Sunday, April 20, 2008

On Leaving New Ground Farms

While I have taken the horses I'm not completely moved out tomorrow and we get Cat's horses and the tack trailer gone. I have decided not to teach anymore b/c of my concerns about liability. I found out a few months ago that the barn didn't carry any liability insurance on the customer's horses or the students. I continued to teach after that b/c I figured I was somewhat protected by the fact that Jackie was paying me as her employee or independent contractor. But, when I decided to move, she wanted the students to pay me I started worrying that it would look like I was using her facilities but I wasn't an employee of the farm. Jackie also said she wanted to sell her school horses and since I was moving my horses I felt like it would be tricky to use the horses that were left at the barn. Since Aruna was teaching too, it would be tricky to coordinate.

This whole business with me wanting to move started when I asked Jackie for a stall for my horse and she wouldn't give me a stall. She told me I could have the next one at least 4 times before telling me that she wasn't going to give me a stall because I only wanted it for about 3 months. I had originally thought i would like to have Deli in a stall for foaling and then have her go back out. After she told me this, I got pretty steamed b/c it shouldn't matter how long I want the stall as long as I give her plenty of notice. I even agreed to wait until she had a boarder for my stall before I moved out. Even then she wouldn't give me a stall. So, I told her that I would take it indefinitely just like any other boarder. I even told her how upset I was b/c I thought we were friends first...not to mention I'm a customer who has been there almost 2 years and always paid my board on time. She then said I'd get the very next stall. Of course, it wasn't true. when the next stall came open, she told me that she'd rented it to someone named Deanne and she'd left a deposit on the stall. Then 2 more stalls came open and she gave them to some friend's of Gayla's, one of which stayed empty for a month or two while they actually looked for another horse. One night I came into the barn and saw a boarder who bought a horse from another boarder recently, in the stall that was supposedly rented to "Deanne". The next week she then told me that "Deanne" never showed up...I'm thinking, there is NO DEANNE. I was steamed! I didn't talk to her about it b/c she knew how I felt. I then realized that I wouldn't have a stall in the barn for my foal and I began to doubt that I could count on anything else I'd been promised either. She had promised to build stalls in the hay barn, which are at this time only half done. She told me in Jan. she'd build those stalls for me to have a stall...even though I told her then I wanted a stall in the barn. I don't get why I couldn't have a stall and what was the big idea!

About the same time I had asked for Deli to be fed outside the fence. Instead, I noticed that they moved the feeder for her back inside the fence which means that all this time, my pregnant mare has not been getting her whole ration of grain b/c they boys have been stealing it. I asked the stable hand to feed her outside the fence, and he said no problem...but then the feeder was back in the field, which meant that someone else told him not to feed her outside the fence (and she and I have gone through this before) .

Freeley colicked a few weeks ago and she was no where around. She was gone the whole day and it was the stable hand who found my horse ill. I don't think that Jackie should be there all the time, she needs to have a life too, but she should be there some... And the there are the kids and the four wheelers speeding around the place and then around the pasture later.

Then, last week, while I was gone to Missouri, taking Joe Bear, all my senior feed disappeared. I bought 2 bags right before going out of town and there was already some in the bin at that point. I had filled the bin before leaving and poof, over $30 of grain just vanished. And when I called to discuss it with her she didn't reply. She talked to Cat and said she'd look into it, but never discussed it with me.

I found out from other boarders that she is now making the people doing partial care buy their own shavings. It's in the contract that she provides the shavings, so she's broken her contract (this reminds me of what happened at the barn where I boarded back in IN) She's never there and there is no talking to her. I want so badly to talk to her about all these things, but she is never available anymore. I thought we were friends, but now I just feel like I was used. I also found out yesterday that she told a boarder who has since moved that Cat bought her hay (the boarder discovered that he hay had disappeared) Cat didn't know anything about it, so yet another story. Jackie told me that the same boarder took her hay with her (or at least that's what I remember) and yet another boarder told me she was supposed to buy it but it had mysteriously disappeared.

This has all occurred during the time that she has been getting divorced. Slowly she has turned from someone I thought was my friend into someone I don't know and who doesn't even reply to me. I want to tell her everything I have posted here, but I don't' think she'll care. I have written the emails and had the conversations in my head and just don't know what to say to her. "oh BTW, your business is going to hell b/c you're never here and no one ever sees you taking care of business and you broke a million promises and it seems you're a liar to boot"? I kind of hope she might read my blog to know how everyone feels, but I kind of suspect her response will be to say "screw them all". She's begun to sell off her horses and when Cat and I asked her what was going on we didn't get much in the way of response. She said she wants to simplify her life...but she's selling a horse she adores and I don't get it. She told me that we just didn't have any idea what it cost to run a barn, which isn't true at all since Maggie's dad ran a barn and I have a pretty good idea of what it entailed. I have even heard that her stable hand is looking for different work b/c he thinks the barn won't be there much longer and doesn't want to be caught without a job.

I feel bad for her b/c I think she's making a lot of really bad choices, but I can't get her attention or get her to care it seems. I think I just feel so let down. It was such a great place to board and I loved the barn and the people I thought I had found a home.

An addendum...I did tell her some of this. I told her that I never got over the stall thing and that I didn't appreciate her not offering to rectify the situation with the feed. I told her that I missed my friend Jackie and that I wanted to discuss all this stuff with her but didn't feel like she'd there it is. I laid it out. I hope that I didn't get the bridges burned all the way through, but I tried to call it as it seemed to me.

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