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  1. #1

    Default Board Increase Questions

    Boarding barn's rates are going up due to increased hay and feed costs. However, my guys are "special needs" and I supply ALL grain, hay and bedding. The only barn resources they consume are grass and water. Should the increase apply to my brood too?



  2. #2
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    Barn owners budget things. If the board includes hay and grain and you opt to not use the barn's provided feeds, that's your choice to do so. That doesn't give a boarder an automatic break or discount from board prices, nor does it make them exempt from increases.

    Barn owners make very little income per stall. (note I didn't say profit, the 'profit' is their salary and it's usually nothing any of the boarders would accept as their own income )

    Think about it this way: You rent and cable, electric and hot water are included in your rent. But you don't watch TV, shower at your boyfriend's house all the time and don't use much electricity. Would you expect the landlord to reduce your rent?

    Not to mention that hay and grain prices go up due to fuel prices going up. So hay and grain aren't the only increase in the barn owner's budget. It's just the easiest way to tell boarders that the rates are going up due to what's going directly into their horses. They can usually understand and accept that. They rarely understand that everything else there went up too since they don't view things like machinery and utilities as a direct benefit to themselves.

    So no, I'd not expect an exemption to a board raise due to my choosing not to use their products. I'd know that rates can also rise due to inflation and the BO just wanting to make more than $4 an hour housing and caring for my large luxury pet.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Barn owners budget things. If the board includes hay and grain and you opt to not use the barn's provided feeds, that's your choice to do so. That doesn't give a boarder an automatic break or discount from board prices, nor does it make them exempt from increases.

    Barn owners make very little income per stall. (note I didn't say profit, the 'profit' is their salary and it's usually nothing any of the boarders would accept as their own income )

    Think about it this way: You rent and cable, electric and hot water are included in your rent. But you don't watch TV, shower at your boyfriend's house all the time and don't use much electricity. Would you expect the landlord to reduce your rent?

    Not to mention that hay and grain prices go up due to fuel prices going up. So hay and grain aren't the only increase in the barn owner's budget. It's just the easiest way to tell boarders that the rates are going up due to what's going directly into their horses. They can usually understand and accept that. They rarely understand that everything else there went up too since they don't view things like machinery and utilities as a direct benefit to themselves.

    So no, I'd not expect an exemption to a board raise due to my choosing not to use their products. I'd know that rates can also rise due to inflation and the BO just wanting to make more than $4 an hour housing and caring for my large luxury pet.
    Nicely put.

    I would also add that you have to consider that if you were not in that stall(s), the space would be open to someone else that WOULD pay the higher board...
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 12, 2012
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    MoonWitch and MistyBlue - thank you for your input and different insights. Agreed that boarding isn't the path to riches. And that prices have gone way up.

    By my calculations, I think the BO is making about $100/mo profit/ horse. Because I supply feed, bedding and hay equivalent, their profit is about $600/horse (I still pay the regular boarding rate). If my stalls were occupied by a boarder who used the barn's grain, bedding and hay, BO would be back to profit of $100/mo/horse on these stalls, resulting in their loss of income to the tune of $500/horse/month.

    With that in mind, do you think the increased rate should apply to my group?



  5. #5
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    Mar. 24, 2012
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    Thank you, misty blue. I have some boarders here and I get the odd one who thinks board should be discounted because her horse gets little grain or she chooses not to use the grain that is included.

    Yabbut, nevermind maybe her horse eats twice as much hay as the others so actually costs me more. For example.

    So there is one rate. If boarder wants to do something else, fine, but there is one rate because it is an average cost and I'm not interested in nickle and dimeing every horse.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifitwhinnies View Post
    MoonWitch and MistyBlue - thank you for your input and different insights. Agreed that boarding isn't the path to riches. And that prices have gone way up.

    By my calculations, I think the BO is making about $100/mo profit/ horse. Because I supply feed, bedding and hay equivalent, their profit is about $600/horse (I still pay the regular boarding rate). If my stalls were occupied by a boarder who used the barn's grain, bedding and hay, BO would be back to profit of $100/mo/horse on these stalls, resulting in their loss of income to the tune of $500/horse/month.

    With that in mind, do you think the increased rate should apply to my group?
    Yup. It's been your choice/requirement to buy all your own stuff - not the BO's. Unless you made up a specific boarding contract giving you special pricing privileges when you first moved in, you need to eat the increase along with everyone else. If you don't like the board increase - move.



  7. #7
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    Oct. 27, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifitwhinnies View Post
    MoonWitch and MistyBlue - thank you for your input and different insights. Agreed that boarding isn't the path to riches. And that prices have gone way up.

