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Unhappy boarder - need advice WWYD?

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  • Unhappy boarder - need advice WWYD?

    I have a barn of 12 happy boarders and one not so much. She was kicked out of her previous barn for manic behavior and now she is starting to exhibit signs of the same. I inherited her from previous BO and she can be very nice. However, more times than not, it just seems there is nothing I can do to please her.

    Long story short - do you put up with snide remarks, etc. or give her notice before it gets worse? Here's why I worry - area barn is closing and some of the people coming to me are from the barn she was kicked out of. Is this a train wreck in the making?

    FYI - I have a waiting list for stalls and my care is top notch - horses are well fed, cared for, stalls and barn spotless etc.

    Any advice? If you can't tell - I am not very confrontational - I'd just rather do a spell
    "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren

  • #2
    If a boarder does not fit into your program then simply giver them notice and move on. Why is there more to this than that?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MoonWitch View Post
      I have a barn of 12 happy boarders and one not so much. She was kicked out of her previous barn for manic behavior and now she is starting to exhibit signs of the same. I inherited her from previous BO and she can be very nice. However, more times than not, it just seems there is nothing I can do to please her.

      Long story short - do you put up with snide remarks, etc. or give her notice before it gets worse? Here's why I worry - area barn is closing and some of the people coming to me are from the barn she was kicked out of. Is this a train wreck in the making?

      FYI - I have a waiting list for stalls and my care is top notch - horses are well fed, cared for, stalls and barn spotless etc.

      Any advice? If you can't tell - I am not very confrontational - I'd just rather do a spell
      Write her name on a piece of paper and freeze it in an ice cube...

      Comment


      • #4
        "Since I don't seem able to care for your horse up to your expectations, maybe it would be better for both of us if you found a place that can reach your level of excellence."

        And *POOF*, she'll be gone.

        Life's too short, and she will soon wear on the 12 happy boarders and then it will be 12 UNHAPPY boarders and one pain in the a*s. Then you'll hate being there. Then your fun turns into a really bad job. She's got to go now before the situation deteriorates.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
          Write her name on a piece of paper and freeze it in an ice cube...
          ? 'splain please.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
            Write her name on a piece of paper and freeze it in an ice cube...
            I thought the name is supposed to be burned in a fire? Darn voodoo shop in Atlanta!

            OP just give her a notice and try to part amicably. Which probably won't happen, but at least you will have tried to be nice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MoonWitch View Post
              If you can't tell - I am not very confrontational - I'd just rather do a spell
              Wouldn't we all?!

              Unfortunately I think some confrontation is appropriate, but it doesn't have to be "confrontational".

              Well, before I get to that, I'd be curious to know if this boarder is a problem in any other way than her perceived unhappiness or snarkiness. In other words, does she pay on time? Follow barn rules? Fit in with the routine and tone of the barn?

              How does her unhappiness and snarkiness manifest itself? Does she complain to you about the horse's care? Bitch to other boarders?

              What I was going to say -- though at the last minute I decided I'd better ask the questions above just in case it changes my opinion -- is that you should simply ASK the boarder if she is unhappy, and if so why. Do not offer to change things to MAKE her happy, just open up a discussion. This might lead into suggesting that she look for other accommodations for Pookie, just because you "hate to see her so miserable".
              Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
              Starman

              Comment


              • #8
                Having a difficult person in the barn would influence where I choose to go and does impact on if I am having fun or not. In many cases the saying about one bad apple destroys the whole lot is true. When only one or two are unhappy it speaks more to the individuals having a problem but they can be poison to others. I say have her leave. Being asked to leave a few barns would start to help her clean up her act....or so one would think but many of these people think they are the ones that are right.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sketcher View Post
                  ? 'splain please.
                  She said she'd rather do a witchy spell... ice cube ---> chill out an annoying person. If you believe in that stuff.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MoonWitch, as has already been stated, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "Ms. Grumpypants, I'm afraid that our BO-client relationship is just not working. I feel strongly that you would be happier elsewhere. Per your boarding contract, I am giving you 30 (or however many) days notice that I am terminating our agreement. You need to have Dobbin out by XX date. Here is the written notice. I wish you all the luck in the world finding a better place for you and Dobbin."

                    Not every barn suits every boarder, and not every boarder suits every barn. That's just a fact of life. I've been on both sides of that equation and absolutely no hard feelings for my part.



                    Or ... I have a patented Happy Boarder Mysti-Crystal Wand (tm) that I can rent to you, complete with instructional booklet. I'll just need to get your credit card information ...

                    Equinox Equine Massage

                    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                    -Albert Camus

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I did have another that constantly went against everything I said - even though is was in the best interest of the horse. I did email that boarder and basically said what most of you have suggested; if she is not happy with my care, I completely understand that I won't be able to satisfy everyone, and that she may be happier somewhere else. Well, she actually turned around and we've had no other problems since then and she became of of the 12 happy people! This one - not so much. Again, I try to do what is medically and physically best for the horse (I won't go there, but she is KILLING this poor thing with "kindness"). She does pay on time, but she is disruptive, pushy, argumentative and just not nice! Money isn't everything to me, but peace of mind is. I just don't understand why someone with nothing to complain about would be so miserable!

