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n GEORGE: There are as many financial arrangements as there are horse/rider/owner combinations. Every party has to be comfortable with no one feeling taken advantage of. It’s difficult if you are just starting out because sometimes you are so happy that you have someone to support you and believe in you that you’re not attentive to the pitfalls.

n BETSY: Speaking as a business owner, when I was getting my business going, I sold myself short because I needed work and clients and to establish my credibility. Owner/trainer relationships are business relationships and need to be entered into on the basis of what each side needs. These needs can be different as the days of the week. After the arrangement is made, keep talking over how things are going. Have either scheduled periodic reviews or make them more informal, but communicate before things escalate.

n DARREN: Each situation is unique. I’ve had some horses that better come with a big pay check or I’m not throwing my leg over them. Usually the owner pays for everything. But there are more special deals going on than you think. A quality horse may create a special situation. The owner may not expect a bill for every braid job. If someone pays my rates as on my price sheet and

at the end of 90 or 120 days the person wants to sell the horse or change trainers, they pay the bill and move on. Suppose the owner says it would be a dream come

true to watch you compete my horse, but I can’t afford your training rate. I say I too believe in your wonderful horse, and it would do well for my career to ride your horse. I’ll charge you 50% of the going rate and forgive this and this charge, and I’m going to try to get this horse to Burley next year. Then along the way the owner decides you’re not as successful as he thought or he has run out of the money, or someone made him a better offer. He says, Darren, I’m going to take my horse back next month or sell the horse. I respond that we have to go back six months and rebill. He owes me money. The owner had asked me to put sweat equity into the animal, and the law recognizes sweat equity. This is where things can go wrong. When there are special terms to the relationship, they should be written down with a starting point and an ending point which is the opportunity to renegotiate.

48 September/October 2009

n DANIEL: When I was younger I made special deals, like riding horses for free because I wanted nice horses or because I’m a nice guy and I have trouble saying no to friends or because I wanted a ride on the horse. I’ve tried with sale horses to have the owner just pay expenses and I take care of the horse for free. I’ve had an owner pay show expenses and I ride. Now, those situations don’t work for me. I’m sure I’ve lost owners, but in the long run it’s financially more stable and less wear and tear on my body. If I rode my friends’ horses for free, I would be old and tired before my time. Now I’m up front that it’s a terribly expensive sport and I run it as a business. Here is the price sheet. I break down what it costs me to feed, ride and shoe a horse. If people say this is so expensive, I show them that I don’t make money boarding, and we make money showing and training. Most people understand. When just starting out or for future business, it might

be okay, but personally I advise against it. Word gets out and soon you get a whole barn of free horses. Of course, if someone called me to sell the Horse of the Year, I might work something out.



n DARREN: It’s obviously poor taste and poor business for anyone to discuss intimate details of a business relationship with anyone else.


n DARREN: It’s not good ownership practice to put undo pressure on the rider to get results. The horses I’ve gotten the biggest results from have had the most sketchy beginning, and my focus has been on building the relationship while training the horse. Real rewards follow. If you go to every competition thinking about the day, about how do I win this weekend, this may steer you off the course of your long term goal. If you are going to win the six competitions before the Olympic games and the Olympics, you are probably going to be disappointed. If the six competitions before you’re going to the Olympics you concentrate on ridability, soundness, and giving the horse a good confidence building go, you will peak at the Olympic Games. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
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