    By my calculations, I think the BO is making about $100/mo profit/ horse. Because I supply feed, bedding and hay equivalent, their profit is about $600/horse (I still pay the regular boarding rate). If my stalls were occupied by a boarder who used the barn's grain, bedding and hay, BO would be back to profit of $100/mo/horse on these stalls, resulting in their loss of income to the tune of $500/horse/month.

    With that in mind, do you think the increased rate should apply to my group?
    I would very much doubt that your speculations on their costs are accurate. You have no way of knowing what all of their expenses are.

    As others have said, the board charge is the board charge and you don't get a break from choosing not to use the feed that the rest of the boarders do. On a side note, I'm not seeing where you take into account the extra work you cause for the BO by having your horses on a separate program. They have to provide you with space to store your special food and in my experiences it usually adds work to the feeding routine. If I just consider it rent on food storage space and a surcharge for altering their routine to feed your special diet.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedmondDressage View Post
    I would very much doubt that your speculations on their costs are accurate. You have no way of knowing what all of their expenses are.

    As others have said, the board charge is the board charge and you don't get a break from choosing not to use the feed that the rest of the boarders do. On a side note, I'm not seeing where you take into account the extra work you cause for the BO by having your horses on a separate program. They have to provide you with space to store your special food and in my experiences it usually adds work to the feeding routine. If I just consider it rent on food storage space and a surcharge for altering their routine to feed your special diet.
    This^^

    Are your stalls easier to clean since your horses poop less or use less bedding too? Is the labor to clean them less? Are they able to turn-in/out by themselves? I'm not trying to be snarky or b..tchy, I'm just trying to make you aware of some of the things that you need to take into consideration when you factor the costs of boarding.
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  9. #9
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    Are you already getting a break b/c you supply your own feed? If so, then talk with the owner and perhaps your increase is the same percentage as the others, but not the same amount (because your starting price is lower). I think it's true that all costs have gone up, so it's not just feed - but boy has that increased in the past 3 months!!

    Otherwise, board is board and you pay it. They are doing extra work by having your horse(s) on your special, self-provided diet. Or is he self-care too? In that case you probably are on a special fee program - so just ASK! There are more barn problems caused by assumptions and bad communication by the humans than any fence busting equine.



  10. #10
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    Sep. 12, 2012
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    If I could, I'd have my own place. Unfortunately, between insanely expensive land, work and school that's not an option. Barn is centrally located so I can make the most of my limited time. Part of the reason for supplying my own is that I got tired of finding they were "out of" hay/bedding/feed. We're talking running out of each of these a few times a month. Or having two bales of straw with 20 stalls to bed. It seems to be a combination of cash flow issues and just not keeping track of supplies. I always turn mine out and four days of the week, I bring them in too. On days that the barn workers (BO's relatives) don't turn up, I do my own stalls. I added rubber mats to my stalls so that they're faster/ easier for whomever's mucking. I do my own blanketing and am there for vet/farrier, etc. My supplies live in my horse trailer - just two bales outside one stall. And everyone has a filled haynet/ tub with hay cubes/ feeding waiting for them in their stall. Mine are pretty simple.

    And scarily enough the $100 profit/ horse/ month with the rest of boarders is pretty accurate (I know where their hay/straw supplier gets his stuff and that he doubles the price). And the relatives have complained loudly about payscale so we all know BO's labor costs.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 28, 2007
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    My salary has not increased, I don't have a COLA, but the BO gets a COLA?These arguments cut both ways. Boarders have a budget and the increase in board screws up their budget as well.
    And maybe the BO can replace the OPS horses with full paying boarders, but the OP has more than one horse, there isn't any guarantee that the BO can fill those spaces with full paying boarders.
    Everyone's cost of living, electricity and water has gone up. And there comes a point when it's too expensive and the boarders get rid of their horses or don't replace them when they die. So the barns go out of business.
    Rant over.

    Back to the OP, I think It entirely depends on what the BO is charging in the first place, at market, over market or below market. If over the market, move. If at Market shop around and if under the market, well be thankful and pay it.



  12. #12
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    By my calculations, I think the BO is making about $100/mo profit/ horse. Because I supply feed, bedding and hay equivalent, their profit is about $600/horse (I still pay the regular boarding rate). If my stalls were occupied by a boarder who used the barn's grain, bedding and hay, BO would be back to profit of $100/mo/horse on these stalls, resulting in their loss of income to the tune of $500/horse/month.

