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I must be utterly passive-aggressive.

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  • I must be utterly passive-aggressive.

    I cannot fathom why many of us – myself included, who, in our ‘regular, income-producing lives’, function as consummate professionals in our chosen fields, and routinely tolerate the following behaviors:

    1. Continue to employ farriers who are technically brilliant and kind to our horses, yet fail to show up on time 100% of the time (and who are either pathological liars or are utterly useless at time management). Also interesting, they seem to forget how to utilize the telephone – either in text or voice form – from time to time; typically during a shoeing emergency.

    2. Buyers who email approximately 3 dozen questions and demand a host of details – from the type of extender used when shipping semen to radiographs taken within the last month (for SEMEN service) – and then, when pressed to submit a signed contract or ANY amount of money in form of a deposit, disappear into thin air… Only to resurface 6 months later with the SAME LIST OF QUESTIONS.

    3. Tack/equipment dealers who never – and I do mean never – seem to have any item that is urgently needed in stock, but who are willing to order it for you. Timeframe? 8-12 weeks – and you’ll need to email them at least 3 times to inquire about an ETA.

    4. Hay dealers who show up with 100+ bales of what appears to be second cutting from 2 years ago and bears no resemblance to the sample bale they dropped off the previous week. ‘Oh no; that’s the same stuff’.

    5. Trainers, who are rational, mature, sane human beings suddenly morph into ‘mean girls’ when even a hint of consulting another pro about a training issue arises – and all the ensuing hostility/drama/tears/ foot-stomping begins.

    Is this just me? Or is the entire Equine Industry rife with nincompoops, nutcups, and a complete lack of basic business sense? I’m seriously considering getting out; selling our stock and moving into a condo. This is just not worth the effort. (Tongue in cheek). Rant over; thanks for the vent!

  • #2
    I think they are the ones who are passive-aggressive. You are just the enabler!

    Been there, done that! I am trying very hard to get toxic people out of my life.


    • #3
      To answer your questions: 1) probably not and 2) it's maybe about half and half!

      The good news is that you can *fire* all of the people in above scenarios once you find a rational substitute. They do exist. To keep on with incompetence isn't passive/aggressive, it's just silly.

      (Of course I can say that - wait until the next incident happens to me and we'll see how well I follow my own advice! )

      Hugs, today will be better!


      • #4
        It is not only a horse thing.
        Plumbers and such do the same thing. They tell you that they will be there at 3pm so you take the whole day off to wait and they don't show up. Nice.
        It does seem to be more prevalent in the horse world though.


        • #5
          I can see sometimes having no choice - I'm a bit in the boonies now and there's not much to choose from in terms of farriers. My farrier travels to all the small towns on a route, so shoeing emergencies...well, the BO knows how to pull shoes. Then the horse must wait until farrier is in the area *shrug* Thankfully he is punctual for set appointments.

          The trainers are, I think, grossly enabled by the customers. I'm not sure where that comes from, possibly because so many people start as children and the trainer becomes an ersatz parent figure? The service provider/customer relationship is very distorted in such cases, it's more like a school coach with "their" player than a "customer."
          I started riding as an adult, so my interactions with my instructors were always on the service provider/customer level. I did take classes with other instructors if I wanted to check them out; I let my main instructor know just so they'd know what horse and I are up to in case if affected our riding, but there was never any hint of a question of asking their permission or getting their blessing or anything silly like that. But I did observe that the interaction with me was different that the interaction with their child/teen students.

          I also understand that there is a difference when a student is in a training program and showing under a trainer's name, because how they do impacts the trainer's business. But even so, there should be no drama if the student wants to try a lesson with someone else.
          Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


          • #6
            There are tons of jerks and clueless twits in EVERY business. But they get weeded out more quickly other places, possibly because of more competition. I know of dozens and dozens of horse people over the years who made a brief "splash" in the business locally and then were never heard from again. At the end of the day, it's about making a profit you can live on. Half these "non-businesslike" people's businesses tank extremely quickly because they just don't "get it" about what it means to work in a service profession.

            So be Darwin's friend and vote 'em OUT--with your checkbook!


            • #7
              that's why I so appreciate my farrier. Always shows up the week he says he will and calls the BO the night before.
              My BO grows his own hay... my vet is punctual and communicates via phone or FB. I am only a boarder... but so lucky to have these great people in my horsey life!


              • #8
                I put up with #1 because it's either a) deal with the lateness and no shows, b)pay 4x as much + mileage fees for the other good guy, or c)risk having the horses crippled by a complete idiot whose only good quality is showing up on time and who is totally unable to stop from screwing with the horse's feet because they're gaited.

                My farrier is getting way up there in years and starting to have more and more health problems, and I might cry when he retires. More farriers than you can shake a stick at in this area and I hate 'em all.


                • #9
                  Well, Farriers who are technically brilliant, and handle horses well, can be REALLY rare beasts.

