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  • difficult explanation

    I had a lesson mom ask me yesterday why i don't groom/exercise a boarder's horse. the owner of the horse hadn't been out in quite a while and the horse was getting bored...she has a big stall and a roomy paddock so she has plenty of moving area.

    once i explained to her that if i did everyone's horse a free favor i'd never have time to take care of paying clients, she completely understood.

    however, it breaks my heart to ignore a horse that just wants attention. i ended up having the lesson kids give the horse a good grooming.

    on the flip side, i've heard whining and complaints about why there's a fee for this and a fee for that...

    ugh...i guess i just needed a vent.

  • #2
    If it were me, I'd probably be obnoxious and send the absentee owner a bill for once a week grooming sessions or lunging or something. If I were feeling nice, I might offer to knock some money off the board bill if I could use the horse in lessons. But people like that don't make me feel nice.

    Doesn't it just drive you crazy when you see those people who think their horse can be treated the same way as their dead grandma's furniture? Just toss it in a storage unit and forget about it.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      dead gramma's furniture...that is a PERFECT comparison!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I think people who are at the barn every day get really caught up in the idea that other peoples' horses are unhappy because their owners aren't there spoiling them.

        I honestly don't think the horses care very much either way. If their needs are being met (feed/turnout/contact with other horses) they are happy to just be horses.

        And if you were my barn owner and you let lesson kids groom my horse because you thought he was "bored" and "wanted attention" I would have my horse out of there so fast it would make your head spin. Then I would come online and tell everyone who would listen about how you let lesson kids handle my horse without my consent. I would also tell everyone locally about the incident. I would possibly even contact your insurance company!

        have a nice day!
        Jigga:
        Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

        Comment


        • #5
          Not every horse is a bestie beastie friendy heart heart! Some are good deeds, some are begrudged, and other have owners who are sick, o too busy trying to pay the bills. Such is life.
          Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
            other have owners who are sick, o too busy trying to pay the bills. Such is life.
            Sometimes life gets in the way. We all have periods of time in our lives, when the horses have to be put on the back burner. Who knows why this owner isn't coming out. We have no right to judge. The owner is paying the bills, the horse is fed and gets turned out. That's all it cares about.

            I would hope that, if other people are handling it, there is written permission to do so. In this sue happy era, you have to protect yourself.
            If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
            Desmond Tutu

            Comment


            • #7
              Or they find people like me to the "grand horse" in and spoil in their absence
              I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

              Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've been at barns where there have been some absentee owners, and I do think that SOME, though not ALL horses, can miss their owners and/or attention.

                For example, we had a senior-aged TB at my current barn, and his owner couldn't always get out to see him every week. Our BO got permission from his owner for other boarders to groom the horse, feed him treats, take him out to hand graze, etc. because the horse would literally get depressed. Although the horse seemed to like the attention, there wasn't ANYTHING he liked better than to see his owner come walking down the barn aisle. The horse would nicker and literally do a happy dance when his "dad" came to see him. I've never seen a horse who loved his owner more that one did, and the feeling was mutual.

                I think that the OP's heart was in the right place, but I probably would have asked permission first. Maybe called the owner to make sure everything was OK with them, and then ask if it was all right for the kids to groom the horse to give him some attention. Most BOs or BMs deal with these horses every day, so they know the ones they can get by in doing this sort of thing with.

                Personally, I might not move my horse if something like that happened without my permission, but I wouldn't be too happy about it. It might make me wonder what else was going on without my being asked, you know? I'm not bashing the OP, but that's how I'd view things. My current BO requires written or verbal communication from the owner each time someone else rides their horse(s), for instance. This way she KNOWS that someone isn't taking liberties with someone else's horse(s).
                "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."

                Comment


                • #9
                  After my last year on the equestrian team at my school I was extremely burned out. Like, wanted nothing at all to do with my horses. So I took some time off. My horses were boarded at an extremely nice facility, got great care, tons of turnout (at least 12 hours a day), and I always made sure their feet or vet stuff got taken care of. They were perfectly happy and healthy in my absence. Sometimes people don't have the time or desire to see their horses every day. As long as the bills get paid and the horse gets taken care of, who cares?
                  "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                  -George Morris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I was boarding for other people, every horse that came into the barn each day was groomed by me or my assistant. Mud knocked off, hooves cleaned, faces wiped with a damp cloth. I would hose a horse off that was seriously muddy as well.

