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Boarder supplying feed & handling monthly board

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  • Boarder supplying feed & handling monthly board

    If a boarder decides to supply their own grain, how should monthly board be handled? Should a set amount be deducted from board (example: $50) or should the actual cost of the monthly grain be deducted from board (example: $80)?

    This is assuming that it is not uncommon for boarders at the barn to supply their own grain, the feed is pre-made, and feed not pre-made is stored at the boarder's house.
    Last edited by mydogs; Apr. 14, 2017, 09:02 AM.

  • #2
    In my world there is no discount for supplying your own grain. The boarder should pay the full amount.

    Them providing their own grain is a hassle for the barn owner. The barn owner has to provide a storage space. Make extra trips back to the feed room. Make sure Dobbin gets that special grain. make sure the owner has grain on hand at all times (including having to ask them six times to get more and then going a week with out any).

    If I had to pick from one of your options I would say a set amount of reduction.

    Edit to add - Not a barn owner (that has boarders, horses currently at home), I had been a boarder for a very long time. I have been the feeder.


    • #3
      I have been at barns that do not discount for a boarder buying their own grain.
      Some barns do, some barns don't.

      The ones I've seen usually only discount a small amount, around $50 or something. It would not make sense to discount the amount the boarder is spending on grain, as that may far exceed what you budgeted for grain, and thus cause you to lose money or not have as much of a profit off their stall. A boarder supplying their own grain is a convenience to them, not you.

      I personally think it is fair (for both sides) to discount around the amount you have budgeted in your board fee for grain for one horse, minus a little bit for the added work of storing and maintaining their grain separately of the rest. For instance, my board rate is budgeted to include up to 10 pounds per day of the grain I feed. Six bags per month is $125 for my grain, so I might discount around $75 at most for someone who wants to bring their own.
      Last edited by mmeqcenter; Apr. 15, 2017, 10:24 PM.
      "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM



      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
        For instance, my board rate is budgeted to include up to 10 pounds per day of the grain I feed. Six bags per month is $125 for my grain, so I might discount around $75 at most for someone who wants to bring their own.
        Assuming the owner doesn't supply their own grain, what do you do if a horse needs to be fed more than you budgeted (ie: bigger horse, needs more weight, needs more calories, etc...)? Do you increase the owner's board rate?


        • #5
          I've never full boarded but I've worked at plenty of full care barns. I've never seen one discount for bringing your own feed because it's a PIA for the barn staff. One barn I worked at had one horse whose owner required a very specific kind of feed (but not for any medical reason or any actual important reason). Once a month I drove about a 3 hr round trip to get that special feed because no where closer carried it. We then charged her for the feed on top of not lowering the board price.
          On the other question, I've also never been at a barn that charged more for more feed.
          I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
          If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus


          • #6
            If I were a boarder looking for a barn, among many things, I'd look in the feed room to see how many different feeds and supplements are there. If it looked like a feed store or medicine cabinet, I'd have reservations regarding their level of expertise. If I'm going to pay someone to care for my horse, my expectation level is that they should know more about feeding horses than me...not just how to organize and open different bags of feed.

            IMO, too many boarding barns exist only because the BO has more stalls than personal horses.

            As a barn owner, I'd be embarrassed (for lack of a better term) if a boarder thought so little of my knowledge of equine nutrition and how the horses in my care looked, they felt the need to bring their own feed.
            "It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races."

            Mark Twain


            • #7
              If I were a boarder, I would NOT expect my board to be discounted if I wanted to feed my horse a certain feed. Nor would I expect the barn to buy a special feed for my horse.

              As far as what should happen if your horse needs more hay calories than is "allotted" .... I think that depends on a few things and would depend on the situation.
              It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


              • #8
                IME, most barns end up providing a few kinds of grain with a cap on the amount. Some allow boarders to buy their own and usually require prepackaging like supplements. Usually there is no discount. Horses who require more grain may be charged more. (More often the owner finds that Dobbin didn't need that much if the barn feeds quality hay) I found more flexibility with smaller barns where the BO is the one doing the feeding, but even there some have gotten burned with boarder demands - so they may agree to order another type of grain from their supplier, but few will discount or make special arrangements.
                There are some places that offer "semi-rough" board in which the horse owner provides the feed.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mydogs View Post

                  Assuming the owner doesn't supply their own grain, what do you do if a horse needs to be fed more than you budgeted (ie: bigger horse, needs more weight, needs more calories, etc...)? Do you increase the owner's board rate?
                  If it is a small amount, usually, the BO doesn't mind going over budget for 1 horse or so. Some horses in the barn might eat less/more and all even out at the end.

                  Horses that don't get grain don't usually get a discount either.

                  If the horse needs like double feeding, then yes, the HO would be charge extra.

