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Paying for lights - advice needed

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  • Paying for lights - advice needed

    I recently relocated my horse to a fabulous place where I couldn't be more thrilled with how things are going. Except now that the days are shorter they want to charge us for lights. They are asking us to pay an additional $25 per hour for the lights. While I do not have an issue helping pay for lights, $25 is just too steep when I ride twice a week at night and generally alone.

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to approach this. It's a small facility and privately owned. Only 5 of us board there with this owner. My suggestions were the following:
    1. Only turn on half the indoor lights
    2. All of us ride at the same time and limit our days during the week
    3. Turn on the wall pack lights out back (significantly cheaper and would illuminate enough to flat out safely)
    4. Keep track of our hours riding and compare it to the hours her trainer rides (he rides at 5 am to 8 am)

    Any other ideas here? I want this to be fair to everyone and for us to continue to board at this great place!

  • #2
    Well, let me start by saying I consider lights at a boarding facility a necessity not a luxury that should be added to your bill. But I have found people struggle with this regularly and it usually has to do with the expense of turning on the halide (or high pressure sodium) lights. Those lights cost the most to turn on and almost nothing to actually run once they are warmed up. Once they are turned on, it is far cheaper to leave them on ALL day and turn them off at night then it is to turn them on and off as people ride -- BO's who complained about the size of the electric bill were always the ones who turned them on and off after every person used the ring. When I boarded, I often struggled to get barn owners to believe this, but those that run large facilities will tell you that's why they leave their lights on all the time. They would likely find a significant reduction in their light bill if they just leave the lights on. If you have regular lights, the BO is ridiculous.

    Now, charging $25/hour for any lights is robbery. And honestly, does the BO want to run the risk of injury due to you riding in the dark? That seems like a liability issue. I'd wonder what else they skimp on if they want you to pay for lights.

    Comment


    • #3
      $25/hour is ridiculous!

      Having said that, I think you are going to have a hard time trying to get other boarders to all ride on the same schedule.

      Maybe you ask for proof that the electric bill really goes up $25 per hour?
      Last edited by stytal; Oct. 23, 2013, 10:00 AM. Reason: Missed the "per hour" portion of this post.

      Comment


      • #4
        From what I understand from the OP - it is not an additional $25 per month (reasonable), it's $25 per HOUR/ride. So if you ride 3 days a week under lights, that's 12 rides per month at an ADDITIONAL $25 each --- another $300 on top of board.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HRF Second Chance View Post
          I recently relocated my horse to a fabulous place where I couldn't be more thrilled with how things are going. Except now that the days are shorter they want to charge us for lights. They are asking us to pay an additional $25 per hour for the lights. While I do not have an issue helping pay for lights, $25 is just too steep when I ride twice a week at night and generally alone.

          I'm looking for suggestions on how to approach this. It's a small facility and privately owned. Only 5 of us board there with this owner. My suggestions were the following:
          1. Only turn on half the indoor lights
          2. All of us ride at the same time and limit our days during the week
          3. Turn on the wall pack lights out back (significantly cheaper and would illuminate enough to flat out safely)
          4. Keep track of our hours riding and compare it to the hours her trainer rides (he rides at 5 am to 8 am)

          Any other ideas here? I want this to be fair to everyone and for us to continue to board at this great place!

          $25 AN HOUR for lights? Um... I am thinking "no". I could see a flat rate of increasing of 25$ for the winter months. But since you want to fair (and now I'm curious) , I'd go to the costs calculator for electric in your area and plug it in. Maybe it is reasonable..... for giggles I went to an appliance cost calculator site for my area and plugged in 100 watts (1) how long it was used each day (1 hour) and it was 8.7 cents a KWh.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Yes it's $25 PER HOUR not per month. Heck I'd be thrilled with that per month. I believe what Sometimes says is the truth, it's the warming them up more than the leaving them on. So then this means that we would turn them on twice per day (since her guy rides early AM). I would only turn them on twice per week and since it's just me, my trainer and her working student I would think we could coordinate those schedules.

            They do have wallpacks out the back that would easily illuminate enough to ride by. I rode in the dark last night and lived (obviously!) but I need SOMETHING. And oddly enough safety was my concern that I voiced.

