Training: What it all costs.

Short answer:  Expensive, but not THAT expensive.
(Note: People seem hesitant to give this information publicly, so it is hard to compare.  I think the costs may be a bit higher for similar work on the East and West coasts than here in Spokane.  Australia?  If you have insider information to spill–please share below!  I don’t know what it costs now, but when I was going to Germany, training was roughly $1200-1500 US a month–far less than it was in the US, though the exchange was very good at the time.  To get my “finishing” education to a good international quality Grand Prix–and know how to recreate it, remember I started with all green horses–I had one or two horses in training year-round for about seven years.  Let’s see, without airfare or lodging, or buying the horses, that’s  about $151,000.  I already had my Bachelor’s degree (English, Colorado College) so I guess this was the Doctorate?)
Dale‘s training rates below for this year, effective March 1, 2013

A side note–I found an interesting article/website this morning about horse values.
I don’t know these people–not one bit!–but their logic seems very sound.  Worth a read.

If you don’t have time for it, the basic premise is that a top-value dressage horse is on target for certain tasks by certain ages.  Anything that deviates from this takes the value of the horse down–and that makes sense as the really sound and easy ones tick off their developmental tasks pretty easily and reliably.  Anything that complicates this (inept/inexact training or foundation, a weak gait, difficult character, soundness issues) tends to take time out of the equation.  That does not mean that the training or soundness-challenged horse cannot improve as it ages (hocks for instance) but that its value/price will be lower than the “easy” one who shows you who he or she is by six or seven.

That aside, here are current training rates–which I am happy to report are the same as they were in 1995!
(Talk about wage stagnation!)

Dale Forbes: Training rates 2013
(I define home barn as the one where I am boarding my riding or training horses.)
Lessons home barn: $50
Lessons at other local barns: $75
Clinic (excluding travel costs): $100 per lesson
Horse use–depends on the horse, typically $25.

Full time training (up to 20 sessions a month) $750  ($37.50/session. Can be lessons or training.)

Most of the barns that I work out of charge $450 for full care including hay, grain, bedding and facilities. Which makes the investment $1200 a month.

The barn that we use to do the early work
charges $250 for pasture board and $500 for full-time work, so $450 less per month.  Most young horses need 60 days preliminary work and then at least another 60 days to be reliably connected, walk, trot and cantering, both leads and happy in the work.

Two months of full-time training a year for most going horses will ensure they progress through the levels.  One lesson a week after that will keep things pointed in the right direction.  That makes a yearly training budget of about $350 a month–though of course that choice is up to the owner!

(Also keep in mind it takes a great deal longer to train the rider than the horse, but that most riders will really be happiest if the horse is mannerly and knows what to do–even when the rider makes mistakes.  Time spent training the horse is usually a wise choice.)

Dale Forbes
509 879-4619  (US PACIFIC TIME ZONE!)

The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished. ~George Bernard Shaw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s