The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2009
    Posts
    220

    Default Leases for Working Students?

    I have ridden with my current trainer for about 7 years. I have been a working student for her for about 4-5 of those years. For these past 7 years I have been riding and showing one of her school horses. I love this horse to death, we do the 3'6" High Child/Adult Jumpers and honestly I couldn't ask for anything better.
    Yesterday I walked in the barn and she had written on the board a list of horses available for lease, and the horse I have been riding was on it. I can't imagin losing him to someone else, which I understand is part of it, I don't own the horse and I have been lucky to ride him for as long as I have, but he still has more to teach me and the barn doesn't have any other 3'0"+ or jumpers (which is my main focus) in the barn for me to ride. I talked to her about what the rough estimate for leasing him would be and she said that in the past she has said $1200 a month for leasing him. She said she doesn't expect that from me since I help her out and said to make her an offer.
    So after all that I want to ask, what is a reasonable offer? He's incredibly athetic, no spook, but not anything fancy, can be hard to ride, and a bit tempermental at times but really he is an incredible horse and has a heart of gold. I am at the barn everyday working and go to every horse show with my trainer. I will do anything she asks of me and am willing to work my butt off! So what would you think would be fair?
    (Sorry it's so long!!)



  2. #2

    Default

    Perhaps the first question should be what can you offer? You don't want to lowball her because it's all you can do.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2008
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Let me see if I've got this right--for 4 + years you've been riding/campaigning a nice horse as part of your working student duties/privileges with no $ exchanging hands. And now your trainer wants you to pay for the privilege to continue the status quo while (I assume) you continue to work for your trainer at the same pace with no "replacement" horse as compensation. If I've got it right, you're getting a rough deal here.

    I understand that trainers have bills to pay, and if your trainer wants to lease a nice horse in order to generate income, then she certainly has every right to lease her horse to whosoever she pleases. But it's your responsibility not to get caught up in a scheme where you end up working long, hard hours for no clear compensation, while literally paying for the opportunity to ride a horse that you rode and competed in exchange for just farm help for 4 + years.

    So, you might want to think this out, and take the opportunity to sit down with you trainer and re-negotiate (or negotiate for the first time) a clear written contract that stipulates a fair work/compensation scheme.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Location
    The Part of TN in the Wrong Time Zone
    Posts
    2,053

    Default

    Also a 1200 a month lease is pretty high for a school horse unless they're A+ competitive. Unless this includes board. If it doesn't include board then that would give the horse an estimate purchase price of 43,200 which would be a good price for a competitive children's jumper w/ no problems or a very competitive childrens jumper with a few problems, but pretty steep for something subpar or expensive for most working students.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2013
    Posts
    166

    Default

    How much work do you do for the trainer? How many hours/wk not including riding the horse in question? Are you currently getting free lessons for the work you do? If so, how many lessons/month do you average and what is the current lesson price?

    I'd suggest figuring out what the value is of the work you perform and subtracting that from the $1200/mo he could be leased for + the monthly worth of any free lessons you are currently receiving. That would be one way to start.

    If you're currently getting free lessons in exchange for the work you do, I would offer to pay the horse's actual expenses if you want to keep sole riding use of this horse. That would be the board rate plus routine vet & farrier.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2009
    Posts
    220

    Default

    He's a nice horse. Competetive at the As. Always clear, like a nice horse. When I say not fancy I mean he's definitely not a looker, and not always the easiest to ride. In exchange for working for her I get discounts on shows and horses to ride. She has made a point that she wants this horse to feel like mine but I understand that she is running a buisiness and needs the income and I would like to lease him so he really feels like mine. She saids that she doesn't expect 1200$ from me because I am working, I just dont know what a good offer would be. I personally think he's worth more than $1200 but I cannot afford that, hence the working student!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2009
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I work from 3:30-8:00ish on the week days and 8:30 or earlier until at least 7:30 on the weekends. I ride usually 1-2 horses a day. Sometimes more if the trainer is gone or i get lucky. Other than that I am cleaning tack, tacking horses, sweeping, wrapping, hand walking, bringing in/turning out and any other chores or projects that need done. I don't get free lessons, except for on occasions when I'm in the ring and she just includes me in the lesson or she's helping when on one of her horses. I do get discounts on shows.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Location
    The Part of TN in the Wrong Time Zone
    Posts
    2,053

    Default

    Does 1200 include board or not? How much is the board that you'd pay? That would help determine a fair offer. If you pm'd a video of him I could probably give you a fairly accurate price and help you a bit more on that. After back to back months of searching for horses and ponies for both my sister, myself, and my friends (two of which now have horses I've found plus myself), I've gotten a knack for horse pricing in different situations.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2008
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Based on your most recent posts, I would pass on this horse and move on (in nice, respectful way) if your trainer can't provide a suitable horse for your use. Your trainer may very well be a lovely person who is just trying to make a living in the horse world, but even if you pay 1/3-2/3 of her asking lease-price for this horse, I think you're getting hosed. Non-fancy, temperamental horses (even if they are otherwise very nice) are just are never worth as much as their owner thinks they are worth, unless they'll got talent shooting out of every orifice (and I'm guessing he's a nice horse, but not that nice).

