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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
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    Canada
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    Default Sending a youngster away for training?

    I'm considering sending away my young horse for some finishing. What should I look for in a trainer? What sort of costs (aside from training board) should I expect? What tack/"stuff" do I send along with him?

    Any tips or suggestions would be great. Most of the UL riders will be gone until April so I am considering having a jumper pro train him (and hopefully introduce him to showing in the jumpers) over the winter.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Location
    Guthrie, OK
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    1,601

    Default

    Been there done it several times and have tales to tell, both good and bad.

    1) what ever you send be sure is clearly and PERMANTLY marked with your initials, name, horse's name, etc. White out works well on dark colored things, even on neoprene.

    2) Have an inventory list of what you sent with thorse. Don't just say "bridle". Define bridle--brand, what sort of cavesson, browband, reins, etc. You can be super anal and take pics but that is prob a bit overboard if you are using a reputable trainer. Give them the list and you keep a list. And both of you sign both of them.

    3) anything you send later, or authorize purchase of, in the way of "non-consumables", be sure is also documented. FWIW, I do not consider saddle pads as consumables.

    4) If it is something you really really want to be sure you get back, don't send it. $hit happens.

    5)Ask up front what happens if something you send winds up breaking. Be it leather goods or blanket straps or whatever. Who fixes it? Who pays for it? Etc.

    What to look for in a trainer: Well that is a very subjective thing.
    Are they close so you can go visit?
    How are they with young horses vs made horses?
    Who actually rides/works the young horses? Ie is all the real saddle time you are paying for being done by the trainer or do they have a working student "warm the horse up" and then they get on and finish the ride?
    How many rides a week are expected?
    What happens on the horse's off days?
    What happens when trainer is out of town? Ie at shows, teaching, etc? Who rides the horse?
    Get defined EXACTLY what is included in the fees you are being charged. Is blanketing included? Is there a fee for someone holding the horse for the farrier/vet? Who pays the farrier/vet bills? If you are billed by the trainer for thses, do you get a copy of the original bill? Is there a "handling fee" tacked on for them paying it and then billing you?
    Turn out, etc? How much? Where? Group or individual? Boots on or not? What is the fencing like vs your horse and fencing?
    What are the stalls like? What hay do they feed? How much and when?
    What about supplements?
    If there is off facilities activities, what is involved in those costs? Hauling fees? Schooling fees? Is there a per ride fee when off the facilities? If horsie is going to be going to shows, what expenses are you looking at aside from entry fees and hauling? Who buys the extra shavings and what if they aren't used? Is there an extra "groom" fee at shows? Who pays the trainer's expenses if it is an out of town/overnight show?

    Go meet the trainer you are thinking of taking horsie to. See how things work there. Then "stop by" one day without an appointment. Are things the same when you weren't expected?

    Talk to SEVERAL people who have had horses in training with the person. Talk to several, not just one. Ie, ask for "references". And follow up on them.

    Cost: That is very variable but what I have found is that if you looking at a "BNT" of any sort (and I am using that term very loosely since who considers themselves a BNT or who you consider to be a BNT may be different than what I do) you can expect about $2K/month for boarding and training. That seems to be have been pretty consistent for the past decade for some odd reason.
    Find out if board is billed separate from training.

    Find out how often you will get updates.
    If something happens to horsie, are you called before there is a charge incurred? Or do they have carte blanc?

    If they don't have an indoor and the weather sucks, what happens about horsie's training (and associated fee for training)?

    If your horse damages something of THEIRS, are you responsible for it?

    Do they prorate fees/bills for partial months? Ie if for reason horsie leaves their care before the end of a full month that has, of course, been paid for in advance.

    If there is a "30 day notice" clause in the contact, get that hammered out at the git go. Again, $hit happens. If horsie gets hurt or something else happens that horsie can't be in work and should just come home, is the "unused" portion of the months board and training will be refunded.

    What happens if you decide to take the horse out of training without whatever notice time is in the contract? Ie, it just isn't working out, you have sudden financial changes, etc?

