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Turning pro

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  • #21
    I hope you don't mean free lease as in they don't pay anything, but they just pay for costs of maintaining the horse. I think that will really set you up for being used by people.

    A well known horse hoarder here just left my barn. She had about ten really nice horses she never rode or did anything with. In two years I never saw her. She let anyone random come and take out and ride very dangerous horses, and anyone who could do that was completely naive. Some very stupid things happened that luckily didn't result in anyone's death. And the people that got all of this riding for "free" had no clue.

    Is there a local, regional horse site to post leases on? You can actually put something on warmbloods for sale, which is what I did. I put lease with options to buy for the right person. It seems like in such a dressage community there are a ton of people who would love to have the chance to ride well trained, nice horses for a reasonable rate.

    And when I was looking at what people were selling well schooled 19 year old school masters that are super safe and going, it was around $20 k. And that was horses with maybe 3rd/2rd level work. I got a ton of responses when I did that,. I know my leasor/sponsor was very happy to find my horse, and with only a couple of years of riding as an adult, get a bronze medal on her in two years. She bit herself in the butt when she tried to find something "better" at that price. There are many, many people I think who would jump at the chance to be able to do that and not put the time and expense in of having to do that on their own horse, or pay someone too.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #22
      Well so far nobody payed a dime for it My dream would be to find somebody who would pay for the expenses like for feed (there are not many more expenses, my horses are barefoot and only get vaccinated and their coggins ), but I have not been able to find somebody for that. One person showed up and when I told her what I wanted she told me she tried another horse which she could ride for free .
      https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
      https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

      Comment


      • #23
        Don't take on anyone who isn't paying for the costs. It is so not worth it. See if you have a more local place to list them as trained quality horses to ride for a good price. Unfortunately, the better "deal" you give people, the less they appreciate it. They need to know the worth. Try warmbloods for sale, and something more local.

        Comment


        • #24
          Getting paid money for leasing a horse to somebody does not make you a Pro. You could charge for the lease and throw in free lessons here and there... Just a thought.
          Equine liability is not going to be very expensive if it's just 3 or 4 riders once in a while, especially if there is no jumping, trail riding or showing involved. The risk seems pretty low. Make sure you have them all sign liability waivers!!
          Do ask your agent about your home owners liability insurance. Even if you are only recovering some of the costs of owning horses with the lease payments, as soon as money changes hands, insurance companies tend to react funny....

          Comment


          • #25
            This is off topic for where the discussion is headed but I wanted to add in a few of my thoughts. I have never been eligible to ride as an AA. I always had to ride in the Open classes. But I absolutely hate it when people use the word Pro for anything other an AA. I am not a Pro, but I do charge people for my time when I ride their horses which means I can't ride in AA classes. Being a Pro has so many connotations to it that you're doing it all the time and this is your chosen profession, which isn't the case for MANY riders. Some of us just go to the barn, ride our horses, then also get paid to ride someone else's horse while they are on vacation or recovering from an injury. It doesn't make me a professional, but it does kick me out of the AA category.

            I've never really had a problem not riding in AA classes and having to ride against other Open riders though. Yes my scores have to be higher to go to regionals, but that doesn't really effect any of my long term goals, it just makes me want to do better to reach that one particular goal. Are scores a little higher in the open division? yeah maybe, but again that just makes me want to work harder and do better myself, rather than my happiness being dependent upon a blue ribbon.

            If you want to take in money from giving lessons just check to see what insurance costs would be and make sure it covers your time too. But there isn't really any big shift otherwise. No one comes up to you after your ride asking how in the world you call yourself a pro. No one cares. You'll find way less scrutiny over in the open classes than you do trying to stay an AA. Now your mileage may vary but there is just way less drama over on the open side. It just makes everything way less frustrating to be open.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Manni01 View Post

              rehoming a horse for free is not an option for me...... I will rather euthanize them...


              was probably bad written, the horse is 8 years old, not my son.. And the horse is unsellable because its his horse....
              at some point you have to pick the lesser of the evils to change, only you can decide what your next step is. you seem to be saying no to every option.... I honestly can't think of any other options? Sorry. best of luck to you

              Comment


              • #27
                I wouldn't go pro - just not worth it to me. I am but an amateur and wouldn't want to compete with the pros in the open division. Over the years I've had many people ask me to teach them. While I'm not an accomplished rider in terms of ribbons, I do teach a good lesson. But I was unwilling to do it for the myriad issues mentioned above - insurance, amateur status, the headache of having people on my property and not valuing my time, etc.

                If you are so adamant that only you are the best caretaker in the whole world and no one else would take good care of your horses, and you're not sure if you want to go pro, then just let them sit and enjoy life. I retired one younger than I probably should have because I just did not have the time to keep him going because he was the most seasoned and needed the least work, whereas the green horses obviously need the most work. He didn't complain once about his retired life as a pasture pet and companion. He had a very happy life. I could have sold him I'm sure but I liked seeing his face every morning. I certainly wouldn't euthanize him for the convenience of having fewer horses.

                Turning pro isn't a money-making opportunity. Or, if it is, it is only so for those who work very hard at it and make it their life's work. To be a half-assed pro isn't going to make you any more money than your other ventures where you lost money.

                Good luck in figuring out a solution.
                My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                Comment


                • #28
                  A few thoughts:

                  1) no one has ever gotten rich by turning pro for a half dozen lessons a week. Whether the income is enough to make it worth your while is a question only your business plan can answer.
                  Keep in mind for your business plan that lessons are not a stead income; you will lose money due to rain, heat, family vacations, sickness, etc.

                  2) you will not be less tired for taking on a few students. No matter what others say, it is a service industry. My job is to provide a safe, positive environment for my students to improve their horsemanship. This includes keeping the lesson horses tuned up, the farm mowed, the arenas dragged, stalls cleaned, farm repaired, the list goes on. All of those physical chores are interrupted by having to make it look easy and fun for your students and their families.

                  3) it will be inconvenient. Lessons will no show or cancel at the last minute. Students will want to chat after their lessons making your 14 hour day longer. Riders will blame your nice lesson horses for missing a lead or transition. It's not the riders fault; they don't know what they don't know but it is annoying as all get out. As the pro, it is your job to safely teach them a little humility

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    OP, I think you are over-thinking this and making things harder for yourself and your nice horses than it needs to be.

                    IME, you can buy a $1M professional liability policy from Equisure for about $700/year. If you make more than $700/year in lessons, you're good and haven't lost anything but the time and effort it took you to set that up.

                    And that, plus showing in the Open division, is all there is too it. All else about how you run your leases, your lessons and your business is up to you. That's the (only) upside to horse training being entirely unregulated in the US.

                    If you have good reasons to teach some people for money (and you certainly do), just create the lease agreements, pricing policies that work for you, your horses and clients.

                    ETA: All the other horrors of teaching-for-money others mention are entirely optional. If you need the money badly (and it sounds like you don't), you can be bossed around by clients. If, on the other hand, you have people who *want* to take lessons and can/will abide by the written terms you create, none of those PITA clients and issues need to come to your farm.

                    Honest to God, if you write the clear, fair agreement you want, you do the same for establishing policies about payments and cancellations and the rest that you want, that's an issue related to running a business.... any business. Turning pro or not won't make a difference here; your model and skill as a business woman will determine how much you enjoy these leases and lessons with your clients.

                    Try it for a year. You can cancel your policy at any time and if you declared your Pro status with the USEF, it takes a bit of paper work plus no teaching for a year to regain your Amateur status.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I think this is a control issue, at heart. In many posts you are very set in your ways and old school/no injections/not open to crituques. That is FINE, but in this sense I feel for you, the rigid thinking is causing you this un-due stress.
                      If you really feel euth is better than re-homing, then that is your choice.and you and only you have to live with the consequences.

                      Euth my sick and dying horse was the worst day of my life, could never do that to my healthy boy now, but to each their own.

                      I don't feel you are in a good place to take on clients- its best if you are coming from a healthy place yourself.

                      Again, best of luck. Please keep us posted. It's never bad to take a month off and re-evaluate. I know for many of us it's very busy with shows/plans. I myself have had to stop pushing for results.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                        OP, I think you are over-thinking this and making things harder for yourself and your nice horses than it needs to be.

                        IME, you can buy a $1M professional liability policy from Equisure for about $700/year. If you make more than $700/year in lessons, you're good and haven't lost anything but the time and effort it took you to set that up.

                        And that, plus showing in the Open division, is all there is too it. All else about how you run your leases, your lessons and your business is up to you. That's the (only) upside to horse training being entirely unregulated in the US.

                        If you have good reasons to teach some people for money (and you certainly do), just create the lease agreements, pricing policies that work for you, your horses and clients.

                        ETA: All the other horrors of teaching-for-money others mention are entirely optional. If you need the money badly (and it sounds like you don't), you can be bossed around by clients. If, on the other hand, you have people who *want* to take lessons and can/will abide by the written terms you create, none of those PITA clients and issues need to come to your farm.

