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Barn Owner asking for board early

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  • I mean, it was 4 days early, and if the OP had just talked to her BO in the first place she would have figured out that this wasn’t an issue to get worked up about, as she has found out. Honestly, most of these threads that start with the OP’s bunched undies wouldn’t even exist if everyone would act like adults and talk to each other.

    Comment


    • Former BM (who did a fair bit of managing the finances) and currently board out one of my horses. I think this sort of thing as a one-off favor isn’t the worst thing to ask for, but I think it should have been structured more as a request, not as an obligation. I keep my expenses for the coming months mapped out, along with paycheck dates and expected amounts from several jobs, and this kind of thing can have a big impact on your finances, particularly if you have several recurring payments occurring around the same time (rent/mortgage, car payment, insurance, etc). It’s not necessarily indicative of poor financial planning, but for people who are paid monthly, timing can be very important. I would be happy to accommodate a request made early enough to be workable for me, but this sort of notice would have the potential to be problematic for someone like me, and I would feel very guilty about having to turn it down. Framing a request for a favor in a way that makes your boarders feel like they are ruining your vacation if they can’t accommodate, IMO, isn’t appropriate.

      Also, yes, BOs/BMs often provide “extras” at no cost. I did plenty of this while I was a BM- holding horses for farriers and vets before or after hours, checking horses and administering meds in the middle of the night, canceling dinner plans because Dobbin refused to be caught, etc. I still do these things, actually, for the few “boarders” I still have (not a commercial operation now, just a couple of private retirees at my home). However, I don’t think it’s fair to hold this against your boarders in the event that they are put off by a request for a favor, especially one of a financial nature. “Keeping score” of favors and courtesies is a sure way to end up resentful and create bad blood.

      Comment


      • Wow. I didn’t read all of these but based on this I think I’ll trot over to my boss and ask him for my pay cheque four days early!
        I mean I guess I don’t see it so much of a problem if the barn owner asks if it’s “possible” for anyone to do it, but it sure shouldn’t be a requirement. Which it can’t be because it’s not in the contract. I guess I would just casually text back that you don’t get paid until the first of the month so you aren’t able to pay until then. It’s not your problem to move your money around.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Cruiser12 View Post
          Wow. I didn’t read all of these but based on this I think I’ll trot over to my boss and ask him for my pay cheque four days early!
          I mean I guess I don’t see it so much of a problem if the barn owner asks if it’s “possible” for anyone to do it, but it sure shouldn’t be a requirement. Which it can’t be because it’s not in the contract. I guess I would just casually text back that you don’t get paid until the first of the month so you aren’t able to pay until then. It’s not your problem to move your money around.
          Well, if you were my employee, I would accommodate you. I have paid staff in advance many times. In fact, I am on vacation right now and everyone got paid when I left for the following two pay periods.
          www.settlementfarm.us

          Comment


          • dotneko, agree. I am a BO and I have many times given employees their paychecks early. I also have waived late fees for clients when they have been on vacation or had a temporary cash flow issue. In addition, I have also paid board in advance when asked, without a second thought, when dealing with a BO who has been a trusted service provider. (I occasionally send horses out to board even though I have my own place.)

            I think it's really important both as a businessperson and as a client to look at the big picture. If you are so lucky as to be dealing with a BO who takes reliable care of your horse for a reasonable rate, when that BO asks you for a favor I would look at it as an opportunity to bank some goodwill.

            I'd also like to make one more point for those who suggest that BOs need to improve their business savvy. So, yes, you are right, and yes, that increased business savvy is going to result in increased prices. But, a lack of business savvy isn't the only reason a BO might temporarily be at a "month to month" operating standpoint. Boarding is a business that despite low profits, involves HUGE cash flow. For example, let's say a BO with 20 boarders at $650/mo each "rakes in" $13,000 each month. Immediately, most or all of that $$ is out the door for payroll, workmans comp, taxes, supplies, and basic operating costs: insurance, tractor repairs, feed, bedding, hay, etc. Due to the nature of running a farm, there can be huge fluctuations in cash flow. Securing extra hay for the winter could easily be an extra $10K bill one month. Add on a facility upgrade, equipment or facility repair and holiday bonuses for employees, and it's easy to see how even a well prepared BO who normally has some extra $$ in their bank account could find themselves worried about the timing of board checks.

