Oh, that was unexpected. And...you want how much?

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Oh, that was unexpected. And...you want how much?

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    10-15-2010, 12:21 AM
Oh, that was unexpected. And...you want how much?

I haven't been on much lately. I've been incredibly busy with work, and my new dog, and some recent 'barn drama'. Argh.

I've been riding this pony for a year. A little over a year really. In February, I started leasing him.

The whole summer we've been working on getting him up to training level. Working on his canter. Making plans for next year's show season.

Well, I was unable to pay my October lease because I just got a new job and things have been rather slow. Then, I found out I may not be able to do November, because I need to pay to take my new dog (we found her on the side of the road, no collar, skittish of people) to the vet, and I don't know how much it will be. You know, she had to be priority at that point, and having just got this job, I won't have anything saved up for her yet.

All of a sudden, my trainer facebook messages me and tells me she is selling Jack. This is out of the blue...just a couple of weeks ago we were talking about moving up to training next year. She did not outright say it was because I was not leasing him for 2 months (I intended to lease him at least another year after that), but I felt like that might be it. She offers him to me. I told her that until I was certain this job was going to work out long term, I did not want to invest in buying a horse but we would see, and I asked how much she wanted.

$3,000. What? This is an 18 year old grade pony, partially blind in one eye, who has been to 3 shows in his life as far as we know. He's got potential, but he still needs some work to really reach that potential. He's a great pony, but the fact stands he is 18 years old, grade with a mediocre at best show record. I declined politely without insulting her on the price...but I mean, it blew my mind. Then I discovered his previous owner sold him to her for $800, and my trainer said to her 'he isn't worth a dime more'...he has not jumped $2,200 in value since he's been there a year. No way.

I decided to go back to my old barn. It's under some great new management now, and this lady has made that place nice. She's done pretty much everything I've been saying needed to be done since I left. It's a hunter barn, and I've decided to maybe do some hunters for a while on the side, while still keeping up on my dressage. A change of pace could be nice. My big reason for leaving my current barn has been the fact that it's a 40 minute drive, and if the pony is on the market, I don't want to continue pumping money into leasing him if I am not guaranteed to be able to show him next year. That's been my goal, and with it not there...well, I would be better spending my money elsewhere.

But I feel like she's gotten offended over all this, and I feel like I'm the one who should feel that way. I know I'm not the only student she's been unfair to lately...but I won't go into detail on it, it's none of my business what she does with her other students. I just feel like she's been a little curt with me. I had two rides left on him from September's lease (there was a flood at the end and I didn't ride), and on Wednesday it was like when I said something nice about him, how I'd miss him, her response a couple of times was "Well I don't know what to tell you"...well, you didn't have to tell me anything. I wasn't looking for any sort of answer...what's done is done, and I know he's an awesome little fellow, I know he's capable, but I still don't think he's worth what she asked. My reason for not buying him and not continuing to lease him had *nothing* to do with how I feel about having him as my mount.

I don't know...I feel taken aback here. Do I have the right to feel that way, or should I just shut it and move on? Which, I am going to do that anyway. But I just don't want to be feeling offended here myself if I really have no reason to be. I know it was a mere lease, she did have the right to sell him, and I did skip out on a couple of months lease (although with fair reasons and no intention of dropping it permanently). But it was a month-by-month deal, and its like she's been dropping these little lines over facebook that feel like they're directed at me. For instance, I messaged her, let her know my first lesson at the other barn went well (she's told me before she has no problems with me seeing other trainers), and that it was funny how my muscle memory was SO built in for a dressage seat, that I looked like a sack of potatoes trying to sit in a more hunter style seat. Later, she didn't reply, but posted "It's so nice to be able to do hunter/jumpers as well as dressage! Gives some variety." Which, that message was the first time I had told her I was going to do hunters...she's never posted anything like that before, I'm 99% sure it was directed at me as if she thought I was leaving her ONLY to do hunters, and it was as if she were going "WELL, I do hunters too!" ...which is not the case. She's a great trainer. It's just...my big reason for being there was Jack, and I am not interested in any of her other horses, and I would not board a horse 40 minutes from me, so...I mean, I'd rather just go ahead and find something closer to me.

Anywho, I'm hoping to get my finances worked out nicely so I can afford the expenses of a horse with room to spare by Christmas or so. I don't think my trainer was trying to snatch Jack from under me, but this is the second lease that's gone bad in the past two years. It will be so nice to have the security of knowing that I *own* my mount and it can't be sold out from under me at any given time, and that I can take it where I wish and care for it how I feel it should be cared for.

