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Does your barn owner/trainer pass costs on to you?

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  • Does your barn owner/trainer pass costs on to you?

    Does your barn owner/trainer have the farm farrier mark up boarder's bills, in order to cover the cost of the trainer's shoeing?

    Same with the vet: Does the farm vet spread the farm call fee over the boarder's and not charge the barn owner/trainer for part of the farm call?

  • #2
    You might look at that a different way.

    The barn owner is given a discount by the farrier as a professional courtesy for providing the farrier with a group of clients.

    Most vets divide the farm call to a certain degree but have a minimum per person amount no matter how many people. They might, as already said, not charge the barn owner a farm call for things like routine care as a courtesy.

    Comment


    • #3
      No, my BO does her best to absorb costs so she does not have to charge us for anything more than she already does.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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      Comment


      • #4
        I think what is critical to this scenario is whether clients are aware of the practice and also whether they are allowed to bring in their own professionals. So when the trainer twists a client's arm to use X vet/farrier over Y vet/farrier, even if X is more expensive and Y would do a better job, it is unethical IMHO. And it is blatantly unethical if the prices for clients at said farm are higher than what the same number of clients would pay for the same service by the same vet or farrier at the farm next door.

        I've encountered this problem. I was very confused when I received a vet bill because my horse's teeth were floated without my knowledge at the trainer's request. I confronted trainer, since I had JUST had the horse's teeth done by a different vet. Trainer said they had to do it because the horse's teeth were "just horrible." That was an absolute lie, and I knew it at the time but couldn't figure out why the trainer would spend my money like that or wouldn't even call to consult with me.

        Once I figured out the financial arrangement, it made a lot more sense. I eventually left, but not before sending a lot of good money to an absolutely pathetic excuse for a professional.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Actually there is a barn that the farrier charges $50 more per horse than he does at the barn down the road. He does this to cover the barn owner/trainers horses. There is no discount being passed. It is the whole cost.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            And no, the boarders have no idea they are paying for her horses!

            Comment


            • #7
              Our current BO doesn't expect boarders to carry her expenses but a former BO did. I didn't understand why our farrier bill was $50 higher at her barn for the same farrier we had used in a previous barn. When I asked the BO, she said the farrier raised his rates then had a major hissy when we switched farriers. Several months later I spoke with the farrier directly and he told me he hadn't raised his rates. The BO was billing all of us for the cost of her herd's farrier work. I felt totally fleeced.

              I have my suspicions about what happened with our vet bills but never delved into it. IMHO a trainer/BO who upcharges and doesn't tell clients the truth is nothing more than a common thief.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does the BO/trainer also make all the arrangements and hold the horses etc. ? Was shoeing included in your boarding contract in any way ?
                ... _. ._ .._. .._

                Comment


                • #9
                  No, my farrier does not do this. My farrier doesn't do my BO's horses so it isn't an issue. I am there to hold my horses for him.

                  As for the vet... I'm my own vet (in equine only practice). If I'm seeing several clients at a farm, I divide the call fee by horse. For example:

                  Person A - 2 horses
                  Person B - 1 horse
                  Person C - 4 horses

                  Each horse's invoice has the call fee divided by the number of horses or $10, whichever is greater. $10 is my min call fee. This way, people pay a proportion of the call fee that is related to how much time I spend with them. Make sense?

                  If I am going to a farm to do an entire barn, I usually waive the call fee to the trainer/BO's horses as someone already said as a "professional courtesy". I do not raise the other bills to cover for that.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Yes, held for the farrier and vet was included in the full care board contract.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Does the BO/trainer also make all the arrangements and hold the horses etc. ? Was shoeing included in your boarding contract in any way ? Whichever way the BO/trainer choses to do it, boarders (her customers) are going to pay her expenses. If not by paying higher farrier fees, then by paying more in board.
                      ... _. ._ .._. .._

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not that this is 100% applicable, but more of a general wondering... what's the rationale for a vet dividing the farm call per person instead of per horse? Even when the BO doesn't have the most horses... I really dislike being charged the same amount for my 1 horse as another who had 4 seen.
                        I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I pay my own farrier and vet directly....have at most places I board.

