Am I being unreasonable?

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
I’m tired, and grumpy and likely being unreasonable. I’ll start by saying they’ve been helping me for years and if I ask they do, but they also joke with me that my horse care instructions are like an encyclopaedia 😬 and I cannot do my job on shifts without help.

But, I’m getting frustrated with the freelance grooms I use (they’re also friends); I see them as being there in my stead, not just feeding my horses.

In the past few weeks;
Jess sliced fetlock wasn’t noticed - luckily we got our wires crossed and I arrived after S had already fed them. A couple of times the bandage has been off, not even a message and I’d left the stuff out in case it needed doing but it hadn’t been touched.

Dan had a gunky eye, day 1 am I cleaned it, day 2 am it was a mass of thick yellow nastiness so I cleaned and fished a grass seed out and medicated it, was gunky again day 3 but clear by day 4. They were there every pm and I didn’t get a single message about it.

Niko had a huge scrape across his back which must have happened in the day when his rug was off, again no message and nothing done.

Little boys water let to run out more than once, I know it’s a pain as it has to be filled with buckets but still.

Those are the big bits, but it’s little things too, I always prep everything for the next visit, so we’re one ahead. But they seem to think I just do it for them, I have explained. Hay nets/bags left empty, water not topped up, barrow left full (I don’t mind if it’s only half full but if I have to empty it twice it niggles me), feed areas not swept free of sand (sand colic is a huge risk here) and a right mess left behind so I'm constantly playing catch up and frankly it’s killing me.

I pay them by the hour, never any quibble about how long it takes them. I do have a board up with all hay, feed and rug instructions on.
 
The big bits you aren't being at all unreasonable. Maybe once. or even twice, I would say something could have happened between their visit and yours, but not the way you've listed examples. I say maybe because I occasionally do a friend' horse and he's a sod for managing to injure himself between me leaving and her coming back!

The haynets may simply be a misunderstanding. Water not topped up if it's low is unacceptable though and the barrow and mess is pure laziness. In the time they charge you for would it be reasonable to expect this to be done?

I think you need to have a word with them. They may take the mick out of your instructions, but it seems they aren't capable of following them or using commonsense and instead are trusting that the friendship will stop you pulling them up on a shoddy job.
 
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I don’t think you are being unreasonable. They are being paid to do a job they aren’t doing it as a favour. That’s why I don’t ask friends to do stuff anymore as there were a few comments of me being unreasonable when asking to change rugs when I couldn’t get to the yard. If they were being paid then I wouldn’t expect any comments at all. I’d the job is t getting done properly then dismiss them and keep it as friendship x
 
I don’t think you are being un reasonable at all. If I was paying someone to care for my horse and had left detailed instruction and enough time to do the job I’d be very cross, not to mention the little stuff, I find though that if big stuff happens that annoys me, the little stuff just seems even worse.
 
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Agree you aren’t being unreasonable.

You are paying them, hourly to boot, and have a board with written instructions. That gives you the right to be as anal about your horses care as you want to be, whether they agree with it or not - Period.

The old saying “ ever do business with friends” seems to apply here.
 
I totally understand they injure themselves between visits, and honestly expect it, but when something is present for days and hasn’t been mentioned I’d expect them to check I know about it. After Jess leg I purposefully didn’t tell them about dans eye to see if it would be noticed and Niko’s back I saw yesterday am. It was all in hand and is fine, but I’m a little worried when I go away and they are in complete control things will be missed.

They do all of the little bits half the time so I don’t think it’s misunderstanding, it just doesn’t happen the other half the time. They’re welcome to charge me more if they need more time, it’s not fixed, they just bill me each month for hours done.

To be honest they were business contacts before friends, it’s not like we hang out together, but we have a good natter when we see each other as I’ve been using them for about 10 years on and off now.
 
I think you need to have a word with them. They may take the mick out of your instructions, but it seems they aren't capable of following them or using commonsense
That’s just it though, my instructions are just about individual requirements, I don’t really expect to have to say sweep up if it’s a mess, and learn to unroll the haylage off the bale to minimise waste rather than dragging it everywhere 🤣
 
You need to write out what they are expected to do, then check off that's what they are doing.

If you haven't actually told them to notify you of any issues, some people simply don't bother.
Here some people's idea of checking a horse is to look from the field the gate that it is present!
Can what you need to be simplified if they say it's complex?
Personally I wouldn't pay by the hour, pay per visit/morning etc,or use friends. A professional groom would automatically sweep up, but that's personal preference for everyone else. Some people will some won't.
 
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If you haven't actually told them to notify you of any issues, some people simply don't bother.

Personally I wouldn't pay by the hour, pay per visit/morning etc,or use friends. A professional groom would automatically sweep up, but that's personal preference for everyone else. Some people will some won't.
They have always notified me in the past, I don’t see why it should have changed. And frankly why wouldn’t you either treat it and/or tell the owner if there’s any problem.

Using friends/favours is not reasonable, it’s a regular 3 days a week doing 4 horses. I want to pay someone so I don’t feel guilty for asking. These guys are professionals, they literally run a business doing this.
 
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@newforest are you saying that if you were doing someone's horse and saw an injury etc that you hadn't been made aware of you wouldn't tell them? I'd certainly expect a call, and if I'm paying I expect more than a glance over a gate.
 
@newforest are you saying that if you were doing someone's horse and saw an injury etc that you hadn't been made aware of you wouldn't tell them? I'd certainly expect a call, and if I'm paying I expect more than a glance over a gate.
I would yes, I said some people wouldn't bother.
It's sounding as if the standard of care with these people has dropped if they run a business as grooms.
 
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They have always notified me in the past, I don’t see why it should have changed. And frankly why wouldn’t you either treat it and/or tell the owner if there’s any problem.

Using friends/favours is not reasonable, it’s a regular 3 days a week doing 4 horses. I want to pay someone so I don’t feel guilty for asking. These guys are professionals, they literally run a business doing this.
Something has changed in the standard of care they are offering.
You need to discuss this.
You shouldn't need to if they are running a business doing this.
 
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Something has changed in the standard of care they are offering.
Before starting this job in May they just did adhoc for me, and I didn’t ask for the little bits as it didn’t mount up. And they did let me know if there was any concern.

I did outline what I needed when I started my job, and have reminded them of the extras beyond just putting feed out since. I guess I just need to review it with them, and reiterate what I expect.
 
I wonder if some of the issue is that they are friends & perhaps aren't taking it as seriously as they would if you were a new client.

Could you start looking for a new groom to do some shifts with the possibility to take on all, if necessary? If you're questioned, you could then say that you've bought it up before but aren't happy with the standard they are providing. If they need the money it might make them buck up their ideas and just do the care you are paying them to provide.
 
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I agree but I really don’t think it’s intentional, I shall have a chat and put measures in place to minimise the chances of it happening again.
 
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I added an extra water bucket of a bigger size when I noticed she was out on a few occasions, it can happen.
But I then make sure both are always topped up.

I hope just having a chat resolves things.
 
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