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My barn lowered board rate for new boarders: What is proper approach here??

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  • My barn lowered board rate for new boarders: What is proper approach here??

    So...I was the first boarder at a private barn and a few horses came and went but I've stayed for the past six months. The barn has had trouble getting new boarders in because it lacks certain things the luxury barns offer for the same rate...but I felt it was worth it due to close proximity to my home.

    Well..I just found out this evening from a stall cleaner that the barn was getting several new horses soon and the rate for them is lower by $75 per month than what I pay. The barn owner hasn't said anything to me about it but should I approach him? I will be getting the same amenities everyone else will have....but they have been good to me and I want to be classy about it. I have had some new expenses come up in my life outside of my horse so the lower rate sure would help.

    Are there any barn owners out there who can tell me how this usually works? By the way, this is not a "move-in" special. This is the regular board rate for barn boarding like I receive currently. If he doesn't approach me, should I approach him?

  • #2
    Oh...that is a sticky, potentially ugly situation! Before you say anything to the BO, be absolutely certain of your facts. Perhaps wait until they move in, and casually mention board in such a way that they reveal the amount they are paying? Could they be supplying their own feed and that is the difference? Maybe they have a different hay? If the BO is simply trying to get in boarders, he/she may be cutting off their nose to spite their face--charging less to fill the barn, but having higher labor and feed expenses. It never works out.

    I say, be patient, get your information right, and approach the BO diplomatically but head on: it isn't fair.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Good advice! I think I'll feel it out first. Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        I think your first question is whether or not you have anywhere else to go that's as good for care, money, distance from home/work and the rest. That would determine how long I waited to talk to the BO and how kid-gloves I'd be.

        Do you?
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Good thought, mvp. I was also just thinking that if i was ever to approach the subject, doing it right after a bunch of new boarders move in is not the time. Waiting a few months, at least, would make more sense....if I do approach him at all. Either way, very awkward. May not be worth it but hard to "know" something like that and not feel the unfairness of it!

          Comment


          • #6
            Not really all that tricky, IMO. Just state that you have some personal "hardship" circumstances, you are not going broke, but having to count every penny, etc and ASK if there is anything the BO can do for YOU.
            Maybe they appreciate your business more then you know.
            Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
            ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
              Oh...that is a sticky, potentially ugly situation! Before you say anything to the BO, be absolutely certain of your facts. Perhaps wait until they move in, and casually mention board in such a way that they reveal the amount they are paying? Could they be supplying their own feed and that is the difference? Maybe they have a different hay? If the BO is simply trying to get in boarders, he/she may be cutting off their nose to spite their face--charging less to fill the barn, but having higher labor and feed expenses. It never works out.

              I say, be patient, get your information right, and approach the BO diplomatically but head on: it isn't fair.

              Well....just found their new ad online. Looks like they are in fact offering a lower rate after all for full-care board.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BlueSunMare View Post
                Well....just found their new ad online. Looks like they are in fact offering a lower rate after all for full-care board.
                That's easy then. I think you just need to confirm with the BO that you saw the rate on line and are delighted that they have reduced the board! And offer a quick thanks before handing over the smaller check. While the BO may wish and hope that you continue to pay your regular board, one assumes he/she will understand that if the published board rate is X, you should be paying X, not X+.

                Good luck!
                Chronicles of the $700 Pony
                The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
                www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BlueSunMare View Post
                  Well....just found their new ad online. Looks like they are in fact offering a lower rate after all for full-care board.
                  Then just politely say you saw the ad online, does the rate apply to all boarders?
                  Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Absolutely the right way to handle it. I would almost bet that the reduced rate for newcomers is an introductory fee only and will last for only a few months before the board rate goes up to "normal" again. That's pretty common. Nothing worse then boarders and staff chatting amongst themselves about who pays what...but if its a published new reduced board rate then fair enough to enquire about it....politely.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As a BO, I am dismayed. I always assume that boarders and staff will talk about board rates. I would never offer a lower board rate to one set of boarders for the exact same service I am charging another set of boarders. And if I lowered my board rates, the reduction would apply to everyone just as it does when I increase my board rates.
                      Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                      http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If the BO has published lower rates than what you are currently paying on their website then you have every right to inquire about the lower rate and expect t pay the lower rate. It sounds to me that this barn owner is new to the boarding business and not very professional. The rates should be the same for all boarders receiving the same level of service. The only exception I can think of to justify a lower rate for some boarders might be to offer a multiple horse discount to boarders with more than one horse or a surcharge for horses that require special feed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                          As a BO, I am dismayed. I always assume that boarders and staff will talk about board rates. I would never offer a lower board rate to one set of boarders for the exact same service I am charging another set of boarders. And if I lowered my board rates, the reduction would apply to everyone just as it does when I increase my board rates.
                          Well I wished my cell phone provider, cable TV, auto loans, home loan and electrical power providers thought your way as each of these is always announcing new or introductory rates that do not apply to existing customers


                          If the barn has a signed contract at two zillion dollars a month for one year, you might look to see if there is an escape clause other than that look at ending the agreement

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you have not been notified and will in fact be billed the higher old rate, do you want to stay in a barn that is managed so poorly?
                            What else will such a brainless manager pull?

