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nick

This Is A Rant

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we have our horses at a really nice facility that has everything in front of the door. huge indoor, nice outdoor, working equitation course, race track, miles and miles of beautiful trails, and the horses i feel have the nicest possible life that a domesticated horse can have. our trainer and her assistant are such competent riding instructors and in pretty much all horse related matters, and we have a lot of courses on offer from high level outside trainers during a given year to choose from.

unfortunately the barn OWNER is mental, and he has a girlfriend who might be even more mental. he lost his license because of a DUI accident last year, and we noticed things really started to go downhill. we've known for quite some time that he has manic/schizophrenic/self-destructive tendencies, but all that came to a head this afternoon. he told the trainer that unless she gave him 5000 euros ($7500 US) by noon he was throwing her and her horses out. she came to me because she knows that we're good friends with a lawyer in brussels and she needs to know if she has a legal basis to fight this. (the BO pulled this number out of the blue and refused to give her any sort of itemized bill for what she ostensibly "owes"). i have had two businesses, and i know a lot of people here have as well. what person with a pulse and a 3 digit IQ just hands over $7500 on demand? and if she goes he loses considerable income from the four boxes she leases from him and the income he'll lose from those who will bail to follow her.

the biggest problem here isn't his mental instability IMO, it's his jealous, conniving and two-faced girlfriend. our trainer is beautiful (she's NOT), she's poetry on a horse (she's NOT) and it's been obvious to some of us that this has been a thorn in her side for some time. she's very cunning about pulling his strings and pushing his buttons (the ladies here know what i mean), and the crap that has gone down over the last eight years are fodder for a very sordid, B rated cheapo movie about dysfunction, but she's got the "power".

i do have a dog in this fight in that the colt we bought from our trainer has some stipulations in his purchase contract in regards to her support of his training progress over the next 18 months. the other thing that worries me just a "little bit" is that i have the feeling he's so financially strapped that he might do something completely irrational, like torch the barn.

so i'm writing this out of frustration at a situation that has gotten so far out of hand for so many bizarre and silly reasons with consequences for us that i needed to vent. if you read the whole thing i hope this never happens to you. it's beyond stupid by far.

hopefully our lawyer friend will come to some conclusions and soon, but it's true that the atmosphere afterward might feel a little "poisoned" which i find a real shame.

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It sounds to me like you have a couple of choices. Make him an offer he can't refuse to buy the property or find somewhere else to go.

I think I would move my animals into my home with me before I would leave them vulnerable to someone that might torch the barn. I'd sell them to the first reasonalbe person that made me an offer before I would risk that.

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Totally agree with this ^. People that are desperate will resort to anything. Envy is just as dangerous. I would rather be safe than right even if she has legal grounds. Don't know if you have ever heard of "The Sandman",(Tommy Burns) but he was a hire to kill very valuable show horses for insurance gains. I actually knew someone that was in such dire straights financially they hired him to kill a horse that was on the show circuit. I never in my wildest imagination would have suspected this person to do this. You just never know what some people are capable of .

Edited by Floridacracker

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we've thought about moving out several times over the last couple of years due to this kind of nonsense, but the situation always stabilized (BO and the toxic girlfriend would break up for a while). we can't have the horses at home because we don't have the facilities or acreage and there is no barn around here that has the living conditions for the horses that this one has.

my husband is of course NOT at home (he's never at home when there's a crisis), rather on a sailboat someplace off the turkish coast where cell and internet reception is iffy. the colt belongs to him, so it would be more accurate to say that HE has a dog in this fight.

my horse is the only one at risk should the BO really flip out and do something monumentally stupid. the indoor arena, stallion and guest boxes which are attached are made out of wood and that's where the round bales are stored. he's a gelding but lives there because after trial and error it's what worked out the best for everyone involved.

i appreciate your taking the time to read this ladies. i'm hunkering down to see what happens in the next 24 hours. i can''t make any decisions anyway until my husband gets back on saturday.

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I hope this all gets worked out safely nick. I would be neurotic, I hate waiting around!

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that's why i'm venting. so "I" don't do something irrational. (haha)

the only thing in our favor is that there have been enough witnesses to the BO's frankly shocking behavior that if it should ever get to court there won't be too many (if any) witnesses for the defense.

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Be interesting to hear the other side of the story... the trainer just might owe the money and has had previous notices and is playing innocent because she has lawyers for friends.. seen it many times. Trainer thinks stalls are free because they do a few favors for the BO and they think because they are there, people rent stalls there and pay the big bucks... Trainers think the facility is free to run their business out of while the BO takes it in the shorts while what started out as one stall plus a percentage of the trainers income.. has grown to four stalls and the payments don't seem to be making back to the BO. Some trainers do have big egos....

