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Do you pay your trainer to teach at shows he/she is competing at?

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  • Do you pay your trainer to teach at shows he/she is competing at?

    If you go to a show with your trainer and are paying them to coach you, is it acceptable for them to be riding at the show as well? Do you feel like you are getting a bad deal because the trainer can't focus on you as much?

  • #2
    I think it would depend on what the specific arrangement was.... if I was paying for their undivided attention, I would not expect them to be competing, but (for instance) at my barn students pay a nominal coaching fee with the understanding that I will try to warm the up/watch their tests and rounds, but at times I may be otherwise occupied.

    I think it would be hard for a trainer to only ride at shows at which they had no students..... for one thing, there are only so many events, and for another there are only so many weekends!

    Third Charm Event Team


    • #3
      I've had events where I didn't get as much instruction/coaching as other riders (either because coach was riding, or other riders needed more instruction, etc), and in those cases was charged less for coaching.


      • #4
        I think it's fine. My trainer charges a per-ride coaching fee at shows, so if she can't warm me up because she is riding (or is warming up another student for say, xc, while I am warming up for dressage) then I warm up on my own and don't pay her for that ride. If she makes it and I get help in warm up, great! If not, no biggie. I like having someone to help me warm up, but I don't necessarily need it. Hopefully she's already given me all the tools I need to do well at the show, otherwise what are we doing there?
        Balanced Care Equine


        • #5
          If my trainer is riding, we don't pay her expenses for being there, and sign up on a per warmup/course walk basis.

          If she's not riding, the same per warmup/course walk applies, and we split her gas/hotel/food/dog sitter.
          Big Idea Eventing


          • #6
            It depends. If she doesn't have time to school me for a given phase, I'm pretty sure I don't get charged for it. But to be honest I don't go over my bill with a microscope--there are plenty of "extras" I get that I'm never charged for. It all comes out in the wash.

            I'm pretty used to competing by myself, and have only had a real coach for the past 2-3 years, so I can handle a warmup solo if I need to. Her business is being in the sport, and part of that is her competing, so I certainly am not going to feel like I'm getting a raw deal if she's showing the same weekend as me!
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              My trainer is always competing at the events that she coaches her students at. However, she makes a huge effort to be there for everyone (ie running the xc course to watch you go and then run to the next person) and she is willing to be flexible and warm up in different areas if need be. At one event this spring I warmed up with BN riders about to go cross country because I was the only one going stadium at that time and that was fine. I can warm myself up but it is nice to have eyes on the ground and because she knows my horse so well it gives me confidence as well. For our fee we also get a private or semi-private lesson on Thursday or Friday and she will ride our horses to tune them up one last time if needed.


              • #8
                I do not compete at events/shows where my students are competing.

                The reason? I teach the beginners - from the first time on a pony to the first walk trot class to the first BN....on up to Prelim when I send them to someone else.

                Every time I have tried to compete at a show where my students are riding, the horse I am riding has gotten the short end of the stick.

                Now, when I compete, I use the "cafeteria" approach - I may, for example, pay someone to warm me up for dressage only, or may even have different coaches for 1 or 2 phases.


                • #9
                  Some coaches I have worked with have a sliding scale, others don't charge, others do. For me, this isn't a consideration in coach selection and usually if they do charge, it evens out as DW said. If I felt I was paying a lot for services I didn't ever get, I would raise a question about it.
                  OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                  • #10
                    Don't see a problem with trainers competing at same shows and in the case of eventing it allows the riders to be autonomous, unlike in the hunters/jumpers where the rings are always being held up because of trainer conflicts etc.

                    I love that many trainers provide a la carte fees - X fee for dressage, x for SJ and X for cross country walk/warm-up, and a flat rate for all phases.


                    • #11
                      Our trainer is not a "hand holder" if you know what I mean. It's your job to get ready but she'll school you, walk the course, coach, etc. If she's competing, we pay less, but it's still on a "per phase" basis. If she's competing, she pays her hotel bill, if she's not, the "team" splits the bill. I'd say it's fair. Her time is valuable and if she wasn't at a horse show, she could be with her family or relaxing.
                      "There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots."
                      -Member of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique!


