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Board Operator! Questions about ring fees, dry board, and clients part leasing their horses?!

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  • Board Operator! Questions about ring fees, dry board, and clients part leasing their horses?!

    Hi Everyone!

    New to COTH but always came here to look for some advice in running my barn. Spring is coming which means a whole lot of clean up around the property and getting things in order for our boarders which means $$ is soon to be gone from my pocket! haha!

    With that mentioned I have had some issues with my boarders and what is expected of me or what I should charge them to be able to afford their expectations. To help pay for overhead of running my barn I give dry board to a small barn to a trainer who has her own clients. I allocated paddocks to her so she can decide however she wants to use them with the horses she has in her stalls ( her clients horses). In this case I just charge her for the stall and she takes care of the rest.

    However, she always complains to me that the paddocks keep getting run down and expects me to repair them from the wear and tear of her horses! Also, she expects me to keep them clean, seeded, and flat when she puts horses out in the rain and tears them all up! Do I tell her that if she wants me to repair fences and maintain the paddocks that her board goes up? Or should I have incorporated doing that in the Dry Board price I gave her? Also, I charge a minimal ring fee but its pennies on the amount of lessons she gives in my ring. What would you charge a trainer who has dry board but teaches a whole lot of lessons at your barn? A per lesson fee is hard to keep track so would you charge a monthly fee/horse?

    Also, another quick question. If my boarder decides to part lease her horse to another person so they both ride the horse...do you allow this? Its twice the traffic on the price of one monthly board?

    Looking for help to deal with some people who don't understand the amount of work it takes to run a barn and keep everyone happy!


  • #2
    I part lease my horse but he is not ridden twice in one day so it is no different than one person riding the horse 6 days a week. It certainly doesn't cause additional wear and tear over and above what I am already covering with my board.

    As for the trainer, and this is just my opinion - if paddocks are included with my board, I would expect them to be in working order and if there were rules about their use to keep them nice then I would follow them. I would not expect to be having to know, seed, buy fence boards, etc for someone else's property just like another boarder wouldn't.
    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

    Comment


    • #3
      It sounds like you need a clearer contract with the trainer. I have seen both ways - although the owner maintaining the upkeep is more common. At the end of the day, it's your property and maintaining that control is ideal as she will eventually leave and then you will be paying to clean up the mess if it hasn't been maintained. BUT, you should charge accordingly and ensure that this is outlined clearly in your agreement.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
        I part lease my horse but he is not ridden twice in one day so it is no different than one person riding the horse 6 days a week. It certainly doesn't cause additional wear and tear over and above what I am already covering with my board.

        As for the trainer, and this is just my opinion - if paddocks are included with my board, I would expect them to be in working order and if there were rules about their use to keep them nice then I would follow them. I would not expect to be having to know, seed, buy fence boards, etc for someone else's property just like another boarder wouldn't.
        Re the part lease: But the boarding agreement is with me the BO and the owner of the horse implying that she is the only one who should be allowed to ride the horse and be on the property. Another person riding is more one more person to be on the hook for in case of injury or anything else people that people could sue me for (everyone sues everyone for just about anything these days!) Also they both ride on the same day sometimes (light rides) which means one extra person in the rings. I'm not against it - just wondering if this is something reasonable to charge for or just not allow.

        Re the trainer: She complains enough that board is high but I charge just barely over what it costs me! I know it comes down to having a clearer contract and whats included as well as her being in stalls she can afford...with take care of this sooner or later. haha!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BOGCE View Post

          Re the part lease: But the boarding agreement is with me the BO and the owner of the horse implying that she is the only one who should be allowed to ride the horse and be on the property. Another person riding is more one more person to be on the hook for in case of injury or anything else people that people could sue me for (everyone sues everyone for just about anything these days!) Also they both ride on the same day sometimes (light rides) which means one extra person in the rings. I'm not against it - just wondering if this is something reasonable to charge for or just not allow.

