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Need Support; Upsetting Boarding Situation

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  • Need Support; Upsetting Boarding Situation

    A
    Last edited by horseluvr222; Mar. 23, 2013, 01:23 PM.

  • #2
    Have you addressed the owner/barn manager about these issues directly? I find workers sometimes give biased information.
    If they cut back that much feed did you notice a weight loss with your horse? I have never heard of a hay surcharge. When hay was going through the roof all the boarders were given notice (I think it was two months) that board was going to increase due to feed prices going up.
    I would be careful with allegations of abuse when you are hearing it second hand.
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

    Comment


    • #3
      The hay surcharge thing is pretty standard nowdays, with hay becoming harder to get and prices rising. If they have to buy hay now, I would expect to pay now.
      That wouldn't bother me at all.

      The abuse allegation would certainly concern me and warrants investigation.
      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by horseluvr222 View Post
        Well, I am getting billed for the month of January with a hay surcharge. If the hay is still the home grown stuff, why should I be paying for it?
        Err, because if they need to buy in hay to feed out Feb 1st, then they need to have the money to pay for it in Jan. BTW, "home grown hay" still costs money to make....sometimes even more than you pay for a bale from the farmer down the road, ask me how I know.

        Situation #1 does not concern me. Well, not the surcharge bit...a tough hay year can be killer on a barn, and while yes, there were poor management decisions, there is nothing that can be done about that now. Do you expect them to cover the cost of your horse's feed out of pocket? That's hardly fair. It's your right to move and all, and the surcharge is even a valid excuse, but it's not an unusual thing to ask.

        The decrease in hay is worrisome, but you've even said that you noticed no decrease in body condition.

        Just out of curiosity, are you paying for this extra hay that you're giving at night, or just taking it out of the loft?


        Situation #2 is obviously concerning, and a valid reason for leaving.

        Also you can't say that they "don't really care about your horse" and "just want your money" when 1) you hadn't noticed the decrease in hay/possible abuse before it was blatantly pointed out to you, and 2) barn owners really do not make that much money, trust me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by horseluvr222
          I didn't notice the decrease in hay because I don't come in the mornings. I have school and work so I usually can't get there before 2. If I would have noticed it, I would have questioned it. I have an issue with the surcharge because they have known about not having enough hay and now they are just deciding to do something about it. prices were better in the summer than they are now.

          BTW, they don't need to money to buy hay. The owner is a multi-millionaire. I already pay over $700 a month for board.
          Yes, but you also didn't notice the decrease because there was no change in your horse's condition. Clearly, they do "care about your horse."

          The owner's financial situation isn't any of your business, really. He could be a billionaire and that still doesn't mean that he should be required to finance your luxury pet. You were content to pay $700 in board before now, which seems to indicate that that is the going rate for your area.

          Move, or don't move, but the hay surcharge, no matter the circumstances or "should have bought it earlier" musings, is not unusual.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hay surcharges are not uncommon at all. I would prefer more notice, but at least you got some, versus it just showing up on your next bill.

            The abuse allegation is obviously concerning and a valid reason for leaving, if true.

            The financial status of the owner is absolutely none of your business and totally immaterial to either issue.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, my BO also hiked the monthly board by $45 + tax in Dec. The main reason? Hay prices and they grow their own and have enough for the whole winter for the whole barn. It really came off as "other suppliers are making a bundle on their hay and I should too. So you will pay for it!"... I did not like the way it was presented, but then we had not had a board increase since beginning of 2008... it was due!
              The horses are getting lots of hay inside and outside.
              Abuse... I would be out so fast!

              Comment


              • #8
                My advice is don't jump from the fying pan into the fire. The grass is not always greener. The skimping on hay and feeding poor quality hay has been going on as long as I can remember. Pay the surcharge or see if they will reduce your board and you provide your own hay. Put up a hack rack or something in your stall and fill it up.

                Barn help comes and goes. Helpers that are not good with the horses happen everywhere. Just keep your eyes open take action on it as needed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by horseluvr222
                  I am saying is, I shouldn't have to pay for hay that I have no idea what it is or when it is coming. Nobody is willing to tell me that. It could be cow hay for all I know.
                  Uh, what? Welcome to boarding. Unless YOU are buying the hay, you have zero control over it. When you board a horse, you have to trust that the people purchasing the hay are purchasing something appropriate. If they're not, then it's your prerogative to leave.

