What would you do? (a bit of a rant)
Okay so I board my horses at a small boarding facility I pasture board them and they are supposed to have their own 3acre private pasture with a 24ftx12ft lean-to/shed it states that in my contract I go out to the barn today and see the barn owner broke the pasture up into 4 smaller pens so she could make more room for new boarders one of the main reasons I boarded at that facility was because of the size of the pasture they would have now they hardly have room to run around it made me so mad that she did it without telling me I pay $500 for 2 horse on those 3acres. I tried to talk to my BO but all she says is its more efficient. I have never had a problem at this facility I've been there for close to 3yrs she blankets puts on fly masks gives supplements or medication for no extra charges and one time my older mare had to have stitches and she helped me a lot with taking care of her at no extra charge she does everything for you with no extra charge I never pay my board at the same time each month and if I need to I can break up my board into smaller payments throughout the month if need be i can do all of that without being penalized no other boarding facility will allow me to do that or do what she does I'm a struggling college student I don't think I can afford to move to another place yeah there are cheaper places but living in the Houston, TX area a lot of places around here are very ran down and not very suitable for horses like this one place its a scrap metal junk yard and a boarding facility the horses just run around in the mud with junk cars and scrap metal laying everywere.... sorry got off topic but what would you do? Any advice? I kind of feel like since she cut down the size of my horses living area she should cut down the cost of my board. Sorry its so long.
I am not sure. Guess I would not be happy either. Maybe she was going to raise board and decided to do this instead? I would say just talk to her.
Have to add: It sure would take a lot of land to give everyone 3 acres for 2 horses. Were you her only boarder?
However, if you know the convo won't end well, and you don't want to dump your horses into the scrap metal mud pits, then I'd tread carefully. Regardless of paddock size, a safe, well maintained environment and good care is likely worth the $500/2 horses. Not sure where you are located, BUT, that would get you the mud pit/etc around here... just sayin'. If the board is the same price elsewhere, and your barn owner is still maintaining the horses, I'd probably let it go.
To answer nvr2manys question when I first came to the stable there were only 2 other boarders and she was only boarding to bring in extra income on the side then not till recently she started to do it as her only source of income and what sillyhorses said makes since I didn't think of it that way I just got mad she didn't give me a heads up on what she was doing first
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If you have a written contract that states you pay for the full 3 acres, I would calmly speak to her . State you understand her need for more income, but since your space was reduced shouldn't the board be reduced?
If your contract does not state you have the full 3 acres , be thankful for the time you were allowed to run your horses on it.
Either way - hope you didn't react when you were there the other day... and have given yourself some time to simmer down, reflect and come up with a nice way to approach the BO and inquire (in an innocent, not accusing way)... especially if you want to stay there! Good luck!
I've never been a "boarder" really, I've always taken care of other people's horses and have had awesome mentors along the way... but, I can imagine I'd be annoyed, too :/
I like Stevenson's idea, however, I'd figure out a different way to approach the "price" of board with her... I might mention that you thought the space was an explicit term in your agreement (only if it specifically states the acreage in the contract), gauge her reaction, and then tread lightly when discussing price - if only for the simple fact that, on either side of the coin, people tend to be more sensitive on issues regarding money :/
How big are the lots? Equal in size or dry lot size? Dividing it up into smaller pens is only going to bite her in the butt real soon. If there is any viable grazing, cutting it down to less than 1 acre per horse (and in S Texas I'm sure you need a lot more land), they will quickly reduce it to nothing more than a dust bowl. It will take years and $$ to revegetate the land as well a lose the use of it while regrows.
The other side of the story as a BO is my boarders can't tell me how to run my operation. The things I do, I do for the land, to make my life easier, understanding of herd dynamics, horse behavior, weather, cost, resources.... The bottom line is not the only thing that drives how I do things. Maybe get her perspective first before you do anything.
I'm in north Texas but have had to bring horses all over the state. In Houston, $500 for two horse's pasture board is a good price. As long as your horses are well fed and sheltered, I wouldn't be too upset. Not to mention that she could possibly doing this so she can rotate as well. Or separate horses that don't get along. There are positives and negatives to what you describe. I hate to play the devil's advocate here, but if you are having trouble paying your board on time, perhaps 2 horses are 1 too many? I was once a horse poor college student.. 1 was a challenge financially and boarded in the middle of nowhere with super cheap board. Nothing ever stays the same... just enjoy the ride while you can. For example if for 2 months you are the only boarder and have everything to yourself and is absolutely wonderful just enjoy it because tomorrow, the barn could be full with old dressage ladies and 13 year old barrel racers and it turns into world war 3.
Right now, I have a wonderful group of boarders but I know that not everyone is going to stay forever. Enjoy it while you can. :o)
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