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Where in my boarding contract can I find...

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  • #21
    My horse was severely injured two weeks after I bought him by a worker at a boarding barn who thought she was being helpful by "training" my green horse, who had basic green horse manners and was easily corrected by a knowledgeable person. He is still sitting in my pasture, on and off lame, after three and a half years of imaging, rehab, sweat, and tears. I'd get the hell out of there.
    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay


    • #22
      As I was reading up to the OPs last post i was going to say - observe exactly what she's doing, and see if it's even harmful, but I see you've already done that.

      IMO - barn handlers have a responsibility to be firm and not let the horses get away with dumb crap. This sometimes means doing a 5 minute session of "2 steps forward - halt - back - repeat, turn around, go back to the barn" on a horse that's being a pushy dorknob.

      However, if she's speding 20 min a day playing parelli games, that's not cool either.

      You DO need to talk to her, and give her an acceptable correction that works for your horse that she can do.

      I feel that a boarding barn should at least be trustable to turn out, turn in, and feed without you needing to show up. That's what you're paying them for. If you need to be there 3x a day to make sure everything is kosher you may as well keep the horses at home.


      • #23
        There is an assumed liability on the BO's part of inherent risk. I think your chances of being held liable are pretty slim because she knows what she's getting into.

        I have, well... had, a mare that was a lot like Willow back in her younger years. She could be a handful. I explained everything thoroughly to my BO and asked her to carry a crop and not be afraid to use it on my mare if she were to get pushy or bulldogish. I let her know I had zero tolerance for it and expected her to have the same tolerance level. Pretty soon, mare learned that no one takes any crap and is now perfectly fine.

        That said... If BO thought she was going to "cure" my mare by wiggling her finger or pointing a carrot stick at her, well - we both know that wasn't going to be effective AT ALL and would leave a whole lot of room for someone to get hurt.

        What current BO is doing I equate to a babysitter preaching the Koran to your kids when you're raising them as Christians. While you and your family can be open to learning and be respectful of the Islamic faith, it's not your religious practice and shouldn't be forced on anyone.

        I would just bring up to your BO that while you appreciate what she's trying to do and have the utmost respect for her as a horse woman, the NH techniques are not within your area of expertise and you just ask that she not practice them on Willow as you feel that it's confusing to the mare as you use the more conventional/traditional techniques that you are comfortable with. If BO refuses or continues behind your back, then it's time to have a more aggressive conversation about boundaries or it's time to leave.


        • #24
          For peace of mind, you can join the Kentucky Horse Council for an insurance policy-very cheap! See Membership/Benefits tab:


          $35 N/A For individuals 18 years or older. Includes the $1M Excess Personal Liability Insurance Policy.

          This policy protects you and your family from liability in the event that your horse causes injury or damage to another person or property, and legal action results. This covers ALL personal (non-commercial) horses you own, under a single policy, and covers you anywhere in the United States, not just Kentucky.


          • #25
            I want the people handling my horse to enforce good manners, like walking nicely-they tell me if they have to have a talk with him about that- but I don't want "training" - such as a lot of NH teaches the horse to turn and face you, which is exactly what I don't want.


            • #26
              Originally posted by MaybeMorgan View Post
              I want the people handling my horse to enforce good manners, like walking nicely-they tell me if they have to have a talk with him about that- but I don't want "training" - such as a lot of NH teaches the horse to turn and face you, which is exactly what I don't want.
              The BO where I board has let my horse get away with poor manners, and while my
              horse is good for me (thanks to a few CTJ sessions over the years), she is a bull
              with anyone else. I don't want the BO 'training' her per so, but I did expect her to insist on manners.

              OP, I'd see if you can see exactly how she's working with your horse in the mornings - then go from there.


              • #27
                15-20 minutes means someone is playing my pretty pony with your horse. This is a warning sign - take it & run before your horse or the BO gets hurt. Polite conversations aren't going to cut it - in her mind, she is doing you a favor. Your views on "training" are too far apart to be remedied. If you're really stuck there, then put something in writing that you aren't agreeable to her training methods on your horse & that you are not liable.


                • #28
                  If there's nowhere to move, could you put W. on pasture board there? That way BO wouldn't have to handle her very often... may be the simplest solution.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks everybody for the replies.

                    Thanks for the link MaybeMorgan. I'm going to look into that for sure! I may already be covered through my USEF membership, from the looks of their website, but it can't hurt to have a backup.

