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stabling fees

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  • stabling fees

    I can't help myself...I know I am starting a train wreck here, so go ahead and get out your popcorn and wine...But the stabling fees at events have gotten RIDICULOUS. The first two we are attending stabling is $125 plus $25 for each additional day. For one you have to buy bedding, the other provides. Both you have to submit a check for $50 in case you don't clean your stall. Needless to say, we are trailering in, but still have to pay a $50 grounds fee per horse. Why isn't the $50 included in the registration fee? I can't compete a horse without bringing him on the grounds. Paying for events is seeming more and more like paying my cell phone bill.

    I know, I know...if we want to see the sport of eventing continue and these venues stay in business, then these fees are a necessary evil. But at these prices they should at least have the stall bedded nicely for you and provide the final mucking. Also, I would think that with the price of stabling as high as the price of entry fees, the number of entries will start going down. Has anyone heard about the down turn in the economy? It costs 50% more to go to horse trials than it did four years ago.

    I guess I could go on and on with my whining...but enough for today.

  • #2
    Southern Pines I

    Stabling is $160. Holy cow.


    • #3
      ours are bad here too.

      I choose my events by price these days.
      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


      • #4
        As I was told, when I started a similar thread a couple of years ago, the venues who have to put up tents are the ones who usually charge more. The cost of putting up the tents goes up, thus our cost of paying for them does, too.

        For events held at the KHP, the price of stabling has stayed at $35/night. There are a couple of events held there that are over $40/night. Is that organizer being charged more or are they making money on the stalls?

        I have found very few events that provide initial shavings. JFS, who posts on here and puts on Winona and Stonegate, keeps the price of her stalls low and gives bedding. I believe that Spring Run does this, too. The difference is that the stalls are permanent and the events are at family owned farms.
        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


        • Original Poster

          One of the venues has permanent stabling and just 2 years ago charged $25 per night. The $125 is for two days and one night...but they provide bedding.


          • #6
            Honestly, The stabling cost is one of the reasons I am not going to any early season event. I live close enough to do one day events w/o stabling (sometimes Im very sleep deprived!) but for me that is better than spending almost an entire entry I could use for another event/training etc,, on stabling. Its a catch 22 bc we, the riders, don't want to pay but so much money because lets face it, It is a horse show, something many of us do as a hobby, but the organizers need to make a profit too.


            • #7
              Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
              ours are bad here too.

              I choose my events by price these days.
              Same Here. Luckily I just compete at novice which is low enough that I have minimal worry about 'bad' courses and which ones are a better prep for which destination event... I just pick a show that works in my budget and my schedule then go and have a fun ride (most of the time)


              • #8
                These days I plan my eventing calendar around which events are close to friends who can lend us a stall. Luckily we have a great friend in Purcellville which we base ourselves at for about 2/3 of the events we do in Area 2. We also have a friend in NC who is lending stalls to us for Southern Pines and the Fork. Finding friends with stalls is a whole lot cheaper than stabling, but then we have to pay the off grounds fee, which I still don't understand. Can anyone explain the need for a grounds fee to me? Thank you ahead of time!


                • #9
                  Stabling fees are an important revenue source without which many events would not survive. Grounds fees are necessary in order to spread the financial burden a little more equitably.
                  Had enough hopey-changey yet?


                  • Original Poster

                    why aren't grounds fees part of entry fees...and if you have a non-competing horse that is of course additional?


                    • #11
                      gooddirt (or other organizer/secretary types) -
                      Sometimes I think the grounds fee would be more palatable if it were part of the entry, and then stabling would seem cheaper too if the grounds fee portion were already backed out of it.

                      That is, if entry(160) plus grounds fee (50) =$210 or
                      entry (160) plus stabling (125) = $285 sometimes I think I would whimper less if the info just read Entry = 210, stabling is 75 extra.

                      But then I think, well , entries are non-refundable, stabling and grounds fees are refundable. Is that why they are separated out on entries, do you know?



                      • #12
                        I have to agree -- many events that I have gone to have permanent stabling that has been there for many years. I'm not paying half a board payment to stall my horse for one night, come on people! Just make the entry fee whatever it needs to be to cover costs -- don't make me add up 5 exorbitant fees on top of it.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #13
                          My board is $275/month. Paying half of that for 4 days of stabling at an event makes me cry a little inside.
                          Big Idea Eventing


                          • #14
                            Most venues have set prices for the use of a horse stall per day or per event and it is included in the price that the event organizers pay to rent the facility. The organizers of the event very often pad the price of stabling to the participants to help pay their expenses (and make a profit in some cases) I have helped organize one of the largest annual horse shows at our local facility several times. The facility only charges $57 per 3 day event for the use of a horse stall which includes 2 bags of shavings but the organizers bump that up a little bit to help pay for the rental on the venue's arenas. The facility only charges a $10 per day grounds fee but the organizers charge participants $25.00. Some other events at the same facility charge their participants way more and add other charges such a timer fees etc.

