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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2005
    Posts
    424

    Angry I may need a Reality Check? Boarding situation....

    I need some help here....I don't know what is realistic to expect????

    Some basic info: I'm in the middle of nowwhere, 1 H/J barn in the area and their base charge is 560....I can't afford that and even if I could I would not feel comfortable moving there for many reasons.

    Ok, I moved to a new barn in December and boarding is 335-350....for stalls getting "picked" 2x a day. Hay/hay cubes 2x a day. Large outdoor and good size indoor. Turnout is not included. There are 2 places to t/o...one is the outdoor arena and a side paddock.

    Anyway, got into an altercation with owner...... wasn't trying......I asked for money off my board for doing most of the turnout.....owner said no...b/c trainer is supposed to do it... (for free).....Ok, I get that.....it's their place but I thought I'd ask.........(other things were said.....)

    Owners went on a tirad....saying I can leave anytime and that they are not making any money boarding the horses...... (why do it then?)

    Ok, so my point is...what is realistic to expect for 350 a month....again, I'm in BFE...owners think they are doing a super job......let me just say my horse had no water this morning and I figured/hoped after the stalls were done the water buckets would be filled.... they weren't.........

    I'm frustrated..... any input is welcome.....even if you say I'm being a baby etc....


    Help!!!

    noodles



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    312

    Default

    I expect water buckets to be full regardless of the boarding price; we have automatic waterers. If your trainer is supposed to be turning out and isn't, then your issue is with her, not the owner. It does not sound like you have a lot of options in your area, so I would be sure you have a better situation lined up before antagonizing the owner of this place. If your bucket is empty, feel free to fill it yourself, and then offer to help the grooms fill the other ones. In my experience, you get when you give. They will prioritize your horse if you go out of your way to be helpful. Just my two cents.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,909

    Default

    If turnout is not included why would you get a discount for doing your own turnout?


    32 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,936

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    It is the barn owners responsibility to make sure trainer is doing their job, in this case, turning horses out if that is covered in the services provided in the boarding agreement. If the trainer is not doing her job then the owner needs to ask her to do so, not the boarders. IMO.

    It sounds like you need to find somewhere that does pasture board and/or self care. If you are in the middle of nowhere Craigslist is a good place to look for pasture board cheap where you do all the work yourself. With the right people this kind of arrangement can work out really well.

    The prices you list do seem incredibly cheap, even for the middle of nowhere. If your current BO is not making money off boarders she needs to raise her prices, but that is her problem and not yours.

    No water in stalls is not acceptable. Ever. No matter how cheap board is.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    14,888

    Default

    ^^^ magicteetango asks a good question.

    The reality check you need isn't about horse care. Rather, it *is* about doing business in situation where you have almost no power.

    Some truths:

    1. The BO isn't making money. You can be a smart-a$$ and consider her a victimy-stupid-doof-and-deserving-of-whatever-she-gets for staying in that business. But it's not your concern and it really doesn't benefit you. If she got as smart as you'd wish, either she'd close the barn or jack up her rate to the one you can't afford.

    2. If you have nowhere else to go, don't sh!t where you sleep.

    3. If the trainer is supposed to provide TO service than your beef or money-making deal is properly with the trainer, not the BO.

    4. BOs and standards of horse care more or less settle to what the buying public can/will pay. Many BOs know how to do better but spend years struggling to not raise board.... and in the process, figuring out which corners they can cut in order to keep the business alive.

    I hope you caught the BO on an unusual and bad day. A person who told me "F It. You can leave" in a way that I didn't see coming scares me. It tells me that they don't value my business and that's the only thing I have to offer them. I can't stay in a relationship where the power differential is *that* great.

    I think you should chill, take care of your own horse for a while and mend fences.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    5 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,257

    Default

    Regardless of board rate, access to clean water is always expected and assumed. I use to pay significantly more than I do currently and found my horse without water a few times. It was not acceptable and I made that clear.

    That being said, the rate of board really has nothing to do with it. Whatever is stated in your boarding contract as being included in the monthly fee is what should be expected. If turnout is not included, then I wouldn't expect to get a discount for turning out other horses nor would I expect anyone to be turning out horses unless there is an additional charge. Whether you are able to turn out your horse as you wish (while you are present at the facility) is at the discretion of the owner or should be stated in the contract.

    Boarding costs fluctuate so much depending on location that it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what should be included at a given rate. What I currently get for $300/month (in NC) is very generous due to a long time relationship with the family and my help around the farm.
    - Clean water. Checked and filled daily. Scrubbed approximately 1/week
    - Feed 2X/day with what every feed I choose (if available at a convenient feed store...I get credit on board if I buy it myself).
    - free-choice HIGH quality hay
    - Individual turnout in large grass field 24:7
    - Access to personal stall if needed (my horse comes in during the day June-August or during inclement weather). ***While the stall is available, I typically muck the stall MYSELF if I choose to leave my horse in during weather. During the summer months I trade days with my friend. I buy my own shavings or split the cost with 2 other boarders***
    - Fly spray system
    - overhead fans
    - Tack Locker
    - Washer for horse laundry
    - 2 outdoor rings
    - Trails (approximately 2 miles worth)
    - Flat grass area for jumping
    - Choice of my own trainer. Or there is an event trainer that comes every Wed for jump lessons.
    - Barn owners live on site. Daughter is VERY knowledgeable and has been my friend since we were little. My horse gets checked on every day.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
    inside of a man.

    -Sir Winston Churchill


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
    Posts
    3,118

    Default

    Just went through a re-do on the arrangement we have with our 1 boarder who was paying for feed/expenses and working off the intangibles (fence maintenance, insurance, etc.)

    After doing a thorough investigation into what she could get in our area, for what we provide - personalized attention, stall (we clean), turnout, bedding, very high quality hay & feed, blanketing, holding for vet/farrier, deworming, use of/access to ring & trails, a lifetime of experience - $400/mo. This is for board on a small private farm. I'm told by a variety of folks that this is a bargain.

    Sorry you are in an area where there isn't a lot of choice. Not trying to sound dreadful but if you can't have your own place, you sort have to decide whether this luxury of owning a horse is worth it to you.

    The no water part is absolutely inexcusable. Boarding horses is a break even at best venture for the barn owner unless the boarder is an air fern on pasture board that never gets hurt, damages a fence, etc. I'd take a peace offering and have a pow wow with the barn owner. Sounds like there are definitely some fences that need to be mended whether you stay there or not. The horse world ain't that big to begin with and if you truly are in BFE then word about you as a boarder (whether it's accurate or not) is going to spread.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    604

    Default

    You have already heard that no water is never acceptable. That said, is this a normal situation or did you just check at exactly the wrong time ... buckets were just cleaned and hasn't been refilled it, etc.


    As far as board goes, that is very inexpensive and I think you are getting more than your money's worth. It sounds like turn out was never included and, I'm sorry but, it also sounds like you were out of line going to the barn owner and asking for a discount! In my opinion, you should probably eat some humble pie, apologize, and make amends with the barn owner seeing as the situation is equitable and you don't have many alternatives.
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,043

    Default

    I cant't resist this one.

    For 350 a month I would expect adequate food, free choice clean water and some type of shelter. Period. Anything else is gravy because that is about what the property costs, feed, labor and upkeep expenses are going to cost less a very, very narrow profit margin.

    Can't fathom going after the BO here for a service the trainer was supposed to perform? What is specifically included and spelled out in your written contract?

    The situation you describe, outdoor and indoor arenas, somebody to feed and stalls picked even once a day? Run you 500-800 a month just about anywhere. A whole lot more in many places. Why do you think, if average in your area is 550? A barn 200 under that is utopian? When even keeping at home is running around 150-200 per head just for feed, bedding and barn utilities not including labor, insurance, maintanance, additional cost for ring lights and footing?

    Reality check time.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2006
    Posts
    964

    Default

    Whether or not the BO is charging "too much" or making a profit is completely irrelevant. You agreed to board at that barn for the set price for a specific set of services. Did you sign a boarding contract? Access to clean water should be a staple and to me this is your only valid complaint, if the horses were truly out of water and it wasn't a timing issue (groom goes to the bathroom before refilling, etc.)

    You stated turnout was not included with the boarding price. So why should you get a discount for doing turnouts? This makes no sense.

    Beyond that, the BO could be making a 90% profit and that would be totally legit. You agreed to board there for $350, not board for $x over the BO's costs.

    After running my own place, I became very aware at how little the average horse person knows about boarding and its associated costs. But again, that's irrelevant. The BO can charge whatever she wants to charge in exchange for whatever services you agreed upon. If you signed a contract stating water is provided, you have a legit complaint.

    If not, this is a case of a bad fit. Find a place that truly suits your needs and expectations - and be willing to pay for what that's worth.

    What people pay for boarding varies so incredibly it's more productive to see what the going rates are in your area and take that into consideration. Or make plans to have your own place - and be prepared for all of the costs that go into "saving money" because BOs charge too much.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    I cant't resist this one.

    For 350 a month I would expect adequate food, free choice clean water and some type of shelter. Period. Anything else is gravy because that is about what the property costs, feed, labor and upkeep expenses are going to cost less a very, very narrow profit margin.

