Our barn has a policy that boarders must replace boards and posts broken by their horses – BUT:
These are private paddocks – it would be clear which horse caused the damage (turnout is electric tape – boarders not responsible for damage)
The fencing is a heavy duty vinyl – resistant to chewing and kicks
There is a small hot rope along the top and bottom board to keep horses off the fencing
The policy is CLEARLY stated – and is posted in each tack room, along with the fees $25 for a board, $100 for a post.
That said – I have yet to see them have to enforce it, because the fencing is durable, well thought out and very well maintained. A horse would really have to charge through a (solid, 4 rail fence, with two levels of electric) or kick the hell out of it to break a board or post.
I would say the entire matter has not been handled correctly. IMO, the BO should have come to you directly, not whispered down the alley to other boarders (or whoever you heard it from).
Unless it comes straight from the BO's mouth, I'd not bring it up. And if/when they do, I'd ask that matters like this be discussed directly. Then start the negotiation process.
I hardly think, unless your horse absolutely destroyed the posts, that you should be asked to foot the entire bill. If your horse contributed to the posts' demise, then I think its a goodwill gesture to pitch in for part of it.
It's a cost of doing business and allowance for this should be made in your boarding fees. It's also poor planning to have two groups of horses either side of a single fence. BO should adjust the turn out rotation or install parallel fence lines.
If it was a new fence, with new fence and boards, and my horse trashed it, I would offer to pay. But if my horse broke an older fence that had already sustained some damage? I would view that as wear and tear and the responsibility of the BO. It would really depend on the existing condition of the broken item, and how much my horse contributed to its destruction
We don't have a contract, never got around to signing one. I do help out at the barn at times, have fixed boards and waterers etc. for the BO just being "handy". I found a place that has 1x6x16 oak boards for $7.50, so the price is right...just annoying and I don't know if I should be getting all huffy about it.
Doesn't mean you don't have a contract; it's just not in writing.
If you've got no "heartburn" replacing a few boards then "finesse" the situation by approaching the BO offering to do the job. It will likely set them back on their heels and you can enjoy the moment of discomfiture.
Having a good fence in place is best for all hands, even if they're not really neighbors.
My gelding was once pastured next to a horse he detested. He chewed 75 feet of pristine oak rails dividing his paddock from his neighbor. Some of the boards we're reduced to half their original height. He also kicked out some of the rails. (The identity of the guilty party was pretty obvious, bsed on the direction the broken rails were pointed.) I thought the barn owner was going to cry. I paid to have a pallet of replacement rails dropped off, and we helped with some of the more critical repairs. I did express to the barn owner that I was not going to continue to fork over money for repairs if she didn't deal with the turnout situation. Apart from the destruction to the fencing, the chewing wasn't helping my horse's teeth much.
At the same barn my mare also chewed some of the woodwork and fencing. This was more ordinary bored horse in winter type chewing, not the furious destruction of my gelding. I offered to bring out a leftover Christmas tree, so that maresy could entertain herself chewing something besides the woodwork. Barn owner declined the offer. I did not offer to replace any of the wood in this part of the turnout. My opinion was that horses chew; get over it.
In the end I had to leave the barn anyhow. My mare would have liked to stay, but my gelding is much happier.
At a fabulous barn where I boarded, one of my horses had about a month of fence trashing behavior - jumped out of one pen and took all the electric wiring (for his and three other horse pens) with him, ran THROUGH a gate (and pulled it off the hinges completely), and then he and his buddy chewed through a rail separating them so they could be together. I paid for it all AND did the work to fix them, because I really loved the barn and my horse was clearly the culprit.
At my place, I have felt fairly huffy when I have replaced fences that neighbor horses have pushed/cribbed over (obvious from how the fences fell) and neighbors for one reason or another have not "ponyed up". I have had several neighbors with this and, as I love having good, friendly relations with all neighbors if I can, I do fix the fence,but I do also have feelings about it. Fence work is seriously no fun.
Hope you work things out with the BO. I also agree that whispering intentions through the grapevine is NOT the way to address her plans.
normally b/o account for general wear and tear unless shes out there with a camera all day where's the proof that's it your horse doing it
old fencing needs replacing if its nackered before one goes in there then its obviously needs replacing sooner down to barn
for instance i replaced mine last year as it wouldn't go another year as it was was ok for my ponies but i have put bigger horses out there so i updated it to accomadate the size and weight
but one can put up rent charges as the norm each year on all boarders with an explanation of notice in other words if the prce of feed and hay etc gone up then one would expect the rent to be review to accomodate this for the coming year and likewise normally a month notice is given and it wouldnt be for a lot more than one was paying - livery here depends if diy or full or part livery etc
for diy wouldnt be no more than a couple of quid most be a fiver each week but for full livery in comparision could go up by 20 quid each week
depends on circumstances
and you unless your b/o is out ther watching all day where is the proof its your neddy - get a camera lol
IMO, it doesn't matter if the fence board were old or not. If they weren't on the verge of falling down and my horse was the perpetrator, I would feel compelled to replace them.
I previously had a draft horse who walked through board fences because he could. The BO asked me to replace the boards once it became apparent that the behavior was not going to stop. Replaced the boards and put up hot wire around 17 acres at my own expense. That stopped him.
My current gelding had been a breeding stallion until he was six. He does not play well with others so he has his own field, but will bust boards if he and one particular gelding get heated over the fence line. Again, I ran hot wire at my own expense in order to curtail the robust fence destruction.
I guess it depends on how much you enjoy your facility and what you would be willing to do to keep good relationships with the people who take care of your precious commodity. Personally, I suck it up, pay for the boards and discuss the hot wire option. Having peace of mind in your horse care is worth far more than the price of a few fence boards.
One of my horses tends to take things apart. Things like auto waterers and hay racks, etc. First barn I offered to pay for each thing. BO said it was a cost of doing business so no charge. (Other horses did the same destructive things.) My mare at same barn on first day there tried to go through a wooden gate when she was left out of sight of other horses. No charge for that either.
At another barn, same horse was accused of going through a board fence. Now this horse will lean on a fence, but he won't go through one. He goes over fences. I also examined his chest and skin and hair, and no marks. But I was given a bill, and I paid it.
At another barn, my old mare kicked down the side of her stall after the BO insisted on leaving her inside with windows closed. I had said the horse could not be left inside without having window open to see other horses. BO gave me the bill and I paid it.
At present barn, first horse has leaned on his vinyl coated fence and broken one board. I offered to pay but BO said no.
So it totally depends on the BO whether you get a bill or not. And I also agree that having others tell you that BO is going to have you pay for any damage is not good. Pay if the BO asks you to pay. Apparently ordinary wear and tear rules depend on the BO. And as others have said, if you want to stay at that barn, you pay.
That's a great idea about a camera. Horsecam would be great. Except then I'd be constantly running to the barn at all hours to stop my 2 from being bad.
I would only pay if the cost was split with the owner of the horse on the other side of the fence (it takes two to play) and if the barn owner could re-arrange turnout to avoid playing over the fence. Otherwise, it's just going to happen again.
Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**
Since it isn't a lot of money, perhaps you could consider saying something like, "Hey BO, I'm happy to help you get this fence fixed. But of course there are x other horses in this field, and x other horses on the other side of the fence, and I'm not convinced my horse is responsible for all of the damage. Plus, some of this damage seems like regular wear and tear to me. I'm happy to help you out because I enjoy keeping my horse here but I just want to make sure that this is being handled fairly."