Boarder Ettiquette - The No-Nonsense Guide to being a Responsible Horse Owner - Page 4
 
 

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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
  • Should horse boarders clean up after their horse if it poops in a turn out- arena

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    12-27-2012, 12:23 AM
  #31
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
I guess that's the difference in our perceptions. I do not run a Taj Mahal, nor do I cater to royalty, but I do try to ACT toward my clients as if I do. I do not expect nor want them to fill waterers, pick out their own stalls, sweep barn aisles or anything else. I want them to come here to relax and enjoy their horses, groom them, ride them, feed them treats, play games with them and so on. I don't want them to even THINK that they might need to do something more than that while they are here. As far as I'm concerned their only responsibilities are to pay their board and enjoy their horses, the rest of it is up to me on my place.
Exactly! That is why I chose to board where I do and I used to drive over an hour to get there. I never had to wonder if my horse was properly cared for, if he was fed enough or anything. If I didn't make it out to the barn, I would receive texted pictures of my horse or when he was running away from the tail flap on his blanket, videos. My BO actually hid the broom from me, said I was to ride, not sweep her floors! When my horse turned her blanket into confetti and promptly started shivering, my BO bought her a replacement and added it to my bill.

The BO or her husband feeds in the AM and barring any unforeseen circumstances, I do the rest. She knows that I am just as anal (if not more) about ensuring each and every horse is properly cared for and that if anyone wants something done differently or needs care for their horse changed that as long as it's possible, I will do so. An owner insisted her horse needed to drink from a specific blue bucket, so as long as her horse was at the barn, I made sure that blue bucket was in her horse's stall. Crazy if you ask me but she's a paying boarder so I did what she wanted.
     
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    12-27-2012, 12:49 AM
  #32
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfina    
Exactly! That is why I chose to board where I do and I used to drive over an hour to get there. I never had to wonder if my horse was properly cared for, if he was fed enough or anything. If I didn't make it out to the barn, I would receive texted pictures of my horse or when he was running away from the tail flap on his blanket, videos. My BO actually hid the broom from me, said I was to ride, not sweep her floors! When my horse turned her blanket into confetti and promptly started shivering, my BO bought her a replacement and added it to my bill.

The BO or her husband feeds in the AM and barring any unforeseen circumstances, I do the rest. She knows that I am just as anal (if not more) about ensuring each and every horse is properly cared for and that if anyone wants something done differently or needs care for their horse changed that as long as it's possible, I will do so. An owner insisted her horse needed to drink from a specific blue bucket, so as long as her horse was at the barn, I made sure that blue bucket was in her horse's stall. Crazy if you ask me but she's a paying boarder so I did what she wanted.
That's exactly how I like to do things. In the case of a shredded blanket, I have over 100 blankets in a whole bunch of sizes, so can usually find one that will fit while a new one is ordered. I call the owner before I order and make sure it's ok and if they are tight (like right before Christmas), then I'll probably just sell them one of my used ones for a small fee if they'd rather not buy new right then. If they give me the ok, I call Schneider's and have a blanket on the next truck. Not a problem.

I'm the same way with the horses, if the boarder wants to furnish a specific bucket for their horse......hay....I'm good with that! I'll probably also hang one of my heated buckets in the stall for winter, but that specific bucket will also be in there. Not a problem.

If a boarder is working of partial or total board, I'm fine with them doing feeding picking, sweeping, whatever needs done. But not a full paying boarder, they're just supposed to come enjoy their horse(s). Period.

I like to throw a BBQ a couple times/year to show my appreciation for great clients. If someone wants to give me a little present, I'm fine with it, but I truly don't expect it.
     
    12-27-2012, 01:20 AM
  #33
Foal
Hehe this is cute and 100% true
I love the clean up part.
I use to go to use the cross ties at the last barn I was at and the other boarder would leave horse poop there for others to clean up. (we had many problems wit her this was just one of them)
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    12-27-2012, 01:22 AM
  #34
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by chubbypony    
hehe this is cute and 100% true
I love the clean up part.
I use to go to use the cross ties at the last barn I was at and the other boarder would leave horse poop there for others to clean up. (we had many problems wit her this was just one of them)
It's really inconsiderate to not clean up after your horse but! At my place it's not necessary. It gets cleaned up by me or my husband or staff, if we have enough boarders to need staff. I learned at Arab show barns where I never was allowed to lift a finger, and their philosophy became mine. It's much nicer for an owner to not have to do anything, including tacking up and untacking if they don't feel like it.
     
