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For those of you who board horses,

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  • For those of you who board horses,

    Is it customary to charge the boarder (actually seems to be at least double the cost) of a gate damaged by one of your boarded horses? or is it part of the cost of doing business?
    Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
    Now apparently completely invisible!

  • #2
    Ive seen both. When I stall boarded my gelding at school(in 12, out 12), he kicked down part of the wooden walls....mulitple times. They fixed it, didnt charge me. (he did this around feeding time...grump)

    When he was on stall REST at my last barn, he would kick the walls when his neighbor was in...ended up kicking a hole in the cement block after a few weeks of kicking. BO asked that I pay for it or fix it. Well, luckily my dad had the tools/knowledge, so we fixed it right up!

    I dont know what the norm is...but good luck!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


    • #3
      I haven't had to charge anyone, yet. Damage to a gate, I probably would. They might be charging extra for the cost of installation if they have to hire someone to hang the gate.


      • #4
        As the horse owner I would want to pay for anything my horse damaged.

        As the barn owner I would probably let the first thing or two go but after that would expect the horse owner to pay or repair themself.
        It gets old having a destructive horse at your barn.
        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


        • #5
          I fix boards here and there and replace a smooshed bucket every so often with not a thought of charging the owner for it--that's normal horse wear and tear.

          If I watch a horse destroy a gate, however, you can sure bet that that owner is going to be getting a bill. Gates are too expensive to "let go" (you seem to think the cost is expensive...have you actually priced out gates? They're NOT cheap) and are NOT regular wear and tear, as evidenced by the fact that my property has regularly-used gates that are upwards of 50 years old now.

          Same with any other regular destruction of buckets/fencing/stall walls/other horse's blankets/etc. Either the owner needs to be responsible, or they don't need to be in my barn.


          • #6
            IME, it depends on what happened. If it's the first time, I've never heard of a BO charging. Especially if it was an accident. It happens and is part of running a barn with unpredictable horses.
            If it's a horse that continuously pushes on fences/gates, then I think the owner should be charged, but the BO's I know have always nipped it in the bud by either booting the horse out of the barn or put them in a situation where they can't destroy gate/fences (e.g. hotwire protection, stall board only, whatever).


            • #7
              Originally posted by pj View Post
              As the horse owner I would want to pay for anything my horse damaged.
              This! I have only ever been the horse owner (you couldn't pay me enough to own a boarding facility).

              Why would you think that you shouldn't pay for damage your horse inflicts? Damage to a gate is NOT normal wear/tear.


              • #8
                My mare pulled a board off the paddock when she finally had enough of eye drops, but the BM repaired it himself. Another boarding barn basically built her a really tiny medical paddock (essentially stall-sized but outside; their existing ones allowed too much movement) when she needed one, again for free.

                That said, I wouldn't be surprised at being charged for something my horse damaged, especially something expensive and/or something the barn staff wouldn't be able to fix themselves.
                Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                • #9
                  I have a boarder whose horse is impatient and likes to paw fences before being brought in. He routinely volunteers to help me fix the damage his horse has done.
                  ... _. ._ .._. .._


                  • #10
                    I think it depends on the circumstances if I would charge them for something their horse did. For instance, if the horses were out playing and somebody crashed into a gate or fence, damaging it, I wouldn't even think about charging them for it.
                    But if a horse was pawing at the gate all the time, I told the boarder about it, and they did nothing, kept letting the horse paw, and the horse ended up damaging the gate, I think I would ask for money for the gate. Probably half the cost. Of course idk exactly what the horse owner could do about their horse pawing at the gate, but I always have hay or grass available, so I don't anticipate this happening anyway.
                    My general rule is that if it seems to be a freak, one time type thing, then no, don't charge them. But if the horse is badly behaved, the owner knows about it, and the horse damages something, then the owner should man up and help pay for the damage.
                    come what may

                    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


                    • #11
                      At our barn, it's kind of like a few strikes before you pay. Horse rips hay holder off wall, but doesn't break it, and can be reused...doesn't have to pay.
                      Basically if it's low cost and isn't in a "communal" area, the owner doesn't have to pay...a gate on a pasture or paddock...pay up! Regarding this particular situation...I hope the barn owner would charge me.


