View Full Version : Trainer profit splitting

Jan. 18, 2010, 08:50 PM
Hello! I recently starting working for a fantastic BNT who wants to start a lesson program at her barn. I will be her assistant trainer and am hoping to bring in young beginner and intermediate riders. To do this, we are using a few of the BNT's horses and some that belong to the owner of the farm until I procure more mounts.

I will be splitting a percentage of whatever I make with the BNT and the farm owner whenever I teach a lesson. Could anyone tell me what is is a fair split?


Jan. 18, 2010, 11:10 PM
I'm not familiar with any situations where there's a 3-way split, but 50-50 is pretty common when the instructor works for the BO and uses BO's horses --

But, it sounds like you are already working there -- It's been years since I knew any instructors who were also pulling in an hourly wage -- I know some who got $5/rider above their normal wages ... that was about 20 years ago when lessons were $15-$25 -- Also know an assistant trainer who got nothing above her normal wage, and that was about 5 years ago -- She felt used (especially since many of her lessons were with boarders new to the barn who moved in specifically to ride with her) --

You may also want to discuss who pays for repairs if tack/jumps are broken in a lesson -- Who ensures any tack is repaired/replaced in a timely manner? Will you teach lessons during your normal work hours or stay late? Will there be time during your normal work hours to school lesson horses or organize a lesson tack room? -- Who handles turnout of lesson horses? -- Does that become your responsibility if you schedule a lesson during turnout hours? Is there a budget for advertising the lesson program?

When you say you'll be procuring more mounts, does that mean they're your financial responsibility? You cover any purchase cost, board, tack, vet, farrier, dentist, etc? I'd recommend developing at least a budget if not a business plan if you're headed in that direction --

Jan. 18, 2010, 11:49 PM
I don't know the split at my barn, but through eavesdropping and some discussions I have discovered that the lesson program at my barn is just as complex as Dab has pictured.

It is an independent entity and it may pay for all it's outstanding bills at the end of the month and then settle a percentage of whatever profit there is to you. You may have to teach a minimum of x paid lessons per week per horse before you pay for all the horse's expenses.
Or not. Depends on whether BNT is willing to subsidize the program.

Jan. 19, 2010, 01:09 AM
You need to work out other things like INSURANCE(Liability) and whether you pay or BNT since you say they want to start the lesson program - would you need to pay your own liability insurance or will theirs cover you.. Very important.

as far as the splits goes - initially since you would be doing the teaching I would think you need to make sure your share makes it worth your while and is this going to be in addition to any salary you are receiving presently or in lieu of salary? What involvement does the owner have? If you charge $60 per private lesson - 50% to you = $40; 25% = $15 to trainer and $15 to owner - is that going to be fair to everyone or will they expect a larger percentage. And then as mentioned above -if BNT/Owner covers your liability insurance - then a larger % to them; if not - I would think a lesser percentage...

Whatever is decided you need to have some sort of contract and also need to determine HOW the lessons are to be billed and then split. You might want to just say you want X amount per lesson as your fee and then let BNT /Owner determine the rest...

Do they 1099 you?

Jan. 19, 2010, 01:19 AM
We figure 1/3 is cost for the upkeep of the horse, 1/3 is cost for the facility (insurance, upkeep, labor, jumps) and 1/3 for the instructor IF they have paid the difference in cost to add themselves to the farm liability policy.

SO, if you get 25% and DO NOT have to reach in your own pocket to be added to the insurance, you are doing fine... Let them worry how to split the rest, then its not your problem.

Jan. 19, 2010, 11:03 AM
Thank you all. I should say that I am paying my own liability insurance, and up until now I've just been getting paid cash under the table, no 1099.