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Long story about a client... advice?

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  • #21
    So its already been a highly educational experience!

    And I really mean it about the girl, kids who even have short exposures to safe, caring adults are truly lucky. And you really were a good force in her life and made a lot possible. you cannot be expected to do it all, but still, I think what you ahve done has surely made a difference!

    Comment


    • #22
      Let it go.
      Yes they are being ungrateful and that hurts, but you are the one that volunteered all your time, tack, etc.
      Now is not the time to go back on your word even though you feel slighted.
      Be the bigger person and let it go.
      "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by CHT View Post
        They went to that barn BECAUSE you did the deal with them to make it more affordable, to back out of that deal while they finish the 30 days is unfair...you should be held to the same 30 days in my opinion.

        She likely figured that you were running a business and that the "deals" you made for her were mutually beneficial.. She may even have friends telling her "you pay how much for board? My daughter has her horse somewhere for half that!" and think she is getting taken advantage of board wise and you are making your money that way.

        When you give things for free, that is the value they have. To expect the mother to know different is unreasonible.

        How to proceed? If you want to loose the client then hand them a rate sheet and start billing for the things you previously did for free. Think about how that will look to the mom who is likely clueless about what other clients pay...it will look like you are trying to milk them for money while they still have a horse.

        I would talk to her and come up with a compromise that allows the kid to enjoy the last month with you and the horse. If they decide to get another horse, then make sure they know the full costs and are prepared for it in advance
        The OP was being played for a sucker this whole time by the girls' parents and now she's the mean one for standing up?

        Are you for real?

        This IS the kind of client one wants to lose, and lose ASAP.

        So long, goodbye, adios, auf viedersen, don't let the door hit ya where The Good Lord split ya........

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #24
          Yes, except at this point, they don't want me on the horse between lessons, which means she's not safe for me to use for my other 2 students, which was not the deal. I sent the mother everything, and when I see her on Friday, I'll give her the invoice with the total services I provided above and beyond what they paid, which equal roughly $1,500 at this point for the last 2 1/2 months, for which they will not be charged. I'm not willing to run up that total any further unless the mother can come up with some kind of compromise for me at this point. The daughter doesn't have to take lessons, and they won't be paying any more or any less than they have been already for the last month that the horse is there.

          Yes, I should be the bigger person. I know that. Quite frankly, if the mother had come to me in person and talked all this out, I wouldn't be so ticked. If she'd even said thank you once for anything I've done for the horse and her daughter, I might not be so ticked. But now, I've hit the wall with them.

          Comment


          • #25
            aWp, I agree with others who tell you to not invoice anything and just cut your losses now. Leave their horse be until it's gone. Do you have access to other horses for your students?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by lilitiger2 View Post
              So its already been a highly educational experience!

              And I really mean it about the girl, kids who even have short exposures to safe, caring adults are truly lucky. And you really were a good force in her life and made a lot possible. you cannot be expected to do it all, but still, I think what you ahve done has surely made a difference!
              Thank you! The girl does think I have magical powers, when all it is really is just good horse sense. I don't try to persuade her otherwise.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by caballero View Post
                aWp, I agree with others who tell you to not invoice anything and just cut your losses now. Leave their horse be until it's gone. Do you have access to other horses for your students?
                Yes, I can use other horses for my other students at this point, and will, especially if this horse will be doing nothing.

                I'm not sure if I can invoice her for nothing, especially now that I've run all the numbers. The money for the bridle and bit they've been using is paltry compared to everything else. If I can get that, I will feel slightly vindicated.

                If they refuse to pay it, well, then, that's that. As of right now, I am planning to show them my totals for all the other services, just so they can see it. I'm not going to ask for payment for $1,500, only for the bridle use, since they did agree to buy a bridle and bit early on for the horse and never did.

                I'll probably even chicken out before showing them the services totals, but I am glad to have it all down on paper to see just how much I screwed myself over for them.

                Comment


                • #28
                  well yes, i hope they let you ride the horse so you can have your other two students ride her. That WAS the deal they made. FWIW, I can remember bidding assessments then finding out half way in - "crap this is waaaaay more than I thought" and being stuck with it, just remembering that NEXT time I will do it differently.

                  i totally get your frustration (particularly over them not letting you use the horse for the other lessons). It IS frustrating!

                  I do not believe you were played for any kind of sucker, they probably just have a lot on their plate and you are not the priority (annoying, believe me,I can relate, ask me why I get paid UPFRONT for many services!!!!!). Many families with kids who are struggling, who are struggling themselves financially and in other ways, just don't always attend to stuff like we would hope (and as we might).

                  you have done a very cool thing (many cool things). I might maybe not try to actually problem solve when I was irritated (ask me how I know that one!!!! ) I have to calm down - go for a ride, fart around on the internet, vent to friends, watch TV, play with the animals, read a novel, whatever and see what comes to me.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Presenting an invoice without asking for payment, just to show them how generous you are, will not result in gratitude. So if it won't get you any money and it won't get you any gratitude, what do you want it to achieve? In the course of this relationship, you offered a bit too much for free, that's all. If anything, you should be glad that the relationship is ending, so you can take on other clients (and of course you'd make sure the new guys are fully informed about the pricing, fee waivers, etc.).

