Plaidcast 344: Geoff Case & Michael Tokaruk by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 344 Geoff Case Michael Tokaruk


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Piper speaks with top trainers and riders Geoff Case and Michael Tokaruk about commissions and what goes into buying and selling horses today. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Guest: Geoff Case is a rider, trainer and large “R” judge based in Wellington, Florida & Lexington, Kentucky. As a rider, Geoff Case has represented the United States in International competitions. As a trainer, Geoff has had many students become Year End Hunter Champions, USET Finals Champions and many ribbons at Medal and Maclay Finals. Geoff is also a Large “R” judge that has officiated at most major horse shows including The National Horse Show, the Winter Equestrian Festival and he will be judging the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals and The Hampton Classic Horse Show this year.
  • Guest: Michael Tokaruk is a top rider, trainer and judge who also runs a training and sales business, Tokaruk Show Stables, out of Tennessee. Michael worked with top professionals such as Scott Stewart, Missy Clark, Bob Braswell and Anne Kursinski as a junior rider. Michael has multiple grand prix wins, international and national hunter derby wins to his credit along with continuing his professional education by working with professionals such as Chris Kappler, Andre Dignelli, Katie Monahan-Prudent, and Melanie Smith Taylor. Michael has judged at some of the prestigious horse shows including the 2021 USET Talent Search Finals East and most recently the 2022 ASPCA Maclay Finals in Lexington, Kentucky. 
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Subscribe To: The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Sponsors: Purina Animal NutritionAmerica CryoAlexis Kletjian Jewelry, LAURACEA, BoneKare, Show Strides Book Series, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard, Athletic Equestrian and American Equestrian School

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Geoff Case [00:00:32] You know, so much of it is fit and circumstance and chemistry that it’s really hard, I think, to say, okay, this horse is always top 8 in the hack. It’s safe at three foot, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It is worth from X or Y this price range because it may not be for everybody. You know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Piper Klemm [00:00:53] This is the plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm publisher of the Plaid Horse Magazine. And coming up on today’s episode, episode 344, I talk with Geoff Case and Michael Tokaruk about commissions. This episode is brought to you by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. 

Piper Klemm [00:03:03] Geoff Case is a rider trainer and large r judge. As a rider, Geoff has represented the United States in international competition. As a trainer, he has taught many students to become Year end champions, USET Finals champions and many ribbon winners at medal and Maclay finals. Geoff has also officiated at most major horse shows, including the National Horse Show The Winner Equestrian Festival, West Coast Junior Hunter Finals and the Hampton Classic Horse Show. We have plaidcast co-host Michael Tokaruk. Michael has worked extensively with many nationally renowned trainers, including Scott Stewart, Missy Clark, Bob Braswell, Chris Kepler and Anne Kursinski. And Michael also worked in Holland and trained under Roth Friel. Michael now runs Tokaruk Show Stables outside Memphis, Tennessee, and Wellington, Florida. Welcome back to the plaidcast, Michael and Geoff. 

Geoff Case [00:03:54] Good to be back. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:03:55] Thank you for having me. 

Piper Klemm [00:03:57] So I want to start kind of before square one with commissions in that like in house sales, there is a house price. Everybody gets paid out of that price. It’s very orderly. And I feel like when we talk about a horse’s price, like we don’t even know where on that that scale, like what it even includes. Usually I feel like colloquially we talk about if a horse’s $50,000, it means that the buyer paid 50,000 to the seller and then paid their own commission on top, and then the seller paid a commission on their own to, you know, their trainer or their agent. But like what? What does some could argue that that makes that a $55,000 horse or a 57 and a half? You know. $60,000 horse. However, that kind of ends up or one could even argue that that’s actually like a $45,000 horse where, you know everything else, the horse costs 45,000. And then it was commissions like, I don’t I don’t feel like we even necessarily talk to the same language or have agreement on on kind of what terms are. So, um. Michael will you start just kind of explaining like how you view pricing and what’s kind of industry standard for how we even talk about the price of a horse? 

