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Can I realistically expect to be taken seriously as a client if I don't do training board?

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    #41
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    It's so interesting that that people explain how it "makes good business sense" to give much more attention to those people who board their horse with the pro and have it in full training. If board is a loss leader and those clients want/get the little extra bits of care/time/advice that the pro gives, how is the trainer actually making more money per hour with those guys than with the pure lesson students?
    I'm not sure that the board is the incentive; it's more that those who are boarding *and in full training* with the trainer tend to be preferred to the occasional ship in client, or even one who comes regularly but is not in full training. From an economic perspective the full training customer often represents steadier cash flow (and although the boarding may be a break even proposition, from a cash flow perspective it may enable the pro to maintain the facility where they also do training and sales, perhaps.)
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

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      #42
      It’s interesting to see that people seem to accept being “cash flow” to their trainer and pretty much expect to be dropped if they cease to be in full training. It shows I guess how much money has come to dominate. At one time it was possible to board at a decent barn, take lessons, and train your own horse, or as the original poster was asking about, haul in for lessons, and be “taken seriously” in either case.

      Comment


        #43
        Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

        I'm not sure that the board is the incentive; it's more that those who are boarding *and in full training* with the trainer tend to be preferred to the occasional ship in client, or even one who comes regularly but is not in full training. From an economic perspective the full training customer often represents steadier cash flow (and although the boarding may be a break even proposition, from a cash flow perspective it may enable the pro to maintain the facility where they also do training and sales, perhaps.)
        I appreciate the value of predictable cash flow vs. alotta cash flow. And I do agree that the haul-in client can be less systematic in her lessons, e.g. every Tuesday and Friday at 11, without fail. Now even boarder/training clients can't boast perfect attendance, but the in-house horse can at least get schooled in that "without fail" way and the pro gets the same check.

        But in a dollar-per-hour (and less time spent with a little advising or hand-holding each time the client rides), I would think the haul-in client was better.

        I wrote what I did because so many others in this thread were convinced that the money was better, not merely the predictability of the money was better. And I had assumed that the OP would be one of those rare clients who was cut from the "on at 11 am in your ring, without fail" kind of clients.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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          #44
          Originally posted by Lateralwork View Post
          It’s interesting to see that people seem to accept being “cash flow” to their trainer and pretty much expect to be dropped if they cease to be in full training. It shows I guess how much money has come to dominate. At one time it was possible to board at a decent barn, take lessons, and train your own horse, or as the original poster was asking about, haul in for lessons, and be “taken seriously” in either case.
          Now, now, it's not that horse trainers became mercenaries so much as the profit has gone out of this business. First it left boarding and now, it would seem, it's leaving teaching. Also, it has become fashionable, even self-promoting and "sophisticated" to speak as if one were raised by Gordon Gecko and worshipped in the church of Wall Street.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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            #45
            Originally posted by Lateralwork View Post
            It’s interesting to see that people seem to accept being “cash flow” to their trainer and pretty much expect to be dropped if they cease to be in full training. It shows I guess how much money has come to dominate. At one time it was possible to board at a decent barn, take lessons, and train your own horse, or as the original poster was asking about, haul in for lessons, and be “taken seriously” in either case.
            As mpv said above, it is only "cash flow" in the sense that they need enough cash to flow through to their mortgager, labor and suppliers to keep their heads above water.

            Comment


              #46
              Originally posted by mvp View Post

              I appreciate the value of predictable cash flow vs. alotta cash flow. And I do agree that the haul-in client can be less systematic in her lessons, e.g. every Tuesday and Friday at 11, without fail. Now even boarder/training clients can't boast perfect attendance, but the in-house horse can at least get schooled in that "without fail" way and the pro gets the same check.

              But in a dollar-per-hour (and less time spent with a little advising or hand-holding each time the client rides), I would think the haul-in client was better.