                          If they do a group thing (like pulling coggins)...my BOs all let me know the cost and I can choose to participate or not. But even with those...the vet billed me directly and gave us a cut farm call.

                          If my BO set up an appointment...I'd expect to get charged for her services in doing so....either on a case by case needed or by paying generally higher board.

                          Should my board cover her horses' costs.....I would hope so otherwise. She is running a business for profit so I'm hoping she is making some.
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To clarify, I also paid vet and farrier directly. In my situation, the BO told the farrier to split the costs of her horses among the rest of us. We were never told this was happening. The farrier would simply tell us what we owed and we would write the check.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snaffle81 View Post
                              Not that this is 100% applicable, but more of a general wondering... what's the rationale for a vet dividing the farm call per person instead of per horse? Even when the BO doesn't have the most horses... I really dislike being charged the same amount for my 1 horse as another who had 4 seen.
                              I've always seen it done like the example given in this thread - by horse, not person. I would not appreciate the per person, unless it were at the minimum and that were a "group discount" for anyone with multiple horses or something.

                              I've never had a BO who arranged farrier/vet for me, but if I did I would expect to pay for that in either higher board or a fee. I would NOT, however, expect to pay for that BO's horses - if that's needed to make a profit (as mentioned, it's a business) it should be part of the base board price, and customers can take or leave the boarding situation overall.
                              Originally posted by Silverbridge
                              If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My family has a training-only facility (no outside riding horses, all boarders are in training/ babies/ broodmares/ retirees, we set up appointments, get the horses in and hold them). We add an extra $5 to the trim cost, and an extra $10- $15 for shoeing depending on how long it takes, and split the farm call cost between clients not by horse, unless it is a situation where one client has an emergency and the vet dispenses something or looks at another horse just because she's out already.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                  Whichever way the BO/trainer choses to do it, boarders (her customers) are going to pay her expenses. If not by paying higher farrier fees, then by paying more in board.
                                  While this is more or less true, I think the issue is really transparency. I would be much more comfortable with a higher per month boarding cost, a hold fee or some other arrangement. I would not be ok with a trainer who simply tacked on the cost of her horses' shoes to my own without my knowledge.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Snaffle81 View Post
                                    Not that this is 100% applicable, but more of a general wondering... what's the rationale for a vet dividing the farm call per person instead of per horse? Even when the BO doesn't have the most horses... I really dislike being charged the same amount for my 1 horse as another who had 4 seen.
                                    I've always done it/ seen it done per person... the vet does not charge the trip fee for her time on the call, she charges for making the drive out there. If four people want the vet to draw six coggins tests, I would split the bill between the four people who asked that the vet come out. The call fee is still $60 regardless if it is for four horses with four owners or six horses with four owners. It's really none of their business who got what done on how many horses.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wow, do you mean I have been missing the chance to gouge my boarders all these years? But wait, I have 18 horses and only 3 boarders. Do you think they would suspect if their trim bill went up to $350 a visit?

                                      Seriously, I've seen this practice at some hunter barns. I've always found it outrageous. I do not expect boarders to cover my own expenses for my horses. All the boarders do is help with some overhead expenses by creating economies of scale. The horses I own are supposed to be covering some of their expenses in various ways -- as a breeding stock, sales horses, or lesson horses.
                                      Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                                      http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Backstage View Post
                                        While this is more or less true, I think the issue is really transparency. I would be much more comfortable with a higher per month boarding cost, a hold fee or some other arrangement. I would not be ok with a trainer who simply tacked on the cost of her horses' shoes to my own without my knowledge.

                                        This is what I meant. I would expect that my board is covering more than just what I cost the BO and thus covering some of their expenses. But it should be up front..i.e. by monthly board fee.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                        Comment

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