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Old 12-20-2016, 10:29 PM   #1
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Boarding Surcharge for Drafts

Anyone want to weigh in on what a reasonable surcharge for draft horses might be? The barn is small, the draft horses clearly eat more and poop more, but otherwise well behaved, don't tend to break stuff (most of the time).

I'm looking for a suggestion of what a reasonable monthly charge might be that covers just hay, shavings, and additional labor to clean the stalls.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:11 AM   #2
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I guess it would largely depend on how much the hay & shavings cost in your area & how much extra a draft requires.

Throw in the extra time/labour cost & that should give you an idea.

If they are well behaved regarding fences etc, I don't think it's fair to charge extra for that based on their size. I've seen ponies that are devils when it comes to damage
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:18 PM   #3
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I think singling out surcharges to a "draft" is wrong....
A boarding barn should have a stated amount of up to this amount fed in hay, grain and shavings used that applies to any boarder....
Some horses are harder keepers in food and stall care than a draft so just because a draft should not equate a surcharge charged for a breed.
If the horse requires additional amounts of resources than average, then yes a "extra" should apply.
I had friends with Percherons who stayed "fat" on air...
5 pounds of feed total, less than 1/2 bale of hay a day....fat horses looking great and they worked it is a individual thing.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:42 PM   #4
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I'm with horselover4life, I don't think a surcharge should be applied based on breed. I've had incredibly destructive Morgans, TB's that lived on air, other TBs that seemed to be eating 24/7. Barns I've been at have provided X amount of feed and anything above that was charged extra to cover it. I guess that could be more difficult to specify damage cost limits.

If as you say the drafts aren't destructive, I would simply calculate how much more resources (feed/bedding) they required, and use that as the amount extra to charge, perhaps padding it a little as a "just in case".
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:57 AM   #5
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I agree that you need to determine what you are actually spending extra on in feed and shavings.

Sure, they may eat more hay, but often require little to no grain (unless the barn does not supply grain- then hay may matter). They may also do well on only a grass hay versus alfalfa (which my TB flourishes off of).

A clean horse in it's stall saves a lot of money on shavings, regardless of volume, versus a horse that tramples everything into a mash and poops in their hay.

I did look at a boarding barn that charged $50/month extra for hard keepers. I didn't find out what the definition of hard keeper was, but I also didn't look too far closer into boarding there (they also wanted $50/month for blanketing). I have also seen barns in AB charge a $25 hay surcharge during droughts.

I used to consider my TB a hard keeper, but actually she just needs access to good quality hay or grass. Where she is at now, during the summer they have grass for turnout (12-16 hours per day), and get a flake or two when inside, and during winter they have free choice grass hay outside with a large flake of alfalfa inside (from a large square). She doesn't eat anymore hay than any other horse, and gets very little concentrate.

Sorry, that was long, but my point being, you'll have to calculate what you are spending extra on these drafts, compared to any other savings you are getting, and then post the charge.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:04 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your comments! Sorry I've been absent ... on a much enjoyed vacation, finally back home today.

The situation is that I've found a wonderful woman to take care of my two drafts, and I swear she does a better job of it than I would if I had them on my own property. One has been with her for 1.5 years already, and the other just moved in (long story about that).

On the times that I have filled in for her so she could take vacation (she pays me in board reduction), I have noticed that my beefcake definitely poops more and has a much messier stall than the others. I can do all the other stalls in 10-15 minutes each, and his takes 20 each day, easily. And that's not just because I'm picky about making my own horse's stall neater than the others.

So now that both of them are with her, and Winter is here and she's noticing that the round bales are disappearing faster than when she had five light horses ... I'm the one who actually wants to compensate her more fairly. She has so far kept saying all the things you-all said above. I was trying to see if maybe a less biased community could suggest some pricing.

I supply my own feed, so mainly the cost is in shavings, hay, and time spent on the dang stalls. I've told her that my previous barn charged an extra $25/mo without any justification or calculations going into it, just blindly tacking on $25/mo which I always paid.

So, that's been my starting point ... for February I was going to kick in an extra $50/mo for my two boys. Alternately I could keep buying her thank you gifts. I chip in with extra help whenever I can, but it never feels like enough.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:31 PM   #7
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If you are only seeing the difference being in messy stalls your contributing "willingly" an extra $50 a month more than compensates here in materials.
Shavings cost approximately $5.00 a bag/bale.
So your generosity has bought her an extra 10 bags of shavings or an extra roll of hay if she applied that generosity there.

To be honest, if your boys only take an extra 5 minutes to do their stalls versus the other horses who you think are neater....

Your being aware though and a thoughtful boarder is fantastic.
Offering to pick up a day here or there for her so she can be away knowing the barn and horses are safe and looked after is worth a fortune to her in peace of mind.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:20 AM   #8
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^^ thanks H4L! I do pitch in when I can.
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