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Is this a firing offense? Opinions sought

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  • #61
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MB Stark:
    ...first night on her own. No horse got sick and no horse was hurt. So Why would you fire her?????<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Good point.
    First night on her own!! We learn from our mistakes (I know I did). When you lead a snakey one up the ramp on the truck, you make sure someone follows you... you don't leave wheelbarrows in front of open doors... you walk the breeding stallion in a longe line (and not a slip halter with a rope) [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]... I would have been fired many times over... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] You don't bodyclip the nasty ones when you're alone in the barn... You make sure the correct current paperwork in the correct truck before you "ship a load to Florida." [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]


    • #62
      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FreedomsBlue:
      Pellets and senior feed are different consistancy, aren't they? (ie, a grain vs. a pellet...) Could a change like that on a horses stomach cause colic? I've always heard that a sudden change in feed can wreck havoc on a horses gut.... Is that true? I know that the colic would probably be in extreme situations, but is it possible??
      Also- could the hay mixup (I know alfalfa is a lot more concentrated then a lot of hays) cause gut problems as well?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

      ANYTHING can cause colic. Some horses wouldn't colic if you fed them cinderblocks. Many horses get into the feedroom and gorge themselves for hours... only to walk away fine. Others might die. A dear veterinarian friend of mine said he found most colics are caused by lack of consistent worming !!(and THAT lesson sticks in my mind forevever!!) (That and locking the feed room door!!)


      • #63
        When I was a kid working at the barn, I made the mistake once of doling out a bale of alfalfa instead of the regular hay that was in the hay loft. Here's the scenario.

        Barn has a haylof that is above one row of stalls. Easy to dispense flakes down the hole to each stall. For the stalls on the other side of the aisle, we had to drop bales of hay through a hole in a hallway and then distribute that way. I didn't know the differences in hay and I didn't realize that this boarder had supplied her own alfalfa and left it outside her stall. So some horses got a yummy treat that night.

        When the barn owner told me I had made the mistake the next day, I was horrified and embarrassed that I had done such a thing! (Mind you, I think that was the first time I had fed myself and nobody had told me what alfalfa was or why there was a bale of it in the aiselway). You can bet I never made that mistake again. I would have been devastated if I had been fired over that event. And I was very appreciative of the owner letting me know of my mistake and letting me stay there.

        "Both rider and horse must enjoy the work. This is the essence of success" - Reiner Klimke
        My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


        • #64
          As the owner of a horse with special needs I am VERY anal about her care and for my mare the wrong turn-out or improper feed could very well create a life-threatening situation. My girl has foundered and she is not allowed any grass. Turn-out in a lush paddock could very well cause a laminitic episode.

          She's not allowed any grain either for the same reasons. She gets hay cubes only. If she'd received a grain meal, it could also trigger laminitis.

          Consider this scenario:

          New owners bought the facility where I am boarding. I had carefully provided the barn manager with details on her feeding schedule, medications and turn-out. The barn manager had gone to a show and thought she had informed the owner who was looking after the barn that day that my mare goes out on a dirt paddock. I get there and she's out on grass!!! I was VERY upset and took her immediately off the grass and into her correct paddock. Luckily she'd only been out for about 2 hours.

          You can bet I had words with the owner and barn manager after that and have since had no concerns.
          But I check and watch all of the time.


          • #65
            Give this kid a break, it was her first night alone! Hang in and see if she is a person that learns from her mistakes.
            I started a new job this summer, in a totally new and challenging field. It's a good thing they didn't fire me the first time I made a mistake. Why didn't they? They are smart enough to realize that I'm in a learning process and have the potential to be a good employee for them when I learn more.
            If everyone fired every employee the first time they made a mistake, no one would have any help at all!


            • #66
              How good are the lights? I could easily confuse a black halter with a green one (assuming it isn't neon green) if the lights weren't great. In fact, the other day, I picked up the reddish brown halter when I meant to pick up the black one, and didn't realize until I had it on the horse (and then I realized it, becuase the snap on the reddish brown one is defective. if the snap had been OK I might not have realized even then).

              Same with "bright bay" and "almost black" . Depending on the light, and if you are dealing with them individually (not standing next to each other), and you are not yet familiar with the horses, it is an easy mistake. .

              I would focus on her reaction. If it is "oh well, things happen" she would be gone. If it was "Oh My God, I was so sure I double checked everything", I would give her another chance.

              About mistakes.

              A few years ago, an internationally prominent motorcycle racer was in a potentially very serious accident (he walked away, but he could have been killed) when a mechanic left out an important part in preparing the brakes.

              Was the mechanic fired?

              No. In fact the rider said: "I want him to ALWAYS be in charge of checking my brakes."

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • #67
                All halters are the same color when covered with mud. Ditto horses.
                Man plans. God laughs.


                • #68
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Beans:
                  I can't believe your post! Explain to a young woman who wants to be a veterinarian the problems relating to feeding horses the wrong feed? Come on! This generation has a major problem with the "no big deal" attitude. We've given up on trying to use them in the barn. They DON'T CARE! Showing up every day for work or on the scheduled time ....well only if they don't have some pressing engagement with their FRIENDS. They really, really, don't want to work for anything because their parents, for the most part, give them everything they need or want.

