Professional handler co-op?

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whitney

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Looking for a way that the small time owner can AFFORD to have their horses shown.

Any ideas out there?

edited to add

Would the professionals be interested if the co-op could guarantee 20 horses.

Anyone in another type of co-op that could give us ideas on how to set it up?
 
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squeaky

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I thik with the rising costs of gas, and the slowing economy, it will be tough for the small time owner/breeder to afford having their horses shown. My only idea is if you could work out a trade with a professional handler (i.e. for part of the cost of showing your horse, see if you can do work for the handler).

On a side note: While it may seem overly expensive to have someone show a mini, it doesn't even come close to what other breeds have to pay. I work with a dressage trainer, and they have at least 3 different associations they have to join (and with USEF all of the sub-breeds/disiciplines are needed in order to compete), and then office fees, region fees, dog fees and such. I recently was filling out an entry form, and for a two day show, with four classes (training level classes, FEI is even more expensive) the total came out to be about $600.
And that was for one horse. It makes me appreicate the mini shwos that much more, and how straight-forward everything is (no hidden fees and such). Sorry to go on, it just makes me appreicate our shows that much more, and makes me put a little extra effort into preparing for the show (for both me and the horse).

Amanda
 

Bess Kelly

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At this time I am not showing -- either self show or trainer.

However, when I did show several yrs ago and usually 2-4 at a time, I can tell you that the ONE THING which was worth every penny was my trainer!!

I actually ruffled his feathers a little one weekend when I inquired of other trainers what their fees were per horse -- naturally, those trainers went to him and said "hey, she's shopping!" :DOH!
Couldn't have been further from the facts......I was shopping to see if I was paying enough
So, I then presented him with a contract to pay a BONUS to them based on certain criteria. Let me tell you, he did get bonus money!!!
And I was happy to pay it. Great horses were provided but, the work it takes to make them all that they can be is valuable. My animals were always treated well and presented beautifully. I was new to mini shows and at the time, so was my trainer just starting up a string -- most know him, Lee Crutchfield... he is family to me!
Hubby & I went to most shows and helped where we could (often just leading, helping bathe, etc) and I made it a point to keep my trainers FED. There just was no time between classes with several client horses to get what you should -- let's face it, burgers are not good every day! -- so I always packed my motor home with healthy snacks and lots of homemade meals. I saw to it that good food was provided during the day. It was one of the things that made me feel like I was "doing my share".

So -- I'm not sure what kind of "co-op" you are thinking but, a good trainer deserves paid.

Now, if you are thinking along the lines of a "co-op" that might be benefit to share transport expenses by sharing a trailer, or group training, human meals, etc., you may have some takers. Look to a local club and see what is going on with clinics or other farms/owners, close by that may want to share experiences, etc.
 

sundaymom

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As many will perhaps remember I talked about going to my first show in June. I have waited many years to finally have something I thought good enough to attend a show and enjoy it. This was going to be the year I went to a couple of shows...you know, me time. Lol

Well the cost for my two girls...shots, coggins, health certificates, (mares went also), show halter, fees for stall and classes, all the extra foo foo came to $658.00. Now that was for the first show and everything and if I could have gone on to others it would have lessoned but...

The ecconomy and helping my kids and grandkids popped up, also my 87 year old mother declined this summer and has begun having dementia..you know life things.

I would have loved to go and do more shows myself, just didn't work out for now. I thought long and hard of sending the girls to a very nice trainer that wanted them but there again...money.

So whether I could even go the co-op thing or not, I think it is a great question to ask about and get people to thinking about. Without good questions we can't find good answers for people like me and I'm sure many others.
 

whitney

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I also think trainers are PRICELESS you are paying for their YEARS of experience.

I'm just trying to brain storm ideas.........

If you could provide 20 paying horses to a young up and coming trainer at say 3000.00 per horse thats 60,000 a year. Give the trainer the option of accepting or declining the horse.

Owners pay monthly into co-op say 250.00 a month. I think for ALOT of small owners this is definately doable.

Also another idea when the shows are in their area they bath and bodyclip for the co-op.
 
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Lisa Strass

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I also think trainers are PRICELESS you are paying for their YEARS of experience.

I'm just trying to brain storm ideas.........

If you could provide 20 paying horses to a young up and coming trainer at say 3000.00 per horse thats 60,000 a year. Give the trainer the option of accepting or declining the horse.

Owners pay monthly into co-op say 250.00 a month. I think for ALOT of small owners this is definately doable.

Also another idea when the shows are in their area they bath and bodyclip for the co-op.
I'm not sure how this is much different than a lot of trainers now. I think you'll find quite a few trainers out there that will take outside horses for around $350/mo plus show expenses.
 

whitney

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THANKS for posting Lisa

The only difference is the co-op member would be able to spread the cost over a 12 month period making the monthly payment doable. Granted the training fee is 400 a month but then you add another 400-600 to that for show expenses and 800.00-1000 for 4 or 5 months is OUTSIDE my means. The co-op could also give the member experience at body clipping and show prep with a professional to guide them.

I can see this helping all concerned the professionals the rookies and above all else the associations I'm sure attendance at the shows would go up.
 

strass

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Whitney,

Grandpappy always told me that the only things not negotiable in life are the things that you are too scared to ask for.

Your well-established trainers have developed a method that works for them, but they are usually willing to listen to ideas. There are plenty of young trainers out there that might be open to trying something a little different to fill a barn.

When Lisa was young, she worked as a groom for a trainer and learned a lot. She'd also volunteer to show anything that she could get her hands on for experience. There's always someone looking for some kind of manual labor at the big shows. If you are willing to work hard, you might be able to trade that for some of the fees.

