View Full Version : For Those of you with horses in Full Training, etc?

Oct. 27, 2011, 06:58 PM
I have my horse in "Full Training" which with my trainer is getting a training ride 3 days a week or I can substitute one of her rides as a lesson (but it is more cost effective for me to have her ride him) So...

If your horse is in training does said horse get the training rides on certain days?

I can never get a straight answer from my trainer about days she's riding, what she's doing with him that day etc. I don't expect her to give me a play by play but... It would be nice if I knew what days he was being riding and it was a more regular schedule.

I don't care when she rides him that day just to know that she would be riding him xyz day so I can plan accordingly and come out on other days. Am I being a pain in the butt or does this make sense to you? I never know what I am going to get when I head out to the barn that day and its getting irritating.

I go out probably 5 days a week and there is always something I can hack but I want to know what days MY horse is being ridden and what days he isn't before that day... I think I am being fair but I wanted to see what you all thought about it... I am new to the Full Training deal and don't want to be a snotty boarder who is self entitled or anything I just want to know the schedule...

TIA. :)

Oct. 27, 2011, 07:01 PM
Sounds appropriate.

I know some trainers who set up their schedules for the week and post them, so everyone knows. Included in the postings is who (of the grooms/working students/etc) are riding which horses (and what they need each day).

For the price you pay, you should be treated by your trainer in a professional manner, and that includes a schedule - or at least an approximate one.

Oct. 27, 2011, 07:24 PM
I am in the same boat as heequestrian. When I ask about coming to see my youngster go, it is as if I were asking trainer to part the red sea. Why does it have to be smoke and mirrors with trainers? I love to hear about his progress and seeing him jump the first time would have been a real treat to witness. I don't care if I am viewed as a problem for simply wanting an update now and then.

Unlike, heeq, I don't have other horses to ride and would just like to have an idea if and when my boy is going.

Does anyone have a horse in training that when the trainer is out of town at shows, nothing happens and no comp training rides are completed upon return? How is it ethical to charge for something and not fulfill a commitment? Does anyone else have this issue and just overlook the lack of training rides?

Oct. 27, 2011, 07:30 PM
Does anyone have a horse in training that when the trainer is out of town at shows, nothing happens and no comp training rides are completed upon return? How is it ethical to charge for something and not fulfill a commitment? Does anyone else have this issue and just overlook the lack of training rides?

I get this occasionally as well- my horse had an abscess and was off for over a week and a half and didn't get his rides in. (5 rides) I did say something though because I am not going to throw my money away... IMO I pay her for her commitment to ride and while I know it wasn't her fault he went lame I still want him to get those rides or be refunded. We don't have a written contract about the training and I just brought it up casually and she gave me a lesson and then he had a couple extra rides by her the next week.

Oct. 27, 2011, 07:31 PM
The trainers I have used always have been forthcomming with the days they are in work if I ask. I've also gone for a low key hack even if the horse was ridden that day unless fitness is a problem. I make an appt. if I want to see the horse worked and again have never had them say no or a problem scheduling.

stolen virtue
Oct. 27, 2011, 07:37 PM
My horse is in full training, and he is about 30 miles away with a trainer that actually rides him 5-6 days a week. I touch base with her and she can give me updates-I actually have received updates from other trainers as well that work at the same barn.

This is a frusterating issue and I have posted about my other trainer that I had to leave. I am starting to ride my horse on Saturdays now and I discuss things with my current trainer. Sorry, but the trainer problems are always a headache unless you train with someone who is going to be professional and honest with you. Those trainers are sometimes hard to find.

Oct. 27, 2011, 08:07 PM
Hmm...Full Training and only 3 days a week? That's a pretty weak Full Training program if you ask me.
Anything in full training with us in the past has been 5 days a week with 1-2 days off and they are spread apart (Mondays and Thursdays). And I have to note that if ever a client wanted to ride/watch their horse go, they'd call a day ahead and let us know and we would gladly accommodate them. Maybe you could suggest this to the trainer?
As far as not paying when your horse is ill: did you have a training contract with your trainer? Because there are certain stipulations when it comes to injury in some contracts.

