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Full care barns

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  • Full care barns

    This is my first time at a full care barn ever. So I feel a bit lost in the etiquette side of things.

    I have been told that it is mandatory to tip the grooms, but there are no guidelines as to how often, or how much. These are the guys at home, not at shows, so I am not quite sure what to tip.

    Is this normal? I was required to buy a halter, plate, turnout blanket and stall plate for my horse despite the fact that he already has all of those things.
    These are things to use at home, not at shows.
    "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."

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  • #2
    I tip the stay at home grooms, assistant trainer, etc at Christmas. The amount varies by how much they work with my horse.

    Comment


    • #3
      You should probably discuss such issues with the BO or BM because it can differ a lot from one barn to another. You could also ask boarders but, I would first go to BO/BM.

      Yes, it is normal. Probably they want everyone to have the same name plates, same blankets, same kind of quality halter with names. Sometimes they even buy them for you, charge them on your bill/credit card directly and Voilà!

      Nothing agains't your OP but Why do people go boarding somewhere without asking questions about rules/mandatory things/ways of doing/common practices prior to moving? What if you don't want to buy those new expensive name plates? or find the blankets really ugly? or don't wanna tip the grooms because you don't feel like it? *(IMO, tipping shouldn't be mandatory, tips reflects the quality of services you were provided. If it is not good, no tip. If it is extra good, good tips! But still, people shouldn't expect automatic tips just per say. )
      And on the same line, Why do BO/BM aren't clear about what is going on at their barn? Making a list of mandatory things/rules/protocol isn't that hard...
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      Originally posted by LauraKY
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      • #4
        That is so random in my opinion. You are "told" you have to tip
        the grooms but not how often and how much?

        First off, no one tells me to tip anyone. period. I decide if I would like to or not.
        Our country club has a no tipping policy and so does our grocery store.

        I guess I would ask some of the other boarders what they have done, but if its a significant amount I would ask why isn't the BO paying them.
        http://community.webshots.com/user/summitspringsfarm

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        • #5
          The full service barns I've known have all required those things (and more, FWIW - so if you don't have a rate sheet outlining ALL of the requirements, now is the time to ask!)

          The last full service place I kept my horse charged $3K/mo. and the "recommended" monthly tip to the groom was $100-120.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

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          • #6
            Mandatory tipping sounds like an oxymoron. Why not just ask your trainer what the practices are?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
              Our country club has a no tipping policy and so does our grocery store.
              I'm coming to your country club.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
                Our country club has a no tipping policy and so does our grocery store.
                What would you tip anyone for at a grocery store?

                Suddenly I am concerned that I have been a miserly @$$hole this whole time carting my bananas around with no tip.
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                • #9
                  What would you tip anyone for at a grocery store?

                  Suddenly I am concerned that I have been a miserly @$$hole this whole time carting my bananas around with no tip.


                  Publix grocery stores have a policy that tips are not necessary when "baggers" help you unload groceries into your car.

                  A family friend's son worked there, and he was told not to accept renumerations for helping customers. There was one stipulation however: if a customer offered it three times, then he could take the tip.

                  Three times?! How many people offer their few dollar tip to the bagger more than twice? Poor guy was always one "I insist, take it" away from getting the money!
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by englishivy View Post


                    Publix grocery stores have a policy that tips are not necessary when "baggers" help you unload groceries into your car.

                    A family friend's son worked there, and he was told not to accept renumerations for helping customers. There was one stipulation however: if a customer offered it three times, then he could take the tip.

                    Three times?! How many people offer their few dollar tip to the bagger more than twice? Poor guy was always one "I insist, take it" away from getting the money!
                    Meantime the Kroger employees have one hand on the cart and one outstretched all the way to your car.

                    Not that I've never tipped someone who helped me load a huge cartload of groceries into the trunk of my car (and here's a tip for those guys - fussing over my dogs, when I have them with me, will ALWAYS get you a few $$$), but if/how much depends on the quality of the service and the attitude of the employee.

                    Same as it would a groom. Good care/ok attitude = OK tip. Great care + great attitude = considerably more.

                    Now, I don't agree that grooms should be hired and paid under the assumption that they will make lots in tips. It's not the same as waiting tables.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If the grooms really do a great job - tip them well - they need the money (even if it does end up in the Mexican Treasury)! If the stink - well....

                      It is helpful to have the same groom assigned to your horse, so at least you only have to pay 1 groom.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm at a full-service barn but the grooms are employed by my trainer, not the BO.

                        I don't tip daily/monthly. That service is part of my training package. I don't tip my trainer daily/monthly, either.

                        I DO give a very generous tip to the trainer(s), grooms and barn help at Christmas.

