Help dealing with new barn... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 575
• Horses: 1
Help dealing with new barn...

So I moved my love, Vinnie, to my backyard (where hubby and I rent). The barn owner originally was super nice in accomodating me working off board, and these were the agreements:

I pay a dry stall fee and buy my own hay, shavings, and supplements.
I muck my horse's stall daily.
I do ALL turn out and ALL stall mucking for ALL 5 horses on weekend MORNINGS ONLY.
She would do ALL turn out, turn in, and feeding on weekdays.

I have all of this through email agreement, and have those emails saved. I also signed a boarding agreement, but it didn't include the working off board portion, so that makes things sticky.

Somehow, when I moved in, though, she started expecting me to basically 100% rough board, and do everything for my guy. I don't mind when I am there, but I don't like him being left out because I am late at work and can't turn in...

So I talked to her about it. She said Oh no problem, yes we did agree I would turn out/feed, etc, just communicate with me when needed, no worries.

But I have been getting to the barn every morning and he is still in, so I bring him out, muck his stall. She also has been expecting me to feed weekend AM, clean out water buckets, do all sweeping//general barn cleaning, etc.

I also, just to be nice WITHOUT being asked, mucked all the paddocks outside the other day (even the ones my horse isn't turned into), and instead of a "thank you" I got "oh aharlov, when you muck the paddocks, could you also pick up the dog poop and extra rocks and sticks?"

Okay. really?!

So this morning... I get there and he isn't out, and she says, "Come on out whenever you are ready in the morning, don't wait around, because I don't think he likes being in the barn alone" so I said, "You can always feel free to turn him out and not wait for me..." and she said "yeah..." seemingly kind of annoyed.

I hate things being so weird. I LOVE him being in my backyard, but how do I confront her without seeming like a bad boarder? I bend over backwards for her when I can, but I beginning to see that she might be taking advantage of that.

I have all the messages saved, and can show them to her if need be. Should I bring it up with her AGAIN? I just don't want to seem crazy. She also went back on her verbal word and is making me keep my hay pellets in my garage instead of the grain room "so it doesn't take up extra space"... The barn is a few acres in front of my house, so a good walk...

Any thoughts are appreciated! Sorry this is such a confusing post, I am trying to type this fast during my lunch break at work!
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NW Houston, TX
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I would just remind her of your agreements, perhaps printing and showing them to her? Although if he is in your backyard why don't you just do the care yourself? That's generally what people do when they have horses at home. I know it's not what y'all agreed to, but it's a possible option.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 575
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I do all of the work when I am home, but since she gets out there at 5:45 to turn out, and I don't really want to wake up that early because of my work schedule, I would rather him go out when the other horses do.. does that make sense? When I am home I do all the work.. but also since I work late most weekdays I don't want him waiting in a paddock alone either where he can't even see the other horses.... he gets anxious about it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: SW MO
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I always wonder if people who work off their board are treated differently than those who just pay $$$ for boarding their horse.

Maybe the barn owner believes since you are not paying for the services she won't spend the time/effort to provide the services to you and your horse.

That's what it sounds like from your details. I didn't gather that the horses belonging to "full board" patrons are going without or are not being cared for as expected and consistently.

It almost sounds as if the barn owner does not feel your horse is truly in her care because you are on a work-payment plan. Talking to her won't solve the problem if she doesn't feel properly compensated.

Her statement about "communicate to me when you need" makes it sound as if she expects you to do the work and if you NEED her to do it, she will as a favor.

Unfortunately, your best course of action may be to become a full boarder and pay the fees and hold her to caring for your horse. Some people don't feel obligated at all when they are not being compensated.

What she thought was not a big deal has obviously become a big deal to her.

Technically, if the horse is "in your backyard" you just have to really wrap your head around the idea that you are boarding on your property and care for your horse 100%. Many people on the forum keep their horses at home and work off premises. There is no one else to care for the horses, just them. It's no different with dogs at home. You work late, dogs wait for dinner and to be let out. You go out before work, come home directly from work. Adds a whole new meaning to owning pets and horses when you do it yourself.

Sorry, not the best of advice I know, but technically, if you are working off your board she may not believe you are guaranteed her time and services. The arrangement for self-care is a sticky one.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 02:24 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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I would get in touch with her just to clarify her expectations, saying something like

"Hey BO, I think we might not be on the same page as to what we are expecting as far as my working off board, and you seem a little annoyed with me. I don't want there to be tension or assumptions made that will cause problems. I've still got all our email conversations saved, so I was going off of those, but maybe I misunderstood. Can you tell me your expectations re: turnout, work, etc? I'm a little worried because if I have an emergency or a delay, I don't want my horse to go hungry or be left out/in."
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Should of got an actual contract in writing stating all agreed terms & conditions with both you signature and hers.

Sounds like she is taking advantage of you. Doing extra stuff to be nice is only encouraging her to further take advantage.

Being the stable is next to the house u are renting just get up in the morning early to let him out. He is depending on you and she has already shown through her actions that she considers all his care is to be done by u.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 575
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To clarify for everyone, I did have him in a full rough board situation. I know what the word means. When he is sitting in a stall screaming because the other horses are out, I am not happy about that. Or vice versa. It's just not fair for him. And I talked to her about that for I brought him home. She is technically at the property next door, not my landlord. Am paying her a boarding fee of $200 a month, and providing hay and shavings.

I have a dog, that I've had for four years, and know-how a pet works. I have been riding for over 20 years.

Looking for advice for my situation, not to be told that I am not doing the right amount of work on my property.... Not Wanting to sound harsh, but I have done rough board before and I understand the work, and it doesn't work in my job situation.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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You may need to find a better place if she is unwilling to work with your original agreement. This is were having a contract comes in handy. It is more binding than verbal agreement.

She is taking serious advantage if you are paying $200.00 a month plus all the extra work you are doing.

Is the convenience worth the headache and added stress? If not, look for better options.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 05:08 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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You could print out the email where it was agreed she would turn in/out your horse along with the others, highlight that selection.

Show it to her saying if that does not happen you would like to go on full board, and you will pay the additional $100 per month and have your weekends free.

If it were me and the arrangement continues I would happily feed 5 horses on
AM weekends because:

the list does not address weekend morning feedings at all.
they would be fed at the same time and there are only 5.
it would give her 2 mornings off.

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-13-2014, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 575
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I am just more worried about her treating me like my horse isn't in her care, when he is when I am not there. Does that make sense? One night she didn't even check his stall at night check and left a hay net in there empty all night... I talked to her about it and she apologized and since then has been checking his stall (she doesn't want me going out there late at night for checks, since her barn has motion sensors which would wake her up if she were sleeping).
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