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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,559

    Default Is the economy really that bad???

    My barn is not full. At all. A good friend with a similar barn and facilities is not full. All the el cheapo, dirty, nasty, overgrazed and underkept places around are $200/month cheaper and they ARE full. Now, I don't understand how a barn that is buying hay, has zero pasture and is paying help, even a little, can charge $350/month and even pay the mortgage. Now, my friend and I both have barns that anyone would be proud to keep their horses, really, anyone. Great pastures, the best hay, on site owner, good footing in the indoor arena, safe places staffed with knowledgable caretakers. We are not over priced, we have the same facilities as the BNT barns, and are less than them by about $100/month, and are as easy or easier, to get to from the freeways. Close by BNT barns, not full either (but I don't think they care as theyve had more horses than stalls for the last couple of years). So what gives? Doesn't anyone care how they keep their horses anymore, or is it just that everything else is so expensive, they just do what they can.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2001
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    4,643

    Default

    I don't know. My sister had empty stalls for the first time since she has been in business, about 20 years. I think the gas hurt her, she is a little farther out.
    I am ok on boarders, but down on lessons. I have lots of calls for kids, but they never follow through, I think it is the $$, $35 a week to ride, $44 a month for gymnastics.
    There are two places around here that closed in the past year.
    ???



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    8,653

    Default

    The economy is that bad.

    People are making choices--and your idea of "bad care" may be fine for the time and the amount of money a person has. I think there is a fair amount of reevaluating of people's priorities and pocketbooks and horses are coming out on the short end. Gas to get to work or an extra $150 for better board? Lessons or lunch for a month?

    I know that I'm feeling totally pinched right now, between Christmas, having a horse at a sale barn in full training and one at home. I have NO extra money. Any surprises or unexpected bills and I will have to pull my mare out and park her at home, unsold and unridden.

    Fuel prices are causing a massive ripple effect in our economy. It will only get worse, as the economy is heading toward stagnation or recession. You'll really see horses coming out on the bottom of the pile then.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,559

    Default

    So you would think that some of the lower end horses, say 3K to 7K, would be out there, you know the, susie went to college, cant afford a horse she isnt riding, we'll just sell him kind, the future schoolie, first show horse type, but I'm not finding them either. So it's like I'm the princess with a huge barn, enormous indoor, and I can't even satisfy my CPA by BUYING a couple of prospects. I'm used to the nice horses being over priced, but now it seems like even the JUNK is priced way over the top of what it should be. I just don't get it, if the economy sucks, SOMETHING should get cheaper.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    Horses don't care very much how fancy their living quarters might be. And horses don't HAVE to have the very best in way of food. Nature designed them to survive great hardships and they are a good deal tougher than most people think.

    People who've had an easy life and haven't ever had to really suffer deprivation have no idea how little either horses or humans can get along on. Those "crappy" places are probably nowhere near as bad as the ordinary cirumstances nature prepared horses to survive.

    Are we just miffed and jealous because our superiority is not being recognized?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    7,102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    Horses don't care very much how fancy their living quarters might be. And horses don't HAVE to have the very best in way of food. Nature designed them to survive great hardships and they are a good deal tougher than most people think.

    People who've had an easy life and haven't ever had to really suffer deprivation have no idea how little either horses or humans can get along on. Those "crappy" places are probably nowhere near as bad as the ordinary cirumstances nature prepared horses to survive.

    Are we just miffed and jealous because our superiority is not being recognized?
    As usual, greysandbays takes the opportunity to both make a good point AND piss in someone's cornflakes. Couldn't you just stick to the first part and skip the pissing?

    I agree that horses are far hardier than we give them credit for, but to 2ndrygal--yes, the economy is that bad. Everyone I know around here has empty stalls as well, and everyone I know is losing lesson clients. And not necessarily because they don't provide quality service.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,559

    Default

    No we aren't miffed. I'm talking about horses in small dark, dirty stalls, pastures that are nothing but mud, with tattered old fence, nails sticking out, and not a horse on the property is in "good" weight. We're not talking racing fit tbs here, we're talking quarter horses that have winter coats and you can still see ribs. Not starving, not call animal control, but not good conditions. Those same boarders have called our farm, complaining their horse is losing weight, standing in mud 10 hrs a day, do have stalls. Yes, but when I tell them the board is $200 more than where they are, they say "you have grass, just kick him out in the field. Nope, sorry, don't do pasture board. Dont do self care. No I don't need help so you can't get a deal on board, no you don't get a four horse discount (I did have one lady ask, so I asked her what sort of a discount she had in mind.) she said well, your board is $600/month, I have 4 horses, so I figure that I should pay $150/horse. She followed that with the statement that "hay is expensive and my barn is falling down, so I thought it would be cheaper to board them than to buy hay for them". I was afraid to even ask her where she was from. I don't think you have to have the Best of Everything, as long as the horses have enough food of sufficient quality and safe living conditions. The farm I'm speaking of truly, has had at least one horse a year break a leg in turnout for the last 10 years. Really, which I find incredible, as do the local vets, but "these things happen when lots of horses are turned out together". Yes, especially if they're fighting over food or shelter. I'd sell any horse I owned if that was the best I could do for him. I'm just wondering, about the people who could only afford the cheap place to begin with, and now they are spending way more on gas, groceries, etc., what the hell are they doing with THOSE horses??? Farmers around here are selling off cattle because it is no longer economically feasable to feed them. How in the world are the barn owners who were cutting corners to begin with going to cut them any further without really hurting the horses?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,559

