I'm currently in a bit of a pickle. My horse chews on his stall a bit. That being said I've had this horse boarded at 6 barns in as many years and never had much of a problem. The last barn he was boarded at (we have since left the property) is asking me to pay a sum of $600 to replace certain boards that were damaged during his stay. Is this my responsibility? How come I've never come across this problem in the past with other barns?
Unfortunately the barn manager is a friend and I don't want to cause problems with the relationship, but I can hardly believe the sum she wants me to pay!
We have a clause in our boarding contract that the owner is responsible for damages, but, I've only charged a couple of times for broken buckets (horse was a bucket terror) and fence repair. I only charged for the materials. I do expect a certain amount of wear and tear, but I don't knowingly take a cribber or chewer and would expect that to be disclosed to me before I accepted the horse.
If it were me, I would have let you know it was a problem and tried to find a solution. $600 sounds high to me, unless it includes labor.
If your horse did the damage, then you either pay for labor so they can have someone do the work, or you do it yourself.
You might talk to her and say that you had no idea that much damage was done, and ask her nicely to point out the damage so you know for future reference. But if your horse did the damage, absolutely it is your responsibility to pay for the repairs. It's not the BO's fault that you bought a destructive horse.
You most certainly should pay for any and all damage that your horse did, including labor but you should be given an itemized bill so that you can see what you're paying for.
I'd very politely ask for one.
You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.
I agree that you are responsible for damages that do not constitute general wear and tear, however, why didn't the BM point out the damage before you left? If one of the horses at the barn where I board does damage the BO addresses it immediately. I can understand not wanting to fix the damage while your horse was still in the stall, as it would just get chewed again, but waiting until after you had left seems a little odd to me, and I would ask about it.
Maybe you could also talk to the BO in this situation.
I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage