Cost of a horse trainer.

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Cost of a horse trainer.

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  • How much does it cost to have ur horse trained
  • Horse trainer dfw area cost per hour

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    04-25-2011, 04:32 PM
Question Cost of a horse trainer.

I am certain that somewhere buried in the thousands of threads on here there is a thread about this but after searching 11+ pages of threads I cannot find it.

Some of you may know I have recently enlisted the help of a "professional" trainer with my new addition to the herd. I have had a lot of horses through the years, trained, broke, and competed on horses my whole life. (well I wasnt breaking horses at the age of 5 but I was barrel racing them!) I have never hired a trainer so I have no idea what could be considered "reasonable". I know it is going to vary from region to region but I am just looking for a general idea.

I personally have trained barrel horses for other people but never as a "professional" in fact the only thing I charged was either hay or a riding buddy. I made sure I told the people I worked with upfront that I am not a professional and I am only sharing my knowledge of what has and has not worked for me over the years.

So my question - How much does a professional trainer cost?

There are going to be answers all over the place so lets break it down a bit further

Cost to "break" a horse?
Cost to train a horse for general riding purposes once broke?
Cost to train a horse to do specific events (western or pleasure)
Cost to "finish" a horse?

Please include with how much it costs and how the cost is broke down
Per ride?
Monthly? (How many times a week are they riding for you?)
Does it include board while they are at the trainers facility or are they coming to your facility?

And finally -

Are you included in that training?
Are they helping you while you ride or are they riding the horse?
Do you get updates? How often?

What qualifications do they have that make them a professional?

I appreciate the info!!
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    04-25-2011, 04:54 PM
Subscribing! Curious to know as well. Just a quick note: say your location as well, as it may help since it probably varies.
    04-25-2011, 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by horselvr    
Cost to "break" a horse?
Cost to train a horse for general riding purposes once broke?
Cost to train a horse to do specific events (western or pleasure)
Cost to "finish" a horse?

Please include with how much it costs and how the cost is broke down
Per ride?
Monthly? (How many times a week are they riding for you?)
Does it include board while they are at the trainers facility or are they coming to your facility?

And finally -

Are you included in that training?
Are they helping you while you ride or are they riding the horse?
Do you get updates? How often?

What qualifications do they have that make them a professional?

I appreciate the info!!
This is going to be a long answer, lots of questions and good ones! I can share what I do personally.

I can tell you what I charge and what I include in that. I don't break it down by starting or finishing work. I don't take any less than 90 days, unless it's just a tune up. I do this simply because 30 days is not a lot to get much done and have found that people expect to have a horse much more farther along than 30 days or budget generally allows.

I charge $675/month including full care board and daily turn out. I ride 6 days a week and the 7th will do ground work, bathing, learning to clip, showmanship work, etc. I will do hourly rides to test out prospective horses clients are considering for purchase, but not for training purposes. I charge a flat $50 to go with and ride the horse. I encourage clients to be proactive in the training process, through observation the first month or when I feel the horse is ready for it's rider, I do lessons/training coaching on what I have been doing with the horse myself. I have an open door policy and encourage folks to just drop in anytime. I am in the barn from 7 am til sometimes midnight 7 days a week and if I'm not I am a call or text msg away. They give me a general idea when they will be coming, usually just a day and I will leave their horse until they get here. My pet peeve is trainers who work the snot out of a horse prior to an appt with a client, they should see them fresh as they will have to ride them fresh themselves. I make it a point to update owners on a weekly basis but will call in between if we had a breakthrough moment or a new success and I am always open to phone calls or visits in between. I will also haul them to the first few shows for owners that want to show themselves and also show several owners horses exclusively. I charge a flat fee & mileage/meals/hotel if required. If I'm hauling my own, I generally ride theirs and they cover my expenses for my own.

Qualifications - super important! Check them out, ask to see them ride horses that are at the same stage in training as yours. Another pet peeve is a trainer who is talking to a client with a completely green horse and only pulls out a finished horse they've done. Who did they learn from? How long have they been training for a living? What successes have they had? If you have specific problems, have they worked with similar horses? Ask for references and follow up on them. My background...I learned everything from my mom, she is a retired trainer who went to Findlay and learned under Clark Bradley & Dale Wilkinson, both hall of famers. I trained my first horse start to finish at 14 and she was a reserve snaffle bit futurity champ. I've turned out AQHA All-Around Champions, several congress top ten horses, and FQHR world champions in various disciplines from showmanship, wp, trail to western riding & reining. I've been riding since I could walk and showing on my own since about 4 years old.

Best advice is to really do your research. There are so many "trainers" out there that have absolutely zero business calling themselves such. Don't get caught up in NH vs non-nh training, look for common sense horsemanship. Good luck!
    04-25-2011, 09:40 PM
Wow what a great post MHFQ!! I wish I could afford you! (and you were closer!) RIght now the BM at my barn is helping me train my gelding and she charges $40ph. Because he is just a baby she only works him twice a week. Once a week with me and the other day without me. She is definitely a common sense horsewoman, and I think she is great.

