I've never been a BO, but I have trained in the past, and after one really bad experience I had to have a contract written to cover my fees. I had a woman stiff me for 3 months training, for a total of $1,200.00, granted that's not much but when you only train a limited number of horses a month, it makes a difference. I took the woman to court and ended up eating the $1,200.00 plus court cost because there was no written contract. Lesson learned, no training without a written contract in hand. If they don't want to sign the contract, I don't want them as a client, period. I know it's a harsh way to be, but I'm not going through that again. My contract is written in a way that I can adjust the fees based on the circumstances, but I will not train a horse without a written contract in place. When you're in the horse business of any kind you need to cover your own a$$ first.