Training budget vs ideal goals - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Training budget vs ideal goals

So, I have been wondering about training dollars or budget, if you will.
What does the budget get someone or how does it helps them in their chosen discipline and if they feel it is/was worth it.

There are quite a variety of ways to get information, or train a horse, or train oneself these days.
There are TV shows, internet clubs, trainer in a box, sending a horse to a trainer, go and take lessons on a lesson horse, taking lessons on one’s own horse, or having a trainer teach your horse separately and give lessons to both of you, colt starting, driving, and many others I’m sure I’m failing to mention.

I am curious how horse people feel your training dollars/budget are working for you and the value you think/feel you are getting out of it.
Are you reaching your goals for yourself or your horse? Are they worth what you are paying or have paid?

If you feel comfortable mentioning how much you spend a month for lessons on “ABC” or particular discipline, feel free to mention it. Likewise, if you spent “X” amount for however many DVD’s to address whatever your issue or training need was. Or you sent your horse to a trainer to be taught “ABC” and it worked (or not.)
If you don’t feel comfortable mentioning amounts spent then feel free not to.

There are no right or wrong answers and all disciplines are welcome, just as all training or teaching methods are welcome. I’m hoping for people’s input regardless of the genre.

Please, no bashing! This is not about comparing anyone’s methods or style so I‘m not interested in hearing “this trainer‘s” way is better than “that trainer‘s” way.

I know some may have strong opinions on things, but I’m hoping this can be more of a constructive way to share the value people feel or think they are getting out of how they choose to go about solving their training needs. Whatever those needs are.

Lastly, there is nothing wrong with my horse, I am not after anything specific or trying to solve any problem.
Merely musing while the weather makes up it's mind if Spring is really here or not.
Mine is an odd example, but here you go…
Years ago, one place I worked at was an eventer and dressage stable. They didn’t give traditional lessons per say and didn’t have lesson horses, but trained horses and their owners for trials and events as well as maintaining their own competition horses.

In addition to running the barn, I rode the horses for warm up, off day boredom prevention, basics, and some ring work so the trainer could focus more on the core training of the horses and her clients. Plus we traveled to various events.

Eventually I wanted to take things a little further in dressage, but did not own a horse that could do dressage or eventing, nor could I afford one. A particular client was not able to ride or take lessons during the week because of her college schedule, but agreed to let me take dressage lessons on her horse in exchange for me giving her horse extra work during the week (on my own time) beyond the lessons. Sort of a lease I guess you could say.
I paid my boss for her dressage lesson time by spit polishing her tack to show ring ready status each week.
Overall I feel I got a huge value for my input which was time instead of money.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 01:05 PM
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I did a lot of barn duties in exchange for the occasional lesson. I liked the work and learned a lot about horse care. I can bed a stall as good as any race track trained personnel, plus braiding, cleaning tack, etc. I am thankful for all the "ground" work I did because there were no surprises when I bo't my first horse.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 01:41 PM
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When I was younger, my parents scraped for me to have a lesson once a month. For a yr and a half when I was 11 or 12 my parents helped me pay to have a horse in training for 3 months with weekly lessons. NO idea how they were able to afford that!!! To "pay" them for it, I did stuff around the house and farm. After that experience (story for another time), I started riding and finishing other ppls horses. There were quite a few trainers by me at the time, and most of them just let me follow them around like a puppy dog asking lots of questions. At 16, I was on my own for horse stuff. I took a lesson here and there when I could afford it, I worked at a few barns during that time, and a few times ended up training the horses that the "trainer" was getting paid to train. And I rode EVERYTHING I could get my hands on, eventers, dressage, WP, reiners, halter, huntseat. I did A LOT of watching other ppl, and harassing judges during their lunch breaks. My last "official" lesson was over 10 yrs ago, and she teased me that I didn't really need one, I just needed a good camcorder;) So I guess for me, I was 75-85% self taught. And while I don't have any huge awards ot titles, I lots of local open show awards. So I must not have been to bad. If I have the chance (=$$$) I would like to take actual lessons on reining by someone that actually knows what they're doing, but the nearest one that I can find is 3 hours away, and doesn't have any horses you can use to learn on.

