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"Hazardous Duty Pay"- body clipping

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  • "Hazardous Duty Pay"- body clipping

    I am in the process of updating our price list...nothing major has changed, just needs to be done. However, one thing I am seriously considering adding (and have on my rough draft), is "Hazardous Duty Pay" for body clipping unruly horses. For me, this means clipping horses who are potentially dangerous even when using common methods of restraint, such as twitching or mild sedation.

    Most of the horses I clip on a regular basis (I really just clip my boarders horses) are pretty easy. Quite a few need nothing or the occasional twitch for the very most tickly parts. A few do better with very light sedation. But I've had a handful of regulars in the last couple of years that I DREAD doing (my own horse is included in this list ). Clipping is HARD on my body, messy, screws up my contacts, and is time consuming, even with the best behaved horses, and I've decided that if I have to clip some unruly bastard who is trying to brain me every 5 seconds, I should have the right to charge extra for that privledge. I'm thinking an extra $40...the bad ones usually take me at LEAST twice as long as the easy ones.

    Is this an unreasonable charge? If your horse is a bad clipper, would you be willing to pay a little extra? Fellow clippers, do you charge a little extra for your extra naughty horses?

  • #2
    Definitely would pay extra for someone else to deal with my clipping monster. Unfortunately he only really trusts me, so I have to do it myself. I'm afraid he'd brain someone else. It would SO be worth an extra $50 or whatever not to have to deal.


    • #3
      I think that's entirely reasonable. You're being paid to clip, not to train. And if it's taking you more time, then that messes up your schedule and is essentially paying you less for a harder job.

      FWIW, when I'm trimming hooves I charge extra if the horse is difficult enough to take a lot of time, although it comes up pretty rarely actually (for me, anyway). I've had a couple of potential clients be turned off by it, but I figure if it's that much of an issue for them I probably don't want to be doing their horses anyway. Most people are just fine with it.
      exploring the relationship between horse and human


      • #4
        I wouldn't have a problem with that at all. You need to make it worth your time, and it's not your problem that the horse feels the need to have a meltdown.
        Full-time bargain hunter.


        • #5
          I'd have no problem at all with an extra charge. Perhaps make it less about horse behavior and more about time? Body clipping $X up to 1 hour, $Y for each additional hour or part thereof.
          ... and Patrick


          • #6
            I wouldn't charge extra, I would just make sure the horse either behaves or is sedated enough to stand quietly. The extra expense for the dormosedan or whatever the vet decides to give the horse is enough.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home


            • #7
              Time is money

              I'd pay for sure, and I'd feel pretty damn bad that my horse was being such a butthead for whoever was clipping him, and probably offer them a drink


              • #8
                I wouldn't hesitate to charge extra. I think the idea of charging more based on the time involved is a good one, to avoid any discussions about just how bad the horse has to be to warrant an extra fee.

                ("Pookey would NEVER hurt you!" )

                Don't forget to charge for the medication if you sedate the horse yourself.


                • #9
                  I think that your website's pricelist page should play The Ramones "I Wanna Be Sedated" when it loads.

                  And yes you can and should charge more for having to avoid being brained by wiggly uncooperative horses.
                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                  • #10
                    Well, I'd have said charge extra but Laurierace brings up a good point. Have the horse more heavily sedated instead of lightly sedated. Forty extra dollars isn't going to begin to pay for your doctor bills and lost future revenue if slightly sleepy Pookie decides to throw a fit.
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible


                    • #11
                      I would charge extra (I know when my old horse got dangerous, I felt HORRIBLE and would definately pay extra) AND I would get the owner to help hold monster horse (unless the horse is worse with the owner around


                      • #12
                        Absolutely. I am usually totally embarrassed when I've got a monster that someone else has to deal with, and I make sure they know I don't expect them to "just deal with it" and that I am working on that horse's manners!

                        I paid my farrier an extra $20 per shoeing (that's an extra 20% around here) as "danger pay" - without his asking. I'd rather not find myself without a farrier, either through injury or unwillingness!