    Even nice trainers sometimes take advantage of their working students. Again, your trainer may actually not be that sort of person, but you should realize that as a working student you're in a very vulnerable position. This board is full of tales of people who were used and abused by their trainers while they were working students.

    Being a working student can be great, but tread carefully.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,702

    Default

    I guess I see it differently. Most WS positions you have to have your own horse if you want to show. For the last few years you were able to show this horse by in essense working off the use of the horse, the horses up keep, and discounts last shows. Which in that time you have also gotten to ride other horses along with that horse. Now the horse is up for lease. You won't be left horseless if he is leased out, just will not be able to do the same division. So your trainer is not hanging you out to dry if he is leased by another. She is also giving you a chance to lease for less then anyone else. This is where you BOTH need to sit down and approach this in a businesses like manner. Discuss what you would both be happy with, and then get it in writing.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2013
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Couture TB has great advice. It sounds like its been a great deal for you so far and opportunities will still be there on other horses if this one is leased.

    Knowing that you aren't getting free lessons does change my idea of what you should offer. So here's another calc and explanation:

    You are currently there 4.5 hrs each weekday and 11 hrs on weekends. That's 33.5 hrs Monday-Saturday. Im not including Sunday because Im assuming at least one day per week you arent at the barn or at least arent out as long. You are currently riding 1-2 horses per day, so we have to subtract that time from the time worked. We'll call that 2.5 hrs/day including grooming/tacking time. 6 days x 2.5 hrs = 15 hrs/ 6 day week. 33.5 hrs there minus 15 hrs of riding time is 18.5 hrs of working time/wk. multiply that by $8/hr and you get $148/wk worth of work or $592/ month. Any time worked on Sundays could be considered you show fee discount work assuming you don't do many shows/ yr. So...assuming $1200/month is a reasonable lease fee (includes board), $1200 - $600 = $600/month so that would be a fair starting point for negotiations.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    32,039

    Default

    It's still somebody else's horse they can get hard cash for leasing/ selling to somebody else so you really need to step back a bit and think about what the actual worth of your work is versus what the cost to support this horse and provide you with lessons, even informally, works out to.

    Are you doing 8-10 dollars an hour worth of work every instant you are at that barn? Are you there 6 or 7 days a week? Are you there working all those hours or just kind of hanging and helping? How much did trainer pay for that horse, what kind of board can she get and how much are lessons? How does that compare with the value of your work versus hiring a full time adult for minimum wage?

    And she did offer to negotiate with you for a reduced rate.

    Just hits me you are upset trainer is offering this horse to others. It's her horse. I don't necessarily agree you are being hosed if you are getting other rides and lessons in return for being at the barn after school and weekends and helping at shows?
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2007
    Posts
    1,704

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EquitationRider View Post
    I have ridden with my current trainer for about 7 years. I have been a working student for her for about 4-5 of those years. For these past 7 years I have been riding and showing one of her school horses. I love this horse to death, we do the 3'6" High Child/Adult Jumpers and honestly I couldn't ask for anything better.
    Yesterday I walked in the barn and she had written on the board a list of horses available for lease, and the horse I have been riding was on it. I can't imagin losing him to someone else, which I understand is part of it, I don't own the horse and I have been lucky to ride him for as long as I have, but he still has more to teach me and the barn doesn't have any other 3'0"+ or jumpers (which is my main focus) in the barn for me to ride. I talked to her about what the rough estimate for leasing him would be and she said that in the past she has said $1200 a month for leasing him. She said she doesn't expect that from me since I help her out and said to make her an offer.
    So after all that I want to ask, what is a reasonable offer? He's incredibly athetic, no spook, but not anything fancy, can be hard to ride, and a bit tempermental at times but really he is an incredible horse and has a heart of gold. I am at the barn everyday working and go to every horse show with my trainer. I will do anything she asks of me and am willing to work my butt off! So what would you think would be fair?
    (Sorry it's so long!!)
    Are you an Adult or a Junior?

    psst. If you're an adult you probably are no longer an Amateur and would be ineligible for Adult AMATEUR jumper.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2009
    Posts
    220

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by S A McKee View Post
    Are you an Adult or a Junior?

    psst. If you're an adult you probably are no longer an Amateur and would be ineligible for Adult AMATEUR jumper.
    I am a junior!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2009
    Posts
    220

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    It's still somebody else's horse they can get hard cash for leasing/ selling to somebody else so you really need to step back a bit and think about what the actual worth of your work is versus what the cost to support this horse and provide you with lessons, even informally, works out to.

