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What would you be willing to pay more towards board for?

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  • #21
    I don't think it is ridiculous to charge for more hay/bedding. Left to their own devices, many folks will over bed stalls to a ridiculous extent. And overfeeding of any foodstuff leads directly to more use of bedding, so that is a 2x scenario.

    The people I know of who have hard limits of 'your board includes THIS much hay and THIS much bedding' are the folks who are running REAL businesses. And likely not getting $ out of boarders for lessons, shows, etc. So they alot so much/horse and if you want more you pay more.

    Overall though, I have to say most people just WANT more. They don't wanna pay more for it!
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    • #22
      Always have paid extra for extra hay and extra shavings at every barn. Those 2 things are the big problems at every barn we've lived at or had friends (or BOs) complain about. If BOs would say up front just how much grain and hay and shavings they will provide for X amt of money, and stick to that, we'd be able to decide whether or not we want to board there. And it's not true that boarders won't pay extra. We've always paid extra and even paid some for other horses, including those owned by BOs.

      Bigger stall for one of us has been provided at last 2 barns. Before, owner offered to pay more for a foaling stall at one barn, but the BO declined. Bigger is better!

      One BO only provided one bag of shavings every other week! She didn't clean stalls well either. And she didn't provide more than 2 flakes of hay a day. From a small and light bale. Most BOs want to get away with as little hay and shavings as possible. And at the one barn where our owner was to provide her own grain and pay for hay by the bale, the BO took each bale and divided it between us 2 and 7 other horses! Including BO's 3 horses which she never paid for hay for. (Those 2 barns were ones we left pretty fast.) So when you pay for your own grain, it got used for other horses without your permission, and your bale of hay that you paid for was given to other horses without your permission.)

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      • #23
        I agree with others in that I expect all barns to provide enough bedding, hay, and grain for the average horse (and price accordingly)

        However, I once had a very hard-keeper TB who required about twice the hay and another 50% of grain to keep weight on him. (I know this because I finally moved him to a self care facility where I purchased my own hay and grain and gradually upped his feed until his ribs filled in and then maintained weight). He required 4 flakes of hay and 1.5 scoops of a premium feed AM & PM. Most barns I’ve boarded at serve 1-2 flakes of hay and up to 1 scoop of grain AM & PM, which has proven sufficient for most horses. I realize that he was eating more than the average horse and thus I would have paid a premium (equal to cost since it shouldn’t require additional work) for him to receive more feed. At cost, I would expect this to be about $50-$100 surcharge/month.

        The same goes with bedding. With rubber mats, a lot of facilities have gone a bit lighter on bedding. However, if I had a very messy horse with lots of overnight urine output who was getting thrush or had some other reason I felt he needed extra bedding… I would pay an at-cost premium for that. I would expect $20-$50/month. However, if everyone at the barn is paying for the “extra bedding”, I would expect the barn manager to re-evaluate what the standard amount should be…

        I might also pay for a larger stall, depending on the charge and my budget. I think most people agree that it’s better for horses to move around as much as possible and that includes the time they are in their stalls. For $50 I’d most likely do it, for $100, I might. Any more than that and I would need a special reason (mare & foal, etc) to justify the added expense.

        I may be in the minority, but I would definitely pay a small charge to have a 24 hour webcam on my horse that I could view anytime. $10/month… you bet! No more wondering if he’s ok in the thunderstorm, and just the general ability to check on him anytime as he lives over an hour from me. If he lived <15 minutes from me, I probably wouldn’t pay for it.

        All of these things are definitely extras in my book and I would not expect them to be covered under the normal board rate. The key being that if you find the majority of people in your barn paying for these extras, you should re-evaluate the “normal amounts” and maybe up the board rate and standard services provided and eliminate the surcharges. Most people don’t like to feel nickel and dimed, so it should be the odd situation that requires the surcharge and definitely not the norm. Also, if I’m paying the surcharge and I mention that horsie doesn’t have any hay, or is looking thin, or his stall looks thinly bedded, the ONLY response I expect to receive from BM or help is “I’ll definitely take care of that; thanks for bringing it to my attention” followed by action...

        Since we’re on the subject of extra charges.. I resent paying extra for fans in summer or heated buckets in the winter on the basis of the extra electricity usage. One or the other of these are in use most of the year, so just build the average electricity bill into the board rate. Similarly, I don’t expect to have to provide the fan or heated bucket and if it’s broken, it should be replaced within 24 hours (usually less).

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        • #24
          I would pay more for a stall with an attached run, a web cam only if I had a pregnant mare near foaling, the other options on the list should be a given.
          My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Skipper View Post
            I would pay extra for a stall with a turnout attached so the horse can go in and out as he chooses 24/7.
            This^

            This is the way my barn is set up for both my own horses and boarders.

            If clients want more sawdust then I use that would be extra. I have soft stalls so minimal (to no sawdust) is all that is needed. The only ones that get sawdust is the ones that pee in their stall.....I also put a skiff down when the weather is wet....as this keeps the stalls dry. They have 24/7 access to a paddock outside and all pee outside and half of them poop outside....makes cleaning easy.

            As far as hay goes I feed according to the horses weight and body condition. If the owner wants more hay then it will be at their expense and only if the horse is not overweight......as I will not contribute to health issues that overweight horses may encounter.

            Dalemma

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            • #26
              I would pay extra for a bigger stall, more bedding, and better quality hay depending on what they were feeding. It would depend on the horse and there needs. I would also pay extra for a stall with attached run where they can come in and out at liberty. Mine are never closed in unless on prescribed rest.

