$1000+ a month isn't unusual for board here - you pay a price to keep a horse in the city. Most of these barns make around $1500 or less per month in profit after what it costs to run them.
I guess I'm confused 66Domino, the operation you describe sounds like a racket that shouldn't be in business, but that shouldn't lead you to assume that all BOs are pulling the wool over your eyes when it comes to pricing, nor should it impact the respect they deserve.
I would never expect boarders paying for full care to do barn work. Expectations vary depending on the boarding agreement, but the norm here is to clean up after yourself in cross ties or lounge areas and close gates behind you, etc. There are boarders who don't clean up after themselves, and they won't be booted out of the barn for it but it is quite rude and disrespectful. Mucking, feeding, and sweeping aisles is the BO/barn staff's job, and not something I'd expect or even WANT boarders doing.
The "we pay you to do these things" perspective does wear on me - boarders pay for the services outlined in the boarding agreement. If a boarder is polite and enjoyable to work with, the BO and staff may be willing to do more. If a boarder is rude and prefers educate the BO and staff on what they are paying for (especially those that like to decide for themselves what their board cheque entitles them to), they will likely get what is in their boarding agreement, period.
In the end, you catch more flies with sugar. That goes both ways. Like I said, a well run barn is in demand and is in a better position to call the shots. A poorly run barn is just that - poorly run, so don't board there!
Gremmy, wish you had a place here, I'd be asking if you had open stalls. It isn't the money (although we run our business conservatively), it's the honesty factor. Don't tell me someone is on the property 24/7 and infer the horse is safe and secure when that person is a drunk and only rents the house. Don't tell me the board is one amount and when my horse is in transport raise your rate $150. Don't tell me my horse damaged your fencing when, in effect, your electric fencing was not operational and connected and end posts with bailing twine. Guess what fries my fritters is people disguising a shoddily run facility with a fancy gate and a Mercedes in the drive.
Please don't think I don't know a well run facility. Prior to relocation we were at a 125 horse, 6 barn facility, with on site veterinary hospital, state of the art hot walker, aqua sizer, 4 outdoor rings and an indoor that is one of the largest West of the Mississippi. There were 2 world champion trainers on site, security and fire systems out the wazoo. Price tag $800, plus extras.
I understand it costs money to run a boarding facility but never lie to someone about what you're offering. As we say in my neck of the woods, this ain't my first rodeo.
I would love to go back to the days when my daughter and I hauled her little hunter pony around the region. We'd sleep in the trailer and I'd set up my coffee pot on the fender of the truck. Our BO and his wife were like family. The whole barn crew would go to shows and cheer each other on or sip hot chocolate while horses were being groomed. I miss those days. This whole thing of late had made me tired, sour and suspicious. Hope one day we'll get that "family" feeling back. Posted via Mobile Device