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Clinician fees - why so many in the stratosphere?

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  • #41
    I think if you provide a good service, and people see the little "extras" put into it they don't mind the cost involved.

    If it's too expensive for you to do then it just is. There are alternatives (Like traveling to another barn out for a lesson with a different trainer for new perspective).

    I don't think people need as much outside perspective as a good regular trainer.

    I also think using a top big name for a young horse to better your 20 meter is a bit hmm but to each his own!
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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    • #42
      Originally posted by tempichange View Post
      I'm not, but I'm also correcting you on your facts. You approached me. Not vice versa. You wanted a spot, and when you found out what it was going to cost, you said it was too expensive for your budget and that you could find better, for cheaper. If you can, then please be my guest and do so. I always encourage people to go train with people who they like and are within their budget.

      There were two thirty minute sessions for the pair of three year olds that came. We both felt that this would be fair to the horses for the intense amount of work that was accomplished during the day.



      Last time I checked, to fly, with horse, is $7,500 not including quarantine.



      Time is money, and if this is what they think they are worth, then I'm not going to negotiate. Either it is possible or it's not possible. I believe in the quality that they provide, but I also realize this is not everyone's pricing. Complaining about what they charge isn't going to help it's only going to insult.

      During the economic recession, when money was at its tightest for several people my clinics still filled and they were double the cost (I had also included stabling, video, photography, all meals and arranged discounted hotel stays). My clinics tend to fill fairly quickly and with good quality horses and really nice riders, and I try to keep the costs reasonable for everyone.



      Then go host him.
      Thank you for correcting me! I inquired about a spot at one of your clinics, you gave me a price, and I declined after hearing what it entailed.

      Sorry I misunderstood your reference to traveling to and from Europe.... I thought you were discussing the plane ticket for the clinician. My bad...

      Very happy to hear that you continue to fill your clinics and hope that this trend will remain the same during the next couple of years. Hope springs eternal....

      I have had Willy Arts at my farm in the past and know several other places (Wyndham Oaks, for example) that have hosted him repeatedly with huge success. Willy doesn't require business class travel and is happy to spend a couple of nights at my house instead of the Ritz Carlton.

      And after all that I still think that a lot of today's clinicians charge way too much!
      Siegi Belz
      www.stalleuropa.com
      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post

        I also think using a top big name for a young horse to better your 20 meter is a bit hmm but to each his own!
        If that top big name had a record of producing winners in young horse classes I could certainly see the value.
        I wasn't always a Smurf
        Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by rothmpp View Post
          Farm owner took two spots, I don't know if what I paid subsidized those rides.
          I think this happens a lot. Trainer wants to ride with BNT and therefore drums up local interest among his/her students and other in the area. One more reason that prices stay high perhaps.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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          • #45
            Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
            Thank you for correcting me! I inquired about a spot at one of your clinics, you gave me a price, and I declined after hearing what it entailed.

            Sorry I misunderstood your reference to traveling to and from Europe.... I thought you were discussing the plane ticket for the clinician. My bad...
            Not a problem.

            Actually, if you want to discuss airfare for clinician, they fly business class or better if traveling in from Europe out of their preferred airport.
            Kelly
            It is rare to see a rider who is truly passionate about the horse and his training, taking a profound interest in dressage with self-abnegation, and making this extraordinarily subtle work one of the dominant motivations of his life.\"

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            • Original Poster

              #46
              Originally posted by mvp View Post
              I think this happens a lot. Trainer wants to ride with BNT and therefore drums up local interest among his/her students and other in the area. One more reason that prices stay high perhaps.
              I also know of many instances where this has happened - with quite a few different trainers - but I also know some trainers who are pretty darned fair about it and split the expenses equally with the clinic riders.

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              • Original Poster

                #47
                Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                If that top big name had a record of producing winners in young horse classes I could certainly see the value.
                Agree with this, esp. if the horse and rider in question are true legitimate contenders for top placings at a national level in the FEI Y/H classes.

                I will also say that some folks use Y/H clinics (as well as clinics with other BNTs) to get a sales prospect in front of the clinician in hopes he can help with marketing the horse.

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
                  I also know of many instances where this has happened - with quite a few different trainers - but I also know some trainers who are pretty darned fair about it and split the expenses equally with the clinic riders.
                  What's so unfair about the person doing all the work to organize the clinic, which includes fronting the money to fly the clinician out and dealing with all the demands for specific ride times and other participant drama, getting a break on their rides?
                  Last edited by atlatl; Dec. 14, 2012, 11:54 AM. Reason: spelling!

