Frustrating boarder issues - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Frustrating boarder issues

We are a small private boarding facility. Last month we were boarding a total of 14 horses. We built three new stalls to accomidate current boarders who wanted horses together etc. We charge 250.00 a month for full board which includes 15 lbs of hay and 6 lbs of a 12% grain daily. Also daily stall cleaning 2x a day and daily turnout. We have an indoor arena and heated washrack...

We have a "competitor" in town who has tacked together stalls with chainlink etc. who provides this:
175.00 a month...
No arena, roundpen outside only.. no washrack.
3 lbs of grain in the am, and hay in the am. According to owner 1 bale of hay covers 8 horses. I can fathom these bales don't weigh more than 50-60 lbs (i have seen them in person) and that is being generous.. meaning each horse if the bale was huge was getting about 7 lbs of hay a day. They clean stalls one time a week and let out horses one time a week. They offer pasture board for 145.00 a month where LOTS of horses are in a lot together..
I've had two horses move to me that were extremely thin (body condition score of 3-4) from this facility.

In this last week I had to ask one boarder to leave for issues she was causing in my barn (one bad apple spoils the bunch right?) and I had another who had been with us for over 2 years tell me the night before she was planning to move to other facility in town... some deal with a MIL causing trouble about us being so far away from her house.. who knows.)

So all of a sudden I'm down 5 horses between these two boarders. One I Did not ask to leave paid board as we require 30 days notice... and I just got a call from the competition that two of my OTHER boarders are inquiring about moving there also...


Im so frustrated because I just don't see how the bottom line can mean that much to these people that they would suffer their horses health for a cheaper rate. At 250 a month I am working for less than 4.00 per hour. Im just frustrated to the point of asking all my boarders to leave and going out and getting a real job so we arent dealing with people on the property and all the drama that boarders come with....

Im down to 8 boarded horses in my barn now with 5-6 open stalls.


Any other facilities deal with these situations? Or are your "competition" more on par with you?
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post #2 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 06:54 PM
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Indoor arena, full board, $250 per month? If I lived close to you, even though I keep my horses at home, I would be moving to your place. I suppose if they think they are saving money or it's closer to where they live, it might make sense, but no reasonable person would keep their horses at a place that underfeeds, I sure as heck wouldn't.
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post #3 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 06:58 PM
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They'll be back!
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post #4 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gigem88 View Post
They'll be back!
They wont be welcome unfortunetly. Im not dealing with boarders who think its ok to board with me in the winter when my costs are high and leave in summer to save money bc they don't need an indoor.
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post #5 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostwindAppaloosa View Post
They wont be welcome unfortunetly. Im not dealing with boarders who think its ok to board with me in the winter when my costs are high and leave in summer to save money bc they don't need an indoor.
I'm paying twice that board atm and yours sound very nice indeed... the other place sounds like a previous barn my horse was at. I basically was paying over $200 for a crowded pasture.. no food or anything. I had to provide that myself. Terrible terrible place.

What people do to "save money" is ridiculous. At least you have the right idea to take care of them and provide a reasonable price :)

That's why I don't concern my horse's care with money. I'll pay whatever it takes to take care of him, with research of course. If I start worrying about money then nothing would get done and he'd be at a disadvantage.

Needless to say stand your ground.
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post #6 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 07:18 PM
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I think that they underestimate what they are getting from you. Eventually I think word will get around about the other barn and all the people who DO care will be looking elsewhere.

The only guess I can make is that people don't realize what they are getting into? Although I would never board at a place that only cleans once a week either! Horses make a big mess in that amount of time.
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post #7 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 07:24 PM
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Feeding aside, cleaning stalls once a week? Turn out once a week? Those 2 things would keep me away PERIOD.

Full board 250$ a month isn't bad at all! Wanna come open a barn in Ga? I bet I can fill it for you.

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post #8 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
I think that they underestimate what they are getting from you. Eventually I think word will get around about the other barn and all the people who DO care will be looking elsewhere.

The only guess I can make is that people don't realize what they are getting into? Although I would never board at a place that only cleans once a week either! Horses make a big mess in that amount of time.
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I think that they do underestimate that also. When I was a teenager (over 10 years ago) I was paying 350 a month to board my horse for similar care to what I'm providing in the same state.. just a few hours north. That was the normal rate... If I was to raise my rates to something where I was actually making some money off boarding I would never be able to attract people in this area. 40 miles away board is 600 a month... because it is more "city".. I live in an area where people COULD keep horses in their backyards so its harder to get a good rate for board here. Im just about fed up with it. I have a MS degree and really wanted to be able to stay home with my animals and work from home to run my other business ( I make custom dog show leads) but at this point... the stress and hassle just isnt worth it anymore...
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post #9 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 08:00 PM
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You should not change your rates or rules to make more people "happy" and get more business. You don't want the kind of boarders that only care about being cheap and not the care of their horse anyway! Keep doing what you're doing, people will come, it's a good facility, won't have empty spots for long!
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post #10 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JadenAndGagesMom View Post
You should not change your rates or rules to make more people "happy" and get more business. You don't want the kind of boarders that only care about being cheap and not the care of their horse anyway! Keep doing what you're doing, people will come, it's a good facility, won't have empty spots for long!
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I totally agree. Its just hard when you depend on that income to pay your mortgage and all of a sudden you are at half of what you were making.. whereas if I had a "real" job I'd never have these issues. Its making me ALMOST want to get back behind a desk
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