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An owner's bill of rights: Letter in this weeks COTH

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  • I think to start with, people should be willing to talk about their experiences with certain trainers, both good and bad.

    I had a trainer (not mine) try to sell me a horse that had a lot less training than she stated and more importantly, had navicular: "oh we just vetted this horse two months ago and he was clean" "thanks but I still need to vet him"

    I tell vets, friends, acquaintences, etc. about my experience. I don't even make personal statements about the trainer, just state the facts.

    A trainer can try to scream "slander" all she/he wants but just stating fact is NEVER slander.
    If we manage, throughout our training to preserve both the gentleness and the gaiety of our horse we shall not, in the end, go very far amiss--Wynmalan

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    • It would be nice to see major horse publications tackle this topic - especially the issue of commissions and what's legal and what's ethical!

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      • Varsity Team: Welcome! You certainly have created an interesting discussion...and an important one too!

        There are w/out doubt many crooks in our business, why should we be any different than other walks of life!!And NO ONE should ever be cheated in business, or life for that matter. However, I do think that a lot of people feel any $ a pro makes on a horse deal is unfair. I think your book really needs to explain that people need to be more involved with the buying/selling of their horses if they don't want to pay unfair fees.So many people don't want to have to deal w/the details, they just want a check....it kind of leaves you open to be taken advantage of(not that anyone deserves that!)

        And from the other side, pros come across some disreputable customers also. I've been cheated out of money I earned and well deserved on more than one occasion. It takes months of looking to find someone a horse, all costs out of pocket(LD calls, travel expenses, lost lesson time etc.)to have said customer go to the owner directly to purchase the horse and cut out my commission. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] You would be surprised what people can justify [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] (or maybe you wouldn't!!) It never ceases to amaze me how people view my experience, contacts, and knowledge as an unfair added expense. Because horses are my living and most peoples' leisure, there are many times when my viewpoints will be at odds w/ John Q. Public.(And horses are absolutely not the only unregulated business) I think it is why I find Dr.s and attorneys generally unwilling to give out so much free advice anymore.My seemingly innane question is something they make a living answering.

        I know this is a little rambling, but I honestly think pros get a bad shake too often on this board. People need to educate themselves to be better consumers.

        Comment


        • Most owners refuse to speak up for a myriad of reasons.
          1.The owner has convinced this poor person they are actually their friend and have their best interests at heart.
          2.There will be retaliation, not only from their trainer but from all the other trainers in their area, because, guess what, they're all in it together,they're unionized.
          3.For Moms, fear that their little girl who has grown quite attached to this trainer will be ostracized.
          Man, I'm starting to sound like Oliver Stone.

          Comment


          • You are just the type of professional I would hope to have access to when looking for a horse.I absolutely believe that there are wonderful, honest and knowledegeable trainers out there who wish to use their skills for the good of the sport as well as make a profit. The relationship can be built on a win win premise.
            I want you to be successful as a trainer and I'm willing to pay you for your services as long as they are reasonable.Example, I'm happy to pay you a 10% commission on a horse that you find for me.
            I am not happy to pay you a 10% commission on a horse a friend sold me and I bought from her because she had fallen on hard times. I'm am also not willing to acccept your rejection of this horse in your barn because you did not buy it for me. You should make a nice little sum training it, caring for it and taking it to horse shows as well as the commission you'll make when you sell it.
            It's the greed Barnie, the absolute no holds barred greed that concerns me.
            It's not only trainers but show managers as well.
            At one of the biggest AA shows in the Midwest this summer, stalls were priced out of the ballpark, entries were absurd. Enough people in this area were outraged enough to skip the show and head elsewhere.It's that kin of grassroots effort I'm talking about and as a trainer who talks the talk you should also be willing to walk the walk, not only with your customers but other trainers as well. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

