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Boarding Agreements

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  • Boarding Agreements

    Planning to update/revise my boarding agreement. As a BO what do you consider the most important components in your agreements for full/stall board and outside horses with run-in board?

  • #2
    I do a "basic" board rate based on x amount of grain, x amount of hay, x amount of shavings. I also out line the pasture maintenance schedule for pasture horses ie pasture is dragged weekly. The only real difference is shavings, but actually when you figure out pasture maintenance costs (labor equipment and gas) to keep a pasture for pasture horses nice, it probably balances out. Pasture board often doesn't mean a less expensive option but paying for the space that allows healthy pasture kept horses.


    • #3
      For me, the most important clause is the one giving me permission to euthanize if in the opinion of the veterinarian the horse is suffering and the owner cannot be reached. I also ask them to put a dollar amount they are willing to spend on vet work, in case they cannot be reached and a decision needs to be made. I board retired horses so this is probably more of an issue potentially for me.
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      • #4
        I always make sure the 30 day notice from either side is in bold print-----and boarding contract says that no one can start and run their own business (teaching, etc) without permission and their own commercial liability ins----and I require notarization on their side of it


        • Original Poster

          Someone boarding at my farm wants to give lessons. My current contract already states that they have their own insurance. The notarization is a good
          point. Has your experience with that aspect been good or not so? Do you take an arena fee or percentage of the lessons?


          • #6
            I guess I don't understand why you would require notarization on a board contract. I happen to be a notary and all that notarization means is that your signature was witnessed on a document. And honestly, going out to find a notary can be a big PIA for people. It's just don't see the point in adding more complications to the getting the contract signed. If you are concerned about the identity of the person signing your contract, just ask for a driver's license!

            As a BO, I would be very clear about the terms on ending a contract. Be clear about when, how, and the amount of notice to be given when leaving.

            As for other people running a business on your property (i.e. teaching lessons), be sure you have your own commercial liability coverage for independent contractors (i.e. coverage for you if their actions lead to a suit which names you as a co-defendant). Always ask for a certificate of coverage or at minimum a declarations page of their policy. It is amazing how many people will say they have coverage only to find that they really don't have it. The use fee is whatever is negotiated. I prefer a flat fee as trainers seem to have sliding prices. It's also simpler on the accounting end of things to have a flat rate.
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            • Original Poster

              Thanx for all the informative responses. I am also interested in knowing what other types of things you include in your contracts, for example cleaning up after oneself, safety, friends and family coming to ride a boarders horse, etc., etc.


              • #8
                When drafting a contract always follow the KISS principle. Don't muck it up with a bunch of extraneous stuff. Keep the language clear and always give yourself the benefit of the doubt.

                For detail things you should have two additions to your contract.

                First, written and published barn rules. The contract should specifically reference and incorporate these rules, present and future. This give you flexibility in addressing broad situations. Of course, keep these simple, too.

                Second, for each contract have an addendum that addresses the needs of a specific horse and owner. For example, the needs of a green horse coming on and a retiree can be quite different. Address those differences here. This addendum references the contract and can be changed easily to reflect differing needs over time.

                Some things to keep in the Contract (many already mentioned) are the identities of the horse and boarder; rate of board; type of board; duration of the agreement; general duties of owner and boarder; emergency procedures; termination of the arrangement.

                In the addendum include feeding, blanketing, turnout, farrier issues, vet. issues, etc.

                In the barn rules keep them short, simple, and few in number. Ten was enough for God and Moses; it ought to be enough for most barns!!!

                After you get your program written up let your attorney look at it. Lawyers love to add words; make them follow the KISS principle, too.

                Good luck in your project.

                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                • #9
                  Since the driver of the OP is someone wanting to give lessons on OP's land. I would ask for additional insured on the teachers ins policy.
                  Here's a link that explains it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additional_insured

                  Remember, the policy protects the policy holder, no one else unless on the policy. AND anybody can sue anybody. In an extreme injury, everybody will be looking for money in all pockets.
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