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About vwkoch

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  • Birthday 03/30/1948

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  1. Poor Management At The Lazy J

    <I might add, you may be incorrectly advised about truth being an "absolute defense" to either slander or libel, but it is a defense in defamation.> Thanks, but I'll stick with getting my legal advice from lawyers. Libel and slander ARE defamation. Feel free to check with your own legal advisor(s). <Who decides if what you say is the truth?> If necessary, a judge or a jury. <Were you intelligent enough to take pictures of the poor management conditions? I'm going to use this hypotetically: I'd make darned sure if it were MY horse I'd have the time to not only document it for the management and come to an agreement instead of blasting it all over OR I would have skipped an hour or two of precious sleep to find another barn.> I didn't need PICTURES to document it for management. It was easy enough to SHOW the conditions to them. When they didn't fix things, I did. If need be, I have plenty of witnesses. <So, if you weren't going to bother AC like a bee in their bonnet, and you don't (maybe, maybe not) have picture proof of the abominations, what, exactly, were/are your intentions of pursuing this further?> To clarify what I said before, Animal Control does not consider poor management to be "abuse" or prosecutable cruelty. They take that position because lawyers, judges, and juries do not consider poor management to be "abuse" or cruelty. So, why would I harass AC over something they can't do anything about because no laws are being broken? <...what, exactly, were/are your intentions of pursuing this further?> <Personally I would HOPE you know (and I'm pretty sure you do know without having to ask) that these problems you experienced were indeed serious. It's a no brainer really.> <I'm a lttle confused as to the purpose of this post. i remember from the last one that you had already moved your horse. why do you need our opinions of the management. youve already established that was bad In your first post. Why bring It up agaIn.> <What is YOUR motive?> Actually, I've always considered these problems to be serious ones (and always will), but I was talking to someone at my new stable the other day who was considering moving to the Lazy J, and when I told her about the problems I experienced there, she said she thought I was just being picky. I do NOT consider wanting good quality feed and a clean, dry, well-bedded stall to be picky, but I AM biased against the stable, so I thought I'd find out if anyone else thought my concerns were picky (i.e., I wanted some validation that these concerns are not just a reflection of my bias). In other words, I wanted just exactly what I said in my post --- I wanted to see if others agreed with me or thought I was picky. I'm not "pursuing" anything except opinions on these issues, which (BTW) are entirely separate from the issue I brought up previously. <Accusations? or Opinions? Stating opinions does not land you in "trouble" in a court of law and you seemed very peeved someone called you out on leaving your horse in barn that has "serious GENERAL management problems" for 10 years.> When your stated opinion is a charge that someone is abusive, that is an accusation by definition, and stating such an opinion CAN land you in court if you have nothing to back it up with, to show it is more than just an opinion (i.e., that it is a fact). As I said before, the truth (i.e., stating facts) is a defense against libel. Imagination or opinion is no defense at all. Stating negative opinions is not ALWAYS a cause for legal action (e.g., you can defame a public figure like the President pretty much at will), but it's not a good idea to defame just anybody in public unless you have some way of showing that your opinion is backed up by facts. I have no problem with the people who have ASKED why I didn't move. That question is perfectly legitimate. What I have a problem with is people who know nothing about the situation accusing me of abuse. Management problems, even the serious ones I described, are NOT abuse. Even if they were, I was taking action to compensate for the problems. Anyone who would make such an accusation, against me OR against a poorly managed stable, clearly does not understand what abuse really is, and people should at least know what they're talking about before they throw around such accusations. It IS libelous, and that type of behavior CAN get people in trouble. <We're all scratching our heads on why you just didn't get out.> I've explained it before, but I'll try again in more detail. When I moved to the area, I checked out ALL the stables that met my criteria. At that time, I chose the Lazy J because the Mexican help at the time were doing a good job of cleaning the stalls (which was the only thing that was visible, as far as management went). As they left and were replaced, the quality of care declined, because in essence, there IS no management (plus the owner got cheaper about spending money on horse care --- fewer shavings, fewer employees, not repairing the roof, etc.). The help actually run the place, but they are untrained and have no authority to do things like provide more shavings than the owner instructs them to provide, even if more shavings are needed. So, as the quality of care declined, I adapted to the situation (by cleaning my own stall, for example). I knew from my original hunt that there were no facilities within my commuting area that I could move to, and when I checked the internet from time to time, no new facilities popped up, either. As long as I could make up for the management's deficiencies, there was no compelling reason to move. However, when another boarder moved my horse without my knowledge and the manager refused to do anything about it, I encountered a serious deficiency I COULDN'T do anything about on my own. My attempt to force the manager to acknowledge and deal with the problem resulted in my being kicked out, which was something I'd anticipated but not worried about, because if I couldn't do anything about a serious deficiency, it was indeed time to move. Luckily, I found a stable which had been out of operation during my original hunt but is now back in business. The facilities aren't nearly as fancy, but the management is good. My horse, as expected, cratered psychologically and physically from the change, but she's adapted now and is doing quite well. I have no regrets over staying at the Lazy J for 10 years or over moving when I did. IMO, I moved when the time was right (i.e., when I could no longer compensate for the management deficiencies). <You asked for the opinions.> I did, but I asked for opinions on whether the management problems I described were really serious or whether I was being too picky. I did NOT ask to be libeled (or, for that matter, for the stable to be libeled). People are entitled to opinions that are just opinions (e.g., you shouldn't have posted this topic), but they are not entitled to opinions that are accusations with no factual basis (e.g., you are abusive). Libel is not an entitlement for anybody.
  2. Poor Management At The Lazy J

