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.

ThatVikRinA22 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!

QuietTiger Thu 15-Nov-12 07:02:44

BigBoPeep - she pissed me off that much, I did very nearly ask her whether she needed the number of the local hunt kennels and almost asked her whether should I ring them, as DH has a fallen stock arrangement and it's cheaper for her if he arranges it! I didn't though.

Developments of yesterday, is that "A" admitted that the horse had been on field rest as a companion for 2 years because it had been retired from eventing due to a ruptured suspensory ligament in its currently knackered leg... hmm

Floralnomad Thu 15-Nov-12 12:00:54

It's her that needs shooting not the poor horse ! Some people are just unbelievable

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Thu 15-Nov-12 12:10:39

That poor horse.

You haven't kicked your veteran out of his shed have you?

QuietTiger Thu 15-Nov-12 14:28:46

My veteran is out of his shed, but rugged and DH has given me a fresh paddock with lots of natural shelter. grin He's (dhorse, not DH wink ) is happy in there with his sister to keep him company. Dhorse prefers to be out 24/7, but has to be in usually because he's fat and on a diet he's prone to laminitis.

Of course, "A" has now thrown a hissy-fit that my horses are in a paddock with very little mud... Hopefully she'll make a decision about shooting her horse today. I do appreciate it is a hard decision to kill your horse, I'm not that insensitive, but I also get REALLY pissed off with people who don't put their animals welfare first and think more about their own emotions and how they will be affected, rather than the animal.

The worst thing about it, is that her horse came in on Monday and she still hasn't been up to see it, instead giving me directives via text and the phone! She's a lazy bitch "too busy working", whereas I work from home, so apparently "have the time". She can't go quick enough, TBH. Our other grass livery is delightful and no bother at all and if I had 20 of him, I'd be happy!

Plomino Thu 15-Nov-12 14:38:42

What a PITA ! Who the actual fuck does she think she is ? She should be on her knees in gratitude that her horse has been lent your shed , not issuing fucking directions ! What a selfish , self centred entitled cow. And it's your land ! She really has got some front . Sounds like the best thing for poor horse would be to pts , because she obviously doesn't give a shit .

Booboostoo Thu 15-Nov-12 17:58:27

Well done you for sticking to your guns.

It's completely unfair that she laid the PTS decision on you! Nothing to do with you, it's her responsibility to look after her horses and from what you say if she does PTS it won't be the worst thing that could have happened to the poor horse.

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Thu 15-Nov-12 23:29:20

I am very jealous of you for having a DH who gives you paddocks.

<dreams>

Zazzles007 Fri 16-Nov-12 09:25:01

I haven't weighed into this until now, but geeze OP, I wouldn't even wait for the 4 weeks. This boarder sounds far more trouble than she is worth, and if I were you, I would turf her out sooner if possible. This woman is delusional enough to ride a horse with a blown suspensory, for 2 hrs, without checking with a vet if it can be ridden. I suspect that she is going to be really hard to get rid of, and by the sounds of what she is saying to you, she isn't really making plans to move, is she?

Good luck with this person OP, she sounds like a nutter.

QuietTiger Thu 22-Nov-12 19:31:06

Update to this (for those who were interested...)

Vet came out to horse last Monday as a follow up visit. The basic assessment from the vet, was that the horse needs to be shot as it legs are knackered was "unlikely to make a full recovery to sound, so the owner needed to consider her options". Owner thinks vet is wrong, because the vet didn't tell her what she wanted to hear and she knows horses better than the vet. She then called the (equine) vet "incompetent". hmm

So, because I am apparently not pandering to her every whim "not providing enough molly coddling and TLC for said horse", even though he is being mucked out and generally being looked after properly, the owner is moving her horse to the expensive equestrian center up the road to "be looked after by someone who knows what they are doing" on full livery at £120/week and he will have box rest for a month. Apparently, my suggestion at turning him out in the field and following the vets advice!! would be the equivalent of signing his death warrant and was "cruel".

I don't know whether to laugh in her face at that point or be offended!

Long story short, the lazy arsed bitch leaves with her bloody horse on Saturday and she's gone! Woohoo!!

SilverSky Thu 22-Nov-12 19:48:20

Poor horse. Hopefully someone will take her in hand at the posh livery hard and give her what for. Silly cow.

Zazzles007 Fri 23-Nov-12 07:00:19

Quiet I wouldn't bother to be offended by someone who obviously isn't in touch with reality and can't see sense when it is presented to her in the form of a vet bill!

Lets face it, horses are too expensive to treat in the manner that she is doing, and she will end up with more egg on her face, yet she will find a way to blame it on others. Turf her out and let her become someone elses problem. She will be the type of person who moves from place to place, always bad-mouthing others when really she is to blame. She probably already has a bad reputation behind her.

Here's hoping that she leaves soon!

