PDA

View Full Version : Trainer commission



JCoyle
May. 31, 2011, 06:53 PM
I have always understood a trainer to receive a commission of 10% on the sale or purchase of a horse. I hear that this is now moving up to 15%, especially in the top markets. Has anyone else heard this?

STA
May. 31, 2011, 06:55 PM
Your lucky, in my neck of the woods it has been 15% for several years.

dags
May. 31, 2011, 06:57 PM
A striking 20% is not all together unheard of . . .

Ski'sthelimit
May. 31, 2011, 07:03 PM
Where I am from 10% is kosher extra is appreciated. Kind of like tipping a waitress. If they did good by you do good by them.

mroades
May. 31, 2011, 07:04 PM
15% has always been the norm with upper end hunter jumper trainers...

Rye
May. 31, 2011, 07:35 PM
hmmmm....that's assuming that they haven't also worked out something sneaky with the selling trainer. It's a damn dirty business and I'm not sure I believe when someone says it's full disclosure.

Rel6
May. 31, 2011, 08:51 PM
My old barn didn't charge any commission. I thought it was wonderful until I realized how unmotivated they were to find horses for their clients.

oldbaymare
May. 31, 2011, 09:35 PM
hmmmm....that's assuming that they haven't also worked out something sneaky with the selling trainer. It's a damn dirty business and I'm not sure I believe when someone says it's full disclosure.

Agree! If you really want to sell your horse, under price him by 25-50% and let the pros make their money. It is a dirty, dirty business. Everyone wants a piece of the pie.

mroades
May. 31, 2011, 09:53 PM
painting with a broad brush here guys....I have never personally charged more than 10% and often do not take a commission. And you know what that has gotten me??? Poor....and principled. I won't change, but it is a business and as such people are allowed to make money at it.

Wholehearted
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:07 AM
I paid 10% on my horse to my trainer but it was included in the entire price I paid so yes, there might've been some under the table deal with the selling trainer but since his bill of sale says one flat price, I don't really care. It was also 1,000 under his official asking price so however they worked it out is fine by me.

One of the other women I ride with was super offended that I paid a commission and thought that my trainer should have just done it out of the goodness of her heart or something because it meant another boarder for her, which still seemed a little crazy to me that someone would drive 3 hours across international borders to videotape me riding multiple horses. I absolutely didn't mind paying a commission and would do it again in a second.

jumpytoo
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:31 AM
I just had a trainer tell me about a horse for sale (not at their barn) they said they would arrange for seller/owner to pay them 10% and then they wanted 10% of whatever I sold it to my customer for.. (presuming that I would mark it up a ton to my own customer) they were very specific about wanting 10% of the mark up price NOT the price the seller got..

I was happy that I didnt like the horse at al.. so no worrys about showing it to anyone.. imo too much commision for the middleman..

Rel6
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:33 AM
I just had a trainer tell me about a horse for sale (not at their barn) they said they would arrange for seller/owner to pay them 10% and then they wanted 10% of whatever I sold it to my customer for.. (presuming that I would mark it up a ton to my own customer) they were very specific about wanting 10% of the mark up price NOT the price the seller got..

I was happy that I didnt like the horse at al.. so no worrys about showing it to anyone.. imo too much commision for the middleman..

At my old old barn (lol) they charged a 10% commission...even when my friend found the horse by herself :o

copper1
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:44 AM
Tell the seller you want $XX.XX for the horse and he can make whatever he wants over that. I hate it when 3 or 4 trainers feel the need for commission when they did little or nothing to help with the sale!

Treasmare2
Jun. 1, 2011, 08:02 AM
I sold a horse well under market price in order to place him in a home I would be happy with. You would not have believed the people that came out of the wood work wanting a piece of the action ( all assuming, I think, that he sold for a good bit more than he did). One of those that crawled out of the wood work was a friend who made if be known she expected some money in her hand for accepting a phone call from the buyers trainer and providing them with a list of horses she knew for sale. My horse was one of several she put on the list. A simple phone call accepted and she wanted a healthy commission and she rides non pro. Crazeeeee

HGem
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:09 AM
A few years ago it was 10% here as well (SE PA), not sure what it is now. But I got out of the wheeling-and-dealing for the obvious reasons - I hated it.

