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core 01-04-2013 01:31 PM

Need help framing questions to ask BO
 
This has been asked discussed before, but I need some help from some people who aren't personally involved. I'm trying to figure out what to ask the BO's so that I can determine what I want to do about it.

On Wednesday (1/2/2013) the other boarders and I received word that board would increase by $50/month, starting the day before. Most of us are pretty upset with the lack of any notice.

I've researched other barns in my area (50 mile radius) and average cost for similar facility w/similar services is $350. The ones with top facilities and more care are $500-$600 but were talking entire heated barns, misting aroma therapy in the ceilings, all kinds of extra services for people who don't want to ever get dirty.

Where I'm at now, we were paying $400 and it will now be $450/month. We get turn in and out in the winter, fed, use of an indoor and outdoor arena. The only reason we don't have to schedule our own vet/farrier is because my trainer decided to do it to help boarders split barn call fee's. The trainer fetches & holds if boarder can't get out but doesn't get a dime for it.

So, I asked the BO's if we could have a boarder/owner meeting to discuss this, and BO agreed.

I'm conflicted by the increase... If they need the extra money, then they need it. But the other half of me is screaming in outrage . The BO said that they take the cost of all 17 horses and get an average per horse. 6 are full time pasture board, 11 are stall board. Of all the horses, only 8 are boarders (all have stall board). 8 out of 17 horse bring in money for the BO's. Bo is saying this is fair since pasture care horses lower the average cost for all horses.

I know I want to ask if this is temporary. And if so, when it will decrease again. But what else should I be asking? What are some good things to find out that will help boarders feel less resentful about this? Or to understand the situation better?

The other issue is that out if 8 horses being boarded, 3 are only there for training. Horse owners are out of state. Out of the 8 horses boarded, 2 may leave (includes me), and one ends training in February anyway (was going to leave anyway). That'll leave them with 5 paying horses, and 14 total horses.
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Delfina 01-04-2013 01:39 PM

First off, I wouldn't be concerned with what may/may not stay as a paying customer if you and/or others leave.

Lack of notice is the biggest issue. A BO can charge whatever they feel like (regardless if it's justifiable) and you have the choice to pay it or go elsewhere. They SHOULD give adequate notice if a price increase though.

If you feel you would receive equal or better care elsewhere for the same or lower price, just tell the BO that at this time you are unable to afford the rate increase and you will be leaving on X day. Keep it short, simple, drama-free and don't burn your bridges.

DancingArabian 01-04-2013 01:39 PM

Some places increase their board fee for the winter and drop it back down once they stop feeding hay all the time. I would ask if the board increase is permanent year round, temporary or temporary-seasonal.

Of the 17 horses you say 9 are paying boarders. Are the other horses the BO's horses? Why are they there if not?

What is included in your board that is not included in pasture board?
Are there services you could drop? If so, by how much?
Is pasture board going up as well?
What is the extra fee supposed to be paying for?
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Speed Racer 01-04-2013 01:44 PM

The cost of everything continues to increase, so a $50 month rise in board doesn't sound horrible. The only issue I'd have is that they didn't give you very much notice.

If you think another place that's cheaper is your best bet, then by all means move. However, you already know the level of care given at this barn, so are you really willing to take a chance on an unknown place because of price?

What happens if you leave in a snit and find out the place you moved to is a hellhole? Do you think this BO would willingly take you back after you denigrated them for their 'greed'?

Trust me, nobody's making a mint by boarding horses. They're lucky if they make a miniscule profit, and most places are lucky to just break even.

As far as the increase being temporary? Don't count on it. The costs of feed, hay, electricity, water, etc., are on the increase, not the decrease. The BO has to pass some of that increase onto the boarders.

core 01-04-2013 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1828499)
The cost of everything continues to increase, so a $50 month rise in board doesn't sound horrible. The only issue I'd have is that they didn't give you very much notice.

If you think another place that's cheaper is your best bet, then by all means move. However, you already know the level of care given at this barn, so are you really willing to take a chance on an unknown place because of price?

What happens if you leave in a snit and find out the place you moved to is a hellhole? Do you think this BO would willingly take you back after you denigrated them for their 'greed'?

