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Halp - only in "hunterland" lease question

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  • Halp - only in "hunterland" lease question

    Thanks for the info - COTH is the best!
    Last edited by Amber_M; Sep. 12, 2018, 07:27 PM.
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  • #2
    Just to make sure I'm tracking...

    - Horse came from Out of State Barn and an owner that had no affiliation with kid previously and is now in Closer City Barn (CCB).
    - Kid had not ridden at CCB, nor with the trainer at CCB before horse arrived.
    - Parent signed a lease agreement with the owner.
    - Kid is still taking lessons somewhere

    Did parent sign a board/training agreement with CCB? Is owner ok with horse moving to somewhere other than CCB? Does the owner have some previous relationship with CCB? Is there another barn nearby that would be sufficient? Is horse suitable for kid? Horse is point and shoot, but does he still need to be exercised on days when Kid cannot come since it is two hours away?
    A proud friend of bar.ka.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Last edited by Amber_M; Sep. 12, 2018, 07:28 PM.
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      • #4
        Sigh. Sounds like your friend got taken. I'm willing to bet that the horse really isn't such a saint (or at least isn't under this trainer), and trainer is (at best) trying to make it a ride for your friend's kid. Hence the unwanted schooling at the shows and the hormone injections - injecting geldings with estrogen (IIRC) has been a go-to calmer in hunters up recently. Also willing to bet that trainer talked to horse's owner and convinced them that no one else could deal with kid + horse.

        I'm completely confused as to why your friend would finance such a lease for a horse the kid found online (seemingly without input from any professional) - IME one finds the trainer *first*, then trainer either finds the lease or has input. Alas, if it's a standard lease, there's probably no clause for money back if the arrangement doesn't work out.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Last edited by Amber_M; Sep. 12, 2018, 07:28 PM.
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          • #6
            I would expect several training rides a week, as well as pro-rides at horse shows for an "A show barn". And if I were the owner of said horse I would probably require this type of program. Given the lease fee you mention, sounds like a pretty nice horse and I would want to make sure it was taken care of commensurate with my experience at an A-show barn.

            Your friend and the new trainer jist need to get on the same page with respect to expectations. I'd recommend agreeing on a weekly schedule of training ride vs lessons vs hacks. Do the same for horse shows.

            It's not uncommon for even the most seasoned show veterans to be shown by a pro and get training rides.
            Last edited by snaffle635; Sep. 3, 2018, 01:04 AM. Reason: terrible typing
            ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Last edited by Amber_M; Sep. 12, 2018, 07:28 PM.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Amber_M View Post

                I have not been in this world since childhood, but I told friend to expect a lot of "management" etc. I just expected kid to be able to hack after a training ride? Is it common to restrict access literally to just hopping on before your show round (and not have that at all documented in lease)?
                Last edited by lmlacross; Sep. 3, 2018, 09:56 AM.
                "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                  I am no longer in the show ring and ride a rescue trashpony now <3

                  A friend at the barn has a daughter that is just getting into rated showing. I'll keep it as short as possiblet, but I knew this was a COTH question for sure.

                  Friend leased horse that was moved from out of state to show barn in closest city to us (~2 hours away). Lease fee is for 10 months, and is significant. Horse in question is 14 year old "Warmblood" Children's Hunter. Horse + rider + trainer combination is completely new.

                  Since horse's delivery, my friend has shown up several times at barn to be told her daughter "can't ride today" because he's in training. This makes no sense to friend because she has not asked, or even heard about someone else hacking/riding/etc this horse until he was going around in the ring when they pulled up for the first ride. Long story very short - lots of miscommunication, kid showing up to several days of their first show together to be told she isn't even allowed to hack that day bc the assistant trainer is showing him in the schooling (which they're getting billed for...) Several times of showing up to be told they are not allowed to ride the horse that day for this reason or that (all involving someone else riding him)

                  The lease has some vague language about horse being under said trainer's care, but doesn't dictate that the horse be in training. My friend has received several bills for training - one after she specifically said she was not interested in having the horse in training. Horse is point and shoot. Kid is doing mini jumps on a seasoned pro. He doesn't need a daily tune up.

                  Oh - he's also getting some kind of hormone injections that were not ever mentioned, and were billed directly from vet. Trainer neglects to explain what they are for, and owner isn't offering anything on the subject.

