What is a good/respectful way to tell my boss/trainer that I will be leaving at the end of the month?

I have been working at the barn I am at for about a year and a half paid and about two years unpaid before that. That said, i have been really burned out lately from working all the time 6-7 days a week when schools out and 4-5 when schools in (including before school which is at 9am). I am really done with working at a place that I do not get paid much and have to work many hours. I also need to start focusing on saving to go to college to focus on becoming a pilot. Anyways, a few things have happened this past week that I decided I need to get out of this barn and get a somewhat normal job. Do you guys have any tips that I can use to tell her that I am going to be quitting? Like in a nice way? Also, I have now figured out why everyone was saying (both on here and to me) to not do horses as a main career. That is so so true. I mean I have learned a lot, but I found another passion (flying). I know that it is expensive to do, but I will regret not trying, so I’m going for it. Anyways, any advice of how to break this to her will be greatly appreciated.

“Hi So-n-so, I’m giving my two-week notice.”


What TheJenners said. Everything in between these two sentences is pretty irrelevant. You don’t have to hate a job or have another important reason to quit a job.

“Hi Sally, I am afraid I have to tell you that I’m giving my two week notice. I’ve got a lot going on right now and can’t make it all fit, so unfortunately something has to give. I really appreciate all that I have learned from you, and hope to stay in touch.”

If you want, you could send it by email/text and follow up with a call.


I would give her 2 weeks notice and be prepared for her to explode because it sounds like she’s not very good at being professional.

As an aside, sometimes you have to go to work when you’re sick. That’s what sucks about being an adult. But your boss not telling you that you were barn sitting and demanding that you cancel your plans is 100% totally wrong.


Yep. The good news is that the OP doesn’t have to care, because she is moving on.

That said, if it’s possible to give more than 2 weeks, that’s always an option to be nice. Makes it pretty hard to burn bridges when you give extra - even the worst bosses will have to remember that if you ever need a reference.

But 2 weeks is pretty standard for hourly jobs. Less than that is insufficient and shouldn’t be done except for the most serious of situations.


well over my lifetime I was given zero time in advance of being informed we do not need your services any longer … at least seven times.

When I was working for a bank that was the only job I walked away from, gave the two weeks and worked the time…all other times there was no advanced warning , none

I would expect the BO to just go off on OP…if so just walk out at that point

  1. Make sure all your personal belongings are out !

  2. Dress head to toe in Teflon

  3. Tell her in a low voice (away from others)

  4. Be prepared to depart then or anytime during the two week notice period.

  5. Practice your final words to her …

a. Good-Bye
b. Thank You

  • be brave * be professional * as few words as is possible



Best advice, this. Be short, professional, to the point. If there is any screaming do as clanter says and walk away. That sort of response to notice absolves you of any responsibility for continuing employment during a notice period. You have no duty to accept abuse of any kind.

You wish to be pilot? Then ensure that ROTC is your list of requirements. The Services all have programs that will give you Big Money (presently in excess of $180,000 over four years) to pay for an education. Then select Aviation as your military specialty. That will give you something north of $1,000,000 in training and experience. You will pay for this with your time (minimum service is 8 years to fly fixed wing, jet aircraft and 6 years for other types). That sounds like a long time but during that time you’ll be well paid and enjoy some valuable professional experience and experiences (some good, some not so good). You may, in the end, not choose this route but do not “write it off” without exploring it.

Good luck in your program.


CDR, USNR(Ret.); NROTC grad; Naval Aviator (VS-27, VS-30, VS-73, VP-93, VT-28)


I know you’re frustrated, OP, but be aware that your post gives more than enough detail for you to be identified by others in your barn or your boss.

Otherwise, great suggestions by others above. It seems like a huge deal when you’re in it, but leaving jobs is a totally normal part of working.


Nailed it.

IME #4 is a good point: you may be asked to stop coming in. This ‘boss’ sounds like the type to do that.


Offer two weeks. If she says get out now get out now. If she says I could really use you for a month so I can find a replacement do so if you don’t want to burn bridges (and can feasibly do so - or offer to help still but only on specific days to help with transitioning to finding someone new - only if barn owner is polite about things). It is definitely not hard to get burnt out working with horses and I know that it is hard to go to a trainer to let them know you can’t work for them anymore. I’ve done it and still ride at the barn, but I was definitely worried about how it would turn out because I didn’t want to disappoint the trainer. However, riding was no longer fun for me and I started not enjoying my time at the barn. Everything worked out just fine. Be polite, don’t feel like you have to explain yourself, and know that you may be met with understanding OR resentment so don’t take it too hard.

Best of luck.


Your boss does not need a lengthy explanation of your decision. It’s not as if she’ll magically become sympathetic and see your point of view. I know it will feel silly, but practice what you’ll say out loud, with a friend or your mom acting as the BO. Practicing really helps, I swear.

  1. Do it in person. Do not, do not, do NOT do this via text.
  2. Do this conversation at the end of your shift, so all of your work is completely done and you can just leave after you have the talk. Or do it on a day where you were not scheduled to work.
  3. Say the facts and only the facts – nothing about emotions or how this person made you feel. Just "I am putting in my two weeks notice because I have decided to pursue a different job that fits my schedule better. I’m available to work my regular schedule up through [date].
  4. Even if things have soured lately, a gracious thank you for the opportunity goes a long way. “Thank you for the opportunity to work here and learn. I appreciate what you’ve done for me.” Be polite and professional even if she’s being a jerk.

Keep it super short. In fact, when you give notice, she’s probably not going to even hear the words you’re saying, because her brain is going to be stuck on “crap, I have to hire someone new and in the meantime who is going to do all this work.” In that state of mind, be prepared she may lash out at you. As hard as it is, don’t take it personally. If the BO starts yelling or being rude, say this: “I’m available to talk about this later when you’ve calmed down.” And turn around and walk away.