          Re the trainer: She complains enough that board is high but I charge just barely over what it costs me! I know it comes down to having a clearer contract and whats included as well as her being in stalls she can afford...with take care of this sooner or later. haha!
          My board agreement is between me and the owner of my barn in regard to what services my board payment entitles me to. I have never seen one that told me who could and could not ride my horse, but I guess it could exist. I also wouldn't agree to it. If I want to ride my own horse 3x a day (and when I had fit event horses, they would often hack out in the morning, then be ridden later in the day for schooling) then I can, he's mine.

          Of course all additional riders should sign a release but I think you're going overboard on this one. And I would promptly leave if a barn owner tried to tell me I couldn't lease out my own horse or allow someone else to ride my horse. After all, he is my property.

          Further of course, after years of dealing with barn owners I've finally decided the expense of my own barn is worth it to me and I'm just building my own place.
          Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
          you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have been at a barn that requires a "shareboard" fee. It was $25 a month.

            This was put in place after I signed my board contract and contract with the person leasing, so we were grandfathered by the BO.

            It's your barn - if you want to add that in, then nothing is stopping you. But I'd give ample notice, just as with a change in boarding prices. I think you'd need to be specific about what this includes. Does it mean if someone rides your horse while you're on vacation, fee? Or if you have a lease agreement with someone? What if someone is having a trainer ride their horse? Just think through the situations that may arise.
            "I'd rather have a horse. A horse is at least human, for god's sake." - J.D. Salinger

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

              My board agreement is between me and the owner of my barn in regard to what services my board payment entitles me to. I have never seen one that told me who could and could not ride my horse, but I guess it could exist. I also wouldn't agree to it. If I want to ride my own horse 3x a day (and when I had fit event horses, they would often hack out in the morning, then be ridden later in the day for schooling) then I can, he's mine.

              Of course all additional riders should sign a release but I think you're going overboard on this one. And I would promptly leave if a barn owner tried to tell me I couldn't lease out my own horse or allow someone else to ride my horse. After all, he is my property.

              Further of course, after years of dealing with barn owners I've finally decided the expense of my own barn is worth it to me and I'm just building my own place.
              We're all fine if an owner wanted to ride their horse as often as they want to! (knowing that they're experienced and knowledgable that the horse is able to do so) Thats not my issue here.

              The horse is your property, but he is on my property...which yes, YOU are paying for him to be on. I think I should add some background info to the situation: We're a fairly large barn (50+ stalls) and approve boarder on the property. If we feel a owner isn't experienced enough to ride by themselves we wont allow them to without a trainer or they can go elsewhere. We try to maintain the atmosphere to make it a pleasant environment to all the boarders, WE DON'T LIKE DRAMA haha And I believe our boarders like the fact that we sometimes turn away business for that very reason. So the fact is that we try to keep the congestion down in the ring as best as we can. So with that mentioned, this is why we are concerned about letting boarders just part lease their horses without our approval. In this situation, is that reasonable? Or am I talking myself into feeling it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah there is no way I would be letting a barn owner tell me I couldn't ride my own horse without a trainer or that they had to approve and give me permission to part lease. That is straight to crazy barn owner territory. You're definitely telling yourself that something is reasonable, when it's completely nonstandard and borderline weird.
                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's your property and your insurance policy, and you get to decide who is allowed to ride a horse on your property.

                  If you want to say that no one but the boarder (with whom you have a contract) can ride unless approved in advance, then that is fine! If boarders don't like it, they can go elsewhere.

                  An additional fee for the added liability and facilities use is also fair. Anyone who sets foot on the property is a risk. An individual is less likely to ride 6 days a week than two people sharing a horse are.

                  Bottom line: your property, your rules, and don't let people guilt you into anything you aren't comfortable with.

                  Re: the trainer, charge enough so that you are not irritated with whatever they are doing. If they're tearing up the paddocks, then figure out what it takes to keep them nice, and factor that into the cost.

                  -Wendy
                  --
                  Wendy
                  ... and Patrick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Where are you located?
                    What are you charging for a dry stall?
                    What is the trainers stall to paddock ratio?

                    What are other barns local to you that offer dry board charging?

                    "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Trainer...I'd want to know what you're charging for a dry stall. I'm in CT, so might be able to tell you if you're charging around the going rate. At our farm, a few people who have multiple horses just pay for dry stalls and do the rest themselves. Our BO covers all maintenance stuff you mention. But, if the regular board horses stay in for the day, so do all the rough board/dry stall horses.

