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QuietHeartHorses 03-27-2013 02:46 AM

The time to move has come...
 
A few months ago, I posted a thread about how much I work at my current barn to earn a small reduction on my board... I wasn't sure at the time if I should feel cheated, but after a strong response from all of you telling me that I was in fact, being treated like a doormat, I have started realizing that I need to get the heck out of there. Things haven't changed a bit, except maybe they have gotten worse. I still work as hard as ever, I never miss a day, but still she asks me for more and more favors. As usual, I will help out, never say a word, but I always hope that somehow it will come back to me in some good way... It hasn't.

Even after everything I have been through, I don't want to upset her. She has never been mean to me, more like an over protective momma bear. She is presumptuous and a little over reactive, but she isn't harsh about anything. At the same time, some of the reasons why I am leaving are directly related to her behavior. I don't want to drag it all out and explain everything to her, but I also don't want to just spring it on her without any explanation either. So how do I go about telling her I am leaving? It's going to be a scene either way, I might as well just say it short and sweet and to the point. Like ripping off a band-aid.

The barn I am moving to, or back to, is a barn I used to board at when I first got my horse. It's a great place, the owner is a good friend of mine, and I'm super excited to be there again. It's more expensive, but I wont have to work at all there, all of my time can be spent with my horse. I keep thinking about how amazing it will be, but then I get this dreadful feeling because I know I still have to face the momma bear.

Ugghhh... I'm just too nice, that's all. I keep getting myself into these situations because I'm too willing to be helpful. So what is the correct way to deal with this? I don't want to skirt the topic, or blow it up either. I just want a level headed explanation and a clean get away without making anyone upset or angry. Any advise?

alexischristina 03-27-2013 02:58 AM

I had a similar issue when I was working for a stable (nor for board, just for cash). They kept bringing in more horses, upping my work but not my hours or pay, the ground would freeze and I'd be expected to do everything in the same amount of time. And when I decided to quit I gave my two weeks notice via email... no response to the email, and no sign of her at the barn (my boss was rarely there, she lived off site, and when she was there she was teaching). So I called and surprise surprise, no answer, went to find her on my next shift and she wasn't there. Once my two weeks were up I took my pay check (surprised it was even there!) called and left a voice mail saying I wasn't going to show up. Point is, it would have been MUCH easier if I had cornered her and was short and sweet and to the point, instead I beat around the bush and drew it out. I suggest you find her when she isn't busy and nobody is within ear shot (make sure there are people at the barn if you think she'll make a scene / get a little crazy, you never know) and just tell her flat out that you're giving your notice, and you'll be moving your horse at 'x' time. Be prepared to move your horse earlier, if you feel like she wont make it easy on you / might take it out on your horse. Be polite, smile, kill her with kindness. That way if she bad mouths you all she has are lies and maybe you'll have witnesses to back you up. You don't want to add fuel to the fire, but you also don't want to dance around it or be too polite / nice.

QuietHeartHorses 03-27-2013 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexischristina (Post 2042250)
Be polite, smile, kill her with kindness. That way if she bad mouths you all she has are lies and maybe you'll have witnesses to back you up. You don't want to add fuel to the fire, but you also don't want to dance around it or be too polite / nice.

Exactly! I just want to have a grown up, this is what I'm doing kind of conversation. I don't want her to freak out (which she is capable of doing), be irrational, or cause any trouble for me. He's my horse, I can do with him what I please, she has no say as long as I give her notice.

Skyseternalangel 03-27-2013 04:12 PM

What is it about this barn that would be better for your horse? don't make it about her at all.. because that's crossing he business line into personal stuff.. and business really shouldn't be personal!

Make a list of the pros, and then draft a letter and maybe shoot her an email with the reasons why (with a nice flow of course)

Don't feel bad... you aren't going into war.. it's just a transition. I understand it can be nerveracking but all in all you must be happy with the barn!

DraftyAiresMum 03-27-2013 04:12 PM

I tried to leave my old barn amicably. I explained to the BO, who I'd bought my horse from and who broke him out for me, that I was struggling to afford board and was sad that I could never see my horse because the stable was much farther away than it had been (I moved from 2 miles away from the stable to nearly 15 miles away). I reassured him that it was absolutely nothing personal. According to my best friend (who still boards at my old stable), I am not welcome at the stable and the BO bad-mouths me on a regular basis. I wouldn't even be able to park my trailer at the stable if I wanted to go ride with my best friend on the trails around there.