    Are you doing 8-10 dollars an hour worth of work every instant you are at that barn? Are you there 6 or 7 days a week? Are you there working all those hours or just kind of hanging and helping? How much did trainer pay for that horse, what kind of board can she get and how much are lessons? How does that compare with the value of your work versus hiring a full time adult for minimum wage?

    And she did offer to negotiate with you for a reduced rate.

    Just hits me you are upset trainer is offering this horse to others. It's her horse. I don't necessarily agree you are being hosed if you are getting other rides and lessons in return for being at the barn after school and weekends and helping at shows?
    No I understand this completely! It is not that I am upset about this, I understand that this is part of the business but since she did tell me that I could make her an offer I was seriously considering what would be fair! If it is possible for me to lease him then I will in order to keep riding him. The amount of work I am doing varies from day to day! I am not saying that I am spending every minute every day working but I am there usually 7 days a week but 6 at the least. Trainer bought this horse has a 3 year old in hopes of him being her big jumper, but never really got there with him. Having never leased or owned a horse in the past, I was looking to see what would be a reasonable amount to pay for a lease for a working student!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EquitationRider View Post
    No I understand this completely! It is not that I am upset about this, I understand that this is part of the business but since she did tell me that I could make her an offer I was seriously considering what would be fair! If it is possible for me to lease him then I will in order to keep riding him. The amount of work I am doing varies from day to day! I am not saying that I am spending every minute every day working but I am there usually 7 days a week but 6 at the least. Trainer bought this horse has a 3 year old in hopes of him being her big jumper, but never really got there with him. Having never leased or owned a horse in the past, I was looking to see what would be a reasonable amount to pay for a lease for a working student!
    You are smart to understand this is a business arrangement.

    As part of that approach - lose the last four words of your last sentence as you consider your offer. Asking what a reasonable amount might be is a perfectly valid question. But, as it's a business transaction, the part about "... for a working student," isn't valid except as it relates to your internal evaluation of your personal finances, which are not the trainer's concern.

    I don't agree with some of the prior posters that you are being (potentially) taken advantage of just because the trainer has offered this horse for lease. And I think that the trainer's offer to provide you with a discount is actually evidence of her good will... she is willing to entertain a below market rate to keep you on the horse,even though it may be to her own financial disadvantage.

    Every barn is different and every working student arrangement is a bit different as well. Lots of trainers provide certain students with opportunities to work off some of their expenses by helping out around the barn - sometimes even if that help is not really needed, or is a "nice to have," not a "need to have" sort of thing. In other words, these trainers are offering opportunities to their WS in order to help them afford to ride/train/show (not necessarily because they need more barn help, welcome though that help might be.)

    In other cases, the WS is a groom/FTE by another name. These situations look just like regular employment arrangements, except that the compensation tends to be a combination of discounts/ board/ housing/ lessons/ mentoring etc. Those situations also tend to require "regular working hours," not the type of arrangement where the WS shows up after school for a few hours and then spends a weekend day or two at the barn.

    Now, I haven't the foggiest idea where the OP's situation falls on that continuum, but I do think it makes a difference when it comes to negotiating this potential lease. If the situation is more along the lines of the trainer not really *needing* more barn help, but graciously allowing the OP to work off some of her expenses, then I think the lease offer really does need to be reasonably close to the market rate for the horse. Let's remember that if the trainer bought this one to be her personal horse and at one time thought he was going to be a big time jumper, he was probably $$$. And even if not, $1200 a month is not a huge sum for a horse that can ribbon in the high children's - even if they aren't a total packer. I'd be thinking about an offer somewhere in the 75% range, personally.

    The bottom line is that the OP needs to consider what she can afford, and what sort of program/schedule she anticipates being able to handle financially if she takes on this lease expense. Remember that with most leases, come other expenses (shoes, vet, insurance etc) that she probably has not been paying up til now.

    The other thing to consider is what the overall impact will be to the trainer financially in the bigger picture. If this lease expense has to come out of the same budget that the OP currently spends on showing & lessons, then by definition the trainer will not be realizing any net increase in revenue for the lease - she'll be getting the same amount from the OP each month, just for different things (the lease horse instead of lessons/ shows/ whatever.) And if the horse is eventually going to be for sale - the trainer may prefer to lease to someone who will show and get good results in order to build the animal's value. If that is the case, a "mostly at home" lease may not be all that attractive even if it's close to the retail lease fee.

    If the OP can stretch her budget to add the lease fee TO her current program/budget, that would certainly be more attractive. But I'd expect to pay at least somewhere in the neighborhood of 75% of the lease fee, unless the horse is so difficult that no one else would be interested in him.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. Working Students
    By BaciBaci in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Jul. 23, 2012, 09:37 AM
  2. Working students
    By mvb in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Dec. 22, 2011, 12:54 PM
  3. Working Students
    By jumper.jump in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Nov. 29, 2011, 01:24 PM
  4. Working Students?
    By KPEventing in forum Eventing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Jan. 21, 2011, 06:51 PM
  5. working students?
    By grab_mane in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: May. 10, 2010, 08:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •