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Question - Board When your Horse ins't there - What Do you Pay?

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  • Question - Board When your Horse ins't there - What Do you Pay?

    I am a regular full basic board boarder at a barn. A question has come up about paying board if your horse is away. This could be for several reasons and for several lengths of time. So, if you send your horse off for several weeks, sometimes 2- sometimes 4, for training at another facility or to go show in Ocala, or off to a veterinary clinic for surgery, do you continue to pay board at your barn?

    Is there appropriate etiquette around making arrangements? How far in advance? What is reasonable to expect in these circumstances?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Whenever my horse has been away - one time is was for 1 month, other times a week or two - I pay full board. I think it's only fair if I want to keep my spot.

    Comment


    • #3
      Gone for a day or to --- no adjustment. Gone for a week but bringing grain and hay from the barn --- no adjustment. I think, but am not quite sure anymore, that if you were gone for a week or more, not taking grain and hay with you, you paid half board (basically stall rent) for the time you were gone to hold your stall.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it depends on the policy of the barn owner/manager. If the horse is only gone for a couple of days to week, definitely there should be no discount.

        If your horse is gone for an extended period of time such as a month or more than I personally think that a discount would be appropriate to compensate for the fact that your horse isn't consuming hay, grain and shavings. I do believe that it is reasonable to expect boarders to pay at least partial board if they expect the barn owner to hold the stall open for them. There are fixed costs associated with running a boarding facility that the barn owner still needs to cover. It's unreasonable to expect the barn owner to hold the stall open for you without compensation as they could lease that stall to another boarder.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think it depends on the policy of the barn owner/manager. If the horse is only gone for a couple of days to week, definitely there should be no discount.

          If your horse is gone for an extended period of time such as a month or more than I personally think that a discount would be appropriate to compensate for the fact that your horse isn't consuming hay, grain and shavings. I do believe that it is reasonable to expect boarders to pay at least partial board if they expect the barn owner to hold the stall open for them. There are fixed costs associated with running a boarding facility that the barn owner still needs to cover. It's unreasonable to expect the barn owner to hold the stall open for you without compensation as they could lease that stall to another boarder.

          Comment


          • #6
            It depends on the barn, some give an adjustment for extended periods, but you still pay. I still pay my mortgage and utilities, even if I am on an extended vacation.
            Come to the dark side, we have cookies

            Comment


            • #7
              Away at a horse show, vets or such there has never been a discount.

              If previously arranged I can see a discount if the horse is going out for training.

              Comment


              • #8
                My horse was at UGA for a week after having surgery...I still paid full board as if he was there....same thing with my human kid...if he misses a week of daycare becasue of illness or whatever I still have to pay for that week to keep his spot.
                Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                Green Alligator "Captain"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                  It depends on the barn, some give an adjustment for extended periods, but you still pay. I still pay my mortgage and utilities, even if I am on an extended vacation.

                  If you were gone for, say a month, wouldn't your utilities significantly decrease?

                  I think the fairest solution is that for extended leave, you pay normal board MINUS costs you're not consuming (hay/grain/labor for stall cleaner) but pay the remainder to "hold" the stall.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re protocol, if you know something is coming - ie heading south for a period of time, sit down w/ BO and let them know, ask what policy is,etc. The two winters I did this, my BO was very nice re the discount, but it is absolutely the norm to pay something to hold the spot.

                    Short aways, never heard of a discount, and really, it would be too hard for any sane person to track that for all boarders.

                    VXF - when I went south for the winter, my northern utilities did not SIGNIFICANTLY decrease. Still had to heat the house, run a few lights, gutter cables, etc so the place didn't freeze solid. Also paid someone to come by every few days to verify that nothing was frozen solid...
                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                      Re protocol, if you know something is coming - ie heading south for a period of time, sit down w/ BO and let them know, ask what policy is,etc. The two winters I did this, my BO was very nice re the discount, but it is absolutely the norm to pay something to hold the spot.

                      Short aways, never heard of a discount, and really, it would be too hard for any sane person to track that for all boarders.

                      VXF - when I went south for the winter, my northern utilities did not SIGNIFICANTLY decrease. Still had to heat the house, run a few lights, gutter cables, etc so the place didn't freeze solid. Also paid someone to come by every few days to verify that nothing was frozen solid...
                      Odd. When I go on vacation for even a week, I turn down the AC/heat and I see a demonstrative decrease in the bills. Plus, I am not buying groceries there (I'm buying food when I am but not at home), paying someone to clean the house (assuming I had a housekeeper), etc. The "raw" costs of having the house go on but some of the incidentals decrease. When a horse is gone, the barn ISN'T buying it grain, hay, bedding, or cleaning its stall.turning it in/out. Those costs are just gone. To be "fair" the same thing should be true of boarding. But I have seen plenty of barns that didn't view it that way.
                      ~Veronica
                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I feel if your horse is going to be gone for more then a month, there should be a discount. I think whatever the BO makes in profit for a month would be fair.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We used to refer to it as "dry board", as we have had customers in the past that wanted to keep their stalls while between horses. Normal Board (no training/lessons) was $400, dry Board was $150. We had a customer once pay for over 6 months to hold her stall. We would honor this anytime the horse was to be gone for more than half the month. It was published in our price list.
                          "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Zenyatta, there IS no profit in boarding horses. Trust me. The extra couple hundred a barn might make in having an empty but paying stall will get used up in a quick hurry. It's hardly extra spending cash for the BO to go out to dinner with!