My apologies for writing a small book. I just needed to vent. She's a great trainer, I just feel like things have fallen apart as of late! I feel like some misunderstandings have been had and communication has been poor. I hope to still take lessons with her after I buy my next horse...
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    10-15-2010, 01:41 AM
Green Broke
I'm sorry to hear that you've been frustrated by your situation!! :(

I had a pony I leased out to kids at the barn. His lease ended and I immediately put him up for sale. Sure, you weren't planning on ending the lease but this unexpected one month break turned out to be two, how is she supposed to know it isn't going to be three? Or four? Every month my pony wasn't leased he was losing me money. She might have been in a financial situation where she needed to get out from a mouth to feed that wasn't earning his keep. (or maybe having this break from him being leased made her think about his future and she decided she ought to sell him while he's somewhat sellable) You're right though, it was a month by month thing, you couldn't lease him 2 months, she had every right to sell him. And perhaps she didn't decide to sell him until she told you about it. If that's the case, it was nice of her to let you know and think of you first. I do have to agree with you though... I show hunters, the land of super expensive horses, and I don't think I would price an 18 y/o half blind, training level type pony with very limited show experience at $3k! Yikes. I wonder if she really needs to money right now? It does sound like she's not happy that you didn't decide to buy him which I don't think is fair to you.

Is this someone you're close to? It kind of sounds like deep down she's probably a little hurt you decided to leave (and disappointed you didn't buy her pony). If you want to work things things out with her I'd send a message or tell her in person how you feel. That it wasn't personal, you wanted a horse that wasn't going to be sold out from under you, a location that wasn't so far, etc. (all very valid reasons) and that you want to maintain a good relationship.

Good luck! I hope it works out for you!
    10-15-2010, 02:09 AM
She knows me well enough and knows I love that pony enough to know that I wasn't going to flake on the lease unless I could not avoid it. :/ She knows I'm upfront and if I honestly thought that it would not continue to work, I would have told her so...but she knew I was excited and planning on training level next year.

I *know* she must have assumed I was going to continue to flake on lease, I just don't see why she thought that, with my history of being great on payments for everything. In over a year it's the first time I've had trouble with paying her, and only because it was kind of a weird situation for me right now. I don't know, but I can understand that, I just think if that were the case, the abrupt choice to sell him was a bit over the top. She could have just said 'hey, if you don't think you will be able to lease him each month after November, let me know because I need him to be making income for me'. Instead of just immediately selling him. Like I said...this is the first time this has happened. And thing was, there really was no 'end of lease', because we were planning out next year's show season! Planning the rest of this year's shows...

It's not just this though...she's been doing some even more unfair things to some other clients, which like I said, none of my business, but I have learned about them, I'm just not going to spew them out on a forum because that's someone else's affairs, my point is...I do know it's not just something about this incident.

It might be money, I don't know. I know she won't get many bites at that price, and if she needed money, she'd be better off to be more realistic. Unless she honestly thinks she can get that...she's experienced enough to know better, I should have thought. Even she said 'he's not worth a dime more' than the $800 SHE paid.

I don't know...I'm upset that he will no longer be my mount. Not upset that he's being sold necessarily, just the way she's handled all the things that have come along with that choice. She's got the right to do it, I just wish I'd had a little more notice. I wish she'd not decided so abruptly to do it, and discussed it with me. I'm not terribly close with her, although I do consider her a friend. I agree with you 100% I think she's hurt, and possibly a little hurt that I didn't buy Jack...but I have already explained to her my reasons for leaving are NOT because I don't like her and her training, because I like her and her training very much. It's just, 40 minutes is a long way to drive for lessons, and I don't want to continue leasing if he's on the market and could be sold from under me at any time. She said she understands it, she wishes me the best there (even gave me a refund for 2 lessons that were missed to faults on her part). I told her my reasons for not buying Jack, although I did not comment on the price, were simply I felt it would be wiser for me to buy something younger if I were going to invest in actually purchasing a horse. It's one thing to lease, but for my riding goals, it would be silly for me to buy a close to 20 year old horse.

Blah, I just hate that the whole thing has happened this way. She DID lease him out, I should add, to a 5 year old girl. Off property lease apparently, she said they were picking him up Sunday. Which kind of irked me, because here she's talking about selling him, then leases him out again. I don't know if he's still on the market and she's going to pull him from under them later or not. I guess she didn't trust me and have as much confidence in me as I thought! Which, in the horse world, I suppose she can't be blamed, but at the same time...I just wish she'd been a little more open with me.

She's become a bit infamous for not being very open with her clients lately though. All I can do is look forward to my lessons in a new discipline and look forward to hopefully owning my own horse in the coming months...
    10-15-2010, 03:00 AM
I don't think you have any reason to be upset. I realize that you were leasing month to month, but to me that just means you can end the lease at any time. I don't think it means that you can skip a month here and there. The owner shouldn't be expected just to hold the horse for a couple of months until you can lease him again. When you opted not to lease him for the month of October, you ended the agreement between the two of you.

Also, what your trainer paid for her horse in the beginning and whether or not he is worth what she is asking is really not your business. He belongs to her...she can ask whatever she wants for him (whether she gets it or not is another story).