Michael Tokaruk [00:05:26] Sure. So to me, I would think the industry standard is it’s closer to what you described it as. So if there is a horse, the price tag is $50,000. I would operate under the understanding that that is the price that the seller is asking and the buyer, if they want to make an offer on that, then perhaps it’s accepted. Or if they pay $50,000 for the horse, then they pay $50,000 to the to the seller. Then if I was acting as the trainer for the buyer, I would then charge a commission on the the sale price, which in that hypothetical is $50,000, and that would be paid for paid by the the buyer. If I was the selling trainer and and trying to sell this horse for a client of mine and I got $50,000 for it, then I would charge a commission on the sale of the horse. So to me, that’s the industry standard of of how certainly how I would operate. And I would say most deals function, but sometimes they don’t happen that way. And so I think what’s important is to just try to have transparency and have buyers and sellers understand, you know, who’s getting paid what and how much. And therefore, it’s it’s out in the open and everybody understands what’s going on. 

Piper Klemm [00:07:19] And Geoff, do you want to kind of elaborate on that? And Michael mentioned what I thought is a really strong point is, you know, some people are hiring more agent type people or having external people help them. And I do think it is a different kind of deal when it’s your home trainer versus an external healthy person source. 

Geoff Case [00:07:42] Well, I think that, you know, to me there’s two fairly distinct scenarios. The first one being whether you are purchasing a horse for your own client or whether you’re selling a horse for your client. If you’re involving a client in the in the scenario, then I think the most important thing is to have a clear understanding whatever side of the deal you’re on as to if you are, for example, selling a horse for a client. What what I do is I say, okay, essentially. How much do you want in your pocket? So that there’s no surprises when it comes to commissions, yada, yada, yada. Because oftentimes I feel like customers will be a little unclear with their trainer when they’re trying to sell or say, okay, I want 50,000 for the horse, since that’s the number we’re working with. And then the trainer goes out and I find this happens a lot and goes out and prizes it to another trainer at $50,000. Okay, great. Trials happened. That thing happens, deal deal gets done. Buyer is paying their trainer 10% on top of the 50 horse get sold and you send an invoice to your client for whether it’s ten or 15%, which should also be agreed upon beforehand. And the client says, Well, I’m not paying you commission. I wanted 50 in my pocket. And I think that’s I think there needs to be clear discussion on either end. And then on the flip side, if you’re buying a horse for a person and their budget is $50,000, for example. You need to make sure and be clear with the client that that’s 50,000. Whether that’s 50,000, including your commission or it’s 50,000 with your commission on top. Because, you know, if we’re operating on a basic 10%, because that makes the math easy, if your client’s budget is 50 and they that’s their all in budget, then they need to be shopping for horses for 45,000, for example. So there’s room for your commission on top of that. I think the other scenario which. But we operate on most of the time now is we we own the horses ourselves. So basically, when I price a horse to if someone is looking for a certain or so they asked me about a horse we have, I give them the price that we want in our pocket. So for example. Again, working on the $50,000 model. Somebody says, I have a client that has a budget of 50,000. What is that horse cost? And I’ll say, well, you know, I need 50,000 in my pocket. So if your client will pay your commission on top of the 50, we can get the deal done. If I have to pay you out of the 50. It’s not quite where I want to be. And, you know, as Michael said, there’s there’s negotiation in every deal to some degree. And I’m going to just for one second step on my soapbox, because, Piper, you brought it up. And whether this makes an end of the podcast or in the final edit or not, I don’t care. But this new generation of quote unquote agent, I quite dislike a lot because I think that agents don’t do their due diligence. I don’t think they know the client well enough to know what kind of course suits them. I don’t think they know the ins and outs of the budgets, things like that. And I feel like these new agents who don’t know the client from Adam end up and a tire kicking is a term we use a lot in the business, setting up an infinite amount of trials. It’s like the, you know, the model of throwing spaghetti at the wall. Something will stick and you end up tire kicking, tire kicking trials that go nowhere, basically, because these people, these insta famous baseball quote unquote agent people, just try any horse within the price range for a certain client. And the other thing that ends up happening with them is a lot of deals get killed because, you know, they for example, when I if I have a friend, let’s say let’s say, Piper, you’re looking for a horse and you call Michael and you say, Hey, Michael, I’m looking for a $50,000 adult hunter. And Michael calls me and says, Hey, Jeff, do you know anything or do you have anything? I say, I don’t have anything, but I know this horse of a friend of mine, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. I’ll put you guys in contact or I’ll make a phone call or whatever. And then. It comes time to get the deal done. And these agents, they want 10% for making a phone call. And in in our industry, we’re talking about $50,000 being a relatively inexpensive horse. You know, when you’re talking about horses for hundreds of thousands of dollars to make. 20 $30,000 for making a phone call. I think it’s ridiculous for my my personal opinion is getting sales done and getting horses sold is good for everybody. So I’m a big believer in the in this sort of forward model. If I can make a ham sandwich for putting you two in contact, great. If not, I don’t care. Just next time you’re looking for a horse, you call me. And I do think this new agent model we’re using is is causing more problems than it solves. And in my personal opinion, sorry to go off on a tangent there.But. 

