I don't understand why people think she sounds entitled because she doesn't want to pay $25/hour for lighting. I have never heard of anyone charging any boarder such a fee. Ever. If she rides 5 days a week for an hour, that would be an extra $500/month when she only pays $300/month for her board to start (which sounds very reasonable for both). It's just absurd, especially when BM has said the lights cost her an extra $125/month.
Hence my belief that a mistake has been made. it just can't be right, it's too ridiculous. or it's another episode in "As the Barn Turns" (For Crone). OP, I think you should have another conversation with BM and do the math with her to figure out a more workable solution.
People need to get a grip. HRF does not sound entitled, nor is she saying the BO is buying her Lexus on the proceeds of her boarding. If you read the thread, she was referencing not wanting to rock the boat, the BO does not NEED BOARDERS, they are just there to offset "some of the cost". Geez, I want to sprinkle Prozac in people's coffee.
I agree, what's wrong with everyone. OP does not sound entitled, in fact she sounds very reasonable, even willing to ride outside with only one light. I do think the BO should have taken all her costs into consideration before coming up with her boarding fee, but it also appears that she is new to having boarders, so most likely the additional cost of the lights didn't occur to her at the time. It sounds as though the OP and BO will be able to come to a satisfactory understanding that each can live with. I have no idea how much lighting for an indoor actually costs, but it doesn't seem that it should cost more than the actual cost of the boarding, so $25 per hour seems high to me.
Can someone sprinkle some prozac in my coffee too?! That'd be great. Thanks!
Well I'm going to take the ideas presented here to the BM who is going to talk to the BO and see what we can do. Education is power and some of this I had no idea on! I understand everyone's position in this scenario but life is all about compromises.
The cranky-sounding people are probably BO's, or people that know what goes into the cost of board.
The OP sounds perfectly nice and very reasonable to me.
HOWEVER, all the speculation about how much her horse is costing is getting it massively wrong (as other posters have pointed out).
Furthermore, the BO can charge whatever she wants, using whatever basis she wants. Full stop. (Do I have to explicitly state that of course the boarders do not have to pay what the BO is charging, that they can decide something is too much and leave? That is what happens if a BO charges too much. However, she could decide the lights are to be a profit center, or she really doesn't want people riding at night, and so charges a lot in order to discourage the practice -- whatever, the BO can do this).
Since the BO sounds very reasonable -- in all senses of the word (board not high; no extra fees for extra service etc) and sounds quite nice -- as does the OP -- I would expect that all the COTH drama is unnecessary.
All the OP has to do is sit down with the BO and ask. Was there a misunderstanding? Is a premium being charged to discourage night riding? Is the fee actually what the lights cost, etc?
If the answer is not to the OP's liking, then the OP needs to ask herself if the barn is otherwise so perfect that she'd be willing to pay that much more per month. If the answer is "no" then she'll need to look for another place to board.
If they charge a surcharge for both seasons why not just raise the board rate by $25?
My barn does the same thing because not everybody blankets and not everybody has their horse fly sprayed. One of the people that used to board in the winter was there every night and did her own blankets so why pay the barn to do a service that she doesn't use. I know for some boarders they only pay for fall and spring blanketing where there is more likely to have it a big swing in temperature.
Most of the time in the winter my horse pretty much wears the same thing 24 hours a day.
Fly spray seems to only work for a couple of hours at best so I don't bother with flyspray for turn-out. He goes out at night and doesn't seem bothered by flies anyway.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
My BM charges a flat rate which will include a variety of reasonable additions. My horse blew a tiny abscess in his LF toe, and she soaked and wrapped on alternate days for two weeks at no additional charge. Plus she gave me with a soaking/wrapping and sheath cleaning lesson in there as well
She just simply does not believe in nickel-and-diming boarders to death (+ she doesn't want to keep track of it all!), and is very upfront about what is included and what isn't. Even-month worming is $20, which balances out over the year with the cost of the various wormers; or boarders are welcome to do it themselves.She doesn't charge for holding my horse for the vet (invoices separately) & farrier ($50/6 weeks since I have a draft).
