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Question About Boarding, I need your advice.

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  • #41
    I was always under the impression anytime a horse travels (as in, leaves the property) a coggins is required? Or is that a state law?

    I would expect to pay a fee to hold the stall, minus cost of bedding, hay, feed & labour. If he has empty stalls you could just take the horse away and hope there will be a stall available when you return. I will say that the fee should have been laid out up front, ideally in the boarding contract. Depending on your relationship with him it does seem kind of sneaky to slip in a fee now even though he's known for months you'd be moving and not said anything about a fee.

    How much do you really want to continue boarding here? If you feel screwed over and like you can't have an adult conversation with him about it, I would move. Not worth it for you or for him. You'll move on with your students & he'll find someone to replace you. At the end of the day its business.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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    • #42
      I have never done this myself, but as a small barn owner I am surprised that anyone would expect the stall to be reserved for them without some sort of payment. What guarantee does the BO have that you will come back? If you don't come back they are out your monthly board payment plus haven't even tried to fill it...so that's another month, and maybe they have people who would want the stall? I guess if the barn isn't full it can be worth the gamble, but I can understand the BO being a little irked that he is expected to hold your stall for you for free.

      Obviously it seems that a "dry stall" clause should get written into a boarding agreement. I have never thought about it but might write it into my boarding agreement if I ever take on another boarder.

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Event4Life View Post
        I was always under the impression anytime a horse travels (as in, leaves the property) a coggins is required? Or is that a state law?
        That depends on the state where the horse is and where it is going.

        In my state a Coggins is necessary only to import an equine into the state. There are exceptions, such as if the animal will be here for less than 72 hrs.

        A Coggins is not required to move an equine around the state, unless the destination requires it. The destinations that require it are usually private such as boarding barns, hunts, barns that host horse shows, etc.

        Public destinations such as state parks and national forests do not require a Coggins.

        So if a BO does not require Coggins, and you never show but trail ride all over the state, one could conceivably go through life without ever testing. Not smart, but there it is.

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by caballero View Post
          That depends on the state where the horse is and where it is going.

          In my state a Coggins is necessary only to import an equine into the state. There are exceptions, such as if the animal will be here for less than 72 hrs.

          A Coggins is not required to move an equine around the state, unless the destination requires it. The destinations that require it are usually private such as boarding barns, hunts, barns that host horse shows, etc.

          Public destinations such as state parks and national forests do not require a Coggins.

          So if a BO does not require Coggins, and you never show but trail ride all over the state, one could conceivably go through life without ever testing. Not smart, but there it is.
          Thanks for clearing that up....I've always boarded so I guess I could never see why anyone wouldn't test.
          "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
          "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

          Comment


          • #45
            Where I board, BO will ask for a holding fee ($50, $100 - used to be $50, don't know if it's gone up) if you want to leave for an extended period of time. She held one stall for another boarder for three months for a nominal charge. Boarder waffled about returning and stopped paying holding fee, but we weren't full, so when she returned there was no issue about a stall being available. Now, we're almost full, so it might be different.

            For two weeks out (as when I went on vacation and sent horse to trainer), BO has given credit to next month's board for days my horse was not there. I have not, in general, been asked for a holding charge if horse was gone for a month. BUT...I've boarded there nearly 25 years. So.....your mileage may vary.

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            • #46
              I see nothing out of line with a BO asking for a fee to keep a stall while you take your horse out for training.

              When you go on a cruise or to tour across the country for a month your landlord still expects the rent check.

              Comment


              • #47
                Many barns ask for a stall hold fee when a horse is shipped out for training and I would venture to say even rehab/layup. There are also some trainers/barns who, even when they head to Fl, the clients are paying full board for the empty stall in the north and more expenses on the road. The BM or owners are counting on X # of $ per month and they budget their expenses based upon the board money coming in. Another way to look at would be paying rent or mortgage and going on vacation for 2 weeks. Do you deduct your vacation time from your mortgage or rent payment? Nope. If you have a roommate and they go off on vacation or away every weekend - what would you say if they said they didn't want to pay their share of utilities & discounted rent because they're not there on weekends or during their vacation?

                If you're otherwise happy at this place, I'd suggest paying a hold fee which would be less feed/hay, shavings and labor.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Yes, you are over reacting. If you like your stall and boarding there, then pay the holding fee and you will be guaranteed your stall is still there when you get ready to come back. You never know when circumstances could change and the barn could be full. I would rather have peace of mind than play silly games.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Never boarded somewhere that I wouldn't have expected to pay to hold a stall. But I've never boarded anywhere that wasn't full and typically had a wait list either.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I hope she comes back and tells us how much the holding fee was.

                      NJR
                      Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Ware Whip! View Post
                        I will try to make this quick.

                        Told BO this summer, I was sending my horse out for thirty days.
                        Was asked why, I said training. Then I was asked to pay the Vet bill for spring shots and coggins, fine..... Only to find it it was over a month before the Vet was even scheduled to come out. I let that go.

                        I would have asked why I was paying for a service that had yet to be performed, but I would NOT bring it up now, almost a year later.

                        Fast forward, tell the BO at the beggining of December, horse is going to the trainer January. He was fine with it.

                        I teach lessons at this barn, and he gets the far sweeter end of the deal by the way. I also get vented to, and my brain picked for medical, managment and business advice. I pay in cash, and I pay on time.

                        'He" should get the "sweeter end of the deal, by the way" It is his farm and he is allowing you to make money on his property. He should benefit from you doing that. As a trainer, other boarders probably look to you as an authority figure and someone who knows a lot about horses, so it seems only natural you would get your brain picked. You don't say by who, I assume other boarders?

                        So today, when I show up to teach, he says, " I want to talk to you about you taking your horse out of the barn, I want a little something to hold your stall". Really? Ya, really. Why the shock?I have never been asked to pay for a stall that I was not using. I have been there for over two years, and really am a trouble free boarder, who has come in quite handy in a few emergency situations, and I have gotten him some very nice business.
                        [/B]
                        I am wrong to be put out by this? My DH is LIVID, and I am honestly ready to find another barn I am so offended.

                        Why are you offended? If the BO is not making any money, in fact he is loosing money on a stall for that month. I would absolutely expect to pay for the stall. Maybe a discount from regular board, but certainly I would expect to pay. If you don't, someone else will.

                        So, am I over reacting, or is the BO being a douche nozzle of the hightest order?

                        TIA!

                        In short, no, the BO is not being a douche.
                        http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fentre...24774504235082

                        http://fentressfieldsequestriancenter.com/

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Agree with those who say the BO is well within reason to ask for a stall holding fee.

                          If you lived in a hotel, or apt. and paid by the month...then left for a period, would you expect those accomodations to be held for you without paying the rent for them just because you used to live there?

                          Heck, what if you decide not to come back. This BO would have niavely held the stall (and lost his income for it) for no good reason.

                          So..no, he's not being unreasonable. I think that you are.

                          Regarding pre-paid vaccinations. Nope. Would not pay until they are done. If you have a problem just get your vet out there and take care of what you need to have done to pursue what you want to. In the end it's the owners' job to take care their own stuff.

                          But asking a BO to hold a stall for free, not really knowing whether you'll be back is asking too much. That is not fair.

                          He owes you nothing but correct feed, turnout and basic care for your horse. There is no "entitlement" beyond that.
                          www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                          "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                          Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Here in Virginia, a current Coggins is required at every sanctioned horse show and to cross state lines.

                            Many barns that have "haul ins" also require them as a matter of protocol. Not all, but when I had a show/lesson/training barn I surely did.

                            That said, horses that are mostly farm bound seldom get them until they have to go off site.
                            www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                            "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                            Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #54
                              Thank you for all of your replies.



                              Anyway, I have no idea of how much he wanted, as it is not in my boarding contract, and he did not tell me. If he wanted a fee, he should have told me how much, and to be honest, I felt he was fishing to see what my reaction would be.

                              This is not your typical boarder/BO situation as I have stated before. He has told me time and time again that I am a barn employee.

                              As for the lesson fee's, half, which is what he gets, is far beyond the industry standard. Most barns charge between ten and twenty percent. One barn where I teach, since it is their boarder, charges an arena rental fee. So he really is getting a sweet deal. Since the last person who " taught " there got less than half of what I do for a lesson, and he was paying her by the hour.

                              As for the Vet thing, he did that because I asked for a Coggins, no one else in the barn was charged until after the Vet was there. I know for a fact, because I do some clerical work, how slow some people pay. He had my money for over a month before the Vet even came out. That is not how business should be done. This is not my first rodeo, I have a long history in the equine business and enjoy a nice reputation within the community.

                              If I did not " work" for him, and the barn was full, I could see this, but this guy basically owes me money, that is why this was so odd to me.

                              As for what I am going to do, I am looking at at barn this morning.
                              I am not the kind of person who burns bridges, except for the time one barn used my horse for lessons. With out my permission, I was out of there the next day. I am not being " ugly", I bring alot to this barn, and work hard for this person. There is a right way and wrong way of doing things... IMHO this should have been presented in a far more professional manner. Would have made a world of difference to me if he would have said. I am glad your horse is going to have this chance...( rather than how much do they charge? ) But, this is a business, and I need XXX to hold your stall. Springing it on me at the last minute, after we have had a few conversations about it, is not how I would have done it.


                              If he is that paranoid about people leaving, he should treat them with the respect they deserve. As we all should.




                              I got some excellent advice here, and I thank you all for it!
                              FMO:OMG I almost put my eye out hunting clique.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                It does sound to me like your BO has not been professional in his communication to you regarding this issue. If you feel you aren't being treated with respect, then that certainly could be a reason for leaving. You sound like a nice person, so this probably doesn't apply, but I think it is worth pointing out that respect is a two way street.

