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Too much for too little???

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  • Too much for too little???

    I pay over 1,300 a month for grooming, boarding, feed, and bedding. Not including training.

    What do I do when the bedding is thin and never looks fresh? Horse is loosing weight and they are to be feeding four flakes a day and they really are only feeding two. Four very light ones

    They add charges to my bill for additional shavings and now are going to feed more and charge me for what they feed extra.

    I have no problem paying for what my horse eats and how much bedding he gets which if I calculate it costs the barn about 250.00 in feed and bedding a month.

    I know the grooms, stall cleaners, utilities cost but really don't think all that could cost over $1,000.00 per horse. Maybe I am wrong.

    I guess I feel for that kind of money I just expected more.

    I want to say something but really don't know what to say.
    If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

  • #2
    Where are you located?

    I would be pissed if my horse was getting that little hay. (Although I guess it depends on the weight of each flake). That seems steep to me, but I guess it depends on amenities, location, etc.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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    • #3
      Price depends entirely on location. In the area I'm in, I would expect a barn with $1300 board to have major issues. It is below market price around here. In other parts of the country, it is unheard of to pay that much. Look around and see what else is out there.

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      • #4
        It doesn't matter if your board is $1300 or $130. You should not be paying for a service you are continually unsatisfied with.
        Last edited by wcporter; Apr. 29, 2013, 09:47 PM.
        Barn rat for life

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        • #5
          Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
          Price depends entirely on location.
          This.
          OP, I pay much much less than you do, but that's location-dependent. I don't know what $1300 would get me where I am now, but probably at least gold-plated horseshoes or something.
          But. I have no issues with the care of my mare. I can't afford to have any; I'm military and I can be away for weeks or even months, I need to know she has good care. This past winter the BO upped her hay and grain when he thought she might have a hard time maintaining weight, without me having to say anything/ask, and just let me know to buy more grain (the only thing not "included", owners provide their own grain if they want the horse to have it).

          Look around at what else is available. Non-fresh shavings one can live with, but not a horse being short-changed feed.
          Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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          • #6
            Move. No matter what the market dictates regarding the price for board, you should expect to have clean bedding and sufficient feed. They are cheating you and causing your horse to suffer. Boarders are CUSTOMERS, move.
            kenyagirl

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            • #7
              Yep, it happens in the best of barns. I had the same challenges when I boarded and it was so stressful. Keep asking for proper care at the value you are paying and start looking .... I remember the barn turning out the stalls on Friday or sat morning before everyone showed up for lessons. You didn't notice it as much if you only came out on the weekend..., but during the week, shavings were dirty and min. Good luck.., maybe a bad week or month

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              • #8
                I pay about 1/2 of what the OP pays, doesn't include training or lessons but the stalls are some of the cleanest I've ever seen. They do keep the horses turned out quite a bit but even when the horses are kept in, even when the stalls are dirty, they're not that dirty. Plenty of shavings and hay. Even if the stalls are matted there should still be an adequate amount of shavings - but you don't need as much as stalls w/out mats (and that would depend on the type/thickness of the mats) Not getting adequate hay is not acceptable.

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                • #9
                  I have something very similar going on but the barn owner seems very concerned about the horses feed. So it's going to cost me more but my horse is worth it. My trainer is fab, help is great and other riders are awesome. So there are positive. You must weigh the negatives and positives.

                  How does the barn manager act about your horse loosing weight? If they don't care then I would be concerned.

                  I often wonder if other peoples bedding and cleaning standards are just not what mine are and could be cause for issues???

                  Good luck... I know finding the perfect situation is often difficult.
                  Live in the sunshine.
                  Swim in the sea.
                  Drink the wild air.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wcporter View Post
                    It doesn't matter if your board is $1300 or $130. You should not be paying for a service you are continually unsatisfied with.
                    Regardless of price your horse should be getting sufficient feed and a clean stall as that is assuredly part of the boarding agreement you signed. It is the service you are paying for. If your horse needs special supplements I would expect to pay for that, but I would not expect to pay any additional fees for adequate hay and bedding.

                    If your horse is losing weight and you are not having an easy time getting him the feed he needs to maintain it, I would move without delay. I would start to take a look at other comparable barns in the area. In the meantime, I would do whatever you have to do to feed up your horse. If hay is an issue, go buy some yourself and throw your horse a few extra flakes when you are done riding each night. Or make him a mash. Whatever you need to do.