Piper Klemm [00:13:13] Oh, I was hoping you might go off that tangent at some point because. 

Geoff Case [00:13:18] Oh don’t worry I’ll always go off on tangents Piper, you know that. 

Piper Klemm [00:13:22] You know, I’m in full agreement as someone who has not the technical expertise, but a lot of friends. I get asked this stuff a lot and I’m like, You should talk to this person. But, you know, both ethically as an amateur, that follows the rules and ethically as I connecting to people, you know, I don’t think that merits. I mean, maybe dinner if the person is expensive, but, you know, it introduces a brand of risk to me because ultimately and Michael, maybe you can talk to this. I believe that when a trainer shops for a horse for their client, they’re basically ensuring that they will do as much as is humanly possible to make that horse work in their program for as long as they can, whereas these agents that kind of flutter in or flutter out or, you know, I call them that put me in for fives, I don’t even call them agents, you know, because they’re like, you know, oh, just put me in for five, put me in for five. And you’re like, text message, I’m in the wrong business. But then they don’t take responsibility on the other end if the horse doesn’t work out exactly what you said, Geoff. Like they’re trying all these horses. They don’t know the clients that well. If the horse doesn’t work out, who’s responsible? 

Michael Tokaruk [00:14:41] Right. And so I think, look, agents can be good in that. They can put people together. They can provide access to courses that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise have. But they are not going to be there standing at the gate watching you struggle with this horse. Then they’re not going to get on and try to fix it in the next class or in the schooling area or at the next show or in the next lesson. You know, their job is done and they’re long gone. Meanwhile, the trainer who is teaching the student who knows the strengths and weaknesses of the rider, who knows what kind of horse hopefully they should be shopping for is the one that’s actually going to be doing all the work after the fact. And so that’s why I’ve always tried to look at commissions from, you know, when I’m representing a buyer and we’re looking for a horse for them. There’s not just a finder’s fee, but more, like you said, Piper, as a as a commitment to making this horse work and doing everything you can and providing your best opinion, your best advice, managing the horse’s time and career. Once it’s it’s in your barn. Now it’s it leaves the barn and the client decides to go ride somewhere else and all bets are off. You know, I can’t help you now if you decide that I’m no good at the trainer and you want somebody down the street to help you, well, that’s. That’s your choice. It’s your horse. You can do that. But you can’t then expect to come back two years later and. Well, Michael, you sold me a bad horse. Well, I haven’t had the source for two years. And, you know, now you’re down the street doing Lord Knows What with it. I think it doesn’t really something that I have control over. And so I think with agents, it’s a really difficult situation because they may have their hands out wanting to get paid for their work, of putting together trials and trying to make deals happen. But then after the fact, they’re really not doing any of the real work of trying to make the force work for the rider. And so I think it’s it’s it’s a part of our business, but it’s something that really has to be navigated with some care and some understandings. 

Piper Klemm [00:17:21] Um, Geoff. Geoff Teal said to me one time that I forgot what the exact quote was, but it was something to the effect of like, as soon as you find the one, you’ll never remember how long you waited. And I say that to everyone who’s our chef all the time. Because I think a lot of the agents stuff comes from, like, impatience. Clients are so excited to get their dream horse, and it’s almost like they’re trainers busy and, you know, has a lot going on and maybe they are working their connections, but it doesn’t always feel like you’re trainers doing everything to get your dream horse today, and you want it right now. 