    Can't fathom going after the BO here for a service the trainer was supposed to perform? What is specifically included and spelled out in your written contract?

    The situation you describe, outdoor and indoor arenas, somebody to feed and stalls picked even once a day? Run you 500-800 a month just about anywhere. A whole lot more in many places. Why do you think, if average in your area is 550? A barn 200 under that is utopian? When even keeping at home is running around 150-200 per head just for feed, bedding and barn utilities not including labor, insurance, maintanance, additional cost for ring lights and footing?

    Reality check time.
    I agree with most of this butttt....is it not the BOs responsibility to make sure services are being adequately performed by HER EMPLOYEES assuming said services were part of the contract?
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    2,047

    Default

    Horses are expensive. You want a better boarding stable with better service and more reliable horse care? You may have to pay for it. Yep, any boarding barn should have water available to the horses at all times. Is it likely that getting in fights with the BO is going to cause him or her to step up their level of service at the same price? Not really.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    3,856

    Default

    Noodles, I know that you have a young horse that likely really needs turnouts. Why not just apologize to the BO and work on developing a better relationship ? A couple of things:
    One is that horses can get us owners in a full on rage faster than most anything. They are certainly an emotional topic on so many levels for us owners, I find myself very protective of my horses and can go to deafcon 5 level with the words "colic, lame, or get out here quick". Owners carry that emotional frailty with us at the barn and the thought of someone not feeding, not watering our charges can put us over the top, when we are speaking of our horses.
    Second, barn owners don't make money from boarding and I have met some real good business people and some people who are living with the sane by the grace of God running barns. Be very careful what you say to a barn owner taking care of your horse. Only fight when your horse is not in their care.

    It is tough to wade through the boarding options but I am sure you can find a place that will work. Hope all goes well.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2011
    Location
    ENC
    Posts
    413

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodhillsmanhattan View Post
    What I currently get for $300/month (in NC) is very generous due to a long time relationship with the family and my help around the farm.
    - Clean water. Checked and filled daily. Scrubbed approximately 1/week
    - Feed 2X/day with what every feed I choose (if available at a convenient feed store...I get credit on board if I buy it myself).
    - free-choice HIGH quality hay
    - Individual turnout in large grass field 24:7
    - Access to personal stall if needed (my horse comes in during the day June-August or during inclement weather). ***While the stall is available, I typically muck the stall MYSELF if I choose to leave my horse in during weather. During the summer months I trade days with my friend. I buy my own shavings or split the cost with 2 other boarders***
    - Fly spray system
    - overhead fans
    - Tack Locker
    - Washer for horse laundry
    - 2 outdoor rings
    - Trails (approximately 2 miles worth)
    - Flat grass area for jumping
    - Choice of my own trainer. Or there is an event trainer that comes every Wed for jump lessons.
    - Barn owners live on site. Daughter is VERY knowledgeable and has been my friend since we were little. My horse gets checked on every day.
    Where are you in NC? That sounds like a dream! I'm currently at a very laid back small barn where I rarely run into other people, despite several horses being boarded. I've been thinking about seeing about moving for a few weeks now after finding a water tub in my horse's pasture bone dry. I don't mind filling it, I just hate that I found it dry. There is one tiny autofill waterer, one of those small muzzle-sized ones that's usually in a stall, but it's outside in their pasture next to this non-autofill tub, and if all four horses are up near there, the head mare will totally block my mare. I have a thread over in Horse Care about my mare's ventral edema that not a single person (between 3-4 different people doing feedings) has mentioned to me and it was very noticeable. The BO are the nicest people in the world and it kills me to even think about seeing if the barn I'd called initially a couple years ago (which was full) has an opening for pasture.
    Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
    Facebook me!

    I have Higher Standards ...do you?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2010
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    309

    Default

    I'd apologize and fast, if there are few barns in your area. I am not sure how a convo about turn out turns into an argument, but you can't afford to be kicked out.

    And now you have a bigger problem, you have already argued with the BO and now there was no water, which is a discussion that needs to happen - the turning out wasn't.

