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Questions on Potential Shareboard

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  • Questions on Potential Shareboard


    Hi all! Been a while since I’ve logged in, but I remembered how helpful the community is here and am looking for some outside input about a shareboard/barn situation.


    A little background first: It’s been about a year since I last consistently rode, as my former trainer “retired” after leaving the barn she taught at due to the new owners’ lack of care and management. We still keep in contact, and I guess the break worked out for me, as I was able to focus on finishing college classes and then start job hunting. A few months ago she contacted me about a shareboard deal at the barn she boarded two of her horses at. I was excited--I had shareboarded and leased in the past, but it’s been a few years since I’ve had the time and/or funds to do so. I tried this horse and she was fantastic--patient, a great packer, and would be able to take me up to 3’, something I’ve been wanting to do (I’ve jumped up to 2’6” in the past). The agreement was I’d pay half of board, farrier, and shots and would usually get to ride 3 days each week, which was well within my budget and would be perfect! Even better, the horse owner wanted a shareboarder since she travels for work a lot, so there’d be a number of weeks where I’d have the horse to myself, while still only paying half the costs. I was thrilled!


    It ended up not working out. The horse owner and I were asked, by the BOs, to sign an agreement (ok by me). I showed up that day to sign the agreement, but noticed that it stated I was required to take two lessons each month. That was never mentioned, and while the trainer there seems very knowledgeable, she charges quiiiite a bit more than anyone in the area, and more than I want to pay. To add to this, I had just started a full time job, and with traffic I wouldn’t be sure of what time exactly I’d make it to the barn during the week.


    The next day I get a text from the horse owner after she talked with the BOs. Ends up, I would be required to take three lessons each month or pay a $100 monthly “shareboard fee.” Not only would three lessons nearly double my monthly costs, but I would be the only person there required to take lessons. No other boarder is required to take lessons. And I’ve never heard of a monthly “shareboard fee.” I decided against it since the whole thing left me with a bad feeling.


    The reason I’m writing this post is my trainer has contacted me again, saying one of the BOs talked to her, and apparently the whole three lesson requirement was never a thing? That it was all just miscommunication. Both my trainer and I have our doubts about that, but now the BOs and horse owner want to sit down with me and figure something out. I figured I’d go and see if maybe something can actually be worked out. My questions are: Should I bother? Is it unreasonable to not agree to the lesson requirement? Is a shareboard fee a normal thing now? Maybe I’m misunderstanding this, but how should the BOs be involved, as I always thought a shareboard agreement was between a horse owner and the shareboarder? I was told that the “barn has to come out ahead in this” and was confused as to why.


    Thank you for reading, and for any and all advice

  • #2
    In this particular situation, it sounds like there may be something more to the relationship between BOs, trainer, and barn clients than what is typical for most recreational barns and less than what is typical at full service type hunter jumper barns. Sounds like there is some reason BOs want to keep this particular horse in the barn, and horse owner maybe financially needs a share boarder to stay?

    Finding a horse available for share board that is capable of taking a rider from 2'6" to 3' without a lesson requirement or added lease fee would be very unusual in many places. In most situations, boarding barns do not make much (if any) money on the boarding portion of their business; their profit is in their cut of lesson/ring fees - and show fees if they take them to shows. That's why it makes sense on one hand that there would be a lesson requirement imposed - but then on the other hand, if no other boarders are required to take lessons, how is the barn coming out ahead on them? Are the other boarders' horses in a training program of some sort?

    More questions than answers! In your shoes I wouldn't give up on working something out but I would dang well want to understand who is benefitting from this arrangement and how.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Holly11 View Post
      Hi all! Been a while since I’ve logged in, but I remembered how helpful the community is here and am looking for some outside input about a shareboard/barn situation.

      A little background first: It’s been about a year since I last consistently rode, as my former trainer “retired” after leaving the barn she taught at due to the new owners’ lack of care and management. We still keep in contact, and I guess the break worked out for me, as I was able to focus on finishing college classes and then start job hunting. A few months ago she contacted me about a shareboard deal at the barn she boarded two of her horses at. I was excited--I had shareboarded and leased in the past, but it’s been a few years since I’ve had the time and/or funds to do so. I tried this horse and she was fantastic--patient, a great packer, and would be able to take me up to 3’, something I’ve been wanting to do (I’ve jumped up to 2’6” in the past). The agreement was I’d pay half of board, farrier, and shots and would usually get to ride 3 days each week, which was well within my budget and would be perfect! Even better, the horse owner wanted a shareboarder since she travels for work a lot, so there’d be a number of weeks where I’d have the horse to myself, while still only paying half the costs. I was thrilled!

