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Barn owners, Do you charge your trainers/why?

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  • Barn owners, Do you charge your trainers/why?

    Boarding barn owners, do you charge your traveling trainers? I am an amateur and private barn owner now, but I was a traveling trainer at one time. I never understood why some barn owners charged me a fee (that I passed on to my student) to teach at there barn. Now that I don't train anything but my own horses and I have my own place I still don't think the practice is OK. I could understand a grounds fee for a trailer in lesson, but a boarder is paying for use of the arena anyway. I always taught my students arena etiquette, making them a better boarder. I taught with other boarders in the arenas and always was courteous. The same owners didn't charge the farrier, or vet. Why charge the trainer?

  • #2
    I do not and would never charge any of my boarders for taking a lesson with an outside trainer. If I made my living off training and teaching at my own facility I might have a different attitude but even then if I was coaching a dressage student and another boarder rode hunters then why would I possibly care if she brought in her own hunter coach.

    Lesson times are posted on my barn bulletin board and it is clearly understood by all that the arena is NEVER closed to anyone.....so far everyone seems to be able to work around the posted schedules and I have never heard a complaint.

    In fact having the ability to bring in whatever coach they choose is often one of the reason my boarders choose to move in with us in the first place. It does seem that a lot of farms will not allow outside coaches at all....extra fees incurred or not

    Its almost the same as when I hear of barn owners charging their boarders to park their horse trailers at the farm...don't quite understand that one either.

    Comment


    • #3
      I just stopped teaching/training at a barn where the BO decided-after about 10 years-to start charging the travelling instructors a rather hefty fee, which we ofcourse passed on to the boarders. As a result, 18 of 30 horses moved to other facilities to continue training with their chosen trainers.

      This "arena fee" also came at the same time as a "shavings/bedding surcharge" -an increase that was billed in January as being retroactive to July '09. Boarders "scattered like rats from the sinking ship".
      West of nowhere

      Comment


      • #4
        Do you furnish BO proof of insurance? If not, maybe to cover increased insurance costs to cover a non-employee trainer?

        Comment


        • #5
          It is to cover the fact that the trainer is making a profit and is not paying any portion of the overhead associated with the facility. Pretty simple.

          They are charging YOU (the trainer) not their boarder.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can see both sides of this. I am not a trainer nor am I a BO...fwiw.

            1) Facility use: Traveling trainer is not incurring the expense of maintaining a facility from which to conduct their business. It makes sense then that the BO would want to charge a use fee. The flip side though is that if I'm a paying boarder who would normally have use of the facility included in my board, then what does it matter if I bring a trainer in to coach me while I use the facility that I'm ALREADY paying for?

            2) Insurance: This varies from place to place...but could be a potential concern for a BO. Most BO's I know require that the trainer provide proof of insurance though.

            3) Limitations to other boarders/in house trainers: A BO *may* be trying to discourage outside trainers because they have an in house trainer (competition) or because they want to make sure that all boarders have the opportunity to use the facility.

            4) Income: Kind of goes back to use of the facility. But if you're conducting business on my property--that I am paying for--then yeah, I can essentially charge you for making income off of MY investment.

            Like I said...I can understand both sides.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
              It is to cover the fact that the trainer is making a profit and is not paying any portion of the overhead associated with the facility. Pretty simple.

              They are charging YOU (the trainer) not their boarder.

              Point well taken, yes the BO put the charge on to the trainers-but as with most other businesses-when the cost of doing business increases, the charge to the customers (boarders) increases.


              Fortunately for the customers this situation has a happy ending, as the customers (boarders) then moved on to board at places where they could still train with their own trainers at a reasonable price.
              West of nowhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                Do you furnish BO proof of insurance? If not, maybe to cover increased insurance costs to cover a non-employee trainer?
                Insurance not an issue-each trainer had their own policies which provided "hold harmless' coverage for the facility.
                West of nowhere

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rocky View Post
                  Insurance not an issue-each trainer had their own policies which provided "hold harmless' coverage for the facility.
                  Hold harmless agreements are not that great. If the trainer provides a hold harmless to the BO and the trainer causes damages or injury and doesn't have the insurance or assets to pay for said damages or injury... the next pocket to pick will be the BO's. The theory will be that the BO allowed the trainer onto the property and/or didn't check that the trainer had proper coverage. The claimant, or the person suffering the damages is not a party to that agreement, anyway. In any case, with most attys taking the "shotgun" approach to who they name when they are suing people, BO will be dragged in anyway.

