What to charge for walking colicky horse? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 153 Old 10-24-2011, 10:34 PM
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Starline, I don't think you're an awful BO at all. Here's how I handle emergency things that come up. If you (the owner) caused it with neglect and ESPECIALLY if you want to be a cheap B*stard about it, I charge out the wazoo to make sure it hurts you plenty.

For instance when I lived in Tucson I had a boarder who took his mare and gelding out and rode them until they were dripping and would come back home and turn them loose and not cool them out, rinse them off, make sure they drank, NOTHING. This is NOT the way I approve of taking care of horses and I let him know about it more than once. Every time this man rode, I was standing there to be his Juan and take his horses off to walk them out and rinse them down and make sure they got a good drink as they cooled out. He didn't pay a DIME for that service on top of his board, never even said thank you, but I felt for his horses. Well, his mare was a sweet little thing and older, I think 21 or so. One day I noticed she was off her feed and checked her water and she wasn't drinking either. I called him, got permission to call the vet and called the most expensive vet in the area. He was also the best, least nonsense about him vet in the area. The owner showed up talked about putting down a perfectly good mare that HE dehydrated **** near to death (it was August and 115 frickin degrees out) so that he wouldn't have to pay to hospitalize her. I talked to the vet and got him to give me the IV solutions and meds and hook me up with everything she needed. I then set myself up a cot and slept in front of that mare's stall and changed her IV's, gave her the electrolytes and meds to rehydrate her and get her going again for 1 solid week. She'd probably have only needed to be in an air conditioned vet hospital for a couple of days but out in my mare motel, no AC, no misters etc, she needed constant attention and monitoring. TRUST me, that man got a WHOPPER of a bill at the end of the month for the extensive nursing care that little mare needed. And the vet cut him no slack either. She came back and was ok but I really watched her close after that. By the way, he never visited her once during the illness, only after she was ridable again. Yep, I made THAT bill HURT.

Now, someone who makes a mistake or out of not knowing or their horse just gets sick, I don't charge for the initial care. If I haul the horse to the vet, or if I have to change bandages or give meds a few times/day for a while if the owner cannot get out to do it or doesn't feel competent, then I charge. If I had a colicky horse and the owner said, call the vet and call me again if it's that bad and they didn't want to respond, it's THEIR horse and THEIR responsibility. At that point, I go on the clock and I'm not cheap.

If the horse gets hurt on my fencing, then I look at my fencing and try to figure out what I can change so it doesn't happen again, but I don't charge to hold the horse for the vet. The first time the horse nailed me in the nose with his head would be the last day I tried to deworm him with a paste tube, I'd put the wormer in his food and eat it or not or deworm him yourself. My personal horses are not difficult like that and if I'm not being paid to train as well as deworm, it's your (the owner's) problem if he's a problem child.

If he's difficult during lessons and your assistant runs the risk of being injured by him, I'd find another horse for my lesson program and the owner could pay full board. I guarantee you, if your assitant hurt that horse Pookie would become a Million Dollar Baby, and if Pookie hurt your assistant, it would be your liability not the owner's. Just my years of sometimes painful experience talking here.

As far as walking a horse with colic, I don't. My vet says that unless they are literally thrashing, let them lay down and be quiet, it's better for them. If thrashing then he says to tranq them if possible, if not, load 'em up in the trailer and get them to the hospital. (I'm only 10 mins from the vet hospital, it's cheaper to pay me to haul them there for $50 round trip than the farm call from the vet $65.)
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post #32 of 153 Old 10-24-2011, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Location: North Texas
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You guys are more than welcome to take a look at my website. I have a FAQ page for what stall boarding and pasture boarding includes, I have a Boarding Intro Packet with our general horse care philosophy, a price sheet, rules, boarding agreement, liability agreement, FAQ's... I also have a separate boarding agreement available to download. I also do a monthly e-newsletter to keep everyone informed at the barn.. rule changes.. upcoming events.. get feed back. Is there anything else I should be doing?