    Default This is just for greysandbays..

    Believe me when I tell you that unless in your life you have been very cold, very, very hungry and had no place to sleep other than the seat of your truck under a horse blanket in the winter, you have no idea how much deprivation a human can take. Having lived in similar and ocassionally worse circumstances, I however, know exactly how much deprivation humans can take or at least how much I can take. I also adopted a BLM mustang baby, who literally had to be taught how to eat nearly everything other than grass and hay, he learned quickly and was the most loyal, grateful animal I've ever been honored to know. He absolutely had spent his early years worse than rough and was quite obviously very pleased at where he landed. So I know about that too, and having spent many more years than I care to name on the "backside", I know all too well how much horses can tolerate and still not only go on, but perform well. So while I don't consider myself necessarily superior by virtue of my current lifestyle, there are people about that it's a bit easy to feel superior to, by virture of their attitude.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
    Believe me when I tell you that unless in your life you have been very cold, very, very hungry and had no place to sleep other than the seat of your truck under a horse blanket in the winter, you have no idea how much deprivation a human can take. Having lived in similar and ocassionally worse circumstances, I however, know exactly how much deprivation humans can take or at least how much I can take. I also adopted a BLM mustang baby, who literally had to be taught how to eat nearly everything other than grass and hay, he learned quickly and was the most loyal, grateful animal I've ever been honored to know. He absolutely had spent his early years worse than rough and was quite obviously very pleased at where he landed. So I know about that too, and having spent many more years than I care to name on the "backside", I know all too well how much horses can tolerate and still not only go on, but perform well. So while I don't consider myself necessarily superior by virtue of my current lifestyle, there are people about that it's a bit easy to feel superior to, by virture of their attitude.
    I hope you didn't suffer all that cold and hungry "deprivation" in the Ky listed in your location, 'cuz if you did, I'm gonna laugh at you. Excepting the old and the crippled, only a damn fool could manage to freeze and starve in country like that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2007
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    4,696

    Default

    wow. She expected tp apy $150 per horse or $150 off per horse? Which thing was she willing to give up for her $150? The hay or the feed?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2002
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    3,058

    Default

    IME, cheaper boarding places are sometimes cheaper because they don't buy the same amount or quality of hay and feed, they don't put a lot of money into facility repairs and maintenence, and they don't buy the same amounts of bedding you do... and sometimes the result is skinnier horses, iffy fencing, and dirty or underbedded stalls. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Keeping grass in pastures is not cheap or easy... it requires extra attention and maintenence, and more space for rotation. People board at these places because either it's all they can afford, they don't see a problem with it, and/or it fits their needs in some way. And yes, things are really tight for many people these days.

    Not all cheap places are bad... some of my favorite places to board are on the less expensive end, but often because the BO isn't taking much profit and/or they are very frugal and cut costs without sacrificing care... they buy in bulk, grow their own hay, etc. I believe I have very high horse care standards... I like my horses fat and turned out on grass, with nicely bedded matted stalls if they need them. If I have to reduce my boarding or care costs, I look for quality field board... mine do fine with a shed instead of a stall (it's just more work for me to keep the younger one clean and in work!) and it saves on bedding and labor. I think field board is great and not a lesser form of care at all... but keeping horses in stalls part of the day is easier for many humans, and the horses usually don't mind.

    I try not to judge people, particularly when I don't know them or their circumstances. I wouldn't want someone to judge me like that And while some barns may not be the nicest or cleanest places with the best care it's still probably preferable to the places many horses are living, especially with all the drought horror stories I've been hearing lately



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
    So you would think that some of the lower end horses, say 3K to 7K, would be out there, you know the, susie went to college, cant afford a horse she isnt riding, we'll just sell him kind, the future schoolie, first show horse type, but I'm not finding them either. I'm used to the nice horses being over priced, but now it seems like even the JUNK is priced way over the top of what it should be. I just don't get it, if the economy sucks, SOMETHING should get cheaper.
    I've found the same thing... there are the odd deals or whatever here and there, but nothing really fabulous going for any cheaper.... but a lot of stuff under 5k that is overpriced IMO. Though I've come to the conclusion that what I'm looking for is hard to find, regardless of the market, so maybe that's my issue....

