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  1. #21
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    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Bonsall, CA- with my horses finally home again!
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    Chall and Fresh Air- great perspective on issues to consider. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. Keep it coming!
    ~Living the life I imagined~



  2. #22
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    Jan. 21, 2012
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    I just want to state my experience with trainers. Your milage may vary.

    I AM a blunt person and I speak up when I'm not getting my end of the bargain. The trainers I have had don't like that!

    First, money.......unless you have a BNT with plenty of sponsorship or money behind them, in my experience, you will be chasing rent.

    2. Know your trainer's training and horse keeping style. Nothing pisses me off more than a sloppy, messy, disorganized barn and lousy horse management practices. This even comes with trainers that have good or great references. Why? I'm not sure other than maybe I am just too anal.

    3. Good luck with getting a trainer to help with expenses around the farm, such as trash, manure removal, damages, etc. They say they will, but I haven't found any to follow through or if they do, they complain about it and make your life miserable.

    4. Somehow, they seem to sneak in more horses than they have stalls for. Good luck when you say something.

    5. Your barn, your rules but in their mind, your barn, your problem. They never have time to fix anything and even if their clients horses run through the fencing on a daily basis, it will be up to you to repair if you want it to get done.

    6. When we bought this place we were in a very good financial position also. I rented out space because I didn't need 33 stalls. The financial position has been compromised because of trainers who couldn't give a crap. Actually, it is worse when they think you have money. They really don't care. Renters don't want to do anything that costs them money and may benefit you or your property. It doesn't matter if it would benefit their business. If that is the case, they want you to pay for it, ALL of it.

    7. Iron clad contracts are fine, but you have to remind them on a daily basis. That gets old. The only thing the contract does is give you an advantage in court.

    Did that help?????

    Seriously, if you have the personality, are laid back enough, can let go of some control, or don't mind reminding someone on a daily basis that they aren't living up to their end of the bargain, have someone look at you like you have 7 heads because you want your place taken care of, the horses taken care of, then go for it!

    Oh! It is no fun when it comes time to ask them to leave, along with 24 horses and owners.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    Great ideas Chall! My addition is that you should have a clause in all boarding contracts about immediate move of animal if the owner violates safety protocols, basically at the convenience of the property owner or the trainer. That way you have someone around who is a safety hazard, or has grossly violated the contracts, then they won't be around for 30 days longer before you can get rid of them. And it would cover the boarder who thinks they can bring their aggressive dogs and let them loose, or has dangerous horses, or horses that aren't being cared for humanely, and you can get rid of the boarder ASAP. It's not good to think of a relationship going south, but when it happens you need an escape clause that is fast, and works. And it would also give you and the trainer an out for someone who turns out to be a nut case, and is disrupting the barn, and that person needs to leave now. You also need severe penalties for bounced checks, non payment penalties by the day, and a boarder who is told to leave by a certain date and stays on.

    And add a clause with moveout penalties for the trainer also.
    Last edited by JanM; Jan. 15, 2013 at 01:50 PM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Dutchess County, New York
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    Someone -- who leases their big barn to trainers -- advised me to always have a 30 day break clause in the contract so that if you want them out, you can get them out quick. They can leave too, but if you don't need the income it doesn't really matter.

    When you get references see how long they've been in each of their prior barns. A trainer around here -- who has a following -- is notorious in the local horse community for stiffing suppliers and BO's, and she moves probably every 9 months to a new barn.

    If I were you I'd put the word out to local pony clubs to see if there were any new graduates looking to start out.


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  5. #25
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    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Bonsall, CA- with my horses finally home again!
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    Mylilalter- thanks for sharing your experiences. In hindsight, is there anything you could have/ would have/ should have done differently to make it successful?

    A 30-day out clause is a great idea. If I can't figure out a way to make this work/ be successful/ be enjoyable, I'd be more than happy to cut my lossess and rattle around that big property with just my own horses instead of bringing an avalanche of problems down on my head.

    Sincere thanks to everyone with the great ideas, perspective, and lots of things I hadn't considered (or am looking at from a different angle now; ie training with the same person I'd be leasing to.... not sure about that one now). Keep it coming, I'm reading every response carefully and will for sure be referring back to this over the next few months
    ~Living the life I imagined~



  6. #26
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    Jan. 21, 2012
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    hey101, I am not sure there was anything I could have done differently, except to ignore the mess. I just don't have that in me.

