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What do you expect when you pay for full board and training?

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  • What do you expect when you pay for full board and training?

    I know the price of full board and training varies greatly depending on the trainer, the area of the country, etc. but when you pay for full board and training, what services do you expect? How many rides per week, do you pay extra for blanketing & hold for the blacksmith, etc.?
    I am in Virginia and due to job circumstances am thinking about going to full training if I want to move up to the next level. I normally have two to three lessons a month and ride at least 5x per week, but my time will be more limited this spring. It would help me a lot if grooming were taken care of.
    Under the board only and pay for lessons, turnout, blanketing and hold for vet or blacksmith is included, but no grooming. I pay extra for rides by an assistant trainer but my horse is not first priority and may not get done if there is not time.
    I was shocked at the rate for full training (three times board only and $500 more than board + 5x per week with assistant). Maybe there are other benefits to full training that I am not seeing?
    It is interesting to me that despite the amount of money involved (for me) there was no contract offered for full training and the description of what was included was vague.
    I know this trainer well and she is not the most organized, although she has several clients like me only more well-heeled who apparently have been paying full board and training for years. It's a little touchy to ask any of them about the details though because they don't live nearby and ride on an irregular basis. I don't know them well enough to ask, and maybe I know more about what gets done (or not) involving their horse than I'd like to say.
    I'd like to stand up for myself and be sure I get what I am paying for.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Put together a list of what you are looking for ,then get quotes from different places or alternatively, simply ask what is included with full board and training.

    It's very hard to generalize. It should not be"touchy" to ask what is included.

    Just ask. If they are decent professionals they will also want everything clear from the beginning.

    .

    Comment


    • #3
      The first question I would ask is who rides the horse - the assistant or the trainer? These situations always make me skeptical, because there is no guarantee that you won't pay for the more expensive trainer and get the less experienced one.
      If the "full training" is $500/month more as you described, that's $25 more per ride - which sounds like the difference between the trainer riding and the assist. riding.
      But IMO the training portion is for someone to get on and make the horse better or fitter or whatever. That should include a reasonable attempt to knock of the dirt on the days they ride, but not keeping the horse glistening spotlessly clean, and probably not on the days they don't ride...

      Just ask...........
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

      Comment


      • #4
        My concern would that you are already a second tier client (assistant trainer gets to your horse if she has time) and my experience has been that even though you pay the money to move to first tier, in their minds, you may always be second tier and may always be treated that way.

        Do not put a horse in training without a written contract of what you get. Then it is very clear to both you and the trainer what is expected. Include what is expected in rides otherwise you may get a lot of rides that are 20 minutes of warming up and that's it.
        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Stacie View Post
          My concern would that you are already a second tier client (assistant trainer gets to your horse if she has time) and my experience has been that even though you pay the money to move to first tier, in their minds, you may always be second tier and may always be treated that way.
          Sadly, there is something to this concern. I've seen it in action.

          As far as what to expect for full training, as others have pointed out, you should expect what is spelled out in a contract. Having that discussion makes it easier for everyone.

          Comment


          • #6
            OP- If you really want help with grooming than anything, maybe lunging or hand walking - I'd just hire someone to do that. You don't need a pro-rider to groom your horse. Heck an advanced kid or college student would be a lot cheaper. You just have to make sure they are dependable.

            Comment


            • #7
              Generally the programs I've seen/ridden in included: (1) something done with horse 6 days per week according to the horse's program (longe, hack, training ride, lesson) (2) turnout, custom feed program, supps/meds fed, injectables given, blankets, boots, wraps, ice, whatever horse needed and (3) horse groomed, tacked and untacked daily. Trimming legs and pulling mane was included, but body clipping was not.

              I've also seen limits on the training time (i.e. four days per week instead of six or 4 hours per week total).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Stacie View Post
                My concern would that you are already a second tier client (assistant trainer gets to your horse if she has time) and my experience has been that even though you pay the money to move to first tier, in their minds, you may always be second tier and may always be treated that way.

                Do not put a horse in training without a written contract of what you get. Then it is very clear to both you and the trainer what is expected. Include what is expected in rides otherwise you may get a lot of rides that are 20 minutes of warming up and that's it.
                Agreed... have seen this also. The challenge is when you tell someone that you won't be able to come out as often, *some* professionals will respond by cutting corners when they know you won't easily be able to supervise the situation.

                A contract can help outline what everyone's expectations are, and ideally you would like for it to be fairly specific; ie, Trigger will be ridden by the head pro on Wed and Fri and hacked by the assistant Tues and Thurs, plus you will have a lesson on Sat at 10 am or whatever. I would specifically ask about things like grooming, clipping, laundry and so forth as these are often services that vary from one program to another.