Not having to worry about the care my horse is getting = priceless.
"Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."
Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
No comment on your situation specifically, but I think the responses are naive with respect to actual electricity costs for a barn and arena. My barn and arena electricity bill goes up about 7x in the winter due to lights alone. This is for a small private barn. Nothing else runs on electric (heat is gas). The lights are around $60/hour to run.
Holy cow that's expensive!! No idea on utilities in Canada, but I can leave all the lights on, run the dryer and the washing machine non-stop, and still not come close to an increase like that. Are you heating an indoor?
I've had experiences at two barns in regards to bills. One was a large facility, 60+ horses, 21 stalls, arena with giant stadium lights. The BO complained all the time about the winter electricity bill being in the range of $600+ dollars/month, but since I bet it was normally more than $200 in the summer due to AC in the tack room, office, bathroom, and feed room, plus a soda machine and full-size refrigerator... That's not a 6x increase. She had aisle lights and a light in each stall, wash rack light and heat lamp, on and on, and yeah she would flip a lid when the lights were left on (how the last person at the barn could drive away and leave all the lights on is beyond me and a rant for a different day), but I still think a 3x increase is reasonable.
I also owned a small facility (eight stalls, tack/feed room) with barn lights, arena lights, lane lights out to the paddocks, etc. My electricity bill was never more than $200 on top of the normal charge in the winter, and I had boarders use the arena lights and the lane lights to go catch their ponies...and leave them on while they tacked... and rode...and untacked... *shrug*.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
I think the OP needs to ride with a miner' slight on her helmet
This has happened. Well. Sort of. We put our iPhone with the flashlight app on in our pocket and rode around. And our very quiet and not spooky at all TB's were like "Ok? Have y'all done lost your minds tonight?!"
I'd do the car headlights except my Cruze can't fit back there without getting stuck.
At Sam's club and I sure other places have outdoor battery operated lights. They are very small but give off a lot of light. Can be just turned on or motion detection turned on. They can be put up on a wall by 1 small screw and slid onto a holster to be on the wall and then slid off with the holster remaining on the wall. You might have to buy say 1 for so many feet but they are small, 25$ for 2, can be removed and take 3 triple A batteries. You can buy a lot of these for 25 $ an hour.
Well, isn't that special they have a special meter just for the ring? (not).
Just throwing this out there, but last fall we installed two "floodinators" as DH calls them, they are 600 watt metal halide. My electric bill increase was maybe $25 a month for the, say, 12 hours a month they were used. Nowhere near enough to cause a board increase or extra fee.
We are heating an indoor, but with gas, not electric. We also have a gas dryer. Gas is cheap so we run as much as possible off of that. It's damn cold and dark up here in the winter and light out until 10/11 pm in the summer, so I think the drastic change in cost season to season has a lot to do with our drastic change in daylight hours and temperature.
We also have to heat the outdoor waterers for the horses in the winter and they run on electric, so the increase in winter includes that as well.
At least we don't have to have air conditioning or fans in the 'summer'.....
As to surcharges, barns here typically charge one price for board year round, including blanketing but may charge a small fee for holding for farrier, vet and/or cold hosing ect.... I have never heard of a lights surcharge but have heard of a hay surcharge in years when hay was particularly expensive.
At one place I boarded I wanted my horses under lights - 16 hours a day - 100 watt bulb - so I called their utility company and asked them how much it would cost for me to run a 100 watt bulb for 16 hours a day - they told me - actually emailed me the info I gave that to the barn owner and said I would pay that in addition to my normal board - by the way it cost me $13 per horse a month.
Find out what company they use, what kind of lights and what is the watts - call and find out what it costs to have them on the 2 hours you ride at night - go from there.
Where I am now I have 1 horse under lights (no charge) but the stalls all have lights and they are always on until 10:00 at night every night so the horses dont stand in the dark now that it is getting dark a lot earlier - I love my new place -