Strohfus Stock Farm has never had a flat "board fee". We believe that people should pay for what their horse consumes and not what all the horses in the barn consume. We have a customized invoice for each horse which we think you will find fair and refreshing. Our total board is made up of two main charges:
1) Stall Charge - This is essentially "rent". Like rent, it is just for the space and facilities no "utilities". This fee is based on the stall size, barn location and ammenities available to our customers in that facility. This fee is fixed and does not change from month to month.
2) Commodities - This term includes (hay, grain and shavings). Like "utilities" when you rent, this is exactly what your horse consumes each month. If you want your horse to be fed grain you will pay for that amount of grain only. If another customer chooses not to feed grain they will not see that charge. If your horse is an "easy keeper" and is neat in the stall you will use less commodities and pay less.
Why do we do it this way? - In one word "Fairness"! For most experienced boarders, at some point in your boarding history you have or will have a disagreement with the Stable Owner about feed rations for your horse. The reason is that the Stable Owner is incented to feed less because they naturally want to protect their profit by keeping expenses low. That is reasonable. However, your desired feed ration might be proper or it might be excessive. Either way, it is what you believe your horse needs. That is also reasonable. Your stable owner and you are in a natural conflict. Our billing approach takes out this natural conflict. You want your horse fed more...GREAT we are happy to do it. You want to save some money and have us feed hay only....GREAT we are happy to do it.
Do commodities vary in price? - Yes! Like all costs they are market driven. As hay, grain and shavings costs go up and down we pass those increases and decreases onto our customers. Again, fairness is our philosopy!
Isn't that a lot of work? - Yes! It is much more bookkeeping overhead for us to manage but it is worth the effort. It is a win-win for us and our customers. Customers get what you pay for and we have our business operating expenses protected by pass through costs.
How much do "Commodities" generally cost? - This varies month to month slightly. Currently our commodity charges across 60+ horses will avg $180/month. For planning purposes we advise $200/month. Here is a summary of our total board rates by location with estimated commodities factored in.