Geoff Case [00:17:58] Well, I do think there needs to be. A little more understanding in that regard between clients and trainers, because I think that most if you’re riding with someone, regardless of the level. And you’re committed to them being your trainer. I think there needs to be more faith from the client put into the trainer that they are trying to do their very best and find that needle in a haystack. And do what is best for the client. I think if you don’t have that feeling with your trainer, you’re potentially with the wrong trainer. But I’ve been in I remember when I was looking for my first junior jumper when I was a kid. The very first horse we tried. It was like a match made in heaven. And then we’re putting the horse on the trainer down the trailer to take it home, to beat it. And the trainer representing the owner came by and said while she watched the trial and it’s a better junior horse than she thought. So she wants 10,000 more. And I looked at my parents and I said, Put it on the trailer, pay 10,000 more. My dad was livid. My trainer was livid that they that they changed the rules of the game in the middle which which later in life I can appreciate. So anyway, we killed the deal. I then tried, I think it was something like 35 more junior jumpers and just never found the right one, the right one, the right one. And then towards the end we just said, Screw it will buy this one. And looking back at the videos, and it was a good it wasn’t that it wasn’t a good horse. It was, but it didn’t. It was too small for me. It was it needed a better program that I was in at the time and it never really worked. And. You know, basically we bought the horse because we were sick of looking for horses. Now. At this point in my life, looking, having looked for horses for a very long time and all corners of the world and, you know, I’m not. All that disappointed. If I come back from a buying trip and I don’t have a horse because it’s better, in my opinion, to wait. And have the right one. But I get what you’re saying. Like a. A lot of clients, especially in the bigger barns where juniors have a lot of clients, they’re doing a lot of things. They’re still trying to do the best they can for them, but. As also, there’s only so many hours in the day. And the other thing is, to be quite honest, and the more and more I judge, the more and more I realize this. The really good ones are so few and far between. And if you’re looking for that really special fit for your client, it doesn’t always happen. You know, within 24 hours or a week or there’s you know, it’s difficult. And I think the clients need to appreciate that more and actually appreciate the fact that their trainer is not just trying to sell them something quickly to make a commission that they actually care that it’s the right fit and the right horse and it’s going to do the job that they’re looking for and it’s going to suit the rider. And there’s so many factors go into when you’re buying a horse for a client, so many factors go into what is the right thing. It’s a little different for me when you’re buying in an investment or see recognize talent. If it takes a month to realize that and sell it, great. If it takes six months, fine. It takes a year. Fine. But you know, clients don’t. We’re in so much of a a right now society, whether you’re talking about horses or life in general, you know, there’s no patience in this world anymore. Everything. Everybody wants results right now. Right now. Right now. Right now. Right now. And I think that a lot of people end up buying the wrong horse because they’re unwilling to take that moment, to take that time, and really wait till the right one comes along. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:22:06] I agree 100% with with Geoff. I think, you know, I have never tried to be in a hurry of I need to buy a horse just to buy a horse. But I also walk the line of if somebody needs a horse, you know, you need to find them a horse and you want that to be the right horse. And as good a horse as it can be. But everybody’s looking for good horses. Everybody wants the best horse, and sometimes they just aren’t available and you don’t want to feel like you end up settling with horses. And sometimes it does take time to find them. It does take time to do your diligence of of learning more about the horses, checking up on their background, finding out as much as you can, and and you might lose horses in that timeframe if you act in a deliberate manner. But I would rather do that than buy something quickly just to buy a horse and end up with with a bad horse or something that I really regret purchasing. 

Geoff Case [00:23:17] On that note, I have an expression. I tell Taylor, my wife, all the time, like I would rather miss a good one than buy the wrong one. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:23:26] Yep, absolutely. 

Piper Klemm [00:23:28] It was probably like ten years ago or so in the Chronicle they interview it was an interview with John Madden and he said, it’s really easy to buy all of them. It’s really hard to sell them. 

Geoff Case [00:23:40] Yes. 

Piper Klemm [00:23:40] And I always kind of stick with that because it’s true. If you’re deliberate, you could buy one very quickly and then you add a lot of them. 

Geoff Case [00:23:51] Oh, buying is the fun part. It’s like, yeah, I want to buy all of them. But unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re willing to lose some money along the way. It’s a it’s a self-defeating strategy. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:05] So let’s kind of talk about I’ll say, you know, the more casual investor. A lot of people want to be investors. A lot of people want to make money even on their ponies, which is a little bit bizarre to me when I talk to parents and I’m like, oh, you don’t like you know, your child needs experience and investment in them first before, you know, anyone would kind of think about going down this direction. And then, you know, something I hear on the other side is like, well, this one didn’t work out, but like. Oh, because what of, you know, whatever the reason and you hear everything, they have this and do it. We need X out of it and it it kind of like. Makes weird patterns in the market because they’re not, you know, like a lot of them are not worth what people want to get from. And like, we’ve all been there, you know, I’m happy to share that I’ve given away enough ponies to the right people that I thought would do a better job if they fit into my program. Like, I don’t think the casual investor kind of understands how much just fluctuation there is, so that when you don’t have a statistically significant number and you have one or two, I mean, you’re not going to make money on having one or two pretty much ever. 

