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]

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!!!

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.

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 .

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...

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!

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.

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

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?

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?

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...

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

Is she putting them both on full livery ?

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.

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

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!

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.

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!!

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.

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

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

<dreams>

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.

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 .

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!

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

That poor horse.

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

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

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

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

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

Glad you got it sorted!

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