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 01:47 PM
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EDIT: SImply put...."training budget?!?! What's that? never heard of such a thing;)"

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 02:02 PM
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I have an indrect budget.

I work at a barn, which means I get a very low salary. I also get free field board and lessons. My horse isn't suitable anymore for the type of lessons the BO focuses on (dressage) - he doesn't hold up to the work. He does however do endurance and I'm training him (myself) for competitive trail and obstacles.

So, now that we're no longer doing Dressage together, I find it hard to justify working for a cruddy wage since I no longer feel pressure to lesson 2-4 times a week. I know that I would have a hard, if not impossible time paying $150 a week for lessons + board!

Since we're going on new adventure with our riding, I feel a stronger desire to get a better paying job, to be able to afford better stuff for him and a trailer so we can really go off and adventure!

Short version: I have a budget, am looking for a new and better budget!
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 02:08 PM
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I agree with Busysmurf.... my training budget this Spring was merely a robbing Paul to pay Peter!

I decided to enroll Sam in a 30 day training program to up his knowledge. He is at the right age and I had done all I could do with him. Time for the professional to work him.

And, what a huge difference! He is trained 5 days a week and has been really pushed outside his comfort zone. I am very impressed with his progress.

I was lucky because the trainer (who is my barn owner) is taking the training fee in payments over the course of the 30 days.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 02:26 PM
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I train my own but have sent them out for specialty training. Depends on the discipline and time what you'll spend. I had planned to send Woodstock out for finishing when I'm through with laying the foundation, fortunately I have a new mentor that will be teaching me how to finish a reiner myself. I'm quite excited that I won't be shelling out $850/mo for who knows how long to get him finished. It may take me a year or more to get it done but I'm excited to not only save some money but learn a new skill set.

Lessons & learning myself, I grew up with a trainer for a mom so I was immersed in it. I worked my butt off for her. I also had several outside trainers and saved myself to pay for lessons and worked them off with one.

I try to get to at least one or 2 clinics a year and try to ride with many different people. You can always pick up something new. I plan in advance for the clinics and set money back for them.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 02:39 PM
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I grew up with kids with more money with me that could afford taking and leaving their horses with trainers. I knew that wasn't possible for me. So I did the next best thing, started working for trainers. The way I looked at it was that I was getting paid to learn how to train rather than paying someone else to do it for me. I have learned a lot but a long ways off from knowing it all or hanging my shingle as a horse trainer myself.

Just recently since we have been "visiting" Texas I have been taking lessons. My husband is encouraging me to do so and we can afford it. I have only been going a couple times a month but since I have basis in training I like going taking a lesson, he gives me stuff to work on at home. That gives me time to think it through and play with the lesson. A couple weeks I go back, show him what we did, either tweek it and/or learn something else. This the fastest way for me to "get it". The last trainer I worked for figured this out with me and this is how he taught me. About 2 days before he would leave for a big show he would give me a lesson and hammer on me. He would leave me to figure it out and let it soak while he was gone at the show. He was always pleased when he came home and trusted me to get it. He admitted the first he tried this with me he was a little nervous and thought he would come to a barn full of messed up So this is the best way for me and work a hell of a lot better even if I had the money to take lessons several times a!
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 02:55 PM
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If/when I was lucky enough to send a horse out, it was for a foundation. I've never been good at starting them out (I don't really like to either), my strength has always been finishing them out. So that's what I stuck to. I've managed to hook up with a few ppl from time to time that are good at/like to start them, but lose gound when it comes to finishing. So we usually ended up tag-teaming.

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 03:15 PM
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If showing lessons seem to be more usefull if a qualified instructor is available. I see lot's of people that show and do not do well and after they take some lessons they greatly improve. In my mind why spend all the money to show if you always come in last.

I have also been to some weekend clinics that I thought were well worth the investment of 550.00 plus expenses
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