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Does anyone else get charged these fees?

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  • Does anyone else get charged these fees?

    I just moved to a new barn and the fee sheet has some charges that I've never been charged before. Can anyone tell me if this is normal practice? I'm going to be in full training, 5 days a week, so all this stuff is on top of the $875 I'm paying for training.

    Questionable items include:
    $20 for holding horse for vet if owner can't be there
    $10 for helping chiropractor
    $50 per RIDE fee at shows, not per day (even if the show day was a day I'd usually get a lesson)

    Also, they say if I go to an away show, I'm supposed to help pay the trainer's hotel and other out-of-pocket expenses, even if he's there to show his own horse. Plus everyone showing has to pay $25 per day towards trainers meals.

    Is this really normal?

  • #2
    pretty normal, except the $50 per ride - that seems a bit steep to me.

    And if you are paying 875 for full training and that includes board, that is INEXPENSIVE in most areas.


    • #3
      the per ride is a little steep, and Ive NEVER been asked to help pay for my trainers room or meals at shows. But I may just have been blessed with really cool trainers?
      proud momma of an evil grey QH/Arab who can jump the moon... and he stole my heart


      • #4
        I think every trainer puts charges in as they see fit, some will include it as the training fee and don't bother to break it down as your's has. I have been places that charge for holding horses for vets, etc. those charges do not look out of line.
        I have also not been in a full training scenario in a boarding barn but I have put my horses in my trainer's care for a flat monthly fee (ie: $1700 for the month- included all of the above but not the showing portion). I think that is a bit extreme, but all depends on how much you want to train with that individual. It might also be where you are located, vs. northern Va, I thought your board was very reasonable if that also included training, I have a neighbor down the road that charges $850 for board only (because she has an indoor), any training costs are extra. The trainer I used to use was $1700 per month for full training so frankly, if paying for hotels/meals gets tacked on to what you quotes, you are still way ahead of the game.

        Let me know if I read your $$ wrong.


        • #5
          $25 per day per person for meals? That only makes sense to me if you are also paying for grooms and assistants to eat. It not like the trainer eats more dependant on the number of clients...drinks more maybe...

          The per ride fee seems excessive too, unless that includes the groom fee.

          I wonder if that is a typo?

          The vet/chiro hold fees are fairly normal; about 1/2 the barns around here charge for those types of things.

          The training fee does seem quite reasonible though if it includes inside board.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


          • #6
            Originally posted by FlightCheck View Post
            And if you are paying 875 for full training and that includes board, that is INEXPENSIVE in most areas.
            It doesn't include board--that's $800 extra. So all these charges are on top of the $1675 I'm paying every month for board+training.

            Oh, and there's no grooming at the shows, either. If I want grooming it's $100 extra per show. Stall cleaning, feeding etc. is an additional $100 per show. I don't care so much about those because I like to take care of my own horse.


            • #7
              Originally posted by patch work farm View Post
              The trainer I used to use was $1700 per month for full training so frankly, if paying for hotels/meals gets tacked on to what you quotes, you are still way ahead of the game.

              Let me know if I read your $$ wrong.
              Out on the west coast, "training" usually means just that, and board is extra. My total board + training is $1675.


              • #8
                The two fees that seem excessive to me are the per ride fee at the show and the meal charge. The show fees sound more like a H/J type structure than dressage to me, but if the trainer is popular enough, he can charge what people will pay...

                I have a wonderful setup with my trainer, and I know it. I'm in full training, so I don't pay extra for shows. She figures that I won't ride a couple days the following week to make up for it.
                We split the fuel for the truck/trailer among those of us whose horses are on the trailer. We all pitch in when it comes to feeding & stuff and are responsible for our own horses for grooming and stalls at a show.

                In theory, she has some of those charges outlined in the contract, but rarely actually charges them. She has them there so that if she gets someone abusing the privileges, she has a way to collect.

                I pay way less than $1700 a month, but the trainer likes being able to pick and choose who she has in the barn on the rare occasion a stall comes available. Being cheaper than some other places gives her a big pool to choose from and make sure that the vibe is right in the barn. It's a smaller barn and one bad apple can really ruin the mix.


                • #9
                  I am not in full training or boarding as I keep my horse at home and trailer for my weekly lessons, but here are our show fees for last year:

                  I pay $50 per ride instruction at a show. So if she helps me twice during a single day it is $100. She usually works with me about 30 minutes each ride so that is in line with what her lesson fee would have been for a 45 minute lesson. But she really helps me a lot and I figure I am saving that weeks lesson fee anyway.

                  We all split the cost of the golf cart rental.

                  We do not pay for trainers food or hotel as she is there showing herself. I suspect if she was only coming for us we might have to pay her hotel..I am sure she would not charge us for food.

                  I do all my own grooming/ feeding/ mucking/ braiding so I don't have any extra fees in that regard.

                  I also trailer to the shows myself so not sure how she charges for horse transportation.
                  Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


                  • #10
                    Must be nice to be able to spend $2,000 month for one horse....sounds like some gouging going on though with the fees.
                    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                    • #11
                      I don't see anything totally out of the norm for the fees you listed. Except that I don't feel clients should have to pay for the trainer's hotel and meals when he is there showing his own horses. That I don't agree with. If trainer is there only for the clients, then yes, I would agree to pay for his hotel/meals, but not if he is going to the show anyway. And for what it's worth I'm at a pretty small, totally off the map boarding barn and we have to pay all those holding fees as well.


                      • #12
                        Where are you located? There's a huge difference in prices depending on your location.


                        • #13
                          Thank you for reminding me why I am a "GDI" (God Damn Independent).

                          A trainer can charge whatever fees they want and you can decide what is acceptable based on your pocketbook.

                          Holding horses for vet/farrier/chiro is normal even at "low end" barns, but paying for trainer's meals and hotel is utterly ridiculous unless you have specifically asked the trainer to come to the show - just for you - and took him/her away from normal weekend duties. However, if the trainer is already attending/riding in the show then it IS customary to pay a usual "show fee" for the day or weekend, which can include everything from helping you warm up, schooling your horse, having their groom braid your horse and muck out stalls, etc.
                          Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.


                          • #14
                            The one that stands out to me is the $25 per person per day. So if 8 horses go, your trainer gets to eat $200 worth of food a day?


                            • #15
                              For what you are paying, it is a little bit high. Question: Does the trainer own the barn? I can sort of see the barn owner/manager having a fee to handle - pay someone else to handle a horse when you can't met the vet or farrier or chiro. The $25 per person per day for meals is high if there are eight of your clients at a show.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                                The one that stands out to me is the $25 per person per day. So if 8 horses go, your trainer gets to eat $200 worth of food a day?
                                What I'm wondering is if that means the trainer has a show setup and provides food, or hosts a meal for participants at shows. My trainer doesn't charge for it, but tends to put out a fair amount of food for us to snack on at shows. We all just try to chip in at least as much as she does.

                                I think a lot of the costs seem high, but that's because I live in a pretty inexpensive area. I have always expected to pay for trainer's hotel even if she's showing, but apparently she doesn't expect us to when her horse is there. (I haven't travelled out of town with her yet.) She surprised me with how little she charged a couple weeks ago when I had my horse at a show just to school for 4 days - only charged for the two days she actually worked with him personally, not for any feeding or blanketing she did, time giving me advice, etc. Her daily fee was also less than I thought it would be.

                                Ultimately, I think it's great if there's a published price sheet - especially when it's pricey. When your surprises in costs are always that it's less than you expect, not a big deal not having it published. The barn where I board charges for every little thing they do - because there's a varying amount of expectation for different boarders and it's a big place. Seems reasonable - and the price sheet lets you know before you get there how much it will cost for the level of care you want for your horse.
                                If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                                • #17
                                  In Les Miserables the inkeepers sing, "...Charge em' for the mice, charge em' for the lice, 2% for looking in the mirror twice" Some barns really excel at finding things to charge for, some don't.

                                  I much prefer knowing up front what the charges will be...and it's a two-edged sword too. I was at one barn where they charged for everything (I didn't use their various services but they usually tried to find something to pad the bill). I dedected the fees when I'd help them with horses. I held several of their horses for the vets...there was a quick $40. I also held some loony horses for the farrier....another $40. If they were going to charge the owner for my voluntary services, I wanted the funds credited toward my board.
                                  "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                                  • #18
                                    Wow! Someone saw a "big wallet" needing to be cleaned out. Really?

                                    I am NOT in training, but if my trainer comes to a show, she charges me a reduced lesson fee for warmup. That's it. I knew H/J trainers really "went for it" on the fees, but like someone above said, that's why I'm "independent." I groom, trailer and braid my horse myself. Always.

                                    Where I board, the fee for "holding" a horse is $1 to $10 depending upon the service (i.e., just a shot, $1.00; hold for the farrier $10). My horses are not held for the farrier, but I have paid for them being held for shots.

                                    When people ask me, "How much does it cost to have a horse," I always have to say, "that is a BIG 'depends on what you want to do.'" In this case, it sounds like gouging, even if it is an "elite" level of care.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                                      The one that stands out to me is the $25 per person per day. So if 8 horses go, your trainer gets to eat $200 worth of food a day?
                                      Big Fat Trainer?

                                      I think you are so fortunate to be able to keep your horse at such a place!

                                      But when you sign up, you agreed to these fees, so I guess its just the deal.
                                      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                      • #20
                                        Yeah, that whole $25 per person per day is a little strange. I mean, come on, do you really need more food for each person that tags along?

                                        The additional fees are pretty common, actually, when it comes to services at the barn (holding for service calls, blanketing, fly spray, etc.).

                                        LOVED the Les Mis quote...makes me want to pop it into my CD player!