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boarding situation

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  • boarding situation

    How do other barn owners handle situations where a boarded horse does costly damage to the facility ie.$500? Is the owner responsible for the cost of repair or is the farm responsible? Would it be acceptable for the barn to include a clause in the contract that any damage over $50 is the responsibility of the owner?

  • #2
    Everywhere I have boarded included a clause in the contract that if the horse caused damage beyond normal wear and tear, the owner is responsible for the cost.


    • #3
      The place where I board had the owners of the horse pay to replace the mirror when the horses kicked it (however, they weren't very good about enforcing it and ended up just getting rid of the mirrors since the BO couldn't afford to replace it either so now no more mirrors )

      If my horse broke something I wouldn't mind paying to replace it.
      No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
      For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
      www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations


      • #4
        Some farms require a security deposit for just this reason. I believe the last one I paid was 1.5 months board security deposit up front, plus first months board due on arrival. If the farm doesn't ask for such, then the boarding contract should spell out who is responsible and to what degree. If both of these are lacking then the boarder could get slammed with a massive surprise bill for repairs- not a good way to keep a functional business relationship!
        Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


        • #5
          I guess I'm the only one with this opinion, but frankly, I don't understand damages if it isn't under your control.

          As an example, say I take my dog to a boarding kennel, and I pay them to board my dog for the night. Say my dog chews up their expensive kennel bed. Should I have to pay? I would say no. After all, at that time, the dog was under their control. Now obviously, if someone knows their dog bites and doesn't warn the kennel and someone there gets bit, that is a different situation. But I digress. On the other hand, if I rented a hotel room, that is a completely different situation because the dog is still my responsibility. I would pay any damages and fully blame myself.

          Now, say I am riding or lunging or otherwise working with my horse and he damages something. I'd insist on paying. However, if he damaged his stall or a fence when he was being stalled or pastured, then at that time, he's under the barn's control. I can understand that a barn might have to say that they can't board a horse that continues to damage the facility, but if it is just the horse then it is kind of out of the owner's control - and if the owner has full board, then it seems like the horse should be the barn's responsibility unless the owner was there handling the horse. The owner might have to find another place that fits the horse better, but should she really have to pay if she had no control over the situation? (Now, I don't know that I would actually refuse to pay because I'm happy with my boarding situation, but I might just have a different "feel" about it).

          Convince me I'm wrong!


          • #6
            Here is what I do: The first time your horse breaks it I fix it. Every time after you fix it or pay to have it fixed. If that is a problem for you, here is your 30 notice to vacate.
            "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


            • #7
              Originally posted by Casey09 View Post
              I guess I'm the only one with this opinion, but frankly, I don't understand damages if it isn't under your control.

              As an example, say I take my dog to a boarding kennel, and I pay them to board my dog for the night. Say my dog chews up their expensive kennel bed. Should I have to pay? I would say no. After all, at that time, the dog was under their control.
              That's an understandable feeling to have, considering that it's assumed that one of the risks of boarding animals is that they might destroy things.

              However, every place I've ever boarded my dog had some sort of similar "you break it, you buy it" policy in place, and owners were required to agree to those policies before being allowed to board there.


              • #8
                I think that's an understandable policy. That way, after the incident, the boarder can decide:
                a) that it was a freak incident and he/she is willing to take the risk that it will happen again,
                b) that it might happen again, but it cost only $X to fix, and it's worth it,
                c) that the horse has a habit or a tendency, is likely to break it again, and that it would be better to find another situation (say, more turnout or whatever) because the boarder doesn't want to take the risk of having to pay for it.
                You are probably right in that I've never looked at one of those contracts very closely (other than to authorize veterinary care, etc.). And I have a dog who eats blankets, and I always let them know. Not necessarily because I might have to pay $20 for a blanket, but because things might not "move through." Still, though, personally, if I were charging for boarding, I wouldn't feel right about charging for damages the dog did while it was my responsibility.


                • #9
                  Interesting looking at it from several points of view.
                  I have never been asked to pay for damage/repair to anything my horse may have done while boarded. And there is nothing in my contract that says I must, either.
                  BUT I am a responsible horse owner.
                  When my horse breaks anything, I replace it immediately.

                  And it amazes me that my BO never acknowledges it, even if I have to leave a note saying, "I'm picking up replacement boards/snaps/whatever tomorrow to replace what horsie broke."
                  Guess I'm a chump, all the other boarders leave stuff broken for the BO to fix.


                  • #10
                    If it is minimal, we just fix it. If it is significant damage caused by the horse and had nothing to do with what they owner was doing with the horse, then we ask them to cover 1/2. If the owner was doing something careless that caused the horse to do damage, then we ask them to pay for all of the damages.
                    For example: One of my boarders was jumping a green pony. I warned her that I thought the fences were too high for the pony and that he should probably be worked over smaller fences until he learned to pick his feet up because he was constantly hitting/knocking down the rails. He ended up crashing through our picket gate and breaking it. She paid for a new one.
                    Another boarder was using side reins for the first time. I warned her that they were probably too tight for the first time using them and that she should loosed them a little until the horse was used to them. The horse ended up flying backwards and breaking one of our fence posts in half as well as breaking a couple fence boards. She also paid for all of the damages.
                    We have a couple cribbers. Occasionally the fence boards break. Since they are a couple years old, we just replace the boards.
                    Happy Hour-TB
                    Cowboy Casanova - Brandenburg


                    • #11
                      I have some things I provide where I board...like two sets of good cross-ties (I hate the crappy ones the BO provides). Fellow boarders know, you use it-you break it-you replace it.

                      One boarder used the hitching area where I "put" to carriages, his idiot horse broke both ties...he won't replace em'...he's a jerk...I told him, "these are mine, don't use them since you don't respect them". He's a DC cop, not friendly (his daughter is lovely and embarrassed by his behaviour), maybe he's just used to getting his way.
                      "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"