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Just Ticked Off... A Vent

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  • #21
    Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
    I'll bet that those of you who think you should get a discount have never run a boarding barn, and those who don't have run a boarding barn. Having someone bring in their own ______ fill in the blank is a PITA.
    ^ This.

    Boarders who bring in their own grain = inconvenience and more time that has to be set aside to feed. Not to mention the space needed to store the feed. The one boarder that I had that fed her own grain paid the same board rate as everyone else, it would not have made any sense to give her a discount.

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    • #22
      Out here on the west coast, a lot of people don't feed grain at all and most boarding barns WON'T feed it. My barn will feed it, but I buy it/stock it myself with no discount in board.
      Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
      Anonymous Bedouin legend

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      • #23
        I should have been a bit clearer yes I think you should get a discount because from what you have posted it appears that your horse wasn't getting sufficiently fed. I also believe that if an owner supplies all hard feed then they should have the hard feed cost of board deducted from all other costs. I Supply Hay and hard feed plus necessary bulk and extras and purchase it at the same time as BO. I do this to make sure my horse (s) are always getting the correct amount of food at a quality I like. Might also point out I feed exactly the same as what the BO does but that has not always been the case.

        Also it should be cheaper for a Barn Owner / Barn Manager if a person supplies all of the feed and follows what ever rule is in place i.e. bagging up enough for each feed as required - I've done that.

        Boarder suppling own feed = only expense the BO/BMs time which is cheaper then time + purchasing hard feed. Also that way if the horses needs extra then it comes directly out of the boarders pocket not the BO/BM.

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        • #24
          Hay only is included in the board here - we're in SoCal. Anyone who wants their horse to have any grain or supplements has a choice of feeding it themselves or bagging daily portions and leaving them in a container outside the horse's stall or corral which we'll feed for them. We do no measuring or scooping, they have to do it. There are too many horses here to do it any other way.
          suze
          http://www.cafepress.com/horses_by_hawk

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          • #25
            I am personally shocked at how many people who have commented seem to think she should just let the BO do what he/she thinks best and just deal with it. I run a small (10 horses plus my own two) boarding barn. I have three senior horses in my care, two of which came to me on a feed her vet recommended. My two are on different feeds plus I have my own horse and one senior that requires feed to be soaked. Now it is just me running the show. I get some help with the hard labor from my BF and I live in an area where people don't dote on their ponies like other places (I'm from Lexington KY) my boarders do pay on time but they aren't always out there all the time, so I take care of everything. If they want their horse on a special feed and they pay for said feed on their own, I give them a discount. It all comes from the same feed store here locally so I just pick their stuff up when I go get my order. I am one of two boarding places and the only one who accepts mares/foals and offers any english lessons. I'm not so in high demand since most kids here are riding barrel horses or racking horses. But I am liked since I have three boarders who brought me their brrodmares to foal out and pay me extra to work with their colts.

            Is is easy?? NOPE. Does it really take me that much more time to do it all?? Not really. And I have a good reputation for taking good care of the horses which has built me up a waiting list of people wanting their horses at my barn. Which means here soon we are expanding and adding another barn and more pastures. And a western trainer to come in so I will have a few crazy barrel racers, but oh well. It will keep business going. I get that I am younger, haven't been doing this so long, but when someone is paying you to take care of their horses, shouldn't you be willing to work something out? Especially if its in the best interest of the animal (which should be the most important) and taking care of our clients? Hard as hell to run a boarding barn when you have no boarders b/c your hard to deal with. People will take their animals somewhere else in a heartbeat and with the economy we are in, I would rather comprise with a client and keep them then run them off and have them complain about poor service to all their friends who have horses. Word of mouth can be great or bite you in the butt really quick...

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            • #26
              broodmares*

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              • #27
                I am also 'unfortunate' in the sense that I live in an area and have boarded in facilities over $600/m and while I have been fortunate that they just so happen to offer the feed I wanted, it's a pretty rare circumstance around here that I hear of anyone getting a 'break' in board to bring in their own feed. Folks at my facility did it.. but did not get any 'break'. It's just not normal practice.

                I know of another barn that is $700/m.. feeds some 'barn feed'... and will not even do blankets.. and you can't even pay extra for them to do it... and if you want a different feed, you can bring it.. but.. no break for it. I think that is a bit much.. $700/m and they won't put and winter blanket on/off included in board. I really don't like places that nickel and dime you to death...and blanketing in this part of the country in winter is required if you plan to work your horse over winter.. and not good for them to be in a heated barn at night with their blankets on..

                Sorry I digressed. I also am not a fan of 'hard fast' feeding programs like someone mentioned here.. everyone gets the same.. you can't bring your own feed or extra hay if you want.. and they won't feed it either. I know it's a 'business'.. but.. part of the 'business' should include customer satisfaction.. and it is my horse.. I am paying board... Within reason, if he needs extra hay or a different feed, I need that option...even if I must pay extra for it. Just won't board somewhere with hard fast rules like that.