    That is my long 2 cents worth.

    Have trainer ride horsie a time or 2 before committing. Be sure they get along.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Sunshine State
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    Default

    The answer to this question varies greatly from trainer to trainer and location to location.

    I pay 1k a month for a trainer. Not big name, but she has brought several horses up to the 3* level so not a back yard hack either. I think she's the best value in training around! I decided on her after doing a few lessons with her and watching several other horses that she trained. They all seemed like the types of horses that I would enjoy riding.

    That fee includes board, feed, all basic handling (including away at shows), and she works my horse or gives me a lesson on my horse five times a week. When she rides she uses her own equipment on my horse, from saddle pads to boots. She uses her own fly spray and grooming equipment as well. She does use my bridle because I provided one, but I know that she uses her own bridles on other horses in training. She cleans my bridle when she's done using it, but if I use my bridle, I am expected to clean it.

    When I ride my horse, I use my own equipment, grooming supplies, etc. I have a place to keep them at the barn because I use them, but I'm the only one that uses them. If I was not there riding my horse as well, they wouldn't need to be there with her.

    The owner is expected to provide a halter & lead rope, blankets, and any supplements or medications. The owner also pays for farrier & veterinary care. If the horse goes to a show, there are no "per day" fees for the trainer, however the owner pays all entries, shipping, and for any braiding.

    It's a pretty casual program and sometimes a ride might be missed due to weather or whatever, but I know she's going to try her hardest to provide the services that are paid for. There are not a lot of contracts in this particular training program, but given the reasonable price and the quality of the program, stalls tend to stay full. I was on a wait list for several months before my first horse went into her program in 2008 but I've kept a horse in the program ever since and I'm not planning on giving up my spot any time soon!
    The rebel in the grey shirt


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2006
    Location
    Knoxville TN
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    Default

    Errrmahgaaardd..... I would not send a horse away to any facility that I had so little trust in that I felt the need to itemise and fuss about the stuff. I sent my beloved Po away with a rather lovely Custom Solo short-roll saddle, cheap bridle, some white boots for looking cute in, and some grass hay* and she came back with the saddle, bridle, white boots .... (she'd yomped all the hay.)

    Choose a trainer you trust. Build a good relationship with them first. if you don't feel good about leaving your stuff there, then really Do Not Leave your Horse there ! If the trainer isn't already someone you know, whose horses you've seen out and about doing it right, whose methods agree with yours ... then don't go there.

    I paid around $1000 for a month's intensive dressage boot camp, which would have included lessons for me too, except it was seven hours away. And yes, that's another factor - choose someone close that fits your requirements. If your requirements are for a really good dressage trainer under 105lbs*, you might have a bit of a drive

    *perhaps I should explain that Po is 13hh and she went to a super-fancy dressage place that mainly has Really Really Big Hannoverians. And they eat very nice alfalfa hay. Po, OTOH, does not.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
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    PA
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    Really...most training barns do not want you to send your horse with anything. It is just more work for them to keep track of stuff.

    Pick a trainer who you communicate well with and who you know (either by personal knowledge or recommendations) has the skills you need. I personally would not send a horse far from home...but then I can throw a rock and hit multiple top trainers who I would be happy to work with my youngster with one shot!
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 15, 2012 at 07:58 AM. Reason: typo
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
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    631

    Default

    Before I say anything else, get a full fees list. Jumper world is completely different from the eventing market. There are quite a few hidden fees and showing fees that you need to know about. Getting training at a jumper barn is going to at least be 2k+. It is typically more expensive than eventing. The jumper circuit can get very expensive. I would also make sure that you check out this trainer. Any drug records on horses that he has trained? I hate to be the one to bring this up but if you go look around on the H/J forum there are so many horror stories of people sending their horses off for training and their being drugged when you come to ride the horse after the training is done. Also make sure that when you get billed, every expense is spelled out for you. don't let them just send you a lump sum. Make sure each expense is explained. I have seen anything from worming being $20 to them sending your blanketing out for cleaning at $75. Where they obviously make a lot of money off of your horse. I would not send a saddle with your horse. I would send inexpensive stuff that you might not get back. Obviously you might have to send blankets but anything tack related I wouldn't. I would make sure you visit this trainer quite a few times and look up his/her records for showing.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Thanks for the tips everyone. I will be sure to get everything in writing and don't send anything I'm not willing to replace. I will also see if I can get a fee table of some sort so I can make sure the whole kit 'n kaboodle will be in my budget still (or at least, I can outline what I am/am not able to afford as far as extras).