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    I think this happens a lot. Trainer wants to ride with BNT and therefore drums up local interest among his/her students and other in the area.
                    I don't see why this would be a problem. It takes tremendous amounts of time and organization to put on a clinic. If the trainer walks away with a free lesson as their profit, they are still being underpaid for their hard work to put the clinic on.

                    Let's look at this from a different perspective. How much do you think a guitar lesson with Eric Clapton is?
                    How about a running lesson from Hussein Bolt?
                    Basketball lesson from Michael Jordan?
                    BNT's are the michael jordans of the horse world. that cred costs money.
                    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                      I don't see why this would be a problem. It takes tremendous amounts of time and organization to put on a clinic. If the trainer walks away with a free lesson as their profit, they are still being underpaid for their hard work to put the clinic on.

                      Let's look at this from a different perspective. How much do you think a guitar lesson with Eric Clapton is?
                      How about a running lesson from Hussein Bolt?
                      Basketball lesson from Michael Jordan?
                      BNT's are the michael jordans of the horse world. that cred costs money.
                      It's not unfair. I say this having been on the working end of helping get our barn ready for a clinic.

                      But it also keeps organizers (trainers) personally insulated from the costs of the whole thing. Really, and speaking from a long tenure in Hunter World, Dressage World is rapidly moving toward the same thing: Wanting/needing fat client wallets.

                      In the Old Days, paying too much for a clinic wasn't a problem because most riders otherwise worked alone or took lessons from a good local rider/trainer. There wasn't the "horse in training" for a flat fee that essentially doubled board. I think Dressage World invented the Clinic Circuit and that has now spread to other disciplines.... where folks also pay for full training day in, day out.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        Originally posted by atlatl View Post
                        What's so unfair about the person doing all the work to organize the clinic, which includes fronting the money to fly the clinician out and dealing with all the demands for specific ride times and other participant drama, get a break on their rides?
                        I have been on the organizing end of clinics and inspections, and they ARE a lot of work, so I have no problem with clinic organizers taking a discount, if you will, on their rides - esp. considering they often have fuel expenses to/from airport, meal expenses to wine and dine the clinician, etc.

                        I think most organizers do it one of three ways:

                        Option A - Divide clinician's fee and clinician's expenses (airfare, hotel, meals, etc.), amongst all the riders (including organizing trainer).

                        Option B - Divide ONLY clinician's fee (not including expenses) amongst all outside riders (i.e., organizing trainer absorbs airfare, hotel, fuel, and meal costs, but gets her rides for free ).

                        Option C - Divide clinician's fee and all expenses (sometimes including a "surcharge" to cover fuel costs for the airport runs, etc.), and divide the total amongst outside riders only - i.e., organizing trainer doesn't pay for her rides or any other expenses.

                        It's the ones in the last category that irk folks the most - and yes, I have known organizers that fall into this camp.

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                        • #52
                          In relation to Roberta's post - I've ridden with her husband. I can attest that for what I paid (and he was not the one I rode with last weekend so not the one I paid $300 for), he's not charging $2500 per day unless the organizer is funding 50% of his fee.

                          And Roberta, considering how hard it is to get into one of his clinics - he could likely be charging more, but I appreciate the fact that he does not charge more. He's worth every penny that I have paid in the past.

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by atlatl View Post
                            What's so unfair about the person doing all the work to organize the clinic, which includes fronting the money to fly the clinician out and dealing with all the demands for specific ride times and other participant drama, get a break on their rides?

                            Amen. I don't organize clinics, but I was a show secretary for years. It's worth it for me to be able to pull up the driveway with my horse, only have my own horse to worry about, and be able to leave when I want for my clinic fee to be funding the organizer's personal ride a bit.

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                            • #54
                              Quite a few posters sound to me like they would like to be able to ride with these BNCs but are not willing to part with the funds. I cut expenses in other areas to be able to ride with a BNC a couple times a year. I don't get a tack stall when I show. I don't pay someone else to braid my horse. I don't buy a video or a ton of pictures. I do my own grooming. My pickup truck has 285,000 miles on it. It all adds up in my horse budget to allow for some indulgences. And if that means paying more for a clinician that I really like, so be it. Not everyone's cup of tea. I would certainly love to pay less, and if BNC's fee goes up, right now I am at the top of what I am willing to pay, so I will be priced out of his market. But I will not begrudge others who are willing to spend the money.