                  BOs should ALWAYS require trainers to provide insurance coverage. Always and if possible be named as an "additional insured" on the trainers policy.

                  Oh, wait... I read that wrong.... the trainers did have policies. OK. Still BO needs to be and "additional insured" to be fully protected.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Its a fee for letting the trainer use the facility to make money. If I opened a barn I would of course have a ring fee. They're making money off of my facility, and otherwise I wouldnt see a dime of it. I wouldnt pay all the upkeep so you can keep all the profit.

                    The main source of income, at a good barn, is training and lessons. So having anyone use the facility other then someone the owner gets a cut from is like loosing money.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The flip side though is that if a trainer is coming in to teach your current boarders, then having an arena use fee is kind of double dipping.

                      If the trainer were bringing in outside customers, it would make more sense.

                      But if I would be riding for that hour ANYWAY and I'm already paying for the use of the facility...well.....gets a little hinky.
                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I do not charge them but insist on having a current copy of their insurance on file. However, I have thought about it-they are making money off of my facility and I understand why some places do. Personally, I concluded that having happy boarders was more important than $5 or $10 because trainers typically pass that charge on to their clients anyway.
                        JB-Infinity Farm
                        www.infinitehorses.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The cost of owning and operating a farm gets more expensive all the time. Insurance cost me, broken jump poles cost me, footing upkeep cost me, city water cost me, stable license cost me, upkeep of jump standards and x-country fences cost me. If you don't want to pay for using my facility then go buy your own farm and pay all these cost and see how long it takes you to start charging outside trainers who want to make money off of your hard work and money. Rant over!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE]
                            Originally posted by smokescreen View Post
                            Boarding barn owners, do you charge your traveling trainers? I am an amateur and private barn owner now, but I was a traveling trainer at one time. I never understood why some barn owners charged me a fee (that I passed on to my student) to teach at there barn.
                            I had this exact same discussion with a local farm owner...they just bought a really nice place (for around here anyway) and are already beleaguered with the requests for outside lesson givers/trainers what have you,from their boarding clients....

                            I told them not to ever let an outsider use your facility w/o paying a fee to them....the reasons are legion the big ones being that "board" rarely pays the bills or even <gasp> makes a profit...the profit is made in the lessons or extra services or coaching, arena rentals or what ever

                            now by allowing an outsider in, you are giving your chance of profit to a stranger who has assumed no responsibility or put forth any effort toward the place and just pops in and offers services....

                            with a vet or farrier those are necessary to the healthy upkeep of an animal...lessons with the latest all hat no horse cowboy ? not so much

                            also the door for abuse gets open...sure enough you then get hangers-on following said person who "just wanna watch" which leads to the boarder asking "hey can my friend Buckles come and ride in a lesson with Big Hat on Saturday "

                            and pretty soon you run the risk of losing control of your own place...I say if outside trainers are welcome then the board should increase to cover the privilege for the boarders to invite those people there

                            Tamara in TN
                            Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                            I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Its pretty standard around here for facilities to charge an oustide trainer a fee to use the facility, and I completely agree that they should do so. More lessons means more wear and tear on the facility = higher upkeep costs. If facility owners can't collect some of that from the trainers and the facility starts to look a little worse for wear, guess what happens. Trainer finds another 'nicer' facility, boarders all follow the trainer, then they all badmouth the former facility for getting 'run down'.
                              Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                              Witherun Farm
                              http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I am both, and I think if a facility does not offer any in house training, they should not charge a trainer to come in. It keeps boarders happy and "hopefully" keeps the barn full. Now, if there is a resident trainer, or the owner is a trainer, I can see why they would charge a trainer to come in-that trainer is ultimately detracting from their bottom line. Although, at least around here anyway, if there is a resident trainer outside trainers are usually not allowed to come in.
                                Cornerstone Equestrian
                                Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
                                RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated
                                www.cornerstonefarmpa.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  [QUOTE=Tamara in TN;4661242]

                                  I had this exact same discussion with a local farm owner...they just bought a really nice place (for around here anyway) and are already beleaguered with the requests for outside lesson givers/trainers what have you,from their boarding clients....

