I had a knot in my stomach this morning when I went to feed the horses. I knew I'd see the BO and I wasn't sure how he was going to react to my email, assuming he read it of course.
I was getting ready to clean Lilly's stall when he finally stopped by.
"Well" he said, "I'm sorry to see you go."
I sighed and told him I was also disappointed that it didn't work out, but I needed to find something that worked better for me and my horses.
"Do you mind telling me why?"
I thought to myself, "how much time ya got, buddy?" Instead I decided to keep everything civil and professional, and while I didn't lie, I kept the most controversial things to myself. I figure nothing good can come from venting, (other than making myself feel better) and I'm not one to burn bridges. So I simply told him that regular board wasn't working out for me for reasons he already knew, and co-op wasn't working either because of the cost and the time I have to commit each day. He seemed to understand, but was clearly disappointed.
While on the subject of costs I decided to share with him that I think he'd be better off raising his prices closer to the $300 mark but providing more food for the horses. I told him what other barns were charging and that he could easily get that price here, but he'd have to feed hay year round. He won't take my advice I'm sure, so he'll continue to lose boarders. He said he's had 25 boarders come and go from his place since he started just a few years ago.
Perhaps you should take another look at your business?
He said they have a trainer picked out to come into the barn for training and lessons. He has decided he also wants to do track-out camps for kids while they're tracked-out of school (we have year round here). He said he feels like people take advantage of him and he plans to toughen up... the poor guy is just in the wrong business. I hope he's successful, but I fear he's going to fail miserably.
Because my Dad raised me right, I'm going to honor the 30 day notice and pay for board through the 18th of February, but I'm moving the horses out on the 29th of this month. He'll owe me close to $200 once everything is settled and claims he'll have it for me before I go. I'm anxious to move on, and don't plan on looking back.
I did get a bit of bad news today, though. AJ's barn called and said the situation there has changed and she won't have room for him until March or April. I was all set and feeling good about my decision and now this...
Is it a sign?
Well, even if it is, it needs to come with a blank check because I can't pay what it would cost me to board two horses at Lilly's barn. So it looks like I'll have AJ with me for a month or two, and then I'll be moving him over to the other barn.
I was talking with my mom today about the whole situation and she said she thinks splitting them up is a bad idea. I won't get to see him every day if he's somewhere else, but I don't think I'll be at the barn every day once the horses are moved and Lilly gets the okay from the vet (please!!) anyway. I think it might work out better having them apart because if I'm at the barn to see AJ, I'm at the barn to see AJ. I might end up spending more time with him this way. I'm not sure... I'll have to see how it all works out. Adjustments can always be made.
10 days until the move!