                              If you are sure that a less expensive clinician can do a better job, go to those clinics. I'm sure there are plenty who can do a awesome job. Training, though, is very subjective and particular. A particular trainer or clinician may have the perfect style for one person, and not work at all for someone else. If I find one that I work completely in sync with and makes big strides with my horse & I in two days, I'm going to stick with what works for me.

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                                This is one reason I invest in DVD's... I know I KNOW they are not a substitute for a real live instructor....when I get my new trailer I'll be more mobile....but they give me access to ideas and concepts I wouldn't otherwise have. In my own virtual indoor arena. And they have a REPLAY feature!
                                Yes I agree that DVDS can be a really great deal. The new Buck Brannamam 7 Clinics DVD series is $145. I thought they would ask at least 2x that. $145 is a pretty (damned) good deal. A friend and I are thinking of splitting it between us.
                                "Friend" me !

                                http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                                • #56
                                  Clinics are getting awfully expensive.

                                  I have pretty much have a hard, $250/ride limit. For that, I need to know that I'm going to get some top-notch instruction. Realistically, once the price per ride goes over $150, I stop to think long and hard on it.

                                  I recently received an application for a clinic and I'm thinking about it, but the rider is required to buy the videos for both days @$100. That pushes the per-ride fee over my limit. Add in stabling, meals, etc...and I'm seriously having to think about it.

                                  When the price starts going closer to $1000 than $300 for what is essentially 2 lessons, I have to seriously consider it. I can go take lessons on a schoolmaster for $150 each, with a pretty top notch instructor. For stabling, 2 lessons on a school master, and 2 lessons on my own horse, I paid less than what 2 rides would be...and I got a fantastic amount out of taking lessons on a school master THEN lessons on my own horse.

                                  I just don't know that my skills are at the level where I can justify the top rates. I said I'd fill a Shannon Peters clinic last summer, stupidly not asking the price per ride, and it was $350. I was relieved when she cancelled because that was truly outside my budget.

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                                  • #57
                                    From personal experience over the past 6/7 years as an owner with 4 or 5 riders on several horses, from young to GP, taking clinics, there are many POV regarding this question.
                                    With very few exceptions, I have been present at most of these clinics. One thing I would certainly reccomend is to audit the clinician if possible before spending large amounts of fees. Sometimes, even as an owner, you can see if a method will be good or counterproductive.

                                    People have different styles of riding and different styles of learning. Some listen and try to execute, others need to ask questions as they go, still others need repetition. A clinician's style will vary as well. Do they like you to try or will they take a question, can they use vocabulary in a way to help or are they restrictive in verbal communication. Will they just instruct or get on and feel what you are dealing with. Communication between rider and instructor is key, especially with young horses.

                                    After you decide if the pairing works, then the cost comes into play. How often is this clinician available, will there be a series or just a few over a period of time. Two to three day clinics are the best bang for the buck. If the clinician is helping you a great deal, then how often can you get into a clinic. I find that two or three a yr with the same instructor has the most effect.
                                    FWIW, I,too, have felt "cheated" for lack of a better term when a clinician tells the rider,"that was so good, we will reward the horse and stop here for today". Works great if you are in full training with the person, but what a waste of time, money and effort if it is a clinic. I will, however, applaud a clinician if he sees the horse is not fit and diplomatically(esp with yh) end a lesson sooner rather than later.

                                    Costs are high across the board, period. I do not see an end to this in the near future because of the economy. I like sending my horses to clinicians who are tops at what they do. They do not have to be an Olympian, foreign or domestic. But if they are coming from Europe, then I am personly aware that most if not all, want business or first class tickets. It is a two day trip on the return for them, so three days of travel. So, add in the cost of a hotel, most do not like staying a person's home unless they are long time friends, meals, trransport to/from airport/clinic site, it adds up fast.


                                    There are many good people out there who can give clinics and not cost quite as much, but it is still expensive. I am going to name just four that have diverse credentials most anybody would sacrifice to afford--there are others but these represent experience that few have-Ulf Moeller, Debbie MacDonald, Christof Hess and Klaus Balkenhol. I know what each of these people charge for a lesson at their home base, so am not surprised when I have to pay the fees that are charged when they clinic.

