I think the ideal situation for you would be to have the trainers take care of their own blanketing needs. Then they can bill it with their training and you don't have to worry about it.
At my barn, where I pay board to the barn, care to a manager and training to a trainer, the blanketing costs $60 / month is paid directly to the manager. The trainer and barn are completely uninvolved.
The blankets go on late afternoon and come off early in the morning unless it is rainy or especially chilly. I am responsible for placing the blanket I want used on my stall door. I have a day sheet, unlined turnout blanket and a heavyweight blanket.
Everyone has a different opinion on blankets. I'd rather have my horse be a little chilly than overheated, so I tend to stick with a medium weight blanket on all except the coldest nights, especially since I can't be at the barn every day to change out my blanket selection. I'm just grateful someone is providing this service to me, and don't try and micromanage.
Former BM, horse sitter, farm sitter, blanketer, etc. chiming in here!
I am sooooo with ShannonA! Turn this over to the blanketing service and let the boarders deal with it. The service offers this, they pay that, and make sure the boarders have the service's contact number to express their displeasure. They don't pay, their service gets cut. Inform the trainers of the arrangement. Prohibit the boarders from hanging thermometers off of their stalls, and wash your hands of it.
The reason this gets so out of hand is that people set one price for blanketing, and then do not charge extra for each additional layer added on. The boarders take advantage of this, add in three layers for the price of one, and then some "hang a little thermometer off of the stall to help the blanketer know when to add each specific layer", voicing their displeasure one way or another to the blanketers if they are not there in time before the mercury drops below the assigned line to add the extra layer to the set-up. All for the cheap price of one-blanket service. If someone isn't going to be in the barn all the time, then it's not going to get done correctly 100 percent of the time, period. There's also the rush of a little power trip to be had involving talking down to someone doing manual labor, which brings on the drama and nastiness, and of course, caring for the Barbie Horse syndrome. Some folks get carried away with that one, too, and then can't break loose from the addiction.
Get this one gone. You'll be a much happier BO.
P.S. Can you tell I've retired from the madness? Amen! Ninety-eight percent of the time, my horses now go naked. ;)
Another BO with naked horses here! I only offer field board, which helps limit the Barbie Horse clients. Boarders may blanket away, but it's all on their time and dime. I expect any hirelings to sign a release and the boarder to sign an agreement indemnifying me for any legal fees and damages associated with their blanketing service. I have one boarder who blankets, but she does it herself. The rest of the horses are happily naked and love the winter weather.
Originally Posted by Miss Motivation
If I had someone reliable and who I knew would put the right blankets on in the right temps I would have no problem paying $60 a month for it.
Blanketting Surcharge? Great opportunity to put "BS Fee" on a bill and let your customers opt out of the BS =)
If I can't deliver advice, at least accept the laugh :)
I'd probably trace-clip a horse in that climate and just leave it be. Much more comfortable for the horse (and owners) than messing around with blankets.
By the way, I would invite anyone who grumbles about a blanketing charge to add up the cost of their gas to go do it themselves. :)
My unclipped horses deal fine with the 20F to 90F temperature swings (50 F in one day is typical) unblanketed; the issue is when you've got clipped horses in moderate to heavy work. In my current situation, they don't need to be clipped, they're turned out all night, and they're fine not blanketed. But, this same horse in a boarding barn in LA definitely benefitted from a clip and a blanket.
Wendy, a trace clip isn't quite enough when the horse has a shaggy coat and it's 85-90 degrees outside. Some of them don't grow that much of a coat, but most do. I'm happy if I an get away with only one full body clip each winter--some of the horses have already had one this year and will need another by Dec or Jan.
I do find it fascinating reading about all the different climates in the US. It was so much simpler in the UK where I'm from--it's warmish in summer, cold in winter and rains all year-round!
[QUOTE=Hilary;6582436]As a resident of NH I am somewhat baffled at a need for so much blanketing in Southern California. :)
We hate hair too:winkgrin: And it doesn't matter, even with days over 80 with a low of 50 or so, my horse is a fur ball--which means he sweats and doesn't dry. I personally think $60 is ok since it saves on gas and time/hassle going back and forth to blanket ($2 a day--really). I have my horse in full training, so it's included, but I'd gladly pay someone if he wasn't.
Originally Posted by LuvMyRide
I full clip in Central CA because I have a very limited amount of riding time on the weekdays in the winter, with very limited hours of daylight before it gets dark. Like literally an hour or so before sunset to ride after work. It's much easier for me to clip my horses so they don't sweat at all while I ride, and blanket them accordingly.
Of course, the one advantage I have is that I do self care and pull blankets in the morning and swap those for a sheet if it's cool or leave the hayburners naked if it's a hot day. And we've been having some seriously warm fall days, that's for sure. It was in the 80s here over the weekend, which would have been bad enough except I was in L.A. and that was over 99 degrees in the shade. Wilting!
We were over 100 up here on the north coast, and the horses are already woolly.
Originally Posted by dreamswept
Thanks everyone for your help on this issue.
It's sort of in detente state: trainers will be working out their own blanketing scheme, and I haven't heard much else about it. Although I notice there are no blankets on the horses yet. :)
There's a bit of nose-misalignment about this from a boarder or two, but "the help" are overjoyed at not being expected to be here 25/7 to put blankets on and off.
Funny, I was talking with one boarder who used to do blankets for her trainer and she said "Every boarder should have to do one full shift of blanketing the entire barn before the blanketer agrees to have them as a blanket client. They'd understand really fast that a buck or two a day to do this work, without fail, always, is a screamin' deal!"
Will post back if anything really amazing happens on this issue.
That's what we do. And it's included in the board, whether you use it or not.
Originally Posted by Sarabeth