                Training.. gosh, don't get me started on that. Also won't board somewhere where the trainer owns the facility.. or you can not have your own trainer in if you so choose. Same goes to have my own vet.. and own farrier. Keeps everyone working for me.. and not for each other....

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                • #28
                  After reading through all of the responses here, I think this is why I love the fact that the boarding barn my gelding is at is partial and self care. And when I say partial care, I'm talking VERY partial care. They fill water buckets and feed grain and hay portions that boarders have individually purchased (both grain AND hay) and set up. Boarders get together when hay needs to be ordered/purchased and often many will order from a given supplier, depending on what type of forage is needed/available (hay has been a bit sparse this winter). That way individuals don't have to go out and transport back their own hay - suppliers/farmers deliver for larger orders.

                  With grain, each boarder just purchases what grain/supplements their horse(s) need. For the most part, people just go out to one of the local feed stores. I love the system as EVERY horse is different and I have a hard time seeing our very diverse herd on one or even just two-three select feeds. Some need supplements, some don't and the type and number or supplements also varies widely. Yes, it's work for all the boarders, but our cost for boarding (with indoor, outdoor arena, trails, jump/open field, etc.) is extremely low.

                  I also took lessons for quite awhile at a schooling barn with a similar sized herd that did what many have described in just using two different feeds - a generic feed for most of the horses and a senior feed for the older/very hard keepers. I know it took staff members a great deal of time to feed when horses needed special supplements or daily medication. There were also one or two times (that I recall) when there was difficulty with getting weight on a horse with the standard feed program. It was eventually resolved, but with specialized feed for that horse.

                  I can see both sides of the argument - with a large herd, I can see how it would be a lot of work for a small (or single person) staff to feed and I certainly understand how storage space is at a premium. But looking at the two barns I mentioned, I think I prefer the boarding situation I am in where we get to do individualized care. My opinion, I guess!

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by wnfarms View Post
                    ...but when someone is paying you to take care of their horses, shouldn't you be willing to work something out? Especially if its in the best interest of the animal (which should be the most important) and taking care of our clients?
                    Not necessarily. Barn Owners need to decide what services they can and will offer, and what they can't or won't offer. The more horses a place has the more important it is that the BO is clear about what can and what won't be done, and sends people elsewhere if they are not going to meet the needs of that horse/owner. No one wants to hear "oh yes we can do that" only to discover that it's not happening (at all, properly, safely) after they've moved their horse to the facility.

                    Anything that you are willing to do check that you'd still be willing to do if all 20 horses in your barn wanted it done. Say whatever took 5 minutes a day to do. 5 min x 20 horses x 30 days = 3000 minutes a month (50 hours). Even a two minute job works out to 20 hours a month for 20 horses. So maybe you'd be willing to do it as a paid extra, or would increase board to cover it as an included service, or would just decide that you don't want to spend that much time for whatever reason.

                    This is GOOD business, not bad business. No barn can be all things for all horses and owners. But being specific about what you do/will offer is going to bring in clients who want that. Which is not to say you can't make a rare short-term exception to the rules for a long term good boarder if you choose.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by wnfarms View Post
                      ... but when someone is paying you to take care of their horses, shouldn't you be willing to work something out? Especially if its in the best interest of the animal (which should be the most important) and taking care of our clients? Hard as hell to run a boarding barn when you have no boarders b/c your hard to deal with. People will take their animals somewhere else in a heartbeat and with the economy we are in, I would rather comprise with a client and keep them then run them off and have them complain about poor service to all their friends who have horses. Word of mouth can be great or bite you in the butt really quick...
                      Loudly clapping my hands! Not many barn owners/managers have this attitude. Many have the attitude of.. 'it's my way or the highway'.. And it is your attitude and the care you give that is the reason for your waiting list! You would have one anywhere with that kind of attitude. But.. be careful.. in your expansion.. it is hard (impossible!) to have such individualized care with a larger number of horses. The other thing to be careful about is 'groups' of people/horses coming together.. sometimes (not all times) because they have 'strength in numbers', they try to run the show.. and that's not right either. Also, beware of barn drama as you expand.. one 'bad apple' can ruin things for everyone rather quickly.

                      I am sooooo fortunate.. I now board at a small facility.. 14 stalls... enough pasture for everyone.. very personalized and professional care... and friendly people. That is sooooo not the norm.. and I feel like I won the lottery!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        As a feeder/assistant BM/full BM I get where you're coming from...but you're also one of the more annoying boarders to deal with.