                  But saying that you shouldn't have to pony up for a hay surcharge because you don't know what sort of hay they're going to buy is totally ridiculous. If you don't trust the barn to buy good quality hay, then I'd say you have far more issues here than that and should have left a LONG time ago.

                  If this is really your stand, you're going to have a hell of a time finding a new barn.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I, for one, don't blame you one bit for leaving. Any place that would cut a horse's hay by 50%! doesn't care about the horses. I also agree they should have bought supplement hay months ago to avoid such high prices. That's THEIR fault, they shouldn't pass it on to the boarders. And the abuse...there's just NO excuse for that. I'd be gone in a hot second.
                    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OP - here are my thoughts: if you are boarding anywhere, you have to feel that you can trust the owners to take reasonable care of your horse. Its clear from your comments that you dont trust them anymore, and so leaving is the right thing for you.

                      That said, its tricky when all the info is coming from barn staff. Perhaps the owner did plan poorly re purchasing the hay, but there may have been other factors that you dont know about. You only have one side of the story. Secondly, if you have any reason to suspect that the horses are being mistreated, you really should approach owner- for the benefit of the others, even if you are leaving.
                      Last, the comment that the owner shouldn't charge for hay he has to buy is a bit childish. There isn't a boarding barn in the country that makes much profit - it is an expensive undertaking by any measure. Doesn't matter if the owner is wealthy or not, he's under no obligation to give you stuff for free.

                      Good luck with the winter moving - that is never fun.
                      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                        That said, its tricky when all the info is coming from barn staff. Perhaps the owner did plan poorly re purchasing the hay, but there may have been other factors that you dont know about. You only have one side of the story. Secondly, if you have any reason to suspect that the horses are being mistreated, you really should approach owner- for the benefit of the others, even if you are leaving.
                        Last, the comment that the owner shouldn't charge for hay he has to buy is a bit childish. There isn't a boarding barn in the country that makes much profit - it is an expensive undertaking by any measure. Doesn't matter if the owner is wealthy or not, he's under no obligation to give you stuff for free.
                        There are ALWAYS several sides to a story. Who are you doing business with? BO? Farm manager? That is who you oughtta be talking to.

                        About 6 years ago we had a HORRIBLE drought. Our hay expenditure quadrupled if not more. By the time all the calculations are done, nobody's earning a living with a boarding facility. Been there, done that.

                        Good luck to you in whatever you decide.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by horseluvr222
                          BTW, they don't need to money to buy hay. The owner is a multi-millionaire. I already pay over $700 a month for board.
                          I have to take issue with this. It doesn't matter how much money the BO has/makes. If the planned cost of hay has increased, you should pay for the increase. Your statement reeks of a sense of entitlement, just like the people who think that wealthy people should pay more for taxes/fund welfare, horse ownership, food stamps, and everything else to help out people making less money.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by horseluvr222

                            BTW, they don't need to money to buy hay. The owner is a multi-millionaire. I already pay over $700 a month for board.
                            OP, you sound young (not being snarky). If it bothers you that much, I'd leave. As others have stated, the grass is not always greener. The hay situation is not unusual. It does stink. Other points to consider are- are the horses wasting their hay outside? Are there reasonable ways that the owner is cutting back?

                            Abuse is not to be tolerated. I would seriously think over this point. I have a mare, I raised her from a weanling. She has never been abused in her life. If someone else tries to fuss too much with Princess's head, you would think she had been clubbed with a baseball bat.

                            Random beating of 30/40 horses by the barn help and not one owner notices? Um.... this sounds unlikely.
                            Good luck in your decision.
                            Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How is it possible that your horse's hay has been cut by 50% with no noticeable change in his condition? They MUST be supplementing with additional feed, or perhaps adding rice bran or something. If you like everything else about the barn, pay the hay surcharge & give them a chance. If the hay hasn't sucked up until now, you have no reason to think they would buy cow hay ... ? And if they do, that's when you high-tail it.