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              • #27
                I am an old fashioned girl. The cost of board should include all the appropriate basics in sufficient quantity for each horse. This would include hay, feed, and bedding. I have no interest in a web cam personally. If I wanted that I would expect to pay extra for that. For basics no way.

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                • #28
                  . I resent paying extra for fans in summer or heated buckets in the winter on the basis of the extra electricity usage
                  Oh, me too! Especially when the "electricity surcharge" is like $10-20/month when you can run 25 fans nonstop for about half that much.
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #29
                    I agree that some of the options are just basic horse care and should be included in the regular board: appropriate amount of feed /hay for each horse, drinkable water even in winter (that means electric buckets), as much turn out as possible, safe fencing.
                    These are the very basics, to me.
                    I am not interested in extra bedding since my horse is out most of the time. She's not big, so a standard stall will do. Definitely NOT interested in a webcam!

                    I would pay more for a stall with an attached paddock (but only as long as horse is out in company in a BIG area for most of the day), an indoor, a xc course, stuff like that.
                    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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                    • #30
                      &

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                      • #31
                        i love my barn, but my horse is out 24/7 and the mud really builds up. i would pay for better mud control-such as pea gravel. I already get 24/7 hay in a covered feeder, so that is wonderful, and i cannot complain.

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                        • #32
                          My barn is awesome. My horse is on pasture with a sweet buddy. Their field has electrobraid and smooth wire fencing, a sturdy shed, no mud, and a decent amount of room. I would probably pay more for more pasture space.
                          Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                          My equine soulmate
                          Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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                          • #33
                            My horse lives out 24/7 on 20 acres and has a constant round bale in front of him in the winter.

                            But I would love access to running hot/warm water and would happily pay $30 a month for it year round!
                            Barn rat for life

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                            • #34
                              Thumbs down to sawdust.... I buy my own shavings.

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                              • #35
                                Most barns around here provide "adequate" bedding which is rubber mats and then one to two inches of shavings. My idea of adequate is rubber mats topped with 4-6 inches of shavings with the sides banked at least a foot. After 3 years of mucking stalls I feel like this is optimal for urine absorption, manure removal, and comfort. My mare goes through significantly less shavings when bedded deeply and at 18 I think she deserves a cushy bed.
                                However, I know that using 3-4 times the "adequate" amount is a hefty price for a BO to absorb so I would definitely pay more if it was available. I'm already maxed out on board but if I had the financial stability I would pay $20-40 more per month for a super deeply bedded stall.

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                                • #36
                                  How about catching and holding for the vet/farrier? A lot of boarders rely on friends, other boarders, or the kindness of barn staff to hold for free.

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                                  • #37
                                    I do pay more right now

                                    Holly is on surgical recovery for a bone chip, and I'm paying $5 a day extra for her medical recovery care. They are doing bandaging and giving meds as prescribed.
                                    Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                                    People used to ask my Grampy, "What's your favorite color of horse?" He'd answer, "FAT".

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                                    • #38
                                      ^ that is such a good deal. I've paid $10+ per eye medication application (x3 a day x10-14 days). $5 for bandaging and medication is very reasonable.

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                                      • #39
                                        I think I ought to forward this thread to my boarders as they have no idea how good they have it. My stalls are 12'x12' with attached large paddocks. They are bedded so deep that I start with roughly 7-8 bags of shavings and kept that way, unlimited hay in front of them, heated water buckets, hot/cold indoor wash stall, tack room, riding ring with lights that gets dragged all the time, and access to my security cameras to view their horses and the care they receive on their phones/computers. Heck, i even worm and give supplements/medications for them. They have it way too good!!!
                                        Kristen

                                        Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                                        http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

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                                        • #40
                                          I run my farm like a business and know exactly what my costs are. The problem with coming up with a rate for boarding horses is that each horse is an individual so their grain/hay/bedding comsumption will vary depending on the horse.

                                          I bed the stalls deeply but if you bed them too deep, it takes much longer and is physically more difficult to clean them. I like the stalls to provide plenty of absorption for urine and also a soft fluffy cushion for when the horses lay down.

                                          I feed up to 22 lbs daily in hay. How much hay I feed varies according to the horse and the season. I feed in small mesh haynets, so I aim to always have a little hay left over between feedings. That way the horse never goes for a length of time without hay. If the horse requires more hay than that, I will happily provide it, but the owner pays a surcharge for the difference. If the horse needs soaked cubes or hay stretcher because it cannot eat hay, as long as the pricing is the same as feeding hay or hay/grain combination, there is no surcharge.

                                          I feed up to 5 lbs of grain daily in three divided meals. My grain costs $25 per 50# bag. Most of the retirees here do well on 5 lbs per day or less. If they need more than that, the owner pays a surcharge. I don't feel it is fair to my other boarders to pay a higher cost for board if their horses are average keepers.

                                          I have one hard keeper TB here that hasn't been able to maintain his weight on this. I am now charging that owner more to compensate for the additional feed. I feel I am being more than fair, but I still get snide comments about the additional costs. Yesterday, I got asked how I knew how much grain the horse was getting. Obviously I weigh it if I know how many pounds the horse is getting per day!

                                          Sorry for the vent, but it is so frustrating to deal with people who refuse to understand the expense of horse keeping! I make less than $7/horse/day for all that I do. That doesn't include electricity costs, farm maintenance expenses or any other costs that are normally associated with businesses. That only includes hay,grain,bedding and my time. To have someone insinuate that I am somehow cheating them just aggrevates me and makes me second guess why I do this at times.

                                          The bottom line is that unless you are paying more than the market standard, chances are that person boarding your horse is at least partially subsidizing your horse. If you keep that in mind as a boarder and approach the BO recognizing this, it is much easier to have a good relationship and not an adversarial one.
                                          http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

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