    I usually ignore comments that are based more on imagination than reality, but this one is so perceptually challenged, I think a reality check might prove educational. <I'm going to guess he hasn't been driving past a Meijer or Kroger or local grocer for the past 10 years only to sign and begrudgingly drag himself into Wal-Mart and *hope* that they got it right this time...> Guessing = imagination in my book. You also seem to be implying that I was driving by other stables to get to the Lazy J --- more imagination. That's what you did, not what I did. <You are a steward of your horse. Your horse cannot load herself onto her own trailer and drive herself to a better situation. Quite frankly if the barn were to have been busted for neglect I would find all boarders equally as responsible for continuing to keep their horses there, if such deplorable conditions really do exist. To me you are equally as much an animal abuser as anyone in a so called management position at this stable if what you say about the conditions are true.> What I say is true, but "animal abuser" is your imagination. What I described was poor management, not abuse. I suppose, if you consider it abuse, that's the best validation possible for my belief that the stable management was pretty lousy, but any "abuse" of my horse is about as imaginary as it is possible to be. Even if you consider the effects of poor feeding practices, poor cleaning practices, leaky roofs, etc., to be "abuse", they are all things that can be, and were, corrected by myself and several other boarders, who fed our own horses when necessary, cleaned our own stalls, and (in my case) put buckets in the stall to catch the leaks, etc. <You are also at fault, frankly, for knowing the conditions existed and not involving the proper authorities to have it taken care of.> Who, in your imagination, constitutes "the proper authorities"? Animal Control does not consider poor management to be "abuse" or prosecutable cruelty. There are no laws regarding the management of stables, which means poor management breaks no laws that I know of, so who, exactly, are "the proper authorities" you imagine would have taken care of this situation? <YOU should be ashamed of yourself for leaving your horse there if what you say is true. House, commute, yard, family, pets, BS. I have a house. I have other pets. I have a full time job. And I traveled 60 miles round trip to see my horse 4x's a week until an opening was available at a closer barn with good care. Every day I drove past a barn with nice facilities and the biggest indoor arena in the tri county area second to the pavilion at the university. But the things people told me and the warnings my vet gave me about the deplorable conditions prevented me from sacrificing my horses well being and health for the sake of my time and fuel.> As noted above, "sacrificing my horses well being and health for the sake of my time and fuel" is another figment of your imagination. My horse's well-being and health were taken care of in SPITE of the stable management, and saving fuel had nothing to do with anything. Time was a factor because it limited my options. To be exact, my commute was an hour a day, and I did it DAILY to take care of my horse. Rather than imagining your horse's housing arrangements and accusing you of abuse for visiting only 4 times a week, I will simply stick with reality and note that my horse was stalled, so I considered it imperative to get her out SEVEN times a week. My weekdays consist of getting up, going to work, going to the stable, going home, having dinner, showering and going to bed, and hopefully getting 8 hours of sleep --- which doesn't leave much time for looking for another stable. <SHAME ON YOU.> I am not at all ashamed of my care of my horse, but I do think it shameful for you (and others) to throw around accusations of abuse when you really know nothing at all about the situation. Several commenters mentioned slander, and I noted that telling the truth is an absolute defense against allegations of slander or libel. Making accusations based on your imagination is no defense at all. I would recommend that people who so lightly make accusations of something as serious as abuse think twice before doing so in the future. If you keep up that practice, it may get you in considerable trouble.
  3. Poor Management At The Lazy J

