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Barn workers -- when is it too helpful?

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  • #41
    Probably not your business. That said, a good friend of mine owns a horse who, as a yearling, was sprayed in the face with a hose and flipped over backwards and screwed up her withers, rendering her no good for racing or much riding.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


    • #42
      I would definitely be very unhappy if someone bathed my horse without my permission!! And would want to know (hopefully before the act is done, so I can stop it!)
      When I move my horse to a new barn/trainer I always make sure I am VERY clear that there is NO additional grooming done on my animals (aside from trainer brushing horse/spraying off if they do a training ride and I am not there. but that is extremely rare cause I ride my own horse, and he's virtually only ridden by trainer when I am out of town), as well as who is allowed to ride my horse if I am away or something.


      • #43
        I would be uupset if anyone bathed my horse without permission. That said, in the summer when it is really hot the barn workers routinely hose sweaty horses off when bringing them in from pasture and I really, really appreciate that. This has gotten him more used to the hose, he was very difficult with that at first.
        What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


        • #44
          Originally posted by 2horseygirls View Post
          ...When we started taking lessons, there was a very sweet older (20s) bay gelding whose owner maybe came out once a year, maybe - and it had been this way for over 10 years. Owner was punctual about paying board, vet, farrier - just never came out...He has a very old, held-together-with-duct-tape halter so we bought him a spiffy new halter and matching lead rope for Christmas, which Old Boy LOVED. Old Boy actually moved up in his herd order, because he had people now

          Fast forward a few months: owner comes out, asks where Old Boy's falling apart halter is. BM explains that a lesson student bought a new one since the other one was barely usable. Owner said "no one should be handling my horse", and within 6 weeks, gave Old Boy to friends with property. DD (especially) and I were heartbroken, and I felt HORRIBLE that we had cost BM a steady, reliable, long-term boarder...
          Originally posted by sdlbredfan View Post
          I too am sad about Old Horse. If only the BO could have said that the old halter just fell apart and they (the BO/barn staff) had to replace it. Better yet, it would have been nice if BO had sent a picture of the tattered halter to horse owner with the next bill, with an itemization for 'replaced halter' and offered to give HO the old tattered one as proof it had given up the ghost as it were. If that had been done, perhaps the Old Horse's owner's reaction would have been different.
          I hate to suggest an even sadder scenario about Old Horse, but it could very well be that his owner was just tired of spending $ on an aged horse that she didn't even take the time to go see. The "new halter" was just the excuse she used to the BO to get rid of him. She gave him to a friend w/property? Who knows if that is true. I can only hope it is and that Old Horse ended up with someone who gives/gave him the attention he appreciated and deserved.

          As for the OP, if I boarded and showed up to find my horse freshly bathed, I'd wonder if someone was trying to hide something - like sweat marks from an unauthorized ride.
          Equus Keepus Brokus


          • #45
            I think that as long as she "bathes" the horse when it's over 90 degrees, after 1 PM and with no shampoo- she's good to go. Beyond that- she's A: not doing some duty that is in her job description and B: overstepping.

            Old horse story is sad. That person probably thought they were a hero for paying the bills for years on a horse the didn't do anything with... to have their absenteeism turned around and presented from a different persepctive probably was too much for their brain to reconcile.


            • #46
              Under the circumstances OP describes it sounds like the BW may have an issue with her boundaries, particularly if the BW truly does not like the horse owner. But perception isn't always reality and this is definitely a MYOB situation.

              The only times I've walked into the barn to find my horse cleaner than I left him in his field, he had come in sweaty and been hosed off. In one case the guy in charge of his barn told me "I was refilling the water tub and your horse put himself in front of the hose and wouldn't go away so I hosed him down." And they say horses can't speak English.
              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

              Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
              Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


              • #47
                I realized that I never directly answered your question. So here is the answer: Yes, I do think the BW is being "too helpful." Despite that I don't think it is another borders place to tell her not to bathe a horse that is not her own, she has clearly overstepped her boundaries in this situation. You did the right thing by staying quiet but I would have been saying the same things in my head as you were!

                Hopefully the BO or BM will realize this is going on and step in. If I were Jr Rider I would not be happy that BW is assuming I don't take care of or ride my horse because I am not at the barn when she is. I hate when people make assumptions like that. Hopefully now it is summer Jr Rider will be at the barn in the mornings and BW will MHOB.
                "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


                • #48
                  Dude - I'd be thrilled if someone wanted to bathe my horse for me! She's a disgusting pig.

                  However, our barn worker doesn't have time to mess around with the horses. (Not that he would anyway.) He's always working. Perhaps she needs more to do?