                    Charging rent for a bridle seems absurd unless you specifically agreed in advance upon a rental rate for the use of the bridle. The very first time they used your bridle, after having been told that they should get their own, was the moment to define/enforce the rental terms.

                    You are managing a business and it's not up to your customer to offer you gratitude. In fact it's the other way around. Really and truly, I understand how you are feeling. But just graciously move on and wish them all the best.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by aWp View Post
                      Yes, except at this point, they don't want me on the horse between lessons, which means she's not safe for me to use for my other 2 students, which was not the deal. I sent the mother everything, and when I see her on Friday, I'll give her the invoice with the total services I provided above and beyond what they paid, which equal roughly $1,500 at this point for the last 2 1/2 months, for which they will not be charged. I'm not willing to run up that total any further unless the mother can come up with some kind of compromise for me at this point. The daughter doesn't have to take lessons, and they won't be paying any more or any less than they have been already for the last month that the horse is there.

                      Yes, I should be the bigger person. I know that. Quite frankly, if the mother had come to me in person and talked all this out, I wouldn't be so ticked. If she'd even said thank you once for anything I've done for the horse and her daughter, I might not be so ticked. But now, I've hit the wall with them.
                      Wait, earlier you posted that YOU didn't want to do the training rides, not that they didn't want you on the horse. I guess I am confused.

                      I still don't see why people think the mom took advantage of you. It really sounds like you made this offers to accomodate them. It would be like a ski store having a sale, and my going to buy stuff during the sale, and then the store being pissed because I decided to stop skiing. Ok, weak analogy, but I think part of your anger is because you feel used and unappreciated, which I have felt many times, but I hope you can look from the mom's side...she might truly not understand how much you did for them, although I am sure one day the daughter will.

                      You did a lovely thing, and I hope this doesn't sour you from doing a lovely thing again for some deserving kid.
                      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        You have to do nice things like this for the sake of it, and never worry about the thank you. I am sure you can tell the little girl is very grateful. Mom is probably oblivious.

                        Secondly I hate confrontation and I feel much more comfortable using email, even without confrontation, for things like this. There it is, written down, etc. No confusion about what was said. I never considered email a "rude" form of communication and think you getting your nose bent out of shape about it is a little much.

                        As far as the bridle rental? Petty. You said they could BORROW it. If you were really upset by it you should have told them they needed one by a certain date and pointed them in the right direction. Do you really charge a finder's fee for saddles for clients?

                        These are not horse people, they don't get it. Not intentionally but there is a lot that people don't realize goes into horses. Wish them on their way and learn from it business wise.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          You did a nice thing for this girl and to agree with the poster above, it may just be that the mom has a lot on her plate and may not be as attentive as she could be.

                          Why twist over a price sheet and all they she 'should have' paid? It will only create negative feelings on both sides. The mom may very well misread your intent in sharing it. She may not really comprehend your issues, from her point of view, she may not understand why all of a sudden you are so unhappy.

                          Why not continue on as you have done thus far which is to act with an abundance of class in helping the little girl and let the mom off the hook. It is hard, never ending work to have a child like this and perhaps mom just not have the bandwidth. And yes, she may be acting a bit entitled - you have somewhat spoiled them but can't all of a sudden expect her to understand your shift in attitude or what is making you feel abused. You have been extremely accommodating and now do not feel so accommodating (for good reason).

                          It sounds like you have provided this young girl with some good experiences and that will help shape who she is in the long run. You should feel good about that and just let the situation end as quietly and stress free for everyone as possible so that you can feel good about it and not bitter when it is over. Just take a deep breath and feel good about yourself. And the next time, don't be so generous if it will leave you feeling taken advantage of!

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            They want to send the horse back. Personally, I would waive the 30 days notice and let them leave now just to be done with the situation. I would not want to be involved any more with them.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              ^THIS. Get the horse out of your barn right now. The horse is only costing you money. There is no contract on the other arrragements and while I have no doubt there are verbal promises, it's going to be hard to collect on them. At this point, get horsey on the trailer and wave bye-bye to them with a smile on your face. It's going to be one of the better days of your life, believe me.
                              Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                              http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I think you did a wonderful thing, there is no thanks or appreciation from the mother, and they want out. I think you should stop even trying to give lessons on the horse, because there is no benefit for the daughter now, because there is no cooperation from the family, and they are quitting anyway. I think it's time to walk away, and you know you did a good thing for the girl, but for whatever reason it is time to end the relationship.