                  I look back on the responsibilities I took on at her age and it was what most kids did back then and it was way beyong this effort. And as far as Vet school FORGET IT. It's more competitive than applying to Med School and have a mind for details and recall is imperative in the business. I think the telling factor was that she apparantely wasn't even upset or remorseful!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  She *wants to be a vet* - she isn't one already [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                  She's just a kid - everyone has to learn. This is her first barn job too - are you telling me you were born with the knowledge of an adult horse pro?

                  And she made a *mistake* - she didn't rush out and decide to kill a few horses in her spare time. I did not get the impression that she was flippant about the error. Sounded to me like she didn't event know she'd made the mistake - ie it was an honest mistake.

                  If you want to avoid honest mistakes, hire robots.

                  Nowhere so far have I seen it said that she shrugged and said "whatever" but I will read all the posts to make sure.

                  Then sure - crucify her [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
                  PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum


                  • #69
                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JenniferS:
                    If she can't tell a small black horse from a very tall brown horse after a month, she's an idiot. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                    You know, one would think PROFESSIONAL horse people would be able to tell a 17 hand black/ blanket appaloosa gelding from a 15.3 hand red bay/blanket appaloosa stallion, but the 'boys' were regularly mixed up by trainers and veterinarians. About the ONLY way I could be sure the two were not mixed up by other people was when they were standing side by side. And they still looked the same to a lot of people. sigh.

                    I do find this rather baffling, as I earned my way thru college working at a stable with 175 head of horses, 150 of which were bay, or chestnut. I had no problem telling any of them apart. But boarders and other help clearly did.

                    I have also spent more than a few summers hiring, training, scheduling, supervising and occasionally firing teens, in quantity. There is no such thing as 'fool proof' when it comes to teens, tho you do want to fool proof things as much as possible. Reduces the number of ways things can go wrong.

                    Still, when it comes to a mistake, each teen and each mistake needs to be evaluated separately, on it's own 'merits'. Deliberate destruction, or the kid who wants the pay, but never wanted the job, or has it confused with their allowance... I do fire.

                    After that, you evaluate the business needs and your ability to help that young person learn to do the job right. If help is easily available, and you feel you have invested enough time to have a new employee functional, then fire. If help is hard to find, and the person who made the mistake has otherwise been fine, it is much better to try and fix whatever went wrong.


                    • #70
                      Equine Senior has a consistency similar to some, but no all other sweet feeds. The statements
                      "Equine Senior is different from sweet feed" and
                      "Equine Senior is the same as sweet feed"
                      are true or false, depending on what sweet feed you are comparing with.

                      For SOME horses, a mistake in the feed, or the turnout, etc., CAN be catastrophic. But in most cases it is just an inconvenience.

                      "back yard owners" (I am one, and proud of it). I didn't think it was derogatory. It was simply that the degree of customization of the routine to each horse is potentially much greater in a home operation than in one with many horses and several people working.

                      At home I can say "Belle ate hay in the trailer all day, so I will cut her evening hay a little." Or "Music was out at a show all day, and DIDN'T get any hay, so I will give her a bit more this evening." At a large barn, that degree of customizastion would be unreasonable to expect.

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                      • #71
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> A repeat question from something I posted earlier.. Anybody wanna answer it??

                        Pellets and senior feed are different consistancy, aren't they? (ie, a grain vs. a pellet...) Could a change like that on a horses stomach cause colic? I've always heard that a sudden change in feed can wreck havoc on a horses gut.... Is that true? I know that the colic would probably be in extreme situations, but is it possible??

                        Oh yes! Our 15 yo broodmare who had colic surgery six years ago gets only soaked pellets and hay. She colics on grain based feed. Her tongue may not know the difference, but her gut does.

                        Now a horse with a completely healthy gut may not care.


                        • #72
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
                          "back yard owners" (I am one, and proud of it). I didn't think it was derogatory. It was simply that the degree of customization of the routine to each horse is potentially much greater in a home operation than in one with many horses and several people working.

                          At home I can say "Belle ate hay in the trailer all day, so I will cut her evening hay a little." Or "Music was out at a show all day, and DIDN'T get any hay, so I will give her a bit more this evening." At a large barn, that degree of customizastion would be unreasonable to expect.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                          Thank you Janet. That was ONE of the points I was trying to make.


                          • #73
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jo:
                            [QUOTE]That was one of the rudest things I have ever read on here. So you're saying that somehow, the opinions of people who only own one horse are less important than you and the other 'pros' on here? Sheesh. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                            _ "You might think there would be an explanation for this... but you would be wrong." _ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                            No that is NOT what I am saying at all. What I am saying is in Any type of work that you have to Delegate responsibilities, you have to expect some mistakes. No one is perfect and I think to fire someone over a silly mistake where No one was hurt is insane. A back yard one horse owner doesn't have to do this but it seems to ME that so many people are this board are ready to cruxify this worker and are "outraged" at such a "horrible" mistake which in MY opinion was NO Big deal. As far as missing a day of Isox, one day is not going to make a Big difference.