                    I could move them, the place I wanted to put them is about 30 min away, give or take with traffic. There really is NOTHING around here that's reasonable.

                    I'm hoping that both girls can be out on pasture board (full board for both is making my checkbook weep) very, very soon, but there are no sheds or real tree cover outdoors so I worry about them in the weather we've been having!


                    • #30
                      Do you have an assigned pasture for your girls at the current place that has no shelter? If yes can you discuss with the barn owner providing your own shelter and moving the horses to pasture board?


                      • Original Poster

                        There are no assigned pastures, as I asked about that. She wants to rotate on an as needed basis for the grass. She is in the process of re-doing the outdoor and says that sheds are next on the list...but I understand how spendy everything can get so I'm not too optimistic of seeing any anytime soon.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by MaybeMorgan View Post
                          For peace of mind, you can join the Kentucky Horse Council for an insurance policy-very cheap! See Membership/Benefits tab:


                          $35 N/A For individuals 18 years or older. Includes the $1M Excess Personal Liability Insurance Policy.

                          This policy protects you and your family from liability in the event that your horse causes injury or damage to another person or property, and legal action results. This covers ALL personal (non-commercial) horses you own, under a single policy, and covers you anywhere in the United States, not just Kentucky.
                          I think extra insurance is always a good idea, but I do wonder if the BO might be excluded; I would look into this carefully because it seems hard to believe that you really get $1M in coverage for $35/year. It may have exclusions since it is so low cost (in comparison, for example, to my $1M umbrella policy for my farm which is quite a big more than that; naturally, of course, it would cover many more things than liability due to my horse)...But just read thoroughly if you are buying insurance to cover you for something specific.

                          (For example, it wouldn't surprise me if this is only for times when your horse is NOT at its own boarding barn; e.g. if it is at a show and not otherwise covered by the barn's liability insurance.)

                          However, I agree that the BO takes an inherent risk by charging you money to handle your horses. I'd maybe ask your BO what their insurance coverage includes - because if they were grossly under-insured you might be more at risk.

                          I don't have an issue with a BO giving correction and/or doing something like leading a horse in and out several times until it behaves itself, however, 15-20 minutes a day sounds a bit much. I'd also be concerned about your horse getting hurt, in which case you will be covering those bills because your boarding contract probably keeps the BO from being liable except in certain circumstances (e.g. horse gets out of insecure fencing)...

                          I would probably start by - a) asking what is the training; b) asking if you can watch; c) suggest that you do the training on your own horse if a or b is unsatisfactory; d) move your horse if she won't agree...


                          • #33
                            What exactly IS she doing that you think is dangerous?
                            BTW, someone suggested that all NH people want their horse to turn and face you. I have used NH techniques and I do NOT teach my horse this at all.


                            • #34
                              A person who contracts to do commercial boarding is an "equine professional" and they assume the risks inherent in the handling of horses that they take into their care, custody, and control. As long as an owner does not engage in fraud or deception or something like it regarding the horse's behavior I don't see much of a basis for owner liability for a BO injury.

                              Farrier decisions are not something I'd make without an owner's approval, unless it were an emergency (like a partially pulled shoe or the like). That's across the line, IMO. Likewise I would not engage in vet. treatment of routine injuries. If it were urgent I'd call the owner and give them an opportunity to call me. If they did not call within a reasonable time I'd take steps to protect the horse. If it were an emergency I'd do what I needed to do to safeguard the horse (including call a vet.) but then immediately call the owner.

                              If the BO assumes the duty to handle an animal they also has the authority to ensure that they are safe when handling the animal. If the horse has poor ground manners I don't see a problem with the BO making such corrections are necessary to ensure their safety (and that of employees, other boarders, visitors, etc.). Since NH comes in a wide range of flavors I'm not sure what they were actually doing that is causing the ruckus. If an owner voiced displeasure to me for some handling technique I was using we'd have a conversation. Then we'd have a resolution. Then we'd move on down the road.

                              I'm a little disturbed by the statement "When I first went to look at the farm, it was with full disclaimer that Willow could be a handful and that I was okay with it if she didn't want to deal with the mare." This could mean anything from the mare is a bit "fresh" to "she's a fire breathing monster looking for a chance to bite or kick her handler to death." When a BO takes custody of a horse they have to be able to handle the horse in a reasonable fashion 24/7. Relying on the owner, even if they are close by, is a non-starter.

                              If you and the BO are not singing off the same page you probably should look elsewhere for boarding services. Neither of you really need the aggravation.