    With that in mind, do you think the increased rate should apply to my group?
    You haven't had horses at home, have you? Those estimations are a little unbelievable.
    Maybe it costs you $500 per month per horse for whatever specialties you're using, but the BO is not incurring that amount of debt per horse for grain, hay and bedding. (and consequently 'pocketing' that extra since you're providing your own)

    Does you boarding contract state that you have an a la carte agreement? if not, it doesn't matter if the BO is making more income on your stalls than on others. When you run a barn you average costs out...say in 20 stalls you have 5 stall slobs that take twice as long to clean (time and labor is money) and use more bedding. 3 stalls have hard keepers hoovering up more hay. At least 6 boarders think nothing of tossing "an extra flake" often. At least 3 boarders will leave lights on. A couple horses are pains in the asses and require constant turnout changes, extra handling or whatever. Besides the "barn chores" the boarders see or think of there's also equipment maintenance, footing maintenance/replacement, fence repair, weedwacking, mowing, spraying, watering, decobwebbing, etc.
    If fuel prices have risen to raise feed costs...then BO's heat bills have risen, fuel costs, parts for anything, utilities, etc.

    This is a hobby for you. It's a living for him/her.

    So no, in strict business sense alone, nobody gets a "by" on rate increases. It's not up to a BO to subsidize a boarder's hobby. As stated before...boarding a horse is a business arrangement. Despite that those owning horses and riding do it out of love...and think a BO is "lucky" to be able to "do this all day while I work" or whatever reasons...it's business. If s/he were your landlord and there was a rent increase and you said you weren't going to pay the increase because you sleep somewhere else half the time...well, that wouldn't work. Same with boarding.

    It does not matter if you go there multiple times daily and do all the stall cleaning, turn in and turn out for your own horses, do all farrier and vet holding for your own horses on top of buying all of your own supplies...if you signed up or agreed to board in a full board situation then you pay full board. It's not fair or right for a boarder to resent a BO making any "extra money" on a few horses. To want to limit the hourly income they make so that they can more easily afford their own hobby.

    This is why so many BOs burn out.

    There's always the option of moving or you can take the same option the BO did and buy property and run your own place or bring your horses home. Anyone can do it. Just takes a business plan, business loan, mortgage, insurance, crapload of hard work, marketing, reputation building, lack of social life, lack of vacation, work in all weather at all hours, lack of privacy if you live on premises, etc.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifitwhinnies View Post
    If I could, I'd have my own place. Unfortunately, between insanely expensive land, work and school that's not an option. Barn is centrally located so I can make the most of my limited time. Part of the reason for supplying my own is that I got tired of finding they were "out of" hay/bedding/feed. We're talking running out of each of these a few times a month. Or having two bales of straw with 20 stalls to bed. It seems to be a combination of cash flow issues and just not keeping track of supplies. I always turn mine out and four days of the week, I bring them in too. On days that the barn workers (BO's relatives) don't turn up, I do my own stalls. I added rubber mats to my stalls so that they're faster/ easier for whomever's mucking. I do my own blanketing and am there for vet/farrier, etc. My supplies live in my horse trailer - just two bales outside one stall. And everyone has a filled haynet/ tub with hay cubes/ feeding waiting for them in their stall. Mine are pretty simple.

    And scarily enough the $100 profit/ horse/ month with the rest of boarders is pretty accurate (I know where their hay/straw supplier gets his stuff and that he doubles the price). And the relatives have complained loudly about payscale so we all know BO's labor costs.
    Whoa, whoa, whoa!!

    You went from asking a pretty benign question to a descrpiton of bad service and misrepentation of services paid?? If you are paying for and not getting what was outlined in your boarding contract; you need to take action. However you determine that to be. It sounds as though there is more here than you're saying.
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifitwhinnies View Post

    By my calculations, I think the BO is making about $100/mo profit/ horse. Because I supply feed, bedding and hay equivalent, their profit is about $600/horse (I still pay the regular boarding rate).
    What kind of feed and bedding (that they would have supplied) do you use that costs $500/month per horse?


    As for rising feed costs, during the drought of a few years ago, one barn charged a "hay surcharge" that was uniform to all boarders. I think it was $50 or $75 more a month for only the 9 or so months until hay fell back to "normal" pricing. It was separate/different from a typical board increase.
    I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chall View Post
    My salary has not increased, I don't have a COLA, but the BO gets a COLA?These arguments cut both ways. Boarders have a budget and the increase in board screws up their budget as well.


    And there comes a point when it's too expensive and the boarders get rid of their horses or don't replace them when they die. So the barns go out of business.
    Rant over.
    Uh, so what do you want BO's to do? Eat the cost of subsidizing your LUXURY ITEM?!

    OP, from your posts I'm not sure I understand why you're at that barn in the first place, it doesn't sound like the place for you. Just move.

    Also, there is a shit ton more than hay and bedding that goes into the cost of the stall, which clearly you didn't figure into your calculations. Also, work that "$100 profit" out over a year. Say there's 20 stalls...that's $24k for a yearly salary, without paying employees/taxes/health insurance/etc. That's WELL BELOW the poverty line, for tough, daily physical labor. Your BO could be making tons more at McDonalds, be glad she chooses to take care of your luxury pets instead.
    Well isn't this dandy?



  16. #16
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    Ah, if it is poor service...then move.

    Unfortunately we don't have the options of choosing a place to do business because we find it conveniently located and then dictating what they charge/how they do things.

    I fully understand the convenient location issue. I also fully understand not happy with crappy service. My only advice would be to either talk to BO about the issues or move to a place that might not be as convenient in location but that provides the services you want.

    Chall, the difference between a BO having a budget and a horse owner having a budget isn't obvious?

    That's the BOs income. Their living. For you it's a hobby, pet or sport.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Barn owners budget things. If the board includes hay and grain and you opt to not use the barn's provided feeds, that's your choice to do so. That doesn't give a boarder an automatic break or discount from board prices, nor does it make them exempt from increases.

    Barn owners make very little income per stall. (note I didn't say profit, the 'profit' is their salary and it's usually nothing any of the boarders would accept as their own income )

    Think about it this way: You rent and cable, electric and hot water are included in your rent. But you don't watch TV, shower at your boyfriend's house all the time and don't use much electricity. Would you expect the landlord to reduce your rent?

    Not to mention that hay and grain prices go up due to fuel prices going up. So hay and grain aren't the only increase in the barn owner's budget. It's just the easiest way to tell boarders that the rates are going up due to what's going directly into their horses. They can usually understand and accept that. They rarely understand that everything else there went up too since they don't view things like machinery and utilities as a direct benefit to themselves.

    So no, I'd not expect an exemption to a board raise due to my choosing not to use their products. I'd know that rates can also rise due to inflation and the BO just wanting to make more than $4 an hour housing and caring for my large luxury pet.
    I think the OP asked a legitimate question, given the facts explained.

    I was with your answer, MistyBlue, until the bolded part. No, don't underestimate the capacity for understanding of someone you hope to have part with her money. It may work some of the time, but it rarely works for all of the people all of the time. Transparency is the only way to build solid and lasting business relationships.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  18. #18
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    Boarding should be looked at as a collective sort of group insurance rate. Everyone kicks in a equal amount. Some may use more than others, yet their price is the same. Some might use less than others so price is the same. Kind of like medical insurance....it is a "collective". This is why many people choose to do DIY boarding in the UK. You pay only for what you personally use. It is like the DIY with hay thing.....some boarders turn their horses out over the summer and want the cost of DIY with hay reduced because they are not using the hay. They do not realize the price of the hay is divided over the whole year. They would get a pretty big surprise if they paid for the hay for the 4-6 months they needed it if the cost was not spread out over the year. Also, barn owners need that money coming in over the summer in order to BUY the hay before winter sets in.
    I know a little off topic but the point is the same.

    I do remember one boarder who was pretty mad because her board went up because she had a very hard keeper that required more grain and hay than the "average". She did have a point in saying that one particular horse lived on nothing so it should blend in the wash so to speak.

    It is usually those who feel they are paying "over the odds" for the amount of feed, bedding, and hay used if the have an easy doer.

    Then again, how many people pay for health insurance but rarely use it and others who pay the same amount (and often times less) are at the doctor's office every week?!

    It is the more challenging side to being part of a collective situation.

    It is all what your perspective is.



  19. #19
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    I love COTH!

    OP, I board horses at my private barn. How do you KNOW what the BO's profit is? I have a hard time really believing you do know. Did you factor in increased prices for fuel to do the mowing? Do you know what her labor costs are? Do you know how much she's paying in taxes and insurance, and that they have not increased too?

    If you don't like the barn because of the service (which sounds pretty bad) or the price increase, then as everyone has said -- move, and find a better barn with prices you prefer. If you can't, that might be because it costs more than you realize, especially in parts of the country where land prices are "horrendous".



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I think the OP asked a legitimate question, given the facts explained.

    I was with your answer, MistyBlue, until the bolded part. No, don't underestimate the capacity for understanding of someone you hope to have part with her money. It may work some of the time, but it rarely works for all of the people all of the time. Transparency is the only way to build solid and lasting business relationships.
    Then consider the "increased costs" excuse just a polite way of saying "none of your business." costs are increasing, all over the board, and gas prices affect hay prices far more than people who don't drive 5mpg tractors seem to realize. If everything else in one's daily life is going up in price, I don't know why board increases always come as such a shocker.

    But the bottom line is that its really none of the boarder's business why board price is increasing...maybe the barn owner just wants a new truck, but she doesn't need to explain herself. The grocery store/gas station/vets office/clothing store/any other business that doesn't operate under the magical requirements horse people have of their boarding barns never give you any explanation of why costs are rising, they just are.
    Well isn't this dandy?



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