                        I fully run a little 5-6 horse barn, where two horses are mine and the others are owned by people I have reasonable friendships with. I feed the best quality hay and usually three or four types of grain (cob, high-fat, maintenance and beetpulp/fibremax). When needed I've tried different types of grain, as long as it's something my feed company has it's fine. No horse gets more than 2 kinds of grain, and only once a day. Extra supplements are kind of on a "convince me" basis, so I'll feed them if I have to, but won't pay for them.

                        One of the other boarders is totally clueless and lets me do whatever I want with the feed, all she does is tell me when the horse is in work and needs more go. The others are all fairly experienced, so feed is more of a "discussion". That being said, I feed 2/3 meals most days, so if precious isn't eating their hay and making a mess I do something about it.

                        The other barn was a 25-32 horse facility. The BM above me was super knowledgable but got walked all over by the boarders. Most were pretty clueless but dangerous when armed with the powers of the internet. There we had: 12% pellets, 14% pellets, high fat, senior, hay cubes, oats, cob, maintenance crunch, beetpulp, ground flax, rice bran, and vitamins. All supplied by the barn. About half the horses also had supplements, some of which were bagged while others couldn't be bothered.

                        I was possibly the most annoyed barn worker on the planet when I was there. The BM did pay me extra when I complained, but at the end of the day the "just 1 minute it'll take you to look at precious's blah blah blah" drove me nuts and wasn't worth it. I also developed a habit of feeding the horses whatever I wanted anyway, owners who have never fed have no concept sometimes...

                        The day someone casually brought Regu-mate in and told me to feed it I lost it.

                        I worked at that barn for more than three years, and by the end I was offered the BM job. Though the boarders didn't always love me they respected my ability to keep their horses fat, healthy and watched over...I think

                        At my own barn (where my family owns, so the boarders can go but I'm not moving) I have a consistent wait list for spots. The footing is less than ideal, but I always have people who want to come. And the only time I've ever given a board reduction was for a second pony of a current boarder's, the mare ate 3 flakes a day (about half what the others ate) and could be stuck any where.
                        I'd tell someone asking for a reduction to take a hike. But then again if a horse was skinny I'd be the first one doing something about it...

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Actually I find any BM or BO that won’t offer a level of self care the I want to provide my horses annoying. I have seen way too many horses that were under and over done in situations where the owners had no control over feed. I was totally peeved by one person that while I provided food they still topped it up so that my yearling (yes yearling) was fat. Your time is worth less than the cost of buying in food actually in the general sense of things your time if you are only charging for that is the cheapest part of the whole equation as your time is only as valuable as another job that you have or could get that would make being BO or BM not worth being the job you currently have.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Ah...some of you remind me why I got out of the boarding business. I have just one retired boarder whose owner is wonderful. When he goes, that's it. No more. I'm not taking a chance of getting into boarder hell.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by lolita1 View Post
                              Actually I find any BM or BO that won’t offer a level of self care the I want to provide my horses annoying. I have seen way too many horses that were under and over done in situations where the owners had no control over feed. I was totally peeved by one person that while I provided food they still topped it up so that my yearling (yes yearling) was fat. Your time is worth less than the cost of buying in food actually in the general sense of things your time if you are only charging for that is the cheapest part of the whole equation as your time is only as valuable as another job that you have or could get that would make being BO or BM not worth being the job you currently have.
                              First, your post does not make a lot of sense. Second...labor is right up there as the most expensive part of running horse boarding, unless you have no employees and don't pay yourself a reasonable wage.

                              Here's a very interesting article which breaks down the costs of running several different types of horse barns...training, full care, pasture board. You will notice that labor (the part that you think is so cheap compared to feed) is the largest portion of the expense. http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex12731/$file/460_830-2.pdf?OpenElement

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                              • #35
                                Labor is "cheap" because the customer actually doesn't want to pay for it. Most boarding barns are lucky if they break even if they don't have instruction, show or training fees to make money.

                                I don't think it unreasonable to ask $10.00/day to care for someone's horse. That usually includes feeding/haying twice a day, turn-in/turn-out. Clean water buckets refill, clean stall/paddock etc. So that's $300./month. Feeding my own horses hay and grain at home is costing me roughly $200/horse/mo with all the price increases in hay and grain. (and they're not hard keepers). So that's $500/month. Cheaper in warm weather as I have decent pasture and don't have to feed as much hay, but most boarding facilities don't have that kind of space. Add in the cost of land/structures/maintenance/fuel/fertilizer/utilities/insurance/taxes/equipment/equipment repair. In all honesty, it's amazing that ANYONE will do this. Throw in one persnickety pita boarder. I gave up boarding YEARS ago and will never ever ever do it again.

                                Then, contrast this with all the threads about "how much should I pay someone to take care of my horses when I'm on vacation?" and you get " I woudn't do it for less than $50./day for 2 or 3 horses". arrrggghhhhhh!
                                In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I have an account with the local Purina dealer. When new boarders move in I provide them the Purina list of feeds available. They choose what feed they wish or I can do that for them if they prefer.

                                  Last time I counted there were 16 (yes 16!) different types of horse feed to choose from. It does not matter to me what they choose...the delivery comes all together anyway.

                                  It makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to me what the owner wishes to feed their horses. Some eat more, some less. Some are on more expensive feed, some less......all works out in the wash.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Jax90 View Post
                                    ....I was possibly the most annoyed barn worker on the planet when I was there. The BM did pay me extra when I complained, but at the end of the day the "just 1 minute it'll take you to look at precious's blah blah blah" drove me nuts and wasn't worth it. I also developed a habit of feeding the horses whatever I wanted anyway, owners who have never fed have no concept sometimes...
                                    Wow... you very clearly just needed to 'get out'. I was in your position too... did the feeding/care for a BO for some 30 horses... and I DO KNOW what a PITA boarders can be... Some boarders with all their 'instructions' and a little of this, a little of that.. and the 'science experiments' conducted outside their stalls just to do the feeding.. really frustrated the hell outta me.. and it took longer too. I drew the line ONCE when a mare had foundered, was in some serious pain, her owner left bute tablets outside her stall.. but the mare wouldn't eat them.. and I didn't have a grinder.. or the time to dissolve in water, yada, yada.. so I simply asked her to grind them herself or provide powder.. and she did.. but wouldn't speak to me afterwards.. sigh.. so... I do get it. HOWEVER... I did not just 'feed whatever I wanted'.. and blatantly go against owner's wishes with regards to how they wanted their horse cared for.. and frankly, if I were a BO and I found out my barn manager was doing that, they'd be fired. Sorry. I felt, even when owners were being idiot's.. it was NOT MY DECISION on how to care for their horses.. and I saw dealing with all the stuff people wanted was just part of the job (within reason).. If I didn't agree with what they were doing or what they were asking was beyond reason, I could discuss it with them.. but.. unless I felt the owner was seriously harming their horse (almost never, I might add), I just chose to not offer my opinion and just do as they wished....and if I didn't like it, well.. I knew how to quit. Sorry.. don't mean to ruffle your feathers...but I really feel your attitude is a wrong attitude to have in the boarding business.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Amazing the way I get quoted for actually having a dissenting opinion and standing up for it. NOT I really find it very odd that so many people think it is ok to badger people (gang mentality allot lately) daft me for commenting again wont both in the future.

                                      Even if you pay some one to feed horses in your care on your behalf it is still cheaper than purchasing feed and paying them. Not interested (if directed at me) in reading your link sorry like I wrote seen too many horses over or under done due to the total full care option. Best wishes OP.

                                      Cheers

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I have always had the "different feed" for my horses that I have owned. One was my older (now retired guy) who had to have senior feed when I took him to college. I asked up front if I could bring in food, and that I would not expect them to buy the more expensive feed, and I would make sure it was always available in the bins. No problems. When he was home the barn he was at didn't offer senior feed at the time, so again, I provided it. Fortunately, when their school horses started to get up there in age, the barn owner decided she liked what I was using, and started buying it in bulk so I no longer had to provide

                                        My OTTB's that I have had have had high fat, low sugar ($$$$) food and I had no problems providing it for the barn. I just calculated it into the cost of keeping them. Now I am lucky enough that my barn where my OTTB is at has switched feed companies and can purchase my feed when they purchase there feed, which monetarily is comparable so I no longer need to pay extra (phew).

                                        I have also been on the management/feeding end,and lots of different feeds is a pain, especially if the bins don't get filled in a timely manner. I would just be happy they are willing to feed a different grain as long as it is kept in stock at the barn.

                                        Senior horses can suddenly bloom with the right senior feed. My old guy was getting plenty of food, but not the right food when he was 20. That is when I had blood pulled and switched him to a true senior feed. Amazing the difference! The extra money is minor to me considering he is now almost 35 and going strong in retirement!

                                        I would keep your horse in the current barn if you are happy with care otherwise. Offer to purchase the grain or be billed if it can be purchased when barn buys their grain. If they are willing to store the extra bags and feed it for you I would be happy your horse can continue to get what she needs

                                        Becky & the boys
                                        Becky & Red
                                        In Loving Memory of Gabriel, 1998-2005 and Raalph, 1977-2013

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Remindm e to thank all my BO/BMs.
                                          Maybe its were we are but Ive never been charged extra for anything--holding for vet/farrier/blankets/turnout. My one gelding was at a place where the BO fed this much QH feed and no more(no offance to QH). Mine couldnt keep fat on. I had to buy senior and extra hay. I pay more now than where he was but no extra feed. They feed what it takes to make him look good. Thats the mark of a good BO.
                                          “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

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