Good luck finding a great trainer. They are few and far between.
    04-25-2011, 09:55 PM
Thanks momo3boys :) I'd gladly help you out if you were closer! That's great you have a common sense trainer to work with you & your baby. Getting a good start early on will only set him up for future success and help create a willing partner. My yearling went for a walk with me to the bus stop today (our lane is a good 1\4 mile long) She didn't mind the noisy, smelly bus and watched the kids hanging out the windows very intently, she carried my daughter's backpack for a bit too, I love babies :)

Good luck on your search horselvr!
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    04-25-2011, 10:04 PM
Green Broke
MHFoundationQuarters, I wish you were near me too!

I worked with a great trainer for a few hours with my weanling. He charged $60 hour, which wouldn't be too bad for some help here and there, except that he lives 3+ hours away and I don't have a trailer. I asked him about saddle training and he said $1000 a month. Sigh!

I would love to have a good trainer at a reasonable price nearby. I've been quoted $700 - $1000 a month but these are all people far away. I KNOW there are probably good trainers locally, but I don't know any of them, and I don't want to use a trainer that I don't know of someone using personally, know what I mean?
    04-26-2011, 12:34 PM
Two things, wanted to bump this up so some more people would respond and we can get some more answers, secondly thanks MH I appreciate the input. I don't feel so bad now for what I am being charged....
    04-26-2011, 03:39 PM
You're welcome! Hope you get more replies, there are lots of knowledgable folks on here!

Maybe I can convince my hubby I need to do some traveling and meet new riding friends & come visit you all...but then who would ride mine? :)
    04-26-2011, 04:10 PM
I charge my customers $650 per month and that includes feed, board, and training. If there is some medical condition that the horse has that requires special care, that is also charged to the owner as an added cost. I send out a monthly itemized bill that also includes a charge for de-worming if the horse needs it and farrier work that is not included in the original $650. When I was looking around to decide what to charge, I saw people charging anywhere from $400 to $1500 per month but the people who were comparable to me were usually around $700-$900.

I won't go into quite as much detail as MHFQ but basically; that charge covers 20-30 days riding, depending on what the individual horse needs. Some horses, you can miss a day or 3 and then just get back on like you never stopped riding and others have to be almost started over after a short break, so they don't get a break.

If something happens where I can't put the full amount of training on them; I get busy, they have an abscess or other minor injury where I can't ride them, etc, then I adjust my charge to fit what training they did get.

I am not a specialty trainer so I don't charge for specialty training. The only thing that changes for me between specialty and standard is the amount of time that they stay. If someone just wants a horse that they can get on and go ride for fun, then they might stay for 30-120 days, depending on the horse and the owners capability. Some people like to finish a horse their own way but need someone else to get it started to the point where they can just saddle up and go ride, others need a horse that is a steady, finished riding horse before they take it home.

If the owner wants some more specialty training on the horse like getting them started on roping or cattle work, then it's just a matter of keeping them a bit longer. I don't advertise training for reining horses or pleasure horses or such like you would need for a show because I don't have the qualifications or ability to make a winner yet. However, most my horses, by the time I'm finished, could go run a simple reining pattern and do it decently. They'll spin but not fast, they know circles and depending on how long I keep them, they may or may not be solid in flying changes, they stop good and hard on their butt, etc.

My customers are more than welcome to come and watch me handle their horse and I am more than happy to let them ride it after I get it mostly solid in the basics. I give them updates as often as they like. Most of my customers now just bring the horse and wait for me to tell them when I think it's ready to go home, some people get annoyed with weekly updates so I just keep on working until I hear from them. They will call occasionally and ask how they are doing but that's pretty much it. I do have a couple that asked "I just want whatever you can do with her in 60 days" because that's all they have budgeted for. I also had one that just wanted 30 days on her 3 year old to get the basics down. She was going to turn him back out afterward until he was 4 to grow up and will be bringing him back sometime this summer for more finishing work.
    04-26-2011, 05:54 PM
Well, I think you really need to figure out what do you want from your horse and what kind of training are you looking for.
The horse market in this area is really bad right now. Most people cannot afford to pay much money for training.
I personally do not enjoy showing or any specialty training. I love trailriding and I concentarte on a lot of desensitizing and getting the horse ready for trails.
I have no problem with taking in unhandled horses or problem horses. Those usually need more than just 30 days though.
Generally horses that come here are at least halter broke and can somewhat lead.
I charge $300 a month for a minimum of 30 days. That includes the board and feed.
Any special feed or supplements are responsibility of the client. They can either bring it or pay extra.
The horses get worked almost every day. I do not work with them when it rains or when the wind is above 30mph, since I do not have an indoor arena.
Of course there are exceptions, but generaly after the 30 days clients get back a horse that is trail safe and goes through anything. If the horse is ready for it I start with neck reining and collection, but most of them are not collected after the first 30 days. Clients have the option of leaving the horse for as long as they want; I only had few horses that were here over those 30 days.
If they wish for their horse to be used to shooting, they have to cover the cost of blanks.
Most people that bring horses here want to use them for trail riding and are not interested in the higher levels of training. They just want to be able to have some fun with their horse.
Of course if there were any medical bills it is the client's responsibility, the same with farrier work.
Clients are welcome to come any day and either watch me train their horse, or be involved in the training. I do not mind teaching them what to do. And I do not charge extra for that.
I do daily updates on my facebook and several videos of their horse's lessons it is up to the client if they want to follow the training or not.
Most of them really appreciate the videos.

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