                      I've not heard of a boarding barn not allowing part leases. I really don't see a half lease putting any more wear and tear on your facility than an owner just riding 6 days a week. You're certainly free to disallow that practice or to charge an extra fee, but I would be prepared for some boarders to leave because it's not SOP for most boarding barns.

                      How exactly do you evaluate a new boarder on whether or not you deem them skilled enough to ride on their own?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the pastures, I think you are responsible for providing safe and reasonably kept fencing. If you're worried about the trainer's horses being exceptionally hard on the fencing, you can collect a deposit (either from boarders or the trainer) to fix what they break, but you are responsible for fixing it.

                        For the overall care of the pastures, do you care for your pastures well? If not, then the trainer is responsible for caring for hers to her liking. Pasture management is a time consuming art, and if it is not a priority for you, no amount the trainer is going to pay you is worth it. If you do care for your pastures well, then it's time to have a conversation with the trainer and come to an agreement.

                        If nothing was explicitly discussed, I would expect basic care of the pastures including mowing, weeding, and annual seeding if needed. I would not expect you to micromanage footing, etc. However, it comes down to what the two of you agree on. Maybe you take complete control of the pastures including care and management (who is allowed to be on the pastures when) for a fee. Or maybe you take on mowing 1x per month for free. Or anything in between.

                        We charge our trainers per horse monthly for the facility fee. Way easier than tracking lessons.

                        I think you need to relax if an extra 2??? rides per week at a 50 horse facility is driving you crazy. Let it go. In the grand scheme of things, it is not important. For every day your boarder and leaser ride on the same day, 10 people don't ride at all. Now if it's a safety issue, or the leaser is being particularly hard on your facilities (how they ride, breaking things, etc.) then you certainly have the right to enact a policy. It could be a policy that only boarders or trainers with insurance may ride on the property unless given approval by you, or it could be a contract stating that the boarder is responsible for the actions of and any damage caused by their "guest." I think there are many ways to handle it depending on the issue, but I wouldn't enforce a "facility fee" for it. It seems petty and unnecessary to me.
                        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with wsmoak. OP, you need to sit down and think about what is "normal" use of your facility per boarder/horse and what situations increase that use, and charge accordingly. It's normal for the owner of a facility to perform maintenance and repairs, but if a boarder or horse was unusually destructive, then an extra charge is made.

                          The boarding contract is between the horse owner and you. Any "extra" people should have to sign a liability release and agree to abide by barn rules and regulations. It's not the boarder's property, and the boarder does NOT get to decide who comes onto the property and uses the facilities. I've belonged to golf clubs and swim clubs and gyms, and I do NOT get to bring guests at will. They must register at the office, sign a waiver, and pay a fee to use the facility.
                          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederatcy against him."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wonders12 View Post
                            For the overall care of the pastures, do you care for your pastures well? If not, then the trainer is responsible for caring for hers to her liking. Pasture management is a time consuming art, and if it is not a priority for you, no amount the trainer is going to pay you is worth it. If you do care for your pastures well, then it's time to have a conversation with the trainer and come to an agreement.

                            If nothing was explicitly discussed, I would expect basic care of the pastures including mowing, weeding, and annual seeding if needed. I would not expect you to micromanage footing, etc. However, it comes down to what the two of you agree on. Maybe you take complete control of the pastures including care and management (who is allowed to be on the pastures when) for a fee. Or maybe you take on mowing 1x per month for free. Or anything in between.
                            Originally posted by BOGCE View Post
                            However, she always complains to me that the paddocks keep getting run down and expects me to repair them from the wear and tear of her horses! Also, she expects me to keep them clean, seeded, and flat when she puts horses out in the rain and tears them all up! Do I tell her that if she wants me to repair fences and maintain the paddocks that her board goes up? Or should I have incorporated doing that in the Dry Board price I gave her?
                            From reading this, it sounds like OP keeps horses off the paddocks when they're wet and Trainer does not, so "hers" are getting disproportionately torn up. Possibly she is overstocking them or turning out for longer hours too. I sympathize with OP for not wanting to cover the additional rehab expenses. And frankly, it's not as easy as throwing money at it. No amount of money will magically fix torn-up, bare paddocks. They need money, care, and TIME to rest, and I'm going to go ahead and guess that Trainer isn't willing to give them time. OP, this should have been addressed when you first leased her the stalls. Since it apparently wasn't, I think it's time to sit down with her and discuss a few options:

                            1) She conforms to your paddock usage (i.e., stocking levels, hours in use, rotation, resting when wet) and you do the same maintenance on her paddocks that you do on yours. You then have to monitor her compliance.