                      • #12
                        If it works out division wise, my trainers usually ride at the event I'm competing at. Makes it cheaper because otherwise the trailer usually doesn't fill. I usually end up working a bit- stalls, waters, ect and in return they will help me out if they have a few free minutes. But I dont expect them to be there the whole time, it just wouldn't be possible with the conflicting schedules.
                        RIP Charlie and Toby


                        • #13
                          Shows? Or events? Don't know the norms here, but at a show it would be very normal that a trainer would ride.


                          • #14

                            HT mine charged standard 50 bucks a day.

                            I later stopped paying and asked to not be coached because I thought it was a rip off. Basically at a show your are paying a coach to stand there and say things you should already know...or set fences.

                            Not to long after I was out on my own...

                            If I were a coach I would charge a an individual fee for each warm up/course walk.
                            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wlrottge View Post
                              she could be with her family or relaxing.
                              Totally OT, but you made me laugh. Of course you are right, being with your family and relaxing are often mutually exclusive.


                              • #16
                                I also agree on the situation.

                                Typically I don't take students to the same shows I go to. I may take anywhere from 3-5 students to a show, which keeps me busy enough.

                                This year I had a young horse I wanted to get out a few times. I registered for shows that I had no one or few to take. I talked to them about it in advance, brought extra people to help with things like grooming, holding horses etc, so I could run around in between my own rides/warm-ups and be there for my students to school them, read for them and be there to 'debreif' after their rides.

                                I also discounted their show fee's a good chunk....even though truthfully I think they got more attention in that situation then they would have if I had 4 other students and not been riding!
                                Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
                                Full Time Dressage Addict


                                • #17
                                  The only time I compete is if I am just taking green horses I do not want to have anyone else on because of the horses' training and rider safety. But I never go with those horses to compete to win. I am going to train the horse. But honestly, I only compete if my classes are pretty separate from the students' classes.

                                  Normally, I do not compete. But as someone else said - most of my riders are beginner-intermediates. When we go to schooling events - I sometimes take a horse - sometimes being there to demonstrate helps at those types of events.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by IFG View Post
                                    Totally OT, but you made me laugh. Of course you are right, being with your family and relaxing are often mutually exclusive.
                                    Well, if you knew our trainer, you'd understand, lol. We've never meet a more professional horse person! Not to mention she does the best job of balancing life with and life outside of horses of anyone we've ever seen, pro or amateur. For a rider/trainer who's been there and done that (Rolex and long listed for Olympics plus plenty more), I find it quite impressive. Most horse people are just off their rocker ;-)

                                    BOT (Back On Topic). I see a direct correlation between schooling and performance at the show. Susan does a great job of getting the riders to remember the little things that make huge differences. They're thinking a/b when to be in warmup, bit checks, whip checks, show nerves, is my girth tight, stock tie nice, etc. She helps them remember the fine points. They get the miles, she reminds them to get the inches too.

                                    Since she's been injured and not eventing the last year, you realize how much time they do give up to come be with us at HT's. Sure, they enjoy it to a point but how much fun is being at a hot, dusty horse show with 6-8 stressed out riders when you could be sitting in a chair next to the lake with a cold drink??? IMO it's about respect. Respect for the trainer that their time is valuable (more than just the money) and respect for the rider that the trainer realizes that "we" pay for their time and want that to mean something as well.
                                    "There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots."
                                    -Member of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique!


                                    • #19
                                      FWIW, If I'm taking students to a local show, I will not to bring a horse. Too much chaos. If we're traveling, I usually try to bring one to make it more more worth my time/expense, but do not ask them to pay my expenses, only schooling for the day.

                                      The caveat is that I only bring a horse if the show can accommodate my ride times so that I'm available to coach my students when they need me (we only do unrecognized/schooling shows at this point.) Poplar NAILED it when we went there- I was eons away from my students, giving me ample time to warm them up, go up, get my guy ready, warm him up, ride, put him back, be back in time for my kiddos, go back, get my guy etc. Kudos to them.
                                      Big Idea Eventing


                                      • #20
                                        I teach and ride but also have 2-3 other trainers who my clients feel comfortable with and will even takes lessons with them so we have a network that covers students if I am riding or at the last show had 11 running there were bound to be conflicts so sometimes my students will walk or be coached by another trainers and it really works out well... I bill the clients mostly and pay those other coaches. It's nice also to know my clients can go to a show I am not and be happy and feel comfortable.

                                        They do not split my food but do split my hotel room which I share very often to make it more economically friendly.
                                        To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart