There’s nothing more important or valuable than time and integrity. Time spent, time given, hired time, and donated time. Integrity – walk our talk and talk our walk – stand behind what we feel, speak and do. The next valuable items on my list are the following: trust, honesty, respect, truth, wisdom, humility, courage…
When we are asked or are hired to share our time to do a job to help someone, this signifies a working relationship. The responsibilities lie with both parties, for clear communication, for teamwork. for giving our all to get the job done to the greatest good for all. This is especially important when others have tried, solutions did not occur, and problems still exist. That typically is where the entrepreneur comes in to play who has a huge overflowing toolbox to make a difference, to get the job done, to make it better. What’s also really important in this scenario is past history, a trend, a pattern.
The reason I bring this up now, is Feb 2019, I was hired to perform ‘equine body work’ based on my ‘equine partnered bodywork’ business. My focus for the last 19 years has been to master everything possible about horses; their needs, their spirit, our brain differences, their bodies – anatomy – how they work and how to help when something no longer works. I’ve studied responses, restrictions, their personalities, communicating with learning styles, feeling their comfort levels – analyzing their communication to humans and listening to their hearts to the best my ability. I’ve studied end-of-life care and scenarios of how to help in this regard. Beyond the innate skills I was gifted with, I’ve developed and honed the other skills I used in ways to connect with horses that are beyond most people’s interest and abilities. When I say ‘I understand’ – this is based on science, intuition, education, experience, love, respect and truth.
“I am deeply passionate about this work and
the high standards I hold myself to”.
The employer – an ‘equine rescue and recreation’ facility, has over 40 horses, backgrounds include sport, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or needing help the previous owner could or would not give. Rescue horses have the most diverse and complicated lives with layers of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues to unravel. The horses get vet care, chiropractic, the whole bit… what was missing was equine bodywork to aid in comfort of what was not being addressed… this is my specialty and I’ve had successes when all else has failed.
The horse’s sessions were profound and I hold each horse in my heart. Many days were below zero, fortunately I have a vast toolbox where we can still make progress even with full coats on in deep snow. For the first month the experience was amazing. What came next was the ‘snotty nose and cough’ virus that started with some horses, a few horses were allowed to run in a large area that surrounded the paddocks, and with this set up, the viruses spread to the whole herd. What came next for the inexperienced employer was a snowball effect. When the weather warmed up, coats came off too late resulting in skin issues; the snow melted, the mud became overwhelming and lakes appeared, leaving horses standing in ice, water, mud. Experienced horse owners plan and prepare for success in all these areas ahead of time. It is easy to be caught off guard the first year but after proper correction, not thereafter…
Doing work with horses, I see patterns in communication. One horse can feel discomfort and blame the caregiver who points out areas they need to address for their own health – usually these horses have been trained to not listen to their instincts. Where another horse will go internal with their discomfort and find a way to release that tension because they feel better… they are still able to listen to their own body and take responsibility for their self-care. Lead mares have a hard time showing discomfort or weakness because vulnerability can mean death. Regardless of the pattern, the relationship piece I focus on first is trust between us both.
We see these patterns with people as well. Someone may ‘self elevate’ themselves thinking they can do everything better than anyone, while blaming everyone else – for the way they think and the things they choose to do to solve problems. Fortunately, I saw everyones’ hard work and only heard her criticism of their efforts, before her behavior came flying at me. ‘This is a trend she does’ states other professionals in the community. Above and beyond all else – it is not legal to withhold pay when services have been given.
Being a property owner in the valley since 1990, I am a part of a tight community here of horse owners, healers, bodyworkers, veterinarians, trainers, caregivers… Many are friends and colleagues in this ‘small town’ (vs LA, Calif), we honor each other’s perspective and our relationships because of the interdependency of needs in the horse world.
Non payment is troubling yet all too common. It rips teams and communities apart, and is senseless because all that is needed is communication, attention spent asking for and getting what is wanted, respect and trust… The point it is, we all are trying to help horses, we are all passionate about our businesses, our investment in time, our honor, our dignity and our word. Blatant disregard is unacceptable in the professional world and especially unacceptable when so many precious lives are kept in holding facilities where their voices are not being heard.
Respectable business behavior includes stating what you want others to do for you when you’re paying them for their time. In order for success – discussion must take place in a team setting through conflicts and misunderstandings.
- The employer / business owner who hires others, must pay attention to progress being made and to ask and answer questions that arise.
- The service provider will NOT teach you their business practices, they WILL teach you what you are capable of doing yourself for supporting the horse in between sessions and will provide the service that is beyond the employers capability.
Yes – there are many legal pathways in place for the service provider to gain payment due when the employer is negligent.
- I incorporated this knowledge, filed a complaint with Small Claims court as the amount was under $7,000. Documentation was served via a collection agency to the employer, business owner. A trial date was set. At trial, I submitted my documentation and won a judgement in small claims court.
- Then I re-hired the collection agency to file a “Writ of Execution” to collect the judgement awarded. This collection agency does the full collection process, which will include seizing assets if needed, until the judgement is met.
- Interest of 8.5% and payment for collection services, & seizing assets will be collected and paid for by the Employer.
- This process will be on public record for this Employer personally and her 2 businesses, as well as publicly on record and available via search in multiple places.
Do your research before you hire someone or before someone hires you!
Yes – being a business owner, a teacher, a horsewoman in this town I am dedicated to share knowledge, experience, and achieve the right outcome based on actions taken by all parties. Communication, kindness and intent for success for all parties is my goal.