                            2) She continues to overuse "her" paddocks but also takes over responsibility for maintaining them, or chooses to accept that them as run down. You will then have to deal with rehabbing them if/when she leaves.

                            3) She doesn't like those options and leaves, taking her revenue with her (but possibly decreasing your stress levels). You address the issue up-front the next time you rent out stalls so that everyone is on the same page.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post
                              I agree with wsmoak. OP, you need to sit down and think about what is "normal" use of your facility per boarder/horse and what situations increase that use, and charge accordingly. It's normal for the owner of a facility to perform maintenance and repairs, but if a boarder or horse was unusually destructive, then an extra charge is made.

                              The boarding contract is between the horse owner and you. Any "extra" people should have to sign a liability release and agree to abide by barn rules and regulations. It's not the boarder's property, and the boarder does NOT get to decide who comes onto the property and uses the facilities. I've belonged to golf clubs and swim clubs and gyms, and I do NOT get to bring guests at will. They must register at the office, sign a waiver, and pay a fee to use the facility.
                              That's a little different than telling you that you just can't bring a guest.

                              1. At a gym, you are using the owner's facility. You aren't bringing your own treadmill and putting it in the gym owner's empty space reserved for that purpose. And you have to accompany the guest, so there are two of you in a space with finite capacity at the same time, and only one of you has paid for the use of that space until the guest fee is paid. It's really not the same thing. Board is a relationship between horse and barn owner - my board should cover my HORSE occupying a ring, turnout, stall. Who is riding it is really immaterial to that cost. I wouldn't expect to pay board on one horse and then just show up with my other horse from home and expect to be able to use the ring for free. That's more akin to what you described than someone else sitting on my horse for whom board (and thus a facility fee) is already paid.

                              2. Sure, sign a waiver, and if you really want to make a stink, charge a fee for my part boarder. But a barn that just told me I could not bring a guest (including family? Really? My husband can't come watch me ride?) or ever have anyone else ride my horse, because it's their property and their rules, would get told to take a long walk off a short pier.

                              This all seems mega controlling. Between this and the other thread about the barn manager, this BO sounds like a piece of work, personally.
                              Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                              you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                So if I came put 7 days a week to ride my horse would you charge me more? How exactly do you judge if someone is capable of riding their own horse?

                                I'm all for having a part lessor sign a waiver, and asking a dangerous person to leave, but not allowing a part lease is not normal. Boarder is already paying for use of the facility on a monthly basis and unless you have a limit on that it isn't right.
                                http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

                                  That's a little different than telling you that you just can't bring a guest.

                                  1. At a gym, you are using the owner's facility. You aren't bringing your own treadmill and putting it in the gym owner's empty space reserved for that purpose. And you have to accompany the guest, so there are two of you in a space with finite capacity at the same time, and only one of you has paid for the use of that space until the guest fee is paid. It's really not the same thing. Board is a relationship between horse and barn owner - my board should cover my HORSE occupying a ring, turnout, stall. Who is riding it is really immaterial to that cost. I wouldn't expect to pay board on one horse and then just show up with my other horse from home and expect to be able to use the ring for free. That's more akin to what you described than someone else sitting on my horse for whom board (and thus a facility fee) is already paid.

                                  2. Sure, sign a waiver, and if you really want to make a stink, charge a fee for my part boarder. But a barn that just told me I could not bring a guest (including family? Really? My husband can't come watch me ride?) or ever have anyone else ride my horse, because it's their property and their rules, would get told to take a long walk off a short pier.