QuietTiger Sat 24-Nov-12 16:13:33

The livery owner from hell and her horse have left this afternoon. smile I resisted the urge to wave good bye shouting "Off you fuck, to the far side of fuck, cunty-chops" and instead said to her "shame it's not worked out".

Diplomacy. My middle name. grin

Mirage Sat 24-Nov-12 16:18:04

Hurray! Well done on being firm with her.You'll have to keep your ear to the ground and find our how she is received at her new yard.

Floralnomad Sat 24-Nov-12 16:18:41

Is she putting them both on full livery ?

QuietTiger Sat 24-Nov-12 16:48:47

They are both on full livery at £120/week. Apparently, they need molycoddling, TLC, "experienced care" and stables 24/7 with no mud. hmm

The irony that LOFH (Livery owner from hell) doesn't get, is that if you give a horse a choice in a field of standing in an enclosed field shelter when it's pissing with rain, or standing with their backs to a thick hedge taking on the elements, 99% of the time, the horses will choose the later.

As she left, I heard her say to her daughter that she thought I was cruel having my horses out in this weather and that she'd hate to be my horse out 24/7 in a field living as a herd. Actually, I suspect my horses would hate her regime of 24/7 in a 12ft x 12ft box, with only an hour exercise on the horse walker a day.

I'm not worried about the bad mouthing. She has a reputation locally as a loon, apparently. She also made the mistake of ringing the other more commercial competition livery yard in the village and slagging me off and calling me incompetent. What she didn't realise, was that the owner of that yard is DH's best friend and was best man at our wedding and his wife who runs it is one of my riding instructors! Oddly, they didn't have any space available, even though they've just built a new american barn stabling system...

PoshPenny Sat 24-Nov-12 19:17:22

Oh Quiet Tiger, I'm so pleased you've got shot of her, I guess you'll be celebrating tonight?

So glad she has gone.

If she preferred full livery and stabling 24 x 7, why on earth did she opt for your grass livery in the first place?

QuietTiger Sun 25-Nov-12 15:08:47

Exit - because she didn't want to pay full livery prices and thought she could put her horses in the empty sheds she could see when she looked at the fields, even though we specifically said she couldn't because we had 200 cattle going in them in November!

Apparently I'm still very cruel - I saw her this morning in the village and she said that my horses were miserable. My section D 3 year old didn't look that miserable to me... he was charging around like a fool bucking and rearing and playing chase with one of my 23 year old veterans!

My other veteran is absolutely outraged that he's back in his shed and not in the field, and boy he's let me know about it!! What does that tell you? wink

Better out than in is my mantra, but unfortunatley my mare does not always adopt the same attitude. Yesterday she practically jumped over the wheelbarrow to get back in her stable when I suggested she might like to go out in the field. To be fair to her, she does live right on top of the Pennines, there was a howling gale, and all the other wusses were staying in. Her elderly stablemate was put down in October so there is no one else hardy enough to be chucked out every day.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 25-Nov-12 20:41:26

im glad you managed to get shut of her that quickly QT she sounds like any livery yards worst nightmare so good luck to them!

Butkin Mon 26-Nov-12 01:40:40

Agree with better out than in. We have show horses but they are still out in the fields 365 days a year (in at night from mid-November to Feb/March). We did contemplate leaving them in today because horrific weather but we knew they'd be happier turned out...

Plomino Mon 26-Nov-12 13:25:10

At least she's gone . I think there's only one miserable bugger about , and it's not you or your horse . Sour grapes make for bitter wine(ing) in my experience.

I have two absolute wimps . The little welsh health hazard , who is the only native I know who LOATHES getting wet , and has learned to shiver dramatically , even when only a light drizzle prevails , and a Danish Warmblood , who strettttches his neck so that his nose protrudes just beyond the door into the weather , and if his nose gets cold, wet, or worst of all both, then he retreats into his stable, refuses to leave , and stands over his hay bucket with a hopeful expression . Wuss .

Why do some people think that horses are better kept in than out? Their natural environment is outside, it's us who thinks they need to be tucked up inside! My TB came from a racing yard where he was in a lot, and then on to me last year where he lived out, with extra feed and access to a shelter, fully clipped and rugged up and was happy as larry. He only came in because I wanted him clean and dry the next day - given the choice he was outside in all weathers.

This year he is at livery because where we are renting has no field and is in at night, out during the day and although he seems quite happy to come in his nature is very different - he's grumpier and bouncier, even though I'm riding him more. His field is a wet slurry patch and although is well sheltered the farmer won't have them out 24/7. It's a compromise which neither of us are much enjoying and I sincerely hope that next year I will be able to keep him out more.

Booboostoo Mon 26-Nov-12 16:06:43

So glad you got rid of looney livery and well done you for keeping it civil! I would just ignore her and nod along to any crap she says, most horses are very happy out 24/7 and most horses go loopy in 24/7. Her horses will soon let her know what they think of being stabled 24/7!!!

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