                    No one ever complained - funny how times change. I just couldn't stand a nasty horse in the barn that looked like no one cared about it. Still can't, so even the little pony gets groomed every day although technically she is a boarder here now - even though I board her at cost for the adoptive family. Every day she comes in, gets groomed, hooves cleaned, face washed, mane is pulled when needed, etc.

                    Why would people want their horse to be dirty, possibly get rain rot, etc. by lack of grooming, especially when they cannot come out to do it?

                    I never let lesson kids do others' horses though, that was what the lesson ponies are for!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm lucky in that all the boarders are pretty much here at LEAST once a week if not every day to see and groom their horses. It's a pretty busy little place sometimes. Although, naturally, when winter comes it will be less frequent and I blanket the horses and brush the mud off the muddy ones. I think that with caked, dried mud they would get colder since their hair can't 'fluff" and I can't stand to think of them cold.

                      It's raining and a little on the cool side today and it's driving me crazy, earlier than usual for cold weather but I really don't want to start blanketing this early either, some of them aren't at their "fuzziest" and I don't want to inhibit that.
                      I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                      Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You have a good heart, OP.

                        I do agree with the others that if you really feel the horse is being neglected, send a quick note to the owner instead of taking things into your own hands. Anyone who has been involved with horses long enough knows that burnout happens, bills need to get paid, family members need attention, etc.

                        Hey, maybe Lesson Mom wants to lease the horse!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by see u at x View Post
                          I've been at barns where there have been some absentee owners, and I do think that SOME, though not ALL horses, can miss their owners and/or attention.
                          My horses are boarded at my mother's house, and I can guarantee that my one horse misses the attention I give him if I skip a few days. He may have my mother waiting on him hand and hoof, feeding him regularly, turning him out, giving him treats... but if I come in and out of the barn and do not at least take him out to be groomed or hand graze for a few minutes, he pouts. The other two don't really care.
                          ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sure we may wonder why people do things, why do people buy something they never use, why get a horse you don't end up spending time with....but considering the horrible cases of neglect and abuse if a horse is being well cared for and has a "nice big stall" "nice sized paddock" and is getting great care at your barn....then they are ahead of a lot of horses out there...at least the owner is "caring" for the horse and not throwing them away or sending them off to who knows what fate. I can understand seeing a nice horse at your barn and wishing the owner would give the horse more time, develop their talents, compete,etc. That is natural and great you notice things like that, but I would caution criticizing a good client and a well cared for horse, talk to the owner and see where they are coming from, maybe they would love to come out and are simply overwhelmed with life, career, family, etc, as was stated by someone else, who knows what priorities are taking up the owners time. As an Amateur I wish more trainers I have had, had realized the incredible dilema many face. We have to work to afford to ride, have families, have many responsibilities and are already upset about not being able to spend more time in the saddle or with our horses and would like more direct communication and frankly if paying for services are not always crazy about others making decisions and letting people we haven't ok's do things with our horses.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had an eight-month stretch where I couldn't come to the boarding barn to see my horse more than a few times a month. I was working four jobs and renovating a house, and in my spare time all I wanted to do was watch TV and put my feet up.

                              I chose the barn I was at specifically because it was a nice place where I knew my horse would get great care. I told the BO my situation, and I told her I would be out infrequently.

                              She proceeded to lay a huge guilt trip on me for eight long, tedious months. Sent me emails. Sometimes called. Would act like a jerk when I was at the barn. I got out of there so fast after my personal life turned around. I had enough stress to deal with--I didn't need that too.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                [quote=saultgirl;4464571And if you were my barn owner and you let lesson kids groom my horse because you thought he was "bored" and "wanted attention" I would have my horse out of there so fast it would make your head spin. Then I would come online and tell everyone who would listen about how you let lesson kids handle my horse without my consent. I would also tell everyone locally about the incident. I would possibly even contact your insurance company!

                                have a nice day![/quote]

                                Seriously? You'd get that freaked out just because your horse got groomed for you when you were unable to come out and take care of it? I'd be saying thank you.

                                I must be getting old, I remember the days when boarders would look out for each other and just go ahead and give each others horses a quick brush if it looked like they needed it. Nobody had a hissy fit, people were usually grateful and would return the favor. Less litigious time, maybe, but maybe everyone was just kinder then and not looking for something to complain about.

