In 2002, Brookside Farms, LTD formed a Co-Op, Bailey Creek, composed of the barn members. The barn members have a voice in the operation of the facility. Barn members collect a small Co-Op fee that pays for shavings, wormer, fly control and an insurance policy. Barn members jointly participate in maintenance of the fences and share responsibility for the general cleanliness of the barn. Barn members belong to the Co-Op. They elect representatives to act on behalf of the Co-Op to do routine maintenance, and those managing members receive a discount in their board.
The Co-Op has worked amazingly well. One of the members of the Co-Op lives on the property and is frequently able to take care of other’s horses when owners are out of town. Other Co-Op members share responsibilities with each other of letting out and putting horses in and for feeding them so that there is not the need to be on-site each day. Co-Op members range in age from 7 years old up through age 60.
If you are accepted for boarding, you must also be approved by the Co-Op for membership. You will have a say in how the barn is run, but also as one of the owners of the Co-Op, you will help maintain the barn. The Co-Op holds a workday typically for a ½ day 3 or 4 times per year to take care of routine maintenance. The Co-Op shares in buying hay, shavings, and lowering costs for all.
One advantage of the Co-Op is that someone looks after your horse if you are not there and yet you receive the benefit of board pricing that is substantially below the market for full board. You are responsible for buying your own feed. Hay is typically bought by the Co-Op in bulk. You can select your own vet and farrier or share call expenses with other Co-Op members to save money. The barn has 2 tack rooms and several members have trailers used for transporting the horses.