter on my horse at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, I expect:

              1) barn manager to acknowledge their intent to honor this service request ("Yes, will do!")

              2) and then to do what they say they are going to do.

              If they don't, and that refusal is chronic and goes counter to vet instructions, you leave. You don't agonize, you don't fuss about how this will mess up the holiday party, you move. your. horse. Or, you are a party to the mismanagement of your horse, by failing to act on this information.

              I have as much empathy as the next person for folks going through tough times, but a boarding barn is a service that people pay for, and if you aren't getting what you are paying for, you go.

              I know that someone will post here in about 20 seconds that they are a barn manager and that they frequently discreetly substitute their judgment for that of their dingbat boarders, but this is vet care instructions, and it's not up to her to fail to follow your instructions, unless she can't do it for some reason, in which case, there is (again) your reason to move your horse.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a similar situation several years ago. I was at a great barn for three years, with great care and a great trainer whom I loved and considered a good friend. She, too, went through a divorce and a variety of other personal problems, and care began to decline sharply. At first I let things slide because, well, she was having personal issues and I wanted to be supportive. But eventually it all got to be too much (filthy stalls, turnout reduced gradually to SMALL round pens, she yelled at me for re-cleaning my own horse's stall and adding shavings, etc.) and I decided to move my horse. Once we had moved I was so relieved and so much happier.

                I understand that your trainer is having a tough time with her personal life, and that's sad, but if it's affecting your horse's care to that extent, you need to move.

                Comment


                • #9
                  She's cashing your checks and not paying attention to the horse. /this is a huge no-no when an injury is involved and the horse needs extra care.

                  It's nice that you're being supportive, but she is supposed to be running a business, and that means keeping up standards.
                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I agree with all of you so far. I think its time to move... 2 things I should point out too:

                    Should I confront her on her lie ( i checked with vet, she did not talk with him) and confront her about shoddy care and give her a small amount of time to change, or just leave? I have been pretty passive, and not confrontational yet.

                    For the farrier stuff- I wasn't clear enough on that either. We are not allowed to bring in a different farrier from Sue's. We have to use him. I really do like this farrier, but when I speak out to what I want, she will argue over me, or call the farrier herself and have him do what she believes in. I am calling the farrier this afternoon and we are having a serious talk. If I pay him, he is doing what I want from now on.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Little things you can let slide. An injured horse that is turned out when you specifically asked that he NOT be per vet, is not a little thing. This type of thing can permanently injure a horse, cause additional pain and suffering to a horse, cost you more money, and, at least in theory, could hasten the death of a horse. You don't mess with some things.

                      Sorry, you'll have to move. You can wrap yourself in:

                      I know my horse is difficult given his injuries and such and I know it's not fair to ask you to take extra effort for him at this difficult time. Hugs. and then MOVE.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by hollyhorse2000 View Post
                        Little things you can let slide. An injured horse that is turned out when you specifically asked that he NOT be per vet, is not a little thing. This type of thing can permanently injure a horse, cause additional pain and suffering to a horse, cost you more money, and, at least in theory, could hasten the death of a horse. You don't mess with some things.

                        Sorry, you'll have to move. You can wrap yourself in:

                        I know my horse is difficult given his injuries and such and I know it's not fair to ask you to take extra effort for him at this difficult time. Hugs. and then MOVE.
                        yes.. agreed. I'm thinking of her over my horse.. and I have to stop doing that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hollyhorse2000 View Post
                          Little things you can let slide. An injured horse that is turned out when you specifically asked that he NOT be per vet, is not a little thing. This type of thing can permanently injure a horse, cause additional pain and suffering to a horse, cost you more money, and, at least in theory, could hasten the death of a horse. You don't mess with some things.

                          Sorry, you'll have to move. You can wrap yourself in:

                          I know my horse is difficult given his injuries and such and I know it's not fair to ask you to take extra effort for him at this difficult time. Hugs. and then MOVE.
                          Ditto!
                          Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would move based on the outright lie, if nothing else was wrong. Just load up and go, and don't say you're sorry.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ditto Posting Trot! I am a BO/BM and wouldn't dream of taking your money and not doing as I promised! If I didn't want the extra work, I'd tell you that to your face! Keeping horses in a stall when everyone else is out is a pain, but sometimes it's very necessary!

                              Depending on the barn's setup it might be a possibility to put your horse in a small round pen (large stall size) out in the field with his buddies. Add hay and a water bucket and all parties are usually happy!

