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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010

    Default prices for training; ground work vs. riding vs. more advanced training?

    Do you expect different prices (from same trainer) for 30-days' worth of training depending on what is being done with the horse?

    I'm planning to send my horse for training for several months and have discussed with a potential trainer (still in the interviewing process) having the first 30 days working out groundwork kinks (long lining, etc), the next 30 days riding flatwork, then following up with another 30 days of jumping/course work.
    Horse has been ridden & shown over fences extensively, but has had several months off of work, and a couple years off of hard work due to injuries (on his part & my part) and now my pregnancy. So he needs to get a few groundwork and flatwork kinks worked out, not to mention a gradual return to work that I cannot provide at 7 months pregnant. It's not like this is a 2 year old who has never been backed before.
    My overall goal for the training is to 1) get him out of my barn for the last part of my pregnancy, 2) have someone get him back into riding shape, and 3) better his flatwork/jumping foundation and/or his jumping ability.

    Would you expect to be charged differently for each of these activities, especially given the horse should already know a lot of the things covered in the first 60 days and it should just be a "tune-up"? I've never been in this particular situation and am just curious as to what others do. Do prices increase as training progresses? Or do most charge a "by-hour" rate, regardless of what is being done?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008


    I expect to be charged and I do charge according to skill and how much time spent with the horse. Whether it is ground work or riding, does not matter.

    As example:
    Someone with moderate skills - $30/day. - ground work or riding, doesn't matter
    More Advanced skills - $60/day - ground work or riding, doesn't matter

    So sending out for training for 30 days and horse will be worked 20 of those days - $600 for first person, $1200 for second person. If I want the same price as person one, person 2 would only work horse for 10 of those 30 days.

    For the horse you describe, I would feel that a more advanced trainer would do something like 2 weeks of ground work (or less), then start riding. Depending on what 'kinks' are in ground work, may have some ground work days between riding days. So, I would expect person 2 to start riding earlier than person 1. I would also expect jumping to start earlier than month 3, but jumping should just be one or two days a week and flatwork the other days, along with some fitness days.

    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2003
    Virginia Hunt Country


    Training is charged for by time. If the trainer spends an hour on your horse be it ground work flat work or jumping it will be the same. I know of no trainer who says I charge this for training your horse to jump vs flatting it vs ground manners. What you are paying for is there time and overall expertise.
    "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor

    5 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010



    Every trainer* I know has one price. Ground work probably takes as much if not more time, and feed costs are basically equal. 30 minutes on a horse is 30 minutes on a horse whether you're doing basics or advanced stuff.

    *The one exception is the guy who takes the crazy horses 4 other trainers have screwed up first. He recently had one that he doubled his rate on if the owner wanted him to keep working it. This was to cover the real risk to life & property posed by the horse, (and hopefully convince the owner to give up ). The horse was hurt-you-BAD.

    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Montreal, Qc


    The only way I would see a difference in the price would be because the lenght of time spent for the training each day.

    Maybe a trainer could offer a reduced rate for the 1st month since the horse could not do a full hour of training each day. An hour on the lunge is quite demanding for a horse coming back to work.

    But as soon as the horse is able to handle 45min/1hr training sessions, no matter what is done, the price should be the same.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004


    No. As others mentioned, it's done by time and skill. It's not the trainer's fault that the person getting your horse back into lunging shape is also the same person who will be working it over fences several months later. You could have chosen to pay someone cheaper/less experienced for the "bringing back into work" phase, and then swapped.

    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Westchester County, NY


    No - same price. You are paying the value of the trainer's time. What the trainer is working on during that time is irrelevant.

    I would expect different prices based on number of sessions - i.e. part-training (3 days/week) vs. full-training (6 days/week).

    I also know a few trainers who will offer a slightly reduced rate if the assistant trainer or working student does the riding.

    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    South Park


    I'd expect the charge to be the same.
    I also think training is not linear as you describe. It would probably be a lot more beneficial to the horse to mix things up, both physically and mentally. For example I would start with ground work but quickly mix in some riding as long as the horse is progressing. Then my sessions would become a mix of ground work and riding, depending on what the horse needs to progress. Likewise, jumping would be slowly added in, maybe once a week at first, or maybe just 10 minutes per session at the beginning, again depending on where the horse is at.
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.

    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006


    It is done by time spent and skill.

    If the horse already knows most of the elementary stuff and the trainer doesn't find any holes that need to be filled, they will carry right on to the next task that the horse needs to work on. No point in washing dishes that are already clean.

    The trainer will spend time on the skills at the level that the horse needs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2013
    House at Pooh Corner


    The trainers, I know, charge per "job" (trailering, for instance), per week, per month, per three months. They also have hourly rates, but that is more for lessons.

    The package is often cheaper, if you are sending the horse for three months, for the training is not so intense (on the other hand, IMO, it tends to be more "correct.").

    With this kind of training, you want to be as sure as you can about the trainer/horse fit and, of course, the integrity of the trainer. You have to have trust in his/her judgment. References are important.

    For instance, a training might be seemingly very slow and nothing is being accomplished the first month, but then, later it takes off. Some people don't wait for that and pull their horses, because they think, trainer is "not doing anything." Hence the importance of trust.

    Of course, there are trainers, who really do not do anything, except milking you (here, references come handy).

    When choosing the trainer, I would also suggest to pick the one, who will "force" you to take lessons on your "new" horse, as the training will be nearing towards the end. It is often a part of the package. Decent trainers want their training to stick and this is, how they try to make sure, it will.

    Finally, and this might be difficult for you with care of your new baby, try to work on your shape also. Horses coming out of intense training are often very strong. You don't want to be in worse shape than your horse!

    Wish you good luck in finding a right fit & safe arrival of the baby!
    Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. - A.A.Milne

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