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by starhorse View Post
                    In fact, BW has admitted not liking the kid -- doesn't think she takes good care of her horse.
                    I would think the BO would care about this though. I doubt the BO would appreciate one of her employees telling other boarders how much they hate another boarder.


                    • #50
                      I dont really want people doing random things with my horse without asking and I would never do it myself if I were a barn worker, but if a barn worker bathed my horse out of the goodness of his or her heart, I wouldn't raise a fuss about it. I mean yeah, it is "too helpful," but on the other hand, I like knowing that the people who are there to see my horse every day are really looking at her and caring about her, so if the barn worker's intentions were good and no harm came from it, I wouldn't get hung up on it. JMO.

                      I did however have a trainer once rearrange my tack trunk. That annoyed the heck out of me. Granted, that particular trainer could have said "good morning" and it would have annoyed me.


                      • #51
                        I hate to suggest an even sadder scenario about Old Horse, but it could very well be that his owner was just tired of spending $ on an aged horse that she didn't even take the time to go see. The "new halter" was just the excuse she used to the BO to get rid of him. She gave him to a friend w/property? Who knows if that is true. I can only hope it is and that Old Horse ended up with someone who gives/gave him the attention he appreciated and deserved.
                        Asst BM told me the family who came to get Old Horse was "like a clown car with an endless stream of excited kids piling out." She also said that DD & I actually got Old Horse used to being handled and brushed (esp. by a younger child, as DD was 7-8 at the time), so he would be used to it with the new family and it gave him a better chance of success with them.

                        Is it possible they made it up? Heck yes! My BM teases me all. the. time. about my lottery ranch for "sick, lazy and lame" horses. She DEFINITELY would not have wanted to deal with the guilt and waterworks accompanying "the renderer came."

                        Old horse story is sad. That person probably thought they were a hero for paying the bills for years on a horse the didn't do anything with... to have their absenteeism turned around and presented from a different perspective probably was too much for their brain to reconcile.
                        I believe that is probably what it is. He had once been a western show horse (cutting? roping?) and had a big patch of thickened, sort of road-rashy-under-the-hair skin on his left flank, which I believe was an injury that had led to his retirement.

                        Just another lane on the super-autobahn to h*ll with my name on it. However, I believe that any kindness shown an animal is never a regret.

                        Especially with this face <3
                        "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
                        soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."

                        Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Liberty View Post
                          I hate to suggest an even sadder scenario about Old Horse, but it could very well be that his owner was just tired of spending $ on an aged horse that she didn't even take the time to go see. The "new halter" was just the excuse she used to the BO to get rid of him. She gave him to a friend w/property? Who knows if that is true. I can only hope it is and that Old Horse ended up with someone who gives/gave him the attention he appreciated and deserved.
                          Judge much?

                          The absentee owner did what is generally considered to be the right thing, paid to keep a horse for many years when it would be easier to sell it or give it away (although they eventually did). You have absolutely no idea of their situation and chose to think, and talk via a BB, the worst of them. Impressive.
                          Visit my Spoonflower shop


                          • #53
                            Count me among the number who would FLIP. My mare is absolutely amazing under saddle, but can be a bit neurotic on the ground, and someone who decided to "help" nearly caused an ugly cross tie accident this week. If you want to handle my horse, ASK. When I tell you "no" I MEAN it. Seriously, I don't want a kid or my horse hurt because someone insists on being judgmental and assuming they are able to handle my horses better than me. Even *if* they are more capable, it's still NOT their horse. End of story.
                            Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                            • #54
                              I'd be pretty annoyed at this. And if it was a fellow boarder that saw someone messing with my horse, I'd certainly hope they'd tell me or the BO if they didn't know me well.

                              If it's a non-emergency, don't touch my horse without permission. End of story.

                              If it's an emergency, do what needs to be done, then contact me immediately. For example, last year we had a record breaking heat wave. I found a boarder's horse overheating, he was panting heavily, lethargic, head dropped. No one else was at the barn, so I took him out and hosed him off. I was texting the BO while leading the horse to the hose, giving her the heads up and asking her to contact the boarder.
                              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                              • #55
                                When I went to college I worked at a very nice barn. I wanted to get as much horse time as I possibly could. I asked if I could help with anything around that stables with the horses. I made sure I asked the owners or the barn manager before doing anything with the horses. And I never had any problem some one asking me about it. I ended up having a good relationship with several ladies at the barn and eventually got to ride some of their horses when they went away.
                                I would expect a barn worker to never touch anyone's horse other then what they have been asked or told.


