I see all of your points here, and appreciate your opinions but... First of all, as for asking for a 30 day notice, its my right as the BO to make that call, and plus its a pretty common thing for barns to do. In this case I told her that I would be ok with only $150 per horse instead of the full $300 per horse because I DO know how the economy is, and I would never want to take money that I didn't feel like was owed to me. She didn't even tell me that she was leaving until the 2nd, but if I had known, oh say 30 DAYS AGO I could have advertised for those 2 stalls. I told her that if she had let me know what her plans were ahead of time, none of this would even be an issue.
Dreamcatcher, I would love for her to explain her side to you, because I'm sure she'll tell how she threw her horses out on a rainy winter day with stable sheets on that were not waterproof so I went out and washed her horses blankets, and how I always threw her horses extra hay, extra grain (which her grain was $28 per bag!), etc.. As a barn owner yourself, like you claim to be, you should know that hay and supplies are expensive and for a smaller barn it IS a big deal. I can't just go out and buy 50 bales here, 25 bales there, I had to buy 150 which came to be almost $1000. The same for my bedding that I buy in big bales, I had to buy an extra one at $200 each, not to mention round bales that can't be returned and now are not being ate and rotting in my pasture. Please don't assume because I said "after all I did for them.." that they are automatically right. This lady knew of the 30 day notice rule, just like she knew about it being a rule at the last barn she was at(I know that because I was a boarder there with her a long time ago) and that is why I posted a question asking for peoples advice if they thought the evidence would hold up since I know I didn't have her sign a contract. By her leaving without a 30 day notice has cost me A LOT more then what I asked her to pay. You just don't go to a barn and not follow the rules just because you don't think you should. Taking her to court is NOT because I have nothing better to do, or because I'm trying to be deceitful or vindictive. I want justice served and if the judge rules in my favor then at least she knows that people wont allow her to do these things and someday her ways will come back to bite her in the ass. I don't care what she tells people to be honest, I would rather be known for sticking to my word and not allowing dishonest people to think they can come in and do what they please. If she is so much in the right, then please explain 1) why did they put the stop on the check which would have covered their bill... oh and to clarify the bank told me that he put the stop on it before that morning and would have had to do so the previous business day. So if his bank closed at 6pm the day before, then its safe to say that he knew all about it when I called him at 9pm and 2) Why didn't she tell me that she didn't think she had to pay when I was standing in right in front of her but instead handed me a sealed envelope and drove away as quick as possible?
Oh and one last thing... the reason she left was because she was on a waiting list for another barn and the move was not related to anything bad with my business. Her horses were pampered more then anything while being here, and were in no way neglected or abused, which a wrote in my original post.
DT, I think we've all repeatedly said to do what you feel you have to do to be happy. You asked for opinions and we've all given them to you and you're not happy with what you've heard. That's ok, it's your barn and you have to do what you think is best.
I have had many boarders in the past, at one time I had 40 head from a breeder who was liquidating all of his stock, and if he'd pulled all 40 head at once I'd have stood on the 30 day notice. Since I was helping him sell those horses, I don't see how I could have insisted on 30 days notice for each horse. For one or 2 horses, I don't bother. After doing all the work on those 40 horses for 2 years, plus my own horses, I have not refilled my stalls, I just have one boarder and when she graduates from her college program, I won't replace her.
As I've said, I buy my hay by the year, 100 round bales & 500 small squares, so 1 or 2 horses isn't going to make that much difference in my hay bill. I buy the grain by the pallet, every 2 weeks, 1 or 2 horses would only mean a couple of bags left over which my 10 would eat up in no time. Bedding I buy in bulk, $200 per truck load and that beds down 14 stalls for 6 months. Again 2 horses wouldn't make a dent in that. I do all my own work around the place, so I don't have to pay an extra hand and wouldn't have hired on an extra person for 1 or 2 horses.
You have to do as you see fit and you've made up your mind. We've expressed that we think you're making a mistake. It's your call and ultimately your responsibility.