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Boarding Facility Hours of Operation

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  • Boarding Facility Hours of Operation


    Do you all have experience with boarding faciltiies that have hours of operation? The facility that I work for is trying to put some hours of operation into play, but we are getting some resistance for our boarders. Right now my boss would like ot say 8:30am-8:00pm. The boarders think that is too late in the AM and too early in the PM and I tend to agree. We have a general rule that you are not allowed to ride alone on the property, so one of the reasons that my boss wants to put these rules into play is that a lot of time boarders come out alone, which means that the facility has to provide an employee to be on premises during those operation hours. I understand that cost factor that my boss is looking at, but I am also looking at that we have a lot of working boarders that live 30+ mins away from the barn. This means that the earliest they could get to the barn would be 6 (if they work until 5, we have a few that work until 6, which means 7 for them). That doesn't give a whole lot of time for riding. One of my bosses response were that they could come and ride in the morning, but that doesn't work either with a 8:30 opening time.

    What do you all think?

  • #2
    i agree with you; 7 or 7:30 am to 9 pm (at least) would be more reasonable... (but i speak as someone who rides at a barn that has staff on-site 24/7.)
    Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


    • #3
      The barns with posted hours I've been in have all been 7am to 9pm for just those reasons--adults who work full-time have trouble getting to the barn after work.

      Sounds like your BO will need to juggle schedules of the barn workers to get someone there early (do they feed at 8:30am?? that seems late) and to stay late. Perhaps the shifts could be from early to noon, then trainer/instructor supervises, then a later work to feed??
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • #4
        Most of the farms I've boarded which have had hours of operation have been on the order of 7AM to 8PM, earlier than that on Fridays and weekends. That is not necessarily to say that everyone paid attention to them.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


        • #5
          I work and it is a long compute to the barn. the earliest I can get on is 7 PM. I like at least a 9PM closing time. The barn can set an "off your horse" time instead of a closing time. The employee would not have to be around for untacking, cool down and clean up.


          • #6
            I've generally seen 9pm as well, and earlier morning times. 8:30am is really late for a horse operation, to me, and useless for pre-work unless you start work at noon.
            Depending on where you are, also too hot. In summer in NC if I wasn't on the horse by 7am, it would get too hot for me to ride.
            Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


            • #7
              All the barns I rode at as a kid were Tuesday-Thursday 9:00-9:00, Friday 9:00-8:00, Saturday/Sunday 9:00-5:00, closed Monday.
              Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.


              • #8
                Why does the barn have to have an employee there? Why not set hours that work for the barn that an employee will be there (to fulfill the no one ride alone rule) and have hours past that with no employee but the rule no one rides alone is still applicable so people have to make sure someone else is there. Either coordinate with a riding friend or bring someone.

                (Note, this question is based on a more casual type barn, I understand some barns do not want people there at all without an employee around.)

                I think closing before 9pm on a weeknight makes it pretty impossible for someone who works a full time job to be able to ride very often and not in a rush. Opening at 8:30 makes it pretty impossible to ride before work unless you work a different shift.

                For example: If you work 8am till 5pm (the norm around here), commute home in traffic for 45 minutes. Spend some time with your dog (kids, horses at home, whatever reason you can not easily go right to the barn from work) and change your clothes the earliest you will get to the barn is 6:30PM, and that is really pushing it.


                • #9
                  The only barn I've been at that introduced opening hours it was just one more symptom that the owners should not have been in the boarding business.

                  If I'm hunting or competing I need to collect my horse early and maybe deliver them back late. If I'm changing dressings or whatever I might need to do it at both ends of the day. If I'm riding two horses before or after work it might be a long day.

                  The BO said at one point "How would you feel if I rented your garage off you and was coming in and out of it at all hours?" I said "I've got three horses here. For $x a month you can live in my garage 24/7" and started looking for a new barn.


                  • #10
                    Like the other folks, it sounds too late in the morning and too early in the evening to be very useful for working adults so if that's mostly who the barn caters to, then they might find those working adults finding barns whose schedules mesh better.

                    I'm lucky in that I get to flex my schedule a lot but I'm still often at the barn after 8PM, particularly in the summer when I'm trying to ride when its cooler and it stays light later. And I have actually chosen not to board at barns that have stated hours of operation. If I want to come out and check on my horse at 11pm (I haven't, but I like having the option to, okay)...then I feel like I should be able to do that (within reason, etcetc, and I'd forewarn the BOs if I were going to do it).

                    Of course, I also ride alone a lot too (but my BOs all work full time in addition to boarding so they can't have someone there all the time. They've just asked me to text them when I get on and how long I plan on riding and then again when I get off, just in case.

                    Anyway, I agree with everybody else, basically.
                    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tangledweb View Post
                      If I'm hunting or competing I need to collect my horse early and maybe deliver them back late. If I'm changing dressings or whatever I might need to do it at both ends of the day.
                      I have never been at a barn that had hours that did not make exceptions for these types of things. Clearly leaving for a show happens at strange hours. Having to tend to an injury can not always happen at reasonable hours.


                      • #12
                        I agree that 830am is way too late for most people. Certainly they have staff there earlier to feed?

                        The biggest issue I have with the proposed hours of operation tho is the "no one rides alone" policy. Why and how do they enforce it? I understand if that's for minors only but adults have families, jobs and other responsibilities that interfere enough with their horse time. And, personally, I LIKE my alone time, whether I'm on or off my horse.

                        I don't think the barn I'm at has "official" barn times, the BO/BM ride as early as 6am (it gets HOT in Arkansas in the summer!), lessons start at 7 and, because we have a lighted, indoor I've ridden as late as 830pm. But there's also a sensor somewhere in the driveway that lets her know someone is there so she can check.

                        The proposed hours sound convenient for the owner/manager - not for the boarders. Just my 2 cents


                        • #13
                          If they want to cater to the after-school set, those hours will work nicely. If their boarders are working adults, that won't work, period. So it sounds like the combination of only supervised riding plus ridiculous hours means they want a children's program -- great for them (insert evil grin) and hope they enjoy it.


                          • #14
                            We don't have set morning hours, but you could ride really anytime after 6am. Barn closes at 10pm. No employees there 24/7 (just in the morning and when the horses are brought in), but BO lives on the property & can see if the lights are on - if they were on late, she'd likely swing by to make sure all is well. No rules about riding alone unless you're under 16. No jumping without a trainer until you're 18.

                            I love having it open so late - it means if I have to run errands or whatever after work, I can go home, make supper, relax, and head to the barn around 7/7:30 and still get a ride in.

                            Edit: I'm a boarder. I typically ride after work, so anywhere from 5:30 on. On weekends, I usually ride in the mornings.

                            I didn't add this the first time, but if a horse is injured, the hours don't apply. You are welcome to come and treat your horse/wait for vet/etc.
                            Last edited by Cabaret SK; Jul. 30, 2013, 03:55 PM.


                            • #15
                              I'm intrigued by the replies to this inquiry; would it be possible for those who have already answered to edit their replies to indicate if they are a boarder or BM/BO?

                              OP: can you take a survey of boarders to gather actual data on when people actually use the facility vs. when they theoretically would use it? If there is the occasional (or consistently) early or late rider, perhaps they can speak directly with the BM/BO to make arrangements, but if 99% of the boarders can operate within reasonable hours, it may not be a big deal. Having to incur the expense and scheduling, etc. in case someone might want to ride early/late is different than accommodating 20% of your boarders who have done so for the last several years.

                              My barn's hours are: Daylight Savings Time (Mar-Oct) 8am-9pm, Standard Time (Nov-Mar) 8am-8pm. These are in place due to the village ordinances (and the needs-a-hobby-former-mayor that lives next door that checks to make sure the arena lights were out at the stroke of 8pm, while his barn lights remain on all night long . . .but I digress ) but also due to insurance restrictions. I am interpreting "Nobody rides alone" to mean that an employee is present on the grounds, and aware of your presence in the arena, not necessarily that they are riding with you, or staring at you while you ride....but I might be wrong?

                              Aside from that, this seemed like an odd thing to say:
                              The BO said at one point "How would you feel if I rented your garage off you and was coming in and out of it at all hours?" I said "I've got three horses here. For $x a month you can live in my garage 24/7" and started looking for a new barn.
                              Your job pays you (hopefully) considerably more than you pay to board 3 horses; does that mean they own you 24/7 as well? (Just an inquiry to put the comment in perspective.)

                              I do work full-time, with erratic, unannounced "overtime". I am not in training for showing or competitions (my big goal is not to embarrass myself at the barn's fun show), and (knock on wood) my horse is an easy keeper with no significant health issues/injuries, so I don't have the need to be at my barn outside of normal barn hours. I have the last lesson (7-8pm) of the day, so I do try to hustle at the end of the lesson to get my horse untacked, cooled out and turned out in a respectful timeframe, although BM has stated that the indoor arena lights need to be out, the aisle lights are ok after 8pm.

                              It would also depend on whether the BM/BO lives on the premises or off-site. My BM lives on the property, so she really doesn't have time to herself to do her personal errands (grocery shopping, banking, etc.) until after 9pm. Additionally, BMs are "on" and interacting with people all day; they need downtime just like the rest of us.

                              I also imagine it's disruptive to the routine-and-schedule-loving horses to have lights come flashing on at irregular times.

                              Just a newbie perspective . . .
                              "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
                              soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."

                              Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                              • #16
                                I have 3 horses to work - I cant get to the barn before 7 every night. Where I board there are no hours. I have seen hours before 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. - I have also seen closed on holidays and Mondays - I will not board anywhere that has barn hours or has days they are closed. With multiple horses and a work communte of 45 mins one way and the barn being 30 - 40 mins away not happening.

                                As to not riding when no one is around, that I haven't heard of. I would never be able to ride - I do carry my cell phone in case of emergency and the people that own the barn know when I am there because they can see the parking lot.


                                • #17
                                  I ride as early as 6 am or as late as 9 pm. I really appreciate having a barn with no hours of operation. Boarders are expected to be respectful about noise and turn off lights when they leave.


                                  • #18
                                    I work an hour from the barn and can't get there before 7.
                                    I left a barn a couple years ago, fantastic care, and I worked there, but she would not budge on the hours. It was 9-8 m-s and 10-6 Sunday.

                                    The hours were a major point in me leaving. That was the first question I asked prospective barns, if they had hours and what were they.
                                    My current place has NO hours. Of course, it's set up different. The last place was concerned about gates etc. You had to cross into common gated areas to get your horse. This place, not so much.

                                    BO said "I don't care what time you ride, just shut the lights when you go. Send me a text if you'll be here late, just so we know that it's you".

                                    Works for me.


                                    • #19
                                      Would not put up with those kind of restrictive hours. Those are for the convenience of the barn owner, not the boarders. I don't imagine that would work for most adult amateurs who work.


                                      • #20
                                        The barn I boarded at was 100% adults and the hours were I believe 8-9. Last one shuts off the lights, checks water and hay, closes doors. This was her private property and she didn't want people just showing up at all hours of the day. Only one person made an issue with it, and was accommodated. And these were not iron clad, obviously exceptions were made.