Crazy barn owners and contract questions... a little long, sorry!
This thread may belong in the Horse Law section, but I couldn't decide. So since this forum seems to get more traffic, thought I'd see what I could get...
As some of you may have read and I am looking for a new barn. I was having a "Training vs Turnout" dilemma, and am pleased to say I found a barn near my trainer that is privately owned and turns out day and night! I CANNOT wait to move!!
Anyhow, my questions and concern lie here... Reason I am moving is because, though the barn I am at is a nice facility, the owners are clueless. They don't give enough shavings because they say the horses don't need it since the stalls have a theraputic air mattress system. But my horse stands in pee all day because they one, don't turn out as long as they claim, and two because of these mats, the urine can't find ground and it just pools with the lack of shavings. My horse has had terrible thrush, his foot is deteriorating, and now I believe he has an abscess.
They don't feed enough hay and certainly don't believe in foraging as a way to save on cost. I provide my own hay for him to eat, but I don't think he is getting it because he seems to turn more in his stall. He is all banged up in the face. Its weird.
So I gave the barn owners my notice. They require 30 days. I can't leave on July 30th because its during the week and I work full time, so I gave them notice on the 24 of June to leave on the 24th of July and paid the month accordingly. Now they are saying that I cannot leave unless I pay the full month. BUT their contract said 30 days, not 30 days at the top of the month. The contract also clearly states that "Partial Months boarding shall be paid on a pro-rata basis based on the number of days boarded in a standard 30 day month."
These people are morons and I want out. Then, when I went to see my horse yesterday, his face was all cut up again. He has a gash split open on his eye that is pretty nasty. I am honestly nervous he's getting smacked around. I know he didn't do it outside because he doesn't get to go outside, which is a huge part of my move. And I can't find anything in his stall that he whacked it on. I am pulling him out ASAP.
But, what are my rights? With the contract and with these injuries? Should I accuse them or just pull him out and never look back? I want justice for my pony!!!
If you can afford it and if the new place will let you, just pay board in both places and get out. Pay the full month if they want you to, just pay the bills and leave.
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Well there is really no way to prove if they are mistreating your horse or not. As long as you have a copy of your signed boarding aggreement and copy of your, technically should be written 30 day notice. You can take your horse, really you could take it tomorrow if you wanted to since you've already paid.
What in addition were they asking you to pay for 6 days left in the month?
Honestly Ive seen more people than not, just leave and nothing ever happens of it. It would cost them more in court fees to try and sue you for board than the board probalby is.
My whole view on it is, if a boarder isnt happy, let them leave. No sense in dragging it out, since usually after somone gives their notice things go down hill pretty quick.
I say stick to your guns, you gave them the courtesy of the notice AND paying on time. Dont let them try and sucker you into paying them more money they probably dont deserve.
I think it is generally understood that 30 days means 30 days as the contract runs. Your board is due on the first so your 30 days revolves around the first.
Pay the extra few days and leave when you need to leave. We are not talking about a huge difference here.
The horse world is too small to become known as the boarder who leaves with out paying.
I have paid them for my notice, they get to keep the payment for what is within that 30 days. Its not like if I leave tomorrow I can ask for my money back! They should just cash my check and let me go. Sheesh.
AB, you are probably right. But when it comes to these people, I have to disagree. What you said about the horse world being small, I have referred to them in the exact same way. They are a relatively new barn, and I have said before that they can't treat people/horses or act they way they do if they want a good reputation. The horse world is simply to small.
I have had my horse for 4 years and this is only the 3rd barn I have been too. From some of the stories I have heard, I am doing pretty good. I am not concerned with how they view me. I wish I could write a novel on the things I have experienced here. You would see that the likelyhood they stay in business for another 5 years is slim.
I posted the question about the contract because I was curious what others felt. My question about my horse's cut up face was more my focus. I spoke with a lawyer about the contract and she told me that rent agreements pro-rate all the time. I pro-rated in, I can pro-rate out. Even if its understood that board is paid on the first, my contract said I can pro-rate. And according to this lawyer, the contract trumphs any verbal agreement. But there wasn't one anyway.
Their threats were quite the turn off as well. So I think I will go with Tamibunny and hold strong. But I completely hear what you are saying, AB.
Our contract is the standard 30 day. We do NOT accept partial month notice. If your board is due on the first, notice must be given on or before the due date. If you gave us notice on the 24th of June, you would pay for July 1-30 but would be welcome to leave at any point.
We are a small barn. Since we don't often have openings, we don't have a waiting list to maintain the barn budget. If someone gives notice, we need the full 30 days to advertise and interview.
Most places are like that, but it says I can pay pro-rata. So I did. And now they are saying I can't. Its frustrating.
Is there a section in your contract about care for the horse? If they are not holding up to their end of the contract on that aspect, then you may be able to get out of paying for July. Either way, I would get your horse out of there, if you have to pay or not.
The difference you are talking about is 6 days worth of board, right? I don't know how much you spend a month, but at $300 (the norm for around me) that is only $10 a day so $60. IMO that is not worth the hassel. Legally, the can keep your horse until you are paid in full (at least that is the law where I live, your state may be different), but once you are paid you can take your horse anywhere you want to. You don't have to have a horse there to pay for board. I would pay the extra money and get my horse out of the bad situation and to the new place. That way he is safe, you are done dealing with these people and you can move on.
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