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When should the kickbacks begin?

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  • #41
    Sorry gotta disagree.

    Under normal circumstances with upper level competition horses, most of the time client goes to an established trainer with a reputation and says take this horse to GP if it can get there. It is my understanding that OP's situation is more along the lines of "I need someone to work this horse while I am recuperating from back surgery" and the trainer ran with it.

    Not saying the trainer is dishonest (though the slow disclosure on sales inquiries is distressing) but the situation seems to have veered from original goal, for sure. OP is footing the bill while trainer is reaping the rewards. If trainer has received things like saddles and other goods or services from sponsors because of the performance of OP's horse, OP is entitled to receive at least some of the value of those items, imo. It is no different than a purse or winnings.

    It may be harder to find a good rider than a good horse, but so far it appears the trainer wasn't able to find the right horse on her own and here we are. The horse is OP's asset. Trainer has no right to expect to use that asset for what is mostly trainer's own benefit without giving OP some consideration.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by nhwr View Post
      Sorry gotta disagree.

      Under normal circumstances with upper level competition horses, most of the time client goes to an established trainer with a reputation and says take this horse to GP if it can get there. It is my understanding that OP's situation is more along the lines of "I need someone to work this horse while I am recuperating from back surgery" and the trainer ran with it.

      Not saying the trainer is dishonest (though the slow disclosure on sales inquiries is distressing) but the situation seems to have veered from original goal, for sure. OP is footing the bill while trainer is reaping the rewards. If trainer has received things like saddles and other goods or services from sponsors because of the performance of OP's horse, OP is entitled to receive at least some of the value of those items, imo. It is no different than a purse or winnings.

      It may be harder to find a good rider than a good horse, but so far it appears the trainer wasn't able to find the right horse on her own and here we are. The horse is OP's asset. Trainer has no right to expect to use that asset for what is mostly trainer's own benefit without giving OP some consideration.
      What the hell?

      Noone is forcing the owner to send the horse to CDIs. I also have a **very** nice hunter that I almost never horseshow because it is too expensive. Lo, his horseshow resume is far below his actual abilities. He would be worth $75k if I had lessoned enough and horseshowed enough in the hunters but currently he is pulling in $35k offers from dressageland, unshown. (Also not for sale.)

      If I want someone, be they experienced-and-mui-caro, or less-experienced-and-less-expensive, to train him and take him around the horseshows for me because suddenly having him "live up to his potential" is important to me, then I have to whip out the checkbook and pay them.

      It never occurred to me that there should be trainers out there who should be paying ME to use (and financially develop) my asset.
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      • #43
        OP in your shoes I would be inclined to cut back on shows or even stop them altogether. If you are not planning on selling the horse or the horse doesn't need more show mileage, then there really isn't a pressing need to have the trainer showing the horse. I know everyone is different but personally the only times I have a trainer show my horses is if I want to build their show record while trying to sell or if they are green and need the experience.

        Instead I would talk to the trainer and say that he will be staying in training but there isn't a budget for shows any longer. However if she would like to keep showing him that is fine but she will be responsible for the show costs. That way she still has an optional path for continuing to build her name/reputation but you are not footing the whole bill.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by nhwr View Post
          Sorry gotta disagree.

          Under normal circumstances with upper level competition horses, most of the time client goes to an established trainer with a reputation and says take this horse to GP if it can get there. .
          Again, it depends if you are simply a paying customer wanting training for your horse OR if you are actually supporting the trainer in terms of making sure they have the horse under them that can go forward.

          Let's say I have a home-bred I think alot of. I want to send him to Stefan Peters for training. If we are talking about THAT level of rider, he will have a waiting list for space in his barn, then he will pick & choose. Even then most of the time the horse will be ridden/trained by working students.

          However, if I am "sponsoring" SP and trying to support the sport in the US, then you find/buy a horse expressly for that purpose.

          My take from the OP's post is that she really isn't capable to bringing the horse along, back injury or not. (forgive me if I'm wrong on that assumption, OP). However, she is enjoying the horse's progress and success.

          So, like so many others have suggested, it's time for both parties to sit down and really discuss the situation and where they are headed , future-wise.

          The owner has the right to sell the horse anytime she wants, and I'm sure the trainer "gets" that. And just like most of us, once you put in the time & sweat & energy into forming a partnership with a horse, it's tough to let it go.

          However the OP is NOT rich, so the trainer needs to "get" that as well. And just because the OP sells the horse, the trainer could still "get the ride."

          There are SO many factors to this situation, and so a sit-down is definitely called for.

          Here's a thought: OP:have you considered going partners with another person who might enjoy ownership of this horse? Sort of like a syndicate, but smaller ...

          Yes, it might complicate things, but with the right person it could also make it easier. But again, everyone must be very clear on what they want from the situation and what they are willing to contribute.

          And all the COTH members in the world can't help you decide that...you have to do that yourself. What I'm trying to say is that no one here can tell you what is right or wrong, because there really isn't a "one size fits all" answer for your situation. People can't tell what is in your trainer's heart (or yours for that matter), so it gets risky to conjecture on people's motives and such when you don't even know them.

          To me it sounds like you are both good people trying to work out a complicated situations with many different variables....and (again) communication is the best way to do that. And if there IS an equine lawyer in your area, it would be good for both of you to sit down with him....he may throw questions & circumstances at you that neither would have even though of.

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          • Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
            What the hell?

            Noone is forcing the owner to send the horse to CDIs. I also have a **very** nice hunter that I almost never horseshow because it is too expensive. Lo, his horseshow resume is far below his actual abilities. He would be worth $75k if I had lessoned enough and horseshowed enough in the hunters but currently he is pulling in $35k offers from dressageland, unshown. (Also not for sale currently.)

            If I want someone, be they experienced-and-mui-caro, or less-experienced-and-less-expensive, to train him and take him around the horseshows for me because suddenly having him "live up to his potential" is important to me, then I have to whip out the checkbook and pay them.

            It never occurred to me that there should be trainers out there who should be paying ME to use (and financially develop) my asset.
            Meupat, you are completely skewing what I've said. I AM paying the trainer! Quite well actually!

            nhwr, your understanding of how things happened is correct.

            kyzteke, it may come to drawing a line if the show goals continue to get loftier and loftier.....that's a real possibility.
            Last edited by halteralter; Apr. 22, 2013, 04:00 PM. Reason: Gasp!! I'm human!!

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            • #46
              Originally posted by halteralter View Post
              Meupat, you are completely skewing what I've said. I AM paying the trainer! Quite well actually!

              nhwr, your understanding of how things happened is on queue.
              A queue is a line.
              A cue is a prompt.
              A point is apposite.

              Basically, I get the feeling that you quite like having your horse developed in the way it is being developed. Unlike me, who chooses to just stay home and not show the horse when the checkbook runs out, you are hoping you can start having your trainer foot some of the bill so that the horse can still get developed and you can still enjoy the journey from the owner's box but you won't have to pay full freight for the service.

              Perhaps your horse is so nice the trainer will go for it.

              Still think I misunderstood?
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              • #47
                "Meupat, you are completely skewing what I've said. I AM paying the trainer! Quite well actually!"-Quote halteralter

                Some people failed Reading Comprehension 101. And it is NOT the OP!
                Last edited by merrygoround; Apr. 22, 2013, 04:56 PM.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                  Again, it depends if you are simply a paying customer wanting training for your horse OR if you are actually supporting the trainer in terms of making sure they have the horse under them that can go forward.

                  Let's say I have a home-bred I think alot of. I want to send him to Stefan Peters for training. If we are talking about THAT level of rider, he will have a waiting list for space in his barn, then he will pick & choose. Even then most of the time the horse will be ridden/trained by working students.

                  However, if I am "sponsoring" SP and trying to support the sport in the US, then you find/buy a horse expressly for that purpose.

                  My take from the OP's post is that she really isn't capable to bringing the horse along, back injury or not. (forgive me if I'm wrong on that assumption, OP). However, she is enjoying the horse's progress and success.

                  So, like so many others have suggested, it's time for both parties to sit down and really discuss the situation and where they are headed , future-wise.

                  The owner has the right to sell the horse anytime she wants, and I'm sure the trainer "gets" that. And just like most of us, once you put in the time & sweat & energy into forming a partnership with a horse, it's tough to let it go.

                  However the OP is NOT rich, so the trainer needs to "get" that as well. And just because the OP sells the horse, the trainer could still "get the ride."

                  There are SO many factors to this situation, and so a sit-down is definitely called for.

                  Here's a thought: OP:have you considered going partners with another person who might enjoy ownership of this horse? Sort of like a syndicate, but smaller ...

                  Yes, it might complicate things, but with the right person it could also make it easier. But again, everyone must be very clear on what they want from the situation and what they are willing to contribute.

                  And all the COTH members in the world can't help you decide that...you have to do that yourself. What I'm trying to say is that no one here can tell you what is right or wrong, because there really isn't a "one size fits all" answer for your situation. People can't tell what is in your trainer's heart (or yours for that matter), so it gets risky to conjecture on people's motives and such when you don't even know them.

                  To me it sounds like you are both good people trying to work out a complicated situations with many different variables....and (again) communication is the best way to do that. And if there IS an equine lawyer in your area, it would be good for both of you to sit down with him....he may throw questions & circumstances at you that neither would have even though of.
                  Thanks...all good points. I know that nobody here can make the decision for me, but it has been helpful to get the range of perspectives and opinions. As for me, I am an amateur rider who ridden/shown through 2nd level. With my current skillset, even if my back were not a factor, I could not bring the horse along to GP without some serious help (and time). Although the trainer and I do have a written contract, it is just a general contract for training board. Certainly no specifics regarding these sorts of issues (mainly because this was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement). I realize that I hold the reins here (no pun intended), but it has been difficult for me to bring this up with the trainer, because she loves the horse...and routinely tells me how much she loves him. I have considered syndication, but I know even less about it, and would never want to lose primary control of the horse. Again, I really appreciate all of the food for thought.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                    A queue is a line.
                    A cue is a prompt.
                    A point is apposite.

                    Basically, I get the feeling that you quite like having your horse developed in the way it is being developed. Unlike me, who chooses to just stay home and not show the horse when the checkbook runs out, you are hoping you can start having your trainer foot some of the bill so that the horse can still get developed and you can still enjoy the journey from the owner's box but you won't have to pay full freight for the service.

                    Perhaps your horse is so nice the trainer will go for it.

                    Still think I misunderstood?
                    Well, I take back what I said. I appreciate everyone's thoughtful response except for yours. You're just a nasty person I presume.

                    And yes, you're still way off base. My checkbook isn't "running out". Deciding whether or not to enter CDIs is not something you do if your checkbook is in danger of running out. However, at some point one needs to consider costs vs. benefit. THAT is what I am doing. eta. The trainer can't afford this horse and she knows it...even if he was for sale.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      pwynnnorman, who used to post here and is the breeder of Theodore O'Connor, hit similar issues in terms of wanting the horse to go on but not having the resources to support him at the elite level. Some of her musings are probably in the archives. You might consider reaching out to some other owners to see how they have coped.

                      To be honest, this is a resource that the USET Chefs should be developing, a network of information and ideas for "how to support an up and coming elite horse and rider."

                      It's very reasonable to go at this with a plan of "I can pay board and training, but I can't pay competition expenses." Even so, if the horse is really good, you'll probably find that the expenses get beyond what either of you can shoulder. At that point, you'll probably need to bring in other people, and typically the way that is being done in dressage these days is through syndication or some other form of ownership, not from just a cash sponsor.

                      Best of luck to you, to your rider, and to your horse for a successful forward path.
                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Forget the word, "kickback." It has negative connotations. Also, I would suggest forgetting the notion of getting a piece of any sponsorships the trainer gets - even if they come the trainer's way because of the success the trainer has had with your horse.

                        That said - if the trainer wants to show/show more/show at a higher level, then it's perfectly legitimate to tell them that *those* expenses will need to be on the trainer's dime.

                        The OP is paying for training board - so she should be (and apparently IS) getting training for her horse. I personally see nothing wrong with including a few shows in the "training" mix just to test that training, get an objective opinion of the horse's progress, and/or see how that training holds up under a bit of pressure.

                        But that does NOT require super expensive showing, CDIs, etc. The horse doesn't know the difference between show A and show B, as a general rule (assuming facilities are generally equivalent, etc - so something of a generalization.)

                        If the owner is willing to allow the horse to be shown in more costly venues, and feels that the exposure would be both good for the horse AND good for the trainer's reputation, then IMO, that falls outside the scope of a simple training arrangement, and should be addressed in a separate conversation (leading to a new agreement/contract.)

                        Personally I'd keep those training and showing contracts separate, and entertain the showing one on a trial basis - to see how things go. And I'd want the trainer to foot the bill for entries and other show related costs (above and beyond the care/training costs already being paid under the training arrangement.)

                        If the trainer could not afford those show costs, and as the owner I was still inclined to allow the trainer to show the horse, I would discuss an offset in the costs of the training services - in other words, the owner might pay the entry fees, but get a reduction in the cost of the pro rides (in other words, the trainer trades training time in exchange for the owner paying entry fees needed to help promote the trainer's business/reputation.)

                        Additionally, if there was ANY lingering concern over whether unsolicited offers to buy the horse were being passed along promptly, frankly I'd engage in a bit of "secret shopping," where I'd have a third party express interest in the horse, to see if that interest was shared promptly with the owner.
                        **********
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                        • #52
                          I know that Leg's owner leased him to Brandi R when things got to be a bit much, financially. Then she put him back with Steffen. Jen was very vocal and open about what she went through and the decisions she needed to make. You might do some searches about her musings and solutions.

