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Standard practice for trainer living on and training at facility

Hi. I’m looking to learn what the standard practices are (for fees) for a horse trainer renting a living space on a property and keeping personal horses there as well as bringing in horses for training.

I assume it’s pay for living space; pay for board for personal horses; horses in training pay board and trainer takes training fee.
But does the trainer typically get discounted board? (They are bringing in clients to facility who pay board)
Is there typically a facility fee paid by trainer?

Just looking to get an idea for what the standard practices are.

Thank you :slight_smile:

it can vary so greatly that I don’t think you can say there is truly a ‘standard’. but for example, my friend just took a job at a training/sales barn that, as part of her salary, includes a house on the property and a small barn for her personal horses, she just pays utilities for the house and hay/grain/bedding for her horses. there’s a salary as well, but I don’t pretend to know what that is. no facility fee for training horses she brings in.

No standard, but frequently there is a living space provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the trainer, and either free or reduced board on a specified number of personal horses.

It depends…

Some trainers have the housing included as part of their wages, some don’t.
Some trainers rent X number of stalls from the barn, to use as they see fit. Owner’s of horses in training would pay the trainer who in turn would pay the barn.
Some trainers get discounted board for the use of their horses in the lesson program.

Some trainers split the lesson fee based on if the horse is theirs, or if the horse belongs to the barn. Typically if it’s the trainers horse, they get more of a cut and vice versa.

I got that the trainer is working for themself not the barn owner. If that is the case you would pay for lodging and stalls. Usually though if you have several horses boarded you get a 10% discount.

If the trainer is employed by the barn owner, then the trainer might receive free or reduced rent for on-site living if there is an apartment available. Free or reduced rate board for a horse or two might also be included in the employment package. Obviously providing those things might decrease salary. There are tax benefits for both parties to providing on site living arrangements to employees.

If the trainer is not an employee, but instead is running their own business arrangements would typically be pretty different. The trainer would most likely pay fair market rent for an on site apartment, and also would typically pay board (or rent stalls) for any personal horses. The trainer could either pay rent for dry stalls and provide all of the care and management for the horses, OR the BO could provide and bill for board and the trainer could charge for training separately.

In some cases a BO might be willing to reduce board or give free board for one or two of a trainer’s horses if they felt that having that trainer there brought in a significant enough amount of profitable business. More frequently I have seen barter situations, where the trainer receives reduced or free board for a certain number of horses in exchange for training services for the BO’s horses.

Because boarding is typically a loss leader for other services, the decision of how to handle an on site non-employee trainer depends upon the finances of the particular situation. In general, the trainer benefits because they have the benefit of not needing to lay out the enormous capital investment (and risk) of purchasing, insuring and maintaining a facility.