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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff Amateur Status Question

    If you've taught lessons for someone (very basic beginner W/T lessons) in exchange for free board for your horse, but were never actually payed, can you still claim amateur status, since no actual money changed hands? The main trainer at the barn did get payed for the lessons, but the person giving the lessons did not.



  2. #2
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    No. The person received remuneration in the form of free board for their teaching services. They cannot show as an amateur according to the rules.



  3. #3
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    So then how does that differ from working student type situations, where people teach beginner/leadline lessons for their trainer in exchange for their training/lessons? Wouldn't lessons technically also count as remuneration?



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGSponymom View Post
    So then how does that differ from working student type situations, where people teach beginner/leadline lessons for their trainer in exchange for their training/lessons? Wouldn't lessons technically also count as remuneration?
    Working students aren't (usually) ammys. That's why being a working student is usually a gig for a junior.



  5. #5
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    Exactly. Working students are NOT amateurs according to the rules.



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    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGSponymom View Post
    So then how does that differ from working student type situations, where people teach beginner/leadline lessons for their trainer in exchange for their training/lessons? Wouldn't lessons technically also count as remuneration?
    It is exactly the same as a typical working student situation.

    Working studets in that situation are NOT amateurs.

    At least two working students have been "in the back of the magazine" for competing as amateurs.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  8. #8
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    Okay, thanks for clearing that up. I was just wondering, because I do actually know of several 'working students' who show as amateurs...not calling anyone out, but that's good to know.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGSponymom View Post
    Wouldn't lessons technically also count as remuneration?
    No.

    A lot of people insist they do count as remuneration, but if you actually look at USEF's definition of what remuneration is, "lessons" ain't on it.

    "Free board" however, IS on it.

    So, unless/until USEF issues a declaration or tweaks the rule or sets someone down otherwise, you CAN get free lessons from your trainer, but not free board. You can also get a $299 set of Pikeurs from your trainer, but not the $301 pair, and not even $1 in cash or check.


    Cue: legions of COTHers arguing with this without actually reading the rule, plus a hearty helping of people complaining about what they think the rule SHOULD be, but is not, or discussing what "remuneration" means according to THEM, as opposed to what it means according to USEF.
    The weekend is off to a riproaring start.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    It is exactly the same as a typical working student situation.

    Working studets in that situation are NOT amateurs.
    I disagree.

    Working students typically get services and perks in addition to lessons, such as accommodations (USEF ammy nono) or discounted board (other USEF ammy nono).

    I do not believe that individuals receiving SOLELY lessons, but not USEF defined disqualifying remuneration (board/housing), are in violation of the amateur rule.

    If this were the case, any catch rider getting schooled by the horse's trainer before entering the ring would be receiving amateur-disqualifying remuneration in the form of that 10 minute lesson.



  11. #11
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    IMO, there's a clear rule of thumb-type question that can help:

    Is the work you did

    A) requiring of some special riding or training skill

    and

    B) paid for in any way, either in cash or in kind?

    The USEF has those long lists of "what counts as work" and "what counts as pay" to help. But to follow the spirit of the rule and to understand it correctly, the key assumption is that you are a professional if you have some skill in teaching or riding that is worth money.

    You can, therefore, be a highly paid vet, farrier, hauler, clipper, horse masseuse, get paid and still be an amateur.

    But! You leap into the Greg Best/Beezie Madden pro category if you teach kids how to steer, stop and post.
    The armchair saddler
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    Cue: legions of COTHers arguing with this without actually reading the rule, plus a hearty helping of people complaining about what they think the rule SHOULD be, but is not, or discussing what "remuneration" means according to THEM, as opposed to what it means according to USEF.
    The weekend is off to a riproaring start.
    Let me assure you, it was not my intent to start a popcorn thread, lol I really was just curious to know if I technically counted as a 'professional' for having taught beginner lessons in exchange for board. Pure curiosity, as I no longer show and have no interest in doing so for the forseeable future (all of my time/money is now tied up with my daughter and her pony).



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    IMO, there's a clear rule of thumb-type question that can help:

    Is the work you did

    A) requiring of some special riding or training skill

    and

    B) paid for in any way, either in cash or in kind?

    The USEF has those long lists of "what counts as work" and "what counts as pay" to help. But to follow the spirit of the rule and to understand it correctly, the key assumption is that you are a professional if you have some skill in teaching or riding that is worth money.

    You can, therefore, be a highly paid vet, farrier, hauler, clipper, horse masseuse, get paid and still be an amateur.

    But! You leap into the Greg Best/Beezie Madden pro category if you teach kids how to steer, stop and post.
    I diasgree, because the first words of the rule are "Regardless of one's skills or accomplishments, ..."



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    I disagree.

    Working students typically get services and perks in addition to lessons, such as accommodations (USEF ammy nono) or discounted board (other USEF ammy nono).

    I do not believe that individuals receiving SOLELY lessons, but not USEF defined disqualifying remuneration (board/housing), are in violation of the amateur rule.

    If this were the case, any catch rider getting schooled by the horse's trainer before entering the ring would be receiving amateur-disqualifying remuneration in the form of that 10 minute lesson.
    The OP referred to "discounted board" in the original post.

    In my response I assumed (I know- bad me) that the working students were also receiving reduced board.

    I agree that if the ONLY thing they are getting is free/reduced lessons, that it is a gray area and you should call the USEF for clarification.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  15. #15
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    If the person giving the lessons is acting as an employee of the trainer, they would be considered a professional and remember part of the ammy rule is that it doesN'T matter what a person's riding ability is.. Some working students might do only grunt work (i.e. muck, bring in/out, feed) and not do any riding for the barn.. but once they start riding client's horses that's it.