      It ended up not working out. The horse owner and I were asked, by the BOs, to sign an agreement (ok by me). I showed up that day to sign the agreement, but noticed that it stated I was required to take two lessons each month. That was never mentioned, and while the trainer there seems very knowledgeable, she charges quiiiite a bit more than anyone in the area, and more than I want to pay. To add to this, I had just started a full time job, and with traffic I wouldn’t be sure of what time exactly I’d make it to the barn during the week.

      The next day I get a text from the horse owner after she talked with the BOs. Ends up, I would be required to take three lessons each month or pay a $100 monthly “shareboard fee.” Not only would three lessons nearly double my monthly costs, but I would be the only person there required to take lessons. No other boarder is required to take lessons. And I’ve never heard of a monthly “shareboard fee.” I decided against it since the whole thing left me with a bad feeling.

      The reason I’m writing this post is my trainer has contacted me again, saying one of the BOs talked to her, and apparently the whole three lesson requirement was never a thing? That it was all just miscommunication. Both my trainer and I have our doubts about that, but now the BOs and horse owner want to sit down with me and figure something out. I figured I’d go and see if maybe something can actually be worked out. My questions are: Should I bother? Is it unreasonable to not agree to the lesson requirement? Is a shareboard fee a normal thing now? Maybe I’m misunderstanding this, but how should the BOs be involved, as I always thought a shareboard agreement was between a horse owner and the shareboarder? I was told that the “barn has to come out ahead in this” and was confused as to why.

      Thank you for reading, and for any and all advice
      It doesn't hurt to listen to what they have to say. But if the BO has said the "barn has to come out ahead on this", don't be surprised if they continue to try and angle for you to purchase services in some form (lessons etc.). As an earlier poster mentioned, it is not unusual for a barn to require boarders to purchase extra services. This can be expressed in the boarding contract as a flat dollar amount (which can be used to purchase services such a clipping, lessons, etc.) or a certain number of lessons.

      If I were in your shoes, I would communicate to BO/HO that you just finished college and started a new job. You funds are limited and XX (with XX being the terms you and the HO agreed upon) is within your budget but monthly lessons or a shareboard fee is not within your budget at this time (assuming that is true). I would communicate to BO/HO you are happy to sign a boarding contract but at this time your budget is firm. Then you might say something like, "If the half lease of Dobbin is still available for XX and there are no other fees or services attached, I would be interested in taking this to the next step." That lays all your cards on the table and leaves it up to the BO and the HO to figure something out.

      Given the BO's actions, it could be possible that other boarders are purchasing lessons and or services (whether required or not) and your half lease arrangement by comparison is unattractive to BO. The notion that a lot of barns do not make money on boarding is valid. If BO cannot make money on services, the real estate (stall) isn't being particularly productive and BO might be better off having a different boarder using the stall -- one that purchases services. In general, boarding is not a lucrative business and many times BO's struggle to cover the expenses. A good BO is going to know what their expenses are on a "per stall basis" and they will look to bring in clients that can cover that amount and spend a little extra on services so BO can save up for major repairs or improvements. Just something to keep in mind as you consider your next steps.

      BTW, it goes without saying that in addition to the boarding contract, you should you should have a separate contract with the HO for the half lease.

      Best of luck!

      ETA: If you are hoping to lease this horse and jump him, don't be surprised if HO and BO stipulate that any jumping is confined to lessons. This is a typical requirement at H/J facilities. You may need to re-examine your budget if you hope to do any jumping.
      Last edited by OneTwoMany; Nov. 8, 2019, 06:00 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think a lesson requirement is pretty normal for a lease/share board situation. Even if the BO doesn’t require lessons as a part of a board package, most owners want their trainer or someone they trust keeping an eye on how their horse is being ridden.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would at least meet with HO, BO & hopefully your trainer.
          See what you can work out, and if not within a comfortable budget or requirements for you, walk away.

          When I shareboarded my TB Hunter, I required a weekly lesson for any novice rider.
          For the reason Gardenhorse mentions.