                              I hope you can get your horse rehabbed and happy no matter what you decide to do!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                If she won't do what you ask her and pay her to do, you leave. This is x2 with respect to the question of Vet instructions.

                                If I tell my barn manager (and pay for it) that my vet says to put a blue halter on my horse at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, I expect:

                                1) barn manager to acknowledge their intent to honor this service request ("Yes, will do!")

                                2) and then to do what they say they are going to do.

                                If they don't, and that refusal is chronic and goes counter to vet instructions, you leave. You don't agonize, you don't fuss about how this will mess up the holiday party, you move. your. horse. Or, you are a party to the mismanagement of your horse, by failing to act on this information.

                                I have as much empathy as the next person for folks going through tough times, but a boarding barn is a service that people pay for, and if you aren't getting what you are paying for, you go.

                                I know that someone will post here in about 20 seconds that they are a barn manager and that they frequently discreetly substitute their judgment for that of their dingbat boarders, but this is vet care instructions, and it's not up to her to fail to follow your instructions, unless she can't do it for some reason, in which case, there is (again) your reason to move your horse.
                                I don't get why all of the above isn't intuitively obvious.

                                Who cares about the size of the town or who knows who?

                                Find another place. Put down deposit if necessary to hold stall. Give however much notice you are required to give. If contractually you are not bound to give notice, don't give any. Just move the horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yes, sorry, I would move.

                                  Sort-of off the topic, but not, I'm curious why we make a business relationship into something more personal that makes us dither over a simple decision to protect our horses' welfare.
                                  I mean there is a certain amount of hassle to moving, getting the horse trailered out in the first place being one of the bigger ones, but why does it turn into "hurting feelings" and "insulting" people - because horse professionals in general are sort of like hairdressers/artistes and make it personal?
                                  Why do we let them do that and even encourage it? I guess it is great if you are a rider with a rock star trainer, you just do the program and get the ribbons, but putting the horse through that, in a boarding situation?

                                  The horse depends on us to advocate for it, or select an advocate for it that'll work with us, and the vet and the farrier, and not pat us on the head and tell us they know best while we are trying to figure out just what is happening, or not, to the horse. People close their eyes to a lot and surrender their decision making process when they are in full training, but why would boarding go that way too? Why should it?

                                  Sorry. Rant over.

                                  Look for a place with a convalescent horse policy and get it in writing and go there. Your Sue may be letting her business slide during the divorce, that's too bad but your horse needs to come first.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                    Yes, sorry, I would move.

                                    Sort-of off the topic, but not, I'm curious why we make a business relationship into something more personal that makes us dither over a simple decision to protect our horses' welfare.
                                    Completely agree!!

                                    My personal opinion? It's ridiculous that so often the people responsible for providing services/running a business in the horse world make it personal. Even in this thread, there's boarders saying how their BOs made excuses for not doing the work they get paid for because of personal issues: single mom and not enough time, leaving to visit the boyfriend, and in the OP's case - going through a divorce. That "should" have no relevance on providing services in exchange for money...and yet it happens SO often in the horse industry.

                                    I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm going through personal crap or when $hit hits the fan I'm still expected to get work done at MY job...because they pay me. I'd love to see my boss's face if I decided to not show up for work or do the opposite of what he told me to do and then try to explain it away 'because I'm getting a divorce'.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I learned a long time ago that "forever" in the horse industry is about two years. In other words..."I love this barn, I won't ever have to look for a new place." And in about two years time, things will change and one will find themselves having to find a new barn.

                                      I feel your pain, been there...I agree that you need to move your horse. We all hate change, but it's time.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I recognize that there are many BO's out there who are far more knowledgeable in horse care than me, and I appreciate that fact tremendously-- I won't board somewhere where I feel the need to "educate" a BO on the basics.

                                        With that being said, I am a paying customer, and I am not an idiot. If I want ____ to be done, I will ask for ___ to be done and expect a response back from the BO to that effect... and it D*MN WELL BETTER BE DONE. If it's not, for whatever reason, I expect to be told so. If the BO doesn't agree with said request, that's fine, they can tell me so (and why); maybe I'll agree, maybe I won't. But I expect them to do it as I ask, or convince me otherwise... If they just do it as they see fit, without my consent and specifically against my instructions, my horse and my checkbook are outta there-- and they can stick their 30-day notice where the sun don't shine.
                                        *friend of bar.ka

                                        "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

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