    My 1st choice trainer has also mentioned she could take him down to Ocala with her until April. The training board is pretty close to what I'd be paying when she's back up here, and the trailering down isn't prohibitively expensive... but then I'd be paying for hotels/food/travel while I'm down there/etc. every month which would add to the cost considerably.

    I need to think on this more. Thanks again!
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    Default

    I would make sure you are extremely clear on what going to FL will entail, expense wise. FL trips, especially in the H/J world (is this the jumper trainer you mentioned?), can become expensive, very quickly. So, make sure you know exactly what all you will be paying for if he goes.

    I also wouldn't bother sending him with a ton of stuff. A reputable trainer will have plenty of gear to meet your horse's needs. I would only send stuff (other than blankets, halter, and lead) if your horse has some either very strange fitting issue or condition that you aren't sure they can meet (ie, I would probably send a couple of sets of inexpensive fleece lined boots with Toby since he is allergic to neoprene...although, most training barns I've been in have had plenty of fleece boots along with Woofs and other things).

    Just be sure you are clear on everything. Make sure you are clear on what "training" means. I know that when I was working along side a trainer, we were clear with clients that "training" meant not just schooling rides, but lungeing, hacking out, and conditioning work. Whatever the trainer thought the horse needed to develop it properly and keep it happy in its work. Other trainers I know will only doing schooling rides.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2011
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    Default

    It would have to be with a trainer I trust. I wouldn't do it with someone that I had not worked with before. When I shipped one out like that we sent his everyday bridle and that was it.
    People often confuse ideology with knowledge and thoughtful reasoning.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
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    PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WW_Queen View Post
    My 1st choice trainer has also mentioned she could take him down to Ocala with her until April. The training board is pretty close to what I'd be paying when she's back up here, and the trailering down isn't prohibitively expensive... but then I'd be paying for hotels/food/travel while I'm down there/etc. every month which would add to the cost considerably.

    I need to think on this more. Thanks again!

    Yeah...but then you have an excuse to take a trip (or two) to Florida during the winter. Hmmm....doesn't seem like a hard choice to me

    I take it your 1st choice trainer is an event trainer?
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  11. #11
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    Apr. 5, 2004
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    Canada
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    Default

    Yup the 1st choice trainer is the event trainer that I was going to have to wait until April for. Although I have not worked with her before, she is friends with a former event trainer (who I trust complicity) and I think her personality/riding style will mesh well with me/my horse.

    Doing the math, I figure it would be roughly $1800/month in horse costs, and about $600 in travel costs to visit 1x a month. Do I think he would come back ready to kick some a$$ with the trainer during the 2013 season? Absolutely! Would my husband divorce me if he realized how much I was spending a month? Definitely. (Keeping in mind I do support a pasture puff as well )

    I think I'll have to keep him closer to home and just wait until the spring.

    (I was thinking of looking for a local event rider just to keep him moving during the week, have a pro school him a couple of times a week over fences and then offer the rider free clinics/showing if she/he is the right fit for my horse. Then the trainer can fine-tune him and start him XC in the spring. Do you guys think that could work?)
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  12. #12
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    Jan. 10, 2007
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    Not sure where you are in Canada, but you might check with Jenn Brooks who is a great person and very good with young horses http://www.equijenn.com/about/ and does not go south for the winter. She is not a BNT, but has ridden through intermediate, had students ride through advanced and is great in her approach with young horses and also great as an instructor if you want to do lessons while your regular coach is gone
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


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