Monday, July 9, 2007

The Count Down for an Arabian Breeder's Annual Open House Part 2

Part 1

There was no way the farrier was going to come to my house after he left my friend's farm. It was going to be way to late. He had horses to haul the next day and needed to be in Monroe early in the morning.

By now, I was seething but now wanting to make him made and have him hang me out to dry all together, I hung in there while he promised me he'd reschedule his Thursday appointment and come to my house instead. I'm just going to have to trust that he isn't going to let me down. He knows how important this open house is to me.

I've never had a problem like this with him before. He's been doing my horses for years. He is a great farrier and he's kind to the horses. I can understand why he would want to do the hauling if he can. It's better money and not as hard labor as shoeing horses. At our age easy is sometimes better.

I realize that it's new for him to be juggling his schedule hauling horses and doing his regular farrier work. I know from experience sometimes when you're doing something new, it can be easy to misjudge how long it's going to take you.

Unfortunately the problem with the farrier is not the only thing going wrong. The temperatures are soring and I have big problems with the heat. I've suffered serious heat stroke a couple of times in my life and have trouble keeping my temperature down when it elevates outside.

Normally the thing that saves me is our heat pump. I can work outside until I get too hot and then go in the house and cool down enough is half an hour to be able to get back to work. BUT our heat pump died! and it died big time. It had to be replaced and the company was booked up solid for weeks.

Luckily someone cancelled and the tech that was here had mercy on me and plugged us into that slot. We were able to get our installed two weeks ahead of schedule. They brought the unit out Friday and put the coolant in today so we're finally cooled down again.

I got sick from the heat a number of times last week so didn't even begin to get my clipping done. That and we had a big hay delivery that couldn't be postponed that took up another day I hadn't planned on. People from back east came out to look at a horse and my clippers died...again!

I bought these clippers the last time I sold a horse for decent money. They are cordless Litening by Laube. They are a smaller power packed clipper with state of the art lithium batteries. Normally, I don't look at items this expensive. I'm too afraid I'll make the investment and something will go wrong and I'll be stuck.

But I had the opportunity to use a pair of these clippers for my open house two years ago. They were amazing. The batteries charged in about ten minutes. Seemed to last much longer than the older version of Laube cordless clippers.

They are much lighter and quieter. Because they are cordless, they're really great to use on the young horses. Without that cord to work around, I didn't get the clippers knocked or pulled from my hands by a frightened horse. And the morning of my open house when I rise early to do a clean up clip on all the muzzles and bridle paths in the barn, there was no cord to mess with. The job took half the time.

So I was sold. First time I had enough money to buy these clippers I did. Wouldn't you know my pair would be a problem. When I first received them I couldn't get the batteries to charge and my charger overheated and melted.

I sent the unit back to Laube and they "replaced" the charger. Only when the clippers arrived the charger wasn't even in the box. They did get that rectified and I thought I was home free.

This was all last year, the year of the twins. The twins affected everything in my life including getting to use these clippers. So after the first charge and quick use to be sure everything worked, the clippers ended up back in their case and stayed there until my open house is Sept.

Then to my chagrin, the clippers didn't work. I was too busy to figure out what the problem with them was so I bluffed my way through my clipping with my old clippers that were on their last legs.

After the open house, I played around with the clippers some and came to the conclusion that they didn't wouldn't hold a charge for an extended period of time. I should have re-charged them before trying to use them. So once again I thought I was in the clear.

Then this winter I had another problem with them not working. Again I surmised I was doing something wrong. They didn't seem to hold a charge if it got really cold. Once recharged they worked fine.

But now that I'm back to clipping for my open house the clippers are not working again. They run for about three minutes or less and then they stop. Let them rest for an hour or so and they'll run another few minutes. Let them rest for 5 minutes and they might run for 30 seconds. I've finally come to the realization that the lithium batteries must be the problem.

I don't know if they were damaged by the charger that melted. Or if they are why the charger melted. All I know for sure is my warranty is long gone and my $500 clippers are toast!

Dave did some work on my dead 10 year old $100 clippers. So I'm limping along again with a sick pair of clippers. They get pretty hot, pretty fast so I have to let them cool down for at least an hour before I try to do another horse. But at least they're working!

To be continued............

Part 2

For the specific information on my open house visit my website, Rising Rainbow Arabians.

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  1. Man, you poor thing! If I lived closer I'd offer my services, but since I don't (and more's the pity!) may I offer you some advice regarding your misbehaving clippers?

    I've found that the power of a business letter can go a loooooong way! I suggest utilizing your wonderful command of the English language and writing an "I'm so sorry to have to inform you of my disappointment in your product" type letter to the company. Say pretty much everything you just posted, make a note of how you are an Arabian horse breeder who consistently shows, and how you were just soooo excited to buy their product... and now, of course, are so disappointed that it didn't work out for you and how you're just going to have to live with buying a better-functioning pair from another company. You, of course, are only doing this out of the goodness of your own heart, and your desire to let them know how their malfunctioning clippers might possibly be driving away other business than just your own, etc, etc, etc. The trick is to end the letter with some sort of a question that requires a response--- ask them about something, or for something, or whatever, which will force them to respond to you. Make sure you CC the copy to several different departments, as well as the president, or whatever. (The questioning and the CCing are the key details.)

    Why all this trouble? Well, I'd be willing to bet that they'll replace the clippers for free. Why? Because it's REALLY rare for people to actually follow through with complaining--- I remember reading a marketing fact where if a person has a good experience they may tell one or two people, but if they have a bad experience they'll tell an average of 11. And of all these conversations, almost NONE of them actually make it to the ears of the company, who would LOVE the feedback.

    Anyways, I highly recommend the business letter (letter, not email), because if you make it politely informative and end it with a question (ensuring their response), the chances are very good you will get a new set of clippers (which, frankly, it sounds like you deserve.)

    Of course, you can do all this after you've survived your Open House! Best of luck!

  2. Oh dear, sounds like you are having a fair few troubles! I hope that the heat doesn't effect you too badly and you get those clippers working properly! Lovely photo :o)

    {{HUGS}} :o)

  3. I wish I was there, with my clippers, to give you a hand :)
    Thanks so much for the advice regarding bits. I thought a full cheek snaffle was appropriate, but I've got too many opinions being thrown at me, rubber bit, hackamore, you name it, anything but the snaffle I already own and love.

  4. Good luck with your open house. You are a busy one.

  5. If your clippers get hot, try some Kool Lube or other clipper cooling products. They work much better than WD-40 (which is what we used)and you can spray every part of the clipper with this stuff, even up into the motor and it cools them off instantly. Give the blades a really good spray and then the motor every few mintues if needed and you should be able to get by. You should be able to pick some up where they sell pet grooming supplies.

    Are your old clippers Osters? I worked for a few years at a dog grooming shop and after trying other brands I'm glad I still have my trusty Oster A5's in my tack trunk. They might have a cord, are big and noisy, but they are reliable and do a great job.

  6. Too bad about the clippers. I hope it gets fixed to your satisfaction soon.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo

  7. Good luck with your open house, but don't get too stressed. Things will work out. I wouldn't worry about getting all the horses clipped. Get the ones done that you really want to show off, and don't worry about the rest. I personally don't mind a few wiskers and hairy feet! Altough a partially trimmed bridle path can look like a mohawk! A good horse looks good even without a trim. Matted manes and tails are far more noticable than a few hairs.

    As far as the clipper situation, you could mention in your letter about the popularity of your blog, and if things are resolved to your satisfaction you will give them a good review.

    It looks like the weather out there is supposed to cool down abit after the next couple of days. But please don't send the hot weather EAST!!! I'ld love to come to your open house, but I think over a 1000 miles is a bit too far!

  8. I'm so sorry about your clippers. I can't imagine spending that much on clippers (of course I only have one horse and don't show as of yet) but dang...if I did they best last a long...long...LONG time. And I totally agree with becky...send them a letter...if nothing else it'll probably make you feel better getting those feelings out and to the company even if it doesn't accomplish getting you a new set of clippers. ((HUGS!!))

  9. Hey MiKael, I would definately contact the clipper company. They really should replace those. I think the blogger community could help you out as well by emailing the company about your plight. When Tracey got the truck donated from Ford for the mustangs, I wrote a nice long letter thanking them. We could definately do the same for you. Keep us posted!

  10. Hope everything works out, and try not to get too stressed. Don't worry about posting until you're done with the open house - we can survive until then, and I don't want you to have to spend time here that you could be using elsewhere!

    Oh, and have fun!!! I hope lots of people come!

  11. my 1st visit here... excellent pictures of superb horses! also an education going through your posts... thank you

  12. It sounds like you need to replace the rechargable batteries - they don't last forever:) You should be able to pick up these batteries quite easily or on ebay - just match the voltages up. Even buying a new charger and batteries shouldn't set you back too much. And do write that letter to the company when you have a chance. Do they have a customer support telephone number you can call?

    Sorry you are having these issues. You know that once people get there, they won't have eyes for anything else but the horses, and will easily see beyond, even if they even notice, any cosmetic issues that you feel you haven't addressed. If they don't, well who cares!

    Take care and don't stress. Have fun!