Trainer Fees, this one is tricky - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 03:29 PM
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I really think this might be an issue cath80 that you need to talk with said trainer about. Maybe something to the tune of your thoughts on a fee in pertinence to maybe a barn lease of sorts? Is it possible instead of her boarding her horses in a lease situation not per horse/boarding... Maybe a separate barn? I've heard of trainers leasing out a particular barn on a property to which they were responsible for feeding and care of the horses within it... I also don't think after having read everyone's comments thus far that anyone was being rude I think this was misconstrued; everyone was being very concerned that you might run off a good portion of your boarding business since (in this economy especially) horses are a very expensive commodity to people and with the rising hay prices good paying boarders are getting fewer and further between. The thought of losing even a few horses to some barn owners can be detrimental to business... Maybe you're in a different situation but, all sides are worth considering when something you've worked so hard for is at question.

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post #12 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cath80 View Post
I think I am just having a hard time with it being 'free' to her to use the facility in excess even when I am being paid board. In a sense it feels like I am providing a beautiful facility for her to use for her own purposes without any kickback (other than board) to me? Meaning, she has no actual 'cost of doing business' Does that make sense?

Is she getting a discount on her board or is she paying the same as all the other boarders? If she's paying the same as all the others and everyone is allowed to use the facilities with no restrictions, then she's most certainly not using them for 'free', it's included in the board. If she's the only one using them, then a higher fee would be in order.

Another thing to consider is impact on your other boarders. If she starts impacting them to the point where they can't use the facilities freely then you'd have to address that.

In a case like this, I'd be exploring the option of leasing her X number of stalls for $XXX and leasing her exclusive use of the facilities on X days/at X time and then lease her the lesson horses for X number of lessons per month for $XX and anything in excess goes to $10/use. That way, you'd get your board, she'd use the facilities but couldn't impact the other boarders and everyone hopefully would stay happy.

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post #13 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
In a case like this, I'd be exploring the option of leasing her X number of stalls for $XXX and leasing her exclusive use of the facilities on X days/at X time and then lease her the lesson horses for X number of lessons per month for $XX and anything in excess goes to $10/use. That way, you'd get your board, she'd use the facilities but couldn't impact the other boarders and everyone hopefully would stay happy.
That's what my grandfather did when he had an outside trainer working from our barn when I was a kid and it worked well. Trainer said he could keep x number of stalls filled so they had a contract that the trainer would pay board for that amt of stalls, filled or not to protect my grandpa from potentially losing income. Then whatever he charged above board was his training income. There were a few times he had more in than he had pre-paid stalls for, he just paid additional board for them when that was the case.
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post #14 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 04:40 PM
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Dumb question- but if the trainer is bringing horses in a few months at a time, then she is in essence, filling your stables and you in turn get the board from them. So..isn't that where you get your money? Isn't that a good thing? Otherwise those stalls could potentially be empty? I'm trying to see where she would owe you more than that. Unless she is using your horses for lessons of course.

Maybe I just don't understand since I've never had to board a horse.

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post #15 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 05:14 PM
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I would charge her $10 per each use of a lesson horse and $10 fee for non boarders using the facilities. The boarders are already paying you for the use of the facilities.
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 05:29 PM
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I think what a lot of people are failing to understand is that no one is making money boarding alone. Your monthly board cheque gets sucked up quickly by operating expenses, repairs, emergencies, etc and rarely leaves room for the owner to have a paycheck herself.
If you are a large, high end facility with professional trainers working from your barn then yes, a monthly or per lesson lease or use fee, on top of whatever board income is the norm.$10 per lesson is normal around here, with use of a school horse its $20-30.

Good luck!
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 05:55 PM
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I can see where you're coming from. You charge a certain amount for board so people can enjoy their horses in your nice facility. If that person then wants to turn around and use your facility to make their own money, you should probably be getting a cut. There is a cost of doing business and it's hardly fair for the facility owner to take on that cost while the trainer doesn't have to take on anything but her own insurance.

You could argue that the trainer being there will draw in business (if she has a good reputation that is) but there are a finite number of stalls and it's possible that the facility owner could fill them all on her own without the trainers help and then she wouldn't have to deal with having that trainer there and any additional costs or drama that may be involved.

One thing to consider as an extra cost, the trainer will be bringining in new horses to train regularly, if she's good, which means extra risks for the barn owner in the form of contagious disease, extra work to quarantine new horses and introduce them to the herd (if there is herd turnout that is) while a regular boarder would typically bring in their horse and then settle in for a good long while.
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post #18 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 07:11 PM
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There's a difference between a trainer working hand in hand with a BO and drawing in business and a trainer using a BO's facilities to run their own business. In the first situation the BO and the trainer would have a deal of sorts- whether it takes the form of the BO 'hiring' the trainer to teach lessons on her school horses or train her clients, or some other arrangement, either way the trainer doesn't typically get use of the facility to run lessons for free, etc.
When I took lessons from a specific trainer who worked out of a facility there was one price if she came to me, and another that included a 'haul in fee' that went to the BO if I went to her. I think it's reasonable to charge her a flat fee for all lessons given to non-boarders, on top of a fee for her use of your school horses. Where it gets complicated is her bringing in training horses, and since I'm not a BO I'm going to leave that one be.
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 07:33 PM
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i allowed a trainer to work out of my barn once and I'll never do it again. She used my arena daily the time my other boarders were here wanted to ride and got possessive about it saying they couldnt ride when she was working horses..than i had issues with boarders pissed because they paid her to work their horses and she didnt ride them .. than I had to hear about it... I eventually had to ask her to leave for a miriad of other reasons also.
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 08:00 PM
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I have a friend who has a trainer at her barn. They are paid seperately. Her board check and his training check are seperate. Just how they have arranged. He keeps 4-6 horses in training, the rest are her boarders, of which she picks and chooses the cream of the crop from the training horses, who all typically want to stay. She has a great group at her barn, who have all become wonderful friends. But, her "extra" pay from the trainer is that he keeps her horses really well trained. Both of them. The older one he has fine tuned, and the younger one he broke and totally trained. it also gives her a "back up" if she needs help with chores, at night especially, since he is there only afternoons. It has made for a great mix of well trained well mannered horses for sure, and has its' upside. I would charge more for use of your school horses and also have an arena fee for the times when someone trailers in for the trainer for a lesson, etc. Keep in mind that this HAS to add to your overall liability, as well as wear and tear on the facility.

Good luck whatever you do, but I persoanlly would have an iron clad agreement....sort of like most job descriptions......"and other duties assigned......" I would suggest that in the contract you leave a review of terms after a trial 3-6 months, in case it needs tweeking.
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