                    My sympathies for your situation, I have been in a similar predicament. My biggest recommendation is don't delay, if you are noticing weight loss now and the BO/BM isn't taking steps to rectify it, you could be looking at a much worse situation in a couple of weeks. I had really started to notice a loss of energy in my horse and it had only taken about 3 weeks for him to really drop weight.

                    Best of luck

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                    • #11
                      Four flakes of hay a DAY? Please tell me thats the highest quality alfalfa hay available...

                      Even at a low-cost boarding facility, I would expect my horses stall to be cleaned daily with fresh shavings added at least every other day. I can understand shavings being thin if your horse makes a total pigsty regardless of thick the shavings are... but thin shavings should at the very least be fresh.

                      Sounds like you are at an upscale facility with grooms and the like... I would be furious if my horse was losing weight and sleeping on thin/dirty shavings.

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                      • #12
                        I recently dealt with something similar.
                        After being more or less happy at my barn of 2 years, I moved my three horses in February after they all lost weight, and weren't getting fed more, despite my frequent requests to the BO. I saw her actually take a flake *out* of my big horse's stall once when I had the audacity to throw him 2 (small) flakes as a snack. That was the final straw and we moved that week.
                        I'm now at a barn with not-as-nice facilities, but all my horses are fat, shiny and healthy. They look great though the big one still needs another hundred pounds to be a true "round" type, but we're getting there.
                        Bottom line is, I can make due with a smaller ring, or fewer jumps. But my horses' health was non-negotiable.
                        From what you're describing, I'd move. period dot.
                        A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                        http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Goldie locks View Post
                          I pay over 1,300 a month for grooming, boarding, feed, and bedding. Not including training.

                          What do I do when the bedding is thin and never looks fresh? Horse is loosing weight and they are to be feeding four flakes a day and they really are only feeding two. Four very light ones

                          They add charges to my bill for additional shavings and now are going to feed more and charge me for what they feed extra.

                          I have no problem paying for what my horse eats and how much bedding he gets which if I calculate it costs the barn about 250.00 in feed and bedding a month.

                          I know the grooms, stall cleaners, utilities cost but really don't think all that could cost over $1,000.00 per horse. Maybe I am wrong.

                          I guess I feel for that kind of money I just expected more.

                          I want to say something but really don't know what to say.
                          Horses are individuals, they should be managed that way. Your horse should get the proper amount of hay & grain to maintain a healthy weight. My horse is like a fern, he could live off of air. He eats a pelleted supplement (no caloric value) and unlimited hay but I don't pay less than anyone else because my horse eats less .

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                          • #14
                            It does totally depend on where you are and what your contract says. There is no blanket answer other than if you are not happy then find a different barn.


                            Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                            Not getting adequate hay is not acceptable.
                            This too is a regional thing. There are some parts of the country that hay is so very expensive and so hard to get that the horses are fed little to no flake type hay, they are maintained on pellets or cubes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tua37516 View Post
                              Regardless of price your horse should be getting sufficient feed and a clean stall as that is assuredly part of the boarding agreement you signed.
                              Being Devil's Advocate here:

                              A clean stall and adequate feed are a given, but are also subjective.

                              Has the amount or type of bedding changed since you moved in? If the stalls are bedded as when you arrived, they are what they are. If they were good enough when you moved in, why are they not good enough now? (not being snarky, seriously asking)

                              Are your stalls bedded any differently than others in the barn?

                              Has their feeding policy changed since you arrived?

                              Basically, my question would be "What has changed since you chose this barn, such that it is no longer acceptable?" It was good enough when you chose the barn, why not now? Did you expect them to change to suit your needs, even unconsciously?