    12-27-2012, 01:36 AM
  #35
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
It's really inconsiderate to not clean up after your horse but! At my place it's not necessary. It gets cleaned up by me or my husband or staff, if we have enough boarders to need staff. I learned at Arab show barns where I never was allowed to lift a finger, and their philosophy became mine. It's much nicer for an owner to not have to do anything, including tacking up and untacking if they don't feel like it.
Thats awesome how you run things I would do the same thing to if I ran my own boarding facility but this was self care and she left things ever where along with never closing doors.
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    12-27-2012, 01:46 AM
  #36
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by chubbypony    
Thats awesome how you run things I would do the same thing to if I ran my own boarding facility but this was self care and she left things ever where along with never closing doors.
Yeah, self care is a whole 'nuther animal. I wouldn't do it for all the tea in China. Coz there always that ONE person who pisses everyone else off.
     
    12-27-2012, 02:22 AM
  #37
Foal
Coming from a couple of perspectives, having had my own horses on my own property, working at a couple of boarding barns and keeping one horse at one of them, and now being the boarder on someone elses property:

Horses are hard, constant work to maintain. I think everyone appreciates a little extra help now and then. I did all the work for my horses at home while also working at a boarding stable down the way. Yes, the boarder pays for certain tasks to be done: feeding, turnout, blanketing when necessary, getting stalls clean, because they cannot be there everyday for their horse. But we always appreciated anybody who gave us a hand turning out horses, or cleaned their horses stall that day, because it then gave us more time to work on things that needed attention.
Some of it is just common sense. If your horse leaves a pile of manure in the aisle/riding ring - pick it up. You just brushed your hairy/muddy horse and there are gobs everywhere - sweep it up. If everybody pitches in a little, everything stays cleaner.
Coming from the side of me that is boarding now: I'm so glad that the owner takes care of everything. I can only make it out maybe twice a week to see my horse, but when I do, I like to be able to spend the time with her. I still clean out the shed and pick up anything I leave behind, but I don't always have the time to do all the maintenance I did when I kept my horse on my own place.

The holiday gifts: Isn't it just the same as any other workspace? I did a secret stocking with all my co-workers this year. A small gift or offer of help really does make someone who puts all their time into taking care of your precious baby feel appreciated. I gave the woman who keeps my horse a foal halter for her baby who just outgrew his old halter because she has been so awesome to me and my mare.
Chardavej and sillyhorses like this.
     
    12-27-2012, 08:37 AM
  #38
Trained
I work at a boarding facility. There are stalls available but they are very expensive so typically my boss's horses are the only ones ever stalled for more than a half day.

It is my job to feed the horses, and put their rugs on in the evening, and take off fly masks when the flies are not so horrible it's better to just leave them on. My job to keep the place neat and tidy and presentable so that if someone turns up to have a look at the facilities it makes a good first impression. My job to give the evening hay, my job to make sure everything is in its place and nothing has disappeared.

The boarders only have to turn up, bring their horses in, groom, tack up, ride, untack, hose off and take the horse back to its pasture. The rest is either my job, or my boss's job. I bring horses in and tack them up for my boss, but not for anyone else. We hold the horses for the farrier/dentist [most often they are just stuck in the crossties for the farrier, but they need to be held to have their teeth floated]. The bodywork lady [chiro, bowen and acupuncture] will work on a horse without anyone present, except for one gelding of my boss's that is a right nasty piece of work. Someone has to be present to stop him from killing her.

All the boarders are just lovely and while they don't HAVE TO do anything more than enjoy their horse, most of them will do small things like pick up poop out of the crossties, or sweep up if they track dirt into the tack room. It's OUR job [our being myself and my boss] to monitor the horses' condition and make sure they don't get too fat or too thin, but the boarders will request a bit more or a bit less of something [from my boss, because it does affect what they pay].

Often we have to do a second feeding run because the horses don't get fed until after they've been ridden, if they're being ridden on that day. Sometimes that second run isn't until quite late. No worries, all part of the job.

The boarder is paying for a service and if they are paying to have their horse fed 5 times daily and its water cleaned out every 2 hours and grass seeds picked out of its flymask/rug, then that's what they get. It's only good, truthful business, after all. If you're charging someone for something, they should get what they are paying for.

The ONLY thing that's not ostensibly included in the board fee is arena use. That's an extra fee and if your horse takes a poop in the arena, it's your job to clean it up. The big paddock out the back, and the forest the property backs onto, are totally free, because the maintenance is minimal, but the arena needs maintenance and therefore if you want to use it you have to pay a small fee. I consider that perfectly fair considering it has to be irrigated in the summer to keep the footing good, and it's supposed to be booked in advance.
     
    12-27-2012, 12:29 PM
  #39
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
It's OUR job [our being myself and my boss] to monitor the horses' condition and make sure they don't get too fat or too thin, but the boarders will request a bit more or a bit less of something [from my boss, because it does affect what they pay].
Very true... I think the only time this wouldn't apply is if it is a self-care board facility, and even in that case, the owner of the property still has a duty to make sure that the horses there are maintained adequately. Which means that, if some idiot buys a horse, drops it off on your dry lot and takes off without leaving feed - whoops, BO... your responsibility now until you figure out your legal options. No matter what anyone's contract states - if you have a starving horse on your property, and the owner is no where to be found, guess who is going to be hung for it? Yep... BO, your responsibility. Doesn't mean that the owner won't be in trouble once found, but there is a duty placed on those offering agistment to not allow starvation.

At our barn, we always approach boarders if the horse is too fat/too thin and inquire as to the steps they'd like to take. Of course, we have suggestions that we make, and in most instances, the owners have reasonable ideas themselves. We have had to draw up a contractual clause, however, that states horses are to be maintained between a 4-7 on the Henneke scoring system and we reserve the right to take measures if the owner does not in the event that the horse is under/over weight. A lady kept asking us to not feed her horse because it was too "high strung"... think I have a whole other thread about that headache... ugh.

Delfina - most of what I post is in response to the people like that lady, who asked us to starve her horse into submission... people who are completely clueless. If my husband and I were ill/injured affecting our ability to work, people like the "don't feed my horse" lady, would not offer to help - AND, they'd throw a temper tantrum, however, when we would say "Hey, board is going up to accommodate the now necessary expense of paying an employee since we are incapacitated". [Side note... we have a fabulous core group of boarders who have been with us for years, and who would not bat an eyelash for either helping or paying extra if we were unable to do it - sounds like, for your BO, you are one of those "good boarders" :)]. This is the guide for people who probably have never owned/boarded a horse, and a quick-check reference for those who may have questions or are finding themselves having problems as they bounce from barn to barn, and don't understand why their barn relationships go sour.
     
    12-27-2012, 01:13 PM
  #40
Green Broke
I see a lot of "BO is responsible" vs "Boarder is responsible" on here, going back and forth (as is the nature of forums I suppose!) And while I can see some items from one side, and some from the other, I will just say this...

I board at an AWESOME place, where the BO and his wife care for the horses as if they were their own. It's really hard to find that kind of care, where you feel 100% confident that if you had to go out of town for a week, your horse would be cared for just the way you would care for them if you were around.

I have always been of the opinion that I do not NEED to help out around the barn, but I WANT to. Because I like these people, and they are taking good care of my mare. So if I have the extra time, sure I will sweep, muck her stall, help set jumps up, water, etc. Not because I feel obligated and certainly not because they have made me feel that way. But because I like to help. It makes me feel good, and if I were in their shoes, I would sure appreciate it.

When people do good things for me, it is a pleasant surprise and quite honestly, hard to come by in our world these days, sad as that fact is. So it makes me feel good to be able to pass that goodwill on. :) And eventually, I WILL have to leave for the weekend and another boarder or the BO will offer to groom my mare while I'm gone, not because THEY have to, but because we have good friendships that exist because we care about one another and our horses.

One day the temp went from 40 up to 65 during the day and I was stuck at the office and couldn't get to the barn to pull my mare's blanket off. I was worried that by the time I got there at 6pm she would be soaked with sweat and then starting to get a chill from temps going back down again in the evening.

Instead, I found her naked, happy and dry, and found that my BO had noticed her blanket on and had pulled it off before turning her out in the sunshine. I don't pay for blanket service so he certainly did NOT have to do that, but he did because he cared about my horse.

So when I help around the barn, it's for things like that, to show my appreciation for the things he and the other boarders/barn staff do for me when I need it, above and beyond what happens to be in my contract :)
     

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