                  Basically it's a meltdown. Here's the question. What do you do?

                  Owner was open to moving horse, but after a formal request was made, now has said they want horse to stay with trainer.

                  Friend is adamant that child will not be returning to that barn because she's already heartbroken. They are only a few months into a mid 5-figure lease. I wouldn't ever be in this situation for a number of reasons, largely because I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on the privilege of riding a horse for a year... but if I did, I'd kinda expect to be able to ride it every now and again?

                  Eat the lease fee? Get an equine lawyer? I know this has probably happened a million times, but tell me - how has it played out?
                  First thing to keep in mind is, if the horse is a "seasoned professional" that is "point and shoot" and his lease fee is in the mid five figures, he is valuable. He is a six figure horse. To protect his value, the owner will most certainly require him to remain in a program with a professional trainer they trust.

                  If the trusted trainer thinks the horse will be best prepared for kid to show, with training rides that is the trainer's prerogative. Remember, owner has put trust in trainer for a reason.

                  Unfortunately, your friend, let's call her "Jane", doesn't have a lot of leverage in this situation. Trainer thinks horse needs training rides. Jane doesn't. Owner has relationship with the trainer. It is easy to see how this will go down. Jane didn't help herself by going to the owner and asking for permission to move the horse to a new situation. No doubt this information has found its way to the trainer.

                  You say Jane is a DIY'er and the kid is just getting into rated shows. It is possible the horse needs training rides because the kid is "un-schooling" the horse each and every time the horse is ridden. We simply don't know and it sounds like Jane doesn't know either.

                  As for showing up at the barn or the show and not being able to ride, it is interesting to note that there is no mention that the expectations of being able to ride were communicated from Jane to the trainer.

                  I sympathize with Jane's frustration, but it sounds like Jane is a bit naive. No one leases a six-figure horse to Mr. and Mrs. Smith without understanding who the trainer is and having faith in that trainer. Jane needs to have a "sit down" with the trainer. She needs to air out her questions about training rides, hormone shots and any other issues.

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                  • #10
                    I agree with all of the above. The horse most likely came with instructions on how to keep him a "point and shoot" ride, meds included. These instructions could have come from owner's trainer to leasee's trainer. Owner may not have even known all the fixes that her trainer included. That said it should have been written in the lease, but I would think that a calm, adult meeting between Jane and trainer could fix this.

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                    • #11
                      Schedule a meeting to sit down with trainer (no kid) and discuss the weekly schedule, maintenance needs, instructions from owner, etc. Most of this sounds like adults failing to communicate well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Amber_M View Post

                        I have not been in this world since childhood, but I told friend to expect a lot of "management" etc. I just expected kid to be able to hack after a training ride? Is it common to restrict access literally to just hopping on before your show round (and not have that at all documented in lease)?
                        My trainers spend most of their training rides undoing my amateur riding. For example, I struggle to keep my horses straight and trainers "fix" that. If I hacked after a training ride, I would undo all their work for the day.

                        And to be clear, at this level of competition, we're talking about tweaks and adjustments that are very subtle. If Mom and kid are fairly new to A shows, they may not see those adjustments. They might see "he jumped" not that he was perfectly straight, rocked backed on his jocks, had a lovely bascule, landed balanced, and cantered straight to the corner without bulging through the turn.

                        Sounds like the new trainer is doing her best to keep horse in tip-top shape and to set the kid up for success.

                        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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                        • #13
                          I would say it is fairly normal for a horse in full training to never be "hacked" by its owner/leaser. Typically rides are either pro rides or lessons, and the horse might get hacked one or two days a week by an assistant or working student. That is part of being in a "program" where a horse's work and progress are carefully planned.

                          I do most of my riding but even I can't decide on a Tuesday to just go for a trail ride when the horse was supposed to do gymnastics that day. It's all part of a program carefully designed for progress and fitness. I doubt the trainer is doing this to be "mean," and this is what the horse owner was expecting when they said the horse had to be in a program. They were expecting pro rides and lessons and that's it to keep the horse's training intact.
                          Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                          you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks everyone for comments!

                            Last edited by Amber_M; Sep. 12, 2018, 07:29 PM.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amber_M View Post

                              So friend is like - they're telling me all of these rules, none of which I signed up for... is this industry standard?