                                  This all seems mega controlling. Between this and the other thread about the barn manager, this BO sounds like a piece of work, personally.
                                  Nope, you are totally reading too much into it. The boarding facility is someone's private property and that owner has every right to regulate who comes onto the property. And should regulate who comes onto the property. It's not a public facility, and boarders are paying a lot of money to keep a horse there and use the facility. Every facility I've ever been to has a liability waiver to sign and frequently a helmet requirement and also rules and regulations regarding use of the ring, wash rack, tack room, laundry room, etc. That ensures a good experience for clients, the facility stays neat and clean, and there are fewer accidents, lost equipment, etc. Really, do you want to go into the wash rack and find a huge pile of manure sitting there because the last person did not clean up after her horse? Or you are getting your final jump school in before a competition and have to dodge Dobbin who is giving pony rides to 5 screeching kids? And who calls their family "guests?" The original post had to do with leasing a horse, not bringing family members out to ride.
                                  "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederatcy against him."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                                    Nope, you are totally reading too much into it. The boarding facility is someone's private property and that owner has every right to regulate who comes onto the property. And should regulate who comes onto the property. It's not a public facility, and boarders are paying a lot of money to keep a horse there and use the facility. Every facility I've ever been to has a liability waiver to sign and frequently a helmet requirement and also rules and regulations regarding use of the ring, wash rack, tack room, laundry room, etc. That ensures a good experience for clients, the facility stays neat and clean, and there are fewer accidents, lost equipment, etc. Really, do you want to go into the wash rack and find a huge pile of manure sitting there because the last person did not clean up after her horse? Or you are getting your final jump school in before a competition and have to dodge Dobbin who is giving pony rides to 5 screeching kids? And who calls their family "guests?" The original post had to do with leasing a horse, not bringing family members out to ride.
                                    You are the one who called family members "guests" in the same paragraph as saying that the property owner has the right to control who uses a facility and that only the boarder is allowed. That is a singular person - the boarder - not the boarder's mother, husband, or bestest friend. Those would all be guests, no?

                                    Sure, go crazy with the liability waivers, helmet rules, and tell me that I can't use the wash rack on tuesdays. Whatever. But if Dobbin is owned by someone else paying board and she wants her niece to ride him, who am I (as another boarder) to tell her no? She paid a facility fee too. And should not have to pay another $25 to use her own horse, in a ring she's already paying for. Sorry, but that's dumb. It's my horse, I pay for the ring, turnout, lawnmowing, footing, water, electricity, etc in my board - am the one who decides who rides him - not my barn owner. If she feels she's making so little off my board that she has to charge me again to have someone else ride my horse because he's "wearing out the footing" we are much better off parting ways.
                                    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Reading the various threads on boarding over the years. My take away, "norms" are area,location, regional/state specific. By and large IMO a lot of boarders that comment can be, are unrealistic. They have very little understanding of the big picture. Profit margins, the shear amount of work and the demanding life style that a lot of times do not justify the exercise.

                                      One shoe does not fit all.

                                      We are located in a very horsey area of SE Pa. Eventing, H/J, TB racing, Steeplechase, pleasure etc. There is no lack of choices of where to board. It is very competitive. Made even more difficult by the fact a LOT of my "competitors" don't HAVE to make the numbers work. They have other sources of income to fill in the "gaps".

                                      Depending on what the facility has to offer dry stalls rent for $150 to $300+.

                                      As with being a landlord and renting a house/apartment the landlord pays for all repair and maintenance, utilities,taxes and certain type/level of insurance.

                                      So based on this "model" you as the landlord should expect to pay for repairs and general property maintenance and capital upgrades at times.

                                      Broken fence broads,post, gates etc fall under repair and maintenance. As does access to water, electrical, and general barn, stall repairs. Wear and tear is part of doing business.

                                      Pasture/field management can be is a bit trickier when leasing out dry stalls. You are the barn owners/landlord but you do not "manage" have a say by and large how the horses in the stalls are "managed".

