Okay... rant update (sorry, this is probably its own thread)
Thanks for the responses everybody. Eh... the situation I am referring to, the family was offered $3.00 per stall, and we told them that, on a good day, that should work out to about 3-4 stalls per hour (so $9-$12 per hour, so not bad, right?). They were shown and reshown how to perform what was expected of them. All they had to do was clean the stall (no water bucket scrubbing, etc... they didn't even have to re-bed them, we did it). Also, they were here everyday, regardless of stall cleaning or not and only lived about 8 minutes away. We also allowed them to work when it was "convenient" for them, which resulted in these people cleaning their own horse's stall almost every day because by the time they came, all of the other horses were in. Ended up being WAYYYY NOT helpful to us, at all.
Turns out, the family has a serious problem with being respsonsible, apparently. We finally had THE chat with them, after showing/explaining on an almost every-other week basis what they needed to do and what they were "missing". We told the people we couldn't afford to offer them the opportunity to work off board by cleaning stalls, and perhaps we could work out other options, such as picking up bulk bedding for us or something. We tried it... both times the guy went on his own to pick it up, he refused to tie down the load, which resulted in over a 2/3 loss of bedding in one trip (which is a lot when we pay by the lb). I had gone with the guy twice, including the first time during which I explained the need for tarping. Both times I went, I insisted on tarping and tying down the bedding so it didn't float away like loose cash in a tornado (not to mention the tickets you can get for losing your cargo on a road!!!!!). I explained that we couldn't afford to lose bedding on the road and it was necessary to make sure it was secured.
Finally, we told the family "Sorry, we can not afford your help"... we kindly left out the part that it was because really, we can't afford to pay for shoddy, substandard help. We put it in writing, too... and told them we'd understand if they couldn't afford board and had to leave, absolutely no hard feelings. Even invited them to come and use our arena for show tune-ups, since we knew their budget was for pasture board at a place without an arena. We try to keep an open door policy with our boarders, so they know they can talk to us about problems. These people had about 43 days notice that in April they'd be responsible for paying full board (for the month of March they'd still get the credit they'd worked off). We reminded them of their contractual obligation for 30 day notice if they chose to leave (because, you know, we were nice enough to give them time to do this instead of just screwing them and telling them they owe FULL board for 30 days notice, instead of pro-rated with credit for work performed). They came today, handed me an envelope as they were putting their horse on the trailer, smiling and chatting, as fake as can be, and left. I opened the envelope to find a nice and I mean NICE and nasty letter about us changing our contract (which we didn't do, I even gave them a copy of the contract), and a really bizarre and hard to follow "calculation" for additional work they didn't perform and a check for $152.00 less than what they agreed that they owed?!?!?! Not that I'd have wanted them to stay or even leave their horse here any longer (they were just kind of difficult people), but I kind of wish I'd have opened the letter while standing in front of their truck in our driveway so I could have at least claimed our lien on the horse AND equipment as specified in our contract, as a way to convince them to pay up.
My grandfather always told me to avoid horse people because they're crazy. It is has been my experience thus far that, for every 5-6 good ones, there is one really rotten, awful, discouraging one. Ah well... I suppose I'm hoping karma catches up with these people. People management issue, for sure...
Last edited by sillyhorses; 02-25-2012 at 11:47 PM.