Yes, I’ve done it. And the most recent time I thought it was a big success, although my parameters for success probably aren’t everyones’.
A little background: I bought a just started 3 rising 4 year old Feb of 2020 to bring along myself. He is a warmblood with really nice, and recognizable breeding for eventing, a very good if not excellent mover, obviously athletic, and well put together. He was less than 20K. By Summer of 2020 I heard he had a 2 year old full brother sitting out in a field (who was 2 year old awkward) and I went and bought him too for a reasonable price, brought him home, handled him everyday and let him grow up until we started him a little over a year later. In the mean time I was doing really well with Big Brother–good scores, good ribbons always in the hunt, school shows and recognized.
Last February I sent Little Brother to train with someone in Ocala (a trainer who 9 months a year lives 3 hours from me and whom I lesson with every once in a while.) The goal was to prepare and compete him in the 4 year old YEH Futurity. I have some physical knee issues and he’s such a big athletic mover I wanted someone to help me with him. For 8 months we passed him back and forth–2 months with her, 6 weeks with me, back to her, me, etc. He competed in a couple YEH divisions and a couple HTs with her, one HT with me having solid results. He grew almost 4 inches his 4 year old year which is not compatible with top caliber scores–but he is no doubt going to be the whole package and the real deal when grows into himself. I’m ecstatic with him.
But what truly made it a success for me? I’ve gotten every penny I’ve invested and more in his value. I’m riding a horse worth more than I invested in him. I don’t think if he was an average horse of average ability and potential that putting thousands of dollars in him would be very satisfying. If you could sell your horse, add what you’d put into training and get a better horse than the one you started with, you really need to think about it.
For what it’s worth, riding Little Brother in tandem with this trainer made me see a training hole I’d left in Big Brother. I had double knee replacement in December. Guess where Big Brother is while I’m getting myself ready to ride again?! I’m confident it will be totally worth it.
For success: It definitely helps to have a prior relationship with a trainer. Know that you have compatible training philosophies. Have realistic expectations. Then do an honest evaluation as to whether you would be making a financial investment in something that will retain at least some of that investment.