                        Honest to God, if you write the clear, fair agreement you want, you do the same for establishing policies about payments and cancellations and the rest that you want, that's an issue related to running a business.... any business. Turning pro or not won't make a difference here; your model and skill as a business woman will determine how much you enjoy these leases and lessons with your clients.

                        Try it for a year. You can cancel your policy at any time and if you declared your Pro status with the USEF, it takes a bit of paper work plus no teaching for a year to regain your Amateur status.
                        Thank you very much for your kind post!! I know that I usually overthink things and when you write it it sounds so easy!!! I am done riding for today so now I can look into the policy which I will do. Thank you again!!
                        https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
                        https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by SendenHorse View Post
                          I think this is a control issue, at heart. In many posts you are very set in your ways and old school/no injections/not open to crituques. That is FINE, but in this sense I feel for you, the rigid thinking is causing you this un-due stress.
                          If you really feel euth is better than re-homing, then that is your choice.and you and only you have to live with the consequences.

                          Euth my sick and dying horse was the worst day of my life, could never do that to my healthy boy now, but to each their own.

                          I don't feel you are in a good place to take on clients- its best if you are coming from a healthy place yourself.

                          Again, best of luck. Please keep us posted. It's never bad to take a month off and re-evaluate. I know for many of us it's very busy with shows/plans. I myself have had to stop pushing for results.
                          Yes it is probably a control issue but it gets really confirmed by a lot of things I see around me.
                          Once I let go of one of my horses I have no control about anything anymore. And I know by experience that everybody has their own ideas and will do it as soon as he gets the chance.

                          Yes I believe that sound horses don't need any injections, but the next person might start with injections immediately because they believe in it in that age or because of that work load....or adjusting horses or retirement because they are so old anyhow.

                          Also if there are any problems maybe because of any of their actions, they always have this perfect excuse, the horse was too old anyhow or had preexisting conditions or whatever.....

                          People are not interested in listening to somebody who has a system which is working. Its not about the horse and to keep the horse sound and happy but its about their believes and their ideas....

                          Thats totally ok with me, But I just would not like it happening to one of my horses.... I had most of them all their life or for a long long time. I simply cannot believe that anybody just taking one of the horses knows better how to manage them.... And I prefer to not surrender them to somebody who is turning them into a sick and dying horse.... But don't worry that would really be the last thing I would do, I´d rather turn pro for them in order to avoid this situation.....

                          But thank you for your extremely kind post in your very personal style....
                          https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
                          https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by amm2cd View Post
                            A few thoughts:

                            1) no one has ever gotten rich by turning pro for a half dozen lessons a week. Whether the income is enough to make it worth your while is a question only your business plan can answer.
                            Keep in mind for your business plan that lessons are not a stead income; you will lose money due to rain, heat, family vacations, sickness, etc.

                            2) you will not be less tired for taking on a few students. No matter what others say, it is a service industry. My job is to provide a safe, positive environment for my students to improve their horsemanship. This includes keeping the lesson horses tuned up, the farm mowed, the arenas dragged, stalls cleaned, farm repaired, the list goes on. All of those physical chores are interrupted by having to make it look easy and fun for your students and their families.

                            3) it will be inconvenient. Lessons will no show or cancel at the last minute. Students will want to chat after their lessons making your 14 hour day longer. Riders will blame your nice lesson horses for missing a lead or transition. It's not the riders fault; they don't know what they don't know but it is annoying as all get out. As the pro, it is your job to safely teach them a little humility
                            Thank you for your thoughts!!!!!

                            Yes you are totally right, but I don't want to get rich with turning pro, I just don't want to loose money with any additional insurances....

                            And maybe I am greedy because I am not ready yet to give everything away for free to everybody.

                            My ideal situation would be to lease out some of my horses which would pay their food and take money for any lessons I teach to the persons who lease the horses. Not really sure why this is a bad idea.... I always had the impression that most people pay some type of money to ride a horse and take lessons??
                            https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
                            https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post

                              If you are so adamant that only you are the best caretaker in the whole world and no one else would take good care of your horses, and you're not sure if you want to go pro, then just let them sit and enjoy life. I retired one younger than I probably should have because I just did not have the time to keep him going because he was the most seasoned and needed the least work, whereas the green horses obviously need the most work. He didn't complain once about his retired life as a pasture pet and companion. He had a very happy life. I could have sold him I'm sure but I liked seeing his face every morning. I certainly wouldn't euthanize him for the convenience of having fewer horses.