    So, do you still shop there, or do you go somewhere else?
  4. Poor Management At The Lazy J

    West Nile is not contagious, but if the mosquitoes at the stable have given it to one horse, then all the horses (and the people!) are in danger. I consider it negligent for a BO to know that s/he has West Nile on the premises and not to advise boarders of the danger. My current BO posted a notice on the board when the first mosquito in Fort Collins tested positive, advising people to use Deet to protect themselves. I think it's pretty clear that SHE would let people know if a horse at the stable got sick or died from the disease. Whether or not it's a legal requirement, I think it's definitely a moral requirement to warn people when you know they and their horses are at risk. The Lazy J is a beautiful facility, and the owner is very concerned that it LOOK beautiful. However, if you have not been in the barn when it's closed up in the winter, you probably haven't noticed the ammonia smell that belies the skin-deep beauty. There was one winter when the barn DIDN'T stink, when the owner had sold it to two girls from whom he later repossessed it. While they owned the place, the stalls were properly bedded, and even though the wet spots weren't cleaned up (by the help --- many of us owners cleaned our own stalls, too), there were enough shavings to absorb the urine. As soon as the current owner took over again, the stalls went back to having insufficient bedding to absorb uncleaned urine, and I am sure it will stink again when it's closed up this winter.
  5. Poor Management At The Lazy J

    If the dry lot is all hard packed dirt and the horses are getting sores, then yes, I think that is bad management. (I reserve "abuse" for more serious situations.) However, you are as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. West Nile had only recently hit CO when it first appeared at the stable. Very few people in CO vaccinated their horses until AFTER it appeared, probably because it wasn't in the news in CO until it DID appear. Most horse people only see their vets once a year (if that), so the disease probably wasn't in CO the last time most people saw their vets. I'm not really sure of what was going on in CO prior to when the disease hit, because I was in CA. I was following the disease as it made its way west, so I could vaccinate before it got to CA. When I got transferred to CO, I went ahead and vaccinated my horse because it looked to me as if West Nile would hit CO about the time I got there --- which it did. At that time, the vaccine had only been available for a year (and the disease had only been in the US for 3 years), and MY vet (in CA) advised against vaccinating. When a new disease with a new vaccine hits an area for the first time and a horse dies from it at a stable, I think it very much IS the responsibility of the management to inform boarders that their horses are in danger. West Nile is not particularly treatable, by the way, although it is mostly preventable (remembering that no vaccine is 100% effective.)
  6. Poor Management At The Lazy J