          For more experienced riders, I'd watch them ride & determine if I felt they needed training.
          ​​​​​​​
          Otherwise, all I asked was 1/2 board cost, 1/2 shoeing & a share of any vet treatment resulting from their use of my horse.
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gardenhorse View Post
            I think a lesson requirement is pretty normal for a lease/share board situation. Even if the BO doesn’t require lessons as a part of a board package, most owners want their trainer or someone they trust keeping an eye on how their horse is being ridden.
            This. It is not unusual for a someone leasing/sharing a horse, especially one of this quality (and jumping up to 3'), for a lesson commitment to be a part of the deal. This protects the HO's investment on the horse, and ensures the horse is being ridden properly and going well.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you all for the responses, I really appreciate it! In the past I've done shareboards and a couple of leases through a past trainer, with my parents' support, so this is my first time doing this on my own. I'm planning on meeting with them to see what they want, and I'll make sure that I'm getting all the information up front this time.

              I'm totally ok with barns requiring lessons, I was just concerned that it was kind of sprung on me, without any discussion, and that it would only apply to me. (I realize I didn't make this clear, but I would only be jumping this horse in lessons, if that was something I wanted to do. When I first met with the horse owner, she said I was free to take lessons but it wasn't necessary). This is a very casual barn, with a number of retired horses and riders from a few different disciplines, and the trainer is new to the area and trying to establish a dressage/eventing program (I have a hunter/jumper background). Now that I think about it, this shareboard could fall under that--it's not clear, so I'll make sure to ask. Sounds like there just may be a lot of miscommunication, and sitting down with everyone would be best. If there are additional requirements I may just have to walk away. Honestly I'd love to lesson with the trainer and I'm sure I'd learn a lot--it's just out of my price range.

              Thank you again for the insights! I see now why a barn may require additional fees, since I'm sure just board is difficult to profit from. I just wish I had the budget for that. Hopefully one day! It just may be time for me to find a new barn to ride at, since I can no longer ride with my trainer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gardenhorse View Post
                I think a lesson requirement is pretty normal for a lease/share board situation. Even if the BO doesn’t require lessons as a part of a board package, most owners want their trainer or someone they trust keeping an eye on how their horse is being ridden.
                I agree with this. If you lease a horse from my barn which is in the lesson program, you get a lesson a week as part of the deal. I think this is done as much to protect the horse as it is to line the trainer's pocket.

                If I lease a private horse that is not in the program, there is no similar requirement, but the owner of the horse may have a different requirement.

                I have seen riding groups and barns where the barn owner feels they should get a sliver of every pie. They are providing a facility for the trainer to make money on, for instance (while also providing a location for a desirable service for owners). But in those cases, the "deal" should be between trainer and barn owner, not between rider and barn owner.

                In this case, it sounds like your trainer isn't the trainer, but the horse owner. If she works as a trainer at that barn, then she needs to deal with the relationship between herself and the barn owner. If she is merely a boarder at the barn, the barn owner really doesn't get a piece of the lease deal (imho or experience.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  IMHO, the BO is already getting full board from the horse owner and adding a share boarder has no bearing on that at all. The BARN should not require anything from OP in terms of a fee. OP is using horse owner's arena time instead of boarder on her days, so there should not be any additional fees. BO is making the full amount from this horse already and should not take advantage of a shareboarder. That said, shareboarder should be expected to follow barn rules, arena use etc. if both horse owner and OP are riding on the same days, and in the process, doubling arena use, then it might not be unreasonable to charge an extra upkeep fee, but if that isn't happening, shareboarder is under the horse owner's board.

                  OTOH, the horse owner can (and absolutely should, given OP wants to jump the horse and jump higher than OP has jumped in the past) have a lesson requirement as part of the lease. When I have leased out my horses in the past, one lesson per week was required. If the lessons were with me, they were included in the lease. They could use any trainer on my approval, but in that case would have had to pay whatever fee that trainer charged. The lease rate would not change if they rode with someone else, however. That's just to protect me and my horse and to make sure that he's not developing bad habits.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by aregard View Post
                    In this case, it sounds like your trainer isn't the trainer, but the horse owner. If she works as a trainer at that barn, then she needs to deal with the relationship between herself and the barn owner. If she is merely a boarder at the barn, the barn owner really doesn't get a piece of the lease deal (imho or experience.)
                    Oops, maybe my post is confusing! My trainer has retired, so at the moment I technically have no trainer, she happens to board at this barn. I would be dealing with the BOs, the barn trainer, and the horse owner.