              I wrote what I did because so many others in this thread were convinced that the money was better, not merely the predictability of the money was better. And I had assumed that the OP would be one of those rare clients who was cut from the "on at 11 am in your ring, without fail" kind of clients.
              I don't know if the $/hr measure is the best approach; I suppose it may vary depending on the situation. But the predictability of the full training customers - who are presumably under contract, and therefore have notice provisions and the like, may mean that the trainer can lease a facility with some confidence, knowing that the cash flow is there to support that monthly outlay for example. Having the ability to lease an entire facility (or fancier facility) may help underwrite the trainer's personal or sale horses, for example, or simply attract a group of clients that is more likely to buy additional services - lots of showing would be the most common. Classic cross sell / upsell!

              Do the dollars that come from the haul in person add to the bottom line? Of course. But the haul in client isn't obligated to keep lessoning and typically there is no notice provision in the arrangement, so the cash flow is less certain. (Not that full training clients can't bail as well - but one normally gets some notice of that event, and at least the possibility of filling the spot over that month or so to preserve the cash flow involved.) And for those that haul in because they can't or don't want to pay the freight for full training, I think it is fair to say that at least *some* of them will also have constraints in terms of budgets for showing, new horse purchases etc. That doesn't apply to all ship ins, for sure. But in general, the full training clients are more likely to be "all in" on the whole program - including showing, which is often a pretty good profit opportunity for the trainer.

              Also, I think of the spend around a full training client v. a haul in (or where the trainer goes to the client) and I suspect that there are other factors that matter as well. For example, the full training clients are more likely to use the trainer's vet, farrier, and other professionals. (Around here to get a good farrier, you have to offer a certain minimum number of horses, for example.) Let's agree that the volume of business that a busy trainer offers these other professionals often leads to the trainer's stock being treated for a reduced cost, perhaps even gratis. There may be other "deals" that come with volume purchases - whether for tack, feed, what have you. I would guess that plays a role in the evaluation as well.
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

              Comment


                #47
                Have you tried sussing out “retired” trainers? In my area, there are a couple of well educated trainers and gifted horse women that have retired from full time work in the industry that offer lessons to a select clientele. They aren’t as fashionable as trainers with big barns going to shows every weekend but seem to get the job done and appreciate the horses at home lifestyle

                Comment


                  #48
                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                  It's so interesting that that people explain how it "makes good business sense" to give much more attention to those people who board their horse with the pro and have it in full training. If board is a loss leader and those clients want/get the little extra bits of care/time/advice that the pro gives, how is the trainer actually making more money per hour with those guys than with the pure lesson students?
                  My BNT, who currently teaches me once every couple of weeks via Skype given that he is at his home base 3000 miles away, sends me a text every couple of days checking in, asking how things are going, talking to me about vet work, plans for the season, etc. He reaches out to me, I don't have to chase him. I'm sure he has many $$$ clients at his farm (I have met them, so...) but he's a genuinely nice person, and he's got the hustle to keep himself in front of me as the go-to so when I need help I'm writing the checks to him.

                  Ymmv.
                  Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                  you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                  Comment


                    #49
                    I read on here about someone with an online instructor. They would ride and send videos, and the instructor would watch and send feedback. Something like that might work for you, especially if you can supplement with the occasional clinic or in person lesson.

                    You reap what you sow, if you're constantly bumping someone reliable to spend time on someone who always gives short notice.......

                    Comment


                      #50
                      Where I live, metropolitan suburbs/ exurbs, it's a viable business model.for some trainers to not have a barn base at all, but to travel weekly for coaching at different places. No horse professional can afford to buy acreage here anymore, and renting a barn or even dry stalls is expensive.

                      Traveling coaches get to pocket the whole lesson fee with their only overhead being gas and travel time, and some build that overhead into the fee structure. Some require a certain number of students at any given site.

                      It might not work in a more truly rural area, with bigger distances.


