The current manager of Little Red Stables (a.k.a. Bear Creek at Estes), Cat Brantz, kicked me out on 8 hours' notice at the end of August 2008. Now that I've come forward with the facts, she is threatening me with legal action.
It is my opinion that people have a right to know how this particular business conducts itself, so that they can make informed decisions about whether to board at this barn.
I started boarding at this barn back in December of 2007, when Karen Wiens managed it. The owners of the property, Gregg Hartmann and another neighbor whose name I don't remember, refused to renew her lease when it was up on July 31, and took over Little Red Stables on August 1. Cat Brantz replaced Karen as manager.
I had made an arrangement with Cat Brantz where I cleaned stalls daily in exchange for board. It clearly states on my contract that cleaning stalls was my job and my only job. On August 31, Cat texted me at 7:30 in the morning to request that I help her with "musical stalls" (moving horses around) at the barn. I asked a couple of questions, discovered she was going to move a horse she didn't seem to like out of his stall without his owner's permission. I knew his owner would be upset, and furthermore moving horses was not my job, so I declined to help her.
When I got to the barn around 9:30 a.m., Cat Brantz gave me notice that I would have to leave in 2 weeks. She also threatened that if I caused trouble, she'd make it less. Since the contract stated she had to give 2 weeks notice, I argued this point with her. She ended up telling me I had to move my horse by 5:00 p.m. that day. I don't remember exactly what time this was at, but it was definitely no more than 8 hours' notice.
It turns out the contract states that they can request someone to leave immediately if it's "related to operation of the facility." To me, that doesn't sound like it covers disagreements and personal dislikes, but it's rather vague and that should have sounded warnings in my head when I first read the contract. Next time I know better.
Anyone who has horses knows that it is extremely difficult to find transportation AND a place to board your horse at the last minute. Commercial barns all require a recent vet check before you can move your horse there. So needless to say, I had to scramble to find a place for my horse by 5 p.m. If I couldn't find a place, Cat Brantz threatened to have a transportation company come and get him.
I don't want other people to have to go through this same thing with Little Red Stables, but for a long time the experience was too painful to write about it. However, in the last week I noticed Little Red Stables was advertising on Craigslist. I posted a response that said this:
"Before you board at this barn, you should know that the new manager, Cat Brantz (NOT Karen Wiens!), kicked me out with only 8 hours' notice -- over a DISAGREEMENT. Do you know how difficult it is to find transportation and a place for your horse in 8 hours???
At the very least, read the contract carefully. It contains a loophole that permits them to do this! All they have to do is claim that the reason is "related to operation of the facility." It's in the first paragraph! Don't overlook it -- I wouldn't wish what I went through on my worst enemy!"
This afternoon I received a voice message from Cat Brantz saying that my post had been "handed off to the attorneys" for "slander."
I have the right to free speech as long as I am not spreading lies about a company. Everything that I said in my Craigslist post and in this report is the truth, and I have all of the documentation necessary to prove this.
I personally feel that potential boarders have a right to know how Little Red Stables and Cat Brantz conduct themselves. Using a loophole in the contract to kick someone out on short notice is bad enough, but now they are also trying to strongarm me into keeping quiet about it. I feel that people need to know about this kind of behavior so that they can ask themselves if this is really the kind of place where they want to board their horses.