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mrslipstick
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:40 PM
Anyone know where the "rule" came from that says you have to buy a horse from the person you lesson with? If I feel confident enough to buy a horse on my own, will take full responsibility for it if things don't work out, continue to board and show with the trainer I've been with for years, why is it so horrible if I go out and find the horse on my own? I understand about the trainer knowing me and having the eye to find the right horse. I understand and respect that selling horses is a way for trainers to make money. But, do I have to always abide by this "rule" that holds me and my budget hostage?!!! Any thoughts on this?

Equsrider
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:12 PM
Depends...do you keep your horse at home or the trainers barn?if you keep it at home and haul in you should not have any restrictions, but may want to have your trainer "seal of approval" of course there will be a fee involved, but if all they do is look at it and give their opinion, it should be less than a full commission.On the other hand if you board with them, their barn their rules...:)

SnicklefritzG
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:19 PM
^^ Yeah I think that's true. If they own the barn (or least from someone else), it's probably fair that they have some control over what people are bringing in seeing that they will have to work with it most likely.

sptraining
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:56 PM
If your trainer doesn't like your horse, you'll be looking for a new trainer quickly...

TheJenners
Nov. 7, 2010, 11:11 PM
For those who don't read for comprehension, she already stated she would continue to board with her trainer.

Sorry being snarky, something about these trainer-threads always have that effect on me. But seriously.

OP, only you know your trainer. Is he/she the type to get kvetchy if you bring in a horse of your own choosing, or not?? If not, then no, go by a horse you like without shelling out commissions. If yes, then proceed at your own risk.

PNWjumper
Nov. 8, 2010, 12:10 AM
You trust your trainer enough to pay for lessons with her (or him), so why wouldn't you trust that person for their opinion on a horse? And not only trust them, but also seek out their opinion on the horse as a way of hedging your bet at least a little bit? And I don't mean that in a snarky way, I'm genuinely interested to know why you wouldn't want your trainer's help.

I've been buying and selling horses for a long time and it's a very rare circumstance where I'll find and buy a horse without the input of at least one of "my people." I want the opinion of my dressage trainer, my vet, and my bodyworker every time I get the chance. I don't train with anyone regularly, so I don't deal with the issue of commission, but I'm not sure that would deter me from getting help. I definitely want the person I train with to not only like the horse I have, but also get along with that horse's type. Otherwise, as someone else mentioned, you'll end up finding a new trainer after acquiring the horse.

I think when you invest the time and money to follow someone's training program it only makes sense to use them to help you find a horse to continue following that program. I have seen people buy horses outside of a training program and ultimately not work out more times than I can count. And for just about every reason in the book......horse and rider aren't a good fit, horse isn't one that "works" in the trainer's program (for conditioning reasons, personality-type--hot/slow/other--reasons, lameness reasons, etc.), horse isn't appropriate for level rider wants to get to, and a million other reasons. The bottom line is that the average buyer needs the help of their trainer to get an objective perspective of their riding level and fit for any given horse. With that being said, I'm assuming you're not talking about a majorly BNT or majorly expensive horse, both of which can skew the "normal" proceedings.

If you're an experienced rider and buyer, I don't think it makes much of a difference where you get your horse. But from a trainer's perspective I can certainly understand why there would be hurt feelings if you don't choose to ask for their help.

Equsrider
Nov. 8, 2010, 12:36 AM
Sorry, guess I was stating my opinion based on my experience in this situation...I've been buying my own horses, and selling them as well, on my own, for over 25 years. But I keep mine at home. I have asked for opinions on horses from trainers and if I buy the horse I pay them a fee, because I value their advice, we discuss the pros and cons, but ultimately, the decision is mine on whether to proceed...
Typically the income needed to generate a stable with a trainer is thru buying and selling horses, and the money made.But I agree with PNWJumper, that other issues can arise about suitability, training differences, horse/trainer personality conflicts...they are all part of the puzzle.And selling one on your own is no different. I sold one thru a contact of my own, and trainer had been trying to sell it for a year...when I sold it, I paid trainer a fee, as a gesture of good faith, and because I did not pay her the full commission...bye,bye,baby!
I don't mind paying for services, but do get tired of being billed for services not rendered because of the "unwritten rule".

dags
Nov. 8, 2010, 10:00 AM
"unwritten rules" and all else aside . . . if you expect this person to work with the horse, and especially to ride the horse, then YOU will benefit from their input. If for no other reason that you don't bring back a type they already know they don't get along with.

We all have types of horses we get along and other not so much. Trainers aren't any different. I've inherited a few horses in my riding or training string over time that I absolutely could not stand - bad canter was really hard on my back, so much of a leg ride I had nothing left for the other horses, bat shit crazy, anything with a french accent, etc. Could be for whatever reason.

I originally became a trainer because I could not afford horses of my own so I figured I'd ride everyone else's. Now, I will not return to that profession full-time until I am in a financial position where I can afford to be selective about the horses I am forced to deal with.

Wizard of Oz's
Nov. 8, 2010, 10:24 AM
For me it's mainly about trusting my trainer to tell me things that I'm not experienced enough to recognize on my own. Since a horse is a big purchase, it reassures me to know that my trainer helped pick out this horse and has faith in me working well with the horse. Also, with most of the boarders at the barn I board at, we've all gotten our horses through our trainers' connections instead of looking with someone we don't know, so that is an added plus.

mrslipstick
Nov. 8, 2010, 10:45 AM
Good info from all. If this helps...I'm looking at quality horses from reputable trainers. All have shared show records, DVD's of horses competing, all have offered to talk to my trainer. I have offered to pay my trainer for her time to look at videos, etc. too cost prohibitive to send trainer out to see the horses, so kind of have to do all this through video. I have been out to ride each horse and have videos of that. SO MUCH CHEAPER to buy direct though! It is amazing how much price goes up when this trainer and that trainer get inolved! Chosen horse will be vetted with all bloodwork, x-rays, clinical report shared with my vet. I'll pay for that too. Whatever horse we chose, it will be one any trainer would be happy to have in her "program". That's what I'm saying...I'm the one paying all the expenses for the horse. If I can find a less expensive way to get the horse and keep it with my existing trainer and show it and pay all boarding, showing, training fees anyway, why is it so uncomfortable for trainer to accept I want to save some money somewhere, somehow, and buy the horse myself?!!! I have purchased and leased numerous horses so far and feel I can do this at this point in my life. Why is the horse business so different from any other type of business out there?! I want to do what is morally right, if you understand, and support my trainer because I do like her and trust her, etc., but why does it feel I don't have any rights and I am the one footing the bills?! Know what I mean?!

Timex
Nov. 8, 2010, 11:03 AM
Last client that found a horse on her own paid too much for a horse with more arthritic changes than the vet and I were comfortable with, and has a really nasty buck. This, for a timid rider. Because she always wanted a horse that color. Are ya kidding me??? I told her after my first ride on him (Post-purchase, of course) that I never would have bought him, if I were her. That being said, we've got him pretty sound these days, dealt with the bucking and the attitude problem he came with. But. Is he still really a 'suitable' horse for her? Not really. He'll 'do' but that's about it. Now, I didn't have any sales horses myself that would have worked, but would have advised her to wait, or at least look at a few others to see if there wasn't something more suitable out there, for a better price. But, she took it on herself, is putting more time, $$ and effort than she might have needed to with another horse, between maintenance and training, and when a horse came along a few months later than would have been great for her, I snapped him up as a lesson horse. Her loss, my gain.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is I have no problem with experienced riders doing all the legwork in finding a horse. But there comes a point where you have to have someone else take a look and potentially offer a reality check. I buy a horse, and you can be sure that the trainer I ride for, the vet, an experienced friend, or a combination thereof, has been asked their opinion. And I tend to run with their opinions. And I never regret getting the input. They know me, how I ride and what I like, and what I'm willing to deal with. And have to qualms about telling me when I'm seeing things that aren't there, or if they're seeing something I'm not. Which is invaluable.

Equsrider
Nov. 8, 2010, 11:17 AM
I understand completely...Because of the fees upon fees added to the horses price, it limits the quality of horse I can afford to buy. If I do it myself even with a consultation fee to my trainer and save several thousands of dollars, I can afford to buy a better quality horse, and/or spend that saved money on training and show fees, which go to my trainer.And unfortunately, the horse business is not like a business of any other type...that's just the way it is...

eclipse
Nov. 8, 2010, 01:02 PM
So, basically, you want to buy a horse using your trainers connections but you don't want to pay your trainers commission fees? Is that the gist of it? Oh, and these reputable trainers, don't be too quick to think that they won't rip you off for a sale! They'll see somebody coming without a trainer that they know, knows their stuff a mile away and will try everything in their bag of tricks to make that sale....don't kid yourself! A good, knowledgeable person that is helping you (and yes you may be paying!) can save you a heartload of heartache in the future...just do a search for some of the horror stories about sales gone wrong!

mvp
Nov. 8, 2010, 01:15 PM
And unfortunately, the horse business is not like a business of any other type...that's just the way it is...

Well... only if you submit with your feet and wallet.

This is a question of the kind of business relationship you want with your hired expert and also the kind of responsibility you want.

It is a great idea to enlist your pro's help. If his/her services or presence makes the purchase too expensive, then have a conversation about that. After all, you and trainer benefit if you can put, say, the full $10K in to the horse worth that much and not $7K into an animal meriting that price and the other $3K into pros making a short-term profit.

But this is a business relationship and transaction and *anything* can be negotiated until one party says Uncle. If I ran into an important brick wall with a trainer, I'd be thinking about sending my money elsewhere. But I don't walk into the joint effort to buy me a horse that my trainer and I can both improve with the expectation that we'll meet some impasse.

Don't worry about unwritten rule floating around out there in the land of rumors and purportedly standard practice. Talk to your pro in person about the details of how you guys will work together on this particular purchase.

shawneeAcres
Nov. 8, 2010, 01:27 PM
I am a trainer, and I PREFER that anyone riding with me at least allow me to ASSIST in the pruchase of a horse. Had a student, a pretty novice rider, that began riding with me in her 40's. She had never ridden previosuly She went out and found an ex-schoolie and I went and "OK"d the purchase, He was what she needed. She had a lot of aspirations to jump etc but honestly wasan't willing or able with her life to put in the amount of time to really progress past the schoolie. Earlier this year she said she wanted to get a new horse that was more capable. I ahd a long talk with ehr and told her that no matter what she bought she was going to ahve to step up to the plate and ride more often that once or twice a month. I found her a few that were really great for her, but she managed to have some reason she didn't want them (usually having to do with "looks"). She found a horse and asked me to go with her to look at it. I "sort of" knew the horse, and for his age and capabilities, felt he was over priced. We went and looked. I rode him and DID NOT like him at all for her (really for anyone!). She rode and could barely ride him. So I told her I felt he wasn't the right one. She was looking at another one I ahd brought to the barn for her when she told me she had leased the otehr one for a month at his current barn. ANyways, to make a long story short, she ended up buying him, and moving her old horse to the barn. No hard feelings, if that was what she wanted/needed to do no problem. I told her when she bought the other one, she was welcome to bring him here, but she did not. THis all transpired in early summer. I jsut heard last week that the horse is back up for sale. Not surprising as I am sure she never really could ride that horse, he just wasn't what she needed at this time. I hate it for her, but I think if she had listened to me she would still be riding a horse that suited her. That is the problem with someone going out and buying withut listening. But some people are capable of it.

Lucassb
Nov. 8, 2010, 04:13 PM
"unwritten rules" and all else aside . . . if you expect this person to work with the horse, and especially to ride the horse, then YOU will benefit from their input. If for no other reason that you don't bring back a type they already know they don't get along with.

We all have types of horses we get along and other not so much. Trainers aren't any different. I've inherited a few horses in my riding or training string over time that I absolutely could not stand - bad canter was really hard on my back, so much of a leg ride I had nothing left for the other horses, bat shit crazy, anything with a french accent, etc. Could be for whatever reason.

(snip.)

This is a very common view, and I believe those points are *sometimes* true ....but not always.

There are some trainers who have a gift for matching riders and horses. This is not a universal quality by ANY stretch of the imagination.

Just as some trainers can ride well, but perhaps not teach as effectively, (or vice versa) there are plenty of trainers who are good instructors, but not particularly good at finding horses for clients.

And often, to be honest, it is because they tend to buy horses that THEY like, rather than horses that will suit the client best. I have seen SO MANY instances of pros that, say, like a hotter horse ... turn down the steady quiet type, even though the client is a rather timid adult who WANTS a push ride.

The end result tends to be a lot of pro rides for the trainer, who enjoys the horse as well as getting paid for the extra "training" ... and a client who doesn't progress anywhere near as quickly because they are over (or under) mounted on a horse that isn't really what would suit them best.

The trainer I ride with does a good job for me with respect to lessons, etc. Her barn provides fantastic care.

I would NEVER use her to find me a horse.

Frankly I think I have a better eye, at least for the sort of horse that I like (and that suits me.) I don't normally have her ride or show my horse unless it is done as a treat for her - to give her something really nice to show in a class that would be good exposure for her, for example. My trainer would tell you that my horse is among the nicest in her barn, even though I frequently spend less than half of what other clients in the barn have spent.

Luckily my pro is also secure enough to accept the reality of the situation, and is not resentful in any way. She is thrilled to have my nice horses in the barn and to teach a client who pays on time, takes a lot of lessons, shows frequently and puts a bunch of primary color ribbons on her banner each time. She may not be the best at horse hunting, but she is smart enough to be businesslike about it.

Lucassb
Nov. 8, 2010, 04:18 PM
Good info from all. If this helps...I'm looking at quality horses from reputable trainers. All have shared show records, DVD's of horses competing, all have offered to talk to my trainer. I have offered to pay my trainer for her time to look at videos, etc. too cost prohibitive to send trainer out to see the horses, so kind of have to do all this through video. I have been out to ride each horse and have videos of that. SO MUCH CHEAPER to buy direct though! It is amazing how much price goes up when this trainer and that trainer get inolved! Chosen horse will be vetted with all bloodwork, x-rays, clinical report shared with my vet. I'll pay for that too. Whatever horse we chose, it will be one any trainer would be happy to have in her "program". That's what I'm saying...I'm the one paying all the expenses for the horse. If I can find a less expensive way to get the horse and keep it with my existing trainer and show it and pay all boarding, showing, training fees anyway, why is it so uncomfortable for trainer to accept I want to save some money somewhere, somehow, and buy the horse myself?!!! I have purchased and leased numerous horses so far and feel I can do this at this point in my life. Why is the horse business so different from any other type of business out there?! I want to do what is morally right, if you understand, and support my trainer because I do like her and trust her, etc., but why does it feel I don't have any rights and I am the one footing the bills?! Know what I mean?!

In my opinion you ARE doing everything right.

This is exactly how I handle purchases as well, and frankly it has always worked out fine.

There is no moral imperative to relinquish any or all decision making authority just because you want to board or take lessons in a certain barn. Although plenty of trainers (and COTH posters, LOL) would like you to think there is!

Especially in this economy, most trainers will be happy to have a knowledgeable client purchase a horse - particularly since you have invited input via the videos - that they will then use to take lessons, perhaps show, etc. Smart trainers generally realize that most adults have a fixed budget for horse expenses. Money saved on an unnecessary commission will not only allow the owner to buy a nicer horse, but will be spent on lessons, shows, the matching blankets that make the trainer's set up look nice, etc. They get it all in the end!

ponymom64
Nov. 8, 2010, 04:39 PM
My DD's best rides were those that I found myself. The one I purchased through a previous trainer was not the right animal at that point in time.

When I came across the DD's current horse, I did give our trainer an opportunity to see him in person and provide input. He is a fabulous young horse and she liked him at the time I made the purchase, however, she does not like him anymore and that can make things a little prickly. The horse is lovely, just not her "type". Sooooooo, sometimes you can do it the right way and it still ends up not being the perfect situation.....

SSacky
Nov. 8, 2010, 04:59 PM
Not sure what I'd do if I was using a trainer (aka. training horse), but if I were looking for a horse I would probably go through someone other than my current coach. I wouldn't go it alone for fear of paying too much and would definitely vet check prior to purchase.

The reason I wouldn't use my coach is that even though he's amazing at training me, I feel like he sometimes overestimates both my and the potential animal's capability. He is much better at looking for a horse that can do 1.20 in a couple years than one that can do 1.20 now (or with a few months). He's amazing at making investments and profits, but doesn't have as good of an eye at finding matches.

I'd feel safer to go to some of the BNTers in my area and have them help me find a perfect match. Even though they won't know me quite as well, they've been doing this kind of thing for a while.

xxreddxheaddxx
Nov. 8, 2010, 08:51 PM
If I was a trainer and I had clients I would be upset with this because I would be able to tell my clients what they are getting into BEFORE they put the money in. If they simply asked my opinion and I saw something that I knew would not pay off in the long run, they wouldn't buy the animal. That is the difference between the professional eye and any other rider. Also, the trainer should know what the client needs and they should have many more resources to find the best animal in the shortest amount of time.

Janet
Nov. 9, 2010, 03:15 AM
Also, the trainer should know what the client needs and they should have many more resources to find the best animal in the shortest amount of time.
The key word is "should"
-Teaching riders
-Training horses
-Being good at finding the right horse for the rider

are 3 SEPARATE skills.

There are plenty of people who are good at the first two, but not particularly good at the third,

Addison
Nov. 9, 2010, 06:59 AM
Amen, Janet.

Arelle
Nov. 9, 2010, 09:50 AM
In regard to purchasing without the advice of a trainer, I just recently broke that rule and luckily my trainer is an amazing woman who has been nothing but supportive.

I want to do the Hunter Derby's. It's my newest obsession. We had been tooling around with the idea of me buying a horse when I was on the road a few weeks back, since my show horse is pregnant right now and is no longer jumping over 2'.

She looked on several internet websites while we were chatting online and was sending me links and this and that - again, very supportive.

Turns out I came into town that week and stopped by an old barn of mine to check out their new arena. There was a horse there that just "spoke" to me. I have no idea what it was, nor why I was so instantly attracted, but I was bitten.

I think it's important to note here that I am the chronic last minute mind changer. :lol: This horse is a 14hh, green bean pony, that's never seen a jump - let alone an english saddle.

Guess who was in my name three days later?

Unless she's Teddy O'Connor, she won't be taking me to a Derby. BUT she's given me something more in the short time I've already had her - confidence. Even though she's green, she is easily the most honest and reliable horse I've ever sat on. She's SMART (you can see her working things through in her mind before she makes a decision), she's sweet, and she's incredibly tolerant. This past weekend I went from seeing how she'd react to clippers to doing a full trace clip because she was so "meh" about the whole process. She also tagged along to a show with me and the mare, stood at the trailer quietly all morning and then rode through all the madness without so much as batting an eye.

Could I have done better? If we're strictly talking purchasing a horse to accomplish my riding goals - probably. I've never seen this pony jump. Would this be a horse my trainer would have picked? Hell no. Am I happier than I've been in a very long time because there's no nervous energy when I ride her? Yes. And that's priceless.

I should end this too on, she was pocket change to purchase. I have a ranch available for me in the event I can no longer afford to board. I'm lucky in that sense.

Maybe my mare's foal will be the one to take me higher. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my hobby on a horse that is FUN and we'll see just what we can do. :D

ETA: This is just an argument for "it can be done". Do I believe it should? Not necessarily. But that doesn't mean I think it shouldn't. If you have the financial ability to take on an additional horse and have a valid reason for your end decision, then by all means. I had to listen to my gut on this one, and so glad I did.

NorthFaceFarm
Nov. 9, 2010, 09:55 AM
If you want to save money and shop without a trainer, fine. But don't expect access to all the available horses as a lot of good sellers won't show horses to a buyer without a trainer and don't expect your trainer to be able to do everything you want with it or be upset when he/she can't.

Trixie
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:06 AM
But don't expect access to all the available horses as a lot of good sellers won't show horses to a buyer without a trainer

This is always so silly to me. I've got years of experience, a truck, a trailer, and a checkbook. If someone won't show me a horse without a trainer present, I have to wonder about their business skills.

That being said, for a major purchase I'd obviously ask my trainer's opinion because I respect it, but ultimately, since it's my money and also, it's not boarded under trainer's care, it's my decision. Trainers do reserve the right not to work with you/your horse, of course.

ExJumper
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:13 AM
If you want to save money and shop without a trainer, fine. But don't expect access to all the available horses as a lot of good sellers won't show horses to a buyer without a trainer and don't expect your trainer to be able to do everything you want with it or be upset when he/she can't.

This is a good point. I know that I wouldn't send my horse on trial to someone without a trainer (who I knew). I honestly don't know if I would be comfortable selling my horse to someone without their trainer being involved -- or without at least knowing that there would be a trainer involved.

Most horses need a little bit of help now and again to keep them where they need to be to be, for lack of a better word, appreciated. And if I thought a person wasn't going to keep my horse going so that he still had enough intrinsic value to NOT end up in a bad situation, I don't know if I would sell to that person. It would depend very much on the specific person.

Now, situations change of course, and this isn't exactly the situation here, but the previous comment made me think of this. There may be reasons that you shopping alone wouldn't have access to the same horses you would if you were shopping with a trainer.

S A McKee
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:15 AM
If you want to save money and shop without a trainer, fine. But don't expect access to all the available horses as a lot of good sellers won't show horses to a buyer without a trainer and don't expect your trainer to be able to do everything you want with it or be upset when he/she can't.

Nonsense.
In more years than I care to remember I've never had a problem with a sale or purchase done without a trainer.

A seller will accept $$, no matter from who.
Unless of course the trainer ( yours or the sellers) is padding the commission so much they don't want the buyer to know the true price.

Can you define a 'good seller' please?

Does something magic happen if the same horse is purchased through a trainer where it would be unsuitable purchased directly by the buyer?

Lucassb
Nov. 9, 2010, 11:50 AM
If you want to save money and shop without a trainer, fine. But don't expect access to all the available horses as a lot of good sellers won't show horses to a buyer without a trainer and don't expect your trainer to be able to do everything you want with it or be upset when he/she can't.

Oh, please.

It gets so old when trainers trot this old saw out. The thinly veiled threat is ridiculous.

For one thing, sellers in this market - and at all levels - are generally THRILLED when someone with a checkbook appears, whether they happen to be attached to a trainer or not. BTW, in my experience - it is the JAWs who mostly try to pull this stunt. BNTs are usually smart enough to talk to anyone who is interested in able to purchase their horses, because they understand that it is in their interests to do so.

Contrary to the popular belief (again, mostly among JAWs) that the only way they can guarantee "success" is to control the horses their clients purchase - it is not necessary to be personally involved in every purchase decision for a new horse/rider partnership to be successful. Of course when someone appears on the horizon wanting to move into their barns with an existing horse... they are usually welcomed with open arms, because those same trainers are happy to have the board, training and show revenue those horses represent. It is only when the prospect of COMMISSION DOLLARS is involved that these trainers all of a sudden want the final vote.

I am not saying that there aren't clients with unsuitable horses. But I am saying that it is the trainer's job to teach/train clients and their horses to the best of their ability. If the horse in question has limitations? Fine, the trainer points them out to the rider, discusses the options, and moves forward to make the best of an imperfect situation.

It is VERY rare that a horse and rider cannot be improved by a competent trainer. That does not mean they can be made into Devon winners... but they can be IMPROVED, which is often the only expectation/desire the client has.

So I guess my answer to the quote above is to offer the client's version:

If you want to insist on getting a commission on your client's new horse, fine. Just don't expect to have knowledgeable clients roll over and hand you their wallets just so you can maximize your revenue, whether you add any value to the process or not. And don't be surprised when experienced clients take their business elsewhere, to someone willing to work with the horses that they chose independently.

By the way, it may sound like I am against getting a trainer's input on any purchase, which is actually not the case. There are professionals whose opinions I value and who I might consult on any particular purchase. What I object to, however, is the concept of holding a client hostage to the control of a trainer - which is what is implied by the quote above.

meupatdoes
Nov. 9, 2010, 11:59 AM
You trust your trainer enough to pay for lessons with her (or him), so why wouldn't you trust that person for their opinion on a horse? And not only trust them, but also seek out their opinion on the horse as a way of hedging your bet at least a little bit? And I don't mean that in a snarky way, I'm genuinely interested to know why you wouldn't want your trainer's help.

Just because you take lessons from one person does not mean you owe them the final say plus a commission on what horses you choose to ride and foot the bills on. Sure, hunter trainers have done an increasingly good job of training their customers to believe this, but it is possible to take the red pill ala the Matrix and branch out from that limited reality.

I, for example, know lots of people whose judgment I trust in the horse department.

If my R judge friend calls and says, "I have a horse you'll like, want me to have it sent?" I trust her judgment just as much as I trust my home trainer. So, home trainer has a strange horse they didn't personally approve coming into the barn and paying bills to them.

If they don't like it, same horse can arrive at someone else's barn and pay board and lesson bills to that person.

I have multiple trainers and I board my horses seperately at an independent facility. Amazing how much easier that makes things in the commission department. People make commissions, which I gladly pay, when they actually do things directly for me. Not based on a geographic technicality and some wacked out notion of financial "loyalty."

NorthFaceFarm
Nov. 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
There are sellers who only market horses by word of mouth among trainer colleagues. You won't even know they exist and are available if you're shopping alone. It's not always about commissions either. If I've made up a really nice horse and it goes somewhere as gets ruined...I don't want people in the show world seeing the horse I made up not doing well - i want it going somewhere that will keep it as good or better as it's reputation. Just a few weeks ago a client of mine was interested in a pony that someone else had made an offer on. He wasn't in a position to make a much bigger offer but the seller said she would rather see the pony go to him and be in my program than go to the perfectly fine family that wanted it as a fun pony to play with. Not all trainers or sellers see horses merely as dollar signs. The well being and success matters too.

I would never send a horse on trial to a buyer if the trainer whose care the horse would be under didn't have a role from early on or if there was no trainer. An Ammie who keeps horses at home and doesn't live under the full time eye of a trainer needs references I know to be able to take the horse home for a few days. No matter how badly something needs to sell, I'm not taking a check unless I have a pretty good guarantee that it's a good situation for horse AND buyer.

I agree that a good trainer can improve any pair to some extent, but when the client's expectations are physically not obtainable for the horse or require a huge financial commitment to achieve (that he or she is unwilling to make), then everyone involved is frustrated by the situation.

I have a horse in the program now that came to me with a new client. Client bought it as a baby with no professional consultation at all, for a decent sum, and expects it to be everything she wants it to be. Well it isn't, and it won't ever be without a full time training program and a lot of maintenance, both of which the client is unwilling to pay for. Now it's my job to sell it and the client still thinks it can reach the goals she set for it as a baby, and priced it according to those expectations. More than double what I think it's worth in this market.

Trevelyan96
Nov. 9, 2010, 01:11 PM
My general view is MY money, MY horse, My decision. If I'm working with a trainer who's opinion I value, I will pay for their time and opinion on the horse, and I will also be happy to pay them a commission if they find a suitable horse for me. But I also reserve the right to look and decide on my own.

I've bought 6 horses. 5 on my own, one on a trainer's recommendation. Any guesses as to which one was the most unsuitable? Luckily, we were able to re-home him with a great family who was a perfect fit for him, and they adore him.

PNWjumper
Nov. 9, 2010, 01:52 PM
Nonsense.
In more years than I care to remember I've never had a problem with a sale or purchase done without a trainer.

A seller will accept $$, no matter from who.Unless of course the trainer ( yours or the sellers) is padding the commission so much they don't want the buyer to know the true price.

I'll disagree with the bolded part. I absolutely will not sell my horses to someone I don't think is a good match. I've turned down buyers with a full $$ in hand because I don't think it will work out in the long run. The majority of these (but not all) over the years have been looking without a trainer and have a very distorted view of their riding ability (I will add that some of these have ridden with trainers that I don't think will be able to handle or maintain the horse for one reason or another).

And why? Largely because (as NorthFaceFarm commented) I'm very concerned about my reputation when it comes to selling horses. I don't sell many or often (generally a mid-5-figure horse every year or two), and so it's important to me that the horse works out for the person. Nothing kills your reputation on the circuit faster than a mismatched horse and rider in the mid-level h/j classes (both from the perspective of the horse looking less capable than it is as well as the buyer and/or trainer not being happy). I'm not saying that I won't sell to a well-educated (on the horse side of things) and realistic rider that happens to not be with a trainer, but generally speaking I want to have some interaction with a trainer or coach or someone they've worked with at some point.

With that being said, I don't care one bit about commissions and the money side of things when it comes to trainers being involved. What I want (as a seller) is to get an honest assessment of the rider from an objective and hopefully professional perspective. The last horse I sold went to a kid who was clearly a great match to the horse. They didn't have the money to involve the trainers and pay the commission, so they did things outside of the training program. They came out and rode the horse a couple of times and then took the horse back to the barn to ride in some lessons. The trainers wouldn't give an opinion on the horse in the lesson setting without charging commission, so it was a lesson with no "opinion talk." But I was able to watch the lessons and see that the trainers worked very well with both the kid and the horse, and was completely comfortable that they were a good match. I was also able to talk to the trainers about their assessment of the kids' riding ability and drive to improve their riding. I want that horse out in the show ring winning everything possible both for the kid, for the horse, and for myself.

My point is that I absolutely will not sell to the first person with money. But it's also not a black and white process. Trainers are all different with different levels of competency in different areas. I try to take that into account when evaluating how well a rider will work with a horse beyond my farm gate. A trainer and his/her opinion is just another point of data I can obtain regarding how well my horse is going to work for a person. I also consider a person who is using an additional opinion to be more serious about their riding and making sure that they're doing the right thing. I can think of plenty of exceptions to that rule, and in the end it comes down to a judgement call, but it's something else that I think about.

S A McKee
Nov. 9, 2010, 05:16 PM
There are sellers who only market horses by word of mouth among trainer colleagues. You won't even know they exist and are available if you're shopping alone. It's not always about commissions either. If I've made up a really nice horse and it goes somewhere as gets ruined...I don't want people in the show world seeing the horse I made up not doing well - i want it going somewhere that will keep it as good or better as it's reputation.


Well bless your heart but why do you think anybody is going to know the horse came from you?

It's name will be changed and most likely won't show in your area.

About the trainer word of mouth kool aid? Sure that helps keep commissions up, way up. LOL
But again , $$$ talks.

meupatdoes
Nov. 9, 2010, 05:21 PM
Well bless your heart but why do you think anybody is going to know the horse came from you?

It's name will be changed and most likely won't show in your area.

About the trainer word of mouth kool aid? Sure that helps keep commissions up, way up. LOL
But again , $$$ talks.

Yeah, basically the "word of mouth" involved is all of the trainers agreeing how much to tack on to the price, how to divvy that up, and who is being told what numbers.

Lucassb
Nov. 9, 2010, 07:48 PM
Well bless your heart but why do you think anybody is going to know the horse came from you?

It's name will be changed and most likely won't show in your area.

About the trainer word of mouth kool aid? Sure that helps keep commissions up, way up. LOL
But again , $$$ talks.


Yeah, basically the "word of mouth" involved is all of the trainers agreeing how much to tack on to the price, how to divvy that up, and who is being told what numbers.

EXACTLY.

BeeHoney
Nov. 9, 2010, 09:52 PM
Regardless of what your trainer says, anyone is entitled to go out and buy their own horse. However, you might create some hard feelings if your trainer is one of those controlling types. And if your trainer is mad at you for buying a horse without his/her input, then they probably aren't going to have a positive attitude towards your new horse. It is hard to train effectively with someone who doesn't like your horse.

So, if your trainer is one of those controlling types and you want to stay with them, I think you could possibly be putting yourself in a difficult situation. When trainers pick the horse they are usually more invested into making sure the horse/rider combination is successful.

Anyway, is there a way for you to compromise with your trainer? You do the shopping, negotiations, and take care of the vetting when the time comes around, but when you find a horse you like, could you pay him/her to come out and do a one time evaluation? If you trust and value your trainer's opinion, it probably is reasonable to involve them on some level. If you don't value their opinion, probably you should switch to a new trainer.

magnolia73
Nov. 10, 2010, 07:22 AM
This is a good point. I know that I wouldn't send my horse on trial to someone without a trainer (who I knew).

There are a lot of trainers in my area that I would not let take my horse on trial.

I think that a trainer can be invaluable in the purchase of a child's first horse, or a competitive show horse. They are professionals and should know. But a lot of trainers are shitty, so aren't really providing value.

I think there are a lot of good amateurs and juniors that can find their own horse just fine, but I don't know too many who don't seek a second opinion and a trainer is great for that!

mvp
Nov. 10, 2010, 07:45 AM
Most horses need a little bit of help now and again to keep them where they need to be to be, for lack of a better word, appreciated. And if I thought a person wasn't going to keep my horse going so that he still had enough intrinsic value to NOT end up in a bad situation, I don't know if I would sell to that person. It would depend very much on the specific person.


Yes, but the person who owns the horse, the one who will feed it whether it is sound or not, going great or with a dirty stop, has a real incentive to do all this maintenance and "appreciation."

I agree that great trainers have a team of vets, farriers and other pros that keep horses going well. But so do some of us owners.

Because trainers tend to make the horse suddenly *back* into the "client's horse" alone when things go fubar, there is no guarantee of good times for a horse if it's primarily sold to a trainer rather than the purchasing client.

With respect to not sending a horse on trial to "just anyone." Well, yes, of course. But the distinction isn't between pro and decent-sounding ammy. It's between folks you know and folks you don't.

I'd expect any seller to go over me (an ammy) with a fine toothed comb before sending a horse on trial. If I were a seller, I might think harder about sending the horse to a trainer. Why? Because those guys know enough to press a horse a bit during that trial. This is precisely what sellers of young ones *don't* want done to their animals.




So I guess my answer to the quote above is to offer the client's version:

If you want to insist on getting a commission on your client's new horse, fine. Just don't expect to have knowledgeable clients roll over and hand you their wallets just so you can maximize your revenue, whether you add any value to the process or not. And don't be surprised when experienced clients take their business elsewhere, to someone willing to work with the horses that they chose independently.


Yes, also. And this is where we are getting to an "apples and oranges" thing.

Good clients-- those who have been around long enough to know what they want in a horse, know what horse ownership and improvement entails, and who have a track record of riding and showing with one pro or another-- really aren't the type to roll over.

Experienced clients do know the value of a pro's knowledge and are willing to pay a fair price for it.

But this talk about commissions and trainer as necessary gate-keepers seems to apply to clients who do not have the requisite knowledge of horses and themselves as riders or investors. They *do* benefit from this trainer-controlled system so long as their pro is honest and working for them. If this happened all of the time, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Summit Springs Farm
Nov. 10, 2010, 07:45 AM
Ultimately its your horse, not your trainers, therefore I would make sure its a horse you want.
Its your money, your decision, if you are comfortable purchasing a horse on your then do it!
My rule is for purchasing horses or real estate, I do it on my own, selling horses or real estate I use a trainer or real estate agent.

NorthFaceFarm
Nov. 10, 2010, 12:45 PM
Well bless your heart but why do you think anybody is going to know the horse came from you?

It's name will be changed and most likely won't show in your area.

About the trainer word of mouth kool aid? Sure that helps keep commissions up, way up. LOL
But again , $$$ talks.

I've sold a lot of horses and only one has gone far away, none have had name changes. Even as a kid making up auction ponies into show ponies I wanted to make sure the buyer was going to do a good job with the pony and tell everyone where it came from so that i could get referrals. It's no different now. I do consignments now as well and how would i get any business if I sold horses to a home that isn't suitable and the buyer complained to everyone that would listen? Unfortunately people are more inclined to speak up with negative opinions than spread good ones.

ExJumper
Nov. 10, 2010, 12:50 PM
Yeah, basically the "word of mouth" involved is all of the trainers agreeing how much to tack on to the price, how to divvy that up, and who is being told what numbers.

I guess if you have a shitty trainer this might be true. That's why I don't have shitty trainers. Perhaps more people should try this technique...

ETA: I just hate it when people try to demonize trainers and paint them all with the same broad brush. It gets tiring.

Alterrain
Nov. 10, 2010, 01:05 PM
I wouldn't want to buy a horse without my trainer for two main reasons.

1. How would I find a horse without her? Ads you can never be sure the seller isn't lying, I am not friends with any pros, pros I do know won't tell an ammy the price, most barns won't show a horse to an ammy with no trainer, I think I ride better/ worse/ stronger/ weaker than I actually do, etc...

2. If it doesn't work out, she will get it sent back, get me a new one or make it work. If I buy horse without her? I am SOL.

mrslipstick
Nov. 11, 2010, 11:23 PM
thanks for all your comments. I'm going to vet the horse I found and if he passes, he's mine! I showed videos of me riding and two of am and pro showing and got positive comments from three other pros. My trainer saw videos and said, "yeah, he's ok. I have a horse to show you at so and so's farm..." So, conflict of interest to show my trainer! I know that if my trainer found this horse for me, the price would be double, if not more. She's shown me horses of lesser quality for so much more money. So depressing cause I like her for so many other reasons. Any one else go through this or am I the only sucker out there?!

ExJumper
Nov. 11, 2010, 11:39 PM
thanks for all your comments. I'm going to vet the horse I found and if he passes, he's mine! I showed videos of me riding and two of am and pro showing and got positive comments from three other pros. My trainer saw videos and said, "yeah, he's ok. I have a horse to show you at so and so's farm..." So, conflict of interest to show my trainer! I know that if my trainer found this horse for me, the price would be double, if not more. She's shown me horses of lesser quality for so much more money. So depressing cause I like her for so many other reasons. Any one else go through this or am I the only sucker out there?!

If you have such little confidence in your trainer, perhaps you should get yourself a new one. Why ride with someone who you always think is scheming to rip you off?

SnicklefritzG
Nov. 12, 2010, 01:17 AM
I'm sure you aren't alone. Especially in this economy, I'd want to have eyes in the back of my head too.

Someone else said there are trainers who are good at teaching and training, but not good at matching horse and rider. Along the same lines there are those who understand and are willing to help people find a deal and then there are those who want to make a buck wherever they can.

If nothing else, periodic evaluations are good because they help you gauge your progress and if you are getting what you want out of a program.

Not to hijack the thread completely, but my trainer thinks she may have found a horse for my to part lease. This horse currently shows at 3'6"-3'9" mostly in the jumpers. It's not a real looker (ie not a fancy hunter type) but is calm enough for the equitation divisions and is very forgiving of a less than perfect ride. It just goes over the jumps in a steady fashion and doesn't deviate from that unless asked to. (ie doesn't speed up and take off). Has been to some big shows including M&S finals. I've ridden the horse a couple of times and we've seem to hit it off well. It is also relatively young (< 10 yrs). I'm not currently doing 3'6" or anything close to it, but I have jumped the horse and thought it was surprisingly easy to handle given it's background.

All I'd have to do is pay 1/2 board+1/2 shoes. (I'd also be doing some lessons on top of that). Trainer says if I like this horse, great. If not, they will find something else. Should I go for it? I can't tell if it's a no brainer, or if I'm missing something...

Addison
Nov. 12, 2010, 07:26 AM
Most people who are involved in the show world are well aware of what can happen when a horse is sold and his "program" changes. Whether that program is one designed by a trainer or the owner does not really matter. I certainly would not hold the former owner or trainer accountable for anything that happened once the animal left their farm. That is unless the horse was misrepresented at the time of sale and that happens plenty of times. Even in trainer to trainer sales.

I have seen at least as many many trainer to trainer horses go south as I have trainer to new owner ones.

The notion that a trainer is the only one qualified to pick out a horse for a an experienced rider and horseman is ridiculous.

PNWjumper
Nov. 12, 2010, 10:53 AM
The notion that a trainer is the only one qualified to pick out a horse for a an experienced rider and horseman is ridiculous.

The thing that just absolutely drives me crazy about these forums is when people make a "black or white" statement or try to imply that everyone else is making an absolute statement.

NOT ALL TRAINERS ARE TRYING TO SCREW YOU!

NOT ALL TRAINERS ARE QUALIFIED TO PICK OUT HORSES! (and as a subset of that group, some trainers ARE trying to screw you)

NOT ALL RIDERS ARE COMPETENT TO PICK OUT HORSES FOR THEMSELVES!

SOME RIDERS ARE MORE THAN COMPETENT ENOUGH TO FIND THEIR OWN HORSES!

Okay, I feel better now. The fact of the matter is that there are all types in the training world and the riding world and there's absolutely no statement out there that covers the whole gamut. Some trainers will try to screw you and double the price of the horse. Some will forego a commission to ensure their rider gets a good horse understanding that it will help them more in the long run than the money would have. Obviously you'd want to get as much help as you could from the latter type and minimize the interactions of the former type. As others have pointed out, some trainers may be brilliant at training but sucky at buying/selling.

I don't think anyone is trying to say that trainers should be the ONLY ones to have any input. My point (I suppose that's all I can say) is that there should be (in an IDEAL WORLD where you trust your trainer and are a good horseman) a team approach to finding a horse. Maybe the person that helps you is a vet, maybe it's a friend, and perhaps it's the person that (in an IDEAL WORLD) you pay to be your helper and guide in the horse world, your trainer. Paying a trainer a commission is FAIR. Just as there are trainers trying to screw clients for a commission, there are clients trying to screw trainers (who legitimately have done the legwork and been involved every step of the way) out of a commission.

And to the condescending "bless your hearts" about how horses "disappear" after being sold never to be tied to you again.....I guess you people don't ride on the circuit and interact with a lot of trainers? I know every person who owns every horse I've ever sold. One went out of state (to Denver) where I still hear updates and get occasional e-mails asking if I have another horse of a given type (you can bet that would never happen if I'd sent them the "wrong" horse). One went down to California where he had a successful Junior Jumper career and who I now have a great relationship with a trainer down there because of the training and experience he came with. Several others have gone onto the circuit I ride on and I see them at every show. All have the same name, and when asked the owners tell people they got the horses from me. So you can bet that I don't want bad matches to make me look bad. And yes, I've seen that happen more times than I can count. Sometimes the audience might be in tune enough to recognize that it's not the horse's fault and/or not related to where the horse came from. But as I stated above, there's a whole range of knowledge and skills on any given circuit and there are just as many people who just assume that the person who bought the horse got screwed by a) their trainer and b) the person who sold the horse. Both of which must be laughing their way to the bank now.

To the OP, that's fantastic that you found a nice horse. If you think the trainer would increase the price to sell to you I would definitely not involve that person in your buying and selling transactions. It sounds like you involved other trainers to help you make your decision and I think that's the best idea of all. If you trust those trainers more I would be inclined to think about training with one of them. But if your trainer is one of those who is brilliant with training and less-than-forthcoming about horse sales then maybe you've just struck upon the right setup for you. I hope the horse passes the vetting and that you end up with a perfect match.

dags
Nov. 12, 2010, 11:20 AM
The thing that just absolutely drives me crazy about these forums is when people make a "black or white" statement or try to imply that everyone else is making an absolute statement.

NOT ALL TRAINERS ARE TRYING TO SCREW YOU!

NOT ALL TRAINERS ARE QUALIFIED TO PICK OUT HORSES! (and as a subset of that group, some trainers ARE trying to screw you)

NOT ALL RIDERS ARE COMPETENT TO PICK OUT HORSES FOR THEMSELVES!

SOME RIDERS ARE MORE THAN COMPETENT ENOUGH TO FIND THEIR OWN HORSES!

Okay, I feel better now.

Me too :D

And might I add, this phenomenon is NOT unique to the horse world. All through life someone out there is trying to screw you, and, if cards are played appropriately, someone else is out there watching your back.

Step away from the bubble.

Addison
Nov. 13, 2010, 08:10 AM
Hmmmm, I think I will have to re-read my post, I don't recall writing anything about "all riders" and "all trainers". I meant to say "an experienced rider and horseman".

Perhaps I should put it in all caps to make my point more clear.

Czar
Nov. 13, 2010, 10:05 AM
I didn't read this whole thread but I remember reading another similar one recently where the same people said the same things.

I think it's already been said but honestly, if you think your trainer is going to double a price on a horse than regardless of how much you like them; they are not a good trainer. If you are experienced enough to pick out your own horse and you think your trainer might be ticked even after discussing it with them; not a good trainer.

There are so many situational factors in this general question that it's actually pointless to discuss it. The answer is yes and no...depends.

I will say that if you have bought into a specific trainer's program, expect them to ride/show the horse and will be keeping it with them that the least you can do is discuss purchasing the horse. There is a relationship here and communication is key...as is mutual respect.

Haalter
Nov. 13, 2010, 10:25 AM
A few points worth mentioning: I sell a number of horses in the $10-$15K range. Often, in this economy, the sellers aren't interested in putting a bunch of money into advertising, so the market is local. I call my trainer friends, if someone is looking for a horse like this, they come see it, this is usually how it gets sold. So no, individuals horse shopping without a trainer probably wouldn't know about it. That's the honest truth.

I, too, more often than not keep up with the horses I've sold. Most show on the local circuit here, under whatever name, and I see them regularly. It's good business to have happy buyers. I can't tell you how many people have come to me and said, "I want a horse like the one you sold _______" or "Call me if you ever find another one like ______". It's certainly in my best interest to make good matches, not to sell to the first person with money in their hand.

Finally, in this economy, I have done a number of "off the cuff" sales both for individuals and other trainers. In other words, someone brings me a horse, if I think it will be saleable with some work, I take it on my own dime. Usually I pay a rider for additional training (don't ride myself any more), maybe I take it to a few shows which I pay for, and certainly I feed it and care for it, all without charging the seller a penny for board or training or showing. Should I not make my money back plus a little extra on this if the seller just wants "X" amount in their pocket and the horse off their board and/or training bill? As long as it's spelled out for the seller, I see no issue with this. Or am I supposed to do this as a charity?

mvp
Nov. 13, 2010, 10:37 AM
I think it's already been said but honestly, if you think your trainer is going to double a price on a horse than regardless of how much you like them; they are not a good trainer. If you are experienced enough to pick out your own horse and you think your trainer might be ticked even after discussing it with them; not a good trainer....

I will say that if you have bought into a specific trainer's program, expect them to ride/show the horse and will be keeping it with them that the least you can do is discuss purchasing the horse. There is a relationship here and communication is key...as is mutual respect.

I dunno.

I used to live in Sticks, NY where a couple of BNTs spent part of their year. One of them was notorious for shady dealings with his sales. He could create a great match or, if he knew the client was paying him to help but would not spend time and money in his barn do a piss-poor job for the commission.

And he was a great improver of horses and riders. He was by far the most knowledgeable guy in the area.

I rode with him, respected him and simply did not consider shopping with him. Everyone was happy.

Running Fox Farm
Nov. 13, 2010, 10:42 AM
Bravo PNW - well said! I do side with the originator of this thread in that, if a horse is purchased, it is purchased with MY money and I'm the one that will continue to pay all bills on said horse and look at his face everyday. SO- he darn well better suit me. I knew trainers that had kids buy horses for $2000 and up more than they were worth, greens, unsuitables, but they made nice profits in the process. And maybe next year the kid bought ANOTHER horse to replace the one they bought last year that " just didn't work out". This doesn't not say ALL trainers are in it for the money. On the flip side of that coin, I know a kid that paid $2500 for a horse( a lot of money for them) and she can"t ride him.
No trainer involved in that deal, but thee should of been. You do have to know your trainer well, but, just because you choose to find your own horse shouldn't necessarily be grounds for your trainer to pop a hyssie. After all, you have to live with it.