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BO's, do you charge extra for stall rest?

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  • BO's, do you charge extra for stall rest?

    I have never charged in the past, but I currently have a horse in my barn that has pretty much been on stall rest the entire time she has been at my place. Horse moved in on stall rest last june, was rehabbed, was FINALLY allowed turnout, not even 2 months later, horse is off again. Reinjured the same leg in a slightly different spot. Owner decides to do stem cell therapy this time (on a 19 year old horse). That was Dec, horse is STILL on total stall rest with the exception of her daily walks for "rehab", done by her owner. Will continue to be on stall rest for another month at least, probably two. The mare is a total nutjob in her stall, pacing,screaming, sweating to the point that owner decided to leave her other gelding in with the mare, 24 hours a day. Poor boy. The mare is also on a VERY strong combo of ace, reserpine, obviously to calm her, to pretty much no avail. So she TRASHES her stall every. Single. Day.

    I felt bad for the owner because of course she had a lot of vet bills, and was having home repair problems at the same time, so I told her I would not charge her extra in December when she was back on stall rest. But I just feel like it's getting out of hand; it's one thing to have a horse on stall rest for a few weeks, but I think this is going to be a constant merry go round of injury, surgery, stall rest, turnout, rinse, repeat. This owner seems to have no limitations on what she will do to "help" this mare.

    So the question is: What is an reasonable amount to charge for 2 horses in on stall rest 24/7, if anything?

    Sorry this got so long!
    Last edited by mpsbarnmanager; Mar. 20, 2012, 02:23 PM. Reason: clarified a "she"
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  • #2
    Sometimes I do; usually with prolonged stall rest I clean the stall an extra time, and go through more bedding. My time and supplies are worth extra, so I bill accordingly.

    So if the horse used about $2 a day more shavings than the messiest non-stall rest horse, and requires 15 minutes more of my time, they the owner will be charged an extra $7 a day.

    If the horse is super neat and/or the owner is helping with stall cleaning and such, I may waive some or all of the additional fee.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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    • #3
      Crike!

      In your spot, I'd do my very best to keep from adding to this owner's misery. Between the time and money involved for F*ck All of enjoyment of her riding horses, surely she's suffering enough.

      If you don't like her or her horse management style then "own" that. Ask her to leave if it gets under your skin that bad. But don't express your displeasure or skepticism about the need for stall-rest under the guise of "it costs more."

      It sounds like it really does cost more. If so, do your costing, give your HO (horse owner) a heads up that, say, beginning in April you and she need to make a plan for continued stall rest so that you don't lose your shirt via the extra bedding and labor. Know what you need and then be open to her suggestions about how to get it done.

      I hope you can come to a solution. Some of my favorite people are BOs who helped me out when I was struck with some bad horsey luck. It goes a long way in my book, and I'll brag on them to anyone.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • #4
        That situation sucks for everyone.

        My 17-ish at the time gelding was injured and had surgery. Required 6 or 8 weeks of stall rest. BO and BM told me that I could either pay for stall rest (increasing my board by 60%) or come out every single day and do all of the work.

        Luckily, I was a student with online classes. I got there by 8am to clean stalls, feed, hay etc and stayed there all day taking care of my horse, as well as helping around the farm. I thought it was VERY nice of them not to charge me extra and to give me the option to work instead.
        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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        • #5
          I generally did when I was running a barn, if they were in an actual stall. We had mare motel-style pens too and I didn't charge extra for those, because those were cleaned with the horses in them anyway, weren't bedded unless the owner requested (and then they were paying for the same amount of shavings anyway, they weren't bedded like stalls and it was Colorado so the shavings pretty much blew away most every day anyway ) and so the most extra work would be a couple of extra piles of poop.

          But for barn stalls I did, because you do use more shavings when the horse is in 24/7. We generally turned out the horses in box stalls for 10-12 hours a day unless the owner requested otherwise, so a horse on stall rest actually used quite a bit more shavings. We also cleaned their stalls while they were out, so it was more labor and time to have to put the horse on rest in cross ties so the stall could be cleaned, since I don't think it's safe to clean a box stall with the horse in there.

          If the horse was just going to be in for a couple of days I didn't worry about it, but for long-term stall rest I think we charged an extra $10 a day, maybe $15 (I don't quite remember). I'd figure out your extra costs (including extra labor) and go from there, but I do think it's fair to charge for it.
          exploring the relationship between horse and human

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          • #6
            Stall rest lasting more than 5 days gets an extra weekly charge of $50.00. And I think that's super cheap, that covers the extra bedding, not really the extra time.

            We don't have this in our contract, I'm glad you brought it up, because it needs to be. When we have one on stall rest we clean the stall a minimum of twice a day, horse always has hay, we check on them throughout the day too. There's quite a bit of extra time, trouble and bedding. If they need another horse beside them, that amount needs to go up too. ( I would probably go to at least 80 a week). You could always tell her she can supply the above and beyond bedding, she will see why you need to charge more then

            Our one boarder has four horses at the barn he's paying for. His gelding went on stall rest for a week, we didn't charge extra (because he's got multiple horses and he's a good paying boarder) but that's when we decided we would be from then on out.You should absolutely charge extra.

            In your case, I don't think I'd let her keep the one same horse beside her. For his own sake. Can you switch them up? Do you have others that would enjoy a day inside munching hay?
            Kerri

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by mvp View Post
              Crike!

              In your spot, I'd do my very best to keep from adding to this owner's misery. Between the time and money involved for F*ck All of enjoyment of her riding horses, surely she's suffering enough.

              Well, that's what I had been feeling like, I guess it almost feels like it is a permanent situation

              If you don't like her or her horse management style then "own" that. Ask her to leave if it gets under your skin that bad. But don't express your displeasure or skepticism about the need for stall-rest under the guise of "it costs more."

              I don't not like the owner. I don't know that I agree with her choices but the stall rest for the mare is what the vet said needs to happen for it to heal, and I am not going to argue about that at all; I agree.

              It sounds like it really does cost more. If so, do your costing, give your HO (horse owner) a heads up that, say, beginning in April you and she need to make a plan for continued stall rest so that you don't lose your shirt via the extra bedding and labor. Know what you need and then be open to her suggestions about how to get it done.

              I hope you can come to a solution. Some of my favorite people are BOs who helped me out when I was struck with some bad horsey luck. It goes a long way in my book, and I'll brag on them to anyone.

              I agree. My old BM helped me out a few times too, and I love her all the more for it! I guess I just feel a bit taken advantage of, I tend to err on the side of being too nice/lenient, or whatever, so I wanted opinions on what is standard/expected, etc...

              Thanks for the replies!
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              • #8
                Helping out is one thing, but from what I can get from the OP post, it's been 5 or 6 months total for the mare on stall rest already? With 1 or 2 more expected?
                Just say she's using 20 extra bucks a week in bedding, sounds like no big deal- but multiply that times 4 weeks in a month, times 5 or 6 months...you're looking at 4 or 500 dollars just in extra bedding, thats not counting extra time OR the extra horse beside her. If you truly think it's going to be ongoing, maybe sit the owner down, show her the numbers and try to come to a mutual agreement on the extras?
                Kerri

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                • #9
                  Not really an answer to the actual problem, but have you considered switching her to peat moss and going for a deep-bed method?

                  I know it's not fun, and a lot of extra labour, cleaning out really messy stalls!!
                  "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                  Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                  Need You Now Equine

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                  • #10
                    If I were a BO, I would charge extra for a horse on prolonged stall rest (longer than ~10 days) because of the extra labor and supplies. That being said, some of the additional charges being quoted in this thread look astronomical, IMO! An extra $300/month of board? I know I certainly could not afford that, especially if I was also paying the vet bills that required my horse to be on stall rest

                    At the barn where I winter board, my pony had to be on stall rest for about a week. The BO did not charge me extra and just requested that I pick his stall when I was out at night. My pony is INCREDIBLY clean (poops in a single pile at the back of the stall and pees in a single spot), so that may have been a deciding factor. Another horse at the barn was stall rested for a significant period of time. I do not know if the owner was charged extra, but I did see them regularly dropping off extra bags of shavings (that may have been by choice).
                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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                    • #11
                      Not sure how peat would change anything there, but maybe a deep litter method would be beneficial for the horse.


