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Boarder wants more grain/day

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  • Boarder wants more grain/day

    Owner wants her horse to get much more grain than other borders horses. What’s the best way to handle this?

  • #2
    What does your contract say about the amount of grain you provide?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
      What does your contract say about the amount of grain you provide?
      Agree on what does your contract say?
      Does the horse need weight?
      Do you feed free choice quality hay?
      How much are the other horses getting? How much does she want to feed? (In weight is better than by scoop).

      If you have a bunch of stock horses (QH, paint, Appy) and her horse is a TB yes he will likely need quite a bit more than your average stock breed. In many cases stock horses need below or well below the recommended feeding amounts on grain.

      I personally think that if your contract doesn't address how much you will feed per day then you should at least feed the Manufacturer's recommended daily feed amount based on size and activity level of that horse. It you need to go much more than that then I could see charging the owner for anything beyond that or asking her to buy something additional such as: Ultimate Finish, Cool Calories, Oil, alfalfa cubes/pellets, or other weight gain supplements. It may be more cost effective to switch her horse to a higher performance feed (higher fat/higher protein) and be able to feed less of that.

      Without details about your contract, what you feed (brand/type) and amounts it is hard to fully answer.

      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

      Comment


      • #4
        How do you determine how much they should get in the first place? My horses don't get the same amount or type of grain because they don't need it. If I fed my APHA mare like I feed my TB mare, my paint horse would be obese.

        Comment


        • #5
          If your contract stipulates X amount per horse/day and you'll need to double that (for example), you'd do the math (cost of bag of grain divided by servings you normally feed to figure out normal cost). Then you'd explain you'll have to charge her X amount more per month, or offer her the option to buy and bag up the extra ration her horse would need.

          That's what has happened to me in boarding situations where my horse needed something different or more than the barn offered.
          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

          Comment


          • #6
            Ditto to all of the questions already asked.

            I was at a barn where most of the horses were on 1-2 pounds of a complete feed. That's not how they are intended to be fed but that was what was done and the horses looked fine enough. In walks my TBx and I say that she's on 8 lbs of a complete feed and the BM went bananas. However, if you look at the recommended amount for her size and weight that was spot on. She would have been a BCS of 3 in the middle of summer on a pound of complete feed.

            If there is a cap in the amount of grain you will feed I think that needs to be clearly spelled out in the contract along with details on what happens after that amount, does the owner provide the feed, does the barn charge a flat "extra grain" rate, etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              As a boarder, I was sometimes required to buy my own grain when my horse needed more than normally provided. It worked out fine and I didn't mind buying the extra feed.
              As a barn owner now, my boarding contract doesn't stipulate an amount of grain. I provide as much as the horse needs to maintain a healthy weight. I feed according to the guidelines on the bags. Too fat? Ration Balancer. Too thin? More grain and hay. I don't want horses with crappy toplines on my farm. I feed as much as needed, anywhere from a pound of ration balancer plus 2 pounds of concentrate to twelve pounds of high performance feed a day for the hardest keeper. I figure the easy keepers make up for the hard keepers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by blueribbonpanel View Post
                Owner wants her horse to get much more grain than other borders horses. What’s the best way to handle this?
                First off, they're **boarders**.

                Second, if the horse needs it, feed it. If you question this, have someone who isn't you (a Vet) evaluate the horse, and determine if it is needed, if you do not want the battle.

                There is NO money in boarding.
                When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ASB Stars View Post
                  Second, if the horse needs it, feed it. If you question this, have someone who isn't you (a Vet) evaluate the horse, and determine if it is needed, if you do not want the battle.
                  Or, you tell your boarders that you'll feed whatever they purchase, in whatever amount they want, and put the onus of grain on the owner instead.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What's the objection to feeding the horse as the owner requests? Money out of your wallet? Horse is obese?
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      IMO, it’s not a question of whether or not the horse needs it. If the boarder wants extra her horse should get extra but she should pay for it or feed it herself.

                      Boarding contracts are important but in my experience, boarders and barn managers/owners get into trouble when a boarder walks in and expects the management to bend to whatever wishes they have and that’s just not how things work. If every horse on the property gets 2 lbs, expect your horse to get 2lbs. If none of the horses get blanketed, don’t expect them to start blanketing yours. If stalls get mucked out once a day, but your horse is on stall rest and needs his mucked out 2x a day, don’t expect a second mucking for free.

                      Now, I don’t agree with any of those if it were my horses I wouldn’t have a one size fits all grain feeding plan, I would blanket my horse, and I’d muck extra if I needed to, BUT when you’re boarding, you are agreeing to the way management runs things. People get into trouble when they think they can get management to change the way they operate because that’s how THEY would prefer it. If the management only scrubs out waters once every 6 months, the solution is to not board there OR clean it yourself. No amount of “talking to the owner” is going to change anyone’s standard of care.

