How to handle blanketing in SoCal
I have a 50 horse boarding stable in Southern California. It's pretty nice and I keep it that way: good footing, good help, clean, and toilet paper in the potty. Box stalls are $475 a month which is slightly below average in our area ($400-600 is the range in our neighborhood.)
OUr helpers used to blanket during the winter for $30 a month. Now they want double that, primarily because some of the boarders have gotten carried away with their requests for blankets on/off at various times and temperatures. THe helpers do not live on site and have to drive 30 minutes round trip to blanket each evening.... so now they want $60 for the job. The helpers get paid directly by the boarders and sometimes don't pay then holler if their horse isn't blanketed... really.
I am asking a local groomer if she wants to come do the lot of them, but whoever does it must be insured. My guys took blankets off in the morning as they cleaned which was actually on my labor time, then came back in the evening.
The drama with boarders making demands on the helpers because they are here (I work a real job offsite to support the barn, of course) has made my helpers not want the extra work. There were expectations of blankets on and off at various temperatures and times for different horses- and different trainers wanted different blanket protocols.
In the past I insisted that if an owner wanted blankets, they had to pay for the service... no owner is going to religiously drive through SoCal traffic to do this work... they always say they will and they never do.
There are several trainers here, and they do not include blanketing in their full training, they just had each owner pay our barn helpers.
I think a buck to blanket or unblanket a horse is reasonable, but it's twice what our folks have been paying and I expect a hue and cry about it.
If someone else wants to do blanketing, that's fine with me... but they have to have insurance. Our employees do have Worker's Comp (really) and it's a huge but necessary expense for me.
For those of you in a boarding (not training) situation, what do you expect to pay for blanketing and what control over times and temps do you have?
Thanks in advance,
Hot and Bothered