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Operating a Boarding Stable

This is a discussion on Operating a Boarding Stable within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Pay scale for mucking stalls

 
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    05-19-2009, 01:00 PM
  #21
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipple    
I would listen to wishes, not to say I would grant them. If the boarders wanted something done, and most boarders agreed on it, then ok. If I had to raise prices to do it and they agreed, then ok. Otherwise, I'm not a genie.

Mls, do you have any suggestions for rules? Something coming from a BOs point of view on how to make it all a bit easier to manage?
I can honestly say if you elect to listen to 'wishes' you will regret it. The latest 'wish' I had from two boarders was to have the entire indoor arena to themselves from 6-9 one night a week. So if they got their wish, that would mean I have to allow the remaining 15 boarders the same option. Not at all feasible. Those people came in thinking they would be able to talk me into changing. Didn't work that way.

You will not be able to please every one. Things will evolve and change as the business gets older and then some rules make change. We've had to add some and we have some removed in the last 15 years. Most are 'duh' but you would be surprised if it's not in writing, people 'assume'.

We have rules about barn hours, helmets for under 18, cleaning up, feeding, no using another persons horse or tack without permission, visitors, stallions, payment, etc.
     
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    05-19-2009, 01:15 PM
  #22
Trained
Aisles between pastures/paddocks are also useful for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. I think they would be handy for exercise too? Kinda like man made trails? I don't really know though, I've never boarded. Also, this is just me. I think it would be somewhat handy to have some sort of area where you are able to quarantine or separate sick horses... not just in the end stall of the aisle.
     
    05-19-2009, 04:39 PM
  #23
Foal
As far as "electing to listen to wishes goes" if you don't listen to what people have to say they will become unhappy and leave. You are trying to provide a service and for that you need customers. If you treat your customers like they are always wrong you will not run an efficient or effective business. I didn't say "obey" the boarders wishes, I merely said listen to them. I don't know MLS but from what I have heard here I would not board my horses with them. Communication solves alot of would be problems.
     
    05-19-2009, 05:24 PM
  #24
Yearling
Listening to wishes does not mean granting them. I would not allow boarders to take over an arena like that. Everyone else is paying just the same, and deserve the same respect and courtesy as fellow boarders. So it's not an issue.
     
    05-19-2009, 08:55 PM
  #25
Trained
A lot of these posts have touched on probably the biggest 'need' that you will have...not the knowledge of how to board horses, the facility, or even how to run a business, but the skill of how to handle horse owners. Luckily, we don't board our mares, but all my riding buddies have to, and here are a few observations from all the hours that I've spent at the stables where they board...

1 - Everyone believes they are a horse expert, qualified to give advice to anyone on anything horse related.
2 - People love their horses more than anything, often including their kids and spouses, and expect the same from the BO/BM.
3 - Their horse can do no wrong.
4 - They want a 'top of the line' service, but aren't willing to pay for it (labor is cheap, isn't it?).
5 - No one is ever completely happy.

Good luck with your dream (sincerely). Working with horses is a real pleasure, but the horse business is full of headaches and tough to make $$s in.
     
    05-20-2009, 12:28 AM
  #26
Yearling
Haha, its a good thing I enjoy the horses too much to get into anything for the money. I figured from the start not too many people in the business make much. But I really enjoy the horse care stuff, riding comes second for sure. So this is why I chose horse boarding.
I am interested in trying to keep it a very mature barn, I don't want the cliques and snobbishness. Well, at least keep it to a minimum. I also want to try to do some rescue work, or even do something for underprivileged people. Riding/lessons are expensive, and if not for a good friend of mine I would not be taking lessons for many more years. So I want as many people as possible to have the chance. It's just so therapeutic. Gosh, I find even mucking stalls very therapeutic!

Does anyone have a facility in mind that they just really love the layout of?
     
    05-20-2009, 10:35 AM
  #27
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
Aisles between pastures/paddocks are also useful for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. I think they would be handy for exercise too? Kinda like man made trails? I don't really know though, I've never boarded. Also, this is just me. I think it would be somewhat handy to have some sort of area where you are able to quarantine or separate sick horses... not just in the end stall of the aisle.
These are good points. Being able to excercise over a large property without having to open/ close glates would be handy. You wouldnt need them between every paddock tho. Maybe two or 3 that meet up with a boundary aisle, or aisles that meet up with trail entrences.

Quarantine is another one of those things that depend on what direction you want to go with your facility and how large you want to make it. I ended up deciding that because I only want a very small operation, it wouldnt be feasible. But it might be benificial if you want to take in rescues. Having a large number of different horses, especially if coming from less than ideal conditions, increases the risk of disease and parasites entering your property.


I attatched a quick drawing of what I am thinking of doing eventually. Just a very small operation offering pasture board with shelter access. Obviously the pastures would be larger, with the fencing running all the way out to the property boundary.
It is also just a work in progress and so subject to change. Also not to scale.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg facility.jpg (20.0 KB, 85 views)
     
    05-20-2009, 01:06 PM
  #28
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racker    
As far as "electing to listen to wishes goes" if you don't listen to what people have to say they will become unhappy and leave. You are trying to provide a service and for that you need customers. If you treat your customers like they are always wrong you will not run an efficient or effective business. I didn't say "obey" the boarders wishes, I merely said listen to them. I don't know MLS but from what I have heard here I would not board my horses with them. Communication solves alot of would be problems.
Who said we don't listen? If you read what I posted - THEY wanted the arena one night a week - I said not possible. They knew when they interviewed that the arena is never closed. One flat out said she thought she could get me to change my mind. In other words she wanted me to make 15 (17 if you count my husband and myself) unhappy so two could be happy.

Again - if you read what I wrote - our rules have changed and evolved over the years as the need changed.

Boarding is a people business. Very little of it has to do with horses.
     
    05-20-2009, 05:02 PM
  #29
Yearling
Mls, all we are saying is that listening, and granting wishes are two different things. Listening is not an issue, granting everyones wishes would not be good though. I plan on listening, but not necessarily granting.
It sounds to me like you are willing to listen, but are not going to make others unhappy just to make one person happy. That makes sense, and I'm sure we can all agree on that point.
     
    05-21-2009, 02:42 AM
  #30
Foal
Contracts.....Boarding agreements in WRITTING!!!
This will protect you and your boarders. Make sure EVERYTHING is on paper. Rules, hours, payment dates, feed times, cleaning times, property bounderies, etc, etc. Protects everyone and covers your butt. This will also raise the level of RESPECT they have for your property and business.
Just remember, you don't have to be nasty with people to run a business. You just have to be ahead of the problems before they arise...AKA...PAPERWORK!!
     

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