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Allowing partial self-care board at full-care facility

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  • Allowing partial self-care board at full-care facility

    Question for those of you who board and allow some self-care.

    My farrier is looking at renting an RV pad we have available at our farm. He has 2 horses and would like to bring them as well. I am a small facility and only do full care board. He wants to do semi-self care (I would feed his feed and turn out/in; he'd clean and blanket).

    I'm nervous about this, mainly the cleaning part. I clean 1-2x daily and am very picky about cleanliness and how the cleaning is done. It makes me nervous that with his busy schedule this could slip and not be done daily and/or not to my satisfaction.

    On the plus side, getting pulled shoes re-set would be fast!

    Your thoughts? How do you figure board fee for self-care? I charge $425/month for full care board.

  • #2
    I have three of my farriers horses at my farm, I am over the top about my farm being clean and stalls are done sometimes 3 times a day. I charge him for the stall and he pays for his own shavings, hay & grain. So I would work it that you clean the stalls and have him pay for everything else and then charge a per stall fee. In my case my full board is 600.00 and I charge him 300 per stall. Now it is a trade for farrier work but I have a big farm so that might not work for you.

    Only time I let someone have stalls and they cleaned it NEVER was clean and I would not offer it again.

    Make it work for you and be fair for him.


    • #3
      I personally would not do it. I have had people inquire about this, and about providing their feed/hay, feeding their own horses etc. I just don't want to have to deal with them running out of feed, not cleaning properly, deciding the horse needs to be stalled 23 out of 24 hours, feeding their horse at different times than the other horses and getting them all worked up etc. Not to mention when I have to go away and have someone else feed, having to explain who's feed is who's. Its either full board, or nothing here for those reasons


      • #4
        Not a BO, but I know of one barn that allows partial care boarders, but the contract specifies what the boarder is responsible for and how often it is to be done, and what the charge will be (per day, added onto monthly board bill) if the boarder did not fulfill their part of the deal/ the BO had to do the work instead.

        Don't know if that works in the real world or not, but it sounded like it worked from what I heard.


        • #5
          I don't know if I quite fit into the category, but I do self care at an otherwise full-care farm.
          I have three geldings who go out in separate turnout from the other horses in the farm; I provide all my own supplies, work and bedding; my BO feeds breakfast and turns out. We come at night and do our stalls, feed, and care for our boys. Our stalls are in a separate smaller barn, which makes it easier too.
          Where it is a bonus is if my BO or I have plans....we can cover for each other (I definitely try to not abuse the privilege), and I always do a bedtime check through the main barn before I leave each night.
          It takes understanding on both sides; by that, I mean that you both have to be on the same page about what is expected. Yes, my stalls do not get cleaned until suppertime, but my boys are outside all day, and then they are cleaned to solid standards at night. It is good to be able to care for my boys myself, and to know that they have an experienced pair of eyes on them at the same time. That is something that could be an advantage to you as a BO.
          Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
          Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


          • #6
            I'd be nervous from a different perspective...what if your farrier is too busy to do your horses, and since he lives right there constantly puts them off until tomorrow, or the next day.... It is hard for some people to work backwards and work off $$ rather than going after new money. That would scare me more than the dirty stalls.


            • #7
              It is hard mixing self care boarders into a full care barn. When you take care of things, you can control that everything is done to your standards. For example, self care boarders think, "who cares if my stall is dirty, it's just my horse that is in it, it doesn't affect anyone else." But that's not true, a dirty stall is a breeding ground for flies, looks bad to others who who come through the barn and reflects poorly on your reputation.

              Sometimes it doesn't work well when people other than barn workers try to help out. For example, I wouldn't want a self care boarder using my tractor. So they'd have to cart their manure out to the spreader, which is not very efficient and I don't want them spilling shavings all the way down the aisle. Are they going to remember to put everything away when they are done or am I going to end up cleaning up after them?

              It has been my experience that often people who want self care are more adamant about wanting to do things their own way and feel that they have a right to since they are doing the work themselves. That attitude may work well at some barns but less so at others.

              I guess you'd have to think whether or not this person has a similar enough outlook on horse care that it would be compatible.

              As far as altering the board rate, I would just subtract the services he's not using. For example: blanketing=$40/month, but only 6 mos of the year, reduce board by $20/mo. Stall cleaning=15 minutes per day to clean and bed the stall= 7.5 hours per month @ $10/hr= reduce board by $75/mo. I'm using made up numbers just for the sake of an example.


              • #8
                Have you talked with the barn owners of the places where he has boarded in the past? They could probably give you a good idea if he would keep his part of the bargain.

                During the winter months I board at a local barn where BO offers full or partial care. Most of the partial care boarders end up not doing their stalls on a daily basis. They will leave the stalls go for several days then call and ask stall cleaner to do stalls while only wanting to pay her for one day of stall cleaning. I believe the BO has started a full care only barn policy.
                1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.


                • #9
                  The other thing to consider is that if someone usually takes care of their horse but you are in a position where you have to check up to make sure that it is done and be available to go back and do it yourself in case they haven't...well, that's definitely not worth a full discount for the service. I'd rather just do the job myself and not have to think about.


                  • #10
                    My BO offers full and partial board, and the barn actually runs very well. She doesn't have the sort of problems with partial boarders that everyone complains about. But she set the barn up that way from the beginning and PBs are built into the routine and not an exception to it.

                    I don't know that a single partial boarder in an otherwise full care barn is going to work so well.

                    Can you just offer him full board, minus a set fee for the RV pad?

                    If he wants/needs more of a reduction than that, is your barn set up so that you could have him do 1 feeding a week for the whole barn or something similar? I just think you'd have better luck working out an arrangement that works with the barn's current full board routine than setting up a whole new routine to accommodate him.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you so much for all your thoughtful replies. Very helpful and is giving me food for thought.

