Clinic costs

My barn is working on putting together a 2 day clinic for the spring. We’re considering a few big name, well-respected clinicians (not quite GM big, but close). We are hoping for about 20 riders, split into 4 groups (2’, 2’6", 3’, 3’6+" most likely). Our barn has a lovely indoor with top-notch footing and beautiful, show-quality jumps. The clinic would not include food (local IHSA team would sell concessions as a fundraiser) or stalls ($25/day, so $50 total, no haul-in fee).

As we put together our budget, I’m trying to balance the need to make a little money with the realities of our location. Our area is not particularly hunter-jumper focused (about 5 h/j exclusive barns in the immediate vicinity), but we are 1.5-2 hours from a very h/j area.

Knowing all that and assuming the clinician was someone you liked, what would you pay for this clinic?

$400 - $600 sounds about right to me.

your budget is really dependent on what the clinician is going to charge You. some of them will want you to pay all their travel expenses including overnight accommodations and meals. so the best thing is to get in touch w/a few of the clinicians and then take it from there

Agreed. I think our choice of clinician will be partly colored by what the market will hold though. If people wouldn’t pay more than say, $300 we’d be more likely to choose someone who charges less or lives closer than if people would pay $650. Just curious what COTH thinks is reasonable.

How will COTH know what people in your area are willing to pay for a clinic?

As all the boarding/lesson/trainer rate threads show, things can be very different from one part of a state to another, let alone from one state to the next. A person in an area that thinks $100 for a reasonably good not big name trainer lesson is a good price might be willing to pay a very different price for a clinic than someone who thinks $35 for a lesson is crazy high.

Could you send emails to the trainers at the local barns and get a feeling for what their clients are willing to attend?

Clinics in our area are about $450.00 and include lunch both days usually , stalls are extra,. They are 2 days. Past clinicians have included , Joe Fargis, Scott Hofstetter, Bernie Traurig, and Julie Winkle. We are in the middle of nowhere . Other Hosts have charged $800.00 for the same clinician . The Fee depends on how much your client base can aford or is willing to spend and how much profit you want to make . I would send out an email to all trainers with in a 2 hour haul and see who they would be interested in allowing thier clients to ride with. Also note, most clinicians decide how many riders are in each section and I haven’t seen many who do more than 3 sessions . It is not uncommon to have 6 to 8 riders in each section. If you have a clinican that lives with in driving distance it would probably be easier to run 4 sections then having one who has to catch a plane try to fit that in.

I will say that if it is the right name, people will be willing to travel several hours, especially if stabling etc are nice.

One possible concern is timing. If the bigger outfits are just returning from winter shows, they may not have as many people to participate. Spring clinics are a great way to get ready for show season and a BNT can really advance many horses ad riders.

I’d put out feelers as to who might be interested. Remember that while the opportunity to train with a BNT is great, some trainers don’t like their students attending because it tends to demonstrate weak points in some programs.

I think that’s definitely a good idea. From what I’ve seen on this thread, the price we were putting in our model budget looks about right - we were aiming for $400-$500. Of course I don’t expect COTH to come up with a super specific number for my area, but I wanted to make sure our thinking wasn’t way off base.

Thanks for all the responses guys, it’s helpful to see what other areas are like. Particularly Mike - good info on the number of sections, and it sounds like your region is similar to where I’m at.

PS: Between the cost of the clinician , the air fare , the hotel , rental car or car service ( Or a volunteer to drive the clinician back and forth, and this is better ) the cost of meals, Usually 2 dinners, two breakfasts and 2 lunches ( breakfast and lunch can be provided at the host barn unless the clinician asks for some thing else ) . At the price we charge , for 18 participants and supplying breakfast and lunch we usually break even unless we get alot of auditors , Those we charge $40.00 per day but they also get breakfast and lunch .

When calculating the price, I’d recommend you also consider what happens if you have last minute cancellations and cannot fill the spot(s). That can eat away at any potential profit, or impact your ability to break even.

That being said, I have paid between 400 and 600 for a 2 day clinic for some big name riders/trainers.

In my experience this is not a profit-making scheme…I would aim to make a small profit and be happy with breaking even at the end of the day.

I live in an area like you describe and have attended one of the clinics Mike’s MCS put on (thank you!). I was happy to pay that for the clinicians she brings in and would attend them all if I could make the schedule work.

I agree, don’t expect to use a clinic to make a profit. However, you do need to either factor in a cushion or make at least some of the fee non-refundable should people bail out at the last minute and you can’t find replacements.

What the market will bear does depend on who it is–some people might pay $600 for clinician A but would pass on it for clinician B. However, some people wouldn’t pay $600 no matter who it is.

I wasn’t trying to insinuate it was a significant profit creator. It certainly is nice to get something for the effort. But you don’t want to go from, “Hey, I’m going to come out just ahead!” to “Oh crap, I have to cover XXXX of unexpected costs due to cancellations.”

DO make the clinic nonrefundable. everyone should understand – then if you are able to fill the spot, then you can be nice and give their money back, but if you can’t fill the spot, then you shouldn’t have to take the hit. Disclose it up front, then people know when they sign up what will happen. And do your best to work with them if a horse comes up lame and they need to switch groups with a different horse, as much as you can anyway.

I have paid for clinics I couldn’t ride in before! and horse shows. It sucks but it’s horses. I have also taken a different horse last minute and ridden in a different section – the organizer was terrific and fit me in a different group last minute (I love you LAZ!!!) Horses go lame at the worst possible times…always!

I organized a clinic with a BNR - they charged $2000 per day plus expenses, We were able to house the clinician so no hotel expenses. I think we had 22 or so riders, and charged $225 for 2 days. It filled right up. Only give refunds if you fill the spot…good luck

This is interesting. I know per our insurance we can’t have more than six people in a lesson and I always assumed that a clinic would have to follow the same rules. of course we do pay extra to be covered for insurance to host clinics, so perhaps there is a different standard for a clinic.

I have taken 2 clinics, with the same clinician, and it was around 380 I want to say, for 3 days (groups of 6, 2 hour sessions). We did stable there but I don’t remember being charged for it (this was back when my parents were footing the bills so it may have come through on my trainer’s bill to them). No food included.

I just did a 3 day Greg Best clinic, clinic was 690, there were 4, 2 hour sections of 2-3 riders and 1, 45 min private each day. Auditing was 25/day or 50/weekend. Stabling was 25/day haul in fee 10.

ETA: Host barn had breakfast pastries and lunch for a small fee.

I just did a two day clinic -at our barn- but with an outside clinician. $400 for two days lunch included.