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Spirithorse 08-30-2009 09:02 PM

What to charge? Ideas?
One of my newly aquired clients is wanting to bring her horse to my place to leave with me for training. My first question is, how much do I charge per month? She will be supplying grain and hay, and I will be using my own tack and equipment. As far as my property, I have a couple trails I can access and a small outdoor grassy arena (that is almost completely fenced in, just have to put the rails up, posts are already in place), but no indoor arena. I will be able to work with the mare almost every day, weather permitting. The owner knows this already. So yea, how much is reasonable to charge?

Another question I have, is what do I put in a contract for her to sign? I already have some things I want to include, but what are the "nuts and bolts?" I will require her to come out and work with the mare because whatever rapport and relationship I build with her will not transfer to the owner.....I already told her this and she was planning on doing that anyway:-) When she does come out to work with her, at least until she gets the hang of things, it will be a lesson format.

With my past clients it's always been a I-come-to-you situation. So I've never had someone bring me their horse to stay on my property. Just wanna do this right!:-) I'm excited for this new opportunity!

smrobs 08-30-2009 11:29 PM

It kinda depends on the going rate for your area and how she wants the horse trained. It is much more expensive for training for a specific discipline than it is for just basic manners and riding etiquette and cues. Around here, my Dad is one of the cheaper trainers and he charges $650 a month for just the basics, closer to $800 for a particular discipline but he provides the feed. The last horse that I trained was a friend of mine and I provided the feed but due to my schedule I knew I wouldn't get much more than the minimum basics done on her, I only asked for $350. I had her for about 4 months and only got 11 rides on her (between my laziness and the summer heat) which worked out okay. I have not a clue about what to put in the contract though. :D Good luck!!

Spirithorse 08-31-2009 06:48 AM

Thanks smrobs! That does help. I have a friend who's a trainer at a dressage/hunter/jumper barn and she charges $300 or $350 for training I believe. However she has access to an indoor arena.

This will be NH training, on the ground and riding. So nothing sport specific, the owner really just wants the horse to be calm and obedient out on the trail.

Any other thoughts?

iridehorses 08-31-2009 07:48 AM

Spirit, is the horse ridable or do you have to start him? Have you evaluated the horse? All that will help to determine how much to charge.

What I've done is to start with a set price (in my case $650/month) then subtract the cost of feed it they are supplying it or add to it based on the problem I may have to work with and what lessons the rider needs. I'll spell out how many rides per week and for how long they get for their money, it may or may not include a lesson for the rider (that all comes from an initial evaluation of not only the horse, but the rider too).

I don't train for a specific discipline, just to put a handle on the horse and work with a problem if necessary. I don't guaranty anything beyond how the horse and rider work while in my care since I can't control what they do when they leave my place. I have the owner sign a contract based on their expectations and then sign off on it when the term of the contract is expired.

Spirithorse 08-31-2009 05:38 PM

iridehorses: Yes, the horse is ridable, but doesn't know a whole lot. I have worked with them once before for a few hours and the mare is a Dr. Jeykl/Mr. Hyde personality....she will be dominant one moment, yet if you step her just outside her comfort zone she will become very herd sour and unconfident. She likes people and trusts them to a point, but doesn't see them as leader or a place of safety. She is very smart, catches on quickly (if in the right frame of mind) and I see a lot of potential.

The owner is pretty confident. She really wants to learn and is ambitious and is willing to take the time it takes to get a good foundation on the mare so that she can trail ride. That is her ultimate goal, to have a calm, obedient, safe trail riding horse. And to have fun with on the ground, too! She's very excited to start learning and is happy that she doesn't feel like she's giving up on the horse anymore. Apparently things had gotten bad enough that her herd sourness was a real problem where it was almost uncontrollable.

Spirithorse 08-31-2009 11:05 PM

The owner came out tonight to watch me work with my horse and we were talking about things and she said she'd like to take lessons while the horse is with me 3-4 times a week. I've charged $25/hr in the past for lessons/working with the horse.

iridehorses 09-01-2009 06:34 AM

That's great! You might work out a package deal to include her lessons. 3 or 4 times per week at a reduced rate but I'm not sure she should be on her own horse for the first few weeks. That can easily undo or hamper your training. I would want to train her and the horse separately then both together.

kitten_Val 09-01-2009 07:44 AM

Hmmm... I'm not sure about your state, but the cheapest in my area was $500/month, the most expensive $1200/month (absolutely ridiculous in my personal opinion considering it was just "riding" and nothing specific like jumping or dressage). $800 barn I was considering took full care (stall, feed) of her while in training and they have one "horse in training" per field, huge indoor, and so on. So I'd say around $600 would be just right (unless other people charge a lot or much less in your area).

And yes, you certainly want to go with the contract. But I can't help with that. Lol! I always considered contract from the customer prospectives such as: horse will be in good health, you have to call the owner in case of emergency, etc.

Spirithorse 09-01-2009 06:46 PM

iridehorses: I'll definitely be doing a lot of simulations with the owner before she goes and tries things with her horse. Energy matching, rope and stick handling skills, etc. I'll also asign her "homework" to do :D As far as a package deal, what were you thinking? I like that idea.

kitten val: I definitely want to make things worth her money, which is why I'm kinda struggling with the price. Now I'm thinking $400/month however I don't have an indoor my work with the horse is dictated by the weather. But like I said, the owner knows this. I don't want to under-charge (for my own benefit) however I really don't want to over-charge her, I want everything to be just right. I'm not sure what the going rate is around here for training other than that one barn I mentioned earlier.

iridehorses 09-01-2009 07:41 PM

How about $X amount for the horse and $22.50 X3 X4 (3 times per week for 4 weeks). Payment upfront gives her an extra lesson per week.

So ... with $400 for the horse, then $240 for the lessons, making it $640 for the month. With payment up front, she gets the 4th lesson per week for free.

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