            For the record, the bill last month (when we started to use the lights) was $125 for the ring...... Or at least that's what I had been told.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, isn't that special they have a special meter just for the ring? (not). The $125 may have included electric heat if the hot water is electric, more lights all over on early (including spotlights) etc etc. This is one expense I figured into board. I know some facilities that limit how long the lights can be on, or have an agreement from Oct-Apr it is $ X amount extra.

              At my facility in PA, people used the ring lights in the winter months and no way did I see that much of a spike for the ring alone.

              I'd suggest a blanket $25 a month for each border because the increase does NOT exclude the rest of the electric (workers coming early and needing lights etc) and is distributed. And yes, that would include retirees because the workers need lights to feed them early and water ect.
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies

              Comment


              • #8
                Just for fun...I found this. You can adjust this calculation based on KW price in your area. And keep in mind the summary is for 10 - 400Watt Metal Halide lights running every day of the year for 8 hours each day which is one big *ss amount of light fixtures.

                These calculations are based on 8 hours of use per day at .10 kw/hr:

                400 watt metal halide: $.32/day $2.24/week $9.60/month $116.80/year
                320 watt metal halide: $.26/day $1.79/week $7.68/month $93.44/year
                250 watt metal halide: $.20/day $1.40/week $6.00/month $73.00/year

                In summary, if you have 10 lights in a building and you use them for 8 hours per day, every day of the year the total cost of operating 10 400 watt metal halide high bay lighting fixtures would be $1168.

                I consider that normal operating costs of a boarding facility and certainly $25 and hour for lights is ridiculous...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HRF Second Chance View Post
                  Yes it's $25 PER HOUR not per month. Heck I'd be thrilled with that per month. I believe what Sometimes says is the truth, it's the warming them up more than the leaving them on. So then this means that we would turn them on twice per day (since her guy rides early AM). I would only turn them on twice per week and since it's just me, my trainer and her working student I would think we could coordinate those schedules.

                  They do have wallpacks out the back that would easily illuminate enough to ride by. I rode in the dark last night and lived (obviously!) but I need SOMETHING. And oddly enough safety was my concern that I voiced.

                  For the record, the bill last month (when we started to use the lights) was $125 for the ring...... Or at least that's what I had been told.
                  It would still be cheaper to turn the lights on once (when the trainer rides) and LEAVE them on. The cost to run them is nothing compared to the cost the next time you flip the switch. I know hard to believe but true.

                  And if the total bill is $125 when you started to use the lights, where are they getting $25 an hour?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pay for Lights during winter ! next charged for SUNSHINE in the spring ! RIDIC!


                    RIDIC !!!!

                    Board price should cover 'lights"

                    Don't worry you will not have to 'fight' this fight alone ALL will be involved and it will be resolved or BO will have an empty barn ~

                    If you pay for "lights" in the winter

                    next she will charge for

                    SUNSHINE during the outdoor ring seasons !



                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      That's SUPER helpful thank you Sometimes! I have to agree that the issue we're having is that we don't want to feel that we're paying for her guy to ride as well. My suggestion was that we keep track of the days/hours that we ride and see what the increase REALLY looks like. Now they have the lights completely locked out from us so I'm at least trying to get the lock back on.

                      If I recall correctly when I was looking for lights before they have a separate meter out there just for the lights, but it wouldn't be that hard to read the meter myself if it is. I'll check over the weekend.

                      Since it's a private barn I think the issue is that it's not public and it's not benefitting the owner in any way. Now if I was paying stall board there I'd be a LOT more angry about this. right now i"m just looking for a diplomatic way to solve this so we can all go forward and hold hands while singing Cumbya around the tack trunk while drinking the Kool-Aid and pulling on our Pollyana braids....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HRF Second Chance View Post
                        That's SUPER helpful thank you Sometimes! I have to agree that the issue we're having is that we don't want to feel that we're paying for her guy to ride as well. My suggestion was that we keep track of the days/hours that we ride and see what the increase REALLY looks like. Now they have the lights completely locked out from us so I'm at least trying to get the lock back on.

