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Thursday, April 2, 2015

An Extra Sheet of Paper in Your Invoice is Never a Good Sign

The envelope containing my invoice from Shiloh West felt slightly heavier this month and I groaned inwardly. I wish I could say that I was surprised to find a notification of board increase, however as this is the third increase in two years, I was left mostly just feeling baffled.

In total, effective June 1, I will now be paying $84 more than I paid in May of 2013- just a hair over $1000 more a year.

This is the biggest increase so far of $49. It's easier to brush off the $25 here and there but overall this total seems to be reaching beyond the normal cost of inflation. With 40 horses at KMT plus a conservative 50 more throughout the other programs that's an additional $90,000 a year.

I think Shiloh West is a great facility. It's well maintained and the guys run it like a well oiled machine. However what I haven't seen over the past two years are any upgrades- no additional turnouts, no eurosizer, no GGT footing.

Rather than receiving a letter that referenced costs of hay, water, etc as being the reason for the increase, I'd prefer to see a list of things that the team is going to tackle to make the facility better!
I am 100% on board in paying a little bit more to get a little bit more!

So chime in. Have you dealt with board rate increases before? What's the favorite update your property has made with the extra funds?
Ellie is equally perplexed- primarily about why a rein is looped over her ear

13 comments:

  1. AMEN!!!! We had an increase for 'hay' but I didn't buy it.

    There are more horses then ever at the barn and yet things still never get fixed or maintained (like you said, footing, fences, turn outs...)

    As a matter of fact, they just took away all our turn outs but 5 and turned them into paddocks... Akway something for a dollar!

    Ok off my soap box..

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  2. My barn is awesome. In the past 3 years we have had one feed increase ($25?) and they continually invest in the property (from updated tack rooms to fixing the fence, etc.). In fact, they just bought a new drag yesterday and it is AWESOME. I am pretty lucky that they bail all their own hay, so really no increase there. It definitely helps when they are wealthy, motivated, generous people, so I don't think this is a fair comparison to the average BO.

    I know how hard it is to make money in the horse world, but reinvesting in the business is the best way to cause it to grow. And an extra $90,000 a year? You should have gold footing for that ;).

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    1. I meant fee not feed! Whoops!

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    2. Sounds like a great spot! Making money in the horse world is hard! I think a big part of my challenge is simply being a mid-30's rider covering all the expense myself- $50 here and there can end up pricing me out of the market!

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  3. Maintaininga boarding facility is EXPENSIVE. No one likes price increases, but if they don't pass on the rising costs of things like hay and water on to the boarders then they aren't staying in business. I feel your pain though, my last barn raised the price twice in two years!

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    1. I agree 100%- I have no concept of the back end costing of running this type of operation- and you're right- some of those costs have to be passed along to the consumer. I would just like to see the costing planned for and rolled out in a less "hey! another increase" way.

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  4. I'm honestly trying to remember if I've ever had a board increase that has meant additional investment in the facilities. I don't think I have. Usually it's about maintaining. They do some new stuff but it's usually in the nature of fixing what has worn out, rather than improvement. To be fair, it's a pretty great base line already. I do sometimes wish they would tackle bigger problems...but nothing has ever gotten in my way and I'm happy with the current board price.

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    1. I think there is a lot to be said about a facility that maintains the property nicely! Shiloh does a great job in that regard!

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  5. We''ve had them here and there but nothing too out of the ordinary and our facility is definitely improved upon year after year for which I am always grateful.

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    1. It's nice when you see improvements made! I'm always up for a price increase that is going to result in happier horses and riders!

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  6. I will chime in here...Shiloh did just redothe entire outside of the main barn and it does look beautiful. They do a ton of maintenance...mostly on Mondays to avoid bothering clients. Unfortunately, manure used to go away for free, but now they have to pay. When I ask for footing repairs or stall issues addressed they do hop on it. I often thank the owners for always trying to make Shiloh a better place! As far as the Eurociser...sounds great, but where can it go? It needs to be watched, as horses should not be left unattended. I have 6 horses at Shiloh...and I wouldn't go anywhere else! FYI...training prices will remain unchanged:-)

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  7. my farm just raised rates too and cited rising costs of hay etc as the reason. i do buy it (and believe that it's an expensive entity to run), but really wish we could get better facilities and upgrades too...

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