Barn Blanketing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Barn Blanketing

Do your boarding barns brush your horses before blanketing? How clean do you expect them to be? I manage a boarding barn, and have a prospective boarder who wants me to bathe her horses and let him dry before putting a blanket on him. I think this is completely unreasonable, and I am going to be politely telling her that it won’t be a good fit. But I wanted to know what other do or expect. We are in the mid-Atlantic where it ranges from 70 degrees one day to 20 the next, so horses frequently go a few days without blankets in between being blanketed. We currently quickly brush the horses off before putting the blankets on, but anything more than that seems like it would require extra payment.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anna6787 View Post
Do your boarding barns brush your horses before blanketing? How clean do you expect them to be? I manage a boarding barn, and have a prospective boarder who wants me to bathe her horses and let him dry before putting a blanket on him. I think this is completely unreasonable, and I am going to be politely telling her that it won’t be a good fit. But I wanted to know what other do or expect. We are in the mid-Atlantic where it ranges from 70 degrees one day to 20 the next, so horses frequently go a few days without blankets in between being blanketed. We currently quickly brush the horses off before putting the blankets on, but anything more than that seems like it would require extra payment.
It would absolutely require extra payment, quite a bit of extra payment. Mostly, I'd let her know that if that's what she wants, she can come out and do it anytime she feels she wants it done. Most boarding barns throw the blankets on and take them off as quick as possible, no brushing or anything else. She's being WAY high maintenance.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 04:47 PM
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Bathing is absolutely unreasonable. Or, you can agree to do it with a considerable markup to cover the time cost...

I do my own blanketing, but I dint have any expectation for a barn staff to brush beforehand. Maybe a quick once over in the spots prone to rubbing if dirty, or if they were soaking with mud, I'd ask for a cooler or something underneath to protect the blanket. Otherwise, it's my responsibility to get out there and groom my horse.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 05:57 PM
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That's totally unreasonable, especially since most people don't give their horses baths during the winter on account of it being cold and the possibility of them getting a chill while still wet...unless she also expects you to dry her horse immediately afterwards and have a blow dryer or something. It's one thing to want large patches of mud or something to get brushed off so there aren't any potential rubs but c'mon. If she considers that a simple request I'd hate to find out what other standards she has.


Bathing was always an affair with my horse and while not the most time consuming task compared to other things it's not really the sort of thing someone can ask as a small and easy to do favor (plus I know I always ended up getting really wet too...). If she wants her horse bathed often she can do it herself.



I don't think you'd be out of bounds telling her you aren't going to do that. Especially if you have a lot of other horses and chores around the farm to take care of.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 05:57 PM
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Bathing daily is unnecessary and unhealthy to the animals coat.
For staff it is a huge time stealer and needs compensated by a very large fee charged by the barn and the owner to also compensate the staff by tipping for such a job expectation...

So, I too managed show barns for many years...now retired from that.
Many owners are present daily and do their own grooming, their own re-blanketing of their horse{s}, but some also do not.
If the horse is wearing a stable blanket for warmth then chances are he also has a t/o blanket of appropriate weight for protection outdoors.
If weather permitted removal we did, and horses rolled and got dirty...
The horses were brought in and stalled where they had hay to eat...
If brushes were left stall-side we would run a quick brush over the coat to remove mud/dirt chunks but we did not groom...we didn't have time for that, period!
If no brush available then we either left naked or used our hand to brush off the worst and blanket if we knew the owners would not be coming that evening to ride.
We had a strict rule of no brush sharing between animals, ever.
We also did not share halters or shanks and all halters were removed at the t/o location and left on the fence for coming back in.
No blanket sharing nor t/o shared...you provided what your horse needed period.

Back to your thought of "is this a unreasonable expectation..."
The clear answer to that is "Yes!!".....
Unless this is a elite, premier plus facility and this is done for every horse then this prospective boarder needs to tone down her expectations or cough up some serious $$$ for such a service provided.
You did not mention "show board" just boarding barn of the general type...
Unless she pays for such services then you have many other demands on your time and energies and the answer needs to be, "sorry, no this degree of service is not available at this facility".
...
jmo..
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 06:35 PM
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Expecting you to bathe horse every day before blanketing is crazy.

I work at a boarding barn 15 stall board horses. Turnout ,bring in stall cleaning, hay fed. Stalls bedded water buckets filled. That's included in board fee.

Blanketing ,grain fed any medicine given there's a charge for these services. Owners are charged a holding fee if owners can't be there, for farrier or vet.

Anything extra there's a fee charged .

No horses that get blanketed ,don't get brushed before blanketing.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 06:55 PM
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Wow, I mean, I will do a quick brushing before blanketing (by quick, I mean I will flick off any obvious dirt in obvious places with a hard brush - might take me a minute), but would never expect others to do it. Certainly not bathe, that's absurd. I'd add a bathing fee. Tell her you'll bathe her horse as much as she wants you to for 25$ a bath. See how often she'll expect it then.

Another solution would be to just keep a thin sheet on the horse at all times to prevent it from getting too dirty. Replace it with whatever blanket is needed each day. During show season, we will sometimes do this to prevent our show horse from getting too filthy between shows. Something breathable and cool that can easily be removed and replaced with a waterproof or warmer blanket as needed.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 07:04 PM
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I pretty much blanket my own horses, unless something comes up and I just can't come out. That's very rare. If I'm blanketing them, I will groom them nicely (not bathe, I mean who has time for that) so they are clean underneath (I love taking off the blanket and having them all clean there, even if they are solid mud from head to withers). If the barn had to blanket, I would like to think they would take off any giant chunks of mud that might cause rubs, but I'd be happy with whatever they did. But then again I don't pay a fee for this, so I am super appreciative of whatever they do.

If you're charging her a fee for blanketing, or even if you include that in your boarding fees, I like @Acadianartist 's idea of just charging extra for the bath. But if you don't think you'd have time, you should just tell her up front. Sounds like she might be one of those boarders who is kind of a pain. Maybe it's better for her to find some place that will agree to what she wants.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-15-2020, 07:59 PM
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Two yards I was at - expensive in the city of london. Full livery.

- Old yard: services were charged extra. If I wanted her groomed I'd have to pay. Rugging fee would include a quick curry and flick over so was "curry clean" to rug but NOT a full groom of legs n such. Rugging a damp horse was also a big no-no and I was asked to get a cooler sheet to be swapped out if she was damp/bathed. Bathing was around £8-£10 but even then staff just wouldn't have had the time and the weather doesn't always permit bathing (unless you have a fancy establishment).

- Current yard: services included in total livery fee and they generally groom daily so is not a concern however they absolutely would not bathe unless necessary. In fact the only time she gets bathed is if I do her or if they take her out and dont want to look hobo (coz she's a grey. PS hobo means homeless here just to be safe!). I know without asking that if I requested her to be bathed that I'd have to pay extra.

I would suggest if boarder is that picky maybe arranging a weekly or fortnightly bath. But bathing always before rugging.. nope. Sorry. Sounds mad!
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