Ask around. The worst that can happen is that they say no. Don't get depressed if they do. Sometimes they need to get to know you better before they are willing to take a chance. This is, after all, their livelihood and you'll need to be respectful of that. (I'm already pretty sure that you will be.)
 

Vertical Limit

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I am going to make a comment here and it comes from years and years of watching people throwing money away...even with trainers. Take it or leave it but eventually people see that what I am saying is usually the honest truth.

Don't send your horse to a trainer just because he might be $100 less than another....just a figure off the top of my head just to prove a point.

If your goal is to win at Nationals just send that horse to the best if you really want to take that horse to their fullest potential. You can call it politics or whatever you want to call it. The top trainers are the top trainers for a reason. Their horses are usually in the best shape, the best trained and the best presented horses out in the ring and that is why they get their pick of the best. You can send your horse to that "budget" trainer and save every month and MAYBE get a prize on the National level or you can spend that little extra and KNOW that if you do not get a prize, at least you gave it your best shot and you are not wondering about what could have been. I would almost bet if that top trainer agrees to take your horse to Nationals that you will probably bring home a Top Ten.

Showing horses as a whole is such a huge expense. Minis are really, really cheap compared to other breeds so believe me I know how expensive it is as I have not missed a US National show in close to 40 years now.

I probably would have quit a long time ago if I did not figure out what it takes to win.........and of course having a great horse is #1 on the list. Even a good trainer can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
 

strass

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Excellent point Carol.

I wasn't trying to discount the top trainers or imply that "one is as good as another", but I see where my last post almost sounded like that.

Indeed, sometimes you truly do get what you pay for.
 
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txminipinto

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I also think trainers are PRICELESS you are paying for their YEARS of experience.

I'm just trying to brain storm ideas.........

If you could provide 20 paying horses to a young up and coming trainer at say 3000.00 per horse thats 60,000 a year. Give the trainer the option of accepting or declining the horse.

Owners pay monthly into co-op say 250.00 a month. I think for ALOT of small owners this is definately doable.

Also another idea when the shows are in their area they bath and bodyclip for the co-op.
The problem with this is the trainer can't break even. I charge this amount plus the owners are responsible for their own show fees, vets, etc. I can tell you that there's no way that $250/month/horse could possibly cover training/feed/deworming/farrier/etc/plus show fees. Training just isn't something you can "co-op". Unfortunately, horses are just a luxary item that require additional funds to promote. I've never added it up per horse with training and shows, but it's easily $5,000/yr.
 

Vertical Limit

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Excellent point Carol.

I wasn't trying to discount the top trainers or imply that "one is as good as another", but I see where my last post almost sounded like that.

Indeed, sometimes you truly do get what you pay for.
LOL! Strass, I have say that I wasn't making reference to your post at all. I agree with you...anything is negotiable. I know I have had to be real "creative" to get where I am today. Just making a point that I have found to be true. I love helping people get to their goals quicker than they would by themselves with no help. I hate seeing people throwing money away because their good horses were not presented properly and all for the sake of saving a few hundred bucks. It's so sad!!!!! I have had people get really put off with my blatant honesty...but again they thank me in the end. At least most of them and the ones that don't are not worth my time. I LOVE to see the expressions on their faces when their numbers are announced as winners! It's just too d**n expensive to lose!

I have seen to many budget type trainers talk people into taking horses to Nationals that have NO business going just to make a few bucks more. Yes, that is how a trainer makes a living, but I can't stand to see all the people that get sucked into some of the BS either.

And Carin...I couldn't agree more.
 
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Jill

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If you could provide 20 paying horses to a young up and coming trainer at say 3000.00 per horse thats 60,000 a year. Give the trainer the option of accepting or declining the horse.
That's SOOOOOOOO much more in terms of time and effort than a 40-hour a week job, at much less than many people can afford to earn per year.

Carol, as usual, your points are right on!

Additonally, it would be hard for "one" source (trainer or farm) to show 20 horses w/o basically being your own competition. Only so many divisions for halter, etc. Huge potential for hard feelings towards the trainer and between the "co-op" members.

I like though the theme here, of thinking outside the box.
 

crponies

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$60,000 a year is a low amount? Wow, I feel like I must live on a different planet. I know that's way more than my dad has ever made (he's a pastor) and way more than I probably will ever make too as a Christian school teacher. Of course, God has always provided for us anyhow and we've never gone hungry and always had a roof over our heads plus enjoyed extras too.
 

Jill

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It's for sure something that varies place to place and person to person, but I think it would be hard for someone to live modestly in my area with that income alone.

Edit: Just crossed my mind, if the $60,000 is for only a 4-6month show season, "maybe" it would be worth it to someone. I don't know. I had initially just figured this was a suggestion for a 12 month period of time.

Also, I think it would be a tired to your bones proposition to train / condition that many horses as just one person.
 
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wildoak

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$60,000 a year is a low amount? Wow, I feel like I must live on a different planet.
Depends on the overhead - lots of expense involved in keeping a horse in training year round, as opposed to an office job, teaching, whatever we do. That $60,000 would be gross income, what the trainer actually put in the bank would be far less.

Jill makes a good point - you are talking yearly income whereas show season, depending on what part of the country you are in, is months less.

Jan
 

whitney

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THANK YOU everyone who responded! I'm just talking halter here.

Yes I was thinking the same as Jill 5 months, 2 months to train and 3 months of showing is that right?

You need 2 shows to get nominated to nationals and then nationals, so each horse shown 3 times?

All routine expenses shots, worming, teeth, farrier are paid for by owner and not included in 250.00.

Can a handler show 20 horses? I understand they would only be able to accept a certain number of each age and sex.

I would be SO willing to do the GRUDGE work and I believe alot of owners would be too. I believe with the locked in price MANY people could budget for it therefore be more willing to give it a go.
 

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