                                OP I think you did a nice thing and I would imagine the horse and his owner are both happier. Maybe, for the future you could contact the owner and ask if all is well since you've noticed they haven't been out for some time. Maybe you have a more advanced lesson kid that would be grateful for a chance at more saddle time? Then horse gets attention/excercise and if owner is having financial troubles, money is saved - it could be a win/win.
                                Last edited by lcw579; Oct. 28, 2009, 11:40 AM. Reason: bolded quote because I messed up the quote feature!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  When I have horses like this I have my DD or GN see to it. I do not tell them it was not paid for, it is simply added to their chore list. The other boarders assume it was paid for. The kids don't know any different. Depending on my relationship with the owner of the horse, I will also have the horse lunged or ridden or turned out in group if they are OK with it. I will remind them that these services are normally charged for , but I feel bad for the horse in their absence.

                                  Times are tight. The horse is more important too me than the owner.
                                  "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by saultgirl View Post
                                    I think people who are at the barn every day get really caught up in the idea that other peoples' horses are unhappy because their owners aren't there spoiling them.

                                    I honestly don't think the horses care very much either way. If their needs are being met (feed/turnout/contact with other horses) they are happy to just be horses.

                                    And if you were my barn owner and you let lesson kids groom my horse because you thought he was "bored" and "wanted attention" I would have my horse out of there so fast it would make your head spin. Then I would come online and tell everyone who would listen about how you let lesson kids handle my horse without my consent. I would also tell everyone locally about the incident. I would possibly even contact your insurance company!

                                    have a nice day!
                                    Seriously? Oh my we are thinking quite a lot of ourselves today aren't we - bless your heart!
                                    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If someone let little kids at a boarding stable, who were not employed by the stable, handle my horses, I would definitely speak clearly and loudly to the BO that it was not EVER to happen again without obtaining my permission FIRST. The liability issues are huge. They are not going to get my permission.

                                      If they are employees, they are covered by the employer's liability coverage. If they are not, and they get hurt, their lawyer/insurance company is going to sue anyone who possibly could be held culpable, including the owner of the horses, if they happen to have any money to be sued for. Even if the owner had no knowledge, the suit could still be made and even if the horse owner won the defence of the suit, it takes a large amount of money and time and emotional energy, to discharge such a lawsuit. I do not take kindly to barn owners playing fast and free with MY risk and MY resources simply because they think my horse might be "bored". Seriously! My horses stand for hours in front of a mirror and this doesn't seem to bore them, even when they could easily move away and eat grass or run around the pasture. Holy anthropomorphization Batman!

                                      I came to find one of my horses being tacked up for a lesson at a boarding stable one time when I got back early from a month's holiday. The BO swore it was a mistake as the horse did look like one of their schoolhorses, even though the schoolhorse resided in a different barn on the property. I was out of there 2 days later, taking both my horses with me.
                                      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Trixie's mom View Post
                                        I had a lesson mom ask me yesterday why i don't groom/exercise a boarder's horse. the owner of the horse hadn't been out in quite a while and the horse was getting bored...she has a big stall and a roomy paddock so she has plenty of moving area.

                                        once i explained to her that if i did everyone's horse a free favor i'd never have time to take care of paying clients, she completely understood.

                                        however, it breaks my heart to ignore a horse that just wants attention. i ended up having the lesson kids give the horse a good grooming.

                                        on the flip side, i've heard whining and complaints about why there's a fee for this and a fee for that...

                                        ugh...i guess i just needed a vent.
                                        I guess I don't know why it was a difficult explaination? Boarder is only paying for basic board services & that is what the horse is getting. Horse is not in training or full service & therefore you don't ride or groom or it. I am sure if owner wanted horse to be ridden, they would let you know so it could be arranged.

                                        OP--feel pleased that obviously the boarder is content in the care your barn offers that they don't feel the need to be there constantly checking on their horse's well being or care provided. I think we have all known barns where you HAD to be there to check on your animal. I am currently at a barn where if I can't make it out, I don't worry about my horse & I greatly appreciate that.

                                        As for people getting upset--if somebody decided to randomly start brushing my horse I would question it although I wouldn't freak out. But if somebody started to randomly ride my horse & I found out the BO was encouraging it--I probably would be moving out.
                                        "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

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