I personally would pay a comission unless the trainer actually did something to sell the horse (ie. train it or find and finish the sale). I would also then only accept payment from the actual buyer (not buyers trainer) and discuss with them what the price is and who all gets what commission. It is my horse, and I will be deciding the final price. Or atleast I will make sure I got what I wanted for the horse. If they so choose to pay the trainers extra - go for it. Don't get me wrong - I am more then willing to pay 10-15% to a trainer who helped make contact to the buyer, etc. But them getting a huge piece of the pie is a tad rediculous.

I tend to be too honest, and expect (but don't think) other to be too. Which is why I am not making horses my career ;)

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:26 AM
Tell the seller you want $XX.XX for the horse and he can make whatever he wants over that. I hate it when 3 or 4 trainers feel the need for commission when they did little or nothing to help with the sale!

That's what we do, but I'm pretty sure this is fairly uncommon. I once had a BNT quote me $250 to just make a phone call... Nothing else.

norcalammie
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:47 AM
There is a new law in California that many people are not aware of in which a bill of sale must be signed by buyer and seller indicating the purchase price of the horse as well as any commission paid in the transaction. Do a google search for the exact wording and damages that can be awarded if a dispute arises. Might help make everyone aware of what the horse actually sold for and who bought/sold as well as commission paid.

showmom858
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:51 AM
Since we have been with our current trainer she has sold two horses for us and we have bought a horse with her. She works hard to try to match the right horse with the right person and I think she does a terrific job and deserves the commission she earns.

RugBug
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:00 PM
I personally wouldn't pay a comission unless the trainer actually did something to sell the horse (ie. train it

Hrmmm...I wouldn't pay a commission if the only thing the trainer did was train the horse...you know, do their job. They've already been compensated for that.

Now, if they actually did work to get the horse sold? That earns a commission.

Everyone in CA selling a horse needs to be aware of the new law. There are some interesting points to it (good and bad).

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:48 PM
Hrmmm...I wouldn't pay a commission if the only thing the trainer did was train the horse...you know, do their job. They've already been compensated for that.

Now, if they actually did work to get the horse sold? That earns a commission.

Love this :)

sarcam02
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:54 PM
The going rate seems to range between 10% and 20% for sales and purchases. I consider it a team effort with my trainer. I sit in front of a computer most of the day (in my 100% commission based job) making it fairly simple to keep up to date on bigeq, exchangehunterjumper and other sales websites.

As a lifelong horsewoman I also have a very good sense what type of ride will work for my kids. Additionally I know (and stick to) my budget and geographical limitations. For purchasing, I typically do 90% or more of the preliminary legwork. For a recent winter horse shopping trip for DD's new 3'to 3'6" horse, I sent the previews/video etc to trainer for her review and approval. We narrowed the list of 10 horses down and then I set up an overnight trip to a far away state with optimal "bang for the buck". We tried 6-7 horses at 5 barns that day and returned shortly thereafter to pick up a horse for a weeklong trial/vetting and closed the deal the next week.

For selling, I make sure that we have great videos/professional photos and list on all the top websites. I also help her get the word out to as many horsey folk as possible that our horse/pony is for sale. She field all the calls and controls the "message" being sent so it is uniform and thier are no crossed wires. We also price very realistically so our horse does not sit on the market too long and get “stale”. I feel that the first week or two after a horse is listed is THE most important time in a sale and if you don’t hit the market right with all the correct information out there you face an uphill battle in a crappy market.

Ultimately my trainer knows that I won't waste her valuable time and energy and reputation “chits” trying a ton of horses (which some others have done) and taking forever to get any deal done. As a result of my “making it really easy” I typically pay a slightly discounted rate of about 12% - which is less than the market rate of 15%-20%. Through technically I could do a deal on my own, I would not. I need and want her opinion and expertise and for her to love the horse as much as I do. She earns every commission dollar imho.

findeight
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:10 PM
It's been 10 to 15% for the 20 years I have been in H/J at 4 different barns in 3 states. Come to think of it, it was 10-15% 45 years ago when I started with Western horses. I have heard of 20% but not been associated with any who charge it and have also heard of flat fees but, again, never dealt with it.

Sometimes it is a higher commission for a cheaper horse and less for an expensive one to cover trainers time and effort. For example a 4500 horse would be 15% and the 30k one 10%. This assuming the trainer actively participated in searching and negotiating-and all mine did.

One way to protect yourself and something I have always done is write the check directly to the seller and a seperate commission check to my trainer. Same as a seller, I want the buyers check to me and I pay my trainer seperately. I won't deal with anybody who refuses to do that.

eclipse
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:18 PM
I pay my trainer 10% for buying and selling my horses. She's great, on the sale of my one horse when I took a loss she didn't actually charge me the commission as she felt bad so I took her out for a nice dinner instead! And on the purchase of Lacey she's allowing me to pay her at a later date as it was such a last minute decision. She also makes it mandatory that we make all cheques payable directly to the seller when we purchase a new horse. That way we know we are paying what they are actually asking not paying the trainers marked-up price!

gottagrey
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:50 PM
all depends on what your agreement is and how the trainer earns their commissions - there are trainers out there who really try hard to find/sell horses for their clients and are happy w/whatever they receive as commission or token of appreciation; there are others out there who seem to feel it is a client's obligation to pay them a commission just because they say so and as such do very little to earn a commission.

my trainer usually is a 10% commission but sometimes it's no commission if she's not involved in a sale, or sometimes it might be more - currently she has a couple of ponies she's training & then sale- no doubt her commission on those sales will be higher -

KateKat
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:53 PM
my trainer was doing 10% when I bought my horse, but she recently upped it to 15% if the horse is over a certain value. I think its because she got shafted pretty badly by a client when her $75K horse sold.

oldbaymare
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:23 PM
Say I have a horse for sale in the low 30's. I have a trainer who needs to be paid, fine but when an agent comes in with another trainer they all want to be paid. So they inflate my horse's price to the customers and the customers find the horse overpriced. Which he is when he ends up being 55k. So then the horse doesn't get sold.

findeight
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:29 PM
And these people don't sell very many horses.

For all you read on here, not that many get away with that, especially in this market. Ky also has a statute about agency and disclosure on the books and the USHJA actively discourages shenanigans (even though they are not a law enforcement agency and can't do too much about it).

dags
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:08 PM
Agree find8. I can count a few times I would have had a horse sold had the agents not inflated the dang price 65% with their commissions. But they did and it didn't, and in the end the owners are still holding the board bill, and no one made any dang money.

Annnnooooyyyyiiiinnnng.

Hauwse
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:26 PM
As many have stated commissions range from 10-25%, depends on the type of sale. I have also dealt with straight fee sales/purchases, a specified fee is paid regardless of the sale or purchase price, tends to be done when dollars involved are low. There are broker/agent type sales where the buyer/seller specifies a dollar amount and the broker/agent commission is anything over or above. There are also share sales, trainer/agent/broker retains a share of the horse, generally done with high level prospects.

Bottom line, when you pay a commission, you are paying for an individuals expertise, just like any other industry.

The reality is that buying/seller horse for clients is for the most part a major pain.It can be extremely gratifying when you help with a great match or when you help someone move a horse, and place that horse in great environment, but when it deviates negatively even the slightest bit, it just plain sucks!!

Horse sales often carry a negative perception, if money is involved the possibility of impropriety exists, this is a universal truth, and the horse industry is by no means exempt, and like every other aspect of life it is the bad that gets all the press. I rarely ever hear about the trainers/brokers/agents who do a great job, find the perfect horse, expedite a sale, get the best price possible??

Platinum Equestrian
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:32 AM
I pay my trainer 10% for buying and selling my horses. She's great, on the sale of my one horse when I took a loss she didn't actually charge me the commission as she felt bad so I took her out for a nice dinner instead! And on the purchase of Lacey she's allowing me to pay her at a later date as it was such a last minute decision. She also makes it mandatory that we make all cheques payable directly to the seller when we purchase a new horse. That way we know we are paying what they are actually asking not paying the trainers marked-up price!


You have a very smart trainer. The check should be made directly to the seller... Contracts should be involved detailing prices and any commissions - one for buyer and seller.

To the OP... the commission is what you're willing to pay and the trainer is willing to accept. Just get it in writing.

Regarding the new California Law, here is a great article from Rachel of Equine Solutions.

New California Law - Transparency in Horse Sales (http://www.ratemyhorsepro.com/learn-more/equine-laws/transparency-in-horse-sales-not-just-for-racehorses-anymore.aspx)

Prime Time Rider
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:34 AM
Last horse I purchased the commission was 15% of the purchase price up to $100k (mine was much less) and 10% if the purchase price was over $100k. I have never heard of 20%.

greenwoodeq
Jun. 2, 2011, 03:09 AM
I think it varies, but 10% has always been standard plus a little extra especially if they go on the buying trip.
For my german horse I paid flight fees and trip expenses, but wasn't charged a commission because we'd been working together for a long time and the trainer knew I'd be shelling out a lot more on show cost and upgraded boarding if I really LOVED the horse we came back with.

shea'smom
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:45 AM
I am a professional. I always advise my clients that are selling to plan on a %15 commission, and then tell all parties that is what they will split.
I have been cheated by other trainers before, some people just have sketchy ethics.

rockfordbuckeye
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:30 PM
15% in my neck of the woods.

mzm farm
Jun. 2, 2011, 03:54 PM
I am amazed that buyer's agents expect to be paid by the sellers. Is that not highly unethical towards both, buyers and sellers?!

I mean, I am happy to pay MY agent: on my side, working on my behalf. But why on earth would I pay an agent working on the opposite side? Especially after their client has made first contact on the horse?

Certainly if I trust an opinion of a professional to help me pick a mount, I would be expecting to pay for their services.

I just find this whole thing a bit "wheeling and dealing" and wish it was more upfront and honest. No problem with people making a living selling horses/buying horses.

greenwoodeq
Jun. 5, 2011, 06:59 PM
I am amazed that buyer's agents expect to be paid by the sellers. Is that not highly unethical towards both, buyers and sellers?!

I mean, I am happy to pay MY agent: on my side, working on my behalf. But why on earth would I pay an agent working on the opposite side? Especially after their client has made first contact on the horse?

Certainly if I trust an opinion of a professional to help me pick a mount, I would be expecting to pay for their services.

I just find this whole thing a bit "wheeling and dealing" and wish it was more upfront and honest. No problem with people making a living selling horses/buying horses.

I look at it kind of like buying a house... the buyer's realtor is getting paid even if it is the buyer who initially spots the house. The buyer is usually the one paying the realtor out right, but it usually comes out of the price of the house...

keepthelegend
Jun. 5, 2011, 09:22 PM
15% is the norm with everyone I know

Wholehearted
Jun. 5, 2011, 11:10 PM
There is a new law in California that many people are not aware of in which a bill of sale must be signed by buyer and seller indicating the purchase price of the horse as well as any commission paid in the transaction. Do a google search for the exact wording and damages that can be awarded if a dispute arises. Might help make everyone aware of what the horse actually sold for and who bought/sold as well as commission paid.

I wonder how people wiggle out of that then? I bought my horse in Canada and to avoid paying tax (VFT or something) we said he was in training up there, I've also heard of people fudging the sales price to pay lower tax.

RockinHorse
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:02 AM
I wonder how people wiggle out of that then? I bought my horse in Canada and to avoid paying tax (VFT or something) we said he was in training up there, I've also heard of people fudging the sales price to pay lower tax.
Well, if people cheat, I personally have no problem if they themselves are cheated.