                            No other way to put that but the old "you can't fix stupid", if that is really what is happening and you are expected to pay the higher rate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              BO has every right to set whatever board rate she wants. Whether it is "fair" doesn't matter, her barn, her rules. I would not recommend throwing a temper tantrum like some of the posters here seem to be doing, I would simply ask if the new rate is a introductory rate or if it is permantly lowered.
                              I don't think it's unprofessional to charge two different rates, no one but the OP knows the full situation. Maybe the OP's horse gets extra grain/hay/single turnout, whatever, that accounts for her rate staying the same. Or maybe this new rate has a limit on hay/grain fed, or doesn't offer services like blanket changes or deworming. My point is not to jump to conclusions.
                              You have every right to ask about the lower rate, and ask if you can pay the lower rate, but you certainly aren't entitled to just go ahead and assume it applies to you like Reynard Ridge seems to be suggesting.

                              OP, are you happy at your barn? Do you feel like your horse has quality care? Are you comfortable not going to the barn for a weekend? If you can answer yes to those questions I would strongly recommend considering not even bringing it up to the BO. Good barns are very very hard to find.
                              come what may

                              Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                So you've found the ad online and it isn't one of those teaser ads (must not have been an ATT customer for the past year yada yada). Yes I'd approach the BO and thank them profusely for lowering my rate, even if I did sign a contract that says I pay X+.
                                The least they can do is say this doesn't apply to you, and hoepfully why. I'd also question the level of services covered by this lower rate cause maybe it doesn't cover grain or blanket changes or holding for the farrier or other services you DO receive if by chance they don't explain.

                                Good luck with it, I'd be annoyed definitely but sometimes life just isn't fair.
                                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                Incredible Invisible

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  ^^I don't think anyone is "throwing a temper tantrum." Yes, it is BO's barn and rules. However, I don't think it is very professional to charge a boarder (who has obviously been good to them by staying there for 6+ months) more than others.

                                  If it was a lowered price for say a month or two, then fine, I've had to deal with that as well and it's no big deal. But if the lowered rate is for good then I think everyone should have the same rate if they are getting the same care.

                                  Though I do agree not to jump to conclusions. But there is no harm in asking the BO about it... you saw it online, so it is public knowledge now. Just be polite and professional about it and don't get aggressive or hostile if the BO says the rate doesn't apply for you. Although I wouldn't be too happy with that honestly.
                                  http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
                                  The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
                                  Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                                  Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I personally think the new horses and owner(s) have made their own deal with the owner and you made yours. If you want to renegotiate your board, do it on your own terms and don't reference other people's business arrangement with the owner. I can see circumstances where a BO will made a deal on lower board for someone say bringing in 4 horses of their own or something. Perhaps its a group of friends and they made a deal in order to stay together, or the BO wanted to get a number of new boarders and dropped his rate. Maybe its only low for a short time. Maybe he's advertising a low number but the services are different than yours. I personally would stay out of my BO's business and keep to my own and not make assumptions, but that's me. If i wanted lower board, I'd approach him on my own terms about it.
                                    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I agree, it's generally unprofessional for a boarding barn to offer different rates to different customers for the same service. It just comes across poorly. I'd probably stop using any small business that charged me more than someone else for the same thing, not just boarding.

                                      In this case I think the best approach is to be direct. Mention that you saw the ad for the lower board rate and request the same rate for your horse. If the new board rate is for a lesser level of services, the BO can explain that to you and hopefully offer that option to you.

                                      Some BO's are great at horse care but poor at business, so if it is a good situation it might pay to use some tact and patience to get the situation worked out.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Well, when I was a BO who selectively boarded, I let my one friend field board for free, she bought all her own feed, hay etc. It was extenuating circumstances for a friend. One person asked how much she paid, I told them I don't discuss their finances with others, I won't discuss hers BUT...

                                        The BO published the boarding rate. I think a polite inquiry is ok.
                                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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