What does a horse trainer cost? And what does it cost a trainer to train your horse?
Have you ever had a horse trainer work with your horse? What was your initial knee jerk reaction when they told you how much one month of training was? *Gasp!* “What?? You want how much? How in the world could it be possibly worth that much?”
So, it’s worth exploring: What does it cost a trainer to train your horse?
- Horse trainers, day workers, and cowboys are generally considered self-employed, so they pay 100% of their taxes and social security and medicare.
- By using the Hay Cost Calculator, we know what an average horse will cost a month in feed.
- Your horse trainer may also put on a set of shoes for your horse.
- The property and pens that the horses are kept in need constant upkeep and maintenance
- That pesky manure has to be cleaned up and put somewhere!
- A trainer will use the training funds for the repair and replacement of all tack used
- Maybe you aren’t starting your own colt because you just know it’ll be a rough start, either because you know the horses’ genes or you waited 3 years longer than you should have to get something done with your horse? Well, the horse trainer is taking on the full brunt of the wide variety of dangers that are present when starting and riding a young horse. There is some likelihood that tack will be damaged. And if your special, sweetheart is literally scared to death of the site of a flag or a dog running up behind him, there is potential for bodily injury.
Take a look at what the breakdown of each dollar paid to a horse trainer looks like:
Download the spreadsheet Horse Training Costs here if needed.
If you are a horse trainer yourself, fiddle with the numbers in the boxes above, to see where you fall. The taxes are based on Montana percentages, so change those to represent the state you live in.
Now let’s look at an average horse trainer, with an average budget. The “profit” is the final number from the above spreadsheet.
Again, feel free to fiddle with the numbers.
So, 13 horses a month. If you figure that at a minimum it takes a trainer one hour to brush, saddle, ride, cool down, unsaddle, brush off and put away, that would be 13 hours a day. And the reality is that it is impossible to get a good ride done in less than an hour, so that would be even more than 13 hours of working with horses for one day.
If your trainer values his health, he will take time to sleep, and eat properly. If he values his family, he will make it a point to help put his children to bed each night and will spend some time with his wife. And if he values his business, he will feed the horses he owns and trains.
In other words, for the normal, family man trainer, 13 horses a day is an impossibility. For the average trainer, who is able to solely train horses, 4-6 horses is about the maximum. That would be between 1-2 hours a day with each horse. The total “profit” made for 4-6 horses is $1200-$1800 a month to pay the bills.
Have you ever noticed that the cowboys you know, live on many multiple streams of income? This is why. They have to pick up extra work to meet the remaining budget. And the icing on the cake for them is when they can get paid twice for doing one job. For instance: a rancher hires him to move cows and he is also able to ride the horses he is training.
If you are interested in more ideas to expand your income: 12 Ways a Cowboy Can Earn & Increase Income
So, the next time you need a trainer, remember what it costs him to train your horse and thank him for all the hard work he is doing for his family and for you. He deserves a pat on the back and a big thank you for starting that beautiful colt of yours.
Have you ever had a knee jerk reaction about the price of training a horse? Or are you a trainer who can relate to these numbers?
We would love to hear from you. What are your experiences? What do you charge to ride colts? What is your profit? Do you have multiple streams of income? Let us know!
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