                    Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
                    OTOH, the horse owner can (and absolutely should, given OP wants to jump the horse and jump higher than OP has jumped in the past) have a lesson requirement as part of the lease. When I have leased out my horses in the past, one lesson per week was required. If the lessons were with me, they were included in the lease. They could use any trainer on my approval, but in that case would have had to pay whatever fee that trainer charged. The lease rate would not change if they rode with someone else, however. That's just to protect me and my horse and to make sure that he's not developing bad habits.
                    Totally makes sense! I wouldn't be jumping any time soon, as I want to get back into consistently riding before I even think about starting to jump again. In this case, the horse owner isn't enforcing any lessons, the BOs are. Hope that makes sense! If the horse owner were to require lessons, I'd understand her reasoning but would have to bow out as it's not in my budget.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is an interesting thread. Some posters have the view "...this arrangement is between OP and HO only. BO/trainer has no right to get involved."

                      In fact, the BO has every right to get involved. Think of it this way. HO is renting a stall. The boarding agreement between HO and BO covers that contract. Now HO wants to partial lease to a third party. Unless otherwise stipulated, BO will be responsible for liability and other expenses the lessee may or may not incur. A good business manager (BO) is going to be involved in decisions that could impact their business.

                      If the HO owns the barn, they can lease to whoever they please. If HO is a boarder, bringing a lessee into the equation does need to be approved by BO unless the original boarding contract says otherwise.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One barn I was at would charge a somebody that was share boarding a higher board fee. She found that generally horses that were share boarded used the facilities more than when only one person owned and rode. Generally the share boarded horse was used 6 days a week and most of her other boarders only rode 3-4 days a week. The additional fee was for the additional use of the facility.
                        The shareboarder had to sign the release but did not sign the board contract. The horse owner signed the board agreement and it was the HO's responsibility to collect the money from the share boarder and pay the BO. She wanted 1 payment and did not want to have to chase the share boarder.
                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It’s the barns business and their property so it is their call how they chose to bill any house their services.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was looking into leasing a horse a few years ago. Similarly, there were a ton of stipulations. First, to try the horse out, I had to pay for a lesson with the trainer. That was the first time I'd ever had to pay an outside trainer to try a horse, but since I wasn't working with my own trainer at the time, I paid and played along.

                            After the owner gave the thumbs up and I decided I liked the horse, I was presented with a TON of extras. They wanted me to take out an insurance policy on the horse, covering the owner as well? I also had to take 2 lessons a week, which didn't really work for me because the trainer and I didn't really vibe and she taught dressage, while I was a hunter rider looking to lease a horse strictly to be able to trail ride on their large property with one of my friends that boarded there. Also didn't work for my schedule, I didn't want to schedule my rides that way.

                            Ultimately I passed. The bait and switch gave me a weird feeling, and I also got the impression that every move I made there would be closely watched and judged... not the vibe I was looking for considering this was going to be purely recreational for me.

                            That being said - if this horse is a show packer, they may want to ensure that he stays up to date with training. I think the higher the quality of horse, the more stipulations and rules there will be, which seems fair to me.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you everyone for the replies! Always good to get more input and learn I think my main problem with the situation was how it was presented. The extra requirements were not mentioned to me or the horse owner until we received a contract to sign--and even then the contract itself was incorrect. If I was told upfront then I would've known that it just wouldn't be a good fit.

                              Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                              That being said - if this horse is a show packer, they may want to ensure that he stays up to date with training. I think the higher the quality of horse, the more stipulations and rules there will be, which seems fair to me.
                              Usually this would make sense to me, if the horse owner is the one requiring lessons. This is the first time I've heard of a barn requiring lessons and not the horse owner themselves. But not every barn is the same and it's a good lesson on getting all the information up front I'll see if something can be worked out later this week when I meet with them, otherwise I'll start my search for another trainer to lesson with.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                                I was looking into leasing a horse a few years ago. .
                                which brings me to another question.

                                Can a Barn Owner seize a leased horse for non payment of board? A leased car can not be used as collateral since the driver does not own the vehicle.... so how can a Barn Owner take a leased horse when the person who has contracted with the barn owner for boarding a leased horse has stop paying for the service? The lessor does not have ownership.

                                Just wondering, but...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                                  I was looking into leasing a horse a few years ago. Similarly, there were a ton of stipulations. First, to try the horse out, I had to pay for a lesson with the trainer. That was the first time I'd ever had to pay an outside trainer to try a horse, but since I wasn't working with my own trainer at the time, I paid and played along.

                                  After the owner gave the thumbs up and I decided I liked the horse, I was presented with a TON of extras. They wanted me to take out an insurance policy on the horse, covering the owner as well? I also had to take 2 lessons a week, which didn't really work for me because the trainer and I didn't really vibe and she taught dressage, while I was a hunter rider looking to lease a horse strictly to be able to trail ride on their large property with one of my friends that boarded there. Also didn't work for my schedule, I didn't want to schedule my rides that way.