                                I think the mother always intended to get as much free as she could, and never intended to do anything for her daughter that she couldn't get a deal for. I feel sorry for the daughter, but the mother irritates me. Expecting to get a therapeutic program for peanuts is exactly what the mother wanted, and if they would have purchased or full leased a horse they never intended to put out any money either. The mother is a taker, and you were a wonderful person for helping this way, but it's over. And if the mother doesn't want to pay for training rides or lunging or other work that makes the horse safe, then the daughter shouldn't ride the horse for the last month. If that child is injured, then everything will be your fault, and I bet the lawsuit will claim that also. The people who make the least efffort for their kids are always the first to blame everyone else, and to sue.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Stop your roll for a minute.
                                  Take a few deep breaths.
                                  You are having a meltdown because the mother sent you an email and did not call or talk to you in person? Then she said some things that could come out of anyone's mouth when they are not sure what to say (thinking of cutting back on horse time).
                                  Really?
                                  There are endless people in society today that feel email is a perfectly acceptable form of communication. Just because you do not think that do not turn what was a good thing into a horrible mess that in the long run will only make you look unstable and difficult to deal with (and make you even more angry).
                                  This arrangement worked for you just fine until now. You were doing something that was mutually beneficial. You had a horse to use for your two lesson kids and this kid had a horse to ride too.
                                  You are even saying here that if she does not pay for your training rides and lunging then the horse will not work for your other lesson kids. To you it is OK for this mother to pay for rides and lunging that would benefit you and your lesson kids?

                                  Originally posted by aWp View Post
                                  They knew they were supposed to get her a bridle 6 months ago, and kept putting it off. That's the only thing I'll charge them for at this point.
                                  No, you can not and should not. No contract for leasing/renting the bridle. Them knowing they needed to get their own does not equal a contract. Asking them to please replace or repair what they broke is totally acceptable.




                                  Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                                  Presenting an invoice without asking for payment, just to show them how generous you are, will not result in gratitude. So if it won't get you any money and it won't get you any gratitude, what do you want it to achieve? In the course of this relationship, you offered a bit too much for free, that's all. If anything, you should be glad that the relationship is ending, so you can take on other clients (and of course you'd make sure the new guys are fully informed about the pricing, fee waivers, etc.).

                                  Charging rent for a bridle seems absurd unless you specifically agreed in advance upon a rental rate for the use of the bridle. The very first time they used your bridle, after having been told that they should get their own, was the moment to define/enforce the rental terms.

                                  You are managing a business and it's not up to your customer to offer you gratitude. In fact it's the other way around. Really and truly, I understand how you are feeling. But just graciously move on and wish them all the best.
                                  Ding ding ding.
                                  Very well said.


                                  I would guess this mother is now wondering what hit her.
                                  You would agree that the leased horse was not working out well in your situation for the daughter. Seems like the responsible thing for the mother to return the horse. The mother tells you that it is time to send the horse back and you blow a gasket on her. Carry on about how you have been the worlds most amazing wonderful giving terrific trainer person and how dare she do this to you, even though you would agree that the leased horse is not the best option.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I agree with the above comments. Send the horse back now, don't make them wait 30 days. Explain that if there are no training rides, the horse is not useful to you for other students and cut your costs.

                                    Ask them to repair or replace the bridle.

                                    In the future, if a client is getting "free" services in return for something, put it on your monthly bill and write "waived" in lieu of something like lesson use. If they start to see that there is a quid pro quo, they will understand 1) they are getting a service and 2) they need to provide something (such as use of the horse) in return.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by aWp View Post
                                      Yes, I can use other horses for my other students at this point, and will, especially if this horse will be doing nothing.

                                      I'm not sure if I can invoice her for nothing, especially now that I've run all the numbers. The money for the bridle and bit they've been using is paltry compared to everything else. If I can get that, I will feel slightly vindicated.

                                      If they refuse to pay it, well, then, that's that. As of right now, I am planning to show them my totals for all the other services, just so they can see it. I'm not going to ask for payment for $1,500, only for the bridle use, since they did agree to buy a bridle and bit early on for the horse and never did.

                                      I'll probably even chicken out before showing them the services totals, but I am glad to have it all down on paper to see just how much I screwed myself over for them.
                                      I actually think a retroactive bridle-use charge is kind of ridiculous. Yest they said they would buy a bridle.

                                      But YOU never said FROM THE OUTSET that, "You can use mine **for this fee.**" You can not retroactively decide that a contract was made to pay whatever you arbitrarily after the fact feel like charging per month ($5? $25? $50) for use of this bridle. What if someone lends you their car for a month while you are on vacation, made NO mention of price at the time, and then when they get back they say, "Oh, that will be $200 a day because I was so generous"???

                                      Additionally, if you were to mention this fee to a future customer from the very first time you ever lent your bridle out, I think $25 a month is way too steep. I lend out a lot of tack to my customers (for free) and if I WERE to start charging, it would be $10 a month for a wool-flocked saddle that needs a reflocking once per year. At $25 per month they would be buying you a brand new bridle every year -that is WWAAAYYY more than any "use cost" of your bridle, since a well-cared for bridle will last you over a decade.
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                                      • #39
                                        I think you did a lovely thing. "No good deed goes unpunished". I don't think you can/should back charge for the bridle. You were riding the horse in training rides, as were your students, I assume with the same bridle for the same horse?

                                        You will have a hard time getting a non-horse person to understand. I think you have a good heart. Let the horse leave and move on.
                                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Also keep in mind that email may have been chosen so that there is a WRITTEN record of the notice with a date instead of a "he said, she said."
                                          "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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