                              Turning pro isn't a money-making opportunity. Or, if it is, it is only so for those who work very hard at it and make it their life's work. To be a half-assed pro isn't going to make you any more money than your other ventures where you lost money.

                              Good luck in figuring out a solution.
                              See, you are a good reason why I would not give my horses away.... Obviously we have very different believes about keeping horses.... For example I believe that horses love to have a job. If you look into a wild herd, believe me every member of the herd has a job he has to perform in order for the herd to survive.... No herd member just lives a life where nothing happens....if they can't perform their job anymore they die.......

                              Why do you think is my pony still fit with 23??? She loves to canter around the race track, she simply jumps on the trailer as soon as she knows that we are leaving for a trail ride ... she watches me all the time while waiting that I take her out and work her. And you should see her muscles.... she looks like a 10 year old... If I would retire her it would break her heart. She doesn't know that she is 23 she knows that she is fit and can perform her duties in her herd..

                              I have these horses and I feel responsible for them... And its amazing every day how they pay me back.....
                              No I would not throw away (or retire) a horse for another horse..... They are all the same to me... Everyone, regardless of their age... I prefer to push myself a little harder to have time for all of them....
                              https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
                              https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by TwoRoads View Post
                                This is off topic for where the discussion is headed but I wanted to add in a few of my thoughts. I have never been eligible to ride as an AA. I always had to ride in the Open classes. But I absolutely hate it when people use the word Pro for anything other an AA. I am not a Pro, but I do charge people for my time when I ride their horses which means I can't ride in AA classes. Being a Pro has so many connotations to it that you're doing it all the time and this is your chosen profession, which isn't the case for MANY riders. Some of us just go to the barn, ride our horses, then also get paid to ride someone else's horse while they are on vacation or recovering from an injury. It doesn't make me a professional, but it does kick me out of the AA category.

                                I've never really had a problem not riding in AA classes and having to ride against other Open riders though. Yes my scores have to be higher to go to regionals, but that doesn't really effect any of my long term goals, it just makes me want to do better to reach that one particular goal. Are scores a little higher in the open division? yeah maybe, but again that just makes me want to work harder and do better myself, rather than my happiness being dependent upon a blue ribbon.

                                If you want to take in money from giving lessons just check to see what insurance costs would be and make sure it covers your time too. But there isn't really any big shift otherwise. No one comes up to you after your ride asking how in the world you call yourself a pro. No one cares. You'll find way less scrutiny over in the open classes than you do trying to stay an AA. Now your mileage may vary but there is just way less drama over on the open side. It just makes everything way less frustrating to be open.
                                Thanks!! very nice and helpful post!! And sorry for using the word pro, I don't feel like a pro, but reading your post makes a lot of sense!!!
                                https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
                                https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Manni01 View Post

                                  Yes it is probably a control issue but it gets really confirmed by a lot of things I see around me.
                                  Once I let go of one of my horses I have no control about anything anymore. And I know by experience that everybody has their own ideas and will do it as soon as he gets the chance.

                                  Yes I believe that sound horses don't need any injections, but the next person might start with injections immediately because they believe in it in that age or because of that work load....or adjusting horses or retirement because they are so old anyhow.

                                  Also if there are any problems maybe because of any of their actions, they always have this perfect excuse, the horse was too old anyhow or had preexisting conditions or whatever.....

                                  People are not interested in listening to somebody who has a system which is working. Its not about the horse and to keep the horse sound and happy but its about their believes and their ideas....

                                  Thats totally ok with me, But I just would not like it happening to one of my horses.... I had most of them all their life or for a long long time. I simply cannot believe that anybody just taking one of the horses knows better how to manage them.... And I prefer to not surrender them to somebody who is turning them into a sick and dying horse.... But don't worry that would really be the last thing I would do, I´d rather turn pro for them in order to avoid this situation.....

                                  But thank you for your extremely kind post in your very personal style....
                                  I guess I am ok remaking my system given more information, I never assume my system can not be changed or improved, but I am a scientist so I accept change in veterinary science and knowledge.

                                  I don't understand this
                                  "Once I let go of one of my horses I have no control about anything anymore".

                                  I'm sorry you feel that way, you might want to talk to a therapist or pastor?

                                  Best wishes

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by SendenHorse View Post

                                    I guess I am ok remaking my system given more information, I never assume my system can not be changed or improved, but I am a scientist so I accept change in veterinary science and knowledge.

                                    I don't understand this
                                    "Once I let go of one of my horses I have no control about anything anymore".

                                    I'm sorry you feel that way, you might want to talk to a therapist or pastor?

                                    Best wishes
                                    You can be very glad that you don't feel like that about your horse obviously. Makes life probably less complicated you can just rehome it, if you want to get rid of it ....
                                    https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
                                    https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Manni01 View Post

                                      Thank you very much for your kind post!! I know that I usually overthink things and when you write it it sounds so easy!!! I am done riding for today so now I can look into the policy which I will do. Thank you again!!
                                      Takes an over-thinker to help an over-thinker, lol.

                                      If you want to wade in slowly, just get a quote for the liability insurance. Heck, they might take your CC number over the phone and make it way too quick and easy to turn pro! They will send you a certificate showing proof of insurance, but once I had that policy set up and paid for, I'd consider myself ready to allow my first lessee to sign up for a lease that comes with lessons.

                                      It sounds like you want the horses ridden and cared for to your standards. IMO, there's nothing wrong with that, plus have them leased to people on your farm AND to people who want you to teach them to ride those horses as you have made them sounds ideal for your purposes.

                                      There will be other problems with leasing, with lessons and (perhaps) getting people to come and *practice* enough what you teach them. But those are separate issues that are more related to leasing than to being a pro and offering lessons.

                                      The only advice I can give on this point is to be clear up front, even if you sound a bit firm. You might as well discover up front who doesn't actually want to follow through with the learning to ride well and keeping your horses fit and tuned up gig. A very nice way to put this that relates to lessons is this way: "My goal for any rider and any horse is to have them improve. That's why I made up nice horses and why I want to lease them.... so that they all can keep going. I don't have enough time to give each one the specialized attention he needs. If this is the kind of riding you want to do, this is a great lease for you. It comes with lessons for the same reason: The goal should be to improve."

                                      I ride horses this way and if I thought I could understand your teaching style and ride your horses, I wouldn't be scared off by the lease agreement, the lessons or the discussion of the lessons as part of a non-casual kind of lease.

                                      I hope you can figure out a way to get your horses lined up with the right people. It sounds like you have a great deal to offer someone who is hungry for knowledge. And good horses plus good instruction are getting hard to find in many parts of the country.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                                      • #39
                                        It does not seem to me like going pro/teaching lessons is the solution to the problem you have (overhorsed and you don't trust anyone else's program). It seems to me like the better solution would be just to find someone else's program you can trust the horses in. And if no one's standards on EARTH can truly meet your requirements, just let the horses be horses and don't worry about them being ridden "in a program." Ride them when you have time. You'll be reducing the wear and tear on them. You are personlifying it when you say horses want to have a job. They're find eating grass and being horses. Mustangs have managed to get by without doing dressage for hundreds of years you can still ride them when you have time/interest and in between-- let them be.

                                        And (a little tough love here) if you find people IMPOSSIBLE and NO ONE UP TO SNUFF that is not going to change when suddenly they're on your property. They're going to drive you MORE crazy. And you sound so inflexible, I can't imagine anyone is going to find themselves able to work with you. I don't see this being a practical solution. If no one is good enough... all you're doing is inviting the "not good enoughs" over to your home/sanctuary. I can't imagine trying to take lessons from someone for whom NO ONE ELSE on earth is ever good enough.

                                        You are rigid to a degree that is really hard to understand. There are NO professional programs ANYWHERE on EARTH that are suitable. None. No one can care for these horses like you can. No one, literally NO ONE is good enough. BUT you can't let the horses sit. You'd rather kill them than let them retire young. Do you not see a "control freak" level of rigidness there? I'm not trying to be mean-- just honest. NO ONE is good enough and death is better than not meeting your exacting standards to a tee. That's about as rigid as I've ever heard. That is not the attitude of someone who is going to succeed as a pro, giving lessons.

                                        I guarantee that there are programs that would do right by these horses. But nothing will ever be good enough for you. And you're entitled to feel that way. But be honest with yourself... that will STILL be true if you have people coming to ride your horses at your place, under your watch. They will still never be good enough for you.
                                        ~Veronica
                                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                                        • #40
                                          I'm sorry because it really seems like you're going through a lot. I do feel for you and I don't want to come off as harsh. But "no one can possibly do for these animals what I do for them" is what hoarders say. I think there are plenty of reasonable options (lease, sell, retire) if you would be willing to be a little more reasonable and a little less rigid.
                                          ~Veronica
                                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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