    I think you might find yourself in a mess, as you turned a small issue into a big one - and now you have a real big issue.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,257

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cottonXCblondie View Post
    Where are you in NC? That sounds like a dream! I'm currently at a very laid back small barn where I rarely run into other people, despite several horses being boarded. I've been thinking about seeing about moving for a few weeks now after finding a water tub in my horse's pasture bone dry. I don't mind filling it, I just hate that I found it dry. There is one tiny autofill waterer, one of those small muzzle-sized ones that's usually in a stall, but it's outside in their pasture next to this non-autofill tub, and if all four horses are up near there, the head mare will totally block my mare. I have a thread over in Horse Care about my mare's ventral edema that not a single person (between 3-4 different people doing feedings) has mentioned to me and it was very noticeable. The BO are the nicest people in the world and it kills me to even think about seeing if the barn I'd called initially a couple years ago (which was full) has an opening for pasture.
    It's my friend's family farm in the Raleigh/Durham area. So the only "boarders" are me, a girl that leases my friend's older event horse, and an older appy on pasture board that has been there since they built the facility. They have 4 horses of their own.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
    inside of a man.

    -Sir Winston Churchill


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2011
    Posts
    620

    Default

    I board at a nice facility that is fairly inexpensive mainly because I really, REALLY like my trainer. I understand a lot of things: BO is very hands-off as he is a busy professional and actually spends a lot of time out of the country, so if something goes unnoticed for a while I realize that he isn't "lazy" he probably hasn't been on his ranch for the past several weeks. I've very sweetly noted some maintenance concerns to him in the past, and while to other, more aggressive boarders he's said, "Oh, hmm, well, that's interesting," to me he's usually said, "Oh dear! I'll be out to fix that as soon as I can. Will you and your horse be alright in the mean time?" Moral of the story? Honey gets you farther than vinegar.

    Other thing: if there is a problem on the ranch, figure out a sensible solution before bringing it to the attention of the BO. That as also helped me. I will admit to having a very hard-keeping horse. When she stopped being able to eat the barn's hay, I went to BO, explained the situation, explained that I'd lined up my own hay supplier/delivery, that I would put the individual bales in front of my mare's stall to make life easy for the feeders, and that all I needed from him was the use of an (already empty) corner in the hay barn for the stack and the permission to deduct the portion of my board bill HE'D calculated for hay.

    The only time I didn't do this was when the barn's stall yards needed major repairs. For that, I just told him the problem. I'm not a contractor, but I can see when a structure is in need of work. Thankfully, he could too, and was more than happy to contact a contractor and have the work done. It was simply a case of it being the one barn with a side butting up against a row of trees facing away from the house/driveway, so he hadn't walked back to do a structure check in a few months. (The damage ended up being because of a combination of recent heavy rains and a faulty gutter system, so it wasn't evident during the dry season a few months earlier).

    I do a lot of DIY maintenance, and I do everything I possibly can before contacting the BO. Yes, this means I will re-set my own stall mats, hang my own stall fan, scrub and re-fill my own water tubs daily, strip my own stall on Sundays, and dig my own small ditch to let the water run off my horse's yard during the rainy season. I installed my own tie-ring in my stall, removed a part of my mare's feeder when it broke, and have bought multiple hose sprayer heads for the barn wash racks when replacements were necessary. The boarders do blanket co-ops in the Winter, and everyone does their own grain/supplements/turnout. I know I'm getting a bargain, so when the little things go wrong, I take care of them myself.

    My advice would be to do the same. Sounds like you have a good deal as far as rates/facilities go. If water is a problem, bring your own tubs and make that your own responsibility (like I've done for my horse). Coordinate with another boarder regarding turnout (can she turn out if you bring in?). Make it work, if possible.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,043

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    Quote Originally Posted by Event4Life View Post
    I agree with most of this butttt....is it not the BOs responsibility to make sure services are being adequately performed by HER EMPLOYEES assuming said services were part of the contract?
    If trainer is actually an employee of BO with specific duties as an employee that would be true.

    But most boarding situations are trainers leasing stalls and caring only for client horses at agreed upon rates for specific services or free lancers who do not provide any services regarding boarding at all.

    Wonder if there is any contract at all here? Sounds like a favor was done taking by a friend taking OP on as a boarder on a family farm, not a commercial boarding operation. Other then questioning the water, which could be just a one time thing? OP needs to consider herself lucky for what she is getting for so little and apologize to the BO and sit down for a civil conversation.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,671

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    If turn out was specifically not included in the board and turn out is the trainer's responsibility I doubt the trainer is an employee of the barn owner. If trainer is responsible for turn out and trainer is an employee of the barn then that would mean that turn out is included...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2011
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Being a "boarder" for many years, I realise no barn is perfect.
    There are things I can work around, while others I can't. Lack of water and turnout, is unacceptable. The fact that the BO went on a tirade also scares me, she's not very professional.
    I would be looking for a new place and keep my mouth shut, at the place I was at. It's unfortunate, but the BO has you by the short hairs and she knows it.
    I've been in the same situation many times, you don't want to have to make a snap decision and regret it latter.


    4 members found this post helpful.

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