            As a client, you are spending probably $6-10K per year on board. That's not a small sum. Obviously you are paying someone else to deal with the stresses and finances of keeping an expensive facility afloat. But I think when you are spending that much it's worth knowing a little bit about where that money is going. Because if you do, you might know that a BO who is tight on cash in the fall might actually be a very savvy hay shopper who found a good deal on some excellent hay and went ahead and purchased it while it was still available... vs. a BO who might appear to have their finances in better order, but who spreads their hay purchases out throughout the year and ends up buying crappy hay in February to stay within budget and the horses suffer from poor condition or colic as a result.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Equisis View Post


              Also, yes, BOs/BMs often provide “extras” at no cost. I did plenty of this while I was a BM- holding horses for farriers and vets before or after hours, checking horses and administering meds in the middle of the night, canceling dinner plans because Dobbin refused to be caught, etc. I still do these things, actually, for the few “boarders” I still have (not a commercial operation now, just a couple of private retirees at my home). However, I don’t think it’s fair to hold this against your boarders in the event that they are put off by a request for a favor, especially one of a financial nature. “Keeping score” of favors and courtesies is a sure way to end up resentful and create bad blood.
              If you provide these services to customers who pay board, thats not necessarily an "extra at no cost". It could be said it's a service included in board.
              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

              http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post

                If you provide these services to customers who pay board, thats not necessarily an "extra at no cost". It could be said it's a service included in board.
                I don’t disagree; I meant it more in relation to what some previous posters have mentioned as “favors” to their boarders. It can be looked at in both ways: many of those things, for me, are part of my job as a manager, like caring for someone else’s sick horse in the middle of the night. Others, like holding for the farrier when the owner can’t come, may NOT actually be a service that the farm offers, but BO/BM does it without charging as a favor. Then there is the in-between: for example, I got up 2-3 times every night for several weeks to administer meds to a horse that was on a very strict schedule. It took a huge toll on my health and it was definitely an unreasonable thing to do without charging extra, even though “administering medications” was technically included in board. Even with a detailed boarding contract, people won’t always agree on what is standard care and what is above and beyond.

                Either way, though, I stand by my statement that “keeping score” with this sort of thing never does anyone any good.

                Comment


                • If the barn owner took great care of the animals he/she was in charge of, and I had a good relationship with that person, I would not hesitate to pay early (ONE TIME!) to help out if I could financially handle it; I would not do it on a regular basis however unless a new contract was issued changing the payment due date.

                  Comment


                  • If I financially could do it, I would go ahead and pay it early. If the care is good, and you are happy with the BO and barn, its worth it to do a little favor for her to make her life a little easier. Should she have asked earlier (like 30 days prior)? Sure. But sometimes things get away from you when you are trying to plan time away from the barn. She may have realized she forgot to send the message off. There are many times when a BO does things that are not on their list of "responsibilities" to help their boarders and horses out. I wouldn't view this as something that is a huge deal. And if I couldn't pay early, I would call or talk in person and just say, with only X number days of notice, I just can't do it. Can I transfer the board to you electronically perhaps on the 1st? Or some such conversation.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                      For me, any ask outside of what has been contracted / mutually agreed-upon terms is a favor. Meaning it's up to me whether or not I'll be too "put out" to comply.

                      For anyone saying that a month shouldn't break the bank, board reaches $1200-1500 at some places here. On any income, a 4 figure surprise is not small potatoes. I only keep enough money in my checking to cover a month's expenses after having an identity theft scare. It's not uncommon to manage finances this way.
                      I agree with this.

                      It really doesn't matter WHY the OP couldn't, or wouldn't pay early. Sure, in an ideal world we'd all have our expense-to-income ratio set up such that we can pay all of our bills twice in one month and still have money left over for food, gas, etc., but frankly, most people don't live this way. That doesn't mean they're not allowed to partake in activities they enjoy that cost money.

                      I'm glad OP's discussion with the BO went well. Personally, if I'd had the money available in savings, I'd have taken it out to pay early, and put it back when I got my paycheck, but OP was certainly under no obligation to do so. I don't find the BO's request to be rude, but asking with a week's notice for a previously planned event is rather rude.

                      IRT the poster asking if we'd feel the same way about a BO asking to pay early due to actual emergencies - as someone else said, horse owners are not a bank for the BO to borrow money from or request payments early. BO should get a loan, open a new credit card, use an existing credit card, etc. to deal with financial issues during an emergency such a health scare, accident, etc.

