WOW. I would NOT board at any place that had THAT in the contract! I know the barn owner needs the money, but that is an awful clause to put in there! I agree that late fees should be charged sometimes, but to sell the animal after 30 days? So if the horse goes to auction, and is sold to slaughter after 30 days because the HUMAN failed to pay, the HORSE is the one that gets punished?
Makes no sense to me.
We had one woman at our barn who was from Russia, and stayed there half the year. She entrusted her ex-husband to pay for her horse while she was there. (It was part of their divorce settlement.) What would happen if we had a clause like that, and he just chose not to pay? That horse was compromised physically, and would have been sold to the packers. There was no way to contact her while she was in Russia. He would've been a goner with a clause like that.
Also - that clause is not a good idea due to the amount of unwanted horses just laying around. Want to dump your horse and make sure it has adequate care for at least a month, and have someone else deal with selling it? Just dump it at a barn with a clause like this! Genius!
Please, for the love of god, never do this.
Curiosity here- what alternatives would you suggest? In some areas the barn owner can't legally take ownership of the horse because the owner stopped paying- even if they've been the sole financial caretaker for months. Legally, the horse has to be sold through auction or go through legal proceedings. At what point would you consider taking action? After footing the bill for this horse for a month? Two? Half a year?
I don't think the number of unwanted horses in the world has anything to do with the situation. If someone's not going to pay for their horse, then they're not going to. The kind of person that would knowingly dump their poor horse on a barn with such a clause is the sort that doesn't care about their horse to begin with. Why dump it on the barn where it'll get sent to the stockyard instead of dumping it on the stockyard yourself and get a few bucks? I see why you aren't in favor of this clause, but I don't think that the unwanted horse population should be the reason
I would board at a barn with such a clause. I KNOW that if I ran into a dire financial situation that I would at least try to contact the barn owner and make other arrangements. The only reason something like this would affect your horse is if you're an absentee owner that stopped paying. IMO, part of owning a horse is looking in on its well being. In today's world I find it very hard to believe that, even living out of the country, a person would be completely unable to send an email or phone call once a MONTH to ensure that their horse is alive and ok. I wouldn't rely on ANYONE- much less an ex husband- to be responsible for the welfare of my horse for six months. That may come across as harsh since I don't know her full story, but that is far too long for her to have not had any contact.
I DO think that a barn manager should have a plan of some sort outlined in the contract to enforce payment. Were I in the position to come up with such a policy I would avoid the auction option if at all possible. You need to look up the legalities in your area to see what they include. My barn manager is WAY too lax about those sorts of things. There are currently a few boarders that pay less than full board, and a couple that have skipped multiple months in a row. The barn manager doesn't go after their money because she understands that they have fallen on hard times. She says that she has been in tough positions in her past, and if she were in their position she would hope that someone would cut her a break. Where does this kindness get her? Having to feed and clean a full barn, and coming up several hundreds of dollars short a month.
I'm not saying that you're a bad person for NOT wanting horses to be sent to auction. Trust me, I feel the same way! I'm just curious to see what you think would be a more reasonable alternative.