Full training: What do you pay and what do you get?
I did a search as I'm sure this has been discussed before, but there were too many threads that came up with the word "training" and I was getting distracted wading through them!
I realize training rates will vary depending on where one lives, but I'm curious to learn what is included if your trainer offers "Full Training".
I just got a rate sheet for full training which is two rides or lessons with the head trainer and two rides or lessons with one of her assistants. A total of 4 rides or lessons a week for $750, not including board.
How many rides or lessons do you get in Full Training?
1,000.00 a month is what I pay an FEI trainer. All rides/lessons are with her. 5-6 days a week. Can be lessons or rides.
I only do this once or twice a year for a month or even less if the bad boy is behaving
Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger
$525 full training = 7 "outs" a week. Monday is typically turnouts or hand-walks as it is the trainer's day off. Remaining six days you may take lesson (group or not, depending on who else shows up) or have trainer ride. Also includes blanketing/unblanketing in winter, care such as wrapping and dealing with wounds and injuries. Lunch is extra -- $20 for small and goes up from there. There is a $450 or $475 option that comprises 5 outs a week. At the moment there is no assistant that can teach, so if the trainer goes out of town, the horses will get exercised, but no lessons.
The dressage barn next door is more pricey (maybe $650 the last I heard) and there are no Sunday lessons or other Sunday activities.
Around here the good ones are between 600-1000 a month, for 5 days a week. But for a lot of trainers full training means ignoring your horse or having a working student ride it <frown>.
Full training to me means the trainer rides the horse 5-6 days a week- not the working student, not lunged, not turned out, but ridden by the trainer. I expect that my horse be wrapped or at least booted for the rides and I expect my tack be put back appropriately (I want my horses to go in my saddles and their own bridle unless discussed with me first). I do not mind if the tacking is done by groom of course, but I do not allow others get on my horses unless its to walk on a long rein. After a hard workout both of mine stand in ice boots for 20 minutes. I would expect that to be done although I wouldn't be surprised if I was charged extra.
I would expect to pay extra for lessons on top of that, unless it was part of the training package. These days my girls would only go into training if I was traveling so its never been part of the equation.
I think the biggest part of having a horse in full training successfully is to treat is like a strict business transaction and outline expectations clearly.
I've had horses in full training and been really unhappy... I mean $hit happens and sometimes people just plain run out of time and my horse gets skipped. I get that, but having a horse really backsore because the trainer doesn't want to ride in my saddle so is trying to make hers work isn't ok. Also having working students ride is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. If I wanted to the WS to ride I could hire the WS to ride for a third of the price. If I were to put a horse in training now (and I will be since I will be traveling) I would make sure to just make my expectations understood- but would be prepared to be charged for it as well.
Last edited by Sandra6500; Sep. 9, 2010 at 05:12 PM.
For $150.00 a week you get outside board, and 5 training days per week...possibly more if the horse comes more or less wild and I feel 6-7 short sessions a week are more beneficial. Can be lessons or training rides. I do all the rides/lessons unless otherwise agreed. This includes holding horse for vet/farrier, taking it for grass in the summer, and other general care. Inside board adds about $200.00 per month to the bill.
Training days are what I think are most beneficial, so may include ground work, lunging, ponying on trails, trail riding, jumping, ring work/dressage or what ever else was specified as needed by the client (such as loading, learning to be bathed, clipping...)
Rates will vary from region to region but my "full training" is five training sessions/week -- either instructing me or riding my horse. Shows are extra, and extras (braiding, trailering) are extra but generally below the going rate for the area.
This may be digressing a bit but...
For me what is really important is the trainer communication -- I like to hear a couple of times a week, just quick updates like "doing well, nice canter work today!" or "Worked on transitions." I value their availability to discuss my horse's progress and talk about issues like shoeing, weight, soundness, etc. Again, not a 50 minute therapy session but quick chats on specific issues.
Lots of variation by region. When maresy was in training in 2008-2009, I paid $700/month for 5 rides or lessons a week, and $725 for board. Very few "extra charges" because we were both low maintenance. Barn did blanketing, turn-out, fly spray, booting etc. and a WS cleaned my tack after every ride (and I got so spoiled!) This was at a barn in New Hampshire, far enough north of Boston that it couldn't charge what the typical barns within 45 minutes of Boston do. (In those settings, board starts at about $850/month and training around $700 and up.)
Yes, a working student rode my horse -- under the *careful* supervision of the trainer -- but that is appropriate, I think, for a Training Level horse who needs some retraining and manners installed. And the WS in question is a fabulous, up-and-coming young woman who has a LOT of experience and got her Silver Medal this year.
The first 2 months, I wasn't riding at all because of an accident that happened with another horse just after I put mine in training. And then I spent over a month riding my horse at a walk to cool her off after her training rides because that was all I was capable of, and then split rides with the WS as I healed. Eventually full training became 3 lessons per week from the trainer, 2 rides by the WS, and one ride "on my own" each week. I think this was a VERY good deal given that the cost of 12 lessons each month alone, if I'd paid for them individually, would have been more than what I was paying for training.
Full training for me was $1200/ mo (which it has gone up to $1500/mo now). It included full board and either rides or lessons 5 days a week. Horses got emaculate care in their stalls and turnout with whatever equipment you wanted on the horse when it went out. The assistant trainer rode certain horses if it worked better with that specific horse or depending on what the owner wanted. Horse's went in their own bridles, and more than likely in the trainers saddles...It was great, and like some other posters, I did it a month at a time here or there, when gearing up for show season or working on a specific issue, or if i was out of town.
I do not believe that people should pay the same rate for a trainer and the assistant riding a horse. If the assistant is riding under the trainer on your horse then they are taking a lesson or being supervised and that should be cheaper than the trainer riding the horse. I also prefer that either one or the other rides the horse while the horse is in training with the owner. A horse does not need to be ridden by a trainer, and assistant trainer and then an owner. That is confusing. And unfortunately profitable for a barn that wishes to charge the same for the trainer and the assistant to ride.
Full training is often training by one rider five days per week(trainer or assistant, costs dependent). Perhaps one lesson for the owner on day 6. Partial training usually includes a mixture of trainer rides and owner lessons as arranged.
It is ususally defined by the barn. Pick the schedule that you as the owner wish to pay for.
I think that you also need to take into consideration the trainer's facility when you consider the price. Does the trainer need to maintain an indoor ring as well as an outdoor ring, for instance. Are the stalls safe and large? Are they kept well-bedded? Is there turnout? Are the fences safe? etc.
I have not had a horse in full training for many, many years, so the price I paid is not relavant today. Back then, the assistant always rode my horse, but under the supervision of the main trainer. The reason was that my trainer could no longer physically ride the horses, herself. I also know of some working students who are very good in the training department, so if I were to judge whether the price was fair, I'd look first to see how both the trainer and the assistant rode.
There are certain safety techniques that should be employed in training. Boots or wraps are one of those, and I would not expect to have to question whether they were included or not...definitely expect that they were. I would expect the trainer to use a saddle that fit the horse. If it were my saddle that was used, I'd be sure that it fit the trainer. A trainer cannot properly train in a saddle that is too small through the seat for her. I would expect that my bridle also be used. I'd best not come to the facility and find that my equipment had been put away dirty either.
Not only does it vary regionally, it can vary greatly in a specific area. I'd say $750 is the "norm" around here, usually 4 rides a week by the "trainer," regardless of discipline. This would be for a "local" show type of trainer. Cost goes up as the show level increases.
I've seen it as low as $450/month for for 4 rides a month at a newly established barn (how do they make any money on that?), $550/month for 4 rides a month and a lesson at a breed-oriented barn. The most I've seen quoted is $1200+ for a natural horsemanship&dressage place, but the upper end is for a "problem" horse. That was one thing I hadn't seen before, which does make sense...it probably should cost more if they're having to do a lot more work.
I'd say one of the best deals is the $500/month western guy who is always in high demand for starting horses. Exposes them to cows, trails, and even does dressage though he wouldn't call it that, but they will come back knowing turn on the forehand/haunches. Very rustic facility though.