                      Comment


                        #51
                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                        Where I live, metropolitan suburbs/ exurbs, it's a viable business model.for some trainers to not have a barn base at all, but to travel weekly for coaching at different places. No horse professional can afford to buy acreage here anymore, and renting a barn or even dry stalls is expensive.

                        Traveling coaches get to pocket the whole lesson fee with their only overhead being gas and travel time, and some build that overhead into the fee structure. Some require a certain number of students at any given site.

                        It might not work in a more truly rural area, with bigger distances.

                        I know my barn charges a ring fee to instructors who do this, so it doesn't last very long here when an extra $25 gets passed on to the client, even if the client is a boarder at the farm.
                        Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                        you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

                          I know my barn charges a ring fee to instructors who do this, so it doesn't last very long here when an extra $25 gets passed on to the client, even if the client is a boarder at the farm.
                          This is standard IME. In no other industry would a working professional reasonably expect to make money by using someone else’s property without paying for use of that property, so why do horse trainers expect to be able to?

                          Comment


                            #53
                            Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

                            I know my barn charges a ring fee to instructors who do this, so it doesn't last very long here when an extra $25 gets passed on to the client, even if the client is a boarder at the farm.
                            I think it's out of line to charge a boarder a ring fee. After all, she'd ride her horse in the ring on that day anyway. So hasn't the BO been paid already for the use of the facility? I do think a ring fee is standard when the horse doesn't live at the barn where the ring is, and that it has always been that way.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                              #54
                              Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

                              I don't know if the $/hr measure is the best approach; I suppose it may vary depending on the situation. But the predictability of the full training customers - who are presumably under contract, and therefore have notice provisions and the like, may mean that the trainer can lease a facility with some confidence, knowing that the cash flow is there to support that monthly outlay for example. Having the ability to lease an entire facility (or fancier facility) may help underwrite the trainer's personal or sale horses, for example, or simply attract a group of clients that is more likely to buy additional services - lots of showing would be the most common. Classic cross sell / upsell!
                              I hadn't considered the value of that more predictable cash flow that allows the pro to lease the better facility. That's a good point and a real pressure! Where I used to live, there were very few barns with good care. Pros were competing to get access to those. If the pro couldn't get into a good barn, others of us who otherwise would have put a horse in training did not. It was hard on the trainers and clients alike, although in different ways.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                                #55
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                I think it's out of line to charge a boarder a ring fee. After all, she'd ride her horse in the ring on that day anyway. So hasn't the BO been paid already for the use of the facility? I do think a ring fee is standard when the horse doesn't live at the barn where the ring is, and that it has always been that way.
                                in this case it's a fee for the instructor to make money off the facility. technically the instructor doesn't have to pass it on to her clients, but of course most would.
                                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

                                  in this case it's a fee for the instructor to make money off the facility. technically the instructor doesn't have to pass it on to her clients, but of course most would.
                                  Yes, you explained that and I understood it.

                                  While a BO can charge that, I think it's a bad idea. It seems to me that it's opportunistic. (See my raised by Gordon Gecko comment above before you school me on why that's a BO's prerogative or right.). But it screws their own boarder in a couple of ways. Either the boarder pays the extra ring fee on, say, Wednesday because her pro was there to give the horse the same practice ride on Thursday, or she doesn't take lessons. And this might not work out well in the end for all BO: I have heard more than one complain about unsafe or uninvolved owners. When those folks have regular lessons, both problems are solved.

                                  I feel bad for the modern, undercapitalized trainer. They have a hard enough time making a living without having to pay a new fee.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                    Yes, you explained that and I understood it.

                                    While a BO can charge that, I think it's a bad idea. It seems to me that it's opportunistic. (See my raised by Gordon Gecko comment above before you school me on why that's a BO's prerogative or right.). But it screws their own boarder in a couple of ways. Either the boarder pays the extra ring fee on, say, Wednesday because her pro was there to give the horse the same practice ride on Thursday, or she doesn't take lessons. And this might not work out well in the end for all BO: I have heard more than one complain about unsafe or uninvolved owners. When those folks have regular lessons, both problems are solved.

