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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    2,937

    Default Barn Owners - Boarding horses owned by immediate family members

    How do you work this out? Does it work for you, or not?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  2. #2
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    Mar. 22, 2007
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    Bremo Bluff, Virginia
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    Default

    Bumping because I'm very interested in the responses.

    My BIL did it for a while. My understanding from him is to have a very specific contract. Keep it as business-like as possible.
    "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams



  3. #3
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    It depends on the people in question and how responsible and mature they are, I guess. I see it going down in flames, and bet that most barn owners avoid the situation.
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
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    NJ
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    Default

    If you've never boarded anyone elses horses before, I wouldn't start out with family members. If you've boarded at the same barns as these family members and know them and their expectations of horse care and it jives with yours, you may consider it.

    Are your family members extremely respectful of your space? If they are not, you may find that they might think it's ok to stop in whenever they feel like it. You loose your sense of privacy and it can be awkward trying to establish it without hurting feelings.

    Do they expect you to do it for reduced costs because they are family? This can quickly build resentment as many boarders really do not have a feel for how much work and money are involved with boarding horses.

    I didn't work out for me. My MIL boarded here on two different occasions. I'm a fairly private person and I think she felt comfortable coming into the house whenever just to visit. It was difficult to establish boundaries. She also likes the social aspects of horse ownership and wanted horse friends. My barn just wasn't the right mix for her. She's happy where she's boarding now and good friends with the BO.

    Even people you thought you knew well can be very different than you expected once you know them on a different level as in a BO/boarder relationship.

    That being said, my two closest friends are a blessing at my farm. My one friend boards her horse here and she is welcome anytime. My other friends daughter rode my mare and they are also welcome anytime. They are the type that are super respectful of other's space and more than happy to pitch in whenever they can. They actually came over to help with fencing this blistering hot summer or when I got hay deliveries. They come over to help whenever I need an extra hand with my young OTTB. One friend lives over and hour away and came to help with trailer loading. The other offers to come multiple times weekly so someone is here when I ride the youngster.
    They selflessly help me at competitions. They are the absolute best!!!


    Tory and Julie-you guys rock!!!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
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    Default

    It works for me. My sister is only 15 months younger than me and we are BEST FRIENDS and grew up riding together with our horses since age 6 and 7 years old.

    We have always boarded our horses together and ride together so when I bought a ranch 2 years ago, it was only natural that I'd bring her mare with me and she kept her here

    She just gives me a very reasonable board check every month...works out great, because she is my riding partner, so I love it whenever she comes over. Also, our horses are turned-out 24/7 on 4 acres, with just a run-in stall shelter so maintanence is super super easy (no stall cleaning etc)

    Also she's pregnant now, so the really nice thing for her is that I basically take 100% care of her mare as if she were mine, including riding her once/week since doctors' orders are "no riding" (high-risk pregnancy)

    Here, we are, the dynamic duo:
    - Horsecamping (trail riding), pic 1, pic 2
    - Showing-
    - Hunter Pace,
    pic 2, pic 3, pic 4, pic 5
    - ACTHA competitive trail ride
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
    www.elainehickman.com
    **Morgans Do It All**



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2003
    Location
    Manchester, MI
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    1,375

    Default

    I guess what I've never been able to understand is why two parties can't sit down BEFOREHAND and iron-out/voice concerns before starting anything. Honesty, it doesn't need to be a problem if you can sit down with your family member and calmly and honestly discuss any concerns and lay down ground rules ahead of time. And it doesn't matter if it is a family member - they should sign a contract/agreement the same as anybody else should. You're a business to everyone else and you don't stop being so just because you're dealing with family (this is assuming that you run a boarding business, but even if you don't, you should treat this as such regardless.)

    If you don't want family member taking liberties like wandering into your home uninvited then state that UP FRONT. No harm, no foul - make it clear that you will treat him/her the same way that you treat everyone else irregardless of familial relationships. And also clearly explain that the reason that you are doing such is to prevent hard feelings down the road - in essence - protecting the relationship.

    If things get hashed out beforehand, there shouldn't be any issues. And more people need to do this PERIOD whether it's dealing with a family member or the right-hand man to God himself. I just think that society in general has lost the God-given ability to clearly and calmly communicate in order to prevent issues from stemming in the first place.

    Now, if it were me....You wouldn't find any of my family within a 1,000 mile radius of my farm. But that's just my ridiculous family
    Come to the darkside...we have cookies.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Iowa
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    386

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    Depends on who the relative is and how close you are. If you know them well then you would know what they are like and would know what you are getting yourself into and should be able to decide if it would be a smart move or not. If you do not know them well then treat them like a boarder not a relative.



