should we sack him? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Brighton, UK
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Unhappy should we sack him?

I was promoted at the yard i help out at to a paid manager position. So i am now much more involved in the running of the yard. (woo result!).

There are two Horses at the yard which are incredibly similar. My beloved 'Irish Prince' and another named 'Loyd'. Both are bay thoroughbred ex racers, with nearly identical markings. When i first got prince i found it hard to distinguish him from Loyd when i wanted to bring prince in from the field! Prince is slightly longer in the body, and has a longer tail. But it would be easy to mix them up.

Which is exactly what one of the stableboys did. When we switched from summer to winter pasture two months ago he turned prince into the wrong field. However he thought prince was Loyd and there were some mares on heat in the field. Prince is a stallion, Loyd is a gelding. As a result one of the livery mares is now pregnant as a result of his dangerous mistake. He can tell the two horses apart and often does. however this time he was on his mobile phone while moving the horses into new pasture.

should we sack him for this mistake? the mare owner is furious.
i honestly dont know what to do, its not the first time he has done something stupid.

your opinons please.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 11:41 AM
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Fire him. If it's not first situation with him then he's hopeless. Sorry. I'd be VERY furious being the mare's owner...
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 11:58 AM
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Anyone can make a mistake. However, you don't accidentally talk on a cell phone when you should be working. The mistake is a costly one for the mare's owner, which could come back to haunt the yard owner. Since it's not his first error, I'd say it's time to let him go.

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post #4 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 11:58 AM
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Yep I would say bye bye to the dude.... that is totally uncalled for.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 02:12 PM
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no one should be so careless when working with stallions. Especially with mares in the vicinity. I would fire him.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 02:23 PM
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Wow. Idiot. fire him.
We have the stallion in the barn out AFTER everyone is in mares and geldings and his owner is his one and only handler. He makes sure mares are cleared out and if any are in the aisle way he'll go out the back and walk around the entire barn to take him to the pasture. I've witnessed him on the phone getting everything ready to lead his stallion and say "Hang on let me put him away first".
We don't have a stable boy but JJ is under strict rules that any carelessness on his part and he and his horse are gone.

When life gives you lemons....chuck em at whoever is giving them to you!
I don't want lemons! I want cookies!

Last edited by drafts4ever; 09-04-2009 at 02:25 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 03:02 PM
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I am not sure of the laws where you are but he definitely needs to be counseled and given a chance. Put in writing what his job is and maybe add some instant sackable offenses, like talking personal calls during work hours, being careless with a stallion etc.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 03:03 PM
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I don't care how identical they look, how hard is to check his man-parts? I would always be checking if I wasn't 150% sure. It was a very big, very costly mistake on the mare's owner's part. And besides that, no one should EVER be talking on a cell phone while handling a horse, at least in a riding school. What you do at home with your own personal animal is entirely up to you.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 08:49 PM
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I have to agree with Ricci. If I was working in a place that had 2 identical horses and the only way to tell them apart was one was a stallion and the other wasn't, I would **** sure be looking for gonads before turning one of them out with a bunch of mares. If he has a history of making stupid or careless mistakes, then I think it is time to fire him. But if he has been making honest mistakes, then maybe he just needs an ass chewing, some kind of punishment (like paying vet costs for the mare/foal), and another chance.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-04-2009, 10:25 PM
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I think it depends on what you have done to address this problem in the past.

I know you said this is not his first mistake, but is this the first time you have addressed his mistake?

Have you sat down with him previously and questioned why he did what he did and made it clear that there has been a problem?

I was working at a coffee shop on Friday nights and half my shift was with the day manager and half with the night manager. Each of them had a different way of doing things on the coffee machine, like the way people worked together, the order in which things were done. It confused me a lot so instead I would spend most of the shift on the till and cold drinks just because I didn't want to screw up (the owners had made it very clear we had follow things exactly to guidelines). I wouldn't slack or excessively chat, but I kept away from the hot drinks. Anyway people started not being very nice to me and then I got an email from the owners saying that if I didn't start working properly they would fire me. My night/weekend supervisor heard about the email and decided to call me and discuss it, and I told her how the people who had trained, and then the people who were on the shifts were telling me to do opposite things, and after what the owner said I was nervous to ask questions and to screw up. She was very sympathetic etc. and helped. That a while ago but unless you have spoken to your employee I don't think you should fire him.

I think you should sit down and explain how important this is, and that his performance is not satisfactory. Ask him why he screwed up, he may have some kind of answer. Tell him that his work must improve and that you cannot tolerate further mistakes. If you have already spoken to him regarding work performance then still sit down and ask him why he did it, he may have some reason or some really extenuating circumstances, but if he doesn't then maybe you should fire him.

I would imagine that if you work at a business they would have insurance to cover employee mishaps such as these, and I do not think it would be reasonable to charge him for it. It is after all a workplace, not a leisure place (as it is for many of us) and workplaces run on different rules.
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