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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

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What can assistant trainers expect to earn at horse shows?

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  • What can assistant trainers expect to earn at horse shows?

    I might have the opportunity to become an assistant trainer for a small "A" show barn and would like some advice on what I could expect to make at horse shows. In the past when I was learning the ins and outs of showing I would help my trainer out with everything at shows. Entries, hotel bookings, loading/unloading the trailer, setting up the show stuff and breaking it all down at the end of the show, warming up horses, check in with the gates, set jumps for students, be the first to arrive and the last to leave etc. I didn't have to pay trainer day fees on my horse and I considered this compensation for the level of worker I was (working student). The trainer and I would usually share a hotel room which I would pay for.

    Now that I am considering becoming a professional and would be an Assistant Trainer what should I expect for compensation on days we are at shows with clients? Would I be responsible for my own hotel cost because I brought my own horse to the show? Because we are a small barn I wouldn't have specific students I would coach at these shows but help out everyone on a daily basis. Would love to hear from trainers and how you compensate your assistants. Any feedback would be appreciated!
    Follwo my blog about going up the levels in jumping

    http://hunterjumperquest.org

  • #2
    You should talk to the individual offering the job. They can give you specifics. Every position will be different... they may offer something another barn doesn't and vice versa, so you should really go to the source. There is nothing wrong with asking for more details such as what expenses will be covered, what expenses you should expect to cover, and what types of compensation you will have.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you sure showing is part of your job? Lots of show barns hire assistant trainers to stay home while head trainer is at shows.
      Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by ToTheNines View Post
        Are you sure showing is part of your job? Lots of show barns hire assistant trainers to stay home while head trainer is at shows.
        Yes I would be going to shows for sure. We have talked about what compensation would be when we are at home but have not been able to discuss show arrangements yet. We will be ironing out the all the details next week. I just want to get an idea of what is fair so I can go to the meeting with some knowledge so I don't get taken advantage of.
        Follwo my blog about going up the levels in jumping

        http://hunterjumperquest.org

        Comment


        • #5
          Were stalls and grooming involved in the above? Because the list sounds long just to be compensated for schooling, but if stalls and grooming weren't involved it doesn't seem to be extraordinary work for schooling. Unless you are also receiving discounted board. I've done this.

          I've also been the assistant trainer. How will your job requirements change especially since you say you don't have specific students? If your work isn't changing I wouldn't see that your salary would change either? For instance, when I was an assistant I was paid per lesson/student at shows. When I was a groom I was just paid to groom.

          I've also been in the situation where I made a monthly salary, if this is your case I wouldn't think you'd be paid any more than normal except if you were required to go I would demand hotel/gas/some meals provided. WIll you make tips from clients for helping? The latter situation was the best for me financially. I had a set salary, and yes while hours did vary, I could count on what I was making. I was still required to fund my horse's travel to shows, etc. But, if I was required to over-night whether my horse was there or not, the clients paid for my hotel. They were expected/though not mandated to tip me.

          A lot can depend on the atmosphere of that barn. In the latter the clients would bring snacks, coffee, and lunch; they'd take us out to nice dinners and tip well. However, if clients aren't expected to do this, then I'd expect to be able to expense anything extra that you're required of to do that you wouldn't were you not at show so this would include eating out and hotel.
          www,pureformequine. Code CCR4 for 10% discount!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by ACountingRider View Post
            Were stalls and grooming involved in the above? Because the list sounds long just to be compensated for schooling, but if stalls and grooming weren't involved it doesn't seem to be extraordinary work for schooling. Unless you are also receiving discounted board. I've done this.
            We hire a groom for shows that take care of the stalls and grooming. Clients are not expected to tip me and I pay for all my own meals. My trainer doesn't own the facility we are at so discounted board is not an option.

            ​​​​​​"How will your job requirements change especially since you say you don't have specific students? If your work isn't changing I wouldn't see that your salary would change either? For instance, when I was an assistant I was paid per lesson/student at shows. When I was a groom I was just paid to groom."

            Right now I get paid in free training for my horse and do not pay day fees at shows (normal working student pay). However if I go pro I will start to be paid per lessons I teach and rides I put on horses; so no set salary. I would also still do all the working student duties as well like: turn outs, blankets, grain, grooming, tack up and down for trainer etc. So I'm just curious if I should ask for a small percentage of the day fees and my hotel cost covered. I would still pay my own entries fees, hauling, and pay my share of the groom.
            Follwo my blog about going up the levels in jumping

            http://hunterjumperquest.org

            Comment


            • #7
              Honestly, I’d just see what the trainer offers and then go from there. Too much you don’t know...since it’s your first paid in money opportunity, let trainer start the show assistant compensation conversation.

              But...what percentage of the lessons you teach and schooling rides at home will you be getting? Trainer bills client for your ride or teaching, client pays trainer, what’s your cut from trainer? That you should ask. Have seen as high as 75% and as low as 30%. 50 is about average..,and that does not apply to trainer owned school horse portion of the lesson fee. Just the teaching part.

              And get it in writing.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by findeight View Post
                Honestly, I’d just see what the trainer offers and then go from there. Too much you don’t know...since it’s your first paid in money opportunity, let trainer start the show assistant compensation conversation.

                But...what percentage of the lessons you teach and schooling rides at home will you be getting? Trainer bills client for your ride or teaching, client pays trainer, what’s your cut from trainer? That you should ask. Have seen as high as 75% and as low as 30%. 50 is about average..,and that does not apply to trainer owned school horse portion of the lesson fee. Just the teaching part.

                And get it in writing.
                I would get 25% of the lesson rate and about 40% of the ride fee. Trainer would add up my lessons and rides at the end of the month and cut me a check.

                Yes I think its a good idea to get this in writing before starting. Thank you!
                Last edited by OTTBheart; Dec. 6, 2017, 02:46 PM.
                Follwo my blog about going up the levels in jumping

                http://hunterjumperquest.org

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are traveling to a show as part of your job then I would expect your travel expenses to be taken care of (hotel, mileage, food per diem) on top of your job compensation.
                  **Stacey**

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                  • #10
                    Most of our assistants are salaried but when they go to the show, they get per diems. They are not tipped out by the clients but most clients do buy them lunch or dinner, often the head trainer will buy dinner as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by greysfordays View Post
                      Most of our assistants are salaried but when they go to the show, they get per diems. They are not tipped out by the clients but most clients do buy them lunch or dinner, often the head trainer will buy dinner as well.
                      Every time I read about assistant trainers being salaried it makes me cringe because they rarely--if ever will meet the test for an exempt employee...that being said, even if properly paid it would just be an hourly rate, OT and any commission type wages agreed upon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OTTBheart View Post

                        Right now I get paid in free training for my horse and do not pay day fees at shows (normal working student pay). However IF I GO PRO....
                        Bolding mine. Are you in the US? If so you are already a Pro under USE/USHJA rules. You are getting free training and show day care in return for teaching and training and you are 18+? If you are under 18, you are a junior and can do whatever until your show age hits 18. Canada is different but there is a cap on earnings or equivalent compensation IIRC.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Findeight is right, You already are a pro.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

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