                            It is reasonable to think one should get a discount. That being said, it is also a reasonable argument, especially in a busy barn, that the stall could be filled with a full paying customer and if the BO/BM is doing you the favor of holding your stall, why should they give you a discount just because the horse isn't here (really....the cost of feed and bedding are usually tiny compared to the cost of the dry, empty stall. I did the math one time for a client who was pondering an extended trip. The cost to feed and bed her horse in a month? $100. She wasn't impressed with that discount, considering what full board was)? I can CLEARLY see both sides of this coin and don't hold a grudge for either view.

                            I do think, though, that if you are away for an extended period of time (say, a month or two in the winter for FL) and that your stall can be filled by a winter boarder that will go back from whence they came on your horse's return, a drastic discount should DEFINITELY be given.
                            Amanda

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't know that the cost of feed/hay/bedding/labor is SO de minimus. I was just pricing this stuff out because I'm trying to buy a farmette. I estimate that my competition horse eats about a bag of grain per month ($20ish), plus 12 bales of hay per month ($5-7 depending on season/type of hay so conservatively $60), probably the equivalent of 8 bags of shavings, but they buy in bulk so let's assume not $8/bag but half of that $32). And if cleaning the stall, filling his buckets, changing his blanket, and turning him out takes 20 mins/day (I actually think it takes longer but being conservative) paid at $10/hr that's about $100/month in pay to a barn worker.

                              So when he's away for a month, it costs the barn around $200 less (and they do pay the workers hourly so if the work takes less time, they are paid less). I'd be more than happy for that discount off normal board during a month he'd away.

                              I've actually never had this issue come up. The one time I had a horse away for an extended time period, I bought one of my retired horses to the show barn and kept him there during that time-- but I would be kind of annoyed not to recieve SOME discount for a totall empty stall provided the BO was given a lot of notice for the absence and it was a legitimate/understandable absence (going to a show, going to a rehab barn, etc.)
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think it depends on the kind of barn it is.If you are paying for 2 lessons a week and going to a show every other week, then, if you leave for the month, the barn is losing a month's worth of lesson and show income.

                                If you left, then they dcould bring in someone else, who would pay for lessons and shows.

                                In those kinds of barns, the board part is often "break even", or even a "loss leader" with the actual income from the lesson and show fees.

                                In that kind of barn, it does not make sense to give you a discount when the horse is not there.

                                In a barn that ONLY does boarding - presumable with SOME profit - it might make sense to give a partial credit of some sort.
                                Janet

                                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                  I don't know that the cost of feed/hay/bedding/labor is SO de minimus. I was just pricing this stuff out because I'm trying to buy a farmette. I estimate that my competition horse eats about a bag of grain per month ($20ish), plus 12 bales of hay per month ($5-7 depending on season/type of hay so conservatively $60), probably the equivalent of 8 bags of shavings, but they buy in bulk so let's assume not $8/bag but half of that $32). And if cleaning the stall, filling his buckets, changing his blanket, and turning him out takes 20 mins/day (I actually think it takes longer but being conservative) paid at $10/hr that's about $100/month in pay to a barn worker.

                                  So when he's away for a month, it costs the barn around $200 less (and they do pay the workers hourly so if the work takes less time, they are paid less). I'd be more than happy for that discount off normal board during a month he'd away.

                                  I've actually never had this issue come up. The one time I had a horse away for an extended time period, I bought one of my retired horses to the show barn and kept him there during that time-- but I would be kind of annoyed not to recieve SOME discount for a totall empty stall provided the BO was given a lot of notice for the absence and it was a legitimate/understandable absence (going to a show, going to a rehab barn, etc.)
                                  The barn workers generally still have to be paid the same. After all, *they* have bills to pay and if the barn owner lowers their pay (especially given the very low rate they usually get), it's likely they'd look for work elsewhere.

                                  I think it's fair to discount off the cost of hay and bedding... but I've been in barns where they didn't do that and wouldn't even let us take any hay.
                                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    PROFIT? what Profit?
                                    That being said, for two weeks or more, I discounted board for cost of feed and shavings. Not labor or utilities.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                      The barn workers generally still have to be paid the same. After all, *they* have bills to pay and if the barn owner lowers their pay (especially given the very low rate they usually get), it's likely they'd look for work elsewhere.

                                      I think it's fair to discount off the cost of hay and bedding... but I've been in barns where they didn't do that and wouldn't even let us take any hay.
                                      I wish that had been the case when I did chores?! The BM calculated that chores "take 4 hours in the winter and 2 in the summer." Even if she left me a list of work and I had to change ever dang blanket in the barn and it took me 6 hours in the winter-- I got paid for 4. It was IMPOSSIBLE to do the work in under 4. Actually, it was impossible to do it in 4. She didn't pay "hourly" but by the job. And she absolutely did cut the pay when we were down 4-5 boarders on the theory that it "took less time."

                                      I actually wouldn't mind if the "labor" costs continued notwithstanding the horse being gone, for the reason you articulate (good help is worth keeping!). But the bedding/feed/hay is NOT being consumed and probably, wherever the horse is, the owner is paying for bedding/feed/hay THERE. So that I think is really validly excluded from the "home" barn when the horse is away for an extended period.
                                      ~Veronica
                                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        PROFIT? what Profit?
                                        That being said, for two weeks or more, I discounted board for cost of feed and shavings. Not labor or utilities.

                                        Comment

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