                                From a BOs perspective, I like to have trainers work out of my farm, and I do find that it is a mutually beneficial arrangement, but it makes me uncomfortable if a particular trainer starts acting like they are doing me a favor by working at my place. They don't know the first thing about my facility's finances--how much I spend on keeping my footing perfect or buying new jumps or putting in extra parking for our mutual clients. There's a lot of stuff that trainers don't have to deal with when they just show up to teach a lesson at a decent facility, and I think it's nice when that is appreciated. They also don't know just how little money boarding alone brings in.

                                Does this current BO owe you money? Or do you just feel that he does? If you can find a better deal elsewhere, I don't think there is anything wrong with taking it. I think that any barn that you work at is going to want a portion of your lesson fees, though. Another alternative would be to negotiate with your current BO. "Hey Jim, I've thought it over and could I pay you $X to hold my stall? But hey, I also wanted to talk to you about the way we split my lesson fees. I'm working at a couple of other barns that charge me $X. I really like working here, could we work something out?"

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I think it's standard to pay a dry stall rate.

                                  DH, when the issue came up, did not and was actually pissed. But he hasn't ever boarded before.

                                  His reasoning is that we have horses at the barn, so if one leaves it will be coming back. My reasoning is that it's the same as renting an apartment; you don't get to not pay if you leave for a month, not if you want it to still be there when you get back .

                                  When he left last year with his horse for three months, we paid a dry stall rate, roughly a third of the regular board. When my horse left for training for two months this year, we paid the same dry stall rate. We board three horses and a donk, so yes we represent the majority of the BO's income from the barn (six stalls). I didn't begrudge her. But then, my BO and I have a good relationship; maybe the OP and the BO are rubbing each other a little rough recently?

                                  And OP, maybe the BO forgot, or was hoping you changed your mind, since you mentioned it in April and then it hasn't come up again? I've found that most BOs spend money they don't have yet, and when they see income dropping (even temporarily), they go a little bonkers with the nickle and diming.
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                                  • #57
                                    Haven't read the whole thread but was surprised that anyone would think you shouldn't pay a fee to hold a stall if you are going to be gone a month.
                                    If you rent a house or apt. and are going to go on a months vacation you'd still have to pay that months rent if you wanted it there for you when you came back.

                                    If you are willing to chance the stall not being there for you when you return then don't pay it.
                                    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #58
                                      Honeybee thank you, and I agree respect is a two way street.

                                      Yes, he owes me money for lessons that he was " treating" his friends to. Along with some " office type" work I have done for him. I do not like to keep bringing it up, as that sort of thing is at best uncomfortable.

                                      After this, I feel like handing him an invoice. Not my style, which is why I am waiting for my red headed temper to cool down.

                                      Teaching,I was at the barn well over a year before he asked me to do a few " English" lessons for a few boarders, as a favor to him. After the first Sunday of lessons, he told me he would give me half. Honestly, I did not think it would take off like it did, and I agreed just to be nice ( no good deed). I was not really looking for students, but, it is always fun to help a new rider on their way.

                                      I have been a WS and a have managed barns, I do understand. I do not do this for a living any longer,but, it is nice to be able to help out when I can, and I do. It is also lovely not to have to depend on it to pay my bills!

                                      You are 100% right, I do need to have that covo with him, and stop being such a weenie about it. He is very difficult to talk to sometimes. He has a his way or the highway attitude , coupled with a he knows everything complex that makes some conversation uncomfortable. He talks right over you, and constantly tells you that he has done this all of his life.

                                      The Jenners, thank you! I do think he was hoping I changed my mind. To be honest, it was going to be a strain money wise. The Trainer made me an offer I could not refuse, and I have to say, I was, and am very flattered by it. If I did not teach at the barn, and do various " office" work, it would not be so strange. Add to that the fact that he has not paid me for a few lessons, as I said, he " treated" people too. In a " normal" boarding situation, it would be expected. In a barn where you " work" that is not full, and has no waiting list, it was not.

                                      He is also miffed that I am not using him for training. The reason is, in over two years I have never seen him ride. I work his horses. He has never trained or shown a horse that I know of, and he does not do what I want to do with my horse.He asked me again and again that day what they charged, that is NOHB,and what they were going to " teach" my horse to do. That just chapped by butt .

                                      Thanks again all! I am grateful to all of you for your time,and wisdom!

                                      PS: of course the barn should get some of the lesson fee, half is just a bit steep!
                                      FMO:OMG I almost put my eye out hunting clique.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        I have always considered "paying for the stall while the horse is away" to be Standard Operating Procedure.

                                        Just as common as giving 30 days notice.
                                        Janet

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Ware Whip! View Post

                                          Yes, he owes me money for lessons that he was " treating" his friends to. Along with some " office type" work I have done for him. I do not like to keep bringing it up, as that sort of thing is at best uncomfortable.

                                          After this, I feel like handing him an invoice. Not my style, which is why I am waiting for my red headed temper to cool down.
                                          Mybe suggest a trade- you let him keep the money he owes you as the "dry stall" fee. Then everyone saves face.
                                          Janet

                                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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