                            What I'm saying is that it is not always the venue charging those rates...often your event organizers pad those rates for their own purposes.

                            ETA: In our case it would be impossible to roll stabling into the entry fees since everyone is running different events (or classes) and many use the same horse in multiple events or several different horses. Sometimes, at our shows, family members can compete the same horse in different age divisions. This would be nightmare to figure into entry fees so it is always a separate charge.
                            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                            • #15
                              I have to try hard not to think about it when my stabling is more expensive than my entry fee.
                              "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl View Post
                                gooddirt (or other organizer/secretary types) -
                                Sometimes I think the grounds fee would be more palatable if it were part of the entry, and then stabling would seem cheaper too if the grounds fee portion were already backed out of it.

                                That is, if entry(160) plus grounds fee (50) =$210 or
                                entry (160) plus stabling (125) = $285 sometimes I think I would whimper less if the info just read Entry = 210, stabling is 75 extra.

                                But then I think, well , entries are non-refundable, stabling and grounds fees are refundable. Is that why they are separated out on entries, do you know?
                                I'm a little curious as to why it matters if the total is the same? Not trying to stir the pot, but the bottom line is the bottom line....

                                I only run schooling shows on my farm, but I run a lot of them, and I run the T3DE at the Hoosier Horse Park and in the past have run sanctioned shows.

                                I have permanent, on grounds stabling.

                                Last year I rewired my stabling barns and fixed the plumbing so the wash stall in one of them works. This year I am reflooring stalls and going through all latch repairs. Next year it will be something else.

                                Last years repairs were close to $2000, this year will be $1000 in labor and a further $1200 in stone. I only charge $25/night for stabling but when I look at my upkeep numbers it seems like I should charge more!

                                I charge a $15 grounds fee for horses that do not stable because
                                A) there is wear and tear on the ground that I have to deal with afterwards (loose hay, trash, poop, places where a horse has dug)
                                B) I'd really rather people get a stall so I don't have A and also don't have the worry about a horse getting in the way or loose.

                                I do not provide shavings. I know of several events that quit providing shavings because other competitors stole them out of the stall and added them to their bedding rather than purchasing 2nd bags.

                                Shavings are expensive and not always easily available. I will have shavings on hand if a competitor wants to preorder, but the extra $1/bag I charge sure isn't profit by the time I go to TSC, buy them, load them, go back home and unload.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LAZ View Post
                                  I'm a little curious as to why it matters if the total is the same? Not trying to stir the pot, but the bottom line is the bottom line....
                                  Because it's just how people's brains work! It's the same sort of deal as with paying for shipping when you order things online. People have negative reactions to seeing shipping broken out and feel as though they are getting gypped (think of all the rants on here about Dover's shipping charges). Free shipping has such a high perceived value in customers' eyes that studies have shown they'll pay the equivalent of $4 more in merchandise instead of $1 of shipping (of course, it wasn't spelled out like this, but that's what observations indicated).

                                  I realize this is a different application, but I wonder if the same sort of reasoning might exist with entry fees? It could be an interesting experiment for someone who usually puts the grounds fee charge separately to just include it in the entry fee price and see if it makes a difference (though entries vary from year to year, so it would be difficult to measure). Unless, of course, most horse people think like me and ultimately don't care where the breakdown is and judge things by total cost
                                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                                  • #18
                                    Ha - My favorite was a recent event where stabling was listed at a per night rate, but you had to declare which nights you wanted stabling for up front... long before ride times were posted.

                                    Looked like you could save, but there was no way of knowing which night you'd need a stall for. In the end I paid for two nights, just to be safe, even though once ride times were published, it became obvious that I only needed one night of stabling.

                                    I appreciate that the organizers need to recoup fees but the economy has hit everyone.... I predict Libby will spend a lot of time hanging out in her trailer this year.
                                    The rebel in the grey shirt


                                    • #19
                                      I HATE HATE HATE grounds fees for competing horses.. OP was right. I can't COMPETE if I don't bring him to the grounds. GRRRRRRRR.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
                                        I HATE HATE HATE grounds fees for competing horses.. OP was right. I can't COMPETE if I don't bring him to the grounds. GRRRRRRRR.
                                        Think of it as an either/or. Either you pay a stabling fee or you pay a fee to have your trailer on the grounds.

                                        We're not getting rich here, folks...and we're trying to provide a quality product for as reasonable price as we can and still pay our bills....