Point being, no matter how you do it, the BO will probably be upset and take it personally. So, don't get yourself too worked up over how to break it to her.
Posted via Mobile Device

QuietHeartHorses 03-27-2013 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum (Post 2047146)
Point being, no matter how you do it, the BO will probably be upset and take it personally. So, don't get yourself too worked up over how to break it to her.Posted via Mobile Device

I am pretty sure she will take it personally. She is a control freak, in my business all the time, telling me what I should and shouldn't do with my horse... so when I say I'm taking him away, she will probably give me 100 reasons why it's not a good idea, what I'd be doing wrong, why it would be unfair for my horse, and so on and so fourth. She will make me feel like a bad person, I guarantee it.

This is one of the main reasons I want to leave. I'm sick of being treated like I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I can grin and bear it, ignore most of the stupid stuff I hear, I'm not easy to hurt. The other issues are the unfair workload, and the herd situation. Currently, all of the horses are kept together in one big pasture. Not that big of a deal, but my horse is the low guy, every other horse picks on him constantly. He isn't allowed at the hay feeder, they run him off the troughs, he is the last to come in the barn, he is harassed in his stall by his neighbors, the geldings beat him up when the mares are in heat... it's just sad. And now, he is developing this guarded, leave me alone kind of attitude. It breaks my heart, he is such a sweet boy, I hate seeing him like this.

Skys, I know what you mean about not making it personal. It's like I said, I don't want to bring up all this stuff that I have been dealing with in silence because I don't think it would be fair to pile it all up at once. The opportunity for me to say "Hey, I don't like how you do this..." is gone. I don't want to make it about that either, I want to stay positive and friendly and get out without too much of a fuss.

The new barn will be a much better place for us. The turn out situation is better for my horse. They do small groups instead of one big, every horse for themselves herd. The barn owner is a professional horse person, she is on site 24/7 (unless she is at a show). My current BO works outside of the home and carts her child around to 4-5 different activities all week long. The horses are mostly left to me and her non-horse person boyfriend... just another eyebrow raising issue. Anyway, the new barn will also offer a lot more advancement for me as a rider. It is an eventing barn, so I can finally start taking dressage lessons. It's just a better choice for all kinds of reasons.

DraftyAiresMum 03-27-2013 05:56 PM

My best friend dealt with a lot of what you're dealing with at your current barn when she boarded with a mutual "friend" of ours that I used to work for. She was constantly belittled, told she knew nothing about horses and shouldn't be allowed to own them, was told to clean all the stalls (even though I was already doing that because that was part of my job), then berated for not doing it correctly. She finally had enough and got out of there. She made the decision to get rid of her (crazy) little Arab mare and got a nice Arab gelding from the BO (same BO that now hates me for leaving). She is an amazing horsewoman, does endurance and LD, and is one of two people I would trust to ride/handle my gelding.

I'm betting that, like my best friend, you'll blossom at your new barn.
Posted via Mobile Device

sillyhorses 03-27-2013 06:05 PM

Absolutely make the reasons behind moving about yourself and your needs - as was said, do NOT imply in any way that you are leaving because of something that was said/done/not done/etc. Unfortunately, some people can be nasty about moving horses...

A recent lesson student was actually planning to bring their lease horse to my barn... it was owned by another boarder at the farm they were at. The lesson student told the BO they wanted to leave because BO wasn't making improvements to the facility as promised. This made BO mad, and it turned out that BO discussed this with the horse's owner (who originally was game for moving the horse to my facility), who told my student that they could not move the horse. Turned into a big scene - my recent student still transferred to my barn as a student, but they terminated the lease with the horse and cut ties with the barn entirely because of the drama. Drama that would probably have been avoided if the student just said "Hey guys... new barn is closer and more convenient/less costly for us. I will miss you, but this is a decision we had to make..." :/

Hope it goes well for you! Sounds like you have a good idea, and will handle it kindly, however you choose to approach the situation!

Skyseternalangel 03-27-2013 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuietHeartHorses (Post 2047698)
The new barn will be a much better place for us. The turn out situation is better for my horse. They do small groups instead of one big, every horse for themselves herd.

Anyway, the new barn will also offer a lot more advancement for me as a rider. It is an eventing barn, so I can finally start taking dressage lessons. It's just a better choice for all kinds of reasons.

There you go! Perfect. That's all you need to say. If she tries to persuade you to stay, then all the more reason to leave.

natisha 03-27-2013 07:33 PM

Yep, keep it simple & about your need for lessons etc. Maybe offer to still work there a few hours while she finds someone else.


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