                                      Basic paddock/field management, weed control, mowing and dragging on a regular bases is a given. But unless you have enough property fenced to offer rotation paddocks, say 2+ weeks on, 2+ weeks off there is no realistic way of cost effectively keeping high use paddocks looking like golf course. ESPECIALLY if you have normal east coast weather patterns. Rainy boggy weeks, freeze thaw weeks etc. Even 1 horse runny around in a couple acre muddy paddock is going to do a fair amount of damage. Just no way of getting around this. Unless all horses are kept off until things dry up. This could take a week++ at times. The only way is to have a couple of small "sacrifice" paddock. A nice way of calling it a dirt/mud lot. A small place for horses to stretch their legs.

                                      Unless a paddock can be taken out of service for several months over seeding is pretty much a waste of money and time. For every 10 seeds planted you may be lucky to get 2 seeds that "live" to the following year. Fertilizing certainly has it benefits. But is not cheap. The rule of diminishing returns kicks in very quickly with out proper, diligent management.

                                      Effective management of high use small paddocks requires some equipment to just keep the existing grass in decent shape. IMO and experience a decent size aerator. Compacted soil is the main contributing factor for weak grass and excessive weeds. A decent size and effective Aerator is not cheap. But some Ag/landscaping rental places offer them. The second piece of equipment is a roller, preferably what is called a cultipacker. After a wet period and before the ground completely dries out the paddock can be rolled flat/er. This might be rentable also. If there are several horses operations in the area forming a co-op to buy and share would be ideal and cost effective.

                                      IMO and experience more so from what I have read over the years boarders do not understand, fully appreciate what it takes, time and expense to keep good grass. Especially with operations that are not "land rich". But even farms that have a lot of land to work with. Each 5 acres paddock cost $4,000 to $5,000+ to fence off. Keep in mind that a 2 1/2 acre paddock does not cost half as much to fence. Doesn't work that way. Six 5 acre paddocks $30,000+. If 3 are being used for swing paddocks, resting paddocks at any given time. That means the the "real" cost is $10,000 per paddock for fencing alone. The cost of mowing and maintaining has to be factored in also.

                                      These are important fixed cost that HAVE to be factored in to the "rental" of each stall, full board or dry stall. If the person renting your dry stalls wants the paddocks to look like a golf course even a "public" gold course the cost of the dry stall should be factored into the rental cost. Even with an understanding with the renter on how to go about proper management they HAVE to be realistic in relation to what they are paying. But in the end unless the farm owner has the acreage fenced in to be able to rest paddocks they will never look like what all of use would like them to look like.

                                      In the end as I have said in other comments on the topic, market forces dictate what can be charged. One has to take a close look at the numbers and be realistic about whether the ends justify the means. Everyone has a different idea of this. Especially those just starting out. "I'll just work my butt off for a couple of years until established". Most burn out.

                                      I have seen a lot of operations move to the "a la carte" pricing system. I guess it works for some, most but it strikes me as being PITA to manage, keep track of. With dry stall I think there should be an understanding what comes with the rental fee. Use free use of the ring IMO is a given. But not if 1 horse is being used for multiple lesson with different people on any given day. If this was the case IMO the dry stall fee should be set at a higher rate. Its only fair. If 2 different people are using the horse on any given day, the "wear and tear" and the extra activity in the barn/property is the same as two different horses but you are only being paid for "1" horse.

                                      IMO one dry stall come with 1 rider/owner. If the person renting the stall is a trainer and not the owner of the horse IMO this should be understood. If the horse is going to be ridden by several people on any given day this should be worked out and written into the lease contract. I wouldn't have a problem per-say with a boarder allowing a friend to ride from time to time. But this would depend on the type of insurance and the "rules" of the policy. As long as it was the exception and not become the rule. Unless it was a "paid" schooling fee to one of my employees.

                                      Like it or not "liability" is a huge concern for any boarding operation. Based on my conversations with others in this line of business most are under insured. Horse boarding insurance for a riding and even more so for a lesson barn is very expensive. For those who board and give lesson to minors it can be and is VERY expensive. I would not allow someone's "niece" to ride Dobbin. Signed waiver or not. A helmet rule is absolute no exceptions. I would not be comfortable allowing someone's "niece" friend etc other than the owner or an employee to bring the horse in from the paddock, graze, walk etc. It sucks to have to live life, run one's business this way. I grew up on a "working" horse farm. boarding operation. My parents never had to worry about being put out of business, going bankrupt because of someone else's stupid mistakes. Those days have been gone for a long time.