            Comment


            • You are just the type of professional I would hope to have access to when looking for a horse.I absolutely believe that there are wonderful, honest and knowledegeable trainers out there who wish to use their skills for the good of the sport as well as make a profit. The relationship can be built on a win win premise.
              I want you to be successful as a trainer and I'm willing to pay you for your services as long as they are reasonable.Example, I'm happy to pay you a 10% commission on a horse that you find for me.
              I am not happy to pay you a 10% commission on a horse a friend sold me and I bought from her because she had fallen on hard times. I'm am also not willing to acccept your rejection of this horse in your barn because you did not buy it for me. You should make a nice little sum training it, caring for it and taking it to horse shows as well as the commission you'll make when you sell it.
              It's the greed Barnie, the absolute no holds barred greed that concerns me.
              It's not only trainers but show managers as well.
              At one of the biggest AA shows in the Midwest this summer, stalls were priced out of the ballpark, entries were absurd. Enough people in this area were outraged enough to skip the show and head elsewhere.It's that kin of grassroots effort I'm talking about and as a trainer who talks the talk you should also be willing to walk the walk, not only with your customers but other trainers as well. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

              Comment


              • Like many on the bb I really appreciate your letter to COTH. My husband works on commission so I begrudge no one a profit.
                I too think that too many pros see owners as money pits. I have no issue if a trainer BUYS an animal and resells at a big profit. Someone early on this thread posed that type of question. If a pro spots a horse that he sees as a diamond in the rough and buys him for $3k, takes him home and touches him up, I don't care i he sells him for $10k. He has made the investment and taken a risk in buying the animal. On the other hand if he is representing some one who is looking for a "reasonable" horse he's obligated as a fiduciary to get the horse as cheap as poosible for his client. In this case client pays $3k + commission based on that price. If the pro takes some risk the reward is justified.

                I am happy that the owner/trainer at the barn where I ride prefers to be paid for his time and expenses and is diligent and really earns his pay. I'm not sure what his rule is on in barn sales or barn commissions. I don't think its right for a pro who doesn't sell your horse to expect you to pay him when you sell. As long as you've given him ample warning that the horse was leaving you shouldn't owe him a dime.

                Varsity Team, I hope that your letter gets alot of people thinking and acting. There must be a way to end the stigma attatched to speaking up.


                Founder of the mighty Thoroughbred Clique!

                Resident racing historian
                F O.B
                Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                Comment


                • Thanks!

                  In the immortal words of John Lennon:
                  "I know I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
                  Hate to get all 60's and 70's here but ummmm
                  "Power to the People"

                  Comment


                  • Varsity team-one day I would love to sit down with you and personally shake your hand....for AGES I have wanted to write something similar and send it to COTH but never got around to it or never had the nerve or never thought it would make a difference.

                    I take my hat off to you. I can only hope that the ball you started rolling will keep rolling and rolling.

                    What is even more upsetting is most people likely don't know the half of what goes on...

                    I also agree that there has to be a way to get things going without waiting on USAE....that WILL take longer than our lifetime....perhaps there could be some sort of owner's organization-I haven't thought this through....but something of an information highway---a source for information on trainers good and bad...something like that.

                    It might be a start....


                    The 3 rules of riding:
                    Whoa means whoa
                    If it ain't right it is wrong
                    If it pokes out stick it

                    Comment


                    • Dear LMH,

                      Thank you for your kind words and let me repay them. I think your idea for an owner's organization is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!
                      How about titling it OW!
                      (Owners World)
                      It would be a way to deseminate information as well as for all of us to become better educated.

                      I love this idea!!!!!!

                      [This message was edited by Varsity team on Sep. 22, 2002 at 11:35 AM.]

                      Comment


                      • Dear All,

                        How do you think an E-Mag would do that just addressed concerns of horse owners...not care, etc but a place to read and contribute either articles or thoughts about the pitfalls of ownerdom?

                        Won't let it go, will I? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

                        Comment


                        • trainers, barn operators, show operators, the whole lot of em are taking a hit as disposable income is down. you should expect: some to go out of buisness or reorganize, some to seek ways to squeeze more revenue from existing customers, some to seek new or the other guy's customers.
                          keep your hand on your wallet and just say no!
                          until any deal is fully explained, and documented.
                          more hay, less grain

                          Comment


                          • Look through any of the major h/j publications and you will see the most of the "serious" show horses don't have prices listed. Are we just supposed to guess? Or is it because the price depends on what the buyer can spend v. what the seller wants, with any difference lining someone's pockets?
                            Man plans. God laughs.

                            Comment


                            • No.It's more like, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."

                              Comment


                              • How about writing a little column for the COTH? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

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