Gently approaching "Board Increase"... Ideas? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 33 Old 10-30-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 278
• Horses: 0
Thanks for all of the great advice, everyone! What we have decided to do is to break down the costs associated with EACH individual horse being here into an itemized list, then add in the amount for the specifics of each horse (type of feed/cost per lb/amt per month)... basically, just showing our 'per horse' budget, but customizing it per horse (as opposed to saying "we feed up to 'x' amount" per feed, as we will with incoming clients). Anyhow... this has helped to reduce the amount of the increase per boarder, and hopefully will make sense to them. ANNNNNNNNNND - hopefully they'll recognize the effort we have put into trying to keep prices lower for them. I also included in the general portion of the note that, should current horse's needs change and additional feed required, it will be immediately reflected in board. Some of our boarders who have multiple horses were looking at an over $200 overall increase in board... by doing it this way, no one individual's board went up over $115 (overall).

Oh... and, after showing the "per horse" budget, we showed where (with incoming clients) the service fees (for the work we perform) will be $40.00 per horse, but we significantly reduced it for our current clients to show our appreciation for their continued loyalty. I hope it sits well and makes sense with our boarders... I think it will.

Last edited by sillyhorses; 10-30-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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post #32 of 33 Old 10-31-2012, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
Posts: 890
• Horses: 3
The farm we board at recently changed hands due to the death of the owner. We've been there for years, and the new owners are making a LOT of really nice and expensive changes. We pasture board and the rate recently went up $50 a month per horse. (We have 2) Additionally, the farm now provides all feed and hay instead of us buying it. I honestly think we are coming out ahead on this deal (no drought here) and I worry a little about the future. The nice part is that we are retiring soon and we'll be doing more out at the farm. As it stands now we feed and water and generally keep an eye on things while they are away and we always pitch in with repairs to fences, waterlines, and general farm maintenance. We've been known to hold their horses for farrier or vet visits and I know they would do the same for us. We LOVE this place, and the owners (past and present) and we'll do whatever it takes to keep our horses here. They have always treated our horses like their own and it really gives us a great feeling of security. I can't imagine having to move our horses. I don't even want to think about it.

As my husband says...if a fence breaks, HE isn't the person fixing it in the middle of the night. I've heard of some horrendous boarding problems from friends online. You cannot put a price on peace of mind. If you have to raise prices to make a profit, do it. Your good boarders will understand. Let those that don't try to find other places. I'm sure you aren't the only farm facing this problem and they might be very unpleasantly surprised at what they find available for their horses. If you can make accomodations for the boarders that you value and trust, that's great. But don't put yourself last. The boarders that value and depend on you want you to stay in business!!! If you aren't making a profit, then it's just work you are donating to others. And eventually you'll tire of it and then there will be one less decent boarding place.

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
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post #33 of 33 Old 11-14-2012, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 706
• Horses: 17
my biggest pet peeve about running a boarding business is that many boarders feel like we should be running a charity. Honestly.. i would raise it slightly more.. to cover your cost .. we live in the midwest also (ohio) and im telling you hay is only going to get worse.. hay here is going 10-14 a bale and is going up.. I think a one time increase will be easier for them to stomach than having to raise it twice..
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