                  I am way, way out in the boonies, where most ranch cowboys are expected to shoe their own horses. (Yes, frightening shoe jobs are the not unusual.)

                  There are two local farriers. One is great with the horses, but any fresh (within the week of new shoes) jobs I've seen, are so long that they look to me like they need a reset, pronto.
                  The other local farrier is OK if the horse is really good to shoe. And he does a pretty decent job. Not technically brilliant, but adequate. I call him if a horse throws a shoe, or if I can't pull shoes and trim myself.

                  So I import someone from 2 hours away, or I trailer my horses 2 hours to meet the farrier.
                  I find it in my best interest to tolerate an occasional non-returned phone call, to get someone out here in the boonies that does a fabulous job. But said farrier really does have to show up sometime on the right day! Though he can shoe horses without me holding them, there will be four or five to do and $$ for traveling, so he never schedules other horses to do that day.
                  And I always have some yummy lunch for him!

                  My farrier is getting way up there in years and starting to have more and more health problems, and I might cry when he retires. More farriers than you can shake a stick at in this area and I hate 'em all.
                  Yeah, there are areas that are really lacking in GOOD farriers. Friend was looking for a horse in a particular area, holy cow I NEVER saw a good shoe job on any of the many videos or photos I saw, and I saw lots and lots. Best was sort-of adequate, won't ruin a good-footed horse...


                  • #10
                    The only field I'm outstanding in is the cow pasture but I don't generally deal with any of those things.

                    Granted-my husband became a farrier so that whole aspect is largely averted.

                    But we buy hay and not only do we not take crap hay but we weigh it ourselves and bring the weight slips back to the hay guy if necessary. We don't get hosed on hay very often and I am the quality control department.

                    We don't hire trainers but I did have a trainer giving lessons to my daughter and she was a joy, always on time and always gave a full hour's lesson and taught my daughter a TON. Very happy with her.

                    We don't generally waste a lot of time with buying and selling anything. I hate to order things; we have fairly decent places to shop so that I don't need to order much even in the boonies of Montana. I usually hand pick whoever takes one of our horses on the rare occasion that we sell them.

                    I think it makes a whole lot of difference that my husband is involved. I've heard enough behind the doors conversations among vets, farriers, trainers, and hay guys to know that there can be a real rift between those folks and your average horse lady. I've seen whackadoodles on both ends and I think they each generalize about the others and treat them unfairly and accordingly.

                    If you get a good professional in your corner treat them like gold and keep track of them!
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                    • #11
                      OP, your post made me laugh as I often tell my SO that the ONLY horse pro that has never cheated, lied, overcharged, or totally f'd us over in some way is my farrier. He's done my horses for over 15 years and I dread the day he retires. I might just quit too when that happens! I just wish one other horse pro in my life would have te work ethic, honesty, and ability of my farrier. Guess I'm lucky to at least have one superstar among the rest!


                      • #12
                        I see a whole lot of passive here but not much aggressive.
                        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


                        • #13
                          I just voted with my wallet and left my trainer that couln't keep her appointments. It's the only way to do it.


                          • #14
                            Totally not just a horse industry thing. There are nutjobs and nincompoops everywhere, in every industry.


                            • #15
                              The one we had in SC (back before cell phones) was a good enough farrier, but with the above mentioned challenges telling time or estimating time. Add to that he couldn't read. Really. So I really HAD to be at the barn from before the time he SAID he'd be there until he really showed up. Or it got dark.
                              Equine Photography in the Northeast


                              • #16
                                Posted a similar thread a while back about a lunatic yard owner and got told that I was completely wrong so relieved to see this one! Personally I will not be shaken in my belief that there are more nut jobs and people who let you down on service/common courtesy in the Horse industry than anywhere else and as you say, we put up with it!
                                Horse Selling Hell
                                My Writing
                                People who think they know everything about horses know nothing


                                • #17
                                  the problem may be you

                                  Since this is your "first post" even though these concerns are valid you cannot post them without concealing your self.


                                  • #18
                                    I don't put up with any of the above.

                                    My farrier is prompt and does a good job.

                                    The farmer I buy hay from is honest.

                                    And when I had a trainer who was always 20 minutes late, I found another.

                                    Of course it's easier when you live in an area with lots of choices.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                    • #19
                                      100% on time is unrealistic. Particularly when you know that the service provider is coming to you and may have things come up that are urgent. Asking for communication about being late is not unrealistic.

                                      i have a super reliable set of professionals. Maybe it is because the area is packed with horses and related professionals, and competition has made the standards rise. There are some who are known to be unreliable, but that doesn't work for me.


                                      • #20
                                        I've worked hard to build a team of horse pros around us and I trust them and like them - hopefully it is mutual. I'm quite sure every one would go over and beyond for me and my horses...and they have.

                                        OTOH - on the post of the border from hell, I can see I would be the type of person who would go for the easy fix and avoid unnecessary nastiness ...
                                        maybe taking a risk, but cannot say since we don't know the people involved.
                                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique