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View Full Version : Barn owners, Do you charge your trainers/why?



smokescreen
Feb. 2, 2010, 05:18 PM
Boarding barn owners, do you charge your traveling trainers? I am an amateur and private barn owner now, but I was a traveling trainer at one time. I never understood why some barn owners charged me a fee (that I passed on to my student) to teach at there barn. Now that I don't train anything but my own horses and I have my own place I still don't think the practice is OK. I could understand a grounds fee for a trailer in lesson, but a boarder is paying for use of the arena anyway. I always taught my students arena etiquette, making them a better boarder. I taught with other boarders in the arenas and always was courteous. The same owners didn't charge the farrier, or vet. Why charge the trainer?

cherham
Feb. 2, 2010, 05:28 PM
I do not and would never charge any of my boarders for taking a lesson with an outside trainer. If I made my living off training and teaching at my own facility I might have a different attitude but even then if I was coaching a dressage student and another boarder rode hunters then why would I possibly care if she brought in her own hunter coach.

Lesson times are posted on my barn bulletin board and it is clearly understood by all that the arena is NEVER closed to anyone.....so far everyone seems to be able to work around the posted schedules and I have never heard a complaint.

In fact having the ability to bring in whatever coach they choose is often one of the reason my boarders choose to move in with us in the first place. It does seem that a lot of farms will not allow outside coaches at all....extra fees incurred or not :(

Its almost the same as when I hear of barn owners charging their boarders to park their horse trailers at the farm...don't quite understand that one either.

Rocky
Feb. 2, 2010, 09:02 PM
I just stopped teaching/training at a barn where the BO decided-after about 10 years-to start charging the travelling instructors a rather hefty fee, which we ofcourse passed on to the boarders. As a result, 18 of 30 horses moved to other facilities to continue training with their chosen trainers.

This "arena fee" also came at the same time as a "shavings/bedding surcharge" -an increase that was billed in January as being retroactive to July '09. Boarders "scattered like rats from the sinking ship".

LauraKY
Feb. 3, 2010, 12:47 PM
Do you furnish BO proof of insurance? If not, maybe to cover increased insurance costs to cover a non-employee trainer?

trubandloki
Feb. 3, 2010, 01:12 PM
It is to cover the fact that the trainer is making a profit and is not paying any portion of the overhead associated with the facility. Pretty simple.

They are charging YOU (the trainer) not their boarder.

BuddyRoo
Feb. 3, 2010, 01:19 PM
I can see both sides of this. I am not a trainer nor am I a BO...fwiw.

1) Facility use: Traveling trainer is not incurring the expense of maintaining a facility from which to conduct their business. It makes sense then that the BO would want to charge a use fee. The flip side though is that if I'm a paying boarder who would normally have use of the facility included in my board, then what does it matter if I bring a trainer in to coach me while I use the facility that I'm ALREADY paying for?

2) Insurance: This varies from place to place...but could be a potential concern for a BO. Most BO's I know require that the trainer provide proof of insurance though.

3) Limitations to other boarders/in house trainers: A BO *may* be trying to discourage outside trainers because they have an in house trainer (competition) or because they want to make sure that all boarders have the opportunity to use the facility.

4) Income: Kind of goes back to use of the facility. But if you're conducting business on my property--that I am paying for--then yeah, I can essentially charge you for making income off of MY investment.

Like I said...I can understand both sides.

Rocky
Feb. 3, 2010, 02:03 PM
It is to cover the fact that the trainer is making a profit and is not paying any portion of the overhead associated with the facility. Pretty simple.

They are charging YOU (the trainer) not their boarder.


Point well taken, yes the BO put the charge on to the trainers-but as with most other businesses-when the cost of doing business increases, the charge to the customers (boarders) increases.


Fortunately for the customers this situation has a happy ending, as the customers (boarders) then moved on to board at places where they could still train with their own trainers at a reasonable price.

Rocky
Feb. 3, 2010, 02:06 PM
Do you furnish BO proof of insurance? If not, maybe to cover increased insurance costs to cover a non-employee trainer?

Insurance not an issue-each trainer had their own policies which provided "hold harmless' coverage for the facility.

headsupheelsdown
Feb. 3, 2010, 02:13 PM
Insurance not an issue-each trainer had their own policies which provided "hold harmless' coverage for the facility.

Hold harmless agreements are not that great. If the trainer provides a hold harmless to the BO and the trainer causes damages or injury and doesn't have the insurance or assets to pay for said damages or injury... the next pocket to pick will be the BO's. The theory will be that the BO allowed the trainer onto the property and/or didn't check that the trainer had proper coverage. The claimant, or the person suffering the damages is not a party to that agreement, anyway. In any case, with most attys taking the "shotgun" approach to who they name when they are suing people, BO will be dragged in anyway.

BOs should ALWAYS require trainers to provide insurance coverage. Always and if possible be named as an "additional insured" on the trainers policy.

Oh, wait... I read that wrong.... the trainers did have policies. OK. Still BO needs to be and "additional insured" to be fully protected.

SonnyandLacy
Feb. 3, 2010, 02:19 PM
Its a fee for letting the trainer use the facility to make money. If I opened a barn I would of course have a ring fee. They're making money off of my facility, and otherwise I wouldnt see a dime of it. I wouldnt pay all the upkeep so you can keep all the profit.

The main source of income, at a good barn, is training and lessons. So having anyone use the facility other then someone the owner gets a cut from is like loosing money.

BuddyRoo
Feb. 3, 2010, 02:24 PM
The flip side though is that if a trainer is coming in to teach your current boarders, then having an arena use fee is kind of double dipping.

If the trainer were bringing in outside customers, it would make more sense.

But if I would be riding for that hour ANYWAY and I'm already paying for the use of the facility...well.....gets a little hinky.

spotmenow
Feb. 3, 2010, 08:26 PM
I do not charge them but insist on having a current copy of their insurance on file. However, I have thought about it-they are making money off of my facility and I understand why some places do. Personally, I concluded that having happy boarders was more important than $5 or $10 because trainers typically pass that charge on to their clients anyway.

dogdays
Feb. 3, 2010, 09:20 PM
The cost of owning and operating a farm gets more expensive all the time. Insurance cost me, broken jump poles cost me, footing upkeep cost me, city water cost me, stable license cost me, upkeep of jump standards and x-country fences cost me. If you don't want to pay for using my facility then go buy your own farm and pay all these cost and see how long it takes you to start charging outside trainers who want to make money off of your hard work and money. Rant over!

Tamara in TN
Feb. 3, 2010, 09:39 PM
[QUOTE=smokescreen;4658437]Boarding barn owners, do you charge your traveling trainers? I am an amateur and private barn owner now, but I was a traveling trainer at one time. I never understood why some barn owners charged me a fee (that I passed on to my student) to teach at there barn.


I had this exact same discussion with a local farm owner...they just bought a really nice place (for around here anyway) and are already beleaguered with the requests for outside lesson givers/trainers what have you,from their boarding clients....

I told them not to ever let an outsider use your facility w/o paying a fee to them....the reasons are legion the big ones being that "board" rarely pays the bills or even <gasp> makes a profit...the profit is made in the lessons or extra services or coaching, arena rentals or what ever

now by allowing an outsider in, you are giving your chance of profit to a stranger who has assumed no responsibility or put forth any effort toward the place and just pops in and offers services....

with a vet or farrier those are necessary to the healthy upkeep of an animal...lessons with the latest all hat no horse cowboy ? not so much

also the door for abuse gets open...sure enough you then get hangers-on following said person who "just wanna watch" which leads to the boarder asking "hey can my friend Buckles come and ride in a lesson with Big Hat on Saturday "

and pretty soon you run the risk of losing control of your own place...I say if outside trainers are welcome then the board should increase to cover the privilege for the boarders to invite those people there

Tamara in TN

Trevelyan96
Feb. 3, 2010, 09:56 PM
Its pretty standard around here for facilities to charge an oustide trainer a fee to use the facility, and I completely agree that they should do so. More lessons means more wear and tear on the facility = higher upkeep costs. If facility owners can't collect some of that from the trainers and the facility starts to look a little worse for wear, guess what happens. Trainer finds another 'nicer' facility, boarders all follow the trainer, then they all badmouth the former facility for getting 'run down'.

horsechick
Feb. 3, 2010, 10:43 PM
I am both, and I think if a facility does not offer any in house training, they should not charge a trainer to come in. It keeps boarders happy and "hopefully" keeps the barn full. Now, if there is a resident trainer, or the owner is a trainer, I can see why they would charge a trainer to come in-that trainer is ultimately detracting from their bottom line. Although, at least around here anyway, if there is a resident trainer outside trainers are usually not allowed to come in.

Rocky
Feb. 3, 2010, 10:44 PM
[QUOTE]

I had this exact same discussion with a local farm owner...they just bought a really nice place (for around here anyway) and are already beleaguered with the requests for outside lesson givers/trainers what have you,from their boarding clients....

I told them not to ever let an outsider use your facility w/o paying a fee to them....the reasons are legion the big ones being that "board" rarely pays the bills or even <gasp> makes a profit...the profit is made in the lessons or extra services or coaching, arena rentals or what ever

now by allowing an outsider in, you are giving your chance of profit to a stranger who has assumed no responsibility or put forth any effort toward the place and just pops in and offers services....



Tamara in TN

That is all well and good if the owners are able to provide the training/lesson extra services. If the BO's are looking to profit from the training and lessons, then the BO's need to employ the staff to provide those services.

In my particular case, those boarders chose that facility based on the policy that outside trainers were permitted-the BO never had anyone on the payroll to provide lessons and/or training. The BO decided to modify that agreement by imposing a fee on the trainers, as I have stated before, the trainers passed that cost on to the customers (boarders)-boarders found another boarding situation where they could continue to train with their chosen trainers and not have to pay the extra fees or have their trainers subject to the extra fees.

Rocky
Feb. 3, 2010, 10:46 PM
I do not charge them but insist on having a current copy of their insurance on file. However, I have thought about it-they are making money off of my facility and I understand why some places do. Personally, I concluded that having happy boarders was more important than $5 or $10 because trainers typically pass that charge on to their clients anyway.

Congratulations on seeing the upside to having happy boarders

Tamara in TN
Feb. 4, 2010, 07:37 AM
[QUOTE=Rocky;4661359]

That is all well and good if the owners are able to provide the training/lesson extra services. If the BO's are looking to profit from the training and lessons, then the BO's need to employ the staff to provide those services.

there are all kinds of boarding in the big world...from some self care rough well wooded ;)"here's our inherited land we need to pay the taxes on,wear it out" to a fancy schmansy Hilltop-esqe who I can promise you can offer your every dream plus some, insofar as horses are concerned...but it will cost you


In my particular case, those boarders chose that facility based on the policy that outside trainers were permitted-the BO never had anyone on the payroll to provide lessons and/or training. The BO decided to modify that agreement by imposing a fee on the trainers, as I have stated before, the trainers passed that cost on to the customers (boarders)-boarders found another boarding situation where they could continue to train with their chosen trainers and not have to pay the extra fees or have their trainers subject to the extra fees.

so they voted with their feet...it happens... if I saw a place that had no restrictions on this and went to an added restriction, I'd think that some control issues were then at hand (ie abuse of the situation by the outside parties/boarders) nothing says a barn owner cannot change a policy with notice...nothing...

and a BO is that ....the owner not the puppet of the mob ;)

so what it the trainer costs more? if he's so great and the boarder is not hauling to them,it should cost more....the trainer (supposedly) is making the effort to be there with them,not the other way around

finally,this will probably come out the wrong way but,it the trainer is so damned great what don't they have their own farm ?** why are they leaching around on everyone else's places and amenities ? normally, they are under cutting all the area "staff" trainers and instructors already....with their ideas of "lower overhead"

make no doubt, I am all for free enterprise, but that street travels both ways...

** in this I am not referencing folks who are many states away and travel doing regular clinic "circuits", a dresssagy rider friend that I think a lot of, travels up North somewhere one week a month to see her clients there...but she is a service and therefore a "draw"that the BO provides

Tamara in TN

DiablosHalo
Feb. 4, 2010, 08:02 AM
I also can see both sides. I don't have a lesson barn- but my friends do. Most do not charge outside trainers anything for teaching lessons at their facility bc having those bigger trainers come in is the only way to attract and keep boarders.

There are only a handful of decent farms w/rings around here and even less decent trainers. A few do charge $10/lesson or $x/day to the trainer and cites the insurance coverage as the reason why. The trainer is using their premium facility to make money. Ship-ins are charged accordingly as well.

Hold harmless agreements are only the tip of the iceburg. They are not rock solid in protecting you should something happen. I do not have any one riding on my property and boarders rarely come to see their horse (racetrack TBs).

My chances of a claim are very very low - but I have 5 policies just in case. I have one person that I rent a block of stalls to that does self care (TBs) and they must produce their certificate of insurance and workers comp policy to be allowed to have horses there. I would not allow a trainer to work off the property without proper insurance coverage.

DiablosHalo
Feb. 4, 2010, 08:04 AM
[QUOTE]


finally,this will probably come out the wrong way but,it the trainer is so damned great what don't they have their own farm ?** why are they leaching around on everyone else's places and amenities ? normally, they are under cutting all the area "staff" trainers and instructors already....with their ideas of "lower overhead"

make no doubt, I am all for free enterprise, but that street travels both ways...

** in this I am not referencing folks who are many states away and travel doing regular clinic "circuits", a dresssagy rider friend that I think a lot of, travels up North somewhere one week a month to see her clients there...but she is a service and therefore a "draw"that the BO provides

Tamara in TN


Probably because they've heard us farm owners b.tching for so long- they are smarter to travel and use our facilities than take own their own headache!!!! :D

SonnysMom
Feb. 4, 2010, 09:39 AM
My trainer does have her own facility but she teaches at other facilities also. Her home farm is 25 minutes from my house and is in the opposite direction from my work. I already drive an hour to work. It is not convenient for me to board there.

Not all of her students have a trailer. It isn't really that convenient for me to trailer to her farm after work to lesson during the week. Weekends she frequently goes to shows with other students.
One farm I was at she came down to a couple of times a week and taught a few boarders and the BO.
Just because the trainer has their own farm does not mean they don't travel and do outside lessons too.

tle
Feb. 4, 2010, 01:58 PM
But in that case you're paying for the convenience. Sorry, but that's a CHOICE you make (referencing SonnysMom's story but not necessarily pointing the comments at her directly).

Look, it does come down to $$ one way or another and you have to make a choice as to what's more important:

As a BO, you either don't charge a fee and perhaps loose some $$ in waht could be gained from that fee to cover ring maintenance.... you could charge but potentially lose boarders... or you could put the extra fee in the overall board charge which could also lose you boarders. No one but the BO can decide what is worth it and what isn't.

As a boarders, you board somewhere with a ring fee and as long as other features, costs AND CONVENIENCES are there, you suck it up... or you board somewhere without a ring fee and you deal with that situation. No one but the boarder can decide what is worth it and what isn't.

As a trainer, you either teach at fee facilities (either sucking up the added cost or passing it on to your students who may or may not continue with you at that price) or you teach at no fee facilities and deal with those circumstances... or you buy your own facility.

no one situation is right for everyone but thankfully there are enough varied situations that everyone pretty much has a wide choice. But make no mistake... there is a reason a fee is charged... a reason it's passed on to the horse owner/rider... and if they don't like those reasons, they still have a choice - suck it up or change the situation. Those reasons may or may not be profit/$$ based... things like convenience, knowledge, desire or even fads may come into play. Everyone has to weigh it out for themselves.

smokescreen
Feb. 4, 2010, 04:37 PM
Very interesting, To the barn owners that do charge a fee, most of you didn't mention your vet or farrier, how about the massage therapist, saddle fitter,or the horsey psychic. Tamera in TN. Have you ever been to a facility that has no trainer? They are usually chaos, and some people think shoes and immunizations are not necessary. I do understand that if the owner is the trainer or if they have a resident trainer, that makes sense to me.Trevelyan96 I don't agree with the wear and tear, If the people were going to ride anyway what sort of wear and tear do I cause by standing in the center of the ring? Oh and if the farm provided my insurance I would have been happy to pay but not one of them did. I bought my own insurance.

tle
Feb. 4, 2010, 05:00 PM
actually vet & farrier HAVE been mentioned -- they are essential parts of owning a horse. A necessity to one extent or another. Riding with the latest BNT isn't... that's a choice.

Yes, I've been at a barn with no resident trainer. It was a coop facility. I was there for 4 years. What does that have to do with the price of tea in china??

Most people ride MORE when they have regular lessons... therefore increasing wear & tear. Again... it's up to the BO what they want to charge (and why) and up to the boarders and trainers to accept their offer, try to negotiate something different, or find another solution to their needs. just like in ANY BUSINESS!

ThatScaryChick
Feb. 6, 2010, 10:35 PM
Very interesting, To the barn owners that do charge a fee, most of you didn't mention your vet or farrier, how about the massage therapist, saddle fitter,or the horsey psychic. Tamera in TN. Have you ever been to a facility that has no trainer? They are usually chaos, and some people think shoes and immunizations are not necessary. I do understand that if the owner is the trainer or if they have a resident trainer, that makes sense to me.Trevelyan96 I don't agree with the wear and tear, If the people were going to ride anyway what sort of wear and tear do I cause by standing in the center of the ring? Oh and if the farm provided my insurance I would have been happy to pay but not one of them did. I bought my own insurance.

Actually, vets and farriers are a necessity for most people who own horses. Having them come on your property is way different then letting a trainer use your property for their own benefit. I have no idea why people keep comparing a vet coming to work on ones horses and an outside trainer wanting to use someones ring as being on the same level. There not.

Tamara in TN
Feb. 6, 2010, 11:21 PM
=smokescreen;4662900]Very interesting, To the barn owners that do charge a fee, most of you didn't mention your vet or farrier, how about the massage therapist, saddle fitter,or the horsey psychic.

are you serious ?




Tamera in TN. Have you ever been to a facility that has no trainer? They are usually chaos, and some people think shoes and immunizations are not necessary..

yes more than one... a good barn does not require a traveling "trainer" to lead the unwashed from their paths of darkness :rolleyes:but rather a management team with a plan...and the balls to stand up to the inmates who would run the asylum if they could...

a "trainer" comes and creates a possibly dangerous situation (read injury plus lawsuit) for themselves, the riders, the horses and spectators..."trainers" who may or man not know what the hell they are doing, have not been vetted by the management AND....AND want to be there for FREE....

does no part of that sound crazy to you ?

oh,and it's Tamara with an _a_

Tamara in TN

molliwog
Feb. 7, 2010, 10:46 AM
If my boarders bring in someone for lessons, I don't charge an additional fee for the trainer. I do, however, insist that the trainer carry their own liability insurance and provide a certificate stating this. My own insurance company has this requirement- so no insurance- no lesson.

Everyone who rides/teaches on my property has to sign my liability release.

However, when my neighbor down the road wants to ride over to my place and have her trainer meet her here, I charge a $8 fee/lesson, and let the two of them sort out who pays me. She does this a couple of times a week, and says it saves her more in fuel costs/boarding because she can still keep her horses at home instead of boarding at her trainer's place. She doesn't have an arena, and her trainer won't teach her somewhere that isn't properly footed.

Marshfield
Feb. 7, 2010, 11:31 AM
It is to cover the fact that the trainer is making a profit and is not paying any portion of the overhead associated with the facility. Pretty simple.

They are charging YOU (the trainer) not their boarder.

But that fee is always, always passed on to the boarder. I've never seen a trainer decide that their $50 lesson is still just $50 with say $15 going to the facility. Instead the boarder pays $65 for the lesson.

Now, if there are in house trainers, I can understand more having a fee for an outside instructor. But, if there aren't suitable instructors in house, then it's really hard to justify a fee for having a visiting instructor.

Tamara in TN
Feb. 7, 2010, 12:50 PM
[QUOTE=Marshfield;4668669]But that fee is always, always passed on to the boarder. I've never seen a trainer decide that their $50 lesson is still just $50 with say $15 going to the facility. Instead the boarder pays $65 for the lesson.

well,I hope it 's a good lesson and the trainer is worth it....you could always look at it as a driving fee from one farm to another....or do traveling trainers do that for free as well ??

I just fail to see why a barn owner should reward a trainer for not having the responsibility of an arena of their own,nor standing contract with the farm,and freedom of liability with free access to their property...

the trainer could always eat the fee themselves for the chance to help out their client with their riding goals ;) but somehow I don't see that happening...

Tamara in TN

tle
Feb. 7, 2010, 05:21 PM
When I was at a barn without a trainer, the barn itself didn't charge extra as it was a coop, but my trainer charged for having to travel to my farm. i had a choice... hitch up my trailer, spend my gas and travel to her place for the lesson at $X.... or have the lesson at my barn for $X+Y. It's the same philosophy here. The extra funds are either worth it or not.

Ajierene
Feb. 7, 2010, 06:34 PM
I have never been to a facility where they charge for an outside trainer to come in. I can see a charge if the trainer is possibly usurping students of the resident trainer (such as a resident dressage trainer and a boarder bringing in her own dressage trainer of equal caliber). If not (such as no trainer, or a dressage trainer is resident and the boarder is bringing in a jumper trainer), then I do not see it.

I can see an extra charge if the facility needs to buy extra insurance for the trainer. I have not had that experience yet.

I do not get the 'maintenance' fee. I ride, weather permitting, at least 5 days a week. I lesson when I have money/time. I have not had a lesson in two months, but still plan to ride 5 days a week - and did before the weather got bad. True, people who lesson more tend to ride more, but the more frequent riding is not a product of more lessons, the increased lessons and increased riding are both a product of a person actively trying to improve/be competitive. This is opposed to a purely recreational rider.

I do see an extra charge if the trainer is dangerous - but more than likely that is best handled by not allowing that trainer onto your property and losing that boarder is most likely losing a accident waiting to happen.

My trainer does charge according to mileage - very similar to the barn fee from the vet or, more likely, extra mileage charge from the farrier. When I first started riding with her, she charged myself and the other woman a bit more to make up for gas to get there. Now we schedule lessons for early afternoon, when she is 'in the neighrborhood' anyway.

I also trailer to a farm where I pay a fee to use the indoor ($20 ring fee - cannot move the jumps, but can raise/lower and add gates and other fun stuff - must be left how it was found). I think it is $40 to use their cross country jumps. As far as I know, they do not charge my trainer to give lessons to non-boarders there.

My trainer is still starting out and does not yet have the ability to give lessons at her place. Even after she gets her ring up, it is easier and less costly (boarding wise) to take most lessons at my facility than trailer out to her.

bizbachfan
Jun. 8, 2010, 10:36 AM
I know this is an old thread but still a topic of discussion I think so hope its okay to dredge up an old thread since it was not specific one off type of question. I think the situation varies a lot and I can see both sides. What if the instructor has no insurance and is only willing to sign a liability waiver that truth be told is not really the same thing as them having their own insurance? Does seem reasonable that the BO could say sorry no doing lessons on my farm?

horsepoor
Jun. 8, 2010, 12:49 PM
What if the instructor has no insurance and is only willing to sign a liability waiver that truth be told is not really the same thing as them having their own insurance? Does seem reasonable that the BO could say sorry no doing lessons on my farm?

I think the BO would be nuts to allow an uninsured trainer to work out of their facility. And I would say the trainer is a fool to be uninsured. :)

Sport
Jun. 8, 2010, 01:43 PM
I see it a bit from both sides. If the barn does not have an in house trainer, then I think they need to allow outside trainers to come in.

If the facility is big enough that these outside lessons won't interfere with other boarders riding, then I don't think charging an additional fee is required as it is the same as if the boarder showed up and schooled hard.

However, if the facility is not big enough for the person to have a lesson and other boarders still be able to ride, then I think a fee should be charged as that boarder is effectively renting the arena for their personal use for that time and no one else can use it. This is different from their everyday schooling.

EiRide
Jun. 8, 2010, 03:09 PM
The main source of income, at a good barn, is training and lessons.

I boarded for years at a nice mom and pop barn where there was no regular trainer. The main income for this barn was the boarding and care, which was excellent.

There are lots of good barns which are not lesson and training barns.

MistyBlue
Jun. 8, 2010, 03:29 PM
Agree with Tamara et al.
A travelling trainer is someone who won't or can't afford their own place. Which comes with massive various expenses for upkeep and responsibility and liability.
It is not up to a BO to purchase a facility and carry all the expenses, liability, labor and responsibility so someone can come make their own income there.
It needs to be looked at as a business decision...not as the common Coth issue of "But the BO/Trainer/Everyone else needs to make my hobby more affordable for me...even if it's a loss for them!"
No, horses aren't necessary for daily life. And a trainer is not necessary for a horsie life. If you want trainers for "free" then board at a training barn. If you don't want to pay the extra every month for training barn boarding...don't get pissy when your boarding only barn doesn't allow you to get the benefits of a training barn for free.
And of course the trainer is going to pass the small fee of using your boarding place for lessons on to you. Guess what...that's fair. It's a "house call." Let me know of some other business transaction that allows for free house calls. If the lesson from that trainer is $50 an hour at their place...and $65 an hour at your boarding place, well try hauling that horse somewhere for $15. You're paying for the convenience of having someone come to you, the trainer is pying for the convenience of being able to use someone else's property. Why would any BO buy a place for any and all other trainers to use for free?

And anyone boarding somewhere that the boarders don't know they need vets and shoes sometimes and they think they require a trainer to come in (for free) to tell them that, well...I can't quite wrap my head arpund that. Does a vet also have to go to their houses and tell them their dogs also needs shots annually and they have to have their nails clipped? No? They can figure that out on their own? I'm pretty sure a BO can also tell a boarder, "hey, your horse has slipper feet, get them done."

Sheesh, everyone wants free stuff so they save money these days...but they certainly don't want the expense or labor or problems of owning their own facilities. They want it all but God forbid they have to pay for it all. :rolleyes:

molliwog
Jun. 9, 2010, 01:45 AM
Since someone asked, I actually do charge a fee for vet/shoer visits if the owner isn't available to handle their own horse for these services. This is disclosed up front, and my boarders understand that my a la carte pricing allows me to keep basic board low. Most of them schedule these visits when they are able to attend to their own horses.

My insurance company does not increase my premium if the vet or shoer visits. They DO increase my premium if a trainer does.

Any decent travelling trainer understands the importance of carrying their own liability policy. My own trainer purchases hers for about $300/year for $1M in coverage, so I just don't buy that anyone making their living as a trainer can't afford this. I would never allow an unisured trainer to teach at my place.

Marengo
Jun. 9, 2010, 02:32 AM
What if where you board has no in house trainer and outside trainers also charge a travelling fee. Then there's the 'ring fee' on top, it makes the lesson pretty darn expensive. I'm not sure who is being unreasonable, the BO or the trainer.

Alpha Mare
Jun. 9, 2010, 12:29 PM
My experience has been that some facilities in my area will allow an outside trainer/coach on a selected basis - the trainer must be 'approved' by management, including signing waiver and proof of liability insurance. Consideration is given to trainer's approach being consistent with the BO, head trainer and/or BM, trainer playing well with others, etc. It has to be managed with a lesson schedule publicly posted so that different boarders don't overlap their lessons. It is not a free for all, only a few trainers are allowed, and it is up to the boarder to ensure that consideration is given to others or the priviledge of lessons with that trainer will be removed.

What I don't get is all the property owners thinking the trainer is taking them for a ride - as a rider I always paid the lesson fee and ring fee and outside trainer fee (when it was charged). The trainer will retain their normal lesson fee and put anything further on top to the student. As a boarder, I would rather have it in my regular board because the one place where everything was a la carte (fees for outside trainer, farrier, vet) the accounting became a real chore. And yes, I left, for the same reason as the OP, because the 'a la carte fees' were a change made AFTER I moved there when no fees were charged. (in this situation the BO was not a trainer).

If the property owner needs more $ to cover cost of maintenance, wear and tear, then increase the board charges.

Places I have been, either to school on my own or to take a lesson, where I do not board, normally charge a ring fee that I think is reasonable. ($5 - $15).

I think it is fine to have a 'closed' farm - where the trainer at the facility is the only one available to boarders, as long as that is known up front before the boarding agreement is made. It is a choice the farm owner and head trainer can make. I see it work well both ways (with or without outside trainer) as long as the 'rules' are clear to everyone.

DandyMatiz
Jun. 9, 2010, 02:53 PM
Well, anyone can charge whatever they want.

Personally, I would rather see the B/O just charge more for board if it's a maitenance issue, allow outside trainers, but if boarder/trainer cannot share the area they are working w/ everyone else, then they pay a fee to rent the area. But that is just my opinion.

MassageLady
Jun. 9, 2010, 03:00 PM
If you're a trainer, and have issue with this, why not build your own barn? A nice barn costs money, the footing costs alot, the lights, upkeep, all of it. Why should you be able to pop in and work in this facility for free? Consider this, if you had a business, would you fee that you should be able to have a 'storefront' in a nice part of town for free? Of course not.

cherham
Jun. 9, 2010, 04:10 PM
I own and operate a small boarding facility. I have a BNT hunter trainer and a BNT dressage trainer (Olympic medalist) come to my barn to teach my boarders on a regular basis. I do not charge any additional fees to anyone for such an arrangement. My boarders are happy to have the expertise of these trainers that travel here to provide them their lessons and I have the benefit of having happy boarders. I am not a trainer myself so why would I not allow my boarders the opportunity to bring in their own instructors if they wish to do so....the one caveat that I do enforce however is that the ring is never closed to any other boarders should they choose to ride while a lesson in ongoing. They all understand that and work it out amongst themselves. Never had a complaint from anyone so this arrangement seems to be working.

Timex
Jun. 10, 2010, 08:43 PM
Why should the BO be 'rewarding' me, the independant trainer? Well, in my case, the farm went from 13 to 33 horses after I started teaching there. Having a trainer coming in or a regular basis more than doubled the # of horses at the farm. If I can help pull in business like that, wouldn't it behoove the BO to keep me happy so I don't go teach somewhere else - and take those horses with me?

DandyMatiz
Jun. 10, 2010, 08:55 PM
Depends on many things. But, I think there is a difference between you training at one barn, and a travelling trainer who is not pulling in any additional (or minimal) business too.

Timex
Jun. 10, 2010, 09:09 PM
I have 5 barns I teach at, I don't 'just' teach at this 1 barn. Although obviously it is taking up a lot of my time these days!

cinthia
Sep. 16, 2010, 04:38 PM
When the trainer boards at horse at your barn, and gives lessons on the horse? To the tune of 3-4 lessons per day? This is a lot of wear and tear on my facility, liability exposure, and increases my feed costs, as the lesson horse needs a lot feed to keep weight on. Can I limit the number of lessons/day/horse? Or charge fees for more than one lesson per day?

CosMonster
Sep. 16, 2010, 06:23 PM
A travelling trainer is someone who won't or can't afford their own place.

Well, not necessarily. I teach one day a week each at two barns in a city about an hour away where the boarders got together built up enough students to make it worthwhile for me (neither barn has a resident trainer). I also have my own farm that I train and teach out of. I know a lot of other instructors who are in similar situations. Not all, definitely, but a good amount.

That said, I've been a BM and BO in several situations and I have always charged a fee or flat out not allowed it. Mostly because I'm usually the resident trainer too so it takes money away from me.

I have noticed, too, that a lot of boarders are reluctant to ride in an arena where a lesson is being taught even if there is room. This is especially true in many barns that don't have a resident trainer, where the arenas may be smaller and the clientele may be less accustomed to riding in groups. I have seen a barn where traveling trainers got out of hand and a large group of boarders left because they felt they never got to use the arena.

It is a bit of extra work for the BO, too. I always required their insurance and kept a copy on file, then if they were still teaching when it expired I needed a new copy. It's not a huge amount of work but it can be a hassle. In addition, it can increase your insurance premium. Also, when I was training young horses at barns open to outside trainers, I had to make sure I wasn't schooling very young or difficult horses during the lessons as I didn't want to disrupt them or disturb my horse, which was a bit of a PITA for me as I had to keep track of schedules besides my own and make more detailed plans.

So yeah, while I really appreciate the BOs of the barns I teach at (who I've discussed it with and both feel they are benefiting enough that they don't need to be paid by me) for not charging me, I always have and I think it's usually smarter to do so (and I wouldn't begrudge my BOs as long as it was reasonable...I'd just charge a bit more ;))

CosMonster
Sep. 16, 2010, 06:32 PM
When the trainer boards at horse at your barn, and gives lessons on the horse? To the tune of 3-4 lessons per day? This is a lot of wear and tear on my facility, liability exposure, and increases my feed costs, as the lesson horse needs a lot feed to keep weight on. Can I limit the number of lessons/day/horse? Or charge fees for more than one lesson per day?

You can do whatever the heck you want (or at least, as long as it is legal and preferably reasonable!) as it is your barn. Even if your contract appears to allow it, you may want to do some research into contract law. A friend who was in a similar situation discovered that her trainer-boarder's actions were actually a violation of the contract as the reasonable assumption was that the horse was a private riding horse, but the trainer was using it as a commercial lesson horse, even though the contract didn't expressly say that wasn't allowed. I don't know all the specifics, though.

Regardless, this trainer should be paying you something or should leave. If she's just paying normal board for a private horse, she's really taking advantage of you.

That is part of why I have it in my contract that my boarders cannot allow other riders on their horses unless they alert me first and the riders sign a liability waiver, and it is subject to my discretion. Helps protect me and helps me avoid people who are abusing their boarding contract. ;)

Guilherme
Sep. 16, 2010, 07:05 PM
If the trainer/instructor is bringing a benefit to the barn by their activities then a "use fee" would likely be out of line. If they are just there plying their trade and not bringing any "added value" to the barn then they should pay a fair share of the expenses of maintaining the facility.

G.

anchodavis
Sep. 16, 2010, 07:38 PM
I'm not a barn owner - I only have a shed! :lol: But I've considered taking in some boarders someday after I build a barn. I can understand why the barn owners charge. It is more maintenance, upkeep, wear and tear, etc., and these days, you have to have great insurance. The more people coming on to your property and using your property, the greater the risk. The greater the risk, the higher the costs.
That said, I've boarded for 17 years total till we just moved out to our new place with acreage. I was at a couple of places where the ring fees for outside trainers seemed high - $10 or more for one lesson. One place even started charging $15 per hour lesson per boarder - and I was sharing a trainer with one other boarder for a lesson at the same time. The owner refused to be flexible about it and of course the trainer passed on the cost. So our cost for an hour lesson went to $65 each instead of $50. We both eventually moved. Barn loses, trainer loses, we lose. And by the way, this was a place whose in-house trainer was a hunter-jumper - and a young wahoo at that - and the other rider and I rode dressage. I imagine the western riders we had there were similarly frustrated - we were just told the in-house gal "had done some western riding."
Anyhow, I never had a problem with a reasonable fee, especially if the BO was willing to work with me on a discount for volume/frequency, etc. One place I knew of in NC (around 30/40 boarders, mostly hunter/jumpers) had a pretty logical structure to it. They did not have an in-house trainer. It was sort of complicated and I might not get all the details right, but it went something like this: Trainers could pay an annual "membership fee" of $100 to train there, and then there was no ring fee except during peak hours. The peak hour ring fee was like $3 or something per boarder for private lessons, $1 or $2 for shared/group lessons. This was charged on Tues-Fri. from about 4 to 7 p.m.; most of the day Saturday and Sunday afternoons. That encouraged people to try to schedule lessons when the one indoor was being underutilized and as a fee typically picked up by the boarder, wasn't so much that people got mad. The fee for boarders who used "non-member" trainers was slightly higher, but not much (maybe $6 during peak time for private?). All trainers had to have insurance. I thought it was a cool system because it seemed to distribute the cost burden fairly, nothing was unreasonable, and it also functioned as a way to keep the high-traffic hours under slightly better control. And, the "member trainers" were financially encouraged to do more business there. Oh, and also, there was some sort of discount/sliding scale for the trainers' member fee, so it went down to like $75 in their second consecutive member year and then $50 after that, where it stayed. I guess to encourage them to keep coming back and trying to drum up business. Seemed to work fine. This was at a modest barn too - clean/safe, but not fancy at all, folks who were dedicated horse lovers, but not made of money! Probably complicated bookkeeping tho.

MsM
Sep. 17, 2010, 05:21 PM
I have been at barns that simply didnt allow outside trainers. I think they didnt want the hassle of monitoring the people and insurance. Also, as a boarder, it is more difficult to ride when somebody is taking a lesson. Especially a jumping lesson in the indoor!
Often the requests for an outside trainer come when somebody moves into a barn where the trainer teaches a different discipline. So now boarder in hunt seat barn wants to bring in her WP trainer or Saddleseat trainer or NH trainer... If it is allowed, the BO often seems to charge the use fee. Might not seem "fair" but the boarder knew when s/he moved in what the trainer taught. The BO really has no interest in attracting more riders of the other discipline. Twice, the BO has given up and disallowed outside trainers due to the hassles in ring use, money, insurance and horsemanship philosophies.

LauraKY
Sep. 18, 2010, 01:24 PM
Let's suppose I have a gymnastics center and let's suppose I have regular members who are allowed to use the gym for workouts. Now let's suppose that they want their instructor to come in and give them lessons, for whatever reason (usually because my instructors charge more per private lesson). Do you really think I should let a non-employee, contracted instructor come in, use my equipment and not pay a fee? Not likely.

Works the same for a trainer. Why should I subsidize you? You're using my facilities, my equipment, I'm paying for the upkeep, dragging the arena, etc. You need to pay for it.

LauraKY
Sep. 18, 2010, 05:31 PM
When the trainer boards at horse at your barn, and gives lessons on the horse? To the tune of 3-4 lessons per day? This is a lot of wear and tear on my facility, liability exposure, and increases my feed costs, as the lesson horse needs a lot feed to keep weight on. Can I limit the number of lessons/day/horse? Or charge fees for more than one lesson per day?

Sure hope the trainer has adequate insurance. Put a limit on the hay and feed amount. You do have a lot of exposure with others coming in for training regardless of hold harmless and trainer's insurance. I'd make sure the trainer paid for a large umbrella liability policy in your name. At the very least, make sure you're the named insured on her insurance policy, she supplies you with an insurance certificate and that the insurance company notifies you of a lapse or change in her policy. Three to 4 lessons on one horse? That's a lot of work for one horse.

CdnRider
Sep. 20, 2010, 02:58 AM
I teach some lower level lessons at a barn without a resident trainer. Most of my lessons are group lessons and almost all the riders have their own horses. I do have access to a few "lesson" horses, owned by riders that are friends. When the lesson horse gets used, an additional $10 is charged to the rider, which in turn is given directly to the horse owner. I get charged a 20% ring fee, which I do not pass on to the riders. I don't know if that makes me stupid! lol
The other barn I teach at (only 3 students) does not charge a ring fee. But they only want a limited number of boarders and are the atypical BO that do not need to make money, just break even - they'll even tell you that!

I think lots of people are surprised a ring fee even gets charged at all.

Rhyadawn
Sep. 20, 2010, 03:30 AM
The barns I've been at, we could bring in our own trainer. No fee for the trainer involved. But we as boarders were responsible to clean up after ourselves, and I don't just mean scooping in the arena. If we broke jump poles we had to replace them, etc.

But if a trainer wanted to come in, board a couple of their horses and offer lessons.... $$$$!!! Then there was a fee. big time!

Trevelyan96
Sep. 20, 2010, 05:43 PM
I really think it depends a lot on the relationship between the BO, trainer, and boarders.

If I owned and maintained a nice facility with no resident trainer, then I would probably allow an approved list of trainers in with a set schedule for no fee. And I wouldn't charge a fee for the occasional use by a boarder for a lesson with a BNT who might be in the area short term.

I think the problems arise when it becomes a free-for all, with a large number of boarders bringing in all their own different trainers, as this is exactly the type of situation that contributes to unusual wear and tear on the facility because the trainers really aren't heavily invested in either the single student or the facility. It also contributes to scheduling headaches and potential complaints from other boarders on their freedom to enjoy the indoor, etc., on their own schedule.

No matter what, never allow an uninsured trainer on the property, make sure they sign a liablility waiver (yes, sometimes not worth the paper they're written on, but your @$$ is really done if you don't have one at all), and be sure there are very firm policies regarding scheduling, etc.

In the end, every situation is different, and you want to balance keeping your boarders happy with protecting both your sanity and long term investment in the facility. It helps to have a good relationship with a trainer who is going to respect your facility and consider the use of it as an added value to their own business.

PONYPULR
Sep. 21, 2010, 07:57 AM
I am a BO and a trainer. I do not charge a fee to outside trainers. My beef is the lack of courtesy shown by free-lance trainers. If one of my boarders is having a lesson, I make sure that the ring is dragged, the jumps are set up neatly for their use, and that I'm not teaching at the same time. I have had many FLTs come here in the past 30-odd years. If I've gotten four "thank you's" during that time from them, that's a lot. They usually go straight to the ring, teach, and leave, without so much as a HI or GOODBYE. If I'm out in the ring riding, I might get a HELLO. I've even had one that COMPLAINED about my ring to my client!! And, yet, I still charge no fee. It will only be passed on to my boarder, who pays me for the use of the facility already. If there was a way to charge the FLT, who owns no farm and has no overhead other than the car they drive, I would!!

Halt Near X
Sep. 22, 2010, 12:54 PM
As a boarder, I wouldn't blink too hard at a ring fee -- and I would expect my trainer to pass it on to me.

I figure that:

1) A ring fee is cheaper than the cost of truck/trailer/gas for me to get to the regular barn my trainer teaches out of.

2) Board at my current barn is cheaper than board at the other barn she teaches out of, so even with a ring fee I am ahead financially (and that's not even factoring in gas, since the other barn is further from my house).

3) If I hack around the ring on my own, I am not making a profit. If my trainer shows up, she does make a profit. So I don't see a ring fee having anything to do with whether I would be in the ring anyway -- it's about the fact that a third party is making a profit at the facility. The BM is not obligated to provide free facilities to others to make their living.

4) The BM could just say everyone who wants lessons has to take them from her. She teaches a different discipline than I ride, so that would not work for me. On the other hand, if I weren't in the barn, she might be able to fill the stall with someone who would take lessons with her (making more money off them than me). If a ring fee is the compromise that will make it work for everyone? That's fine.

My current facility isn't actually charging a ring fee, and I'm grateful for that. I expected to be charged one, however, and was prepared to pay it.