                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                              • #35
                                I would ask her to stop doing any training on your horse. Is there any other reason for her to be handling your horse on a regular basis( such as in and out from turnout)? I would have her sign something that releases you from any fault if she is injured doing what is included in the boarding contract.


                                • #36
                                  Ditto on the personal liability policy. We have something like $500k coverage that is not very expensive to maintain. That's not going to cover some catastrophic event but should be enough protection for a broken limb or temp disability kind of thing.

                                  If the BO is running a NH-centered barn, asking her to use different training methods will be as successful as her asking you to drink the kool aid. Given the amenities, etc, if you really want to stay there, is there a trainer you do trust, who can get her consistently mindful and respectful on the lead? Your methods have gotten her to a certain point where she's ok for you but it sounds like the training doesn't transfer to other people. If the BO were a complete novice then I'd just dismiss it as her problem, but you say she's a pretty experienced horsewoman. Even if a bit nervous, it's not unreasonable to expect the mare to lead politely. Otherwise, inconsistent and inappropriate training-by-barn-staff will continue to take place because most workers value their toes and rotator cuff pretty highly. (You may know that she's not ever going to jump in your lap or try the spin/bolt crap, but it's not much different than saying it's ok that my horse snaps her teeth because I know she'd never follow through with a bite.) So maybe try a set of fresh eyes who will tackle the root cause and eliminate the need for BO to ever intervene.

                                  If you do shop for a new barn, consider taking a little cell phone video of the typical behavior and your correction, so everyone is relly clear on what they're getting into and are aligned on how it will be handled (before you've gone to the trouble of moving). With something like this, seeing it 1st hand is way better than words to actually create "full disclosure".


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Chancellor- When the mare puts her head up to look at something, the lead rope starts getting flapped in her face which makes her throw her head up and run backwards and pop up in mini-rears. Then she runs a line over the horses head (behind her ears) and downward pressure applied while moving the horses feet until Will 'gives'.

                                    The mare is not freakishly hard to handle on the ground, she has manners, but she does tend to look around quite a bit and she WILL test you. If you stop, give her a moment to look and then tell her to walk on, all is fine. If the offensive object in question moves... she'll snort at it and MAYBE jump in place. We've come a long, LONG way with good consistent handling. Her old trick was to run backwards, then do the spin/kick... which is why I don't really agree with flapping the rope in her face to make her run backwards.

                                    Thanks for the info G. I maybe should have given more background to my statement, but I was trying to make the post brief. I gave full disclosure to everything that I've worked on with her, where she started and what I've done with her since. I was asked about the details, and I don't feel okay glossing over things. Perhaps I went to into too much detail, but I could see her slipping backwards into her old habits, especially if the person handling her was timid or nervous. I wanted to make sure that she felt confident dealing with her while she was in full board, or else I would have kept looking. It's the exact reason why DH isn't allowed to handle her by himself... she runs all over him because she knows that he's nervous around her, having been spectator at some of her more explosive episodes in the beginning. But he's also green as grass. I think that just about anybody on this board could safely handle her. She is not mean, or evil. She's just big and looky (sp?).

                                    I do have confidence that she can lead her in/out or hold her in an emergency. I don't know exactly when the 'training' started, or what prompted her to do it. She does it with her own horses each morning, so it's a habit, possibly. She does not do it with my TB, however.


                                    • #38
                                      Wow, that is not something I would be comfortable with AT ALL.

                                      If a simple "I'm not comfortable with you training my horse due to possible liability issues" doesn't solve the problem, move.


                                      • #39
                                        FWIW, I don't consider that bad behavior & certainly nothing that would warrant a 15-20 minute training session. It is natural for horse's to look at things - duh, survival. It is not good manners to jump on the walker, but it doesn't sound like that is happening. I wonder if this woman saw your lengthy explanation into Willow's behavior as an invitation to try her NH with her. I visited a barn once where the owner made the horses all come in walking backwards from the pasture into their stalls to teach them "submission" every. day. Couldn't get out of there fast enough.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          I do think that her intentions are good.

                                          I will chat with her tonight, and possibly take them both on a walk, so she can see for herself what the reaction/correction I'm talking about is. I do think that she is trying to be helpful, but doesn't understand that that is not the kind of help that's needed. I do like this place enough that I'm willing to let it be water under the bridge if we can resolve it politely. It is so amazingly nice to have them 4 miles away.

                                          If we can't resolve it, then I do have a few other options.