The good thing for you is that you were able to end the lease when you could no longer afford it. When you get your own horse, you won't have that luxury. When it's your own horse that needs things, it becomes a necessity. Before you get your own horse, be sure that you can meet his needs every month. There won't be anyone you can give him back to.
    10-15-2010, 03:28 AM
That's not what I'm saying - and I certainly didn't feel like I was legally entitled to anything after I failed to pay October. What can I say? But after the things that have gone on, the relationship that pony and I have formed, what I was really upset about was not that she was wanting to sell him, but that she didn't talk to me about it. She knows how much money I've spent on him, not just in lease, she knows how much work I've put into him, and how I was planning on taking him to Training level next year. Heck, even she was planning on it. It's not like she had buyers lined up at the time. I would have *still* been doing lessons with her during that time, she would have still been getting plenty of money from me. It's like one hard moment and I'm screwed. Legally, it's fine. But on a personal level, I felt it a little cold when we had become friends and she had seen all that the pony had meant to me and how far we'd come along.

I'm not feeling cheated here in any legal aspect, I'm simply feeling a little emotionally put out because she was dismissive of the time and effort I've put into training and bonding with this horse. We were close enough that she knew how much it meant to me. A little more heads up, you know. Thing was, he was also being used partly as a school pony for her, even if I did intend to stop leasing him for good, I would have never thought she was interested in selling him. He was pretty much the only beginner suitable pony she had out there for the smaller children. I just didn't think he was dispensable to her, me leasing him or not.

And I realize it is none of my business what she paid for him, I never said it was, but the fact that I was told that and now I have knowledge of that gives me a hell of a new point of view on the price she has put on the pony. If she'd spent $2,000, just throwing a number out there, that would make a difference too. Whether it is my business or not is irrelevant. Now that I know it, it makes the price she has set seem even more ridiculous, and makes me feel even more like she attempted to cheat me on that.

And I have owned two horses previously in my life, so believe me I know all about that show. Which is why that's going to come when these finances get straightened out. I hope it hasn't come off that I'm in a rush on buying - because I'm not! :) More or less I'm eager to move on, and hopefully the waters between this trainer and I will settle. I do consider us friends...I would not want to leave on unfriendly terms at all. If I have to, I'll swallow it all and call it a wash. I'm that much of a peaceful person, seriously.
    10-15-2010, 03:55 AM
In my previous post, I made no mention of any legal issues. I was speaking strictly on whether or not I believe you have the right to be upset. I don't think you do. It was you that could not hold up your end of the deal. I'm sorry that you invested so much time and money into a horse that is not your own, but you knew this going into the deal.

I know you care about the horse and I sympathize with you on that. It sounds like you are moving on just fine, though. Best of luck to you. I'm sure you will find yourself a nice horse when the time is right.
    10-15-2010, 04:09 AM
Maybe I'm just being whiny here, too emotional. So, her knowing the situation, as a friend, the way she handled the situation was not even the least bit...cold to you? Or have I had my head in the sand and this is common practice in the horse world? Well, I'm sure it is. I don't know. But if so, if lack of compassion and consideration for the other person's situation and feelings (even amongst friends) is common, it sets even more in stone my decision not to lease again...

And thank you...I'm sure I will. I've already had a friend tip me off about a mare of hers she might want to sell to me, but I guess that remains to be seen. Like I said, I'm in no rush. I want to make sure the horse is something that is an ideal mount for me to use for it's lifetime, not just a few years and then send it off because I would rather do something else.

Trying to let this go, just feeling somewhat stung. Maybe it's just because I didn't expect it, and possibly some of the unacceptable actions made by her in other areas are clouding my vision making me feel like this was unacceptable too. Which it's not, I guess it just feels...cold, like I said.

I know I need some sleep right now, I doubt I'm making much sense in my rambling, uhg, I apologize.

ETA: Just for a little more insight before I hop off, I mean, she's gone out of her way before specifically to help us as a team. More than once. So maybe I just expected too much to think she'd understand the situation and want to continue helping us as a team. It would have made more sense for her to give me the one chance though, considering she'd have got her asking price and then some over a year's time in lease $$ and show coaching fees from me, and still have the pony if she wanted to sell him.
    10-15-2010, 07:53 AM
You said you are going to the old barn anyway. So I'd just stop leasing him and move on. People are not always "nice" to you even when you work off your bum for them (for free). I found it often to be other way around - the more you try to please, the less "nice" they are towards you. There are tons of horses out there - you'll ALWAYS find one to lease, even better one. I hope she'll find the pony a good home though (especially considering him going blind in one eye)!
    10-15-2010, 11:31 AM
Green Broke
As a trainer she has absolutely no obligation then to do what she's already done. In fact, it was nice of her to offer him for sale to you first. As a friend or someone you've had a good working relationship with? I can understand why you're disappointed. Just because you don't have the "right" to be hurt doesn't mean it doesn't hurt all the same. A trainer/client relationship can be tricky b/c often it's not just a business partnership, you often become friends. But at the same time, it's a business. While it would have been nice for her to try and help or talk it out with you, esp since she did in the past, her business is her priority first and foremost. Sounds like you have to let the hurt go and move on.

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