How much to charge? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
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How much to charge?

Sunday night I was feeding our pasture boarded horses at approximately 8pm. I noticed a gelding took a nice chunk out of his face. I brought him up, rinsed it out and cleaned it with a Nolvason solution and txted the owner a picture and to get the ok to call the vet. Our regular vet was out of town and had to call an emergency service.

Long story short, I was there till after midnight. The vet was extremely thorough and put a million knots in each of the 15 sutures. The horse wasn't exactly cooperative and had to be sedated 3 or 4 times and of course I had to hold him and a flash light for 2 hours for a total of 3.5-4 hours from start to finish. I don't mind doing this at all other than my toddler didn't make it to bed till almost 1am (that little stinker!) but I'm not sure what to charge for my time. I feel horrible that this has already cost her a small fortune and normally don't charge a hold fee during regular business hours.

I've been lucky that most incidences we've had have been during the day except for one where the horse passed away (strangulating lipoma sp?) and I wasn't about to charge her for her horse dieing..I'm hoping to find an industry average here... thanks for your help!

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post #2 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 01:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Maybe this is just me but I'm going to say if you do not already have a fee listed in your boarding contract that pertains to holding a horse for the vet after your normal business hours, you cannot spring that fee on your boarder after something happens. I understand you wanting some compensation but nobody appreciates hidden fees. Maybe let it go this time and post a bulliten with a price for the future?
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 01:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Hmmm, that's a hard one.....
You don't want to take advantage of a bad situation, and you don't want to feel taken advantage of either.

Are you very close with the horse owner? Maybe they'd repay you with a nice dinner out?

Otherwise you need to decide what your time is worth.
$10 an hour, $15?
Also take into account it turned into a very late night emergency.
I think most people who board still understand your personal time is yours, and you should be compensated.

I guess if it is some one you know fairly well, you could discuss what is fair between the two of you?

Sorry if I am not much help here, just tossing out some ideas....

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post #4 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: pa
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HI! Ive been looking around and the going rate for hold around here(Pa) is 5.00 holding fee,then a 1.00 an hour for every hour after the intital hour the appointment takes.Ive seen nothing about after hours though...If you dont mind me asking ,Why didnt the boarder come after he/she was notified the horse needed a vet?If you have nothing in your contract, id eat this one and change the contract to include after hours holding charges. Best of luck! DW
Board FeesBarn Board:$350Pasture Board:$200 with a 3lb. grain per day max.Recovery/Layup Board:Base fee $375, plus fees for servicesLesson, Coaching & Training FeesExercise Ride/ Exercise Lunge:$10.00Training Ride/ Training Lunge:$20.001/2 hr Private Lesson:$20.00Hour Private:$30.001/2 hr. Semi-private:$15.00Hour Semi-private:$20.00Coaching at Show:$30.00Day Lease of School Horse for Show:$25.00
Other Service FeesWound Cleaning & Dressing:$2.00 per timeLeg Wraps:2 legs = $2.00, 4 legs = $3.00Injections (SubQ and IM only):$2.00Applying Meds provided by Owner (eyes, orally):$1.00/day (incl. 2 X day)Administering wormer provided by Owner:$2.00Meeting the vet/farrier/etc. (in emergency or if horse not on farm schedule):$10.00*Trailering General:$0.50/mile + $20.00/hourTrailering to Show (that HHF is attending w/empty spot):$30Clipping whiskers/bridle path/ankles:$15.00Clipping Trace clip:$30.00Clipping Blanket clip:$40.00Clipping Body clip:$50.00Clipping Ears:$15.00Braiding Eventer Style:$35.00 (sleazy hood recommended)Braiding Hunter Style:$50.00 (sleazy hood recommended)Mane Pulling:$25.00Mane Trimming:$15.00Handwalking:$5.00/20 minsCold Therapy wraps:$5.00Cold Hosing:$5.00/20 minsBasic Grooming:$3.00

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post #5 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 05:59 AM
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Whoops...didnt mean to post my whole services thing......

Angels do exist,but since they sometimes dont have wings,we call them FRIENDS.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 06:45 AM
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I still think you should charge for this service, depending on the conversation you had with the boarder when you texted her and let her know about the injury. If you said something like "That's okay, I'm already here and I can handle it" ....the boarder may have reasonably assumed the service was free. If you said nothing of the kind, and the boarder *asked* you to handle the horse for the vet and take care of it, I think you should charge a reasonable fee.

I would start the clock at when the vet actually showed up, I would not charge for waiting time, even considering it's after hours. If you normally charge a fee for handling for vet or farrier, I would let that fee cover the first hour, and then figure out an hourly rate for your time after that. $50. in total seems to be totally reasonable to me.

If this is a boarder that you have a good relationship with, explain the situation to her and ask her what she thinks is fair.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario
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(Note to self.. Never run a boarding barn! lol)

Wow, sorry you had such a long night!
I think I would have to agree with Zeke on this one. If you didn't have prior notice about hidden fees, then maybe you should just eat this one.
But you are certainly within your rights to now change your policy.. with due notice.
If I were the boarder, I would have done everything in my power to try to be there, but sometimes we can't, which is why we board.
Hopefully this boarder appreciates what you have done. If I were them I would be buying you a gift card or something at least, but that is just me.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 02:44 PM
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If you charged me for this, I would be moving my horses. It can be hell being the one who is the BO but that is why I pay board. I don't live there and can not be there 24/7
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by WickedNag View Post
If you charged me for this, I would be moving my horses. It can be hell being the one who is the BO but that is why I pay board. I don't live there and can not be there 24/7
No one would expect you to be there 24/7 but you should go if called and your horse is injured. You pay board for a roof, feed and cleaning not for a nurse.
This would not even be an issue with most people because they would have been there for thier horse.
I would like to know the circumstances on why the owner wasn't there before I render an opinion.
If they were being lazy I would charge them 10.00 per hour

Last edited by churumbeque; 02-16-2011 at 03:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-16-2011, 04:24 PM
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I would expect to pay the amount that is in my boarding contract. As you are asking, I assume that there is nothing in the contract about this, so I would not (as a boarder) expect to pay anything.

I pay for full service field board, therefore I would not expect to pay anything. I would give her something, maybe money, flowers or a gift certificate for dinner or something, but that is only because she is a good friend and she is wonderful with my horse.
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