Odd problem (board/training and $$$)

I have a problem to throw out to this wonderful Morgan community.  If you can help or offer constructive advice, please do so.  In mid-July I moved one of my Morgans out of a full-service show barn (where my other horse trains) to a boarding barn closer to home—or so I thought. 

 The woman, a friend and horseperson whom I greatly respect, gave me a monthly rate of $750. plus tax with wormers and supplements extra.  This seemed expensive to me but I like the lady’s reputation, would have a stall for my horse, and have access to lovely trails.  At the same time, I inquired about training.  She told me there wasn’t any “real” training—that she just charged by the ride ($40./ride) every time I wanted her to ride my horse—or so I thought—, OR asked boarders to take lessons from her to fill in the gap.  I was all excited thinking I was going to get some good jumping and dressage lessons on the side.

  Well, I called her today to ask her how my horse was doing.  She said, “Wonderful!  We’ve been riding him!”  I said, “You’ve been…what?!”  I hadn’t asked or contracted her to ride him.  Now I owe an EXTRA $300+ in addition to my upscale ”board” bill.  I said something to her about the rides—since she said there wasn’t “training” (yeah, right)—and she told me, after the fact, that horses can’t stay at her barn unless they’re in some kind of program.  Sounds an awful lot like training to me and more than I want to spend on this particular horse. 

 Okay, so I failed Business 101.  I have nothing in writing, she has nothing in writing, and I obviously misunderstood her.   Here’s my question: What is a reasonable fee for board?  I live in upstate NY.  I’m wondering what alternate situation I can work out.  Does anyone know of any reputable Morgan stables in upstate NY that board (not train exclusively)  Morgans but might have a trainer on site that can help me with the riding part too?  Thanks for listening.

29 Responses to Odd problem (board/training and $$$)

  1. colwilrin says:

    Pardon the expression, but you are getting screwed.

    If I were you, I would make sure that she wasn’t also using the horse to give lessons to some of her other clients. That happened to me years ago with a non-morgan trainer.

  2. Amanda says:

    where in upsate NY are you? How far are you willing to travel?

  3. denu220 says:

    I’m in the Albany, NY area. I would travel an hour but don’t want to go much more.

  4. denu220 says:

    colwilrin, what do you think a reasonable arrangement/price might be? Just looking for some assistance here…

  5. blondie says:

    You may want to check Rolling Oaks Stable in Gansevoort,just north of Saratoga

  6. denu220 says:

    I’ll call and see if they offer board. Thanks, blondie.

  7. 2girlsmom says:

    I am sorry to hear of your situation. I live in the Saratoga Springs area. I know Rolling Oaks very well. They do offer just board. Another place you may want to try would be Trinity Stables in Broadalbin. They have an excellent reputation also. Good luck with your horse drama!! I had some of my own in the early spring. I wish you the best!!

  8. denu220 says:

    Thank you. I put in a call to Suzanne Haberek of Trinity as I only live about 15 minutes away…

  9. colwilrin says:

    I come from the interesting position of having had a horse in full training/board and having another at a barn where I bought all the supplies and did everything, except throwing feed each day. Therefore, I have experience with the actual cost of upkeep.

    It cost me about 84.00 a month to feed and bed my horse.

    From that perspective, 700.00 a month seems far enough above the actual out-of-pocket cost that there should be some other type of service to justify it.

    Since the boarding barn where I kept this horse was the home of a good friend, she only charged my 50.00 a month to cover the cost of utilities. I did my own stalls. Every weekend I would fill up coffee cans with a ration of food, one can per meal, and she would feed each day.

    Outside of that, I have been with my current trainer for the last 4 years. There was a gap of around 20 years between my jr. exhib days with training barns and my current experience.
    Thus, I can’t comment on what is an average rate.

    I do know that what you are paying for board only is not much lower than what I pay for full board and training with 2-3 lessons a week.