  8. #8
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    Feb. 26, 2011
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    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
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    Get everything in writing! Make sure your expectations about payment, privacy, etc are clearly addressed, as well as what services they are expecting to receive in return for paying board.
    Otherwise you end up with your cousin's pony for 3 months with only a bag of grain and 2 bags of shavings. Ask me how I know!
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    My trainer has horses in training for her sister, her dad and I think her nephew. These are high powered show horses bought for the nephew and some of the better student riders to show and then resell. There is a contract, tax implications and did I say a contract?

    Full training is a bit different than "just boarding" where I could see possible family boundary issues.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2010
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    OH
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    416

    Default

    In my personal experience, the people closest to you will take advantage of you more than a complete stranger will. I would avoid this situation.



  11. #11
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    Nov. 6, 2009
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    2,053

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    Down in flames, lots of flames.

    I'd say it's the rare family situation where this would work. I did this once and it was a disaster. Family member was sort of insulted to have to pay me anything close to my regular rates--I mean, don't we own the farm anyway? Aren't we out there feeding the horses and cleaning stalls anyway? What's the big deal to feed and care for one more horse? Good grief, he hardly eats anything! And when the psychotic, ill-tempered beast suffered an injury, how horribly mercenary I was, charging my dear relative--who was suffering already because her horse was injured--for all the time my employees (I didn't charge for my own time) spent nursing the animal back to health. Didn't I know that she was having to pay vet bills at the same time?

    I might not be as smart as some folks, but a lightbulb came on in my brain while I was out in the barn with the horse medicating it in the middle of the night and I looked at facebook after I was done and a picture of her popped up. She had just left to go on vacation, and there she was in her bathing suit relaxing at the beach with her husband, drink in hand, smile on her face, while I was out in the cold and mud, wrestling with her monstrous alligator of a horse pretty much for free.

    One thing I have learned from boarding horses is that there are MANY, MANY people out there who are on the lookout for people who will help them subsidize their horse habit. Relatives aren't excluded from this.
    Last edited by BeeHoney; Dec. 31, 2011 at 07:18 PM.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,190

    Default

    I can't ever see this working out right. No matter how business-like every one behaves, and how iron clad the contract there will always be the idea that there should be special treatment, and a financial deal. And if the horse is injured, then I can see blame coming from many people for years. And if there is a financial setback I doubt that non-payment or partial payment will be treated by the family member as a real issue, and instead would be viewed as a legitimate business debt enforced by contract. And as BeeHoney said-what if the horse isn't a good boarder and turns out to be a problem? I can't see this having a good ending no matter who is involved.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2004
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    Sisters, Oregon
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    1,894

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    Sure is a sticky situation, though, huh? How does one say "no' to a sibling or parent who wants to keep their horse at your place?
    Well, "No." Is a complete sentence you know....
    Kanoe Godby
    www.dyrkgodby.com
    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2007
    Location
    SE CT
    Posts
    984

    Default Sister Left Once, Then came back..And I let Her!!

    OK, So here's my take on this. I have had horses, and worked at some pretty big stables, for 15+ years, before marrying and building my barn. Sis rode only a little as a child, but would ride my small rescue horse here and there. She is also 7 years older than me... Opportunity arose to adopt an Arab gelding, the deal was she would feed/clean do chores Sat. and Sun. PM, and when I went on vacations every night PM-another boarder and trusted horsey friend also would help, AM, and if there was an emergency. PLUS she would pay board-yes,somewhat reduced for her weekend work. I NEVER allowed her to board for free.

    Yes, It worked for some time, BUT, we started butting heads over management, and it was mostly little stuff. But, my barn, my rules. And, yes, if Easter or Christmas is on a weekend, it is NOT a reason to not be able to feed-horses need care on those days, too. That was a big problem for me. Well, one little thing led to another, and she decided to move....I was apparently a meanie...

    So, We very nicely trailed her little Arab to farm closer to her house and work, where she would do the same reduced board for chores 4 X weekly or something. Well, wouldn't you know that barn owner was b*tshit crazy...Turned Sis's horse out injured when vet specifically ordered stall rest and hand walking "Because my horse is loooonley", and if water buckets were not hung exactly even and filled to the absolute brim she'd have a hissy fit and make sis empty them out, RINSE them, and fill them again, she would watch Sis clean stalls, EVERY TIME, making sure they were "done right"....Can you say wack-job???

    So, 8 months later, I took Sis back in. I like her little horse, and would hate to see it permanently injured (luckily the tendon strain was not damaged further)...BUT, we had a talk about EXACTLY what I expect, since this is MY property. I also do still give her a deal on board, honestly if it wasn't for me she would have to get rid of the horse, board rates here are astronomical now.

