Paying for damage when leaving yard

Joined
2 March 2017
Messages
6
Hello,

I recently decided to move yards after being at current yard a couple of years, handed my notice in and settled final bill. The YO asked me to fix a stable door as my horse had kicked the shock absorber and broken it. They gave me the option to do it myself and I said I would. I didn’t rush to do it as I didn’t want my horse to break it again. Last weekend YO has a go at me for not having done it already and says that instead of nailing a patch over the hole, she wants me to take the nails out of the door and replace the MDF that’s broken. Excessive, but I agree. I come up with my tape measure the next day to measure it and she says she’ll sort it and bill me. I said but we agreed I’d fix it - she ignores me. I come up the next day and they’ve literally nailed a spare piece of wood over the hole and she wants me to pay £40. I think this is totally outrageous, as my partner could have done this in 10 mins for free and that’s what we had agreed in the first place. Not sure how to proceed, don’t want to fall out, but equally don’t want to have to hand over money for this cheap fix. Sorry it’s long but it’s so frustrating! Any thoughts?
 

Shysmum

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13 February 2010
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8,873
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France
My Yard Owner in North Yorkshire, once forced me to pay her £2 for two bolts to fix my wheelbarrow. Which I had expressly TOLD NO ONE to use, yet they broke the bolts using it anyway. Yes I was bullied too. Yorkshire Hunt Master eat your heart out. £2 ??? For a barrow that was not yours to let others use and was private property? AND I DID NOT ASK YOU TO FIX ??? Bully.🤷‍♀️ And my beloved Barrow is still in daily use here in the Creuse, France, on my own yard 😉
 
Last edited:

ILuvCowparsely

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Joined
5 April 2010
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12,963
Hello,

I recently decided to move yards after being at current yard a couple of years, handed my notice in and settled final bill. The YO asked me to fix a stable door as my horse had kicked the shock absorber and broken it. They gave me the option to do it myself and I said I would. I didn’t rush to do it as I didn’t want my horse to break it again. Last weekend YO has a go at me for not having done it already and says that instead of nailing a patch over the hole, she wants me to take the nails out of the door and replace the MDF that’s broken. Excessive, but I agree. I come up with my tape measure the next day to measure it and she says she’ll sort it and bill me. I said but we agreed I’d fix it - she ignores me. I come up the next day and they’ve literally nailed a spare piece of wood over the hole and she wants me to pay £40. I think this is totally outrageous, as my partner could have done this in 10 mins for free and that’s what we had agreed in the first place. Not sure how to proceed, don’t want to fall out, but equally don’t want to have to hand over money for this cheap fix. Sorry it’s long but it’s so frustrating! Any thoughts?
Maybe if you had fixed it when you said you would the Y/o would have been happy. You did say you did not rush to fix it, too late now
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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12,963
From the post they didn't say when they were going to fix it?
true, but as a Y/O I would not want to see damaged done, and those responsible not doing it in a respectable time. I would have though, asked them after 2 weeks when they were going to fix the break cadge and given them a set time to do it or warn them I would do it and charge them. After all why should something of the Y/O which was not broken before, stay broken as the culprit was not in a rush to make good what their horse did. That is me though, if my horses damage something I fix asap, for example one of my livery horses has got a condition where she has been rubbing my fencing, and broken a few rails and rubbed on many, they asked me if I need help fixing, I said(as in contract you break it you fix or replace) in a polite way, the mum and daughter we both out there last night replacing the broken rails and fixing the knocked down ones. That is what i would do, and have done in past.
 
Joined
2 March 2017
Messages
6
true, but as a Y/O I would not want to see damaged done, and those responsible not doing it in a respectable time. I would have though, asked them after 2 weeks when they were going to fix the break cadge and given them a set time to do it or warn them I would do it and charge them. After all why should something of the Y/O which was not broken before, stay broken as the culprit was not in a rush to make good what their horse did. That is me though, if my horses damage something I fix asap, for example one of my livery horses has got a condition where she has been rubbing my fencing, and broken a few rails and rubbed on many, they asked me if I need help fixing, I said(as in contract you break it you fix or replace) in a polite way, the mum and daughter we both out there last night replacing the broken rails and fixing the knocked down ones. That is what i would do, and have done in past.
The damage was done’ last winter, she only asked me to repair it when I handed my notice in a few weeks ago.
 

PapaverFollis

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13 November 2012
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7,095
We had this when we left a yard. It was wear and tear, just worn stable boards and two where our horse had kicked them. Those did need replaced for function (thought they'd been happy to let our horse continue living in it as was....) but the others it was purely cosmetic. We were happy to pay for the two but the others were just aged. Apparently we could have contested it because the onus would have been on the yard to prove it was damaged during the time we had the box. We knew they didn't have that proof. It was over a hundred pounds they were wanting, maybe even a bit more than two hundred....

