Personality issues - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-02-2019, 05:58 PM
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It's NOT your fault. You are just asking questions and trying to work things out. There is something seriously wrong with the BO. You need go find a new barn sooner rather than later.
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post #12 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 09:44 AM
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Being a catalyst is one thing and there is no fault but considering everything you have written it sounds like the BO has issues.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 10:22 AM
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People leaving is definitely not your fault. You aren't running them off. The BO is. And, she's really overstepping when she goes against the people you choose to have work on your horse.

I agree with others who recommend finding another barn. A peaceful barn.
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by boots View Post
I agree with others who recommend finding another barn. A peaceful barn.
Is there really such a thing? I've read so many complaints here about people's barns that I'm worried I would just be exchanging one set of problems for another. At least where I am now, I know the lay of the land, so to speak. I know that I need to take care of a lot of stuff myself, and I'm happy doing it. Barn Owner can't keep good instructors, but she CAN find them, and they tend to stay for several months at least.

Ugh, anyway, I appreciate the comments. Sorry to bring in my little pity party, LOL.
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 11:08 AM
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I wonder if there would be anywhere you could go that was smaller with not as many boarders, where you could be in charge of hiring out your own instructor and workers as needed and just basic feeding etc. was provided by the barn?

I know my situation is rather unique, I'd probably never ask to bring an outside-trainer in because my BO's are my instructors and it's just kind of a family deal, but they do intend to board more horses as their business grows and I can't imagine they'd turn down boarders if they already had an outside trainer they wanted to work with as long as that trainer wasn't interfering with other horses there. (It's also not as common for there to be multiple trainers available in our area here, I think it's usually mostly handled by the BO's or people the horse owner already knows, if they don't do it themselves. So it sounds like it's easier to find trainers in your area, when the BO isn't running them off or refusing private lessons.)
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"I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable I am an original. Im not falling behind or running late. Im not standing still I am lying in wait." - Wait For It
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post #16 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 11:55 AM
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First of all, It is not your fault that instructors leave, It is the BO. The BO sounds like an authoritarian type. I've dealt with them before and long-term, I do think you should put your name in at other barns as I think you'd be much happier.

Short-term I'd ask the BO to have a talk with you. Be kind, but be firm and lay down your boundaries. It is NOT OKAY for your BO to be withholding information and dictating what is done with your horse, unless you consent It and she needs to respect that. It is YOUR money and YOUR say.

Strictly speaking from my own experiences, I was at a barn where the BO/trainer had almost 100% say to a point that they would not only choose vets, farriers, blacklist vets/farriers who they don't agree with, forbid outside instructors, but also use your horse, without your knowledge, whenever they felt like It because in their eyes It was under their authority. Now, that type of BO can be very difficult to deal with, but I've found that laying boundaries initially prevents them from walking all over you completely. Once I found out that my horse was being used, I dealt with It immediately and told them that this was unacceptable. When they tried to dictate who I could bring in (vets/farriers), I respectively countered and gave adequate reasons on why I preferred X over Y. When they withheld information, I'd also confront them about it and tell them I needed to know this information because of X and to please inform me in the future. I was kind about it, but very firm. Ultimately, they did respect me and actually allowed me MUCH more leeway than others, but I did eventually leave the barn.

Now, others at that barn who did not stand up to the BO and manager were not quite as lucky. I personally saw a friend's horse, who had been diagnosed with OCD being used in lessons for 5 hours straight! The friend did not lay any boundaries and the BO and manager ALWAYS overlooked her authority. They treated my friend (who was in her 30s at the time) as a small child who knew no better. Whenever my friend would try and say something, they would interrupt her and 'reassure' her that they knew best. I'm sure you could guess that this scenario did not have a good end for neither her horse nor her.

Bottom-line, look for a place that you can go alternatively, but do have a friendly chat with your BO.

My question / predicament is, should I try to figure out what happened here (see story below) or is there just no point? I mean, even if I figured out exactly what happened, is there really anything I can do about it, so should I even bother?
No, I don't think you should actively try to find out what happened to bring It up later, but stick to the facts in your talk with the BO. What have you seen from your POV, what would you change and why?
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 01:48 PM
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There is a saying in he U.K. 'Nowt so queer as folk!'
This is so true.

I fell into a job working with racehorses out of training. The woman who owned the place had great difficulty in retaining staff. I saw why not long after I was helping her out before I was her employee.

One of her workers was leading a horse into the stable, the door wasn't open fully and the horse nearly got caught on it. Mary went ape yelling and screaming. The girl had had enough and walked out, or, she went to but Mary took her car keys!

I really couldn't believe it.

Anyway, the horses were very interesting and so I took on head position. I was living in the house with Mary. I worked alongside her, something she hadn't had before. We were up at 5 every morning, mucked out 20+ horses so that when the kids came before school they just rode out.

All was fairly good, I got to know when she was on a mood. One day she had a go at all the girls during the morning, then she had a go at me at lunchtime. When we went indoors I told her to never speak to me like that again in front of the juniors.