                          At the end of the day it's a business decision, and I'm certain you'll feel much better after you sit down and hash things out with the trainer
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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                            A queue is a line.
                            A cue is a prompt.
                            A point is apposite.
                            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                            Noone is forcing the owner to send the horse to CDIs. I also have a **very** nice hunter that I almost never horseshow because it is too expensive. Lo, his horseshow resume is far below his actual abilities. He would be worth $75k if I had lessoned enough and horseshowed enough in the hunters but currently he is pulling in $35k offers from dressageland, unshown. (Also not for sale.)
                            And "horseshow" and "lesson" are not verbs, and "noone" is not even a word. In general I don't bother pointing out grammar and usage errors on this board, but you asked for that.
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                            • #54
                              you have a PM from me
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                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                                And "horseshow" and "lesson" are not verbs, and "noone" is not even a word. In general I don't bother pointing out grammar and usage errors on this board, but you asked for that.
                                I think I love you...

                                Lucass, thanks for the advice, some great points in there as well. I think instead of "kickback", I should have said "reciprocal agreement"...or something of the like.

                                Thanks to the others who recommended looking up pwynn's posts...I'll do that.

                                And thanks to honeylips for the PM...much appreciated.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                                  And "horseshow" and "lesson" are not verbs, and "noone" is not even a word. In general I don't bother pointing out grammar and usage errors on this board, but you asked for that.
                                  Perhaps you should ask your English teacher for a kickback, since they taught you well.
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                                  • #57
                                    It certainly is not unreasonable to say to your trainer "I can't afford to send my horse to that CDI show. If you would like to go I am happy to let my horse go but you will have to pay the bill". Then she can decide what she wants to do from there.

                                    I have someone that rides and competes my pony. I have budgeted costs for his training fees and certain shows throughout the year. Sometimes his rider wants to attend additional shows throughout the year which she pays for herself. At those shows she gets to keep the ribbons/ prizes as she paid all the entry fees, etc.

                                    If you were to do the above I would outline to the trainer though what she can and can't do with your horse at the CDI show. For example, she can only enter said # of classes, she can only go for said # of days, etc.

                                    If the bills become too much (which I understand) you may want to discuss with her a lease agreement. However, you then lose some control over your horse (depending on how the contract is written) as she is a leasee.
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                                    • #58
                                      What the hell?


                                      Noone is forcing the owner to send the horse to CDIs. I also have a **very** nice hunter that I almost never horseshow because it is too expensive. Lo, his horseshow resume is far below his actual abilities. He would be worth $75k if I had lessoned enough and horseshowed enough in the hunters but currently he is pulling in $35k offers from dressageland, unshown. (Also not for sale currently.)
                                      This made me laugh. I think there are horses like this everywhere. They are all named "If only"



                                      OP, I tend to look at things from a real world business perspective. Plus having the experience I had with my own horse 20 years ago and seeing what it did to build the business for the trainer I was involved with (who is still in business as a good regional trainer today) impacts my comment. This trainer was good and had talent but the success they enjoyed with my horse filled their barn at the outset of their career and that certainly created a lot of momentum. I don't begrudge them anything. It was a win-win, imo. But thems the facts.


                                      You have gotten a lot of good input here. Good luck and congrats on having a talented horse.
                                      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

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                                      • #59
                                        Can she seek out sponsors that would lower your costs? Such as tack, supplements, etc. I have seen trainers that are very good at spending other people's money & I think this may be happening here - if so, time to apply a strong half halt

                                        Proceed with caution & open communication & be happy your horse is doing so well! Remind your boyfriend that you would be paying as much in fees if your horse was doing mediocre in his training.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          I think the issue OP faces is she somehow has morphed from a common normal client paying for trainer to train a horse to that of of sponsor, and that is what she is if she has no ambition to show the horse herself to the level and yet continue to pay for the show expenses and training. The issue becomes even more complicated because a sponsor normally get something out of it, either fame or recognition or product, neither of which the OP is getting. Nobody continues to foot the bill just for the heck of it.

                                          OP, I think you need to re-evaluate what you want from this partnership. If your goal is to be recognized as the "owner" of a famed horse, you have taken up the role of a sponsorship and the fame will be your reward. If not, which sounds like the case, you should not continue footing the bill and the solution is to pull the horse from the training program and put the horse under other trainers who will view you as a partner instead of a paying client.

                                          If the trainer wants to have continuing access to this horse, if I were you, I would lease the horse out to her, and she will be responsible for all the bills.

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