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Are boarding prices going up?

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  • Are boarding prices going up?

    Few years ago I moved my pony home along with a friends horse - the two have been life long friends. I have a small farmette with a lovely barn and ponies get personal care.

    I've tried to keep thing affordable with my expense decisions, but with the increase in prices of feed and hay I'm now thinking I'll have to ask for a board increase.

    Since being away from the boarding scene for more then two years I don't know if the prices out there have gone up along with the cost increases.

    Seems that the gas price increase = feed store increase, but it doesn't seem to go down when the gas prices drop.

    Sorry that was long for this question... Have you had to increase board to offset feed costs (or paying more in board)?

  • #2
    I know in my area, it's becoming a tough issue for barn owners. Board needs to go up, because stuff (hay, grain, bedding, electricity, etc) is costing more...but nobody is making more money, some are making even less money than in previous years, and cannot afford a board increase.

    It's a catch 22 situation. Board needs to go up, so the barn owners don't spiral into a black hole of debt and subsidizing other people's expensive hobbies. At the same time, a hefty percentage of boarders are already reaching their limit, finances-wise, and will either have to sell their horses or bring them home/to a cheaper place if board is increased significantly. So the barn owner can increase the board to cover costs....but then they lose boarders.

    What IS becoming popular in my area is more and more "backyard barns," of which I am one. People with one or two spare stalls, or a spare pasture, who can lease out the space for much less than larger boarding barns because they don't have the overhead. What's scary is that not all are properly equipted with insurance (I'm not in that category!), knowledge, etc.

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    • #3
      Board at my two barns has gone up in the past few years, but in my opinion, nothing drastic. $5-15/mo/horse (depending on board situation) at one, $20/mo/horse at the other (only 1 boarding option available). It translates to a 1-4% increase.

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      • #4
        They have too.........

        Gas for my farm quad is now costing me 20.00 a week vs 10.00. Hay was 5.25 a bale, my hay guy is looking at 6-7.00 a bale for this years hay (so he says............) feed up 2.00 a bag, insurance went up, health insurance is sky high and real estate taxes go up. Everything is going up except peoples pay checks and it stinks!
        Rather then increasing board there is going to be a charge for the extras I used to provide at NC. I will also have to do away with the discount I gave in the spring/summer months when I don't have to throw hay because reality is it balances out.
        I don't want to price people out of horses, but I can't pay for the farm, insurance, maintenance, feed and labor without some kind of increase this year.

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        • #5
          I have five boarders (small, private barn). I've been watching this issue for awhile as in the five years I've been in operation I have not once raised board!

          However. Hay is not going up much around me -- I just asked the farmer and he's raising his prices by 25 cents a bale. I don't use much gas on the farm; feed prices *may* have gone up a small amount, I haven't paid that much attention -- a bag is around $13 and 14 bags last me almost a month. Don't know what taxes will do, there's a bit of a revolt going on in our town.

          So -- I am not raising prices, for the moment. I can see that if inflation takes off I will, but so far, no. I also know what others near me are charging, and I'd be out of line if I increased the board.
          https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
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          • #6
            What we did one year back when we used to board, and hay "went up alot" one year was we charged board but then charge hay separately. We figured how much hay we fed that month. And how many horse-days there were in that month. I would have to get hubby to tell me how he did the math on that when we had horses come/go in a month. Normally though it would be easy enough to figure: x horses, y days, z bales. Can figure how much hay per horse per day and since you know cost of hay you can figure how much per horse for the month. We divided it evenly. Didn't get into the "my horse eats less" stuff since there is always wastage with ones that eat less. And if someone wanted more hay fed than we normally fed, they paid the extra.

            No body likes change but with increasing costs, we have no choice. Walmart's prices go up too :-(

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            • #7
              My Bo hasnt raised her board in about 10 years. Yes, you read that right. When a new boarder comes in, they pay a higher rate than those who have been here a long time.

              I just paid $600 for 2 horses in full board. In the north east.

              I think she's CRAZY not to raise them. She's afraid that she'll lose boarders...but there is a wacko up the street who gets almost $100 more a month per horse, with pretty much NO ammenities and shoddy care.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LittleblackMorgan View Post
                My Bo hasnt raised her board in about 10 years. Yes, you read that right. When a new boarder comes in, they pay a higher rate than those who have been here a long time.

                I just paid $600 for 2 horses in full board. In the north east.