    Agree w/ Meupatoes and janet about the lesson thing - however if the person is NOT going to show at USEF rated/recognized/sanctioned shows and are not planning to join USEF then they don't need to worry about their status except for what other people might think or say...



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottagrey View Post
    If the person giving the lessons is acting as an employee of the trainer, they would be considered a professional
    ONLY IF they are receiving disqualifying remuneration such as cash/reduced board/housing. They can teach for free all day long and twice on Sundays, regardless if the trainer is being paid or whoever else.

    Quote Originally Posted by gottagrey View Post
    and remember part of the ammy rule is that it doesN'T matter what a person's riding ability is.. Some working students might do only grunt work (i.e. muck, bring in/out, feed) and not do any riding for the barn.. but once they start riding client's horses that's it.
    ONLY IF they are also receiving disqualifying remuneration such as cash, reduced board, or housing. If they are doing grunt work for free or for whatever type of remuneration is not disqualifying ($299 set of Pikeurs), they're fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by gottagrey View Post
    Agree w/ Meupatoes and janet about the lesson thing - however if the person is NOT going to show at USEF rated/recognized/sanctioned shows and are not planning to join USEF then they don't need to worry about their status except for what other people might think or say...
    EXACTLY. It makes absolutely no difference until you show up to a show operating under USEF rules.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    ONLY IF they are receiving disqualifying remuneration such as cash/reduced board/housing. They can teach for free all day long and twice on Sundays, regardless if the trainer is being paid or whoever else.
    .
    Here's the rule.

    "c. Accepts remuneration for employment in other capacity (e.g., secretary, bookkeeper, veterinarian,
    groom, farrier) and gives instruction, rides, drives, shows, trains or schools horses, other than horses actually owned or leased by him/her, when his/her employer or a member of
    the family of said employer or a corporation which a member of his/her family controls, owns, boards or trains said horses"

    The kicker is the definition of remuneration.
    Some items that USEF considers remuneration:
    "travel, hotel, room and board or equipment
    Horse board, prize money, partial support or objects of more than $300 are considered remuneration"

    Every situation is different and 'partial support' can cover a lot of things (including lessons) so as suggested by others always check with USEF.
    Fan of Sea Accounts



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    I diasgree, because the first words of the rule are "Regardless of one's skills or accomplishments, ..."
    Sadly, that's true as the USEF rule is written.

    So here's an opportunity to get deeper into the spirit of the law, which is the thing anyone needs to know in order to follow it.

    No, the USEF does *not* want to get into deciding who is good enough to deserve professional status in our sport.

    (In fact, we are kind of in this mess because our regulating body doesn't want to establish those standards, opening the door to "good ammies" and even "shammies" doing the quality job on a horse that a professional-looking horse trainer can do. Of course, the point of the shamateur is the expensive and competitive A/O division. And mark my words, were those guys taking business away from the check-cashing pros, the rule would change).

    Anywho. As the rest of my post said, you can be teaching kids to steer or going to the Olympics and you are put into the same bucket.

    The *presumption*, of course, is that both of those people have some skill that is worth money and sought after.

    The USEF spends more ink on the "all the ways one can get paid" question because this is usually where the scam lies. Payer and payee are left to determine whether or not the "amateur" has a skill worth buying. The big deal is that compensation can come in many, many forms. So the USEF talks about all they can think of.

    IMO, it's best to know the rule's intention and it's actual prose before any one of us starts trying to make deals regarding bartering with horse stuff.
    The armchair saddler
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    So here's an opportunity to get deeper into the spirit of the law, which is the thing anyone needs to know in order to follow it.

    No, the USEF does *not* want to get into deciding who is good enough to deserve professional status in our sport.

    (In fact, we are kind of in this mess because our regulating body doesn't want to establish those standards, opening the door to "good ammies" and even "shammies" doing the quality job on a horse that a professional-looking horse trainer can do. Of course, the point of the shamateur is the expensive and competitive A/O division. And mark my words, were those guys taking business away from the check-cashing pros, the rule would change).

    .
    While it's nice to go with the spirit of the rule what matters is the phrasing. And you need to know the actual rule to avoid problems, not what someone interprets as the 'spirit'. Any questions, contact USEF.

    I hope USEF never establishes guidelines that say if you ride at so and so level you are a pro. That would be very unfair to those ammes who just happen to ride well. Often when people complain about a good riding ammie it's simple jealousy.

    If anyone feels a rider who competes as an ammie is not eligible then file a protest or see the steward at the show. Every so often the rules hearings have lists of those who got caught ( and their trainers ). If USEF feels it's warranted they can even ask for proof that the A/O rider actually owns the horse so fake paper transfers are a bit harder to get away with now.
    Fan of Sea Accounts



  20. #20
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    The list of what is considered remuneration is vague. The question also persists about how comprehensive it is. Is it a few suggested "for examples" or is it an actal list of what is considered remuneration?
    If I teach a couple of lessons and the BO/Head Trainer, just happen to pick up my tab at the grocery store (or wine shop!) each month, I'd consider that" remuneration." Being as my monthly lesson bill is more than my grocery or wine bill, I don't see how that is not also remuneration. If I board at said barn rather than taking my "pay" off the board side of my bill, we can get around the ammy rule by just not charging me for lessons I take. If the going rate for lessons with the head trainer is $50 and I take a weekly lesson, I'm earning $200/month but somehow it's not considered remuneration? Is a lesson package valued at $2400/year and "object of value" worth more that $300?
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