For this particular boarder, the last time I had to hold her horse for the vet (for 3+ hours until 12:30 at night) I told her that since it wasn't on the price list or discussed in detail I wouldn't charge her that time, but will in the future. My boarders already know I reserve the right to charge a hold fee for just one horse or for a naughty one. Multiples I won't. With all of that said, when you're sitting down to type out a price list or boarding agreement there is no possible way you can account for every situation. I started out with like 5 barn rules now I have 20. Sometimes you just have to handle things as they come.

To all of those that say "Do it out of the kindness of your heart, and they'll do the same for you" I really, really wish this were the case. I have one or two boarders out of 20 that would. This particular boarder I really like as a person, and she is a vet tech or use to be that is going back to school, but she hasn't been out to the barn in like 4 months.. she's just not in the position to do me any favors.

Franknbeans (still love that screen name!!) it makes perfect business sense to go pick up new boarders especially when they have two horses only 20 minutes away. ;o) I advertise this too up to a certain distance. I will certainly go pick up people that want to give me money lol.

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post #33 of 153 Old 10-24-2011, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by starlinestables View Post
Franknbeans (still love that screen name!!) it makes perfect business sense to go pick up new boarders especially when they have two horses only 20 minutes away. ;o) I advertise this too up to a certain distance. I will certainly go pick up people that want to give me money lol.
I too, will gladly go haul horses for my clients, but I have a minimum $50 hauling charge for short runs (Like to the vet and back) and I charge $2.25/loaded mile for long hauls. (I just went down to TX and hauled 3 horses up to US Nationals in Tulsa and will be hauling them back down to TX when Nationals is over. In that case I split the charge 3 ways, so .75/mi/horse.) I'll shortly be heading out to NM to pick up a boarder and bring her back to OK. She's going to pay $2.25/mi for one horse unless I can find another that needs to come this way. Dead heading out to NM will cost me but I'll make it up in good will if I can't find a horse or 2 that needs to go to NM.

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post #34 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Dreamcatcher- Everything you've said I've done too.. Take care of horses when their ******ed owners didn't.. multiple multiple times. Sometimes I feel like I could write a book. As for that guy that rode the crap out of their horse and didn't do any after care, after the 3rd time he did it I would've said I'm charging you next time via my standard of care agreement, this is why I feel its necessary and if you don't like it, I'll consider this your notice and continue you to charge you for the after care of your horse.

The vet colic thing that you and another poster mentioned about not walking ect...I completely agree with you and is usually how I do it BUT, he laid down in his stall and tried to roll and got cast up against the stall door and luckily I was able to get out and up. Didn't have tranq on hand.. Just banamine.

On ordinary wounds (and this is in my contract) I will clean and treat the first time, notify you and then you are responsible for further treatment. If a wound needs treatment and you don't provide it, I'll do it an charge you for it anyway. Most of my policies are excusable with a vet note, so if a vet says it doesn't need it then I won't worry about it. So in a case of stitches, I will bring the horse up and hose the wound out, take pictures and txt them to the vet and the owner. Call the vet and then call the owner to confirm. If a wound is bleeding heavily I will apply a pressure wrap. During regular business hours, I would put the horse in a stall or leave in the cross ties until the vet gets there and go about my business. For suspected colic, I bring the horse in, take its vitals, I call and txt the owner twice before I give iv meds. To me, usual protocol means NOT WALKING the horse as others have stated.. I consider walking an extra. Obviously this varies a bit on the situation. After 8pm I charge a holding fee per hour. Also in my boarding agreement, I have multiple sections regarding vet care and how far they are willing to let me go to treat a horse. Because I'm well versed in horse care, first aid and have several medications on hand I'm usually able to save boarders money on vet calls and procedures like IV shots, eye stains, flushing tear ducts, flexion tests, hoof testing, hoof abscesses, ect.. With regards to the horse yesterday, I saved her another vet call and of course the cost of the vet administering the same medications I already have.

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post #35 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 08:15 AM
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If it was my horse and you didn't walk him but left him to roll around hand hurt himself more, I would leave your barn and you would never get another dime of my money. Boarders trust you with the care of their animals and their well being should be your number one concern. If I was the person with the lesson scheduled and you gave me a lesson instead of caring for the horse I would have also been upset. In fact I would not be willing to ride if a collicing horse was left unattended because of it. Money is important in this economy. Thats fine. But if your not going to care for a sick horse, you will soon find yourself with boarders leaving, and how much money will you make from them then?

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post #36 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by starlinestables View Post
Dreamcatcher- Everything you've said I've done too.. Take care of horses when their ******ed owners didn't.. multiple multiple times. Sometimes I feel like I could write a book.

That's your job! That is why they pay you!

In the past I have thought that I would not board with you (you are not in my area so it is not an issue) but you went through a stage a while ago of wanting to nickle and dime your boarders while sharing stories about them. You have been better lately and not done this, however your latest statement '******ed boarders' puts me right back.

Originally Posted by starlinestables View Post
The horse... not so much. We use him in our lesson program (for a discount on board) but he is always doing something asinine. He's ripped down our fence (including 2 cemented in pipe stretcher posts) 3 times. He has random bouts of head shyness and the next thing you know you have a bloody nose because he whacks you in the face. He also ran over my assistant while trying to chase off another horse. Deworming him isn't pleasant either.. imagine running backwards, rearing ect... A few months ago he managed to cut his face and needed stitches. I was there till 12:30 at night (owner was not) and didn't charge her. He generally doesn't appreciate needles or stuff being sprayed on his wounds. So I have to ask myself, when is enough, enough?
This is totally irrelevant to the colic situation. You cannot hold a grudge against the horse because it gets ill.
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post #37 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 09:18 AM
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Starline, I think you should get completely out of the boarding business.

From this thread and your many previous posts, I get the feeling that you despise your boarders, consider the horses a bother, and are in it only to squeeze as much money as you can out of people.

I suggest you raze your barn and set up a commuter parking lot. That way, you can make money and won't have to bother with people or their annoying animals. After all, vehicles don't need any personal attention, just a parking space.

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post #38 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 10:48 AM
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I only read the first page before typing my response. Just want to say I don't think you should charge anything. If you reschedule the lesson you don't loose the money. People are paying you to care for their horses and they are trusting you with them. To many people it's like daycare for their children. They expect their children to be cared for and the booboos to be kissed away.

I don't like the idea of you charging to walk a horse for one hour. That's my opinion. What would have done had she said she couldn't make it out there until the next day or later in the evening? People board for the convenience of knowing their animal will be cared for.

Would you have refused to help the horse? Not called a vet? That would have been negligent in my opinion.....

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post #39 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 10:54 AM
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Say you were a boarding, and your had a job where you couldn't come out in a moments notice, or you lived far away or were on vacation wouldn't you want someone you trust to take care of your horse and not nickle and dime you for something that you couldn't have prevented. some horses tend to be accident and colic prone and we should not punish the horse owner because of it.

There are just somethings you should do out of the goodness of your heart.
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post #40 of 153 Old 10-25-2011, 02:17 PM
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I have to say, that I would pack up and move out of a facility, if it were ran the way you run things Starline. One of the biggest issues I have, is that you post frequently on an open forum, about your boarders and issues.

I would fire you so quickly if I found out you were talking about myself, my horse, or friends of mine, on the internet. Very unprofessional.

Secondly, there should be no charge for walking a horse who is colicing. Using the excuse that you had to do everything by yourself and build everything from the ground up yourself, is not an excuse at all. You CHOSE to do this, you DECIDED to fork out your money to establish a facility, that you can run/own and make money off of. YOUR choice.

I board at a very large barn, with 2 barns full, and pasture board full. This place has 40+ horses, and do you think the BO charges to walk a colicy horse? No. She doesn't even charge to soak a boarders horses feet, who has abcesses.

She is always full, the facility has a fabulous reputation and is very well known, because of how professional she is, her responsibility, and she doesn't rip off her clients.

She is appreciated, well liked and well known. It isn't because I am lucky to be at a place like this, it is because that is how things are done. Where in your case, it is unfortunate that boarders end up in pradicaments such as being a boarder at your facility.

I think you need to rethink how you run things, and charge your boarders. Maybe the reason why you have so many issues, isn't because of your boarders - but maybe it's you?

I don't know, but I'll repeat myself - I am very glad, I don't board at your place.

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