Wondering What Your Boarding Contract Says...
...about how your barn will feed your horse?
Is it customary to state exactly how much hay (i.e. # of pounds) will be fed in the summer vs. the winter? Or maybe even state the minimum amount...???
Or is it common to have a statement in the boarding contract that says something to the effect of "...to feed the horse daily; depending on <barn's> opinion of your horse's condition."
Would love to hear from you guys. Thanks for your input...
Mine doesn't have any specifics about feeding. It just says they provide "regular feedings." I had leased horses there for several years prior to actually buying my own horse so I knew what their schedule and policies were ahead of time, but if I hadn't I probably would have wanted it to be spelled out a little more.
The last two places I boarded at where the only ones in which hay was included. The first one felt 1 1/2 flakes twice a day were enough for a growing 17hh young horse with food aggression issues. The next one because of the prior one, it wasn't in the contract but I asked specifically how many flakes per feeding, how many feedings, and approx weight of each feeding. It seemed strange to the barn owner how I was obsessing about the feedings - but when we finally met and I explained then she knew. And it ended up being a perfect feeding place!
It should be clarified. Vague leaves everyone dealing with problems later.
Our barn says 4 flakes of local grass and/or alfalfa as needed. Some horses do not get any alfalfa, some get 1 flake a day for winter, some get 1 flake of alfalfa year round. Anything over the 4 flakes costs. It averages 20 lbs/day because of the size of the local hay flakes.
Mine says they will feed whatever I want x2 daily. (I provide my own hay)
My contract says that they will feed whatever amount of hay I want, and whatever amount and type of grain I choose, 2 times daily (morning and evening). Pasture turnout is given in good weather conditions, and hay amounts are not adjusted unless the owner states that they want it that way.
We are billed by the bale, so horse owners can freely come in at night and give their horse an extra flake if they want to, without penalty (or without having to sneak around!). I have the barn owner buy my grain for me, and she just bills me for the amount (lbs) I use every month.
We weigh the hay and grain, to be more accurate. Amounts for hay and grain are written down on a sheet. Each horse has its own individual sheet that states what it should be given, and the person feeding has to mark off how much hay and grain the horse received each morning and night.
I used to board at a place that touted the fact that they fed 3 times a day. What they didn't say was that it only equaled about 10 lbs/day, if that. For a growing horse, it was hell. Now that I know what my horse is getting each day, I'd prefer to keep it that way.
Mine has the list of what is fed but my trainer/bo modifies it on the type and amount of work the horse is in. It also states the amount of hay offered depending if the horse is on grass or on sand. Since my pony is a fatty right now she is on a more basic diet with added minerals.
Yes. The reason being is that feed is very expensive.. Increased work on a horse would require the horse to need more calories... Boarding barns (the cheaper ones at least) have to budget everything. This probably isn't an issue in 600+ a month barns but for us .. we are 300 a month so there is VERY little profit in that. We specify that we will feed UP TO 6 lbs sweet a day and 15 lbs of hay a day (2 flakes am and Pm) for most horses this is more than adequate calories/intake. However we will gladly feed more than this we just charge per lb on the hay and grain (exactly what we pay)
We also outline how much bedding we provide. Ive had horses for enough time that we know how much bedding a horse needs on average. If you have an overly wet horse you buy the extra bedding it provides.
This may seem silly to some but we have such a low profit margin we HAVE to budget things like this otherwise I end up paying to care for others horses or working for free.
"DCA agrees to provide a clean facility and appropriate feed and water required to maintain the animal"
That's all that's in my board contract. I provide grass hay and feed Strategy GX in recommended amounts to keep the horse looking good and having a shiny coat. If that's 20 lbs of hay/day and 7 lbs of Strategy, that's what I provide. If it's 10 lbs hay and 3 lbs Strategy that's what I provide. I buy shavings in bulk and bed each horse down so they're comfortable and that's provided. Each stall has 3/4 inch mats under the shavings as well, provided by the facility.
I'm perfectly willing to feed anything else that the owner provides, but I buy my grass hay in bulk and Strategy by the pallet, so for one horse to get something different, I leave it to the owner to provide what they want.
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