                      • #12
                        Not to hijack but quick question:

                        What if a lesson student tied school horse to a gate instead of on the cross ties to hose down, horse freaks out, yanks gate off hinges, goes running down the street with the gate banging him in the legs, horse has multiple injuries requiring ongoing vet care and being laid up for months. Who pays the vet bills?

                        On this, I'd probably pay half the cost to replace gate.
                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                        • #13
                          Isn't the "lesson/student" paying for instruction? Where was the instructor when this happened? If student was there for a usual lesson then the instructor is at fault.


                          • #14
                            If student is a lessoner, does not own horse - then instructor.

                            If student owns horse - would think student would be responsible. I would never expect my trainer to pay for my horse's vet bills that were caused by my stupidity.

                            RE: OP - when I ran a barn, if it was a repeat offense that I could tie to a particular horse, then owner paid. If a random/freak thing, cost of doing business.


                            • #15
                              School horse was owned by the barn. The lesson was over and instructor was teaching another while student hosed horse which she had done multiple times without a hitch.
                              Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                              • #16
                                B/O should have established VERY CLEAR do's and dont's, one of which would be "Don't tie horses to gates". (because it's a dumb thing to do)
                                ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                • #17
                                  We had a horse here who seemed to be bent on world destruction. I had been warned about this by his previous barn, but since we were doubling his turnout time, I thought it would get better.

                                  No such luck. He kicked the stall doors off the hinges, ripped the auto-waterer off the wall twice, and broke countless fence boards, gates, etc.

                                  So when I came out one morning and found another gate torn from the hinges, two fence posts broken, and the offending animal's shoes in the TOP of the gate, I'd finally had enough. I informed the owner that henceforth, she would need to cover 100% of the materials and 50% of the manhours to repair damage done by her horse. She wasn't happy, but what could she say? She'd had to leave other facilities because he was such a destructo, so it couldn't have been a surprise.

                                  She did eventually move on, and I hear he's continuing his barn demolition services. I feel bad for the owner because I know she can't "help it." So generally, for a one-off, I'll just eat it, but a consistent destroyer's owners will eventually start getting bills.
                                  Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                                  Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                                  Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


                                  • #18
                                    My contract states that boarders are not liable for regular wear and tear, just as the barn isn't liable for something happening to their horse, tack or blankets. If a horse caused one time big damage we likely wouldn't bill either, but if he was a PITA and causing more than normal damages, then I would either work out a system for charging for the damages...or ask them to look for a new boarding facility.

                                    I have only really had one super destructive horse, but the owner was willing to help out as needed (such as feeding when I was away at a show) so that made up for the damages and special needs of her horse.
                                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                                      Not to hijack but quick question:

                                      What if a lesson student tied school horse to a gate instead of on the cross ties to hose down, horse freaks out, yanks gate off hinges, goes running down the street with the gate banging him in the legs, horse has multiple injuries requiring ongoing vet care and being laid up for months. Who pays the vet bills?

                                      On this, I'd probably pay half the cost to replace gate.
                                      Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                                      School horse was owned by the barn. The lesson was over and instructor was teaching another while student hosed horse which she had done multiple times without a hitch.
                                      I think the barn needs to eat the cost. I'd say the instructor was at fault for thinking she had taught the kid enough to *not tie a horse to a gate!*. But if the instructor works for the barn, doesn't get paid a lot and you all would like to keep the business relationship good, then I can't see handing a big bill to the instructor. If she isn't "reformed" and chagrined enough already by the whole fiasco, the BM certainly would be within her rights to have a sit-down with the instructor.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat


                                      • #20
                                        Sounds like its similar to renting and apartment. Normal age-related things or expected wear and tear, facility owners responsibility. Things out of the ordinary that require replacement (gates, fence boards, etc) if they are directly related to a particular horse - horse owner's fault.