                      As a BO, I can't think of any reason I would ever ask a boarder to pay early. And for BOs that think they deserve reciprocity for doing things like not enforcing late fees, I disagree. I wish BOs would treat barns like businesses. Most do not. If there's a late fee in your contract, enforce it. Otherwise, why bother putting it there in the first place? Not enforcing doesn't make boarders feel they owe you something, it just enables them to be bad about paying on time. If you want to do a favor someone, you do the favor just to do a favor, not to create an "I-OWE-YOU" for something that might or might not be needed in the future.
                      Custom tack racks!
                      www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

                      Comment


                      • Me when I had boarders eons ago, pre- electronic awesomeness:

                        "Boarders- I am going away X-Y. If you can leave your check before I leave it is appreciated. If not- see you when I'm back with a tan and a smile. "

                        Boarder 1 " left check in tack room"
                        Boarder 2 " I can't but it'll be here when you get back"

                        Shot glasses for both from Cancun, regardless
                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

                          Except you need the persons banking details. I dont think we can transfer between banks so easily in Canada.
                          Yes we can, but e-transfer is easier and as far as I know they don't have it in the USA yet.
                          My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                          Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                            dotneko, agree. I am a BO and I have many times given employees their paychecks early. I also have waived late fees for clients when they have been on vacation or had a temporary cash flow issue. In addition, I have also paid board in advance when asked, without a second thought, when dealing with a BO who has been a trusted service provider. (I occasionally send horses out to board even though I have my own place.)

                            I think it's really important both as a businessperson and as a client to look at the big picture. If you are so lucky as to be dealing with a BO who takes reliable care of your horse for a reasonable rate, when that BO asks you for a favor I would look at it as an opportunity to bank some goodwill.

                            I'd also like to make one more point for those who suggest that BOs need to improve their business savvy. So, yes, you are right, and yes, that increased business savvy is going to result in increased prices. But, a lack of business savvy isn't the only reason a BO might temporarily be at a "month to month" operating standpoint. Boarding is a business that despite low profits, involves HUGE cash flow. For example, let's say a BO with 20 boarders at $650/mo each "rakes in" $13,000 each month. Immediately, most or all of that $$ is out the door for payroll, workmans comp, taxes, supplies, and basic operating costs: insurance, tractor repairs, feed, bedding, hay, etc. Due to the nature of running a farm, there can be huge fluctuations in cash flow. Securing extra hay for the winter could easily be an extra $10K bill one month. Add on a facility upgrade, equipment or facility repair and holiday bonuses for employees, and it's easy to see how even a well prepared BO who normally has some extra $$ in their bank account could find themselves worried about the timing of board checks.

                            As a client, you are spending probably $6-10K per year on board. That's not a small sum. Obviously you are paying someone else to deal with the stresses and finances of keeping an expensive facility afloat. But I think when you are spending that much it's worth knowing a little bit about where that money is going. Because if you do, you might know that a BO who is tight on cash in the fall might actually be a very savvy hay shopper who found a good deal on some excellent hay and went ahead and purchased it while it was still available... vs. a BO who might appear to have their finances in better order, but who spreads their hay purchases out throughout the year and ends up buying crappy hay in February to stay within budget and the horses suffer from poor condition or colic as a result.
                            A few random thoughts as someone who has been a BM, a BO with a few boarders, a border, and the manager of a couple service based businesses with similar cashflow considerations as a boarding barn:

                            1) If increased business savvy = increased prices? I have no problem paying for that. I have two horses on care leases boarded with an eventing trainer who understands that you have to spend money to make money. She has a farmhand that she trained and she pays and treats him well. He does all the barn and facilities maintenance chores, which frees her up to focus on the tasks that bring in money - training horses, sales, and lessons. She hired 2 additional part time guys that clean stalls and set up hay and water in the evening after business increased to the point that the farm hand would've been working 16 hour days to keep up. OTOH, my daughter rode at a barn where the owner/trainer insisted on doing everything in the interest of saving money. Most of it didn't get done well, if at al, and we frequently helped out because the conditions in the stalls were less than stellar if we didn't. Barn A only charges $100 a month more than Barn B. And I gladly pay.

                            2) My trainer has some clients who pay on the 15th of the month instead of the 1st. This helps even out the business cash flow.

                            3) Many other service based businesses like gyms charge a 1x a year facilities upgrade fee. My trainer is considering doing this to pay for mirrors and/or one of those robot cameras for taping rides. We all would've spent $50 on Xmas presents for each other, anyway. Might as well get something we can all use and enjoy.

                            4a) Retail stores keep detailed accounts of the sales numbers, payroll, and physical plant costs for each day going back a few years. They use them to project the numbers for the current year. BO's can and should do this as well. From your examples, you know that you pay holiday bonuses. You know how much you paid out last year in bonuses. You can reasonably project and budget for that expense. You also know that hay supply can be problematic. You know what you spent during the worst case scenario the past few years and what you can reasonably expect if this year is the same and can attempt to budget for it over the warmer months. 4b) Many barns in this area charge a pretty hefty supplemental hay few in the winter months to cover the additional expense of round bales.