                I think she's CRAZY not to raise them. She's afraid that she'll lose boarders...but there is a wacko up the street who gets almost $100 more a month per horse, with pretty much NO ammenities and shoddy care.
                That's fabulous for you! Keep your mouth shut! But I think she's digging herself into a hole... at some point she'll need to raise them, and some boarders (such as yourself) may have prices raised 50% or more to "make even" with what other area barns are charging! Then she's *really* going to lose boarders.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                  That's fabulous for you! Keep your mouth shut! But I think she's digging herself into a hole... at some point she'll need to raise them, and some boarders (such as yourself) may have prices raised 50% or more to "make even" with what other area barns are charging! Then she's *really* going to lose boarders.

                  Yep. IMHO, better to do the whole frog in hot water thing.

                  you can't boil a frog by taking it and dropping it into hot water -- it will jump right out. But you can drop it in cold water and slowly increase the temp until it boils and the frog will simply get used to the slow increase and not jump out.
                  ************
                  "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                  "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

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                  • #10
                    The stable I board at is raising prices by $50 per month for basic board, and $100 per month for full training board. This is effective May 1. They haven't had an increase for maybe two years, so it was kind of expected.

                    Back when I was boarding horses on my farm, I never had any price increases. New boarders would usually pay a higher rate than existing boarders, but no one ever got an increase. Most people stayed for several years, and everyone seemed happy with the arrangement. I just had to make sure everyone knew what was going on.
                    It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                    www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                      That's fabulous for you! Keep your mouth shut! But I think she's digging herself into a hole... at some point she'll need to raise them, and some boarders (such as yourself) may have prices raised 50% or more to "make even" with what other area barns are charging! Then she's *really* going to lose boarders.
                      She charges a flat board fee (varies from $200-$275) then supplies at actual cost on top of that. So the boarders actually eat the hay increases...but she has not raised the boarding fees since I don't know when. I know electricitity, diesel and gas are up...we have a 4 wheeler and a front loader...
                      I love the cheap board I pay (even though I work there and it drops the price $200 a month) I would be paying $800 for full board per horse in MA. My trainer wants me to move one of mine to her place...I told her that what I pay for TWO is less than her board for ONE! (though she has a phenominal place, all the bells and whistles)

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                      • #12
                        We haven't......yet. Our last increase was when gas hit $4 a gallon a few years ago and the prices of all consumable products we use increased. Trying to absorb the extra costs now for as long as possible before we increase.
                        Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                        http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

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                        • #13
                          Because of the drought in Texas, yes good quality hay is scarce and has gone up so most of us have seen an increase if your BO insists on the same quality of hay.

                          The show barns I know of have gone up, non-show, not so much because they handle more easy keepers and hay quality isn't such a concern.

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                          • #14
                            It should be far higher than it is. Ten years ago, I was charging about $300 a month, and hay was $3.50 a bale, a bag of feed was $9 and a load of shavings was $180.
                            Now hay is $7 a bale, a bag of feed is $15 and a load of shavings is $360. Everything has doubled! But local board has only gone up 30% and is now averaging $400 . I couldn't subsidize my boarders anymore and no longer have anyone boarding because its not worth the hard work for no pay.
                            "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CatOnLap View Post
                              It should be far higher than it is. Ten years ago, I was charging about $300 a month, and hay was $3.50 a bale, a bag of feed was $9 and a load of shavings was $180.
                              Now hay is $7 a bale, a bag of feed is $15 and a load of shavings is $360. Everything has doubled! But local board has only gone up 30% and is now averaging $400 . I couldn't subsidize my boarders anymore and no longer have anyone boarding because its not worth the hard work for no pay.
                              This is why I do on the farm dog boarding (45.00 per day) and have rented out a pasture to someone to board 2 goats @ 350.00. Along with renting a barn out in full. There is no money in boarding horses and when the first of the month comes along I need some income from the farm to send to the mortgage and insurance folks! I love the horses and taking care of them but there comes a point that as a business decision we had to move away from offering typical full board place.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks for your replies. I'm going to see what the next month brings. I should get a clearer picture of what the pricing will do with feed and hay. As some have stated an increase is mostly likely going to have to happen, but want to make sure it will cover costs - that is really all I'm trying to accompish here in my backyard barn.

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                                • #17
                                  This is going to be a tough year if hay is as expensive as rumored to be. I only board 10, but can't afford to pay people to board here, so either board will have to go up or???

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    They have to go up.

                                    With the rising cost of fuel I expect EVERYTHING to go up. Boarding barns cannot continue to absorb the costs. Between the cost of rising goods and crazy liability insurance they will have to go up. Our hay, grain & shavings are all up. Many vets are also having to increase their farm call fees.

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