    As far as people cutting corners on horses costs-- I think folks are trying to find ways to reduce costs and ride things out until the economy gets a little better. Around here board prices are higher than ever, every barn in the area seems to have gone up $50-150 a month, and I do know owners who are hurting because of it. It's tough. I've always worked off part of my board, so that helped immensely when I had my horse, but not everyone has the option, ability, or desire to do that.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    I hope you didn't suffer all that cold and hungry "deprivation" in the Ky listed in your location, 'cuz if you did, I'm gonna laugh at you. Excepting the old and the crippled, only a damn fool could manage to freeze and starve in country like that.
    Have you ever been to Kentucky in the winter?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2000
    Posts
    1,841

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    <snipped>
    As far as people cutting corners on horses costs-- I think folks are trying to find ways to reduce costs and ride things out until the economy gets a little better. Around here board prices are higher than ever, every barn in the area seems to have gone up $50-150 a month, and I do know owners who are hurting because of it.
    BINGO!! I have two horses and board went up $50 each. That's $100/month (yes, I'm pretty good at calculatin'...) So $100 month more, plus gas and food increases, plus heating oil has gone waaaaay up for this winter, and I'm sure there are other things that have increased a lot that I'm just too shell shocked to think of right now.

    So I'm cutting back on my horse expenditures. Yes, including moving to a cheaper board situation.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2006
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    Yes, it is and it is getting worse!!! I am afraid to say, gas, feed, and food cost have all gone up so much!

    150.00 is a lot of money to some people, including me, that 150, might mean groceries, utilities for them that month.

    My boarding fees keep going up and I am getting less in return, but glad to have a place with safe fencing for my horses.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2006
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Hay is a real problem around here. It's nearly impossible to get hay now, and the cost of keeping horses has gone up and people aren't wanting to pay more board. I know some barns that are closing.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MySparrow View Post
    Have you ever been to Kentucky in the winter?
    No, but do you honestly think it's worse than Minnesota?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dkcbr View Post
    BINGO!! I have two horses and board went up $50 each. That's $100/month (yes, I'm pretty good at calculatin'...) So $100 month more, plus gas and food increases, plus heating oil has gone waaaaay up for this winter, and I'm sure there are other things that have increased a lot that I'm just too shell shocked to think of right now.

    So I'm cutting back on my horse expenditures. Yes, including moving to a cheaper board situation.
    We are lucky here, because board prices and cost of living is much cheaper than in other parts of the country. But, I know many folks who have been troubled by the increases. I mean, they are totally understandable on the part of the BO's-- hay costs more, gas costs more, etc. It still hurts though when you are trying to give your horse the best care you can, "on the cheap!"

    I think people don't need to necessarily cut corners when it comes to their STANDARD of care... Maybe it just means boarding at a barn that doesn't have an indoor. Or finding a private barn that is willing to take on a boarder or two (I've seen lots of ads for local situations like this). Switching to field board in spring/summer/fall. Doing self-care board. Giving up lessons for awhile. I know those things are not always as easy as they sound, but just getting creative can help....
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
    Posts
    10,989

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MySparrow View Post
    Have you ever been to Kentucky in the winter?
    Really.

    What does Minnesota have to do with anything? Just that you could just freeze faster?

    The economy is bad now. Spending power is just not high.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    17,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
    My barn is not full. At all. A good friend with a similar barn and facilities is not full. All the el cheapo, dirty, nasty, overgrazed and underkept places around are $200/month cheaper and they ARE full. Now, I don't understand how a barn that is buying hay, has zero pasture and is paying help, even a little, can charge $350/month and even pay the mortgage. Now, my friend and I both have barns that anyone would be proud to keep their horses, really, anyone. Great pastures, the best hay, on site owner, good footing in the indoor arena, safe places staffed with knowledgable caretakers. We are not over priced, we have the same facilities as the BNT barns, and are less than them by about $100/month, and are as easy or easier, to get to from the freeways. Close by BNT barns, not full either (but I don't think they care as theyve had more horses than stalls for the last couple of years). So what gives? Doesn't anyone care how they keep their horses anymore, or is it just that everything else is so expensive, they just do what they can.


    Maybe those people boarding at the cheaper places are keeping their retired horses (instead of donating them to colleges and not taking them back when the college is needing to get rid of them), and have more than one horse to support. Or they aren't so kind as to "donate" them to a rescue, and can't afford to pay higher board...
    Hillary Clinton - proven liar, cheat, traitor and defender of rapists! Anyone but Hillary 2016! https://www.facebook.com/AntiHillary2016



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