Thursday, October 28, 2010

!@#$, !@#$, !@#$!!!

Today was one of those days.

Actually, today was THE DAY.

I woke up an hour late and looked like I was hit by a car since I had about 10 minutes to get out the door.

On my way to work I kept having this stupid black jeep changing lanes without using using his turn signal. At one point he seriously almost hit my car. I was pissed. I have horrible, horrible road rage. I know this, and it's why I don't own a standard anymore (I use to own a Mustang which I would drive like a bat out of hell when I got mad.) At one point he tried to cut me off again, but instead I wouldn't let him in. He proceeded to honk his horn and follow me to work. SO I drove around the block a few times, and decided worst comes to worst I'll just go to Tully's where the cop's do their morning paperwork. I didn't want to tell anyone off in front of 5 year old's. He eventually left me alone. I got to work pissed.

After I got to work I noticed I had a missed phone call, and a few text messages.

The first voice mail was from Warren. He left some rambling message about how he talked to the massage therapist and told her that it wasn't covered. I couldn't finish listening to it because I realized who the text messages were from.

Then it started....

She still expected me to pay for half her bill. She told me that is why horse owners carry liability insurance, for things like this and if my insurance won't cover it, then I should be responsible.

I flipped. I was in the middle of welcoming my class to school, but at this point I had to step out of the room.

I told her I am really sorry, but I do not feel that it is my responsibility to help with the bill. I feel bad you were hurt. I warned you, and there is a risk with horses. I think it is unprofessional to ask.

She asked me to give her my trainers phone number because she wanted to see if my trainer's insurance will cover it since it was her property. "I understand the risks, but that's why people have liability insurance and property to pay for things like this."

I told her, "That's why people (providers) carry insurance. There is the WA state law regarding horse care. It's not her property she rents the barn. I assume when I hire a professional that they have taken the necessary steps."

UGH!!!!! I was freaking out the entire day. Am I wrong?? I really don't think I am wrong.

I've gone from frustrated to pissed. I know several people now who won't use her services. I could be a huge bitch and post her name, but I won't do that.

**Edit** I posted this in the comments, but wanted to clear up any miss understanding. I guess I just assume what is in my head is clearly written here. I am not good at explaining things sometimes!! **

Denali doesn't have a "kicking problem" but she has kicked in the past when she's been scared or she felt threatened.

Obviously if she kicked all the time, or even enough to make me think it was a problem, I would have NEVER had someone work on her. I'm not irresponsible.

However, since she has kicked out (to my knowledge) 4 times at people. 3 times at me and once at the vet when we were working on her legs. I will ALWAYS say she kicks because I can't ever say that she won't. One time she kicked at me I scared her, another time she kicked me when I was cleaning her feet, but I caught her foot (and we fixed that problem) and one she was eating, and I made sure that it NEVER would happen again. I blogged about our "discussion" somewhere on this blog, but hell if I can find it! (Kicking horses, different story.... that's never in the barn and always in a herd situation.)

I keep her in the cross ties with people walking around her, and she's fine. HOWEVER, they have all been warned, and reminded that they need to let her know that they are there. She is always fine, even when they don't warn her, but I am always nervous.

This time I think it was grabbing the lump on her leg with her face a foot away that did it. :( (After I said, "That lump is sore, so be careful.")

( I guess I wanted to clear up that Denali doesn't have a "kicking problem" but she does kick. I think a problem is something that happens more than 4-5 times over 2 years.)

21 comments:

in2paints said...

I would never tolerate a kicking horse, but if I had one, I'm not sure I'd have anyone working on her in a way that might put them at risk until I had the kicking issues "fixed". That's just me...

But, if I did have someone come out and work on her, I'd warn them, and then let them make the decision as to whether they wanted to continue or stop. Since you told her Denali kicks, and she decided to go to work anyway (and work carelessly from what you said), I would say she's responsible for her own bill. If you hadn't told her, then that might be a different story.

Heck, even if you hadn't told her, horses do unpredictable things. It's odd (and not smart) that she works around horses without insurance.

I hope this all passes for you soon!!

Now That's A Trot! said...

Yes, that's VERY unprofessional!

It would be one thing if she got hurt and you OFFERED to pay for half of her bills... But ultimately, it's her responsibility to insure herself. Speaking as someone who got hurt (not directly horse-related) when I didn't have insurance, it SUCKS, but that's the risk you take when you're uninsured.