                              How much it costs the barn to feed your horse in relation to board is only semi-relevant. They determined a board rate that gives them what they feel is a reasonable profit. You agreed to that rate (and by extension profit level) when you signed the contract.
                              Visit my Spoonflower shop

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                              • #16
                                [QUOTE=trubandloki;6964575
                                This too is a regional thing. There are some parts of the country that hay is so very expensive and so hard to get that the horses are fed little to no flake type hay, they are maintained on pellets or cubes.[/QUOTE]

                                true, point is adequate feed/forage...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I pay about a third of what you do to board at a barn without a trainer and our stalls are meagerly bedded, every horse gets a max of 2 flakes of hay each feeding, and a crappy 10% sweet feed is the standard. But our fields are the best I have found in the area so far! So I ship out for lessons and provide my own grain (on top of board rate) because it's worth it for me to stay there (for now) because of the turnout. I only complain if horse is kept in and I thought she should have been out. Other boarders there complain constantly about bedding and hay, then finally just started buying their own to supplement the barn's. This works for me because a) my board stays cheap and b) my horse is fat and happy and turned out ALMOST as much as I think she should be! I pick my battles.
                                  So the way I see it, it's only too much for to little if you can't live with the situation. If you really feel there's not enough bedding & hay in your horses stall, and you aren't okay with paying extra for it, then look elsewhere because you will probably never be satisfied at the current place. My guess from what you're saying is that the $1,300 is about right for your area, but another barn may include more hay & bedding in their rate.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by red mares View Post
                                    Being Devil's Advocate here:

                                    A clean stall and adequate feed are a given, but are also subjective.

                                    Has the amount or type of bedding changed since you moved in? If the stalls are bedded as when you arrived, they are what they are. If they were good enough when you moved in, why are they not good enough now? (not being snarky, seriously asking)

                                    Are your stalls bedded any differently than others in the barn?

                                    Has their feeding policy changed since you arrived?

                                    Basically, my question would be "What has changed since you chose this barn, such that it is no longer acceptable?" It was good enough when you chose the barn, why not now? Did you expect them to change to suit your needs, even unconsciously?

                                    How much it costs the barn to feed your horse in relation to board is only semi-relevant. They determined a board rate that gives them what they feel is a reasonable profit. You agreed to that rate (and by extension profit level) when you signed the contract.
                                    A lot of good thoughts here and helps me focus on the reality of my situation. I don't want to be a jerk but this just doesn't seem right to me.

                                    I get what you are saying about the care being subjective. The stall bedding for example is objective like a few posters have said. But when a horse looses weight I don't think that can really be argued when he was managed just fine on 25 pounds of hay a day prior. I have seen the hay they feed and it is very light weight.

                                    I have not been there very long and one of the things I did notice when I moved it was that the stalls were not bedded very good (about an inch thick if that) and looked dingy. I do notice BO horses are bedded well and their horses are fat. The cost is pretty high for where I live as far as cost and doesn't include training. I used to pay 400.00 for board no training or grooms. I am now paying 2,500 for board, grooming and training.

                                    I signed in thinking my horse would get adequate feed and bedding especially at this cost and now that he is not I am going to get charged MORE to provide it. Maybe I just assumed being in a show barn he would be pampered a bit. That's kind of why I moved. He's not a difficult keeper. I had him at a previous barn and he stayed fat no problem. I moved because I wanted to be in a full service, full training situation. And now my horse is getting "less" care than at a lower care facility. Which I guess surprises me.

                                    I signed a contract that says four flakes of hay. I guess that was a bad thing to do because they didn't say how heavy the flakes of hay are. So if one flake is only 2 pounds then the horse is only getting 8 pounds a day.
                                    If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by red mares View Post
                                      Being Devil's Advocate here:

                                      A clean stall and adequate feed are a given, but are also subjective.

                                      Has the amount or type of bedding changed since you moved in? If the stalls are bedded as when you arrived, they are what they are. If they were good enough when you moved in, why are they not good enough now? (not being snarky, seriously asking)

                                      Are your stalls bedded any differently than others in the barn?

                                      Has their feeding policy changed since you arrived?

                                      Basically, my question would be "What has changed since you chose this barn, such that it is no longer acceptable?" It was good enough when you chose the barn, why not now?
                                      I agree with this as well, but I still believe that if you are paying good money for a service you are no longer satisfied with then it is up to you to find a place that can provide the services you are looking for.

                                      If the barn's policy is not to provide a custom feeding program for your horse and your guy is not successful on the barn's current feeding program, I would move.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Goldie locks View Post
                                        I have not been there very long and one of the things I did notice when I moved it was that the stalls were not bedded very good (about an inch thick if that) and looked dingy. I do notice BO horses are bedded well and their horses are fat.
                                        And you expected them to change their bedding practices once you moved in?

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