Boarder Ettiquette - The No-Nonsense Guide to being a Responsible Horse Owner - Page 11
   

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Boarder Ettiquette - The No-Nonsense Guide to being a Responsible Horse Owner

This is a discussion on Boarder Ettiquette - The No-Nonsense Guide to being a Responsible Horse Owner within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
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    01-05-2013, 02:05 PM
  #101
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
And... The people running them do it because of a love and passion for some aspect of the profession - in spite of clueless know it alls such as yourself.

Snotty know it alls are the ones who most need to silently reflect on what they read in this board. You will be the ones barn hopping your way either to a much higher priced barn that WILL provide the level of service you seem to expect (at a price reflecting that mentality) or into mud pits then completely out of horses until you buy your own barn.
Sure, there ARE barns that provide THAT level of service. The closest you could come to comparing them to ANY other business is to compare it to going from the neighborhood Holiday Inn to The Drake (Chicago... You know - dress code, harpist in the lobby, etc).
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You need to calm down a bit.

The $50 a month is what my friends told me they spend on their horses, that was in summer though, so no hay costs then. However, my board isn't any less in summer, so most barns are taking more throughout the year to cover the extra winter costs.

Yes obviously they have large mortgages and other costs, but then they will get the benefit of that one day. I am not living on 50 acres with a beautiful barn that will one day be paid off. They are doing it to provide a better life for their families, not for charity. Obviously a well run barn is covering their costs and making profit.

I don't begrudge that, we are all trying to make a living, to deny doing so would be stupid.
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    01-05-2013, 02:17 PM
  #102
Foal
$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!
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    01-05-2013, 02:57 PM
  #103
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
It is people like you, Core, who need to take notes from this thread. Comparing a barn to a box store? Really? And comparing it with other small businesses? Get a grip and face reality. You are clearly out of the loop.

Walmart? Buys products cheap, sells them for huge profits and pays their employees Minimum wage, holds them stationary just under full time employment and the higher up positions rake it in.

Barns? Usually family owned & operated, provides a service (not a product), is much more personalized and community based than ANY small business can claim, is exposed to much higher liability issues than most other industries... There is ZERO comparison. I think the closest thing you can compare to a horse farm is a soup kitchen. They make just enough to keep going, and that "just enough" usually doesn't come out of the pockets of the "main"clients, but from other endeavors that the barn owners invest themselves in.
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A soup kitchen is not-for-profit organization. The subsist on grants, government aid, or donations. A boarding stable does not meet the guidelines of being classified as a not-for-profit. Just because you can't make money doesn't make you a non-profit.

If the barn owner isn't viewing a boarding facility as a small business, that would explain why so many are failing.
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    01-05-2013, 03:21 PM
  #104
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremmy    
$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.
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    01-05-2013, 04:18 PM
  #105
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by core    
A soup kitchen is not-for-profit organization. The subsist on grants, government aid, or donations. A boarding stable does not meet the guidelines of being classified as a not-for-profit. Just because you can't make money doesn't make you a non-profit.

If the barn owner isn't viewing a boarding facility as a small business, that would explain why so many are failing.
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Haha - I get what you are saying. The point I'm making is that barn owners are providing horse owners for a service that they can not or choose not to provide for themselves (whatever the reason). I think my hotel comparison is far more accurate. So - you should know as a boarder what yout boarding agreement encompasses. Comparing boarding horses to Walmart is just silly. There are comparisons regarding costs/budgeting/bottom lines that are much like small businesses - barns are small businesses, I'm not denying that.

The busines, itself, is unlike the majority of other small business that you are probably referring to. Burger King is a small business franchise whose motto is "have it your way" - referring to the available details of the product. Product and service are two totally different business components. Product, at horse farms, is arguably the most expensive aspect of horse boarding, but service is arguably the most important. Before coming on this thread whining about "I pay for that" understand that this is a thread for the majority... Where "middle of the road" is the 99%. Most barns around my area charge roughly what we charge and expect boarders to clean stalls regularly. We aren't the high end show barn in the more affluent part of our state, where they hire a small army of day laborers to get the work done. I admire the beauty of those facilities, and know there is a market for that. MOST horse owners are not in that bracket, and a good portion of them seem to expect the same services you get from five employees working full time for a ten horse barn. Do you get what I'm saying?
Maybe you aren't a brat of a boarder, but make sure you know what is expected of you as a boarder by way of being familiar with rules, contractual obligations, AND moral obligations. Unfortunately, there are tooo many in this industry who think that because they are one of few in an urban population who can afford a horse, that the minimum amount they are paying entitles them to far more than what they actually pay for or could ever afford. You may not be one of those people... But, most BO rants on here are from BOs who clearly outline what is provided for clients in addition to what is expected of them. Common decency should not have to even be listed here, but... You'd be surprised at some of the crap clients expect their BOs to eat by way of rude behavior, lack of common courtesy and unreasonable demands. Most of which ends up boiling down to pure ignorance in its most simple form. The people just don't know better: they don't know that to "feed my horse more hay, right now!" Is literally going to cost an extra thirty bucks a month, and then they have a melt down in the barn aisle over "i pay you $$$!" Because they just don't know (or care to know, which is far worse and annoying)...
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    01-05-2013, 04:31 PM
  #106
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
You'd be surprised at some of the crap clients expect their BOs to eat by way of rude behavior, lack of common courtesy and unreasonable demands. Most of which ends up boiling down to pure ignorance in its most simple form. The people just don't know better: they don't know that to "feed my horse more hay, right now!" Is literally going to cost an extra thirty bucks a month, and then they have a melt down in the barn aisle over "i pay you $$$!" Because they just don't know (or care to know, which is far worse and annoying)...
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I don't know you're history, but if you've ever worked in any sort of customer service or true small business you should know that we all put up with the same sort of crap from customers. Unfortunately there will always be entitled people who feel that they need to treat others poorly or feel that they should get more "just because."