    What I did do, instead of getting upset about things, was to have a meeting and ask questions such as "Is there anything that you(trainer) would recommend that we can do together to help alleviate this situation?" The answers were great, but then were forgotten. I think most of the situation with this last trainer, was she had lousy barn help. They never put water in the fields, or cleaned the water buckets, the barn aisle was a disaster, with tack trunks, blankets left out or on the floor, never packed them away in the spring, didn't lock gates to fields, would turn off the electric fence and it would be off for weeks, wouldn't repair the fence boards that their horses took down because the hot wire was off, overgrazed the pastures, didn't throw hay in the field in the dead of winter, etc, etc. It was just way too much for me.
    The trainer was just too busy training and really didn't see the mess. I swear, it was the oddest situation. In fact, they are moving out today.......I will NOT be renting that barn again.

    The trainers that I have had here all had very big egos. I only had one that gave a crap, but she couldn't afford it and started out on a shoe string. She started writing rent checks that bounced. Money management was her problem and she is no longer leasing a facility, but is just the trainer.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Anyone who owns a barn will tell you that the upkeep is a killer. You may think you can contract the upkeep away, but as a PP said, that's not going to be a priority to a renter. What will happen is that you will have to hire someone, but that requires supervision from you. More likely you just end up doing it yourself because that's the only way to get the work done correctly and timely. The bottom line is that nobody cares about your barn the way you do.

    I also agree that you can get into the situation where the trainer takes boarders or clients that you don't care for. But if the trainer is paying the rent what recourse do you have? It can get complicated very fast. What about equipment? Who is providing it and who is responsible for repairs?

    I would move slowly with this idea. I think buying the property is great. Do it, move your horses in, and get familiar with the farm workload. Trust me, just because you have the stalls and turnout, doesn't mean you have to fill the space immediately. Get to know your property for a while and then think about trainers and boarders.

    Just curious, does the layout allow for you to have a separate tack room and feed room, as well as hay storage? If not, take the time to create them for yourself before allowing anyone in. Otherwise you may find that your stuff disappears, particularly if you are viewed as the rich owner who doesn't really need the income.
    Last edited by IronwoodFarm; Jan. 16, 2013 at 07:53 AM. Reason: missing word!
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


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  8. #28
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    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Bonsall, CA- with my horses finally home again!
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    Anyone who owns a barn will tell you that the upkeep is a killer.

    We've had a small farm with 6 horses (of my own, not boarded) before in SE PA (lots of snow, lots of mowing), so I'm not worried about the upkeep. Have a very good understanding of that.

    I also agree that you can get into the situation where the trainer takes boarders or clients that you don't care for.
    Agreed, but I would be OK with this- this kind of stuff is the primary reason I want to do a direct rent instead of managing the boarding. I alluded earlier to those fussy clients that have a list of 10 blankets and when to change them- not my problem. If I don't like someone, well, I don't have to interact with them beyond pleasantries, as I won't be financially or emotionally invested in them. (I WILL step in for unsafe situations). I'm hoping though that by finding a person I like and work well with, their clientele would also be people I'll enjoy. Truly, I'm picturing a fun barn with everyone helping each other, great camraderie, monthly potlucks, Friday night Happy Hours, etc. (Don't think I'm starry-eyed though- I really won't hesitate to step in if a situation gets out of hand).

    It can get complicated very fast. What about equipment? Who is providing it and who is responsible for repairs?
    Negotiable at this point, but we have some basis for how we would structure this based on our property we've been managing back East.
    I would move slowly with this idea. I think buying the property is great. Do it, move your horses in, and get familiar with the farm workload. Trust me, just because you have the stalls and turnout, doesn't mean you have to fill the space immediately. Get to know your property for a while and then think about trainers and boarders.
    This is my plan

    Just curious, does the layout allow for you to have a separate tack room and feed room, as well as hay storage? If not, take the to create them for yourself before allowing anyone in. Otherwise you may find that your stuff disappears, particularly if you are viewed as the rich owner who doesn't really need the income.
    Yep, there are two separate large (and lockable ) storage barns with rooms for tack, hay, feed, storage, etc. I'd keep one and Trainer would get one. Two separate barns, 4 separate turnout areas. Very easy to designate mine vs. Trainers. Two separate driveways, House WELL separated from horse facilities. I can interact as much or as little as I'd like (while the situation was new, I'd be interacting a lot to make sure Trainer is upholding their end, things are neat and safe, etc). There are two arenas and I'd probably make the one near the house private and the other one shared, except for special things like clinics. Or maybe just rules that boarders can't use the one near the house after 4pm on weekdays and never on weekends. All still TBD.
    Lots of stuff to think about, and again, really appreciate the feedback to help me refine this idea. But... we are working on our offer!

    PS- the idea to find a PC grad is a great one. Definitely more chance to run a neat operation.
    ~Living the life I imagined~



  9. #29
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    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    If you can keep everything separate, it's likely to work.