                        If I recall correctly when I was looking for lights before they have a separate meter out there just for the lights, but it wouldn't be that hard to read the meter myself if it is. I'll check over the weekend.

                        Since it's a private barn I think the issue is that it's not public and it's not benefitting the owner in any way. Now if I was paying stall board there I'd be a LOT more angry about this. right now i"m just looking for a diplomatic way to solve this so we can all go forward and hold hands while singing Cumbya around the tack trunk while drinking the Kool-Aid and pulling on our Pollyana braids....
                        I think you are being super cool about this. The meter may just be near the lights? In PA, the wouldn't put up another meter without charging a FORTUNE but it could happen. What do you mean the light are locked out from you? They are holding the lights hostage until you guys pay up?

                        VVVVV (points down). You are being super cool... where were boarders like you when I was in boarding?
                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          This lady actually seems VERY accommodating and reasonable. I think that this is maybe her first foray into having outside people in her barn but I don't think it REALLY matters if we're there or not. she's running her own training business out of there I think we're just helping offset costs a little. She and her staff have been nothing but great and have treated the horses with kid gloves. This is just a stumbling block (IMO).

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                            I think you are being super cool about this. The meter may just be near the lights? In PA, the wouldn't put up another meter without charging a FORTUNE but it could happen. What do you mean the light are locked out from you? They are holding the lights hostage until you guys pay up?
                            Sort of? Her trainer hasn't exactly been nice to us (which she addressed immediately and he's just avoided us since). I don't know if it's a fluke or not. Or him being passive aggressive. Since they have been really kind to me about everything else (taking off my horses bandages at 7 am because I live far away, blanketing at no extra fee, buying him the grain he's on that's significantly more expensive, adding hay that he's not eating because he's got so much grass, etc) that I'm willing to work around this issue with them. I've boarded too many places Chance has hated, or not been treated well, or I wonder if he was being taken care of properly to let this cause too big a stir in my relationship with them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HRF Second Chance View Post
                              Since it's a private barn I think the issue is that it's not public and it's not benefitting the owner in any way. Now if I was paying stall board there I'd be a LOT more angry about this.
                              So...you are boarding there but the owner is not getting anything from this?

                              And you are not paying stall board? What are you paying exactly?

                              If the owner is now loosing money, I would understand why he's looking for some sort of payment.

                              Maybe all of you, 5 boarders, could just share the lights bill?
                              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                              Originally posted by LauraKY
                              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                              HORSING mobile training app

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm a bit confused. Are you boarding there? Or do yo just come in and use the facility?If coming in to use the facility $25 is understandable. If boarding there it is absurd. Even if you are field boarding.
                                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I'm on pasture board (horse hates stalls) so while I pay less, the owner still makes probably $150 a month off me? Now the other boarders she's probably making a little money off from. However, the owner has money and is likely just covering the costs of a few of her own horses with our board.

                                  I also suggested we just split the bill but the ones on stall board feel differently (which I can understand, they pay $250 more a month than me).

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    At my old boarding barn up north, we'd have a surcharge added to our bills during the winter that would cover the increased electrical use including (but not limited to): lights, heat, etc. $50/month for November, December, January, February. No big deal. Maybe your BO would consider something like that?
                                    Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, what are you paying?

                                      I have heard of a 'winter surcharge' - it was for additional electrical, shavings, and heating expenses. As this was a lovely show barn that tried to keep costs reasonable, the fee was OK. The horses never had poop in their stalls, it seemed Need more shavings to keep them properly bedded with so few daylight hours.

                                      But if you're not paying for the stall? This is why people start complaining about loosing money as barn owners. They need to cover their expenses...so, before they start feeling resentful I'd have a discussion to make sure you are both being fair.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by HRF Second Chance View Post
                                        Now the other boarders she's probably making a little money off from. However, the owner has money and is likely just covering the costs of a few of her own horses with our board.
                                        Why else would she have boarders, for charity? Who cares what her bank account reads? I'm leaving this thread - Capitalism is OK. Making money is OK. Why else deal with the headache? Does everyone want handouts these days?

                                        I'm not saying the electrical situation is OK, but the attitude of this post stinks of entitlement...

                                        Comment

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