                                    I feel bad for the modern, undercapitalized trainer. They have a hard enough time making a living without having to pay a new fee.
                                    I guess I don't understand the proposed alternative.

                                    You could argue that the occasional availability of the trainer brings additional boarders in, maybe, but maybe also not, especially if the place is full.

                                    So the facility owner is supposed to let the trainer make money off her facility out of the goodness of her heart?

                                    You rent a chair in a salon. You rent a storefront if you want a storefront. But you don't have to rent an arena if you need an arena?

                                    I could see the case for a reduced ring fee for a boarder, but it's really a tax on the instructor, not the boarder. It's the trainer renting the facility for that time for the purposes of generating income. Profit sharing, if you will. The instructor could choose not to pass that on, but of course most do.
                                    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      Eons ago when I boarded in hunter and eventing barns, boarders usually had to pay a ring fee if they had an outside instructor come in because of the increased wear and tear on jumps. While overuse of jumps isn't a concern in dressage barns, there is usually an increased need for footing maintenance (availability of an instructor often encourages people to ride more often). There is also an increased liability risk to facility owners when they allow outside instructors come in, and owners are often discouraged by their insurance agent and attorney from allowing it--so they in turn either don't allow it at all or try to discourage it by charging a ring fee.
                                      Last edited by DownYonder; Sep. 24, 2020, 09:16 AM. Reason: typo!

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        As a boarder I didnt mind a reasonable ring fee for an outside trainer. She was using the BO's property, so only reasonable to pay something IMO. At times I was the only dressage rider in the barn so I appreciated being able to get a trainer in. There have been times when the barn didnt allow outside trainers, even for a different discipline. That was tough and I ultimately left the barn.

                                        The fees I did think were excessive were from one instructor who charged a travel fee. Fair enough, but she charged the fee to every rider that day at that facility, no matter how many. I wonder if she was surprised that people stopped trying to coordinate ride times for one block on one day...

                                        Current BO doesnt charge for an outside instructor of a different discipline. Now the problem is that the instructor cant come to the state due to Covid restrictions!

                                        Comment


                                          #60
                                          Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

                                          I guess I don't understand the proposed alternative.

                                          You could argue that the occasional availability of the trainer brings additional boarders in, maybe, but maybe also not, especially if the place is full.

                                          So the facility owner is supposed to let the trainer make money off her facility out of the goodness of her heart?

                                          You rent a chair in a salon. You rent a storefront if you want a storefront. But you don't have to rent an arena if you need an arena?

                                          I could see the case for a reduced ring fee for a boarder, but it's really a tax on the instructor, not the boarder. It's the trainer renting the facility for that time for the purposes of generating income. Profit sharing, if you will. The instructor could choose not to pass that on, but of course most do.
                                          The BO already rented her arena to her boarders for all the riding they would do. To now rent it to the pro is renting it out again a second time for the same ride, same boarder and same hour. This is not like renting out a salon chair where the store owner has not been paid until she is paid once by the stylist.

                                          If I were a boarder and asked to pay a ring fee for my lesson, I'd want the arena to myself. That would make sense, right? After all, I had already paid to ride in the arena with nothing special when I paid my board bill at the beginning of the month. So what extra am I getting now? And again, if the fee gets passed on to me, as it will because perhaps my pro would find a place I could haul to and not pay a fee, so she says "stay home and pay your BO's fee or haul to me; your choice."

                                          You also didn't address/don't value what a traveling pro brings to a BO in the form of engaged, safe-riding boarders.

                                          I do understand that fee charged to an "outside trainer" if there is an in-house trainer. After all, that pro would like to have a captive audience in her set of boarders who really don't generate any profit.
                                          The armchair saddler
                                          Politically Pro-Cat

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