Denali's Mom said...

Denali doesn't have a "kicking problem" but she has kicked in the past when she's been scared or she felt threatened.

Obviously if she kicked all the time, or even enough to make me think it was a problem, I would have NEVER had someone work on her. I'm not irresponsible.

However, since she has kicked out (to my knowledge) 4 times at people. 3 times at me and once at the vet when we were working on her legs. I will ALWAYS say she kicks because I can't ever say that she won't.

I keep her in the cross ties with people walking around her, and she's fine. HOWEVER, they have all been warned, and reminded that they need to let her know that they are there. She is always fine.

I think it was grabbing the lump on her leg with her face a foot away that did it. :(

( I guess I wanted to clear up that Denali doesn't have a "kicking problem" but she does kick. I think a problem is something that happens more than 4 times over 2 years.)

Megan said...

You are not wrong- if you were legally liable, then your insurance company would be paying her! You wrote something about how paying her changed things- does that mean that paying her made you not liable in the eyes of your insurance, or made them not responsible for covering you? If worst comes to worst, she could try to sue you for her bills...but she'd have to pay for a lawyer out of pocket, which she probably doesn't have the money for, then pay your legal bills when she loses. She's just trying to bully you now. You did exactly the right thing- you had liability to cover you if you were liable. You weren't liable, so you're insurance won't cover it. In what magical land does that mean you're going to pay the money out of pocket now?! Ugh, you really should post her name, as I wouldn't want anyone else to be put in a crappy situation like yours due to this girl's poor horse sense and unprofessional behavior.

Trainers who have worked with me in the past have asked me if my horse kicks. My answer is always "He isn't known to." I'd never say that he's not a kicker, because ANY horse can become a kicker in the right situation. Four times in two years isn't what I'd call a kicking "problem." I've seen the sweetest, kindest, most dead broke oldies double-barrel cheeky horses in the pasture, or kick out when they are hurt. Any person who claims to be an equine professional, ESPECIALLY a massage therapist, should always be on guard. Even if it was your horse, it was her mistake. Seriously, grabbing her hurt leg with her face a foot away? Come on!

Denali's Mom said...

To people who see Denali all the time I tell them she's not a kicker, but that she has kicked. (although to people who work on her and don't know her, I just say "kicker" because it's better to be safe than sorry.)

My insurance said, "Since she was a hired professional she knows the risks involved in the job." That's a synopsis, but you get the idea.

Pretty much if Denali would break loose and run someone over it would be covered.

Snowhawk Przhevalsky said...

"Since she was a hired professional she knows the risks involved in the job."

Like I said before, she should have KNOWN this. You are not responsible for -her- lack of insurance.

Kate said...

Any horse can kick, any time, even one that has never kicked or threatened to kick before. Any good professional knows this, and knows to get to know a horse before doing anything that could put them in the danger zone. All equine professionals should also carry their own insurance.

Karen said...

Yup, I agree with the others. This lady is just trying to bully you ... or maybe guilt trip you into paying half her bills. If you were legally obligated, the insurance would cover it.

Mare said...

I talked in depth to my father, the lawyer, and in his opinion (just his opinion...this is in no way a guarantee) you should in no ways be liable UNLESS for some reason you proved to be negligent, which it sounds like you weren't in anyway. You hired her to do a job, and when she accepted the job, she accepted the inherent risks of equine activities.

The only way you could have been possibly liable is like you said (as an example) if Denali broke free and and ran-over a random bystander. But then again, that person who got hurt would probably have to prove that you were again negligent and therefore could have done something different to prevent the accident...

So, my point is, I don't believe it's your responsibility to pay her bill.

Hope you don't have to deal with all of this for too much longer!!!

Muddy K said...

This woman, who chooses to work as a "professional" in the horse industry, must be assumed to understand the inherent risks. End of the story. No insurance company will pay out if they don't have to, but they do have to perform due diligence before deciding not to pay. Clearly, they found her at fault. And she is. Even if you had not told her about Denali, she, like any farrier, or vet, etc., had a duty to ask about the horse before beginning her work.

Either way, the situation is gnarly and likely will bother you for a little while. Try not to let it take up too much of your head space, though. I'm sorry it happened, but it's just not on you.