    I'm going to try to address all the comments so far. The reason I stayed was because I needed a stable that was close to my commute between home and work, because with a job, horse, house, and yard to take care of, there aren't enough hours in the day. That limited my choices to the point that I really didn't think I had any, and the problems with the stable were things that I could adapt to (clean my own stall, put buckets in the stall to catch the leaks, feed my own horse when they missed her, etc.). I left because the one thing I couldn't adapt to was the idea that my horse could be moved around by other boarders without my knowledge. I didn't mention that story in this post because I'd gone into it previously (as noted in my post), but when I spread the word around the stable about what was going on, I got kicked out, and when that happened, I discovered that there WERE other options. However, I AM bitter, so it doesn't surprise me that my feelings about the management come through in my post. Nevertheless, I DO feel that the place has serious management problems, and everything I said is absolute truth (which is an absolute defense against accusations of libel). There are several other boarders who would testify to the truth of my allegations, and there ARE many empty stalls because people have left. (There were enough for the trainer I mentioned to bring in 16 horses and still not fill up the place.) I am not looking for sympathy --- I am looking for opinions on whether the things I see as problems are also seen as problems by others or whether people think I am being too picky with a management I clearly dislike. I brought the issue of poor management up again because my previous post addressed only the issue of people moving other people's horses around without their knowledge. I wanted to address all the other issues of poor management as well. I don't THINK I'm being too picky, but I'm obviously not unbiased about this place. My horse IS a wimp, but a well-managed stable does not leave ANY horses in stalls with no bedding. Horses in pastures can choose where to sleep, and they DON'T choose hard-packed dirt. My horse had no choice but to sleep in the situation she was put in, and the fact she was put in that position was the fault of a poor stable manager, IMO. As for vaccinations, my horse was the ONLY horse at the stable who was vaccinated for West Nile BEFORE it hit. That is why several horses at the stable became sick and died. However, when it DID hit, if the manager had immediately informed people of the need to vaccinate, I'm sure people would have done so a lot faster than they did by having to depend on the rumor mill. It frankly blows my mind that a manager would see a horse lost to a preventable disease and not inform other boarders that their horses were exposed to such a danger. Of all the indictments against this manager, I think his allowing unchecked spread of disease is by far the most damning --- and yes, it is botulism that is spread by carcasses in hay. I've never grown hay myself, so I don't know how it is properly managed, but I know some people do it well, because I've never seen carcasses in hay anywhere other than at this stable. At any rate, I am now at a stable that is not as fancy but has MUCH better management. My horse is over her psychological problems from being moved, and we are both doing much better. We have good hay, a dry stall, a matted run (easy to keep clean!), and an owner who fixes reported problems and tells people about ANY health problems (including noncontagious ones, just so we don't worry). As best I can tell from the comments, people DO agree that the Lazy J in Loveland DOES have management problems, so it was not just my bias speaking. My judgement on that matter seems to be confirmed, which is what I wanted to know. However, any further comments are also welcome. Thanks!
  7. I complained once before about my treatment at the Rocky Mountain Lazy J Bar S Stable in Loveland, CO (if you?re interested in the details, see http://forums.horsecity.com/index.php?app=blog&module=display&section=blog&blogid=80&showentry=2093), but this time, I?d like to see if people agree with me that it has serious GENERAL management problems. Here are some of the things I think are problems. Sometimes, the grass hay was so bad the horses wouldn?t eat it. Sometimes, the alfalfa was moldy. Sometimes, there were dead snakes or rodents in the hay. (Also, manure got tossed into the feeders when the stalls were cleaned, and the help never cleaned either the feeders or the waterers.) Once, they ran out of alfalfa, and horses who were supposed to get alfalfa (or a mix) only got grass hay until the next alfalfa harvest. The feeding amounts on the stall cards were pretty much ignored. Sometimes, my horse was not fed at all if she was not in her stall at feeding time (which was not always consistent from day to day). Only the manure was cleaned daily. The wet spots were not cleaned. There was not enough bedding to keep things dry without cleaning up the wet spots, so the stalls stayed wet, and when the barn was shut up, it stank of ammonia. Shavings were provided only once a week, and by the end of the week, when I piled all the shavings in the center of the (12? x 14?) stall while cleaning, the pile would barely fill a manure bucket. When I asked for more shavings, I was told I would have to pay for the ?extra? (at one of the most expensive stables in town). At every other stable I know of, a stall will be stripped and filled with clean bedding when a new horse is moving into it, but not at this stable. When I was asked to move my horse to a stall on the other side of the barn, while my side was being repaired, there was no truly clean stall to move her to --- only stalls with old used bedding and remnants of manure from previous inhabitants. For the entire 10 years I boarded there, the roof leaked like a sieve. The water followed things like beams until it finally dripped off somewhere, but it predictably dripped from the light fixtures, which was pretty scary. One rainy night, all the lights went out, probably because the leaks into the light fixtures had caused a short. I called the manager to report the problem, but he was unconcerned. Also, the back of my stall flooded every time it rained. I finally gave up reporting the problem, because it was clear they weren?t going to fix it. I just lined the back wall with buckets when it rained. They would overflow before I got out there again, because the help never emptied them, but at least the gallons of water they collected didn?t add to the flooding. One time, the help power-washed the stall walls then moved the horses back into the soaking wet stalls. Another time, they stripped and leveled my stall but didn?t re-bed it, so my horse got sores on her hocks from sleeping on hard-packed dirt. There is no real supervision of the help. Several times, I smelled gas in the arena and in my horse?s stall. I reported it to the manager, but as with the lights shorted out by rain, he seemed unconcerned. He said it was not a problem --- it was just gas from the heaters being blown back into the building by the wind. At one point, strangles spread through the stable because sick horses were not quarantined. When West Nile Virus first hit the stable, some horses died, but the manager didn?t bother to spread the news that people should vaccinate their horses. I learned about the sick and dead horses through the rumor mill. My new stable doesn?t have any of these problems, nor did any stable I?ve used previously. I think these problems are pretty serious, but I?m wondering whether others might think I?m too picky. Whatever anybody says, though, I know that I will never recommend that any person board a horse at the Rocky Mountain Lazy J Bar S Stable in Loveland, CO!