                                  I told them not to ever let an outsider use your facility w/o paying a fee to them....the reasons are legion the big ones being that "board" rarely pays the bills or even <gasp> makes a profit...the profit is made in the lessons or extra services or coaching, arena rentals or what ever

                                  now by allowing an outsider in, you are giving your chance of profit to a stranger who has assumed no responsibility or put forth any effort toward the place and just pops in and offers services....



                                  Tamara in TN
                                  That is all well and good if the owners are able to provide the training/lesson extra services. If the BO's are looking to profit from the training and lessons, then the BO's need to employ the staff to provide those services.

                                  In my particular case, those boarders chose that facility based on the policy that outside trainers were permitted-the BO never had anyone on the payroll to provide lessons and/or training. The BO decided to modify that agreement by imposing a fee on the trainers, as I have stated before, the trainers passed that cost on to the customers (boarders)-boarders found another boarding situation where they could continue to train with their chosen trainers and not have to pay the extra fees or have their trainers subject to the extra fees.
                                  West of nowhere

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
                                    I do not charge them but insist on having a current copy of their insurance on file. However, I have thought about it-they are making money off of my facility and I understand why some places do. Personally, I concluded that having happy boarders was more important than $5 or $10 because trainers typically pass that charge on to their clients anyway.
                                    Congratulations on seeing the upside to having happy boarders
                                    West of nowhere

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      [QUOTE]
                                      Originally posted by Rocky View Post

                                      That is all well and good if the owners are able to provide the training/lesson extra services. If the BO's are looking to profit from the training and lessons, then the BO's need to employ the staff to provide those services.
                                      there are all kinds of boarding in the big world...from some self care rough well wooded "here's our inherited land we need to pay the taxes on,wear it out" to a fancy schmansy Hilltop-esqe who I can promise you can offer your every dream plus some, insofar as horses are concerned...but it will cost you

                                      In my particular case, those boarders chose that facility based on the policy that outside trainers were permitted-the BO never had anyone on the payroll to provide lessons and/or training. The BO decided to modify that agreement by imposing a fee on the trainers, as I have stated before, the trainers passed that cost on to the customers (boarders)-boarders found another boarding situation where they could continue to train with their chosen trainers and not have to pay the extra fees or have their trainers subject to the extra fees.
                                      so they voted with their feet...it happens... if I saw a place that had no restrictions on this and went to an added restriction, I'd think that some control issues were then at hand (ie abuse of the situation by the outside parties/boarders) nothing says a barn owner cannot change a policy with notice...nothing...

                                      and a BO is that ....the owner not the puppet of the mob

                                      so what it the trainer costs more? if he's so great and the boarder is not hauling to them,it should cost more....the trainer (supposedly) is making the effort to be there with them,not the other way around

                                      finally,this will probably come out the wrong way but,it the trainer is so damned great what don't they have their own farm ?** why are they leaching around on everyone else's places and amenities ? normally, they are under cutting all the area "staff" trainers and instructors already....with their ideas of "lower overhead"

                                      make no doubt, I am all for free enterprise, but that street travels both ways...

                                      ** in this I am not referencing folks who are many states away and travel doing regular clinic "circuits", a dresssagy rider friend that I think a lot of, travels up North somewhere one week a month to see her clients there...but she is a service and therefore a "draw"that the BO provides

                                      Tamara in TN
                                      Last edited by Tamara in TN; Feb. 4, 2010, 08:01 AM.
                                      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I also can see both sides. I don't have a lesson barn- but my friends do. Most do not charge outside trainers anything for teaching lessons at their facility bc having those bigger trainers come in is the only way to attract and keep boarders.

                                        There are only a handful of decent farms w/rings around here and even less decent trainers. A few do charge $10/lesson or $x/day to the trainer and cites the insurance coverage as the reason why. The trainer is using their premium facility to make money. Ship-ins are charged accordingly as well.

                                        Hold harmless agreements are only the tip of the iceburg. They are not rock solid in protecting you should something happen. I do not have any one riding on my property and boarders rarely come to see their horse (racetrack TBs).

                                        My chances of a claim are very very low - but I have 5 policies just in case. I have one person that I rent a block of stalls to that does self care (TBs) and they must produce their certificate of insurance and workers comp policy to be allowed to have horses there. I would not allow a trainer to work off the property without proper insurance coverage.

                                        Comment

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