                                      I would make sure that anyone who rents day stalls carry adequate insurance. Especially a trainer. Have their insurance agent send you their policy direct. In turn send it to your insurance agent to review and make sure it is "adequate" and meets the "rules" of your policy. Don't be surprise if the cost of your insurance goes up. If so this fixed cost as to be factored into the dry stall fee also.

                                      DO NOT BE UNDER INSURED. Do not assume you don't have to "clear" this part, every part of your business model to your insurance provider. There is a LOT of small print in every policy. IMO too much and worded in ways that are hard to understand what and what is not is covered. What can,may happen that will cause the insurance company to void, not pay on a claim. I make a list of my concerns, possible events and sent to my agent to sign off on, return and keep on file.

                                      "I pay for the ring, turnout, lawnmowing, footing, water, electricity, etc in my board - am the one who decides who rides him - not my barn owner"

                                      In a perfect world, in the "old world" of horses I would agree to a certain extent. Unfortunately those days are gone for ever. One poorly made decision by a boarder to allow a friend to get on their horse and something happens. The business owner can be on the hook for a big claim. A claim that they may not be covered for. It comes down to how they are insured. The pre-insurance questioner specifically asks this. Basically "is the owner of the boarded horse the sole owner and sole rider?" The rates on based on the number of horses and the number of riders on that "1" horse. . 1 horse 2 different riders, double the chance of a claim.

                                      If the owner has a 10 horse operation but those 10 horses are being ridden by 20 different people in any given week. The policy is going to be quite a bit more expensive. Even if a boarded horse maybe be ridden by a non owner's friend, non employee on the odd occasion I would clear it with my insurance provider. Especially if minors are involved. If minors are not included in the policy and one gets hurt you will be up sh*ts creek without a paddle.

                                      If the person renting the dry stalls has employees they should carry workman's comp. At $15 to $20 per $100 of payroll it is not cheap. 15 to 20+% of their week payroll expense. I would check out what liability you maybe on the hook for if one of their employees gets hurt and they do not have workman's comp. I would also check out if that employee gets hurt by one of the horses under your care. Who's left "holding the bag".

                                      Limiting and or not allowing friends to hang out with a boarder is tricky. People with horses enjoy sharing their good fortune. Especially with non horse friends. But with an operation the size of yours, 50 stalls the number of people "hanging out" can get overwhelming and dangerous. Like I said this is tricky, I guess I was in this situation I would ask people to check before bringing people with them. It might require "scheduling" in advance. Bit of a PITA but I am of the mind no one is doing me favor writing me a check. Especially for horses.

                                      Sorry for being long winded. Went into more stuff then the OP was asking. But as with most of my comments I try and present the big picture not as much for the OP but for others education who read these threads. Hopefully there are some worth while tidbits for all. .

                                      Until I starting reading the "boarding threads". I didn't fully appreciate the luxury we had with our "boarding" business. For years our boarding operation model for the most part catered to TB breeders. Mares, foals, weanlings, yearlings, etc. The board rate $650 to $750 per month. Most lived out 24/7, most owners were a joy to work with. Saw them a couple of times a year. The same with re-habs, leg ups, breaking/starting and farm training.

                                      Sadly the breeding of TBs in my state never recovered after the economic collapse. The mare population has dropped form over 2,500 to to around 400. Thought about converting to sport/pleasure horses. But it is too competitive around here. Market forces don't seem to allow to charge what I feel is worth the exercise to justify the expense of this farm. As I have said, from what I have read on these threads I think most boarders can have unrealistic ideas of what is "value for money".

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                                      • #20
                                        My understanding of the main difference between "Dry stall board" and "Facility lease" would be the liability of facility/grounds maintenance. Dry stall board would indicate, to me, that the barn owner would still be in charge of maintaining the facility/fencing/pastures/etc, but I would be in charge of all care for the boarded horse(s). Facility lease or rental would put the liability for such maintenance on the person leasing/renting.

                                        "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

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