                            • #74
                              ANY work ethic would be nice but frankly I just don't see it in most young people. And she's NOT a "kid". My niece was more attentive and knew where each horse went when she was 5 years old for heavens sake.

                              To the person who posted this - you aren't anal - you are just responsible. And the fact that everything is color coded - it's a no brainer. And the comment about being color blind - PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE! Do you know how few females are color blind?

                              To everyone who thinks this poor little kid is o.k. - HIRE HER!


                              • #75
                                [QUOTE]Originally posted by Janet:
                                Equine Senior has a consistency similar to some, but no all other sweet feeds. The statements
                                "Equine Senior is different from sweet feed" and
                                "Equine Senior is the same as sweet feed"
                                are true or false, depending on what sweet feed you are comparing with.


                                You all do realize that "Equine Senior" varies by brand AND area of the country???

                                I can buy senior feeds in both sweet feed and pellet forms here, depends on which brand I buy.

                                For most of the senior feeds, the protein and mineral balance are the major difference between that feed and non senior formulated feeds of the same type. There is a variance in oil levels, even amongst the senior feeds. And there have been coat conditioner feeds that also have oil...

                                There is a definite difference in form between sweet feed and pellets. There generally is no texture difference between pellets, of whatever formulation, from the same feed mill. The pelleting machinery needs raw material of a certain consistancy and moisture level in order to make a pellet.

                                That said, different areas of the country will have different pellets. The pellets appropo to Florida will be near inedible rocks here in Colorado, while a big, loosely compacted pellet in Florida will disintegrate in humid storage.

                                Just a though for those of you busy insulting each other over feed textures, you all might not actually be getting the same thing at the feed store...


                                • #76
                                  It sounds like you've been through the feed nightmare, so now, this is your big push-button of horse care. Others would say, if it had been anything but forgetting to pick out that horse's feet - or anything but leaving the halter on - or anything but leaving that horse tied there all day. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                                  You get the drift, I think. You fear the accidents you've already had the most.

                                  But regarding your horse's problem with Equine Senior - have you had an equine dentist check him out? Maybe there's a tooth thing going on that can be dealt with, which would make him a little safer both with that food (if inadvertently exposed) and with whatever food he gets now.
                                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                                  • #77
                                    I'm a bit ambivalent about this one. In many ways, I would use this as a learning experience, as a demonstration of why it is important to be as scrupulous as you can with horses. However, there's still part of me that says "Color coded, 8 stall barn, phone numbers to call, she's done this before, why the heck did she mix these guys up?"

                                    Yes, I've had trouble telling horses apart, but they've all been the same color with similar markings. In the cases when I wasn't sure which horse was which, I made sure to ask. What concerns me is that if she was confused, she didn't call the numbers given to her to ask. If she wasn't confused, what other things that she "knows how to do" will be done wrong? If she just spaced it out, what else will be spaced out?

                                    I've made two barn mistakes in the last few years that have gotten me yelled at. One was leaving the fans on at night when the weather was cool enough not to, and the other was hanging up a halter wrong. With the halter, the owner explained that she wants everything hung up exactly the same way, so if the horses ever need to be quickly evacuated in the dark time won't be wasted fumbling with halters and leads. Sometimes if you know the reason behind something, it's easier to remember to do it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                                    • #78
                                      On the topic at hand, I'll only say one thing: Good help is hard to find. Not original or helpful, but very true.

                                      On the theory that idiots will be weeded out before vet school, here's a funny story. I took a horse to Cornell for something minor, and in the process, saw a group of 6-8 vet students having a big discussion over a problem. The IV bag hook over a stall was inadvertently pulled too high to reach, and how could they get it back down? Bear in mind these were all seniors in vet school, so each of them had been to at least 4 years of college, plus 3 years of vet school. (8 students x 7+ years each = 56 years higher education) After about 15 minutes, I took pity on them, grabbed a shovel with a handle, and pulled the hook down for them. They were amazed! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]


                                      • #79
                                        for those who accidentally left horses tied...
                                        There was a time when this was the norm - for cowboys, soldiers, horses in straight stalls - and for injured horses it's sometimes necessary.

                                        The most important thing is that they be tied to something that will breakaway, to avoid a more dangerous situation. Then, all you'd have on your hands is a loose horse, which, in my experience (knock wood) have always been found grazing peacefully somewhere.

                                        FWIW, my mom is a worse case scenario kind of person and I'm an alls well that ends well type...we rarely see eye to eye.
                                        Member, Equine Artist Clique


                                        • #80
                                          Hate to admit it, but from afar (i.e. in turnout WAAAAY across the pasture) I sometimes get MY OWN HORSE confused with the other chestnut gelding with the similar lag markings...now, granted I am 41 and my eyes aren't what they used to be...I guess it all depends on the girl's attitude toward her mistakes. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                                          ***My horse bucked off your honor student!***