                                • #56
                                  Heck, where does this BW work, have i got a job for her. A worker that actually goes beyond the job description. Go figure.
                                  If this girl forgot to water, or feed or muck out, that would have me in a rage.
                                  Bathing my horse, not so much.
                                  OP, cut the girl some slack, its not your horse, MYOB.
                                  My other home.


                                  • #57
                                    I'm in the camp that would be thrilled if the BWs decided to bathe my piggy beasts!! They know what they're doing and I trust them to do as good a job or better than I would.

                                    However, I would find it weird if we hadn't previously discussed bathing or grooming.

                                    And if they bathe somebody else's horse, it's quite frankly none of my business unless I have reason to feel it's unsafe.

                                    I do sense the OP has an issue with the BW. If this is due to paranoia or a very meddling personality, it's time to learn to butt out. But if there really is something about this BW that makes the OP appropriately uncomfortable with the horse's care beyond a bathing incident, it may well be worth raising it to the owner, without making a bigger deal of it. The key is knowing where that line is. A "too helpful" BW doesn't really qualify as a real problem for me.
                                    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I really don't have an issue with the BW. I also don't really think I'm paranoid or have a meddling personality. I guess I just don't think she should be taking it upon herself to give baths to privately owned horses... but maybe that's just my barn background/experience.

                                      I asked because my gut reaction was that it was inappropriate for her to do this, so here I am, asking. That's all.
                                      "I'd rather have a horse. A horse is at least human, for god's sake." - J.D. Salinger


                                      • #59
                                        My BO at my previous barn hosed my horse off one day when it was super hot. She and her hubby had hosed down everyone else too, of course. She sent me a picture and the caption was something along the lines of "Hope you don't mind....we bathed Jake since it's hot!" I was a bit shocked, but only because he can sometimes be a handful when it comes to bath time.

                                        He did get used to it that summer, because I hosed him off after every ride which was maybe once or twice a week. Now he's been going into the wash stall at the new barn to get his feet soaked and he balks at going in, and tries to remove himself before I can cross-tie him in. Once he's in the cross-ties he's fine, it's just the getting him in part that takes some encouragement.
                                        Originally posted by katarine
                                        I don't want your prayers, tiny cow.
                                        Originally posted by Pat9
                                        When it's time for a horse to go to a new person, that person will appear. It's pony magic.


                                        • #60

                                          Anyone good, who works in a barn, especially if they don't have their own horse, no matter how silly or sad or obsessive it seems, will have one horse that they particularly like. Might be old, pretty, doesn't get the attention that this particular person thinks it deserves, belong to a bratty kid that rides it too hard, too long then just throws it back in the stall. So, lets assume that the BW is a competent adult who is, in fact, really good with horses, could go anywhere and since she's knowledgeable and reliable, she'd have another job tomorrow if the BM pisses her off because some busybody without anything better to do, starts tattling on her.

                                          Let's say that, for the third time this month, she's watched Her Favorite's owner, kick, pull, gallop, smack her horse around, then throw it, hot and wet, in a stall, then go run to Mommy's car to go to the mall.

                                          So.... in walks the OP, who is watching BW bathe a horse, quietly and correctly, who needed at the least to be cooled out, but since the BW doesn't waste her time running around going "ooooh did you see that" and got all her work done, on her own time, she gives what she knows is a well behaved, quiet horse, a well deserved bath and a pat. Horse doesn't tie up or colic, owner is so self centered she's clueless anyway and nobody gets hurt.

                                          So why not just walk up and say "It's awfully nice of you to give Cindy lou's horse a bath, kids are in such a hurry these days aren't they? " BW might have said to kid, 'She's awfully hot, she could probably use a bath" and kid might have said, "if you think she needs a bath, you give her one".

                                          Either walk up and ask the question, or MYOB. If someone either owner or BO wants to know if you saw BW give Dobbin a bath, they'll ask you and you can be truthful. You have no dog in this hunt at all, she doesn't work for you and it isn't your horse. If you don't want her giving your horse a bath unless you authorize it, then say "I know from time to time you give extra baths to those horses you feel need it, but I'd prefer to do it myself because xyz, so if you think my horse needs attention, by all means let me know, and I'll take care of it. "

                                          And while accidents happen, if this person turns in and turns out, chances are she isn't going to have any problem giving it a bath. I had a made show horse, who would NOT go into any wash stall, I don't care if God was on the end of the lead shank. He just stood there, didn't matter how hard you pulled or what you whacked him on the butt with. Wasn't going to happen. At the age of 20, I was still chasing him in circles with the hose if I wanted him to be clean. Since it was the only bad habit he had, and he won me ooooh scooobs of ribbons, I let it go. No one else would have been patient enough to do that, unless it had been their actual job.

                                          Jeez let it go.