                            5) I really wish more barns would avail themselves of the myriad payment options available for small businesses. Take credit cards via Square or PayPal or QuickBooks and add a service fee for payments made by CC to cover the processing fees. I use Square for my business. The fees are lower than most people think they are and are the same for any card, even Amex. Plus, in the rare event I need money immediately, I can instantly deposit funds for an additional fee. You can plug it into your web page and people can pay online. The barn my daughter rode at lost an ungodly sum on camp tuition last summer by not having a pay online option whereas other barns do. People just want to register, pay, and be done with it.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Eleanor View Post

                              Yes we can, but e-transfer is easier and as far as I know they don't have it in the USA yet.
                              Etransfer is awesome, and this thread reminds me, best etransfer my board from my current vacation in the UK, back to Canada.
                              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by KBC View Post

                                Etransfer is awesome, and this thread reminds me, best etransfer my board from my current vacation in the UK, back to Canada.
                                for me electronic auto payment would work better, since this is a reoccurring known expense ...then one could just enjoy the time away without even thinking about those such things

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Wanderosa View Post

                                  A few random thoughts as someone who has been a BM, a BO with a few boarders, a border, and the manager of a couple service based businesses with similar cashflow considerations as a boarding barn:
                                  actually the at least to me the thoughts should not be random since at least where I am there is the IRS has pretty solid none wavering idea as to what they want to see and those points have not changed in decades.

                                  • Whether you carry on the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain complete and accurate books and records.
                                  • Whether the time and effort you put into the activity indicate you intend to make it profitable.
                                  • Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.
                                  • Whether your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase of your type of business).
                                  • Whether you change your methods of operation in an attempt to improve profitability.
                                  • Whether you or your advisers have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business.
                                  • Whether you were successful in making a profit in similar activities in the past.
                                  • Whether the activity makes a profit in some years and how much profit it makes.
                                  • Whether you can expect to make a future profit from the appreciation of the assets used in the activity.
                                  https://www.irs.gov/faqs/small-busin...ncome-expenses

                                  I keep reading statements that no one makes money on boarding... then it is a hobby not a business

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                    for me electronic auto payment would work better, since this is a reoccurring known expense ...then one could just enjoy the time away without even thinking about those such things
                                    Only works on fixed price, currently booked lessons and training rides are invoiced with board. Also ‘extras’ may change, so it suits me to get my bill, and etransfer payment. Each to their own, as long as payments are made.
                                    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                                    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

                                      This an email that comes from someone, and you just click the link answer the password and the money is deposited. So handy for these things.
                                      When we moved from Ontario to NC, and started trying to do banking, it was incredibly difficult because IMHO, banking in the States is far behind banking in Canada. We would ask for someone's email to send them money, and get blank stares. We had to open PayPal, a venmo account and a couple other things. When we wanted to pay our rent, we had to go into our landlady's bank and set up something to her account. It was a stressful couple months bc PayPal couldnt verify us, we didnt have cheques yet, and it was just crazy. I also got told off by bank tellers for not knowing how to do everything right.

                                      For those who think it's a big deal not to have the money in the bank ever 4 days earlier, there are so many different situations in people's lives. My husband and I both make healthy income. My pay cheque is in Canada. It goes to my Canadian bank. We try and watch fees, so that we can transfer the money from my Canadian account to my US Bank funds. From there it needs to be transferred to my US Bank Account which can take a day or two. After that, we transfer it to another bank account that we actually have access to on a day to day basis, because my US Bank Account I use for transferred from Canada, I can't use the card for, as there were no local banks to validate it.

                                      Until we got an amex that was able to check our Canadian Credit, we had to do everything like that. My husband's pay cheque takes an automatic hit when it transfers to us, because he gets paid in American. So we can cover 90% with his, but still needed part of mine for anything over and above.

                                      We still however, pay our Bill's on time. 6 mths ago, if someone asked us to pay early, and only gave us 5 days notice, it would have been nearly impossible.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                        I keep reading statements that no one makes money on boarding... then it is a hobby not a business
                                        I'd say more like having to invest money to make money. So they board at cost, or for very little profit, and then make money in other ways (lessons/training/sales).

                                        Comment


                                        • Were I the OP, I should get money out of savings, pay up, and the offer to take over the BO's obviously highly lucrative business, something the OP could handle in her spare time.

                                          Of course the occasional cokicky horse, or the one who mysteriously gashed their side o leg does come with the territory.

                                          And mayhap, you are in snow country?.
                                          Taking it day by day!

                                          Comment

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