This all reminds me of the idiot trainer who Scout spectacularly threw one day. For half a second, that trainer tried to ask me whether I would pay for her X-rays. Half a second. The look on my face stopped her dead, the look that said, "Wow, sometimes it's rough to be a trainer, huh?"

Hang in there.

Denali's Mom said...

Dear Blog Followers:

I heart you.

Love, Me

Drillrider said...

Found this, hope it helps:

http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stuswast4_24_530.htm

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Did you call the parent of the child that bit you and ask for some coverage?? I think not.
You are in the right. :)

Miles On Miles said...

Wow...she has some nerve and YES, she is being a bully at this point.

She needs to suck it up, LEARN from this, get herself insured and move on.

At a certain point (if she continues trying to text or contact you), I would send her something to the effect of you've stated your position, it isn't changing and you will no longer be conversing with her on this matter. It sucks, but you have to be firm sometimes.

Good luck!! Thanks for posting your ordeal, too...I think it's a really good lesson for owners and people who work with horses.

Marissa said...

You know, I've been avoiding commenting on this since I'm a lawyer and I'm always worried about saying something that could be perceived as legal advice over the internet, but removing my lawyer hat for a moment and speaking purely as a horse owner.... She's a professional working with animals that are inherently unpredictable, very big, and potentially dangerous. She should be carrying her own insurance, period. As soon as she went anywhere near your horse, she assumed the risk that she could potentially get hurt. Once you provided the warning, she arguably assumed an even greater risk because she proceeded anyway. If I were in the same situation, I would tell her that I feel very badly about her injuries but that I can't afford to pay half of her bills, and suggest that she get herself covered by professional insurance in the future. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. It's a shame when someone that we've paid for a service acts so unprofessionally.

Becky said...

I like how she his making herself to be the victim here when it sounds like the shoe is on the other foot now. I am certain she has found herself in a VERY uncomfortable position now - both physically and financially. That being said, when she made the CHOICE not to carry her own insurance, she assumed that risk. You did everything a responsible horse owner should. You warned her & YOU carried YOUR insurance in the case YOU were deemed negligent. Guess what? This isn't YOUR fault or problem. Now why do you have to pay in the form of stress, frustration, and time for HER stupid mistake? Why do you have to be harassed for HER mistake? Sounds like you've become the victim in this whole situation, not her. You did everything you had to/should do. Heck, I don't think most people would have bothered to even mention the kicking thing given it's rarity. You did NOTHING wrong. Denali did NOTHING wrong - she acted the way any horse in discomfort would act. SHE made a choice and now SHE is paying for it.

Becky said...

Grrrr! Okay the more I think about this the more it irritates me. Not to get on my soap box here but that's the EXACT problem with a lot of Americans. That "it'll never happen to me" attitude. But when something DOES go wrong, and they aren't prepared... they expect someone else to take care of it for them. She needs to realized she is not ENTITLED - she has to pay into the system like everyone else if she wants her medical bills covered or she needs to pay out of pocket when something happens. Welcome to the real world! Ugh!

in2paints said...

I'm sorry! I didn't mean to imply that Denali has a kicking problem. You mentioned in your initial post that "Denali does kick, but it isn't a daily thing", so I thought she was more prone to kicking when she was upset or in pain than just the couple times you mentioned here.

You are definitely not in the wrong to refuse to pay for half of her ER bill. As was mentioned before, all horses have the potential to kick, so she should definitley carry her own insurance.

Even the insurance company says you're not at fault, so you have no responsibility to her ER bills.

Rebecca said...

She is just being a jerk now. I hope this doesn't turn into a long, drawn out thing that will bother you for much longer. As someone else said, time to be polite but firm about her bothering you. Good luck. :(

Denali's Mom said...

No worries In2paints. I just wanted to clear it up for anyone new to my blog. :) she sounds like a nasty mare if you JUST started reading it this week.

Anonymous said...

You are totally in the right, given equine liability law and the fact that she, as a so-called professional, needs to carry her own insurance.

If she calls/contacts you again, I would politely repeat your stance then let her know that you do not want to be contacted by her again. If she keeps contacting you after THAT, let her know that you will be contacting the cops and letting them know that you're being harassed. She shouldn't be contacting you, period.