                      Thanks to your insight, I can now see that it's probably not the best match for me and my facility. I really value my farrier and don't want to get in a situation where horse care issues complicate a solid professional relationship.

                      Again --- thank you wise COTHers!


                      • #12
                        I personally would not do it...not the stall cleaning particuarly!! We have VERY high standards on our stall cleanliness. Farriers often have crazy busy work schedules and a dirty stall might not bother him as much as it bothers me!! And to complain might make you lose a good farrier/friend/renter!! JMO!!
                        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                        • #13
                          Business with friends and family is never a good idea. If your farrier is simply someone you do business with and you can afford to have a falling out with him then sure. If not I would be careful!


                          • #14
                            I agree with the OP here. In this particular situation, it isn't a good idea.

                            However, in our barn, this works great! The owners at first tried it on a one year trial basis, and it did so well that is has been going now for several years. We have one aisle that is full care, and the rest of the barn is self care. Because this is a busy lesson barn, stalls and buckets in the full care section are cleaned once a day. However, in the self care section, you can clean as much as you desire! You are required to clean your stall daily. If you will be away the barn will do it for you at a cost. If you just decide not to do it, you will be asked to leave. In the winter, if you wish to clean twice daily, you need to leave the refuse in the stall corner so it won't freeze to the spreader overnight, and remove it the next day. The aisles are all blown out twice daily, and you are required to keep them clean.

                            You are provided with a dry matted stall, and have full use of the amenities, including warm water and an indoor. Self care board is half the cost of full care, and hay can be purchased at a reduced cost through the barn, if you wish. The barn feeds and turns out all horses in the morning, which is what makes this so do-able. I have done both full care and self care at this barn, and the self care side fills fast when an opening does occur. More often than not, there is a waiting list to get a stall.

                            Self care boarders who work outside of the home will not be able to comply with two and three stall cleanings a day, as they usually come in later during the day to clean, ride and then stall up their horse. Those who have the time can and usually do make the second trip in to tidy things up in the stall.
                            "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                            • #15
                              I'm not a BO (other than my own 2 @ home horses) so maybe I'm not seeing something you w/boarders do, but:

                              I might go for it as long as you have a legal form lease for the RV pad so if he turns out to be a less-than-desirable tenant you have recourse.
                              Of course, that would probably result in looking for a different farrier.

                              I'd let him know in advance that you want stalls on the property maintained to your standards so you will do the cleaning.
                              And since you will be doing the feeding & T/O that probably means no reduction in his board.

                              I would not count on him being on call for your shoeing needs either.
                              If he comes home to your place from an extra-busy day he might not be very amenable to more work.

                              Hmmm...looks like I'm saying Nuh-Uh too
                              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                              • #16
                                I actually come at it from the other direction, started out boarding at a full board barn, started partial self-care when both horses had issues at the same time which required them to stay on stall rest. BO was not that willing, long story short, by the time it was done I was supplying my own, feed, hay, and sawdust for NO reduction in board as i was choosing not to use what she supplied, regardless of weather it was feeding everyone the same sweet feed (to my recently foundered pony) and only "dusting" the wet spots in the stall, for a horse with a tendon injury who needed deep bedding Needless to say while my guys were recovering, a run-in and fencing was being installed at my place and everyone is now home "my barn my rules" now the more I learned the more I realized we didn't see eye to eye on what basic care was, ended badly. Fortunately we have made ammends. This kind of thing can strain any relationship. So probably not a good idea, unless you set rules in stone and everyone can live by them and communication is a must if there is a problem.
                                "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                                "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                                • #17
                                  Before rejecting it, Talk to the guy. Ask him about the plan for his horses. does he plan to have them on t/o mostly.. then maybe they can get by with daily stall cleaning instead of twice daily/ etc. Put in a clause as to a charge that occurs if they miss/ day... or need a day off. maybe trade off days (i.e. he will do Sat and Sun stall cleanings, in exchange for not doing them on Wed and Fri) etc.

                                  Lots of ways it could work, or couldn't.. but I think you need to talk to him more to find out if it would.
                                  "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by smokygirl View Post
                                    Before rejecting it, Talk to the guy. Ask him about the plan for his horses. does he plan to have them on t/o mostly.. then maybe they can get by with daily stall cleaning instead of twice daily/ etc. Put in a clause as to a charge that occurs if they miss/ day... or need a day off. maybe trade off days (i.e. he will do Sat and Sun stall cleanings, in exchange for not doing them on Wed and Fri) etc.

                                    Lots of ways it could work, or couldn't.. but I think you need to talk to him more to find out if it would.
                                    I agree with this. Before making any decisions, sit down and have a good, OPEN conversation about the following:

                                    1. You expectations and standards for care
                                    2. HIS expectations and standards for care
                                    3. If standards were to slip, what would be a fair charge/fee
                                    4. Why he needs to so partial board. Is it money, or is he just picky too. You might be picky, but who knows...maybe he's pickier.

                                    Don't reject an idea just because it's new. If he cleans his stall once a day and his horses are outside ALL day, then the standards won't slip because the horses won't be in the stalls. Maybe he would like them left out all the time except for feedings, which would make cleaning even easier and less of an issue.

                                    I just think you should talk to him before deciding. If it won't work, then don't do it. If it will, then do. Just get papers signed and such. I know when I open a boarding barn I will have a partial board option. Feeding a horse and turning him/her out is the easiest thing (for me, personally. not for everyone) about caring for another's horse. Look horse over, dump food, make sure all is well, turn outside, keep an eye out. Not having to blanket would be a godsend IMO.
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