We wrote a cheque for just the boards we thought we owed and another cheque for the difference up to what they thought we owed. We wrote a letter outlining the legal advice we had had but also expressing our disappointment that after such a long time on the yard (pushing 10 years for MrPF) they felt they couldn't come to a compromise etc etc. We told them we were grateful for our time on the yard and hoped they would consider only cashing the cheque for the boards we owed. We left both cheques and the letter when we left. I've expressed what was in the letter clumsily, it was all said in a nice way.

Anyway they cashed both the cheques.

So it didn't work financially 😕 but it did feel like we'd done the right thing.

I'd probably pay up and get out in your situation. Just because these days I'm not sure I could work up the energy for the argument.
 
Joined
2 March 2017
Messages
6
We had this when we left a yard. It was wear and tear, just worn stable boards and two where our horse had kicked them. Those did need replaced for function (thought they'd been happy to let our horse continue living in it as was....) but the others it was purely cosmetic. We were happy to pay for the two but the others were just aged. Apparently we could have contested it because the onus would have been on the yard to prove it was damaged during the time we had the box. We knew they didn't have that proof. It was over a hundred pounds they were wanting, maybe even a bit more than two hundred....

We wrote a cheque for just the boards we thought we owed and another cheque for the difference up to what they thought we owed. We wrote a letter outlining the legal advice we had had but also expressing our disappointment that after such a long time on the yard (pushing 10 years for MrPF) they felt they couldn't come to a compromise etc etc. We told them we were grateful for our time on the yard and hoped they would consider only cashing the cheque for the boards we owed. We left both cheques and the letter when we left. I've expressed what was in the letter clumsily, it was all said in a nice way.

Anyway they cashed both the cheques.

So it didn't work financially 😕 but it did feel like we'd done the right thing.

I'd probably pay up and get out in your situation. Just because these days I'm not sure I could work up the energy for the argument.
God that's awful! It's frustrating when you've spent thousands upon thousands over the years and they insist on leaving it on a bad note at the end.
 
Joined
2 March 2017
Messages
6
Thanks for the advice and feedback. I need to sleep on it as am too angry to deal with them RN. My parents said to bill them £40 for the time my partner spent measuring the door and ordering wood, but I'm not sure I've the brass neck! :)
 

Auslander

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Berkshire
That's pretty weird of the YO. I have it written into my contracts that fixing any major damage is the responsibility of the livery, but Id prefer them to fix any damage that isn't hazardous as close as possible to their leaving date, to minimise the risk of the horse doing it again. I don't mind liveries fixing damage themselves, as long as they don't do a bodge job, but it's easier to do it properly myself and take money off their deposit.
I haven't actually invoked the damages clause yet - although there have been a few incidences where I probably should have!
 

little_critter

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20 June 2009
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3,398
true, but as a Y/O I would not want to see damaged done, and those responsible not doing it in a respectable time. I would have though, asked them after 2 weeks when they were going to fix the break cadge and given them a set time to do it or warn them I would do it and charge them. After all why should something of the Y/O which was not broken before, stay broken as the culprit was not in a rush to make good what their horse did. That is me though, if my horses damage something I fix asap, for example one of my livery horses has got a condition where she has been rubbing my fencing, and broken a few rails and rubbed on many, they asked me if I need help fixing, I said(as in contract you break it you fix or replace) in a polite way, the mum and daughter we both out there last night replacing the broken rails and fixing the knocked down ones. That is what i would do, and have done in past.
Wish our YO would have this attitude. Rats have gnawed holes in my horses stable wall (wooden stable). I mentioned it a year or so ago and they said they'd fix it. I asked again at the beginning of lockdown 1 (March) thinking they have the whole of summer to fix it while the horses are turned out 24/7. I asked again in October...still not done. But I bet if I sort it out myself I'll get told off for taking things into my own hands.
YO is also good at trying to pin old damage on you because they don't check stables when people move out. I've had broken bits pointed out to me and told my horse did the damage. I've pointed out in return that it's obviously an old break because they've creosoted over it!
 

Sossigpoker

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286
For the sake of £40 I'd be the bigger person and pay up. It sounds like a communication issue - I try and leave with my head held high so I would just pay.
 
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I'm a YO and so perhaps see this differently.........

What was in your livery contract?? IF the contract says that you the livery must make good any damage done, then yes you must do that. However the vast majority of livery contracts do not state HOW and BY WHOM this must be done!!