Good on you, to re-prioritize and focus on your studies, and walk away from an employment arrangement that isn’t working.


@Guilherme Thank you for the advice about ROTC! However, the military really isn’t for me (believe me, I’ve thought about it a lot), so I’m going civilian. Luckily, I have a lot of college credits before I apply for colleges… as long as they transfer.

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Wait a minute…you say you worked there a year and a half paid and 2 years unpaid??? Are you currently being paid? Do they owe you any money?

There is no need at all to give more then 2 weeks notice, that’s what normal people do. But this is the horse world and from what you have shared, your trainer/ boss sees you NOT as client or student to mentor but as a grunt worker in return for an occasional ride on a crappy horse. You are seeing this relationship as a friendship or mentor situation. You need to take off the horse goggles and see her as she really is, she’s not your friend or mentor and you owe her nothing beyond the standard 2 weeks notice.

You probably will get a chance to see what she really thinks of you when you give notice…be prepared to be thrown off the property immediately. Be sure you get your stuff off the property before you give notice. This is one time when you can be glad you don’t own a horse.

Thing here is this arrangement is toxic, it’s making you sick, time to put on the big girl panties and make the adult choice to remove yourself from a situation that’s making you sick. Get out.

There’s likely another side to this story but it does not matter, OP needs to take control and simply give 2 weeks notice. Even if it does get ugly and immediate, it solves the problem of relationship that has long turned toxic and needs to end, . Leave.


So you’re still in high school. If you’re able to finish your college degree and then consider going the military route, that’s something to consider; Gather more information during your college years and when you finish college you’ll be more mature in your decisions.

I realize you believe , right now, that the miltary is not for you , but if you’re passionate about flying Guilherme is absolutely
correct about what he suggested.

Ex-military pilots are considered the cream of the crop when applying for civilian flying jobs. And they are heads and shoulders about civilian trained ones.

By going the civilian route you will be limited in most commercial flying jobs. Hard to get your foot in the door and be
taken seriously by most companies.

My elder son went the military route and as a family we lived and breathed all this information for years. We also had some miltary
friends who helped to guide us. Back then it was the equivalent of over a million dollars worth of training and I’m sure it’s much higher now. The average student can’t compete with that. Or even come close. Just keep an open mind for now.


@findeight I was unpaid because I worked for rides and stuff, until I turned 16 because of gas money. It wasn’t a lot, and definitely should have been more. I totally agree with the part about her thinking of me as the hand. I never did until now, when I have really sat down and thought about everything. It will be interesting what happens when I tell her.

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I understand this. You can go to someplace like Embry-Riddle, get a degree and a Commercial ticket with a CFI/II at the same time, then “hit the bricks” looking for a job.* What you will likely find is you’ll spend a couple (or a few) years instructing to build hours and then will have a shot at applying at a regional or local carrier. Right now that’s not so bad as there is growing shortage of commercially rated pilots as the military really cut back on training after the fall of the Soviet Union. I know, personally, a few guys who did a full 20 in the Navy, retired, and then went to work at a major carrier as new hire. This would have been unheard of 10 years ago but is becoming common today.

There is an alternative, and that’s do a hitch enlisted (minimum of three years), take college courses during that period of time, and qualify for the GI Bill education benefits. Then go to E-R. You will still rack up a lot of debt but it will be a much more manageable level.

You have time so consider your options carefully. Good luck in whatever you choose. :slight_smile:


*This route is a possible but means you need a really rich family to pay your way or be ready to assume a truly impressive student loan debt. Not only will you have private college level tuition, you’ll by paying for in excess of 200 hours of flight time @ an average of about $200/hr. That’s $40,000 MINIMUM on what you’ll already pay.


OP- you absolutely do not need to go the military route if you don’t want to. My dad and older sister are both pilots (American & Delta) and neither was in the military. My sister went to the aviation program at Kansas State Salina campus, worked a flying job right out of school that did mapping to build up hours, then worked at American Eagle for a couple of years before getting hired on at Delta (which basically means she has made it and will likely not be changing jobs again). The pay right out of school at the smaller companies and regional airlines isn’t the best, but it’s perfectly live-able, and now she does quite well. She paid off her loans in about 5 yrs if I remember correctly.


Don’t be hurt if she doesn’t care that you leave or stay. Barn help is a job with high turnover and by your behavior of late she may not be surprised at your leaving.

You don’t need a reason why your leaving, just give her 2 weeks to find a replacement. If she nags you for a reason the truth is always the best answer.


Give her two weeks notice, in person. Don’t go into any personal detail - keep it simple and if pressed, you can tell her that with your other commitments, you won’t have time to continue.

I do think that she was correct in asking you to stay to work or find a replacement for your college trip. As an employee, even a part-time one, it is on you to request time off before scheduling your trip. Had you asked first she could have told you of her plans and you would have been able to schedule your trip another time. If a request is due to an event you can’t reschedule, like a family wedding, you can work together to try to come to a compromise, but it is always the responsibility of the employee to request time off before scheduling.

In a similar vein, we have all been in situations where we had to push through and work when we didn’t feel well or the weather was bad - particularly in barn jobs when horses need to be fed and watered, and stalls cleaned, etc, but also when deadlines are looming or servers go down or other work needs getting done NOW. That is part of life, growing up, having a job and being responsible. I don’t tell you these things to suggest you stay - I agree that it sounds like it may be time for you to leave this job and find something less demanding while you focus on school and future career goals, but it would be in your best interest to start considering your employer’s perspective on your actions as you go forward.

Good luck with the talk with the BM and good luck with your new career aspirations.