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Trainers Looking for Facilities, etc.....

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  • Trainers Looking for Facilities, etc.....

    Some may recall that ages and ages ago I posted musing on scaling back my training activities in favor of increasing my farrier business. Which is how it has ended up going--I shoe pretty much full time, teach some in the evenings and weekends, and have (theoretically) more funds for showing and such.

    It also leaves me with not much time for hauling out to lessons like I used to.... I have not had even semi-regular jump lessons in a loooong time, although I do manage to get to clinics and my horses are going great, so not suffering overly, but lessons do help me stay motivated....

    So, anyway, was thinking since I don't teach much anymore, and I have a perfectly nice 13-stall barn with a couple boarders, barn girl on premises, lighted ring (small), jumps, sj field, etc, would a UL pro who didn't have their own place be interested in trading lessons for the owner (moi) for a stall for their horse, access to a couple nice school horses, etc? Details Negotiable....Not a fancy or huge barn but I've managed to train through Intermediate and bring students to Prelim....

    Just brainstorming really, if anyone has thoughts about what might make such a situation appealing (or not) feel free to chime in.... Even another rider at the same level who wanted to focus on teaching (my small handful of students that i have left might even like a fresh perspective!) who could be 'educated groundperson' might be a possibility....

    Third Charm Event Team

  • #2
    I'm curious how this would be advertised . Reason being is that DH and I, in the discussions of what he's going to do with "retirement" (training, boarding), discussed having a trainer come in who does MY discipline and rent some stalls. We're planning a barn with probably 10-18 stalls, and it would be nice to have someone come in who would bring some horses and clients fairly quickly.
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


    • Original Poster

      I figured yard and groom, the area II and III websites/Facebook, that sorta thing...

      Third Charm Event Team


      • #4
        I'm sure someone will ump on it; I certainly would have back in the day; As a matter of fact my now ex business partner and I would have ; we were looking for just such an opportunity when we left Indiana!
        breeder of Mercury!

        remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


        • #5
          I'm sure you can find someone interested. You may find more interest in the younger pros, trying to get started in the business.

          I think the best thing you can do is really sit down and think about what you want (do you want them to rent the facilities? bring in their own clients? Just have their horse(s) there and teach? etc), and then put it out there. Be very upfront about what you want/need/expect with potential people, and make sure they are clear with you on what they are looking for. And, as always, EVERYTHING IN WRITING (can't stress this enough).

          I could see myself being intrigued by the idea if I were in that position. But I would want to be very sure the owner (you) and myself were very clear on what is expected on both sides. Been burned and seen to many others burned by not seriously good communication from the get go.


          • #6
            What would the standard situation be (sorry OP, don't mean to hijack too much). OP just said trade in lessons for her, and maybe take over some beginner lessons? In exchange for trainer to have one stall, plus use the OP's lesson ponies?
            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


            • #7
              I don't know. This is not a standard situation that I know of, so I don't know how you would make it work. I can see it playing out in a variety of ways, but I'm not 100% clear on what the OP is really looking for. The situation you describe is one way.


              • Original Poster

                Well, in re: my particular situation, trainer would get stall for their own horse, use of lesson horses (1 beginner-safe Training horse and 2 ex-intermediate horses), and could teach as they liked. No beginner lessons to take over, though there is probably a market if they are into that sort of thing. If they needed space for training horses that would be possible, and they could teach lessons at other facilities or bring in student boarders. My students might be interested in taking some lessons, possibly. May be some horses to ride/train/sell.... I have three nice youngsters coming up, and only plan to keep one....

                I am not familiar with a lot of trainer compensation packages, the only other one I know of is something like 4 stalls and living space in exchange for running the barn and trying to fill a 40 stall barn. I imagine a 4-star trainer who could fill a barn could expect accommodations for self and horse, salary and staff (in my dreams!)

                Third Charm Event Team


                • #9
                  Well, one way I would think of doing it is to just rent the facilities to them (if that's what you'd want to do), and let them run a business. It is a decent deal (if you really mean only "payment" for all of that would be to give you some lesson), but I know that I would rather have a base to work from, have clients with horses in training, and a place where I could teach out of. I don't know if I could make enough by just teaching on a couple of school horses.

                  It's an interesting idea. It will just take the right person to fill it. It definitely would not be for everyone.


                  • #10
                    You might think of making more than one stall available in case the trainer has clients of his/her own to bring in, as well as more than one of their own competing horses. I don't know too many trainers who need a whole bunch of school horses right off the bat that are more advanced animals . . . most trainers are looking for the "good as gold" types for up-down lessons. But that depends on their clientele. I'd think a trainer with enough students to need 3 very experienced school horses would probably have a good number of students with horses of their own needing stalls, too. Any room for more horses? Is your facility really "user friendly" for a trainer: lots of turnout, tack storage, wash racks, jumps, dressage ring, longeing area, indoor arena?
                    Click here before you buy.


