Feeling used from this lease agreement - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Feeling used from this lease agreement

I recently began a work trade lease. I work at the stable on the weekends. My list of chores is extremely long, but I manage to do my morning chores in around 3 hours, with the longest part being stall cleaning. They require the stalls to be picked through, scraped free of all urine, re bedded, have a hay spot swept, and have dinner hay placed and waters filled. I clean 8 stalls as well as doing my other chores. This is very hard work, which I was aware of when I signed up because I have experience with horses and stable work.

However, I am unpleased with the amount of work they are making me do for what I am getting.
I chose to do a work option because I am a student trying to support myself and do not have lots of excess money. So far I have had to pay $40 for a lesson and it was 50 minutes of ground work, and 5 minutes of me demonstrating being able to do a one rein stop. I haven't been on my lease horse since. I go and do groundwork with him, weather permitting. I asked if I could ride in between these mandatory lessons they are making me take and they told me that they want the lesson giver to sign off on me first. It seems like whenever I go to have a lesson, something comes up and it gets put off another week.
I have been working at this barn for a month and have only been on my horse for 5 minutes (not an exaggeration, the actual time!) and I feel so used and cheated through this agreement.

Do I quit?
If I do, how do I do so politely?
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 05:35 PM
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It sounds like expectations weren't laid out on either of your parts for this lease. If you are still paying for lessons, what are you getting in return for all this work if you have yet to ride the horse? I'd sit down and go over the owner's expectations, get them in writing. If they don't meet yours, let them know that.

If they expect you to be at a certain level before you can ride, you need to find out exactly when you will be at that level.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 05:50 PM
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I have gone through the same thing, except I was given permission to ride but never had the time due to how much work I had to do. I was only 14 at the time and looking back now, I realize I was taken advantage of. Either sit down and go over expectations and get it in writing with signatures, or move on. Find a place that is more professional and straightforward with their expectations. If the people you are working with now are civilized and professional, you should be able to meet with them and work things out. The most important thing to remember is GET IT IN WRITING. That way you can both refer to it if you have any questions or concerns.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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With Grace: I am not currently receiving anything in return for my time and work.

More info: they matched me with this horse, (I volunteered over the summer for a camp program there so they know my skills and experience and riding level) so I am very upset that they seem to be putting off me actually riding.

They keep adding to my list of chores and I am so overwhelmed. I feel like I'm wasting my weekends and more importantly, gas. Gas isn't cheap. :(
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 06:44 PM
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Talk to them. Go and tell them you don't feel you're getting anything in return.

If you're leasing the horse doesn't that mean you can ride it whenever you want? If you're not getting what you agreed tell them. Say something like, "from our previous conversations I was under the impression that our agreement was that I would work for three hours on Saturday (or whatever you agreed) and I would have a mandatory lesson in addition to (x) amount of time with the horse. Although this hasn't seemed to happen and I have been doing (x) amount of work and have not received any riding time. I'd really like to work out a clearer arrangement as this isn't working out for me."

Or something to that effect. If they say they need a lesson to sign off on you then do it first - pay for it if you have to - and don't pay until you actually have it- but don't re-enter the agreement until you've got what you agreed.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 06:51 PM
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This is why, even if it sounds really stupid, you should have some sort of written contract in place for what is expected of you and what you are required to receive in return.

You've only been there for one month (this is in regards to the work being hard). Trust me, you'll build up your strength like no other. I was a scrawny little thing and it used to take me seven hours to get thirteen stalls done. After a good few months it got easier. Now I can feed breakfast, turn out, and clean all the stalls within four hours. It will get easier...all that mucking is good for the delts.

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 12:11 AM
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Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
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geeeezzz I must be a softy LOL
I have four of my own horses, I ride my mare, I have a appy gelding that is 9 and I have had a gentleman (who has become a good friend) coming out and riding him for 3 1/2 yrs. now, no work required from him....I just want him to be exercised and I know I don't ride him.
I also have a 18yr. QH and a young girl 15 started coming out this summer to ride her.....no work required either.
All I ask is that if they go out without me I know where they go in case something happens, they are both experienced riders. I rode with them for awhile to make sure they knew how to ride and would be ok. We do go out riding alot together also, we also trailer the horses to different areas, everyone chips in for gas........geeezzz maybe I should be charging and making some money LOL

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 10:12 AM
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You are well and truly being used for slave labour.
Go to whoever is in charge and tell them that you feel this way.
You should not have to pay for groundwork lessons or even any riding lessons given the work you are doing.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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I guess the reason I have to pay for lessons is because they use an outside trainer?
And I guess since its begun being really rainy, I'll have to drive to the trainers covered arena for my lessons, as well as start giving $7 dollars + lesson fees for them hauling my horse.
I am also worried that they might not sign me off after this lesson, and keep making me take more.
I am just so frustrated.

How would I bring this up to the barn owners? I have social anxiety and am not very confident when it comes to discussing touchy things with people. :(
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 01:51 PM
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Honestly they are taking advantage of you. I wouldn't try to remedy the situation, as they have already shown themselves to be crooks. If I were you I'd just end the lease agreement.

Send them an email if that is more comfortable for you, and it's probably better that it's in writing anyway.

"I hereby give notice that I am ending my lease agreement with you effective (date)".
AlexS is offline  

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