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written demands for change?

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  • written demands for change?

    How many of you who own a boarding and or training barn have actually received a written request or demand for changing your facilities? Did you take it seriously and make the changes suggested?

    How many of you boarders have written these types of letters? What did you request? What was the outcome?

    Personally, I've always been at nice training barns where things were always being maintained well, except for a couple of years when I boarded when I first came to Ohio. Since it was a boarding barn I kept my expectations low and figured there was no use in asking for them to fix or improve anything just for me.
    Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

  • #2
    Oh heavens! LOL

    I have had verbal and electronic conversations with BO's regarding fulfilling their obligations as set forth in the contract...but generally speaking, if there's something I really don't like, I would move--not write a letter.

    Of course, I've never really had issues like "hey could you please rake the arena" or "hey can you please fix that fence." It's been more like, "Hey, can you please put my horse in the stall I'm paying for instead of leaving her out all night?" or "Hey, can you please feed my horse?"
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      I've done it at work - suggested a change that might be of benefit to operations, but I don't think I would ever consider doing such a thing for a boarding business - and here is why, most horse related businesses are more principal type businesses, that is one person running the whole show and doing things their way - not heirarchal with a COE and BOD and a company model all aimed at making a profit.

      ie, they don't ask for input and they tend to get insulted if you second guess their way of doing things.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • Original Poster

        What got me thinking of this is that there are a lot of people on this forum who suggest this kind of behavior so people must do it. However, I don't know any who has.

        On the arena footing thread someone suggested a letter asking for a reduction in board because the arena sand was too deep.
        Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN


        • #5
          I did it ONCE - even got other boarders on board with it - tried to over throw the BO I suppose. It was foolish and regrettable. I was a moron!

          She told me EXACTLY what I would say to someone who might do it too me - "I appreciate your input, however I know I will never change how I do things and therefore I will never make you happy. Here is your 30 day notice to leave. If you leave immediately i will happily refund the balance of your board".

          I was ashamed. I left. We are still friendly - but she should have beat me with a pitchfork - it would have been easier to digest! That was over 30 years ago...reminds me to call her today and say i am sorry one more time.....
          "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


          • #6
            I agree that you'd be facing a brick wall trying to change things at a boarding barn. It's generally understood, if not laid out clearly by the management or ownership if it ever comes up, that such barns are not the kind of place where you can expect anything more than the most basic level of care and maybe a few perks like a ring with half-mangled jumps if you are lucky.
            Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


            • #7
              I haven't done this and would likely not consider doing so. If things have gotten to the point where I feel the need to write a letter to the BO/BM regarding poor service/poorly maintained amenities, it'll be a 30-day notice letter.
              Full-time bargain hunter.


              • #8
                I have never made a written request to a barn. I can see perhaps, putting a request in writing since sometimes it is hard to catch up with a busy BO or BM. I would, however, never pressume to write a demand letter for anything.
                Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


                • #9
                  I heard that it happened at the boarding barn I'm at a while ago - several boarders got together and wrote a letter - and there was a note on the whiteboard the next day "anyone who doesn't like it here please be out by the end of the month".
                  Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


                  • #10
                    I've never actually gotten one, but I think if I did I wouldn't react too well to it. The fact is, I am aware of imperfections in my facilities but there's only so much money to go around, so I have a priority list. I also wouldn't be willing to change things for a few boarders if I was happy with the facilities. After all, it isn't their farm, it's mine. I'm perfectly willing to listen to and discuss reasonable requests, however.

                    If it's a care issue, again, I would prefer they discuss it in person if they feel the level of care is not what is in the contract, but in that case I would not be offended by a note and would change things if they were right, or discuss it with them if I felt they were wrong. If they want me to change the basic way I'm doing things or provide extra services, however, they'd better ask very nicely...a written demand in that case would probably get them a 30-days notice.
                    exploring the relationship between horse and human


                    • #11
                      No never got one, I think personally I would be hurt if I did. I would HOPE that I am approachable and open enough if they want or feel something needs to change they would approach me. I'm just a small private barn, not the best place around but the horses are happy and healthy and I love them all. We try to keep the place as clean and safe as possible and do add-on's and improvements as funds come in.
                      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.


                      • #12
                        I'm not a BO but I have boarded in the past..... It generally goes like this--BO tells me how it is and if I like the terms and agree then I sign the lease. If I don't like what the BO has to say I go away and find a different place to play!

                        Takes a lot of moxie to demand changes. If I were on good terms with the BO I might ask if something could be changed, but no way would I demand it. People seem to have an inflated sense of self-worth these days and think the world should revolve around them....

                        If I were a BO and the "demand" was couched as more of a suggestion I would probably think about the proposal. I'm always looking for a faster, easier way to do things. I'm willing to bend over backwards to accomodate people but I don't do complete flips!
                        I'm not much into conspiracy theories, but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot....


                        • #13
                          I knew someone once who created an entire presentation on how the BO could make more money so that board/lesson rates didn't need to be increased. it was the worse thing i'd ever seen too!! IDK what that person was thinking, but they were in sales and i now know why they weren't making any money.

                          Not much surprises me anymore honestly.


                          • #14
                            I had a disgruntled fellow boarder at the last barn I was in try to enlist my participation in what she called an "intervention". I said no. They went ahead, and about 8 of them met with the BO. It didn't go well, and 7 of them left the barn shortly thereafter.

                            I told them if I was the BO they would just tick me off if they came in with their list of grievances. That's exactly what happened. Hey, if you don't like it, you're free to leave. "My barn, my rules".


                            • #15
                              To clear up "misunderstandings" where things might get said in the heat of battle that are not conducive to a solution or where absolute clarity or a coherent line of thought is paramount-- absolutely write. Helps to have a paper trail and there are no "You said....." -- "NO, I didn't" -- "YES YOU DID" complications.

                              Horsey women often either break down and cry or get belligerent and stupid in "confrontations" and get their feelings hurt. Then points of the argument get omitted, but the holder of the point thinks they remember saying it, and then gets offended that the person who never heard the point doesn't act on it or denies having heard it.

                              It still might blow up in your face, but written communique has the advantage of opportunity for editing before being read by the recipient; whereas the spoken word cannot be recalled once uttered, and sometimes the tongue and the brain aren't all that well connected...


                              • Original Poster

                                Wow. Crying and carrying on? Really? Hummm. Remind me never to take on a boarder.
                                Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN


                                • #17
                                  I think if I were a boarder and wanted a change in something, I'd probably talk to the BO in person with an offer to help accomplish it. I would regularly replace cross ties, halters, and bridles at the school barn I went to, because they were operating on a shoestring and it was a personal pet peeve of mine that there were never enough cross ties. The most irritating thing about it was that whenever I replaced something, it would be 'permanently borrowed' almost immediately by studends or boarders.

                                  Several of the students / boarders did the same at the same place. Barn was getting run down and they needed additional space for boarder's tack, etc. They all pitched in and re-did an un-used portion of the barn. It took them a couple of Saturdays, and everyone was so much happier.

                                  Bottom line is, if you really don't like where you're at, move. If you do, but want to see a few changes, man up and pitch in.
                                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                  Witherun Farm


                                  • #18
                                    That is good advice, the 'Bottom line is, if you really don't like where you're at, move. If you do, but want to see a few changes, man up and pitch in.' above. About the only times I would think written format is OK is for any breach of contract on BO/BMs part in which horse care or accomodations are not what boarder is paying for, or if all boarders agree that some special ehancement or amenity would be good to have and are willing either to pitch in as above, or chip in to pay for it. It could be then presented as a 'Could we put a 3 step mounting block just outside the South end of the barn?' for example, with the addendum that boarders are chipping in to get it, if the place is nice but on a shoestring budget as many are.
                                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                                    • #19
                                      Yep, many years ago when I was still boarding my horse, a friend and I both asked that a certain horse NOT be put out with our horses. There were multiple pastures at the farm, some which were empty, so it was not an unreasonable request.

                                      The horse in question would attack people going into the pasture and the ONLY way we could get our horses out to ride was to carry a lunge whip, which our horses weren't too thrilled with.

                                      We both asked the owner verbally and then I know I put it in writing. A couple of weeks later, we go out to the barn and said horse is back in the pasture with our horses.

                                      My friend was leaving that day to go board at another stable and I went out to help her load. After we got our horses in from pasture and my girlfriends horse loaded onto her trailer, I then loaded my horse onto my trailer and took him to the farm of the guy I was dating until a stall opened up at a farm I wanted to put my horse.

                                      I did not give notice and I didn't feel the least bit guilty. I wrote the owners a letter within a week of leaving telling them just why I had left.

                                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                                      • #20
                                        I know people who have done this. I'm not sure what it accomplished other than to point out to the BO who the pita clients were. I expect a boarding barn to only be as nice as it is the day you move in. If it ever gets better, well that's a fantastic unexpected event. If things are bad enough to make a list of "demands" then it's probably time to move.