  10. denu220 says:

    Thanks for the details, colwilrin. I feel like the lady “tricked” me by saying there wasn’t training per se and then charging me per ride to “train” my horse in a program I didn’t know existed!!! I’m very nervous about this… I already paid the August bill (of course)and now find out ACCIDENTALLY that I owe at least $300. extra for un-negotiated rides!!! This can’t continue. I’ll keep everyone posted. I’ve been in the business a long time and have never encountered anything of this magnitude. In fact, I can’t imagine this ever happening. In the future, GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.

  11. denu220 says:

    I may just move my gelding back to the show stable where he trained for five years. At least that way, I know what I’m getting. I won’t be able to take him for trail rides, etc., but it’ll give me a chance to re-organize in a relatively “safe” environment.

  12. Amanda says:

    I have heard very good things about Suzanne and Trinity farm, 15 minute would be excellent.

    I know where we are in the northeast, it is about $225.00 a month to keep a horse (I know because I did the breakdown for a class I was taking) Granted that is a little high on cost, but we are unable to purchase shavings in bluk and get the price break.

  13. denu220 says:

    I guess the big shock and horror for me is the huge difference in price between the hunter/jumper barns and the Morgan training facilities. The h/j barns charge soooo much extra, it’s frightening.

  14. colwilrin says:

    The h/j world has a much bigger pond to fish in than the Morgan world does!

  15. Stacy says:

    $700.00 is high for board…I am in So Ca. and we are $410.00. However, if you are OK with it and agreed to pay it, that is one thing. “SURPRISE” bills are quite another. Talk to them ASAP and figure it out.

  16. denu220 says:

    Yes, there were some ugly “surprises” that have me upset :(

  17. Erika Rose says:

    It probably doesn’t help too awful much, but here in Central Pa we have been seeing very basic board start at $250 a month, all the way up to $425 for great care and an indoor.

  18. JRae says:

    Here in my area of Connecticut all the large barns with indoors get in the vicinity of $750/month for board.

  19. bella92290 says:

    Denuzzo,
    I go to work for the day and come home to this crazy post! Girlfriend what are we to do with you?? My thoughts, MOVE him for sure! I know Rolling Oaks well also and I do not know Trinity but you seem to have other comments from people here that do so go for it, and yes, Get everything in writing. I know things will work out.

  20. denu220 says:

    Lol at Bella!! I was waiting for you to read this post! I’ve had a HORRIBLE day. The good news is I found some suitable alternates… I’ll keep everyone posted on my little soap opera!

  21. 2girlsmom says:

    Denu220 I know for the morgan facilities in our area full training and board is running between $600 and $750. Just board if allowed is around $350 to $500 depending on services. I hope this information helps with your decision. I hope today is better that yesterday. I can tell having had some drama like I mentioned, it will get better once you have made the move. Try to have a nice day!!

  22. EdanaLL says:

    Denu220, I would opt for Trinity over ROF. I do not have a horse there but I have heard a thing or two and not all complimentary. I think your idea to put your horse at your other training barn is a sound one until you can figure something out. But I would move NOW if you haven’t already. What this person has done sounds a little like fraud. Have you spoken to a lawyer?

  23. denu220 says:

    Hi everyone… I’m going to Trinity this morning and have a look around. I still have yet to have the dreaded conversation with the hunter/jumper trainer. I’m just hoping she doesn’t try to force me to stay 30 days… We have nothing in writing. She still may try to enforce a two-week waiting period, although I’ll find out soon enough. Day care there is running me $25./day (for BOARD) and then everytime she *touches* my horse, I get charged an additional $40. per diem. Ouch! Okay, I’ll keep everyone updated… Thanks again for your well wishes :)

  24. denu220 says:

    Two thumbs up at this point!!!

  25. Amanda says:

    I thought you would like Trinity, I have never been there, but have heard very good things. I have also heard very good things about Suzanne, and her riders are always extremely pleasant.

  26. denu220 says:

    You’re right about everything mentioned, Amanda. I’m also happy to report that the hunter/jumper lady didn’t give me a hard time :)

  27. 2girlsmom says:

    Denu220 I am so glad to hear things are working out for you. The worst is over. I think moving to Trinity was a great idea. Suzanne and group are really a talented and nice group of people. Congratulations!!

  28. jjoker says:

    Great selection Trinity is the place.

  29. denu220 says:

    Thanks, everyone!

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