                      PS - I get the ice cube & the burn the name thing. I may have to burn sage around the perimeter of the barn tonight
                      "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Life is too short. She was asked to leave her last barn for a reason. You're, alas, next in line.

                        You don't need to give any specifics. Simply state "XYZ barn is hereby exercising its 30-day right of notice, per signed contract, to terminate the boarding relationship. Final board payment of $XXX is due by DATE and we expect you, your belongings and horse to be exited by no later than DATE and TIME.
                        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What remedy does your contract offer since she's technically not breaking any rules?

                          Does your contract state that notice can be given by either party for any reason with 30 days notice?

                          If so, do it if it makes you happy.
                          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I totally agree with Chocomare. But, make sure your notice includes the date that the horse must be gone, and the daily charge (and make it very high) for each day after or she'll never leave. Life if too short to have to put up with some people and you'll start losing good boarders next, or people from the closing barn will move in, recognize her, and leave.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              but she is disruptive, pushy, argumentative and just not nice!
                              Oh Lord. Give the notice without a lot of explanation. You will be so happy when she is gone. I also don't like confrontation and tend to wait too long to do this and twice it got to the point where things were so tense between us that the boarder got the vibe and left. I would not recommend waiting that long. It is so lovely when the difficult ones are gone and it's nicer when when YOU make that decision.

                              These are the people who make things unpleasant for everyone.

                              I disagree with saying if the horse stays longer board will be X amount per day, only because that gives her the option of staying on. Give the notice and expect her to be gone.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Life is too short. She was asked to leave her last barn for a reason. You're, alas, next in line.

                                You don't need to give any specifics. Simply state "XYZ barn is hereby exercising its 30-day right of notice, per signed contract, to terminate the boarding relationship. Final board payment of $XXX is due by DATE and we expect you, your belongings and horse to be exited by no later than DATE and TIME.
                                Ditto this.
                                suze
                                http://www.cafepress.com/horses_by_hawk

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I had a boarder who started with snide comments. It came to a head when she was abusing her horse, abusing my rules, lying, stealing feed and badmouthing me.

                                  Let her go now.
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by MoonWitch View Post
                                    I have a barn of 12 happy boarders and one not so much. She was kicked out of her previous barn for manic behavior and now she is starting to exhibit signs of the same. I inherited her from previous BO and she can be very nice. However, more times than not, it just seems there is nothing I can do to please her.
                                    Some people just live to bitch. You could be perfect, and they'd still find something to complain about. If she was kicked out of her previous barn, I'm betting there's a reason. You're finding out what it is.

                                    Long story short - do you put up with snide remarks, etc. or give her notice before it gets worse?
                                    No. You have a tiny little heart-to-heart with Ms. Crankypants and explain to her that unless she stops with the complaining, she will be asked to leave - period. No ifs, ands or buts; if she persists in her current behaviour, she will be out on her hindparts in 30 days (or whatever your boarding contract stipulates).

                                    Here's why I worry - area barn is closing and some of the people coming to me are from the barn she was kicked out of. Is this a train wreck in the making?
                                    Not if you lay down the law with her now. Presumably, the other people coming from the barn she was kicked out of are adults. And if they're not, following your barn rules will make them act that way. Just be sure that you make clear to everyone that no one is to be disruptive or ignore the barn rules, or they will be asked to move. Treat everyone the same, and you'll have no problem.

                                    FYI - I have a waiting list for stalls and my care is top notch - horses are well fed, cared for, stalls and barn spotless etc.
                                    Then you have nothing to worry about. This isn't personal; it's business. She (and every other boarder you have) are to follow your rules and behave like human beings, or they'll be booted out on their butts. Quite simple, really. And if you do this, you'll get the rep as the BO who doesn't put up with idiocy from her boarders, and keeps the barn a nice place to be. And your waiting list will grow longer. Those people moving from Crankypants's former barn will be waiting to see how you deal with her, believe me. If you make her conform, or boot her if she doesn't, you'll get mega brownie points with them. Trust me on this.

                                    Any advice? If you can't tell - I am not very confrontational - I'd just rather do a spell
                                    Last time I tried a spell, my ex-husband called me and wanted to "get together". I barely made it to the bathroom on time. Cured me of avoiding confrontation, I can tell you!
                                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                    A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If you think things are going to continue going south, then you should ask her to move sooner and have her go in a more controlled manner. I agree that you should ask her what is bothering her and give her a chance to air out any concerns first.

                                      Say something like, "I feel like you just aren't happy here, and that maybe you would prefer to have your horse at another barn that does things in a way that is more your style." Keep it friendly and professional. Don't get personal. Have some neutral comments prepared ahead of time, like "I feel like this barn isn't a good fit."

                                      If she is mentally unstable, consider the (hopefully remote) possibility that her behavior could escalate--sometimes truly manic people lose their good judgement. A boarding operation is uniquely vulnerable. Your clients have access to your facilities, your equipment, your animals, and your other clients and their animals.

                                      OTOH, if she is just a crabby, difficult person, but she genuinely cares about her horse, follows the barn rules, pays her bills on time, etc. well, I could see trying to work with her. But either way you have to talk to her, like it or not.
                                      www.plainfieldfarmky.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        One bad apple will spoil the whole bunch - Here's your thirty days adios!
                                        "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

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