That evening the girls and I were finishing off the back stables and Mary went with the only lad, Chris, to start feeding. We finished but they didn't appear. I went to find out what was going on.
They were in the feed room and Mary had Chris in tears. She turned to me and said, "Chris thinks I am picking on him - that isn't true is it?"

"Chris, of course it isn't true," I replied. "She had a right go at Sam first thing, Leslie mid morning Sarah after that and me at lunchtime. It's only fair she has a go at you this evening!"

Mary was furious. She through the feed scoop into the wall beside me and stormed off. She went into the house and as she went to slam the door I called out in a questioning voice, "Mary?"
She paused and looked across to me whereby I shook my forefinger at her and said, "Temper, temper!"

To this day I do not know how there was any glass left in the windows She slammed the door so hard!

From that point on if she was in a mood I would push her buttons and we would have a right royal row. Her temper was taken out on me and she left the kids alone.

I realised that most of her temper was stress. The responsibility of the horses in her care was enormous. A conservative estimate of the value of the horses there, and we weren't full, was well over 4 million. She had to keep the trainers who sent her horses, sweet or they would go elsewhere.

Perhaps it is something similar with this woman. I still say she is a bully taking out her frustration on those that cannot do much other than walk out, similar to Mary.

I will say the kids never took sides, they found our arguments funny and kept tabs on what was said. After one row Mary stormed into the tackroom where they were having breakfast, sqing, "Did you hear what she said to me?"
A few minutes later I walked in and said, "Well, that was a good one wasn't it?"

When I went indoors Mary had done me some toast and the row was totally forgotten. Neither of us ever dwelt on it.
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post #18 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 04:29 PM
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I wouldn't feel responsible; it sounds like a toxic environment and the BO is to blame. They're all adults and they've made their decision to leave based on more than your involvement. I'd have left a long time ago, as i know that i couldn't work with a person like the BO. Or, I'd have been asked to leave when i told her exactly why she needs to keep her nose out of my business LOL.

It sounds like one was going to move anyway, given that her philosophy didn't match the BO's. Your question may have made her think about why she was there, but you weren't wrong to ask.

I think peaceful yards are hard to find. I've stayed in three and few others for very short periods. I witnessed pushy BOs, arguments, bullying and extramarital affairs between the renters. It drove me to find my own land.

I understand that you're used to how the yard works but it doesn't sound like the BO is going to change and it must be creating an atmosphere, which can't be any fun. It may end in a full on argument and you'll be left with nowhere to go. Perhaps, look at other yards in your area, just in case.
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 06:41 PM
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Well what a quandary you are in!

Sometimes when I read about eccentric BO's, I think the ones I have known are not so bad...even though sometimes they made me question my sanity!

So, first IMO would be to just forget about all the drama. When the BO gives you unsolicited advice, just say "thank you I have a lot to think about" and walk away.

Second, if the horse is lame, take him to a vet for a workup. (I have no idea what a bodyworker is, so no advice there). Once the vet gives you instructions, then you inform the BO what the vet instructions are and that they must be followed.

As to the riding instructor issue, just load up you horse and take lessons off property with whomever you want. IMO it would be best not to share this information with the BO. Just say you are going on a ride with a friend, and leave it at that.

No drama is just that, no drama. I've never discussed my horse or training with a BO unless I was specifically asking their advice (which rarely happened).

I did have one BO become very insistent on the care of my mare before she foaled. He insisted she be stall boarded the last three months, which I reluctantly agreed to even though it meant more $$ than her just pasture boarding. Then he kept giving her his very fine stemmed hay. This was an issue because that mare did not drink much in the stall, and I didn't want her to colic. He insisted his hay was better than mine, and kept putting it in her stall at night. Since there was no way to change his mind, I didn't bother. I would wait until he went to the house, then remove the hay and parcel it out to the other horses. Then I put my own hay in her stall. He never knew I changed out the hay, so no drama

Bottom line, if you can't avoid/ignore the unwanted advice, then look for a new place to board. One has to protect the horse, as they are dependent on their owners.

But all these issues can be dealt with by not being dependent on the BO for anything but general care. My equine vet even has a farrier that can be booked, so that might be something else you can look into, finding your own farrier and traveling to them. Again, no need to share this info with the BO. Conversely if the horses are ok barefoot, then learn how to trim them yourself.

Keep the relationship with the BO purely professional, write short notes if you want to avoid conversations.

There is always a way to work around most idiosyncrasies and still maintain ones sanity...just do your own thing and avoid all the drama.
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post #20 of 23 Old 11-03-2019, 07:10 PM
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I recently (several months ago) interviewed at a place where the owner was like this. She had just opened a new boarding facility which is absolutely beautiful. I wanted a part time job there, and after she offered me the job I inquired about boarding my own horses there once I acquired them. She said that she would not have staff interacting with boarders, so I could not board there. I declined the job. I see the ad for that same job posted every two weeks or so because she cannot keep staff whether it is barn staff, office, or trainers.

I say move if you can.

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