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Mucking out--can't get it just right

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        05-23-2014, 01:59 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    Am I missing something here

    Your daughter is 12 years old.
    She is a volunteer.
    She is a client

    The BO may be a good instructor, attends church and loves kittens, but she is treating your child like crap. My concern would clearly be with her and not the little muck marbles that hide in the hay. The lady should be highly appreciative of your daughter's efforts.

    Make her feel good about herself ! She is a 12 year old child trying to help.

    Get your priorities in line.
         
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        05-23-2014, 12:57 PM
      #12
    Foal
    So I talked to daughter this morning. About the list above by horselovinguy--she's not allowed to toss against the wall, no matter how gently, as this is called "breaking it all up" by the BO. In the stall only sifting allowed.

    She tries to do the same as BO--in a circle, overlapping. Pretty similar to the list, I think.

    Daughter says BO stalls always look whiter than her own, but when she tries to copy, the BO tells her she wastes too much bedding.

    There's no doubt that the BO is very efficient and perfected her technique of sifting and what not, especially compared to a kid, no matter how conscientious and hard working.

    My guess is that the BO is upset with *herself* for *NEEDING* to "waste" bedding in order to achieve her own high standards, but instead she criticizes my daughter.

    If daughter wants to continue riding there, I probably shouldn't talk with the BO, but should just withdraw her from volunteering, claiming that she needs to focus on school work or chores at home, or something.
         
        05-23-2014, 07:24 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horselessmom    
    So I talked to daughter this morning. About the list above by horselovinguy--she's not allowed to toss against the wall, no matter how gently, as this is called "breaking it all up" by the BO. In the stall only sifting allowed.

    If daughter wants to continue riding there, I probably shouldn't talk with the BO, but should just withdraw her from volunteering, claiming that she needs to focus on school work or chores at home, or something.
    Maybe I wasn't clear in my description, my apology....the bedding never leaves the stall when you gently toss it to the stall wall...the idea is you toss slightly high and the manure falls and rolls out of it, then you scoop and sift, dump in the wheel barrow. The manure doesn't break apart if at all.
    When you toss the bedding the idea is to loosen it and fluff it up...
    I have a feeling it the "experts" way of doing stalls always has her stalls white/whiter she is either banking some shavings and pulling them in to "lighten" the color or is adding small amounts of shavings more often than she alludes to......the stalls will darken over time with a horse walking around and no way around it some moisture is in them, but a "dry test"...reach down and grab a handful of shavings and see how they feel in your hand...your hand is more sensitive to moisture felt than you realize.
    Are they wet or dry? Can they clump in your hand or fall apart?
    My other thought was who cleans her stalls on the days your daughter doesn't... your daughter could be inheriting a piss-poor job by another done and taking the blame for it in innocence!
    BO/trainer is just a ungrateful person who bit off her nose to spite herself she is about to discover.

    As for withdrawing her from volunteering... that is something only mom knows what is happening and how your daughter is reacting to so much negativity and put downs.
    You need not make any excuses though... just simply tell the BO/trainer your daughter will no longer be cleaning stalls for her as of this date... then stick to it.
    Do give her a few days notice though as is fair, she has come to rely on your daughter for work done even though her compassion and words of encouragement and praise stink!!

    There are many places that would enjoy having a dedicated young lady come and help them out... think about rescues... there is always something that needs doing and a animal that needs a little extra love and time spent with them....with you also there it would be more than allowable I bet!!

    Best of luck with this and please don't let your daughter be dumped on like this...it truly isn't fair to her!

         
        05-23-2014, 08:00 PM
      #14
    Foal
    It sounds like your daughter is a very lovely, hard working, conscientious person. I thought HorseLovinguy gave some excellent advice and so did the others in this thread. Also, it's good that your daughter is confiding in you but be careful. Girls who love horses can be easily exploited in the barn especially the hard working ones. (I know not many people would agree with me) I would stop the "freebies" too but I would also be present during the time your daughter is having a lesson. Be tuned in to any "putdowns" or little inappropriate "slivers of criticism." If you get that twinge that it doesn't feel right, well trust your Mother Lion instinct. Make sure too she is advancing in her lessons. Just be aware, that's all. Always protect their possibilities. There are always other places with other wonderful horses and it costs nothing to visit or check them out.
         
        05-23-2014, 08:05 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Just read this whole thread on the edge of my seat! For the sake of your sweet daughter who's doing her best! I'd do this, A.S.A.P

    1. Inform BO that as of the end of the week end, she will not be available to muck stalls any longer. (*** Be strong and steel yourself against any huff from her, btw!! Your daughter deserves to not volunteer from this 'lady')

    2. "We will, of course be continuing her lessons." (You don't owe her any further explanation, and if she is huffy toward you in any way, simply take your hard-earned money and nice daughter to a better barn!)

    Best of luck! :)
         
        05-26-2014, 02:32 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Ugh. I have worked on and off for a barn owner like that for roughly 3 years. It was never right. It was never going to be right. It wasn't right because it was me doing the work, and not her or one of her favorite stablehands. :/ I feel for her. I hope you get good advice and find a way to make the BO happy, but don't be completely destroyed if there is no middle ground.
    horselessmom and Glenknock like this.
         
        05-26-2014, 12:10 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horselovinguy    
    Maybe I wasn't clear in my description, my apology....the bedding never leaves the stall when you gently toss it to the stall wall...the idea is you toss slightly high and the manure falls and rolls out of it, then you scoop and sift, dump in the wheel barrow. The manure doesn't break apart if at all.
    When you toss the bedding the idea is to loosen it and fluff it up...
    I have a feeling it the "experts" way of doing stalls always has her stalls white/whiter she is either banking some shavings and pulling them in to "lighten" the color or is adding small amounts of shavings more often than she alludes to......the stalls will darken over time with a horse walking around and no way around it some moisture is in them, but a "dry test"...reach down and grab a handful of shavings and see how they feel in your hand...your hand is more sensitive to moisture felt than you realize.
    Are they wet or dry? Can they clump in your hand or fall apart?
    My other thought was who cleans her stalls on the days your daughter doesn't... your daughter could be inheriting a piss-poor job by another done and taking the blame for it in innocence!
    BO/trainer is just a ungrateful person who bit off her nose to spite herself she is about to discover.

    As for withdrawing her from volunteering... that is something only mom knows what is happening and how your daughter is reacting to so much negativity and put downs.
    You need not make any excuses though... just simply tell the BO/trainer your daughter will no longer be cleaning stalls for her as of this date... then stick to it.
    Do give her a few days notice though as is fair, she has come to rely on your daughter for work done even though her compassion and words of encouragement and praise stink!!

    There are many places that would enjoy having a dedicated young lady come and help them out... think about rescues... there is always something that needs doing and a animal that needs a little extra love and time spent with them....with you also there it would be more than allowable I bet!!

    Best of luck with this and please don't let your daughter be dumped on like this...it truly isn't fair to her!

    Thank you!

    I do understand what you are saying about the manure not breaking up, but still daughter said this was not allowed. I'll doublecheck with her again.

    Knowing the BO, I know she's not singling out my daughter, so whoever does the stalls before her is held to the same standards. BO does fix the stalls if they are not to her satisfaction. I'm not sure how the stalls compare after a horse been in them, but they are whiter just after they are done.

    Daughter is not even after praise, she just wants to know if she's being useful there. This is what bugs her. She feels that if BO has to fix her stalls, she is not being useful. From my perspective, if she wasn't mucking out, the BO would need to spend her 10 min per stall, but now she spends about 1 min to check it and fix if necessary. So she's still being useful and saves the BO some time.

    The BO is also very positive when she teaches--she points out the problem areas (which daughter loves) but also is very exuberant in her praise and encouragement when daughter does something right. So it is either the BO changes "modes" while teaching, or daughter indeed does a really crappy job at mucking. Sigh.
         
        05-26-2014, 12:33 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sirius    
    It sounds like your daughter is a very lovely, hard working, conscientious person. I thought HorseLovinguy gave some excellent advice and so did the others in this thread. Also, it's good that your daughter is confiding in you but be careful. Girls who love horses can be easily exploited in the barn especially the hard working ones. (I know not many people would agree with me) I would stop the "freebies" too but I would also be present during the time your daughter is having a lesson. Be tuned in to any "putdowns" or little inappropriate "slivers of criticism." If you get that twinge that it doesn't feel right, well trust your Mother Lion instinct. Make sure too she is advancing in her lessons. Just be aware, that's all. Always protect their possibilities. There are always other places with other wonderful horses and it costs nothing to visit or check them out.
    The things is, her lessons are excellent. Never a putdown. Yes, she does get corrections (which she loves) but it is always in the context of "one step at a time, I'm here to guide you through this, don't worry if you get it wrong" etc. Lots of encouragement and exuberant praise when she does something right. *Quite* different from what she describes while she's there volunteering.
         
        05-26-2014, 12:41 PM
      #19
    Foal
    To add: We watched this video together:
    Daughter says that her manure does break up easily, and on the video it seems to break up less.

    She says she is not allowed to pile up the bedding, BO prefers it is always flat / distributed evenly around the stall as she cleans.

    She says she used to make little piles of bedding for the manure to roll out (not against the wall), and she thought it was working out really great, but the BO said not to pile things up, and didn't show her the against the wall method. So daughter assumed that tossing against the wall was another method of piling up, and to be avoided.

    She had also asked a long time horse owner at another barn for advice, and she was shown the method of sifting the clean stuff into a pile (which obviously worked for decades for that horse owner) but it is not allowed in her current barn. So I can see there are different ways and different preferences, obviously.

    I'll get her to ask more specific questions this week when she's there.
         
        05-28-2014, 07:21 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Honestly, why bother?

    You and your daughter are putting WAY TOO MUCH time, worry, and effort into this situation.

    Be honest with the trainer- tell her that your daughter enjoys her lessons, but her volunteer efforts are not working out and it has become a source of anxiety for your family.

    If your daughter wants to continue to volunteer there, ask if she can clean tack instead.

    Anyone can muck a stall, but getting it done in a manner JUST SO is the barn owner's deal, not yours or your daughters - absolutely no point in continuing this mental beat down.
         

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