                    • Original Poster

                      I could make more stalls available. I was thinking one stall mainly b/c a lesson or so per week would roughly equal the cost of boarding one horse, and figure if someone has the money to run a string of personal horses they are probably not going to be interested in a small facility like mine! But, if the hypothetical pro wanted to pay for more horses or had students with horses, room could be made; my youngsters can stay out on pasture. I don't have an indoor but they are not de rigeur down here; we have a small ring with all-weather footing, dressage letters, and lights, rails and standards for setting up jumps in there, and a grass jump field. I have three pastures and four paddocks for private turnout. Tack room, lounge, wash racks, live-in 'barn girl' who feeds, waters, does stalls and turnout. It works, but it's not big and fancy. Hence not sure if it would be worth advertising.... Might be one of those things where it would only meet the needs of, say, two pros in the entire country, and what are the odds that would be someone I'd care to ride with? Lol. Oh well it was an interesting thought.

                      Third Charm Event Team


                      • #12
                        Can I refresh this discussion? DH and I are searching for equine property in SoCal. One of the properties in contention has a 14-stall MD barn with ample turnout, big ring, very horsey area etc (plenty of eventing, H/J, dressage, foxhunting in the vicinity). I've put out a feeler to my current trainer on developing a business relationship (with an eventing/dressage focus) and there is some interest.

                        I'd want to keep 4 stalls for my personal horses- my foxhunter, a "project", and two ponies for my kids. I see two situations for the remaining 10 stalls- 1) lease as a package, full-stop, to an outside trainer and they manage everything or 2) I run the boarding aspect and trainer comes on-site to train clients. Only training boarders would be accepted.

                        Looking for pros/cons for me as the business/ facility owner, and pros/cons from the trainer's perspective.

                        Assume I would have all insurance, written contracts, etc in place. I have run my own place before and have managed a situation similar to scenario #1 where I rent out a facility to an individual party who manages everything and I simply get a check every month.
                        ~Living the life I imagined~


                        • #13
                          There are pros and cons to either of those scenarios.

                          Yes, if you rent the whole shebang to someone, you have little responsibility (I actually had a similar situation with a barn owner for awhile. We rented from her but had a couple of her ponies with us. We did some math and took off a certain amount of our rent each month since we basically full boarded her ponies).

                          But, with that situation you risk a tenant who trashes your place. And I speak as someone who WAS a tenant, and freaking good one. We were constantly either coming into places that had been trashed by previous tenants, or leaving only to find out that the next tenant trashed the place (a story of lore was when one of my teenaged boarders helped out our vet one summer, after we had left our beloved little farm for the farm a client bought. Vet and teenager went to the beloved little farm- a farm we would have all happily stayed at for eternity if not for what was supposed to be the best thing ever- to treat a horse. They walked into the barn, and the vet looked at the teenager and said "YB would s**t if she saw this place!" Some time later, after that supposedly best thing ever fell to pieces, some of our horses moved back...I did cry when I saw what that tenant did to that sweet little barn). Anyway, there are risks and benefits to renting. If you rent, be sure everything is CLEARLY WRITTEN OUT. This is SO important. Everyone needs to understand who is responsible for what. That will help a lot.

                          And, one thing that will help reduce the risk of your property being trashed is to price it so that your tenant doesn't feel they need to double or triple sell their stalls to make ends meet. Example: I have seen dry stalls at facilities around here being offered for $300 a piece...at facilities without indoors or decent accommodation. Realistically, around here, you can MAYBE get $650 for full board without a ring, but that extra $350 someone would get above the $300 for the stall will not go far. I know less scrupulous trainers would either take on a boat load of field boarders (whether they had the proper set up or not) or would put two horses in one stall (one in during the day, one in at night...neither owner really knowing) to make ends meet (there are some who'll do that no matter, too, but starting with a reasonable rental rate will help!).

                          As for the second scenario, it is a good one, but you'll most likely have to work well with the trainer. You are basically talking about barn managing for a trainer. So, you'll have to find someone you like and get along with, because they'll want to put their input in on their clients' horses. It may be less hassle, but you may also find yourself butting heads with someone.


                          • #14
                            YB- good perspective. We would live on site so I think some of your concerns would not be an issue, especially as ~1/4th of the barn would house my personal horses. Noted though, i would need someone in there who gels with how I like things done

                            Just did some back-of-the-envelope calculations based on local price of hay, bedding, board. I would be able to charge a very reasonable rent for the area, and still make just about the same profit off a 10-stall rental, as I would if I managed the boarding operation (and had to outlay for hay, bedding, labor etc) and simply had a trainer come in to teach the clientele.

                            I think this is one of those situations that will very much depend on the individuals and particular situations. I could see trainers who simply want to drop in and train, not worry about the horse-care aspects, and would prefer the boarding be managed by me. But I can see other trainers who would want to micro-manage every aspect of their clients' feed, training, and management programs, and would prefer to do a direct rental and then the BO would be somewhat distant in the equation.

                            Of course, with living on-site and having my own horses there, I would very likely be pretty involved with either scenario.
                            ~Living the life I imagined~


                            • #15
                              Really, it just comes down to personalities, on both ends. The best rental situation I was ever involved in (the one I mentioned above), had farm owners that were around, interested, and hands on, but who didn't try to tell us how to run our business, take care of our horses, or tell us we were doing it wrong. The worst situation was the non-horse person who promised us the moon and gave us none of it (bad on the boss for being too trusting and preferring handshake deals!). She also told us how to keep horses, run our business, and that our horses didn't need run in sheds (one of the promised things) because they never use them (I thought of that the other day when I walked by one of my client's horses, hanging out in his shed, on a rather lovely day!).

                              Communication is KEY.