Oct. 27, 2011, 08:09 PM
At my barn "full training" is 5-6 rides or lessons a week. My horse is not in full training unless I am going to be away for an extended period of time, but my sister's pony was in full training for a while.
There are different levels of training board that may incorporate 1, 2 or 3 rides/lessons a week though.
My trainer is happy to let owners know when their horse will be ridden. She usually has a pretty rough schedule for the week up on a whiteboard, and at the beginning of each day posts specific ride/lesson times for the day. She can usually plan ride dates/times in advance if asked.

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. Perhaps it would be better for you to decide. For example, you could tell your trainer at the beginning of the week(and maybe write it down as well, easier to remember/keep track of) that you are hoping to be out to ride on days x and y, so if she could please ride him other days or let you know in advance if her schedule necessitates riding him on x or y. Something like that.

Oct. 27, 2011, 08:37 PM
My trainer only offers 3 days a week so maybe it isn't "full" compared to others but that is our highest option right now and all I can really afford at this point for him. I can get lessons on top of that if I want but I pay 840 for full board and 3 rides a week so it ends up being about 300 for 12 rides a month which would normally be 540. So instead of paying 45 dollars a session I end up paying like 25. It works for me. I want to ride 3 days a week right now so if she rides him 3 days a week that gives him a day off.

I did not sign a contract regarding training. I did not say I was not going to pay I just asked her what we were going to do to make up those sessions and she is generally very reasonable about it. I pay for everything at the beginning of the month so not paying isn't really an option.

Thank you all for your responses! :)

Oct. 27, 2011, 09:02 PM
I really think trainers should be up front and professional about re-scheduling when they cannot fulfill the monthly quota/commitment. It's curious as I visited a few h/j barns in St. Louis and I was truly impressed that most don't lock clients into a monthly rate but rather pay per training ride/lesson. I was really impressed. (And this was the same rate whether you had two rides or five per week)
Two of the pros said, "hey" we admit we are busy and we may not always be able to ride to a committed contract/monthly training package, so we won't ask you to pay for something you may not receive. Loves that!

This is the way to keep customers for life!

Go Fish
Oct. 27, 2011, 11:30 PM
I pay a set rate per month. That is six days a week. It can be any combination of training rides and/or lessons. I have a set schedule of lesson days - Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Trainer rides Tuesday and Thursday. Monday is the day off for both trainer and horses.

I can mix that up any way I want. I can ride less and have the trainer ride more, for example. I rarely go out on Tuesday and Thursday to watch training rides, but it wouldn't be a problem if I just let my trainer know when I was coming.

Full training is cheaper with my trainer than paying for individual rides and lessons, so I keep my horses in training. I also get a discount on show fees because my horses are in full time training.

I've had horses in full time training in one form or another for about 50 years. Most of the trainers (both western and english) have run their operation this way.

Oct. 27, 2011, 11:30 PM
Hmmmm...my trainer is pretty transparent about when she's riding and what she's doing (I only have to ask). The schedule is always written on a big whiteboard at the beginning of the week and we also always touch base via text or phone call to work out when I'm doing a lesson or when she's riding.

As for comps at shows, we have very capable assistants who can ride while she's gone.

Oct. 27, 2011, 11:59 PM
Being as funds are limited.....my horse is in full training with ME. I always know when she is being ridden and I get to watch every ride.... from the saddle!!!:)

Oct. 28, 2011, 12:07 AM
My trainer doesn't always have a schedule ahead of time for who gets ridden on which days, it depends on how much time she has. Maybe she'll get more than she planned done that day, maybe something will come up and she'll get less done that day and be doing more riding the next day to make up for it. She always does client horses first though and her own are the ones who usually get bumped if she's short on time. If I tell her I want to come watch her ride my horse though then she'll give me a set day/time to come. I'm fortunate that I have more than one horse at this barn so if I get there and my horse in training has already been ridden that day, I can just get on another one of mine instead.

Oct. 28, 2011, 12:14 AM
Full Training is 6 days a week, lessons, pro-rides, pessoa rig or german walker. The schedule for each horse is marked on a dry erase board and updated weekly. Totally upfront and professional manner. I've been in the other situation at a couple of different places. I finally figured out that when I couldn't get a straight answer as when the horse was getting worked, it meant that it wasn't. That may not always be the case, but it was for me.

Oct. 28, 2011, 01:35 AM
I finally figured out that when I couldn't get a straight answer as when the horse was getting worked, it meant that it wasn't. That may not always be the case, but it was for me.

Same for me. Dealt with this sort of situation at one barn. I was actually paying for five rides a week and horse was only getting one or two. After I mentioned noticing, suddenly horse started getting worked regularly, which almost bugged me more (feeling like they went, oh, she noticed! Made it seem more deliberate rather than an oversight).

I prefer the situation I'm in now, where trainer only rides when I'm there (I'm doing most of the riding myself). but I know that isn't possible for everyone.

Oct. 28, 2011, 08:31 AM
I set up my training in per ride/per week slots. So someone will buy a once a week, twice a week, three times a week, etc package. On months where a particular day goes 5 times instead of four, I add that day on to the bill prorated.

They pay in advance, and conversely because I am capable of pulling up google calendar and looking at it (inorite??!), I generally know in advance whether there are any weekends I will be away at a show or visiting family, so the rescheduled rides are built into the schedule in advance.

If a horse goes lame I don't give a refund but I make up the remaining slots when the horse is sound again.

I have not had any problems with people cancelling in the last minute so the issue of whether I will refund a slot for flaky-owner-who-constantly-reschedules-or-misses-appointments reasons (answer: no, because I have still held that time for them and now they are taking advantage) has not been a problem.

If I ride a horse when the owner isn't there, included in that ride is me pulling out my phone at the end and sending a quick email saying horse was a good boy and here's what we worked on. It takes 3 minutes, and really I just got paid to ride the horse, the least I could do is spend 180 seconds telling the owner what we did.

When I send out invoices I send out the bill for the coming month and also a confirmation of every date I rode in the prior month to confirm that the package deal was fulfilled down to every last ride. An invoice is not just a "give me money" piece of paperwork. It needs to justify exactly where the money went and in my program, my customers can predict their bill to the penny at the beginning of the month, and at the end of the month every penny spent is accounted for.

I don't understand why people wouldn't do this. It really is not difficult to use a calendar, write an organized invoice, or write a quick note on a phone. And customers appreciate it SO MUCH.

Oct. 28, 2011, 09:24 AM
Usually, when a trainers making much ado about nothin' - well, they're doing nothin' ;)

Honestly, its as easy as a white board. I don't want to hear that you're too good for it, either. Noticed it in top Jumper & dressage barns in the US & abroad. As in regularly putting out Olympic horses. Usually, a list of days, horses that are getting training rides, lunge/in-hand work, what time they're on the treadmill/walker, when they get their aqua-therapy, and lesson/training times...must cut down on footsteps, phone-calls re:wtd, and easy enough to change with the swoosh of an eraser ;) you obviously don't have to be that detailed (haha! Would be nice to have aqua-therapy available @ my barn), but why not?!

I for one appreciate knowing the lesson schedue. No need to have a 10 min conversation, or multiple emails, regarding scheduling a time for two very busy parties.

Oct. 28, 2011, 09:41 AM
My trainer rides my horse Wednesday, my lessons are every Tues, Thurs, Sat.....all year! If there's going to be a change to lessons, she will let me know the week before, or brings in a substitute for the lesson(s). If, for some reason, she cannot ride my mare on the Wednesday, she'll call so I can either give her the day off or come out and ride and she lets me know what day she will be riding her. And if she cannot ride my mare, for whatever reason that week, I am not charged and it is credited to next month. Never had an issue!

Oct. 28, 2011, 10:57 AM
My concern based on reading your post is the lack of transparency. You should certainly know when you horse was ridden and what was done. I would have trouble with any trainer resisting sharing that information.

That said, your trainer's operation may be such that she isn't capable or willing to commit to riding your horse on a set schedule. She may simply just want the flexibility to choose her next ride based on how the day is going or how she is feeling, or she may have other outside commitments that affect her daily schedule and make it difficult for her to know whether she has time to ride 5 horses or 6.

How she runs her business is ultimately her prerogative and you just need to decide whether you can work around that or if its a deal breaker and you need to find another trainer.

Oct. 28, 2011, 12:14 PM
We have a good system. Every horse in the barn is on full training, i.e. entitled to a lesson or ride 6 days per week.

We have one of those daily planner books with the times down the left hand side. Each day has its own page. Each trainer is listed at the top of a column, and they go in ahead of time and cross out times/days/weeks when they aren't available. If you want a lesson, you just flip to the day in the book, and put your name in a box which correspondence to a time and a trainer. On the opposing page, there are boxes labeled HACK, RIDE, HAND WALK, LONGE, and OTHER. You just write your horse in the box that corresponds to what he should do that day. If the horse doesn't appear anywhere, he is OR-- the Owner's Responsibility that day.

Oct. 28, 2011, 02:50 PM
If the trainer is riding your horse only 3 days a week, I see no reason why they can't let you know what days. Even just letting me know on a weekly basis what days would be fine so I can plan my schedule around it.

Does your trainer do this full time or are they working other jobs around their horse training? Are they super full & riding/training lots of horses that it's hard for them to committ to a plan in advance?

As for sending a horse off...I sent my 3 YO off after I had started him. Trainer was upfront about his schedule (no ride Sun, Mon free jump, etc..). He rode during the day while I was at work, but on Saturdays I would just ask what time to be there. Same with during the week if my mom wanted to go watch. He was honest if his sched was full or he didn't know exact time, but he'd call & let me know. Communication was very open & that is huge since some trainers seem to lack in that department.

Personally I am very leery of trainers who only ride when clients are never around & are unwilling to accomodate a client wanting to see their horse ridden (I don't mean every ride, but once in awhile riding it at night or on a weekend with client present). It makes me wonder what is or isn't being done.

Oct. 28, 2011, 03:00 PM
Most trainers that I have a white board where they list the horses in training, and notes as to what will be done with that horse that day. It will have the trainer's name if the trainer is riding, or the client's name if the client is riding.

If your trainer is not giving you a straight answer, she may be having other clients school your horse.:no:

Oct. 28, 2011, 03:08 PM
In my experience, full training consists of 2-3 pro rides and 2-3 lessons for a total of 5 work days a week. Trainer ALWAYS lets me know what days and times he/she is riding and when my lessons will be, otherwise, no longer my trainer. 3 days a week in Pac. NW would not be considered full training. Trainer keeps a white board with a notation for every horse in barn as to rides/lessons/off updated each week.

Oct. 28, 2011, 04:54 PM
It is completely reasonable to expect to know what days your horse will be ridden, and if you express an interest in watching him go to be able to be told an approximate time so you can come and watch. Most reputable trainers want their clients to know what is going on with their horse to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to prove their value to the client.

I would be concerned about working with a trainer who doesn't have a more regular training schedule. A barn is a busy place--if you don't have a schedule that you work from it is easy to skip horses or push horses back another day...and then days end up getting completely missed.

At my barn, the days each horse will get worked are set at the beginning of the week, and we keep a training calendar on every horse in work with initials to confirm each day it was ridden and a few notes about the animal's progress. Things aren't inflexible, but we start from a regular, planned out schedule.

Oct. 28, 2011, 04:55 PM
Same for me. Dealt with this sort of situation at one barn. I was actually paying for five rides a week and horse was only getting one or two. After I mentioned noticing, suddenly horse started getting worked regularly, which almost bugged me more (feeling like they went, oh, she noticed! Made it seem more deliberate rather than an oversight).

I prefer the situation I'm in now, where trainer only rides when I'm there (I'm doing most of the riding myself). but I know that isn't possible for everyone.

I'd second this guess, having worked at a pretty successful barn with multiple trainers. When our trainers were dodgy with the details with clients, about when they would be riding their horse, or when they had ridden a horse, it was generally because a) horse hadn't been ridden at all, b) horse had had a "hack" or other non-training ride, or c) horse had been ridden by a working student or used in a lesson.

Frankly, I was amazed at what passes for training when the clients aren't around. And sometimes they never even notice the difference! I know not all trainers do this; but from what I was exposed to, it seems more common than it should be.:mad:

Oct. 28, 2011, 05:08 PM
Hmmmmm....Sounds to me like your getting 1/2 training at FULL price. Full training generally includes flatting your horse 5 days per week and jumping once per week.

Oct. 28, 2011, 08:15 PM
Yes, and I find it always curious when trainers always work their personal horses first. Shouldn't these be the ones bumped when things get hectic?