                      However, now that grass is coming in and such, leaving 2 horses in does create more cost.
                      Hay when the horses could be out nibbling on grass, the messed up bedding etc. Going by to check more often.

                      I am not sure if I would start this late in the game to charge her extra, but certainly as BO/BM you have to cover the cost and take that into consideration for the future and add that into consideration, maybe the price list, too.

                      With most people a little goodwill goes a long way.
                      Meaning that the $$ the barn is out is repaid in nice atmosphere or good reputation.
                      (which of course does little to pay the bills, I know)
                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                      GNU Terry Prachett

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                      • #12
                        I had a boarder who recently did a short term stall rest. In that instance, I didn't ask for anything, but they still offered very generously for all the extra work, etc.

                        I think in a long-term situation, if you are undertaking additional expenses - which you obviously are in shavings, etc - then it is very reasonable to add an additional charge.

                        It sounds like you have a sympathetic heart to what they are going through, but on the flip side, you need to take care of you. When I was on the opposite side of this as a boarder, I would buy bags of shavings and bring them out for my gelding. It was only fair in my opinion; and was something I just offered to do right off the bat.
                        http://ridingthroughthefear.blogspot.com/
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
                          I agree. My old BM helped me out a few times too, and I love her all the more for it! I guess I just feel a bit taken advantage of, I tend to err on the side of being too nice/lenient, or whatever, so I wanted opinions on what is standard/expected, etc...

                          Thanks for the replies!
                          Yabbut you aren't being taken advantage of if:

                          1) A DVM prescribed stall rest, not some HO with nothing better to do but do her Munchausen's by proxy thing.

                          2) You didn't ask for the additional stall-rest fee. As much as it sux for the HO, I think it does cost more and the HO needs to pay it.

                          I try to look for ways not to get mad, but to get what I need.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

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                          • #14
                            No we don't charge extra.. then again, we don't run and turn out only board situation but a full care which include the stall.

                            As long as the mare is not breaking your stall up I would not Xtra charge. If the mare is seriously wrecking the place I would charge only for repairs needed. That is fair and should be understood by the owner, you are just looking to keep the horse safe is all. Feel sorry for the gelding tho Not his fault!

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                            • #15
                              It depends. I have a field boarder that required a few days in for an abcess and vet care. I plan on charging an extra $5/day for that plus supplies.

                              I disclose that when we first meet and then again when we talk about the course of action prescribed by the vet. Everyone knows what to expect and there are no big surprises.

                              I've helped out in the past and haven't charged anything - but it was my suggestion and the horse was on full board.

                              Good luck!
                              "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
                                In your case, I don't think I'd let her keep the one same horse beside her. For his own sake. Can you switch them up? Do you have others that would enjoy a day inside munching hay?
                                I was wondering that as well. When my youngest mare was on stall rest for a couple of months, I got permission to borrow my neighbor's donkey. My older mare would stay in all night, and then in the morning, I'd walk over and get the donkey (who was out all night), and put the donkey in a stall so my older mare could go out during the day. That way no one but stall-rest mare was in 24/7, but she still had company all the time.

                                Charging extra for the additional hay, bedding, labor, and any repairs is completely reasonable. While I'm sure you feel bad for your boarder, it makes no sense to impoverish yourself for her benefit. Giving a boarder notice before implementing that rate change would be a nice idea, though. And as a previous poster mentioned, it would be a great idea to write something like that into your boarding contract so it doesn't come as a shock to boarders in the future.

                                And if I had the set up for it, and the boarder was otherwise a great client, I'd seriously consider making a stall-sized paddock instead, so the horse could stay on stall rest but be able to see other horses and get some fresh air. I used to work at a barn that had a few outdoor "stalls" like that. We didn't use them often, but when we needed them, we were so glad they were there. Recuperating horses seemed so much more restful there.
                                "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                                -Edward Hoagland

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mg View Post
                                  If I were a BO, I would charge extra for a horse on prolonged stall rest (longer than ~10 days) because of the extra labor and supplies. That being said, some of the additional charges being quoted in this thread look astronomical, IMO! An extra $300/month of board? I know I certainly could not afford that, especially if I was also paying the vet bills that required my horse to be on stall rest

                                  At the barn where I winter board, my pony had to be on stall rest for about a week. The BO did not charge me extra and just requested that I pick his stall when I was out at night. My pony is INCREDIBLY clean (poops in a single pile at the back of the stall and pees in a single spot), so that may have been a deciding factor. Another horse at the barn was stall rested for a significant period of time. I do not know if the owner was charged extra, but I did see them regularly dropping off extra bags of shavings (that may have been by choice).
                                  An extra $300 a month sounds like a lot, but think of it from my perspective...I'm going through a couple of extra dollars' worth of shavings a day (I think we figured it out to be $3). I'm feeding extra hay, since normally I'd just be feeding twice a day since there's stuff to nibble on in the pasture, but a couple of flakes twice a day isn't enough for a stall-bound horse. That's at least $5 extra a day, often more. I have to pay my workers more because it takes them longer to clean the stall. If I have to leave another horse in so your horse doesn't freak out (which is almost always necessary in the way my barn was set up since the horse in the stall would be totally alone otherwise), I have to pay for those extra shavings for two stalls (I usually rotated the horses so no one had to miss too much turnout time, so no extra hay needed).

                                  Depending on the barn setup, $10 can be a bargain. I'd be really sorry that you couldn't afford it and I'd try to work something out to help you (like moving your horse to the mare motel instead of a stall, since I didn't charge for horses on stall rest in those pens), but barns have a pretty narrow profit margin (if any) and I can't afford to pay $300 a month for your horse to be on stall rest either.

                                  I probably would not have charged so much if the horses didn't spend so much time in the field, but they did and I figured out my board prices accordingly, without much wiggle room. I wasn't trying to gouge anyone, but I couldn't lose money on it either.

                                  And I probably wouldn't have charged you for that week either. Technically I could have per my contract, but I didn't add fees on unless it was long-term stall rest. I also generally did not charge for administering medications while horses were on stall rest, even though I did other times, because I was aware that most people will have a little trouble paying for all that. I'm not wealthy myself and I totally understand, but because I'm not wealthy I also can't just absorb those costs.
                                  Last edited by CosMonster; Mar. 20, 2012, 05:14 PM.
                                  exploring the relationship between horse and human

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                                  • #18
                                    tough

                                    when my horse was on stall rest I was not charged extra, I did come out 95% of the days and changed his bandages and washed his cuts and while out always picked his stall

                                    however as long as he had a rotating buddy he was happy as a clam on stall rest and didn't run through extra shavings

                                    maybe ask her to start covering the cost of shavings and to pick the stall when out as an in between re cost and labor if the mare is really wrecking her stall and churning the shavings

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                                    • #19
                                      Yes

                                      If stall rest is needed I do charge more for the extra labor/hay during a stall rest, 5.00 per day. I outline what is included in board in my boarding contract for example, 8 bags of shavings a month. With shavings costing 6.50 a bag they can't be unlimited so the boarder would be responsible for amount of shavings above what is included. Now if the boarder was helping out with labor or working in some way to give me more me time, I'd be more then willing to work with them.


                                      The key to any relationship is give and take along with a dose of respect

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                                      • #20
                                        I am eternally grateful I board where I do..No one ever has to pay extra for stall rest...

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