                                    I feel strongly that consistant lessons with a trainer are the best way to spend a limited budget. But auditing these clinicians can give you new insight. Riding with them even better if you can afford to. A couple of clinics a year with the same person fine tunes your abilities and gives you new things to work on. It is very true in dressage, that you rise to the level (that is if you have the dedication) that surrounds you. American dressage needs to rise many levels in the general population if we are to field future teams. We need these types of clinics if we cannot afford to go to Europe to watch the best on a regular basis.

                                    USEF has recieved funding for Debbie to start to observe shows to see if there are worthy pairings to recive training grants. Well needed but only at the FEI levels.

                                    Promising YH combos need that support as well and basing that on the Markel qualifications is going to miss many that are not yet mature or chose the open classes as their path.
                                    It is going to clinics such as Segie mentioned with the best Europe has to offer that an owner/rider can get a clearer picture of the innate talent of horse/rider and if they are of a quality to compete on the international stage. This also will assist in selecting wether or not to invest the higher fees in future clinics with these people.

                                    I applaud the folks such as Kelly and Hilltop who bring in the top quality instructors and make them avaiable to us. These are only limited by if you can afford it. Getting into a USEF/or USDF clinic often requires a pre-selection. If the application does not find favor, then you can't ride.
                                    Last edited by Marydell; Dec. 14, 2012, 06:47 AM. Reason: spelling
                                    Maryanna Haymon- Marydell Farm - Home to Don Principe & Doctor Wendell MF
                                    www.marydellfarm.com
                                    2012 USDF Champion Breeder! 2007, 2011 USEF Champ Breeder
                                    2009,2010,2011 USDF Res Breeder of the Year!

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #58
                                      MH, those are some good points, but in some areas, it isn't cost effective to bring the same clinician back several times - esp. if they are the high-end clinicians. The high cost keeps many riders away, and it gets hard to fill those clinics time after time.

                                      Will also say that of the four clinicians you mentioned (Ulf Moeller, Debbie MacDonald, Christof Hess and Klaus Balkenhol), only one is U.S. based. Transatlantic flights - esp. at business/first class rates - put most of them out of reach financially. And it certainly isn't cost effective to try to bring them into certain areas on a recurring basis.

                                      I will also add that our area has brought Debbie in several times - and they have been excellent clinics - but her fees are very high, and it is tough to find low level AA's who are willing to spend that kind of money (she specifically wanted riders and horses at all levels of training and ability).

                                      We also have a bit of a challenge here, in that our area's top riders usually go to FL for the winter, where they have access to instruction/clinics with other top riders. When they come back home, they are not particularly interested in riding in clinics, unless it is with a VERY BNC they haven't had the chance to ride with before, or it is someone who can possibly help them sell a horse. And it is also tough to get a lot of interest for folks like Ulf Moeller or Christoph Hess, who are not household names for most American AA's (and even some pro's!).

                                      And, of course, the "Dutch vs German" mentality of some of our area riders doesn't help, either. Some are supporters/fans of the Dutch system, while others lean more to the German system. We have found that some of them will not cross over, and in fact, have some disdain for clinicians from the "other" system. That, of course, adds another challenge when trying to fill clinics.

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                                      • #59
                                        Maybe I am missing something....I am a mid-level AA. I don't NEED to ride with Steffen, Robert, Debbie, et al. Would love to audit FEI riders riding with them in a clinic though. They are very special clinicians are are worth of the higher fees. There are plenty of well known and great clinicians that charge $600-$1000 a day which boils down with expenses to $100 to $150 a private lesson, which although is higher than your local trainer, doable for your typical AA. These types of clinics maybe 4x a year is much better money spent for an AA that ONE clinic with a "BIG Olympic name".
                                        "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by mzm farm View Post
                                          I have yet to see semi-private or group lessons in clinics. While I really appreciate personal attention, I and my horse also need breaks! My horse needs more then 30sec to stretch and relax and I need way more then 30sec to process, consider and help retain new info/ways, otherwise, I DID but did not LEARN.

                                          I for one, would be quite happy to share a slot with 1+ other riders and the costs as well

                                          This IS commonly done in hunterland and from what I have seen works out well for all.
                                          That's how I did a Mary Wanless clinic; I rode with another person whose horse was at about the same level as mine. She spent about 1/3 time with both of us, 1/3 time with me, and 1/3 time with the other woman. It was a 3 day clinic, with one hour sessions each day, and cost $550 (plus stabling for my horse, which was about $100.) That's a big chunk of change but I got a lot out of it.
                                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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