What got my hair up was the attitude of "it isn't MY job to take care of your horse all the time." It is your (general useage) job to do so because that's what you're getting paid to do, it's what you chose to do as a profession. Just because you have a small profit margin doesn't entitle you to expect your customers to go above and beyond. I go above and beyond regularly in my job and I'm yelled at and treated like crap by entitled people fairly regularly too. It's part of working with the public. Common courtesy is nice and should be expected. But complaining about badly trained horses or owners not helping muck out stalls or even sweep up hoof picking leavings is crossing into the realm of entitlement too.
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    01-05-2013, 04:40 PM
  #107
Weanling
chapter ???

I don't know if this has been mentioned already but . . .

chapter: ? It's a barn not a freeway

When the signs around the road say "5 mph" this does not mean 25mph.

I don't pay $475 a month to watch my back around every turn. There are often lose dogs and small children darting around and inexperienced and/or non-horsey people (such as my grandmother) who like to handle the horses and don't know what to do when such horse freaks out because an SUV believes she is above the law because she is a trainer (okay, I am only ranting a little about something personal ) and does not have to obey the posted speedlimit.

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    01-05-2013, 05:06 PM
  #108
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
I don't know you're history, but if you've ever worked in any sort of customer service or true small business you should know that we all put up with the same sort of crap from customers. Unfortunately there will always be entitled people who feel that they need to treat others poorly or feel that they should get more "just because."

What got my hair up was the attitude of "it isn't MY job to take care of your horse all the time." It is your (general useage) job to do so because that's what you're getting paid to do, it's what you chose to do as a profession. Just because you have a small profit margin doesn't entitle you to expect your customers to go above and beyond. I go above and beyond regularly in my job and I'm yelled at and treated like crap by entitled people fairly regularly too. It's part of working with the public. Common courtesy is nice and should be expected. But complaining about badly trained horses or owners not helping muck out stalls or even sweep up hoof picking leavings is crossing into the realm of entitlement too.
Entitlement? The only thing that I'm very adamant about being "entitled to" is that people be respectful, courteous and demonstrate good manners. I think we allllll agree on that.
You think expecting people to be sweeping up their hoof pickings is demanding and acting "entitled"? I think they taught me in girl scouts that "yout mother doesn't live here, clean up your messes". Unless your specific barn owner tells you specifically otherwise, you better expect to clean up after yourself. Hoof picking, loose hair, manure and everything else... If it wasnt there when you came, don't leave it there when you go. You pay us to take care of your horses, not to be your personal assistant and housekeeper.
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    01-05-2013, 05:10 PM
  #109
Weanling
Ohhh... And my history? Rich and varied, allllll in customer service... Ranging from store clerk at a florist to receptionist for beauty salons, working in dental clinics, and for an attorney. I love working customer service, it is why (probably surprising based on some if my rants on here) my barn is as successful as it is. No place, however, has clientele like what you find in a horse barn. No place. That is as bad as it is good sometimes! Lol
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    01-05-2013, 05:33 PM
  #110
Trained
See I don't see the hoof picking thing as so bad, generally horses leave clods of mud and such when they're walking in and out of their stalls anyways. Every barn I've done work for sweeps 1-2x a day to clean up the general mess.

I do think it's an attitude of entitlement for someone who is hired to muck stalls to expect an owner to muck the stalls. Or to complain that a horse got loose and it's the owner's fault. It's their job to muck stalls, sweep, handle horses, clean out the washing area daily (I would assume as part of normal barn chores), etc. If you don't like dealing with all the crap that comes with horses, get a different job. I'm not saying that it's ok for an owner to destroy the wash stall and clog up the drains and just walk away from the mess, but to expect them to clean it spic and span is taking it a bit far IMO. Common courtesy on both ends basically and a clear understanding on what is and is not expected.

All in customer service.. Wow. I'm impressed. That is my least favorite thing to deal with at my current job. I've worked a lot of customer service (servers, call centers, credit departments, etc, etc) and dealing with people makes me want to scream. So many think that they need to scream to get their way or if they treat the "underling" crappy they'll get what they want. I don't have a ton of patience for people behaving badly on either end of the spectrum.
     

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