                              Thanks for everyone's input! Daughter was super excited to start showing at this level but is probably experiencing what we all do in some way - when you get to that "level", it's a little more grown up and a little less "fun".

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I completely understand how this is industry standard, because otherwise few ammies or kids would be able to keep a horse competing at this level.

                                But honestly it sounds so not fun. The more you pay the less you ride. If someone segued into this from a structured lesson program it might be more familiar, because it's just like being in a lesson program but on a much better horse and costs way more money.

                                But if you came from having a bit of cash to throw at trail riding and DIY, are used to being more self directed, landing in a program like this would be a real shock.

                                Is why you don't let your kid set up a 5 figure lease at a strange barn without a lot of discussion about the program.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by retiredhorse View Post
                                  . May not happen with this particular horse and lease, but there is a difference between training program that sets up horse for you to show and one that teaches rider to set up their own horse, still with training rides to keep everyone in track but the overall emphasis is more on learning how to ride than learning how to show and essentially stay out of the way of a well set up horse. That said, I'm not sure where you find these barns these days.
                                  This is a great point! I've tried to stay as neutral in my opinion as possible to be a good sounding board for her, I don't honestly think this is a case of someone being snakey and just trying to make money... I can see the point where if I'm trainer I'm focusing more on getting you as many ribbons in the 10 months you have this horse instead of focusing a lot on your partnership with him (even with purchase option, a lease is much more temporary)

                                  Thanks!!
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                                  • #18
                                    Friend needs to read boarding contract fully - what is included in that boarding contract. Here's the thing trainer cannot dictate 100% how friend is spending their money on showing this horse. Mutual decisions have to be made and any unilateral decision by trainer about taking horse to show w/o lessee's permission and authorization should be made clear it will be at the trainer or owner's expense. If you did not authorize injections, and vet is billing you directly - I would call the vet and say I was no aware nor did I approve of these injections so I am not paying. Period. I was billed for injections one time - and I don't care if trainer told vet to inject him - trainer's cannot spend a client's money without their permission. I called vet office and told them I was unaware of any injections, no one told me so they removed from my bill. Would any of us accept that our cable company automatically withdrew additional payments toward our account without our authorization. Absolutely not. Would any of us allow a car repair place to charge for repairs we did not OK? SO why on earth do we accept this from trainers? it's about communication!

                                    Friend needs to contact the owner and trainer to have a lengthy discussion about the lease. It makes absolutely no sense to pay all this money so someone else can ride and show this horse on friend's dime and friend's daughter gets zero benefit.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                                      Thanks everyone for comments!

                                      I think this is a classic case of my friend having zero clue of what she signed up for, and also their lease document is incredibly vague for the size of transaction. If it were mine, everything would be detailed to a T (how many training rides, who can ride when, who can do what, no jumping outside of lesson, whatever) but somehow this document the new trainer used is a one pager with more stipulations on what kind of vitamins this horse eats than anything else.

                                      So friend is like - they're telling me all of these rules, none of which I signed up for (legally or otherwise)... is this industry standard?.
                                      Honestly. It is unrealistic to have a lease that says horse will have X training rides per week. Only Y person can ride at ABC time, etc.

                                      Horses are individuals. Some need more. Some thrive with less. That is why the lessee hired a pro; to navigate and guide. The lessee sounds very naive. It is regrettable that lessee signed up for something she wasn't expecting, but when you are plunking down 40-60K for a lease, for the love of life, you really need to understand what you are getting yourself into.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by OneTwoMany View Post

                                        Honestly. It is unrealistic to have a lease that says horse will have X training rides per week. Only Y person can ride at ABC time, etc.

                                        Horses are individuals. Some need more. Some thrive with less. That is why the lessee hired a pro; to navigate and guide. The lessee sounds very naive. It is regrettable that lessee signed up for something she wasn't expecting, but when you are plunking down 40-60K for a lease, for the love of life, you really need to understand what you are getting yourself into.
                                        Like I said above, sounds like the whole idea was driven by the kid who really didn't know her way around the scene.

                                        Kid might well be competent to source a nice all round horse and locate a decent boarding barn. I was, in my early teens. But kid probably had no idea at all about life in high end hunter land.

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