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View Poll Results: What would you do?

Voters
51. You may not vote on this poll
  • re-foot now and raise board

    20 39.22%
  • re-foot and keep board the same

    9 17.65%
  • don't re-foot now but save and start planning to re-foot in the next few years

    13 25.49%
  • don't bother!

    9 17.65%
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,223

    Default How to put a ring in and raise board...when you already have boarders?

    I've been toying with the idea of re-footing my farm's outdoor ring. At one point somebody put a base and footing in, but over the years it has packed down and grown grass overtop. I had someone out to look at it and he felt that the base was solid still and it would work the best to re-foot, rather than put a whole new base in. This puts the whole project in my price range, which I hadn't thought possible.

    But now the question comes...I currently have 3 boarders at my farm, good people that I like having, I don't want to lose these people as boarders. They're trustworthy, reliable, and for the most part, don't complain. However re-footing this ring would allow me to raise board at least $150 and still be well within the acceptable price range of my area. Currently my barn is below the average price for what amenities I offer, but I'm fine with this because I have good boarders. I'm fairly certain my boarders won't be able to afford this new price, so raising the price would likely mean bringing in a new set of boarders, but not raising the price (while still putting the footing in) will set me back significantly without any hope of recouping some of the costs. I personally have no desire to put this ring in, I trail ride for the most part and have access to other rings (that my boarders also have access to); so my main reason to re-foot are for my boarders benefit.

    I realize it seems like the obvious choice would be to not re-foot the ring, because doing so will result in a no-win situation for me (IMO), but I think about the future and know that I might not always have these boarders who are okay with the current facility. I have the option of doing it now, the funds are technically available, and in my mind, having a ring with great footing automatically secures a full barn. It would also be more feasible to teach lessons or train horses in the future if I choose to go down that path. But, as I don't see putting in the footing and not raising board an option, I know I'm going to lose boarders.

    So to end this long rant, COTHers...wwyd?
    Last edited by SAcres; Apr. 14, 2013 at 02:20 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    592

    Default

    You probably already know this, but arenas don't really add much in the way of property value. So, it pretty much boils down to how badly you're willing to treat your current boarders for the sake of an uncertain future possibly populated with people whose only known character trait is that they're less cheap.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    563

    Default

    Do the re-foot, and set up a schedule to raise board by $25 every x months so that you're closer to market rates. You could also "grandfather in" your old boarders at the old rates and gradually raise them up to standard, but any new boarders who come along automatically start at the new $150 higher rate. IMO it's not fair to just all at once raise the board on your existing boarders, but if you turn up the heat slowly over time, they can decide when it's too expensive.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,440

    Default

    If your boarders will use the re-footed ring, then do it, raise your board slowly, for existing boarders. New boarders get another rate.

    If your boarders are happy, they will grumble but dig in and pay, but there needs to be a reasonable explanation.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,183

    Default

    I agree with the slow raise. $150 is a huge jump. I think the most I've ever had board raised was $25, and even that made me wince (but I had three horses at the time). But, I loved the place, and was willing to pay it, because I understood why the BO was doing it.

    Maybe talk to the boarders beforehand to make sure they want the refooting done. I boarded at another place that "refooted" the indoor arena, and raised board to pay for it, and it was cheaply done by the BO to save money. I gave my notice the second it was done because it was done so poorly (I also wasn't entirely happy with other aspects of the place). Definitely not worth the raise in board.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    Sorry, I didn't mean to say I would be raising it all at once. I was going to do one raise before the ring was put in, then several slow raises after.

    My boarders will use/benefit from the ring, but I know they won't stick around once the rate is fully raised. Just for perspective, my barn is $300 right now which includes full care, great hay/grain, green fields, small ring (doubles as a drylot turnout) and plenty of great trails. I would probably raise it to $400 (to keep things on the low end), a few other barns I know of are $425, $475, $500, and $550, no great trainers to speak of at these barns and (IMO) lesser quality care.

