Every barn I've been to has always had the amount of hay (and grain if the barn buys it) that each horse gets for board. If more is needed to keep the horse in shape, then the board is increased by that amount.
Most contracts I've seen say something like, "the board covers 6 flakes or hay, and up to 5 lbs of feed a day(if their paying for it, otherwise they'll feed as much as you want as you're buying). If your horse requires more than the set amount, each extra flake will cost X amount (the actual cost of the bale diviided by the amount of flakes) and X amount for each additional lb of grain."
The barn owner monitors the condition of each horse, and if one is not getting enough food, will let the horse owner know and will request additional costs for the extras(starting the day its added and after consent from the owner). If the owner refuses, they are given a months notice and asked to leave.
These have all been barns with excellent standards and the interest being in the horse's health, not the income made.
I completely agree with these contracts and think they're fair. If your horse eats more, you should have to pay more. Why should the BO take a loss because your horse is a hard keeper, and why should others suffer if their horses are not?
My current contract also states that if the horse developes any dangerous vices or dehaviour issues, you have one month to fix the issue, hire a trainer, or pay the BO( also a trainer) to fix the issue. If one of the options hasn't been done, you are given a months notice and asked to leave.
I respect and commend my BO for her high standards and safety measures. I don't want to be around dangerous or skinny horses, and neither does she. If I ever boarded horses, I would do the same thing.
We had a new horse come to the barn that was a stallion when the owners bought it (a few days ago). As he's unpredictable, the rule at the barn is that no-one is to be around him alone, and the owner (who is a minor) is not allowed around the horse without an experienced horse person until his behaviour problems are solved (of which everyone at the barn is working on for her).
I am all about safety and have learned a lot at this barn that I plan to carry with me.
I would not be loosing money on the ones that come in thin. Have a set amount of feed in your board agreement, and request additional feed costs if needed. I wouldn't up the general cost of board for everyone though. Why make them pay for the other horse's feed? Not fair in my opinion.
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