                        I'll have to think about this...I generally tip plenty of service providers...hair, bellhops, valets, hotel maids, etc. It didn't occur to me to tip the grooms on a regular basis...I don't think any other training customers at the barn do, either. I do tip grooms at the shows, so not I'm not seeing any consistency in my tipping policy now.
                        Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I tip my groom monthly. Others at the barn tip weekly, or choose to bring gifts, food, breakfast, etc. instead. I'm sure some people at the barn don't tip - but I think its pretty common.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                            What would you tip anyone for at a grocery store?

                            Suddenly I am concerned that I have been a miserly @$$hole this whole time carting my bananas around with no tip.
                            Tipping the bagger used to be standard operating procedure at military commissaries, and it's still an option today. Trust me, if you're an Army wife with a fleet of kids in tow, $1-$2 for someone to bag all your stuff AND wheel it out to your car on a big handtruck AND load it into the vehicle for you is well worth the cash.

                            In principle, it's not so different from basic board versus full care board. If you have more spare time and energy than money, it makes sense to schlep your own groceries and groom your own horse. If you have more money than spare time and energy, then grocery bagging services and full care board look more appealing. I say this as a frugal banana schlepper who has no need for such services.

                            To the OP: Request a rate sheet from the BO, and if the tipping is not covered on the rate sheet, then don't be afraid to ask the BO directly about how much and how often you should tip.
                            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just had a thought...if tipping the groom is REQUIRED, then you have to wonder if the BO/trainer is expecting you, the customer, to share in coming up with part of the groom's salary. Tipping is giving money as a way of rewarding someone for their services. It should never be mandatory.

                              Employers are sure getting more clever in the way they get money out of people these days, while spending less on their employees themselves.
                              Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                if I have enough to need help to my car I certainly tip

                                Tamara
                                Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                                  Nothing agains't your OP but Why do people go boarding somewhere without asking questions about rules/mandatory things/ways of doing/common practices prior to moving? What if you don't want to buy those new expensive name plates? or find the blankets really ugly? or don't wanna tip the grooms because you don't feel like it? *(IMO, tipping shouldn't be mandatory, tips reflects the quality of services you were provided. If it is not good, no tip. If it is extra good, good tips! But still, people shouldn't expect automatic tips just per say. )
                                  And on the same line, Why do BO/BM aren't clear about what is going on at their barn? Making a list of mandatory things/rules/protocol isn't that hard...
                                  I'd guess that it was a case of "unknown unknowns" meaning the OP having never been at such a barn didn't know to ask the questions about tipping or name plates or blankets. I've always ridden at nice places but never anyplace with grooms or people who took care of your tack or where you were expected to buy certain things to match the barn. Had it not been for my readership here, I'd have no idea that such rules exist at some high end (or even mid-level) barns and wouldn't have asked.

                                  That said, I do think that if there is the requirement that you buy a whole new ensemble of clothes, tack and tack box for your horse plus the expectation of tips for staff, the barn should make that perfectly clear before a new client signs a contract.

                                  I agree that tipping shouldn't be mandatory. In cases where "mandatory tipping" exists, it's just a way for the employer to shift part of he burden of compensation of staff directly onto the clients.
                                  F O.B
                                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would sit down with the barn manager and explain that this is your first time in a full care situation, and that you're going to need a breakdown of the expenses you're going to be expected to cover. They are used to getting new clients in and having those clients purchase things that they require, so it shouldn't be too difficult for him or her to provide you with a guide.

                                    Regarding the tipping- as much as it might irk people to be "required to tip", it is the industry standard to tip grooms for their work. Many of the full service barns design their business model around the grooms making a decent portion of their income from tips, and provide them with things like room & board in lieu of a truly livable wage (see Lucassb's response above: if you're in a barn with 20 clients tipping the grooms $100/month, that's $2000/month getting split up between these employees). In a lot of settings, it works kind of like a restaurant- the serving staff makes a nominal amount from the restaurant, but relies on their tips for a significant portion of their wages. If you're unsure of how much you should be tipping, and for what, I would ask fellow boarders how much they tip and when.
                                    Here today, gone tomorrow...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      This whole thread just makes me realize how poor I really am. I knew that such barns existed but it was kind of like a fairy tale to me. While it would be nice to be able to afford a place like that, I'm sure glad I don't have to worry about tipping grooms and barn staff.

                                      On second thought, I DO tip my groom and barn staff...it's called my paycheck!
                                      "But if you buy them as ponies aren't they cheaper?" - Favorite non-horse person quote.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If your in a full service barn that charges $3,000.00 but you MUST tip the Grooms and trainers every month .. What are you Paying the full service for ? Seriously Full service includes lessons, training rides, and groom service in most barns. If there are 40 boarders in the barn each paying an extra 100-125 per month divided by 6 grooms you would be paying them another $650.00 to $700.00 per month , that would be the equivlant of an extra weeks or more salary for most grooms. It honestly sounds liek a shell game to me. Tips are usually reserved for Christmas and horse shows or extra work not a regular addition to a pay check .

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