  8. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    I agree absolutely. My horse is now in a less than perfect place that appears to have good management. (I won't know for sure till I've been there awhile.) Until my horse was moved without notifying me, I managed to deal with the bad management in order to take advantage of the great facilities. I cleaned my own stall daily, because they did a poor job of cleaning (didn't clean the wet spots). If they didn't feed my horse (which they sometimes didn't, if I had her out), I fed her myself. However, there was no way to deal with the possibility that she might be moved at any time without me knowing about it. All I could do was try to get an acknowledgement that what happened was wrong and would not happen again. My actions to try to force a response resulted in my being kicked out, which was good, because I needed to leave anyway. So, for a time, the good facilities were worth the bad management, because the results of the bad management could be rectified. However, there is a point at which management is SO bad, it shouldn't be accepted, and the Lazy J has reached that point. It's a pity, though, because the facilities are REALLY nice.
  9. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    I guess it depends on how you define "take", but by your definition, I could say that they stole my horse. They took her from her stall without my permission, and I had to go looking to find her somewhere else. People used to hang horse thieves....
  10. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    <Haha ok, So they just so happened to miss place your items, while they were using/moving them without your knowledge or permission while you were not present.> You summed it up perfectly. Stealing or not, it's definitely not acceptable behavior. If you're going to use my stuff without my permission, the least you could do is return it when you're done. <To me, if they disappeared and didn't return. That is considered stealing.> To me, stealing is when you take something and keep it for your own use (or sell it for your own profit or whatever). If you take it, use it, and leave it somewhere where the owner doesn't find it (but you're not using it any more), it's not really stealing. The results are pretty much the same, so it's definitely not good behavior, but the intent is different, and I think intent does matter. Still, I'm not very happy about it, and the stable management's lack of response makes it even worse. If they're going to be accepting of such behavior, they're going to have big problems. "Borrowing" has never been a problem out there before, but they may be heading that way. Just another reason to be glad I'm leaving.
  11. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    I thought that was the ONLY way to spell Tori, until I saw what other people were doing when writing my horse's name! My guess is that they moved her because they wanted to keep some other horses together and they needed her stall to do so. To me, the reason doesn't matter, though. What really set me off was the WAY they did it --- without even letting me know. I've been very careful not to say my stuff was stolen. It just disappeared and hasn't resurfaced. For example, my halter wasn't stolen --- it was just left lying in a heap in the hallway. If it had been left somewhere I didn't see it, it would have disappeared, too. That kind of irresponsibility is also inexcusable, IMO, but it doesn't rise to the level of stealing, so I'm careful not to say my stuff was stolen. It just disappeared.
  12. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    There are always two sides to a story, and I usually take things with a grain of salt myself, if I'm getting only one side. I can certainly see how the communication situation at the stable seems fishy, because it IS pretty unusual. The stable grows (and sells) its own hay, and both the owner and manager seem more interested in that side of the operation than in the boarders and horses. The real managers of the stable are the Mexican guys who clean the stalls and feed (and who don't speak English). They are great guys and hard working, but nobody out there (owner, manager, or the help) seems to know much about horses. With appropriate oversight by the horse owners, though, management is sufficient. It's the facility itself, not the management, that keeps boarders out there. The facility is fantastic. My new stable doesn't have all the amenities of the Lazy J, and it's not as fancy, but it has all the amenities I was using and it's well-managed. I won't know for sure till I get there, but I'm hoping I'll be as lucky as you are. At least, the new BO knows and cares about horses!
  13. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    Thanks! Nosiness and compliments are welcome. She IS a multi-talented horse. Unfortunately, her Frisbee was one of the things that went permanently missing. The manager agreed to pay to replace the stuff, but now, he's reneging on that promise, too. However, I haven't paid the final board bill yet....
  14. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    The trainer has a reputation for being arrogant. I've been told that he moves often, and he's already complaining about this stable. I suspect that there will be some karma for me as the relationship between the trainer and stable owner develops, but I know many boarders are unhappy with both of them at this point (and I'm not the only one moving). As for me, I've had few interactions with him, but he's been perfectly polite in all of them. I haven't confronted him about moving my horse and stuff, because I see no point in such a confrontation. When some more of my stuff disappeared the second day after his arrival, I did put up a "Please do not treat my things as if they were yours" sign, which seemed to solve the problem. Otherwise, we're polite but not friendly with each other. The trainer owes me nothing, IMO. My problem is with the stable management, which should have made it clear what behavior is and is not acceptable at their stable.
  15. Bad Management At The Lazy J

    OK, you got me laughing again. Tickled my funny bone, too. Boarding has its pros and cons. I could never afford the amenities offered by the stables I've boarded at, but it's definitely nice to be able to look out your window and admire your horse(s) any time of day. When I retire, I may well get a mini as a house horse....