(Perhaps it would be better for contracts to stipulate that if there is any damage then a professional repairer/fencer will be called in to make the damage good and the livery will be required to pay! That would make things a lot easier!!).

The problem here seems to be that you have obviously tried your best to effect a decent repair - and, thinking that your horse may cause more damage, have left it to the last thing; however your YO doesn't feel what you have done/endeavoured to do, is acceptable??

It is a difficult one, and a situation which I really feel would be difficult to resolve.

But my feelings are that YOUR horse has caused the damage and that as a YO I would expect a livery to make-good any damage caused by their horse if that is what is in the contract. End of. If the YO isn't happy at the repair-job done, at the end of the day the YO has to be able to offer a good-quality stable to the next person who comes along and if a repair has had to be effected it needs to be of acceptable standard.

Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I am trying to give the other side of the argument.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I'm a YO and so perhaps see this differently.........

What was in your livery contract?? IF the contract says that you the livery must make good any damage done, then yes you must do that. However the vast majority of livery contracts do not state HOW and BY WHOM this must be done!!

(Perhaps it would be better for contracts to stipulate that if there is any damage then a professional repairer/fencer will be called in to make the damage good and the livery will be required to pay! That would make things a lot easier!!).

The problem here seems to be that you have obviously tried your best to effect a decent repair - and, thinking that your horse may cause more damage, have left it to the last thing; however your YO doesn't feel what you have done/endeavoured to do, is acceptable??

It is a difficult one, and a situation which I really feel would be difficult to resolve.

But my feelings are that YOUR horse has caused the damage and that as a YO I would expect a livery to make-good any damage caused by their horse if that is what is in the contract. End of. If the YO isn't happy at the repair-job done, at the end of the day the YO has to be able to offer a good-quality stable to the next person who comes along and if a repair has had to be effected it needs to be of acceptable standard.

Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I am trying to give the other side of the argument.

Would you not ensure that your charges included an element of covering repairs?
 

ester

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Hard to see that the repair isn't acceptable to the YO when it hadn't been done yet.

Did the YO express that they wanted it doing quick, as opposed to just before the livery was leaving? In the OP it expressly says that the YO 'gave me the option to do it myself '. If they wanted a pro-job they shouldn't have given that option.

Not sure why there seems to be an assumption that the OP wasn't going to make good from their posts.
 

PapaverFollis

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13 November 2012
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7,095
If I had to repair something my horse had damaged "before I left" I would also leave it until the horse was about to be or had been moved. Especially if they were likely to re-damage or put another dent in something else before I went. To avoid doing the work twice. I think OP was being perfectly reasonable. But perhaps there was a breakdown of communication about it with the YO.
 

neddy man

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By paying the £40 you avoid the current YO ringing the new YO and saying your horse damaged her stables and you would not repair or pay to make good the damage your horse had done.
 

Bonnie Allie

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Joined
11 June 2019
Messages
234
When your horse trashes something, address it immediately. Speak with YO as to how they want it fixed, but do it immediately.

They have charged you as they have zero confidence that you will fix it before you leave. You didn’t solve it, so they solved it for you.

Pay it.
 

honetpot

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27 July 2010
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6,651
Location
Cambridgeshire
I'm a YO and so perhaps see this differently.........

What was in your livery contract?? IF the contract says that you the livery must make good any damage done, then yes you must do that. However the vast majority of livery contracts do not state HOW and BY WHOM this must be done!!

(Perhaps it would be better for contracts to stipulate that if there is any damage then a professional repairer/fencer will be called in to make the damage good and the livery will be required to pay! That would make things a lot easier!!).

The problem here seems to be that you have obviously tried your best to effect a decent repair - and, thinking that your horse may cause more damage, have left it to the last thing; however your YO doesn't feel what you have done/endeavoured to do, is acceptable??

It is a difficult one, and a situation which I really feel would be difficult to resolve.

But my feelings are that YOUR horse has caused the damage and that as a YO I would expect a livery to make-good any damage caused by their horse if that is what is in the contract. End of. If the YO isn't happy at the repair-job done, at the end of the day the YO has to be able to offer a good-quality stable to the next person who comes along and if a repair has had to be effected it needs to be of acceptable standard.

Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I am trying to give the other side of the argument.
I would agree, but if the stables are made of MDF, it's not suitable for housing a horse. I have stables that must be twenty years old, Harlow and Lodden, the Harlow ones are faced with ply wood on the inside, the Lodden stables are hardwood planks. At some point something has tried to chew the planks and really not had much effect, superficial teeth marks.
A lot of the stables and stable doors I see advertised are made from very thin soft wood T&G planks, some even with domestic style garden gate hinges. If you are housing a 500kg+, animal you have to have equipment suitable for that animal.
 
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