                      With respect to your situation, I think if this boarder wants her horse to get extra grain that’s perfectly reasonable especially if the horse is underweight, but she needs to pay for it. That sounds like a super simple solution if she’s just wanting more of the same grain. Now, if someone walked in and said they need their horse to get their own special feed with 6 different supplements, and soaked beet pulp then I think THAT would be unreasonable in this boarding set up and the management would have every right to say look sorry we can not accommodate that OR say yes we will accommodate that if you pay extra 40 dollars extra a month for the hassle and buy everything yourself.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My BO feeds Blue Seal products, the amount adjusted for the particular horse. An easy keeper gets a handful so they have something to munch on like everybody else. Extra grain is an extra charge. A different brand or things like ration balancers are purchased by the owner but they are kept in the grain room and measured out by staff. Supplements have to be ready in SmartPaks or baggies. She has 18 stalls occupied plus a few outside in small paddocks with run-ins. There is a white board with everything listed and a.m. and p.m. for the day are measured out in the morning.

                        She doesn't grain the outside horses, most of which are hers, so I purchase my own grain and feed him myself because I'm there every day.

                        "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Equkelly View Post
                          IMO, it’s not a question of whether or not the horse needs it. If the boarder wants extra her horse should get extra but she should pay for it or feed it herself.

                          Boarding contracts are important but in my experience, boarders and barn managers/owners get into trouble when a boarder walks in and expects the management to bend to whatever wishes they have and that’s just not how things work. If every horse on the property gets 2 lbs, expect your horse to get 2lbs.
                          I disagree with the quoted above. While of course no boarder should walk into a barn expecting a personalized care plan, if a contract makes it clear that horses are fed as-required (which is the direct opposite of the flat-rate feed, horses are all fed the same quantity of the same substance at the same times with no deviation) then I would absolutely expect a barn to work with me within reason on feed volume.

                          A few things to clarify, as always:
                          Some of us are not always the best judge of condition. It is entirely possible person A looks at a horse and goes, "oh, he's so skinny!" but person B (and a vet) sees a horse that is quite healthy. If this is the OP's case, then I like the recommendation abovethread to get a vet involved. The caveat here is that if a vet folds just because the client is pushy, you're still on the hook.

                          Some of us are not the greatest at actually following feed instructions. We tend not to weigh grain or hay before feeding, for one. Above thread also had a good example of this RE: the complete feed. If you feed less than the manufacturer's recommendations, I generally feel like boarding establishments should be willing to feed up to the volume recommended in-good-faith. If the owner is asking for above and beyond that (or the horse requires more than that), then you can reassess.

                          Ultimately, there are some details here that really would need to be answered before getting a clear response.
                          1. What is the horse's condition and work load? (Is this work load set to change soon? Foaling/lactating mares also count for this.)
                          2. How much are you currently feeding? (You specified that they requested "much more" grain, so I'll focus on the pelleted feed commentary - is the volume you currently feed meeting the manufacturer's recommendations for the horse type the boarder has?)

                          A more complete picture would be beneficial to getting a fair response to your situation. Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Edre View Post

                            I disagree with the quoted above. While of course no boarder should walk into a barn expecting a personalized care plan, if a contract makes it clear that horses are fed as-required (which is the direct opposite of the flat-rate feed, horses are all fed the same quantity of the same substance at the same times with no deviation) then I would absolutely expect a barn to work with me within reason on feed volume.
                            I’m not saying the barn owner shouldn’t work with the boarder I just think it’s unrealistic that they should be on the hook for the extra cost. It’s not their horse. It shouldn’t matter at all whether or not the horse needs extra grain. Whether it needs extra grain or it doesn’t, the boarder needs to pay for it. This is what I was talking about. You have your standard of care that the barn owners provide the boarders and then if you want or need more than that, you pay for it or do it yourself or you don’t board there. It’s really that simple. I’m kind of shocked at the amount of responses of people think it’s BO’s financial responsibility to provide extra feed. Full care board does not equal custom care.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The barn where I board requires each boarder to supply their own grain. This works out well because we have such a huge range of feed requirements in the barn. Everything from an elderly, Cushingoid QH mare who only gets a ration balancer, to my moderate keeper WB who gets 2lbs of Senior and 2lbs of Enrich Plus, to some OTTBs who get 6-8 lbs of grain a day.

                              If the exact amount of grain is stipulated in the boarding contract, anything beyond that is owner’s responsibility. Either pay BM an additional fee or purchase grain/supplements to be fed. If it is not expressly stated in the contract, get clarification (preferably in writing) and go from there.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Equkelly View Post
                                IMO, it’s not a question of whether or not the horse needs it. If the boarder wants extra her horse should get extra but she should pay for it or feed it herself.

