Need the MN Tack room wisdom on a WWYD (and opinion).

(49 Posts)
QuietTiger Sat 10-Nov-12 17:30:51

Need some thoughts on this please folks. (This might be very long so not to drip feed, so if you read my essay, thank you).

At the end of September, DH & I agreed to take on grass livery, 2 horses that belonged to a lady (Lets call her "A") who was moving into our village. (We have a 500 acre working farm).

I agreed with A that she could turn her horses out with my 7, in our main horse paddock (roughly 7 acres). We have no field shelter as such, just natural shelter like thick hedges & a couple of oak trees. Their field is usually well drained and relatively dry. I was very, very clear that we had no stabling accommodation for horses (my horses are cobs and lusitanos who live out 24/7/365), with the exception being my 22 year old riding horse who is kept in a 20ft x 20ft converted cattle pen in the cattle shed, with very restricted turn out, as he gets laminitis easily. She was perfectly happy with this.

Fencing is predominately electric fence, as we haven't yet fully fenced the paddock with post and rail. This works well for our horses, as they respect it, but the "gate" is made by a normal electric fence handle IYSWIM.

I also made it clear, that whilst we have a lot of grassland, we are very restricted for horse paddocks, because we have 600+ sheep and don't cross-graze, and DH is very strict about stock rotation and paddock management.

I agreed that as well as the grass livery (i.e. shoving her horses in the field eating grass) I would check them once a day to make sure they weren't dead and give them a feed, but she needed also to check them herself. I told her that she would be expected to sign a livery agreement/contract and gave her one. She wanted to take it away to read it, I thought that was fair, but she is now finding reasons not to sign or return it. We also agreed that she would pay for all feed her horses ate, including haylage/hay.

It has rained pretty much non-stop in this part of the country. So much so, that our fields are wet and starting to poach a bit, but still relatively dry (as the paddocks are well drained). The "gateway" is particularly boggy, however. To make sure her horses are getting enough grub and make it easier for her with the electric fence (her horses are older, one is 22 and the other is 28) we have moved them to a separate field, with our veteran, and given them ad-lib round bale haylage, as the grass is getting quite poor. This is also partly so we didn't have argy bargy at feeding time because mine are all fat cobs are good doers who don't need the extra feed.

When I saw her yesterday, she threw a complete hissy fit about paying for any haylage, she has started moaning about the fields being muddy, there being no grass, there being no stabling for the horses, the fields having no "proper" field shelter or fencing & the horses standing in wet mud all the time. and the fact I'm not tucking them up at night and reading a bedtime story Her horses are rugged, however.

She has decided, "to save money", to let her riding horse go barefoot. She thought it was a good idea, as mine are all bare foot and "seem fine". Her horse is a thoroughbred with thin soles who rarely sees a farrier, who has always had shoes, mine are not - they are types with really good feet who have been barefoot all their lives, so are used to it and they see an equine podiatrist every 4 weeks.

Yesterday, A rode her horse out and he came back footsore and hoping lame. She got DH to trot him up, declared she was going to rest him (he's only just been brought back into work after 12 months off) and chucked him back out in the field. She then had a good old moan at DH about how the wet field was causing problems with her horses feet and what was he going to do about it?...

Add to this, she never comes up to check her horses, except to ride once a week. She lives probably no more than 200m from the field the horses are in as her house is on the other side of the road, so she has no excuse. She has just rung me now (5pm), to find out how her lame horse is and when I told her he was standing upright when I saw him, but I hadn't had him out of the field to check as I'd expected her to come and do it because it was her horse, she told me she hadn't had time because she'd been out for lunch with her friends!

DH wants to tell her to get stuffed and take her horses somewhere else as he's had a guts full. (DH's friend has an assisted DIY livery yard in the same village that doesn't do grass livery, hence she's with us).

I guess my question is, how unreasonable am I being? When she bought the horses here, she was well aware of our facilities (very basic with no stabling) and I agreed to check her horses and give them their feed in the field daily. Nothing else. Now she is moaning about everything, unhappy with everything, and blaming us for her barefoot horse being lame because he's in a muddy paddock.

Can I have some views please, as I really can't see the wood for the trees anymore.

Thank you for reading my essay! [THANKS]

doinmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:38:40

I'd give her a months notice to find somewhere else.