    I feel like even if my boarders do move I'll be able to get new boarders in easily, I'm constantly turning away people right now. But being in a new price bracket may change the clientele I'll have available to me and I'm just unable to be sure I can keep my barn filled. I will NEED to keep my barn filled if I re-foot the ring.

    I was planning on asking boarders what their opinions are on re-footing, but I have a feeling that they'll be pro re-foot, until they are actually faced with board increases.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Ask the boarders?

    If they truly don't care about the footing, why do it now?
    Click here before you buy.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    Because I have the funds right now, and am in a place where I can spend them without worrying where I'm going to get my next meal from. I'd just like to do it now before I start dipping into that account for other things. If it doesn't get spent on a ring it will be slowly spent on other farm improvements.

    I'll be asking the boarders soon.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2009
    Location
    Little Pond Farm
    Posts
    352

    Default

    raise it for new boarders. The boarders that have kept with you during the growing years have already confirmed their loyality to you.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2009
    Location
    Little Pond Farm
    Posts
    352

    Default

    raise it for new boarders. The boarders that have kept with you during the growing years have already confirmed their loyality to you.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    279

    Default

    Where do you live?

    I love the barn where I am at except for the footing. The B.O. replaced the 30 y.o. footing in the indoor a couple of years ago.
    I offered to kick in extra $$ every month to help if she would get good footing. She was sold some stuff she was told was arena sand w/pea gravel...it is actually small (1/2 inch) road mix.
    Why she even accepted the stuff or made them come get it and give her decent sand I don't know. I would NOT have paid for that. Needless to say, I didn't help with the cost. It is so crappy. Dusty with little pieces of asphalt and we have found ground glass in it. It looks like the stuff the highway department sweeps up off the roads after winter sanding. Needless to say, I don't ride in the indoor.

    Footing is very important to me and I would pay a higher monthly board bill in a heartbeat to get good footing.

    Susan



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    2,106

    Default

    Good footing is tremendously important, but you are running a business. I'm not sure that investing in the footing would be a good business move for you. Right now, you are in a pretty good spot. You have reliable boarders that you like who pay their bills and are happy. New boarders that care a little more about the footing might also be more high maintenance in other respects. Plus, every time you get a group of new people in there is some uncertainty as to whether or not you will end up with a less desirable client or two. Lastly, when in the boarding business I think it is a good business move to keep your total financial picture in a place where you have plenty of cushion. You need to be able to say goodbye to a client or two--or three--without panicking. Or deal with some major unexpected repairs. Or deal with a serious illness/injury/family situation of your own.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,302

    Default

    Do you think you'll attract a different kind of boarder that you won't like so well?

    People still tend to look for good deals in boarding but for the higher price, they might want other things as well. Maybe try to get a feel for the boarders that did choose higher-priced facilities and see if you could imagine doing the kind of care that they want.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,187

    Default

    "having a ring with good footing automatically secures a full barn"
    I don't agree. In the mid-Atlantic region, an Indoor ring will get you a full barn, and that's only during the winter.
    I'll let other BOs advise you on the best way to invest your money to attract boarders, but outdoor ring footing isn't on my list when trails are available.
    Large, clean, well aerated stalls..that's attractive to me when barn shopping, safe turnout, auto waterers...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Posts
    189

    Default

    [QUOTE=Chall;6939636]"having a ring with good footing automatically secures a full barn"
    I don't agree. In the mid-Atlantic region, an Indoor ring will get you a full barn, and that's only during the winter.
    I'll let other BOs advise you on the best way to invest your money to attract boarders, but outdoor ring footing isn't on my list when trails are available.
    QUOTE]

    Agree. I have an outdoor ring with good footing, lights and jumps. Boarders are all retirees - I'm the only one who rides in the ring It's my personal experience of late that everyone who wants a ring, also wants a trainer on-site. I am perpetually perplexed why there aren't more people (like me!) who can't afford the board with a trainer, but who could afford a modestly priced private farm and shipping in for lessons/meeting at shows.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    Location
    South Park
    Posts
    3,183

    Default

    Do the current boarders complain about the footing or are they generally fine with it?
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2011
    Posts
    367

    Default

    I can see a small increase in board, but why do your boarders have to pay for your new footing?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    Why shouldn't they pay for it? It is an improvement that will benefit them, should they not pay for this new benefit? Why should I not increase board to the going rate for barns with a nice outdoor...how is that a good business move for me? It's a business, not a charity. I'm not expecting to get rich, but it would be nice to re-coup some costs.

    There is no point of keeping board the same for current boarders and raising it for new boarders. My barn is too small for that to work, and is full.

    The boarders occasionally complain about the footing, and I don't blame them, its not great. But it is what it is, they moved to my barn knowing the situation and knowing there were no promises of a new ring.

    In my area, having a good outdoor pretty much guarantees a full barn. The prices for barns I listed above all have waiting lists, even the $550 a month one. I'm lucky to be in an area where board is in high demand and there are a lot of barns with crappy care around me.

    Good footing is tremendously important, but you are running a business. I'm not sure that investing in the footing would be a good business move for you. Right now, you are in a pretty good spot. You have reliable boarders that you like who pay their bills and are happy. New boarders that care a little more about the footing might also be more high maintenance in other respects. Plus, every time you get a group of new people in there is some uncertainty as to whether or not you will end up with a less desirable client or two. Lastly, when in the boarding business I think it is a good business move to keep your total financial picture in a place where you have plenty of cushion. You need to be able to say goodbye to a client or two--or three--without panicking. Or deal with some major unexpected repairs. Or deal with a serious illness/injury/family situation of your own.
    This is basically why I'm hesitant to do it. I'm in a good place right now, I have a financial cushion should anything (god forbid) happen. I have good boarders, I'm "safe" right now. We all know how important that is in this economy, especially when you're dealing with horses. If I re-foot, I'm essentially losing that cushion. While I won't be broke if I do the re-foot, I'm going to need that extra money the ring "can" bring in, in order to rebuild this cushion.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SAcres View Post
    I feel like even if my boarders do move I'll be able to get new boarders in easily, I'm constantly turning away people right now.
    At your current rates, you may have. At an increased board rate,...?
    "Oh, sure, you may be able to take down one smurf, but mark my words: You bonk one smurf, you better be ready for a blue wave."---Bucky Katt



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2000
    Location
    Pretty much horse heaven
    Posts
    2,857

    Default

    Talk to your boarders. Ask for input on whether they want and would use the refooted ring, and it their enthusiasm would support a higher board bill. Give them firm numbers. That's the best research to help you decide.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,898

    Default

    Phew....bad attitude: "Why shouldn't they pay for it? It is an improvement that will benefit them, should they not pay for this new benefit? Why should I not increase board to the going rate for barns with a nice outdoor...how is that a good business move for me? It's a business, not a charity. I'm not expecting to get rich, but it would be nice to re-coup some costs."

    Is it really a "benefit"? An improvement they want and need? I sure don't give a flip about a ring. Where I board they've got a huge indoor....so what? I'm not interested in bumping heads with the trainer or the owner riding a "sensitive" youngster.

    If you want it, put it in and lose old boarders and get new boarders. I sure wouldn't pay an additional $5/day for a ring. Have the barn you want, charge the board you want and enjoy the boarders you get. If you don't have a bathroom, I'd bet the boarders would prefer that.

    I used to board at a barn where the barn owner kept adding crap to the facility. If she saw something that to her said, "wow, fancy barn", she added it. Odd seats at odd places, peices of cast chinese crap, funny trim in even odder places...none of which was requested or liked by the boarders...but she loved it and raised the board for the "improvements"....boarders voted with their feet and wallets.

    Good luck.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


    2 members found this post helpful.

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