Trust me, nobody's making a mint by boarding horses. They're lucky if they make a miniscule profit, and most places are lucky to just break even.

As far as the increase being temporary? Don't count on it. The costs of feed, hay, electricity, water, etc., are on the increase, not the decrease. The BO has to pass some of that increase onto the boarders.

I have no intention of getting in a snit with the BO's over this. It's their barn.. They can do as they like. I know from experience there are other suitable stabling options for me and my horse that will be $100 less a month. I don't mind paying more short term, but I can't afford it long term. And I only moved to this barn to be closer to my trainer.. I'm not really happy with how they run things.

I really like the BO where I'm at now, but they run it like a hobby farm, and I secretly suspect BO is an animal hoarder.
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66Domino 01-04-2013 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1828499)
The cost of everything continues to increase, so a $50 month rise in board doesn't sound horrible. The only issue I'd have is that they didn't give you very much notice.

If you think another place that's cheaper is your best bet, then by all means move. However, you already know the level of care given at this barn, so are you really willing to take a chance on an unknown place because of price?

What happens if you leave in a snit and find out the place you moved to is a hellhole? Do you think this BO would willingly take you back after you denigrated them for their 'greed'?

Trust me, nobody's making a mint by boarding horses. They're lucky if they make a miniscule profit, and most places are lucky to just break even.

As far as the increase being temporary? Don't count on it. The costs of feed, hay, electricity, water, etc., are on the increase, not the decrease. The BO has to pass some of that increase onto the boarders.

Great answer. Don't know the cost in other areas but in Arizona Alfalfa, if you can get it, is almost $20 a bale. Feed prices are up too. I don't mean to be rude but how much profit your BO makes is their business. They are providing a service. You love your horse, they want to make a living.

As for notice that depends on your state. Google agisters statutes and see what rights are available. It's been my experience boarders have little but to move.

You may want to see if there's any work you can do around the barn to make up the difference. Tack up, groom, exercise lesson horses, clip or bathe horses.

Hope it turns out well for you. Moving is miserable.
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core 01-04-2013 02:52 PM

The 9 other horses are all BO's horses. They're just pasture puff's, not lesson horses.

They don't have any lesson horses at the barn.

There aren't any additional services other than feeding, bringing in and out, and stall cleaning.

None of the boarders are on pasture board so I don't know if that is going up too. But asking about pasture board is a good idea. I don't think it's an option based on where BO has her horses, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

"What is the extra fee supposed to be paying for?" That's a good question. She did mention it was to cover hay/grain.
"ask if the board increase is permanent year round, temporary or temporary-seasonal." - that's a good question too! I wrote those down to ask BO at the meeting.

Thank you, DancingArabians! Great questions.
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Dreamcatcher Arabians 01-04-2013 03:01 PM

I don't think I'd be grilling the BO about the $50/month, other than to find out if it was permanent or seasonal. I WOULD strongly suggest that 30 days notice is appropriate for rate increases, not retroactive after you've paid your month's board fee. Other than that, if you're upset enough about it, now would be a good time to give your 30 days notice that you'll be moving, retroactive to the first of the month, of course.

66Domino 01-04-2013 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians (Post 1828634)
I don't think I'd be grilling the BO about the $50/month, other than to find out if it was permanent or seasonal. I WOULD strongly suggest that 30 days notice is appropriate for rate increases, not retroactive after you've paid your month's board fee. Other than that, if you're upset enough about it, now would be a good time to give your 30 days notice that you'll be moving, retroactive to the first of the month, of course.

Probably won't make her feel better but day before our horse was coming, cross country trip, we were told our board would be $150 *more*. Needless to say, we smiled and promptly moved our horse.
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Annanoel 01-04-2013 04:58 PM

Misting aroma-therapy..what? LOL

$50 as others have said really isn't that much. I do think you should have been given a notice. The notice time around here and I think most place is 30 days. Everything has been going up price wise especially with the economy. If you like the barn and where you are, I think $50 is more than fair.

I would ask, the same questions others have said. If it's permanent and you could also ask why there was no notice. IMHO I would ask why there wasn't, up to you.


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