                                With respect to your situation, I think if this boarder wants her horse to get extra grain that’s perfectly reasonable especially if the horse is underweight, but she needs to pay for it.
                                Originally posted by Equkelly View Post

                                I’m kind of shocked at the amount of responses of people think it’s BO’s financial responsibility to provide extra feed. Full care board does not equal custom care.
                                Well since we know nothing about the "situation" we can't say that the boarder wants *extra* yet or whether the boarder or the BO should pay for it.

                                If the contract says nothing about how much grain is fed, or says something like "given appropriate feed", the boarder might be entirely correct - she wants her horse fed an amount appropriate for its size/condition/workload. If the contract states a flat rate of grain for all horses, then more than that would be "extra."

                                My guess is that this barn has no specific information in the contract or they wouldn't be on COTH asking for advice. So, that's a starting point. The contract should specify HOW feeding rates are determined, not just state that horses will bet fed.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OP, it depends a lot upon the horse's condition, the owner's rationale, and the board contract or agreement. Is this a new horse coming in? Or a horse who is losing condition on current grain ration?

                                  Generally, the first step is to have a discussion with the owner regarding feeding. If you as BO feel the amount of grain the owner wants is going to be harmful or even is just way out of bounds cost-wise, you need to have a negotiation. Actually, what the horse is eating should have been discussed before the horse came in but, oh well... If the horse has been in your care and is a bit thin, discuss the maximum amount of grain you are comfortable providing and suggest supplements s/he could buy to add calories.

                                  I have seen a couple of horses come in to the boarding stable where my horse lives with feeding instructions that include large amounts of grain and a chemistry experiment of supplements. The BO negotiates a starting ration that includes lots of good hay "just for now to see how he does" and that usually requires little adjustment! The owners do what they like for supplements as long as they are in baggies or smartpaks.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Equkelly View Post

                                    Now, I don’t agree with any of those if it were my horses I wouldn’t have a one size fits all grain feeding plan, I would blanket my horse, and I’d muck extra if I needed to, BUT when you’re boarding, you are agreeing to the way management runs things. People get into trouble when they think they can get management to change the way they operate because that’s how THEY would prefer it. If the management only scrubs out waters once every 6 months, the solution is to not board there OR clean it yourself. No amount of “talking to the owner” is going to change anyone’s standard of care.
                                    .
                                    I think you have a sad and untenable view of boarding. Of course boarding means catering to the horse, as best the BO can. It has always meant feeding the Bigs and the Littles, the Fats and the Skinnies what it took to keep them in good weight. And barn owners created price structures to accommodate that.

                                    But I don't see how anyone can say that they wouldn't have their horse cared for in a way that was so generic as to have little to do with the nutritional needs of the animal (the pony who gets thrown an amount of hay he can't/shouldn't eat because the contract specifies that amount?), but they'd chastise a boarder for wanting similar. The animal has to be cared for as he requires.

                                    I have been a boarder for a helluva long time and this is how it has been in the barns I have chosen: For the price charged, the horse got feed appropriately. As grain and supplement options have gotten more complicated, I have seen barn owners start to exclude that from board, but feed what the owners buys and packs. That seems a reasonable solution to the complexity of it all.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                      I have been a boarder for a helluva long time and this is how it has been in the barns I have chosen: For the price charged, the horse got feed appropriately. As grain and supplement options have gotten more complicated, I have seen barn owners start to exclude that from board, but feed what the owners buys and packs. That seems a reasonable solution to the complexity of it all.
                                      Ahh that’s the issue. If you’ve been a boarder for such a long time you probably don’t get things from the caretaker’s POV. I understand that there are some barns out there that customize feed plans based on the horses nutritional needs. This does not sound like one of those. There are plenty barns where the feeding plan is “one size fits all” because the horses at that barn all have similar nutritional needs. This horse is the boarder’s financial responsibility.... not the barn owner’s.

                                      Expecting the owner to cover the cost of extra feed for the horse is ridiculous. I’ve been a boarder and I’ve been a caretaker. If any boarder ever said that they’re going to need their horse to start getting double what everyone else gets and the barn owner will be paying for it, your get laughed right out of the barn.

                                      When you are looking for boarding situations you should be asking yourself, “does this situation fit my horse’s needs?” And if that situation doesn’t fit your horse’s needs you either don’t board there or you can ask for extras up front and if there will be a cost associated with those extras.

                                      Attitudes in this thread are exactly why a lot of barn owners, barn manager’s and barn caretaker’s can’t stand most boarders. You are not entitled to someone else’s dime to cover your horse’s needs.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                                        Or, you tell your boarders that you'll feed whatever they purchase, in whatever amount they want, and put the onus of grain on the owner instead.
                                        Yes, you can!!
                                        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                                        www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                                        http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

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