    My advice, It can work, but make YOUR RULES very clear about what you expect with your property, right away. My sister has learned a lot about what I expect, and the best part is, I'm not b*tshit crazy, just want stuff done my way. Period!! It turns out I was very reasonable, she just had to learn that. And accept it.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fargonefarm View Post
    I guess what I've never been able to understand is why two parties can't sit down BEFOREHAND and iron-out/voice concerns before starting anything. Honesty, it doesn't need to be a problem if you can sit down with your family member and calmly and honestly discuss any concerns and lay down ground rules ahead of time. And it doesn't matter if it is a family member - they should sign a contract/agreement the same as anybody else should. You're a business to everyone else and you don't stop being so just because you're dealing with family (this is assuming that you run a boarding business, but even if you don't, you should treat this as such regardless.)
    I think this ought to be a given for *any* boarding situation.

    However, the potential wrinkle when dealing with family is whether said contract and agreement will be strictly honored by both parties. I'm related to a number of people who just can't follow the 'house rules' anywhere, and a few others who just can't take contracts with family members seriously. So there is no way in he11 I would even consider letting them on my property: I KNOW it'll get ugly and then--joy--the disgruntled relative will try to drag the entire extended family into the drama. It's bad enough firing strangers--I don't need to hear about what a meanie I am at every Christmas for the next 10 years.

    On the flipside, I have some wonderful friends who fully and professionally honor boarding and leasing contracts and agreements and who are a joy to deal with. If I had similarly sane relatives, I wouldn't hesitate to have them as boarders.
    ---------------------------



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
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    2,186

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBlue View Post
    I think this ought to be a given for *any* boarding situation.

    However, the potential wrinkle when dealing with family is whether said contract and agreement will be strictly honored by both parties. I'm related to a number of people who just can't follow the 'house rules' anywhere, and a few others who just can't take contracts with family members seriously. So there is no way in he11 I would even consider letting them on my property: I KNOW it'll get ugly and then--joy--the disgruntled relative will try to drag the entire extended family into the drama. It's bad enough firing strangers--I don't need to hear about what a meanie I am at every Christmas for the next 10 years.

    On the flipside, I have some wonderful friends who fully and professionally honor boarding and leasing contracts and agreements and who are a joy to deal with. If I had similarly sane relatives, I wouldn't hesitate to have them as boarders.
    This is exactly the situation I have/had. There are those who feel the rules don't apply to them. Unfortunately, sometimes these people are also relatives.

    OP, just tell the relative that you don't believe in mixing business with family and/or friends. If this is your first time with farm ownership, tell them you want to settle in and get into a comfortable routine before deciding if you want to board horses. Even if that person is your relative, you still need to be sure that you have insurance coverage, and that is an extra expense.

    I've had people get offended when I mention insurance claiming that they would never sue me. Maybe they personally wouldn't sue me, but that's not to say the next of kin wouldn't if something tragic were to happen to the boarder on my property.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
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    6,769

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    Phew! Never mix business and family..never. No matter what happens, you're losing.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Packing my bags
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    Not a BO, but the family boarding:
    it's a business.
    I paid my 'fee' I got my horse fed, I did the feeding, since I was family...but money and such...my Uncle ran a business, not charity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    If the situation was reversed, I would totally expect my mother or sister to let me bring my horse to their barn if I asked. I would be very upset if I needed somewhere to board and family wouldn't help me out just because it might not work in the long run.
    Well, I have seen the 'I'd expect' happen.

    My other uncle had his business go belly up (entirely his own fault) and he needed to place his equipment and guard dogs.
    My mom owned a big barn and we had the space, so we got the junk and 3 dogs....BIG dogs....in addition to our 2 big dogs.....
    After the initial bag of kibble was used up, there was no more.
    The dogs peed on my sisters hay, one tore up one of her blankets....
    mom was 'expected' to open her property to my uncle's critters...and her wallet.
    it did not turn out well.

    So, no, the 'expected to open the barn' would not fly with me as BO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
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    Cocoa, Fla
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    Was asked to do it years ago and said No. So glad we did - 2 horses they wanted boarded til they "got back on their feet" financially (10 years later that has not yet happened.)

    I took that to mean reduced board, although we never got to talking apecifics. The couple ended up divorcing - bet we'd have gotten stuck with the horses and they wouldn't have paid bills nor helped clean stalls and do other farm work. Certainly in all that time I never saw any indication that they "pitched in" with work around their house, much less my barn.

    Also - boarders (even family) would mean less privacy and I like my privacy. I would not do it - even if you had a written contract what happens if they don't pay/help with work/etc? It would just cause bad feelings. This way I'm certaain they didn't like the initial No but got over that relatively quickly, instead of resentment (which would occur if they failed to pay on time or failed to clean their horses stall, etc.) on my part.
    Sandy in Fla.



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