                  What I've done to avoid those extra charge was to provide my own extra grain/supplement. (and gave it myself)
                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                  HORSING mobile training app


                  • #10
                    All but one of the barns I've been at require the owner to provide their own feed. The one that didn't allowed boarders to bring their own for a small discount. Not enough to cover the feed costs the board is getting , but still a small one.

                    At my current barn EVERYONE feeds something different and I can guarantee you I am the only one there who has actually researched/knows anything about feed aside from "It has 12% protein and 8% fat."
                    Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                    I am pro-Slaughter


                    • #11
                      I would not expect a discount on board, but I do consider it a significant bonus if a barn will allow owner-provided feed. It isn't that I think that I know more than the barn owner, but just like with dogs I enjoy researching nutrition and working with a DVM to determine the optimal diet for my animals. I suppose it is a control freak thing!


                      • #12
                        Everytime I think about boarding a horse or two on my farm, I am reminded of all the issues involved, and decide not to. If it were me, no discount for owner-provided feed. As others have said, storing it and the extra effort involved cancels out any savings. Boarders seem to think it is all about feeding. Feeding is such a small part of it.
                        Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                        • #13
                          Why would a barn that does not include any grain at all in their board rate discount the board for an owner bringing their own grain? That doesn't make sense.

                          If a barn does provide a particular grain or choice of two and the boarder wants to bring something else? I don't get why thats a reduction either. That's, like, a real teeny, tiny part of the monthly cost per stall the board is based on. Its like bringing your dog to the groomer with a prescription shampoo expecting a discount on the bathing, blow out, trim, nail clipping and keeping the dog until it's convenient for you to pick it up.

                          OPs example cites bringing their own grain from home but most expect the barn to store and feed it while remembering not to feed their regular, included ration to certain horses. If anything remembering not to feed the included ration to certain horses is worth a surcharge, not a discount. Not unheard of for horses to double dip getting barn ration plus owner provided and fed ration unless the owner is there to feed it at the regular feeding time, especially if there's no medical reason for owner provided feed.

                          Pick a boarding barn based on what they currently provide and spell out in the contract, not on assuming you can customize their services. With or without a discount.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mydogs View Post
                            If a boarder decides to supply their own grain, how should monthly board be handled? Should a set amount be deducted from board (example: $50) or should the actual cost of the monthly grain be deducted from board (example: $80)?

                            This is assuming that it is not uncommon for boarders at the barn to supply their own grain, the feed is pre-made, and feed not pre-made is stored at the boarder's house.
                            With the information added after I posted (the second paragraph), I still think there is no reason for a deduction. It is still a headache and a hassle for the barn.


                            • #15
                              I board where EVERYONE buys their own grain. The feed room has cans lining the walls. The boarder provides the can, too. If you get low, the barn sends a text. If you run out, your horse goes hungry. I cannot imagine a barn where EVERY horse eats the same type of grain. My old guy had to switch to senior feed, and my younger guy is on ration balancer. The barn help prefills buckets for the next feeding, and they stack the buckets into a cart and just dump the buckets in the correct feeders. Then the buckets are made up for the next feeding. the top bucket is left empty to keep the rodents out.


                              • #16
                                This is, as most things horse, another situation where it entirely depends.

                                But I think it is a good idea, and one I do see, to be very clear about HOW MUCH grain the barn will provide. IE in your boarding agreement "barn will provide up to x lbs of y feed".

                                That way it is clear up front and owners know how much feed the barn will provide without additional costs.
                                Let me apologize in advance.


                                • #17
                                  I don't allow for self-care as I have seen too many instances where owners "forget" to keep feed on hand, decide that borrowing is fine, find feeding daily is inconvenient and want to take up my feed room with 7 different supplements. I offer a limited range of feed. I understand that some boarders want to be involved in the care and have control. That is fine with me and my farm is not a good choice for them as a boarding facility. As a BO, it is important to figure out the system that works for you and then find boarders who are fine with that system.
                                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                  • #18
                                    I supply my own and do not get a discount. I just don't love the barn's options for my horse. I don't expect to get a discount either. If I got one, that would be nice.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mydogs View Post

                                      Assuming the owner doesn't supply their own grain, what do you do if a horse needs to be fed more than you budgeted (ie: bigger horse, needs more weight, needs more calories, etc...)? Do you increase the owner's board rate?
                                      Yes, more than 10 lbs per day would be billed at cost. 10 lbs per day is a lot, IME "most" horses are usually in the realm of 6 lbs or so, and 10 lbs is what my 16.2-17hh super hard-keeper thoroughbreds get on average. That's what I based it around.
                                      "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM



                                      • #20
                                        My barn provides oats, and if you'd like something different you provide it yourself. No discount on board, nor do I think there should be. I've been on both sides of this debate as a BM and a boarder, and I would never ask for a discount for bringing my own grain. I live in a pretty inexpensive area and if I asked my BO to discount my horse's monthly Ultium from my board bill she would probably kick me out .
                                        I love my Econo-Nag!