                Personally, when I was in a full training program with a BN hunter trainer, my horse was catered to by a designated groom (who had 4-5 horses at home and 3 on the road.) He was thoroughly groomed daily, including having his mane kept perfect, light clipping (muzzle/ears/legs) baths as necessary, turnout managed (incl. blankets, boots, etc) handwalked/hand grazed if weather did not permit turnout, held for farrier and vet and so forth. He was also groomed and tacked for the professional (or me, if I was riding) and then cared for afterward - basically all I was expected to do was ride. The trainer often had him hacked by the assistant trainer in the mornings because she wanted him fitter, and then he was schooled under her supervision later in the day if I was not riding. The arrangement included private lessons for me on Tues and Thurs evenings and a group lesson on Saturdays. I never was able to adjust to being just a rider so I didn't stay in that program long but I never worried about my horse not being attended to.

                My current barn's full care arrangement includes all the usual (feed/TO/mucking) plus 3 rides or lessons a week; all the horses get a light grooming when they come in from turnout and are held for vet or farrier as needed. My trainer tends to ride my horse a couple times a week when my schedule doesn't permit me the time to get out to the barn, and I try to get at least one lesson in each week and then hack 3-4 other days (so he does sometimes get hacked by me when he's also had a schooling session earlier in the day with my trainer.) Works great.
                **********
                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                -PaulaEdwina

                Comment


                • #9
                  In my mind, full board and training includes everything except full body clips, show, vet, and farrier fees. It should accommodate an absentee owner who can't stop by to groom or hack or feed.

                  I agree with the folks that recommend getting it in writing so there are no misunderstandings on either side. In this document you can specify number of days ridden, who rides the horse, when your check is due, etc. etc.

                  If you already have reservations before you put your horse in this full board and training situation, I recommend you do more research and ask more questions before you commit.

                  Good luck!
                  Siegi Belz
                  www.stalleuropa.com
                  2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                  Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It still amazes me how lazy some trainers are. Perhaps it is that they take on too many clients at a time? I'm not sure.

                    I'm a "if it isn't in writing it doesn't exist" type of person; down to the very last details.
                    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a slightly different situation with my horse in PA. I had him with a trainer I really liked and followed to a new barn. When this trainer left the area, I had to find a new trainer. The new trainer came highly recommended and got along with my horse, so we had a verbal agreement for a set price per ride. A year or so later, the "new" trainer (not so new by this point) doubled her price and dropped the number of rides she was doing. My bill each month stayed the same but I felt like my horse was not getting the attention he needed. Plus she was putting pressure on me to change barns. The barn she wanted me to move to was previously a beautiful property I was at many years ago. Barn was sold and went downhill rather quickly. The place still wasn't all that great when the trainer started asking me to move my horse. So I decided to change trainers, back to the one who originally started my horse and had worked with off and on for almost 20 years. I moved my horse to be with the new/old trainer. We had a verbal agreement that he was on permanent lease to use in her lesson program as well as keep up with his training. We finalized the paperwork over Labor Day weekend this year when I went home to visit.

                      Petstorejunkie has a great point. Always get it in writing. Lesson learned for me.
                      My May boys: Beau , Neon, Criss

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Full training is full training. If they dont treat it as such or act accordingly once the check is cut leave.

                        There is no reason to be trying to "put it all in writing" other than safe keeping, but otherwise if you ever feel you HAVE to to receive the services then I would get out of there.

                        Life is too short to be "second tier" paying for the first.

                        I would never expect a busy operation and the head trainer to be the ONLY one riding my horse 4-6 rides a week. If its a green horse especially so. Some rides should be hacks or stretching or what not and I dont expect them to do that all.

                        I do expect them to do SOME training each week, like 3 rides or so and or a lesson between them and their best rider is fine.

                        Ive seen horses only be ridden by the trainer if they are top quality or something that will be a ticket so to speak but not everyone has one of those or can afford that kind of "position" being that usually that owner is paying through the nose or owner of top talent, and its understandable the trainer will focus more on a couple different extra talented horses.

                        Working for trainers most of my life Ive learned they are very very busy and usually have too many horses or traveling a great deal if they are any quality. The good ones know how to mitigate all of this so the horses progress still - yes - even the bottom teir ones.

                        If they do not treat you like your time is valuable move on. You wont learn from anyone who doesnt care enough to really teach you and your horse.
                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've been all over the country. Full board can mean many different things. Full board can mean just feeding your horse and turning it in and out each day to taking care of every need for the horse.