I suppose your friend has a contract with this owner to stall her 4 horses there and to run her business out of the Barn? Sometimes money can make people appear like they are crazy especially when they have reached they end of their rope. I would be looking for a new barn though if there is this much drama and if you say he is conniving , then what makes you think he won't do something to your horses when he finds out you have been helping the trainer?

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i agree with you AD. that's why the lawyers and the documents need to come in to play. on BOTH sides. there is too much "he said", "she said" and a lot of stuff that was agreed to and not written down. i KNOW that's part of what is going down. on the other hand,, when the trainer extends the hand to say i'll pay what i owe you, but i want an itemized blll and he refuses. for me that's a business FAIL. and i was a witness.

crap.

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Hi Nick

Is there any way your trainer could re locate to a more rational , stable barn?

As you know, irrational impulses, based on mental instability can go 'south' in a

minute, and it is best never to live in 'hostage' of those posibilities

I'll give you one example. My son, when still with his better half, was very good friends with a mutual friend of theirs who had money , expensive cutting horses and a nice arena, where they often rode, and kept a horse at times, during the winter.

Well,the hubby went off of his meds, and was sure my son and his wife were having a three some with their trainer. TV commercials 'spoke' to him of those facts! Scary situation!

My son got his horse the **** out of there. The husband since has stabilized, but both his marriage and friendships suffered

This is not a rant against supporting someone with mental issues, but the fact that mental instabilities are very nebulous, and can suddenly have that person, through no fault of their own, commit an irrational act that can hurt you, or what/who you care for, my suggestion to to support/help them from a distance, while ensuring any collateral damage to your horses is not possible

Ie, get you horses out of there

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hi smilie,

we can relocate two geldings, but the colt is still a colt. the trainer has four stallions that are studs, and she rides in shows and earns income that way as well. it is very difficult to find a barn that is set up to house five stallions around here.

our friend who is a senior partner with a law firm specializing in contracts will look at the documents and give his opinion from a legal standpoint.

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it's always good to wait it out a bit when the bogeys come in. "it's always darkest before the dawn."

lawyers, especially BIG GUNS can scare the CRAP out of bad actors. but yes, we have to be prepard for the worst, but i always hope for the best.

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With all the warning you have had, and being (I thought) a reasonably intelligent person, WHY are you still there?

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Agreed that moving ASAP is about the only logical solution, no matter how inconvenient or substandard any "new" accommodations might be... temporarily. I'm sure a lawyer may have some useful ideas.

I would not just sit back and hope for the best. If this was a situation I found myself in the first thing I would do is print and anonymously send a copy of the "rant" (a.k.a. "concerns") to the owner AND the local authorities and make certain the owner understands the authorities know what's going on even if they can't do anything about it... yet. That may give the owner pause about considering torching the place if he knows the authorities have been alerted to the possibility/probability/potential of arson and fraud. There may even be enough evidence floating around to substantiate conspiracy to commit fraud if they look into it. What's the worst that could happen if you make him suspect? He'll get mad and throw everyone out? In my book that beats living in fear of my horses being burned alive.

No matter what happens, it sounds like the clock is winding down on that facility very quickly. I definitely suggest you secure the safety of your horses before you openly or surreptitiously take sides and/or action. ~FH

Edited by FloridaHorseman

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thank you for all the feedback. due to previous reconnoitering i know what our options are, but as i said i can't make any decisions until my husband is home on saturday. we did manage to email late last night, and he recommended we hang tight at least until he gets home and our lawyer friend has a chance to review the documents.

it has felt a little like sitting on a ticking bomb, so to get away from all this wierdness could prove to be a huge relief despite compromising on other fronts.

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Your husband controls his horse. You control yours.

Your a rational human with a very strong gut feeling that this BO is going to do something very bad, very soon.

Find an Excuse and Move Your Horse.

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i don't need any excuse, but my husband and i are a team when it comes to our animals and the contracts we have between us, (always, always written) i'm being vigilant but relaxed, and so are the neighbors. it's all good for the moment. and that's fine. thanks for checking in.

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the trainer and barn owner restructed the operating agreement, our attorney friend put all terms and conditions into a contract and had it notarized. things seem to have stabilized considerably, especially after i showed up at the barn at 1 pm one day and found the entire stallion barn ankle deep in manure and read the BO the riot act. that's not what MY contract says. thank you for asking.

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No problem, glad things are better. Sometimes I wonder if keeping a horse at a good facility with access to indoor arenas and whatnot would notbe a better option.

Then I read things like this.

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