                                  Ultimately I passed. The bait and switch gave me a weird feeling, and I also got the impression that every move I made there would be closely watched and judged... not the vibe I was looking for considering this was going to be purely recreational for me.

                                  That being said - if this horse is a show packer, they may want to ensure that he stays up to date with training. I think the higher the quality of horse, the more stipulations and rules there will be, which seems fair to me.
                                  It is not unusual for barns to require potential lessees to be accompanied by a trainer during the trial period. If you didn't have your own trainer accompany you, the barn was well within its rights to tell you you needed to "hire" a trainer while you tried the horse. At our sales barn, a client isn't getting on a horse unless they have a trainer accompany them. There are liability issues, safety issues, etc.

                                  It is not unusual for boarding barns to require the horses are insured and the barn is named on the policy. If for some reason the insurance is dropped, the barn will be notified.

                                  It also isn't unusual for boarding barns to require boarders to take lessons or purchase extras services. Next time you look at a leasing situation you'll know to ask about any requirements to take extra lessons or purchase extra services. What seems like "bait and switch" to you is actually a very common requirement in HJ circles.

                                  Many, many barns don't make money boarding. The practice of requiring boarders to take lessons or purchase services, is the barn's attempt to offer a competitive boarding rate without losing money on the boarder.
                                  Last edited by OneTwoMany; Nov. 12, 2019, 06:07 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by clanter View Post
                                    which brings me to another question.

                                    Can a Barn Owner seize a leased horse for non payment of board? A leased car can not be used as collateral since the driver does not own the vehicle.... so how can a Barn Owner take a leased horse when the person who has contracted with the barn owner for boarding a leased horse has stop paying for the service? The lessor does not have ownership.

                                    Just wondering, but...
                                    It is a good legal question. But I'm not sure why a BO would want to seize a leased horse even it was legally possible. It isn't like the BO could use the horse to generate income. Most leases stipulate who can ride the horse and how the horse can be used. In most leases I see, a BO couldn't use the horse in lessons or sublease the horse. What is the point of seizing the horse for the remaining lease period if you cannot use the horse to generate income.

                                    However, putting a lien on a leased horse is another thing.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Holly11 View Post
                                      Thank you everyone for the replies! Always good to get more input and learn I think my main problem with the situation was how it was presented. The extra requirements were not mentioned to me or the horse owner until we received a contract to sign--and even then the contract itself was incorrect. If I was told upfront then I would've known that it just wouldn't be a good fit.
                                      Unfortunately it is likely that all parties involved were disappointed. It is possible terms were explained to HO and HO forgot to share that information with you. Who knows who dropped the ball. I wouldn't automatically assume it was the barn.

                                      Originally posted by Holly11 View Post
                                      Usually this would make sense to me, if the horse owner is the one requiring lessons. This is the first time I've heard of a barn requiring lessons and not the horse owner themselves. But not every barn is the same and it's a good lesson on getting all the information up front I'll see if something can be worked out later this week when I meet with them, otherwise I'll start my search for another trainer to lesson with.
                                      It is not unusual for a HJ barns to require boarders to purchase extra services. Maybe this is the first time you have run into this requirement, but it is not uncommon at all. I wouldn't be so hard on the barn if it is part of their modus operandi.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                        which brings me to another question.

                                        Can a Barn Owner seize a leased horse for non payment of board? A leased car can not be used as collateral since the driver does not own the vehicle.... so how can a Barn Owner take a leased horse when the person who has contracted with the barn owner for boarding a leased horse has stop paying for the service? The lessor does not have ownership.

                                        Just wondering, but...
                                        The BO in any boarding situation will have a contract with at least one of the following: the horse owner; the horse lessee; or some other person, such as a trainer, who is in apparent legal possession of the horse. A boarding agreement is a bailment and states usually have rules on liens on such property. Equine boarding is subset of general bailment law. You'd have to look to each state's law to see what the rules are. Since livery stabling is a VERY old industry you might find 19 Century precedent governing 21st Century contracts.

                                        In theory the BO does not really care whose name is on the check, just whose name is on the Contract. If state law permits an agister's lien and the Contract is IAW with state law on that subject then the BO's lien interest may well run against the horse and be a burden upon the owner's rights to possession of the horse.

                                        If I were a BO entering an agreement to board a horse that the client does not own I would likely require the owner of the horse to sign the contract as a guarantor of payment.

                                        G.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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