                        You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MHM View Post
                          Don't forget to charge for the medication if you sedate the horse yourself.
                          Do not sedate the horse yourself. This is practicing veterinary medicine without a license!


                          • #14
                            Really, spacehorse? Really? Do you honestly believe that every single time someone gives their slightly nutty steed a little Ace, they need to call the vet? Or in this case, when an experience horse person gives dormosedan in order not to die while body clipping?

                            I get that there are things that non-pros shouldn't do, but do you really think that folks are going to call the vet so they can do a body clip?
                            I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                            I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by spacehorse View Post
                              Do not sedate the horse yourself. This is practicing veterinary medicine without a license!
                              Fine. Then have the owner do it.

                              Seriously, if you're going to get all worked up about this "practicing veterinary medicine without a license" nonsense, there are many far worse offenses than giving your horse a few ccs of dormosedan so it doesn't kill you while you body clip it.

                              It's not uncommon for vets to dispense a certain amount of a tranq for a specific purpose, like body clipping, to someone they know can administer it properly and won't abuse the privilege. That isn't always going to be the horse's owner. It might be the barn manager whose job it is to body clip Mr. Meltdown.
                              Full-time bargain hunter.


                              • #16
                                Definately charge for unruly ponies! I body clip professionally in the winter both at my barn and out to others. I will not clip unruly beasts that are not sedated, it is not my problem they are jerks. Our vet at home will leave cocktails for our couple of problem children that I will administer but I would never sedate a horse outside my barn. If an outside horse is bad I always make sure they have made arrangements with their vet to either be there to sedate, or that the owner gets a dose and gives it themselves. I will not be responsible for someone elses horse in that way. Honestly though never even had to ask for the extra money, the owners always offered it up when they saw how bad pookie was being.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                  Well, I'd have said charge extra but Laurierace brings up a good point. Have the horse more heavily sedated instead of lightly sedated. Forty extra dollars isn't going to begin to pay for your doctor bills and lost future revenue if slightly sleepy Pookie decides to throw a fit.
                                  The problem is that while most people have no problem lightly sedating with Ace, having the vet out for heavy sedation is going to probably cost close to $75 (farm call plus exam plus sedation - hopefully the vet won't put a horse under sedation without a least a cursory exam). Offering the $50 charge to her boarders might actually save them money if she doesn't mind dealing with the fussing for the extra pay.

                                  But I agree the alternate could be to put in the price list that unruly horses are required to be sedated by the vet.


                                  • #18
                                    I used to groom dogs for a living and we had a starting rate for certain cuts/ grooming procedures. All the groomers that worked there were allowed to increase the rate based on behavior and this was made known to the customers, especially first timers that we weren't sure how the dog would behave. In that line of business, time is money- you could be working on an additional dog instead of spending more time on someone's ill behaved animal.

                                    I absolutely would charge additional money for the extra time needed to get the job done when it is due to poor manners.


                                    • #19
                                      Absolutely! I would either require horse be adequately sedated or charge accordingly. I wouldn't go near an unruly horse without it being sedated. As pp mentioned- $20-50 is nothing compared to your medical bills. Always best to be on the safe side- which includes a few ccs of some kind of tranq!

                                      I pay my farrier an extra 25% for the unruly TB babies that are here without his charging me so. They come in here like they've never seen human before- it's unreal. If they need to be tranq'd for anything- we do it and pass the charge to the owner. There is no reason to brain the blacksmith over a 20m trim job. Or an hour clip job for you.

                                      I'd pay the extra fee while blushing in embarrassment that my horse was so misbehaved.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        The funny thing is, I've had a couple of boys that the vet could have gelded as sedated as they were, and they still tried to kill me (themselves, whoever was brave enough to try to help, and tear down the barn in the process...ok, they aren't THAT bad ).

                                        I am very comfortable administering whatever I need to give, and my vet knows it. I often wonder why more people don't try and learn how to do it or get all up in arms about it...I had a horse this am that I was certain was trying to colic on me. It would have been stupid to wait for the vet to get out to administer IV banamine (which she told me to do, anyway...I was actually in the process of drawing it up when I called her). Seems risky to me to not know how to do something like that.