• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

buying a boarding barn...how do I find its previous reputation?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • buying a boarding barn...how do I find its previous reputation?

    We are VERY interested in buying a beautiful boarding barn that is an area that I don't know well. The existing place has been half full for almost 2 years due to failing health of the owner and the place being taken over by non horsey family to sell.
    I don't feel that talking to the existing boarders will get me too far plus if I want them to stay in the future I don't want to come across snarky or gossipy.
    However, I have been in several barns as a boarder and I KNOW the importance of word of mouth in the horsey world.
    The barn has no web site and when I googled the name nothing comes up so I doubt they were very involved in shows around the area or advertised boarding or lessons.

    How can I jump onto the area grapevine and make sure I am not swimming upstream by buying this place? I'd like to think positive too and maybe it has a GREAT reputation but where do I find this out?

    PS: It is the only farm for many miles that has a beautiful indoor area and barn so it is begging for year round activities that I believe will attract good boarders.

  • #2
    In the conditions you describe, you have an excellent opportunity to start over with a clean slate - "Under New Management" does wonders for places sometimes.

    Of course it would be great if the place already has an excellent reputation (although existing customers may then compare you to the previous owner, lol) ... but if it is the only indoor in miles and is still only half full, you've gotta wonder.

    There is a local barn in my area that was purchased a couple of years ago. It was a DUMP with a poor reputation. The new owner spent a fortune and made many improvements - big new outdoor ring, new footing in the indoor, cleared a lot of land for paddocks, and built a very fancy new barn. She got a bunch of customers right away.

    As it turns out, she was a terrible manager and very difficult to deal with (has gone through three trainers in the past two years, with 3-400% turnover in boarders) ... but the facility is nice enough that new people seem to continue to be willing to give it a try.

    So... if the facility is nice and you are a good manager who can make boarders happy, I wouldn't worry too much about the past.

    Good luck!
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


    • #3
      I agree w/Lucassb. It is not the past that matters. Potential new boarders will be interested in how things are run once YOU are in charge. Even if the barn has a great reputation most prospective boarders will want to see how things are run once you are in charge.


      • #4
        Agree with the other posts. Plus if they have never done much marketing, you have the advantage of introducing your place YOUR way with a beautiful web site, maybe have a big open house with door prizes, etc.
        "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


        • #5
          A clean slate is always nice and there are always a lot of reasons for boarding barns not to be full, not always bad.

          I board in NJ, pm me, and I can tell you if I have ever heard of it. Sometimes not hearning anything is good.


          • #6
            If you build it, they will come

            Believe me, if the facility is nice local horse owners will bombard you with requests for tours or stalls when they here you are taking over.

            Don't worry about the past. But do make sure you can afford to run this place up to your standards AND create a board price that your local market will bear.

            More often than not, this is the problem behind boarding barns that fall apart. The owner can't charge what it costs to maintain the facility and fill the stalls. Boarders (a group including me!) often don't know about the hidden costs behind the faboo farm but do watch their bottom line and have only so much to put into the horse's rent. Misunderstandings can abound, as can BOs cutting corners until there's nothing left.

            One more thought: If the barn is built such that it has a mold problem (as in built on wet ground) or a dust problem (as can be the case with a shedrow along an indoor) these "features" can cause respiratory problems in horses or the reputation for producing those. Of the top of my head, this is the only kind of problem that I would treat as something that could not be fixed... at least without lots of time and money.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat


            • #7
              I also agree that the previous reputation isn't so important.

              If the place has a great reputation, then you will always be compared to the previous owners. "Well, so-and-so always did things THIS way." That would drive me nuts.

              If the place has a bad reputation, the phrase "under new management" will give you a fine chance to start fresh.

              I bought a falling down decrepit farm that was the lowest of the low end boarding farms. I had all of the old boarders move out, did a ton of replacing/ renovating and upgrades, and then reopened. I don't think the previous reputation of this place has affected me at all--my fees aren't cheap and I have a wait list. I do get those annoying phone calls from people looking for super-low-end boarding who are then huffy when I tell them my rates, but then doesn't every boarding barn get those?

              In any case, I think you are right to be concerned about the logistics of transferring boarders from another BO to yourself. Maybe you will want to keep things exactly the same, but chances are you will run the barn differently and sometimes people can be resistant to change. When we bought our farm, it was obvious to me that the boarders who were currently on the farm were not compatible with the type of operation I wanted to run. So, although it would have been nice to have some boarding income in that initial phase, I did not want my name attached to that kind of boarding business--I think that would have affected my reputation poorly. As part of our purchase contract, all the boarders had to be off the farm before closing.


              • #8
                I also bought a "fixer-upper barn"

                Which had a lot of DIY boarders in it.

                Over time I have made many changes, built an indoor, divided the pasture up into paddocks, built two new outdoor tings, built a n X-C course etc etc.

                Some of the old boarders did not like what I was doing and left, some left and came back, some did not come back.

                AS the facilities improved others came along who wanted to board. We've been full or almost full most of the time.

                So I wouldn't worry too much about the previous management, if you hear the phase "Taht's not what they did before" just smile and go on your way, if the they don't like it they'll move. And in the end they'll realise that it's your way now.

                Do however check into things like, local laws regarding animals, and whether the place is properly built and whether the land is in good shape or has problems.

                Good Luck. Hope you enjoy your barn as much as I enjoy mine.
                Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                New edition of book is out:
                Horse Nutrition Handbook.



                • #9
                  If you want to know, you could ask in local feed stores and vet clinics, saying you heard that place was for sale.
                  Let people answer you and generally they will offer information, if they know it and what they know about it.


                  • #10
                    And do check with planning and zoning etc. to make sure it is all legal. You'd be surprised what people build without permits or contrary to covenants. You don't want to invest if there could be a problem there. Check taxes and current senior/veterans/agricultural exemptions; see if you get the same break or not. Lookout for impact fees and lump sum retroactive taxes on some farms. Visit other barns and find out what they charge. If it looks too good to be true....
                    Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014