                              AFA the abuse allegations - unless YOUR horse has started acting uncharacteristically head-shy, I would think it sounds like sour grapes from a disgruntled employee. Keep your eyes open but that would not make me jump ship. If anything it would just make that employee less credible, in my opinion.
                              "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Take a deep breath. Hay shortages happen. Of course you're going to have to pay more for hay, since the hay is going to cost more. Yes, they could have economized by buying at July prices and not December ones, but that's life. Not all barn owners are brilliant business minds. Welcome to horse ownership--it throws curves at you sometimes.

                                As to the allegation of abuse, I'd take that for what it's worth at this point--an allegation from an employee. You have no idea about that employee's agenda, their veracity, or anything else. If you don't have the stomach to confront the BO on behalf of (presumably) your own horse, then have a grownup do it for you. It is a very serious allegation, and if it's true then you are right to leave immediately. However, IME a lot of these allegations wind up being the inflated vapors of ignorant, angry, or trouble-seeking employees who like to stir things up for whatever reason.
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I agree wholeheartedly with what Deltawave said. You would. not. believe. the load of crap two (former) barn workers tried to get me to believe about my most excellent BO last year. I bought it at first. Then it became apparent that they were nothing but nasty scammers trying to take over the barn from her.
                                  What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Luvr, I understand where you are coming from when you discuss your concerns about the hay shortage and the surcharge. Been there. Now, my way of thinking is this: when you started boarding there, you agreed to pay 700$ a month for full board which includes 6-8 flakes of hay a day during turnout. Now that amount of hay has been cut back to 1-2 flakes a day, which is a significant amount. And you are still expected to pay 700$ a month? I would be peeved at that right there- in fact, the same hay conservation happened at the barn where I board (except board is only 400$ in my area, thank goodness!). What I and a few other concerned boarders did is went to the BO and asked for a little to be taken off of our monthly board until he was able to buy more hay and serve the agreed amount and then we used what we saved to buy our own hay so our horses can have extra. But know this: our BO is exceptional and is in the business for the love of horses, not for money and he charges only enough to keep himself comfortable. What I would be most irritated with is the fact that you said you were just informed about this change with an 11 day surcharge notice- that is irresponsible on the BO's account. This should have been handled far earlier and all boarders should have been made aware, in writing, that this was going to happen, in case they wanted to buy their own extra hay or begin a supplement or substitute. Now, I'm not saying you should move just because your BO is asking for a hay surcharge so he can buy more hay- prices are high and he's in the business for money (that's why people have businesses). As many have stated here, this is not uncommon. But you need to figure out if this is fair for you and if you can live with it.

                                    About the abuse allegations: this is a serious matter. If you are the honest to goodness horse lover that your username claims you to be (and I am not doubting at all that you are), you will go to your BO about this right away. I am surprised that you have not, especially after you mentioned this allegation may clarify why some, if not most, of the horses at your barn behave skeptically or fearfully. If I was a boarder at your barn and you withheld this information or did not choose to act upon it for the safety and wellbeing of all the horses there, I would feel betrayed. I would definitely want to know about any skepticism at all when involving the abuse of not just my animal, but the pet of anyone. What is more important, the friendship of a worker there (who's name you don't even have to mention) or the safety of the animals who are incapable of defending themselves? The purpose of going to the BO is not to get the accused people fired right away (that is all it is right now, an accusation), but to make him open his eyes and keep a better watch, talk to all the employees, etc. If you are not comfortable doing this, then involve the other boarders or a responsible adult- but do not begin to point fingers and make accusations sound like truth unless you have better evidence or proof. Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                      I have to take issue with this. It doesn't matter how much money the BO has/makes. If the planned cost of hay has increased, you should pay for the increase. Your statement reeks of a sense of entitlement, just like the people who think that wealthy people should pay more for taxes/fund welfare, horse ownership, food stamps, and everything else to help out people making less money.
                                      *stands and applauds*

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        How's your horse? Is your horse losing weight and looking poor? Is your horse acting spooky and shifty? If not, I think there might be a lot of BS coming your way about what's being fed and this alleged abuse.

                                        As far as paying for hay, that's pretty typical. Hay issues all over the place this year.

                                        By all means, go look. But it doesn't sound like an emergent, panic situation.
                                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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