                          MOST places seem to break out charges. Turn out and feeding are in the main charge, then everything else is an additional fee per month. It helps the BO get more boarders, and people with all different needs into their barn to ensure a full barn.

                          The uber expensive barns typically have a flat rate that covers everythine except lessons and training. They also often have working students and a ton of grooms, and it's expected that you're there because you will be spending money on lessons and training (when necessary).

                          Training barns are different than boarding barns. They exist solely for horses in training and never combine the two. All of the care is taken care of and you just come out and watch or take a lesson.

                          Just do your homework and you can find a barn and trainer that fits 80-90% of your needs. You'll never find a place that fits 100%.

                          If you want grooming, and the barn doesn't offer it, ask if the grooms are allowed and if they can make money on the side doing that for you. Then meet the grooms and find out what's going on with that situation. Many of them are underpaid and love a chance to make some more money, and are eager to spend a little more time in the barn to get that cash in hand.
                          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                            In my mind, full board and training includes everything except full body clips, show, vet, and farrier fees. It should accommodate an absentee owner who can't stop by to groom or hack or feed.

                            I agree with the folks that recommend getting it in writing so there are no misunderstandings on either side. In this document you can specify number of days ridden, who rides the horse, when your check is due, etc. etc.

                            If you already have reservations before you put your horse in this full board and training situation, I recommend you do more research and ask more questions before you commit.

                            Good luck!
                            I agree with this. When I managed a training barn, our basic idea was that our clients didn't need to worry about anything other than enjoying their horses. Full board included almost all care and supplies but no grooming, plus scheduling and dealing with vets, farriers, etc. Full training board was all care, supplies, etc, plus worked 5 or 6 days a week, PLUS 2 lessons a week, PLUS daily grooming and light maintenance like trimming and mane pulling. Full training board was a little more than double full board...and, if you did the math, you realized it was an incredibly good deal (the trainer I worked for was far too generous! He just wanted all his riders and horses to go well and be happy).
                            Amanda

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Where I am now full board is hay (3x day), grain (1 or 2) and feeding purchased supplements, stall (cleaned 2x day), daily turnout (with or without blankets as weather dictates), farrier arrangement, wormer administration, and 1 lesson or asst. hack.

                              Full training is all that plus 5 sessions a week with the Trainer, either schooling or lessons, as arranged by the owner/rider and trainer. In addition, tack is kept clean, horses groomed and feet attended to. Lots of personal attention to the horse from many eyes and hands.

                              All that is in the contract. What's not clear is whether "working student/assistant riding under supervision" is equivalent to "trainer schooling." Some folks see that as a lesson, which they'd rather take themselves. I'm struggling with that, too, as with my general frustration that service organizations in this area do nothing to cater to the working customer/client. NO dentists, doctors, chiros, etc have evening or weekend hours.
                              *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Full board and training in my area generally means that the horse is worked 5 to 6 days a week, one of those being a lesson on the training horse if the goal is for the horse to be your own show mount, or a lesson on another horse may be substituted in if the trainer feels there's an issue that needs to be addressed, i or is at a point in fixing an issue where having the owner ride could mean a backslide in the horse's training the horse is not currently ready for the owner's riding, etc. The horse's every need is provided by the trainer and staff, including holding for vet farrier and the trainer is present and consulted on those services. (the services themselves are, of course, billed separately)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Out here, the trainers are very clear about what full training/partial training entails. Most of them have it completely spelled out on their websites and/or have brochures or contracts that break down exactly what the different packages are, and how much they cost.

                                  If the trainer you are working with is vague about what full-training entails, ask to have a brief (ie 15 minute) meeting with her to spell it out and create a contract. Make sure you have your needs clearly spelled out on paper, so you don't waste her time or your time. As well, make sure she knows what your goals are, which will help direct the training.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My last Full board experience

                                    daily turnout with blanket management ( +/- boots)

                                    4 hay servings / day 1 or 2 grain / extra feedings as needed.
                                    vitamins ( smart paks) served, we buy

                                    Manage the basics of vet or farrier. Extra charges for nursing special treatments like soaking hand walking etc that required time of groom foreman or trainer were charges extra for time.

                                    Basic grooming care. Body clips were done by an expert show groom hired in.


                                    full training was 5 rides per week ( any combo trainer or private lesson)
                                    _\\]
                                    -- * > hoopoe
                                    Procrastinate NOW
                                    Introverted Since 1957

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      full board + training to me means horse is taken care of whether i am there or not. so i agree with Seigi 100%

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Here is an experience. Full training, horse ridden perhaps 10 days, other days not ridden due to illness and travel. End of month the client is asked to pay the full training amount because some months the trainer rides more and it "all evens out." With only so many days in the month, won't that take many months?

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