LastMangoInParis Sat 10-Nov-12 17:40:26

DH has the right idea, Quiet.

Either this woman is a complete piss taker, or she's no idea how badlly this year's rain has affected everyone, and no idea that we're all having to pay for that... and very little idea how to look after her horse. Or 9most likely) a combination of all of the above. And you're bearing the brunt of that.

Is she fairly new to owning a horse and has got herself out of her depth, not realising that you have to put in time or money (ideally both but at least one)?

At any rate, she's in breach of the contract she hasn't signed (but has accepted anyway through having her horse with you), so you should be able to get shot of her easily. IIWY my only worry would be for the welfare of the horse.

doinmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:41:57

She new what facilities you have but now she's moaning. I'd say something like "I don't think this arrangement is working for either of us so please find alternative accommodation . I will give you a month to do so" .

LastMangoInParis Sat 10-Nov-12 17:58:04

doinmummy speaks sense.
I just read this again, though. This woman sounds nuts. An aside, but where was she keeping her horse before? She sounds completely clueless in assessing what she and the horse need, what you have to offer, what's normal to pay for, the fact that the weather over the last few months has been unforeseeable and unprecedented and people have to do their best... I could go on...

QuietTiger Sat 10-Nov-12 18:09:29

She was keeping her horses at home, in the next village over. She sold her house last week and is looking to buy another one with her boyfriend. hopefully far away It's not really relevant to this, but she's not poor, she's in her 50's, and very proud of the fact she's done well out of 3 divorce settlements, is an accountant and sold her house for far more than her ex husband she paid for it 10 years ago! She can afford the horses no question, from what she says.

She claimed that she had lots of grass last year and that her horses only ate 2 large round bales of haylage all winter. complete bullshit She also said that her horses didn't need their feet seen to because they were barefoot in the paddock...

QuietTiger Sat 10-Nov-12 18:10:52

I think I'll be talking to DH tonight about tossing a coin for which one of us tells her to get stuffed. him

Thank you - it's nice to find out I'm not being unreasonable. smile

Floralnomad Sat 10-Nov-12 19:20:46

Definitely get shot of her ! There is another thread on here today about someone wanting to let their field and I warned caution ,I hope that poster reads this thread !

Mirage Sat 10-Nov-12 20:26:32

Get shot.She is taking advantage and having unrealistic expectations.I rent a yard from my neighbour and bend over backwards to keep things tidy,move field when the gateways get muddy,ect.She is massively taking the piss and I can imagine she'll get worse as the winter progresses.There are lots of nice reasonable people out there who'd like grass livery and won't make your life a misery.

BigBoPeep Sun 11-Nov-12 15:52:37

i'd be letting hubby tell her what he'd really think, which was that if they weren't gone by X date the salami man would be getting some cheap trade, because i wouldnt be prepared to see two veteran tb's floundering in mud all winter going lame - its not fair for them to suffer because she's an eejit. i'm all for barefoot no rugs etc but only if appropriate! ageing tb's = inappropriate. not on my watch.

Maximum one month's notice - perhaps if you take the "you seem very unhappy with this arrangement, perhaps it would be best if you -pissed off- moved your horses somewhere that fits your requirements better" approach it might work.

Failing that say it loud and clear that she can not expect you to look after her horses, it was not the arrangement made and you do not have the time. Cheeky cow.

QuietTiger Sun 11-Nov-12 18:43:21

Thanks for all the advice. DH & have decided to get rid.

"A" was at the farm today asking my help to look at her lame horse. So I duly trotted him up. She has now decided it's not his feet, it's his hock and asked my advice. As I'm not psychic and don't have X-ray vision My advice was to get a vet. So she's calling the vet out tomorrow as she doesn't want to pay weekend call out fees. She's blamed it on various things, from fireworks spooking the horses, to my youngster kicking him, along with lots of passive-aggressive moaning. She was making very big hints that she wanted me to be there for the vet, as apparently "I don't work". hmm (I work from home).

She then asked if I could turf my boy out of his box, so hers could go on box rest if he needed it, which presented an opportunity for me to say that we don't have livery facilities, but there was Assisted DIY further up in the village and that I wasn't prepared to have a stabled livery at the farm.

She's going to see what the vet says and then hopefully fuck off asap think about alternative arrangements. She still hasn't signed her contract!

Bigbopeep - I mentioned that maybe she should think about her horses welfare through the winter, as clearly they are not suited to the arrangement of living out 24/7. She told me that mine clearly managed. Don't worry however, my views are the same as yours. smile

careergirl Sun 11-Nov-12 20:41:07

yep get rid asap

Butkin Mon 12-Nov-12 00:18:04

Absolutely tell her that its not working out and give her a month's notice asap. You should have smelled a rat when she wouldn't sign her contract. Sorry you had the hassle.

Nuttyfilly Mon 12-Nov-12 00:32:09

She's a piss taker! We had a women just like her on our farm, she was told to get stuffed because she turned her horses out with our dairy cows which is a big no no! Mine aren't even aloud in the same field as them, all because she thought they had more grass, her horse then kicked a cow and made her lame. My dp told her to sling her hook.
Some people have a cheek!

dubbada Mon 12-Nov-12 05:43:19

i have had clients like this great that you have made the decision to remove her, when you ask her to leave make sure you give a date. and dont worry that she hasnt signe contract if you have taken mioney then there is an exchange of services and the contract is implied.

Getting rid of her now rather than the depths of winter makes a lot of sense

QuietTiger Mon 12-Nov-12 08:27:07

Nuttyfilly - I forgot to mention that she wanted DH to turn her horses onto the silage leys because there was better grass!

Dubbada - thank you - that's what I needed to hear. I at least had the sense to make her pay 1 month in advance by direct debit, so that makes it easier I guess.

Thanks guys. smile thanks

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 12-Nov-12 15:14:06

Get rid ASAP. She sounds lazy and frankly clueless. She knew in advance about the lack of stabling etc. just give her a months notice and tell her that you don't think your facilities are what she is lookIng for.
She sounds like a complainer and you really don't need the hassle.

Booboostoo Mon 12-Nov-12 17:50:34

You need to be more proactive in getting rid of her because I can see her sticking around and making your life hell! Give her an exact date by which you want her out and keep repeating it - don't change your mind, she sounds like a nightmare and I fear you will regret giving into her.

VicarInaTutu Mon 12-Nov-12 21:07:26

your friend is seriously taking the piss, i agree with telling her to find alternative arrangements and giving her a limit to do so.

she sounds like a nightmare. her poor horse.

Callisto Tue 13-Nov-12 11:48:32

She sounds awful! I have great respect for your patience and generosity thus far Quiet - I would have told her to f* right off by now.

QuietTiger Tue 13-Nov-12 14:00:35

An update - thank you all for the advice. I thought of you all (and thanked you), yesterday evening when I showed this thread to DH so he could also see that we were not being unreasonable following her vet visit by telling her to "get stuffed"...

Basically, the vet visited yesterday afternoon and told her that the horse needed box rest for at least a week if not longer, because he reckons that he is lame because the achilles tendon is ruptured. So, she then basically dictated to me that my Dhorse would have to go in the field so that she could have hers in the shed and that I would have to muck it out and look after it, as she was working and didn't have time.

Apparently, this is my fault as her horse supposedly went crazy in the field following fireworks on the weekend. It has absolutely "nothing" apparently, to do with the fact that she bought it into work after being in a field for 2 years, rode it for 2 hours and cantered and trotted up hill. hmm

I've told her that she needs to find somewhere else, as I'm not prepared to do full livery long term, I don't have the facilities and that she needs to be aware that I WILL be charging full livery prices whilst her horse is in. She then tried emotional blackmail! She told me that if she couldn't find anywhere and her horse was on long term box rest, she may have to PTS!

I was suitably channeling the advice from the tackroom collective at this point, refused to rise to the bait and said, "Well of course, that's a decision only you must make based on the welfare of your horse. Please move your horses by 30th November!" grin

I love you all - you have cleared the wood from the trees. Thank you. smile[flowers]

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 14:03:00

Months notice. I'd brook no debate with her.

BigBoPeep Wed 14-Nov-12 18:22:46

nice one - got to be tough with these people. haha at her trying the old 'PTS' thing...could always offer hubby's gun's services to drive the message home ;)

Nuttyfilly Thu 15-Nov-12 01:00:55

Glad you got it sorted!

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