    One comment about the starry-eyed potlucks and happy hours. You need special insurance if you start serving booze at a commercial establishment. Host Liquor Liability. I'm not Carrie Nation, but I don't serve anything other than water and Gatorade at my barn. I don't encourage anyone to BYOB and sit around drinking either. Personally, I would stick with having a professional barn, not a club house atmosphere.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  10. #30
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    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Bonsall, CA- with my horses finally home again!
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    Huh. Good to know. Thanks for the heads-up.
    ~Living the life I imagined~



  11. #31
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    Oct. 16, 2006
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    I am approaching your situation from a slightly different perspective which may be helpful.

    As a rider who started as an adult I have been pretty much appalled at much of what I have seen in the boarding industry. I am not overly anal and I haven't micro-managed my horses. That being said, I have watched horsemen/horsewomen who are what I would consider to be "good people/trainers" fall apart the second they start having money issues.

    I would require that any trainer who applied to my boarding facility do so with a complete business plan. No professional business plan - no deal. They also have to be able to explain the business plan to you in detail.

    The other key aspect is if you are requiring them to do the farm upkeep who do they plan to hire as their help/staff?
    How many people do they believe they will need?
    How much will they pay their staff? (Obviously this should be in the business plan along with description of benefits, scheduled pay raises, vacation time, etc)
    Will they have working students? Teenage "helpers"?
    This will be hard to evaluate but, how do they treat their staff?

    Most trainers I have worked with do not actually perform a lot of the physical farm labor themselves and have not treated their barn staff with the respect they deserve. If the employees of the trainer are treated well and are happy your property (and the horses on it) will be cared for in a significantly better manner.

    There is nothing more frustrating than being a novice horse person and seeing horse-keeping practices that are not up to the most basic standards.

    How will you feel when you look out your window and see a horse turned out in a paddock with broken fencing?
    How will you feel when that fencing is still broken a week or a month later?
    How will you feel when you notice less bedding in the stalls? Lower quality hay?
    How will you "legislate" this kind of property care?

    I wish you the best of luck.
    I've only boarded one place where I loved the care and thought that the operation was always professionally run. (The trainers were British/Irish and so were all the staff)



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Bonsall, CA- with my horses finally home again!
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    Quote Originally Posted by west5 View Post
    I would require that any trainer who applied to my boarding facility do so with a complete business plan. No professional business plan - no deal. They also have to be able to explain the business plan to you in detail.

    The other key aspect is if you are requiring them to do the farm upkeep who do they plan to hire as their help/staff?
    How many people do they believe they will need?
    How much will they pay their staff? (Obviously this should be in the business plan along with description of benefits, scheduled pay raises, vacation time, etc)
    Will they have working students? Teenage "helpers"?
    This will be hard to evaluate but, how do they treat their staff?

    Most trainers I have worked with do not actually perform a lot of the physical farm labor themselves and have not treated their barn staff with the respect they deserve. If the employees of the trainer are treated well and are happy your property (and the horses on it) will be cared for in a significantly better manner.
    west5- these are fantastic questions and thoughts. I love the idea of a business plan. It shows the person is serious, and at least has some clue as to the type of work and cost involved, especially for a younger person maybe looking to break out on their own. I know when I first got my own place, I simply had no clue what was involved in terms of work, time, and cost. I thought I did, but I really didn't. It took me a full year through every season to have a handle on what "running a farm" meant in terms of cost, labor, and time, and that was only with 6 private horses, not a barn full of paying clients.

    I'm think on the maintenance issue, I'll have to be very clear and direct from the beginning, make sure it is in the contract,and ENFORCE. I think (hope) with clear expectations laid out from the beginning, it won't ever become an issue. As the saying goes, I'll hope for the best, and plan for the worst.

    I really can't thank everyone enough for their thoughts and POV in your careful responses. I've really refined my thinking on this, and hopefully for some other folks too like The Jenners who are intersted in a business. I do see a lot of potential that this will work out.

    ETA: Just got word we got pre-approved, and are working on offer now! No matter how or if this whole business aspect works out, I'll at least have my horses at home again with TURNOUT. (Must. Not. Start. Pony. Shopping. For. Daughter. Quite. Yet!). I may never end up doing the rental thing- that's the best part that I stated at the very beginning. I DON"T have to. Which removes 90% of the stress. And hubby will still be near the ocean to surf. Life is GREAT.
    ~Living the life I imagined~


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  13. #33
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    Jan. 17, 2013
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    43

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    First post here

    I grew up on several hundred acres farming and raising cattle. No horses.

    My wife is a horse lover. Just about 2 years ago we bought our 11-acre plot with an 8-stall barn and amazing horse riding facilities.

    Wife now has 2 horses, her mother's horse is here, and we have 5 boarders.

    Our boarders were carefully selected and most of them are friends-of-friends. We've had great luck and no issues at all with payments or facilities/damage situations.

    My wife runs the boarding practice, having quit her full-time job to do so.
    I'm an engineer by day...but in the mornings and evenings....I'm the lead groundskeeping engineer, maintenance man, hay-bale master (and CFO).

    There is obviously far more work to do when it's not "just for yourself"...and beyond the work itself is the pressure to complete work and take on projects of (perhaps) a grander scale than you would have if it was "just you" using the facilities.

    We have all of our boarders read/sign a legal agreement that my wife downloaded from a company that specializes in equine documentation. We customized it for ourselves and all rules/expectations/consequences are clearly listed. There is a copy posted in the TAC room that everyone sees when they leave.

    This past year (our first summer with 8 horses) was INCREDIBLY difficult due to the drought, the lack of hay, and the high cost of hay. We talked seriously about quitting but decided we needed to stick it out if we could. We're going to make it just fine thanks to a lot of hard work and hay-hunting.

    ^^ looks like you've been pre-approved. Best of luck to you! If you have questions, we're all here to help.



  14. #34
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Dutchess County, New York
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    In terms of the maintenance (broken fence etc) maybe you should provide that and charge a higher rent to the trainer. That way things will get done the way you like, and in a timely manner.

    I think a key is having good boundaries, and knowing what works for you. Whenever I think about a new policy or practice my first question is "what works best for ME?" Next I think what would work best for the boarders. Always keep your interests first -- you don't have to be selfish about it, but things have to work for you in order to be successful.



  15. #35
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    Feb. 20, 2007
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    Bawston
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    One more thing that I thought of: In your lease agreement, spell out everything. I had a casual (very assuming) agreement with two people and then I found an agreement btw a BNT and their landlord and boy did it open my eyes. The LL spelled out everything (you shall clean the bathroom every week, you shall dust the office, you shall clean up spilled hay, you may not smoke in the farm vehicles) it was really comprehensive. So I copied it almost for the next tenant and boy are things much better. Firstly, the new tenant is pretty with it and neat, but it just doesn't leave anything open. As far as fence boards, you break it, you replace it. I also made the lease NOT EXCLUSIVE use of the premises which you want to do if you are still using it.



  16. #36
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    Oct. 11, 2002
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by hey101 View Post
    I'm think on the maintenance issue, I'll have to be very clear and direct from the beginning, make sure it is in the contract,and ENFORCE. I think (hope) with clear expectations laid out from the beginning, it won't ever become an issue. As the saying goes, I'll hope for the best, and plan for the worst.
    Trainers TRAIN, and their help is hired to assist them with their horses, not repair facilities. I second whoever said to charge enough in rent to cover the cost of a frequent handyman. Make this a separate line item in the agreement and raise this amount if needed to cover excess repairs.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  17. #37
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    Sep. 11, 2011
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    Area VI
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    I'm in your neck of the woods, and you have TURN OUT?!


    DO. IT.


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  18. #38
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    I'm curious. Do boarding barns that lease out stalls to trainers ever work like a commercial building where they charge out a percentage of the common area maintenance costs to each tenant?
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  19. #39
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    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    Can I suggest that you talk with an attorney that is versed on ag tax law before you do anything. They may advise you to set up a farm corporation that would lease this horse property from you.

    A corporation would provide a step away of insulation from the equine operation which is what they may determined to be advisable to protect your family's personal assets. Some other advantages the building and improvements become a deprecation expense.

    You as an individual would have to pay the farm for the boarding of your horses... but that would insure the farm always makes a profit and stays off the IRS radars.

    Trucks, trailers, tractors all become expensive items rather than personal assets.

    We used a C Corp as the farm as it gave us the desired flexibility of being able to have the farm award scholarships.



  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
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    765

    Default Unbelievable! :-)

    Well, I don't know why we aren't calling the paddy wagon for the OP. Never mind what issues there may be in renting out a barn (which sounds fine with me; if there is little financial risk, go ahead and enjoy the adventure! Why not?), but, she says "turnout in Southern California."

    "Turnout in Southern California."

    Hmm. I can't believe my computer isn't questioning the spelling on that one. I believe turnout in Southern California to be impossible. :-) The OP clearly has simply been pushed over the edge of sanity by the lack of turnout in Southern California, and has sought refuge by hallucinating about a property that does not exist. She deserves our support and gentle handling. Accordingly, we must all tell her to go ahead with this project, because it will comfort her emotionally, to have this imaginary refuge wherein to hide from the realities of Life in the The Great Wasteland.

    So, go for it, OP!

    :-)


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