Geoff Case [00:25:26] I actually it’s funny you bring that. I had this I was at dinner with a good friend of mine in Holland on Saturday night. And we were talking about this. And I think that he was talking about some people that have a young minor with him and. You know, it was for sale for X amount of money two months ago. It’s the same horse it was two months ago, but they put two months more money into it. So we had a client come in for what they wanted to before and they said, Oh, no, no, no, we need 5000 more for it now because we’ve put 5000 more into it. I think that. First of all, the casual investor has to love the animal, love the sport, and not necessarily be into it for the bottom line. If everybody made money on every horse, we’d all be flying private and we’d all be driving Maseratis. And we’d all be. Eating at five star Michelin restaurants have every night. And but the reality is that in any investment, whether you put the money in the stock market, whether you buy a horse, whether you buy a collectible, I mean, I can’t tell you how many in the box Barbies are sitting in my square inch area that Taylor bought what she was young that are worth about $0.50 each. Now you’re going to win some. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:26:50] More with the movie out now. 

Geoff Case [00:26:52] Well, yeah, they might be worth $0.75 now. 

Piper Klemm [00:26:56] I know the market’s hot. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:26:58] Barbie mayhem come on! 

Geoff Case [00:27:00] Hey, one of them’s an Olympic Barbie. I think when L.A. comes around. Yeah, that’s going to be the moment to cash in on that one. But I think that even if you look at. The mega dealers in the world, the stuff on you know, the mega breeders VDL, you know, they don’t make money on every horse. It’s a numbers game. You’re going to make some on some you’re going to lose some on so many open the end of the day, if you’re doing it for a pure investment, you make money in the end. But if you’re if you’re buying anything for an investment. It’s a gamble whether whether again, whether it’s a horse or a commodity, that the value is going to go up. That doesn’t always happen. Or you may have to ride out some peaks and valleys. You may have to ride out the market. For my personal example we bought. This in September. A really beautiful, good moving, good jumping hunter. And the money that hunters were selling for the last two years was insane. And I didn’t anticipate there was a dip in the market this fall and early Florida, and I didn’t anticipate it, so I priced it at what it would have sold for six months, two years. And I still have that and I still have it and I still have it. And I’m looking around and I’m listening to people and I’m judging the market and I’m like, Wow. Like, this thing’s really actually in today’s market worth about 50% what it would have been worth a year ago. So I tried to make a quick adjustment and sell it, but then you get the stigma of, Whoa, wait, wait, You wanted a lot of money for this horse a couple months ago. Why is it so cheap now? And I’m like, Well, that’s what I do for a living. Like, I realize I’m trying to make a market adjustment, but, you know, if I don’t know if I sit on it for another six months, will the market come back again? You know, those are it’s also, you know, things in real life like the market indices and things like that. We don’t have it in horses, so. You know, you may misjudge the value of an investment horse in the beginning, and you may have to be ready to look around and see what things are selling for and adjust your price. And again, like maybe, maybe get your money out, maybe you lose a little bit, but then you hope the next one you buy makes up for that. And I think when you’re a casual investor, they don’t see that and they think that everybody makes money on every horse. And that’s just not reality, just like it’s not reality. And the rest of the world and whatever investment you’re making, gold goes up, gold goes down. You know, nothing in this life is guaranteed. But I think if you’re an investor that loves the animal and they love the sport and you can get some appreciation out of watching it grow, watching it develop, watching it grow, and then in the end, you make a little bit of money, great. That’s a win win. If you lose a little bit of money, at least you enjoy the ride. And I think people that invest in horses have got to love the animal, love the sport and love the process. And then if you make money even better. And what you were talking about. You know, when people buy horses for their kids, the analogy I try to use is, you know, your kid turns 16 and you’re buying their first car. What’s that worth in three years, you know, after they’ve corrected and, you know, blown out a few tires and stuff like that, you know, you’re like you said, you have to make an investment in your child. If you want them to compete in the sport. And that means really the first group of horses you buy for them, you’re likely to lose money. And if you get your money back out, you’re winning. If you’re losing less than it would have cost to lease that horse every year, you’re winning. And I don’t think that trainers do a good enough job communicating that to parents in general. Some definitely do. I don’t think parents grasp that like. You know, you’re 12 year old kid getting the first short stir of pony. If again, if you can get back to less than you would have spent just leasing it, then you’re doing well. If you look at it from that perspective. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:15] I had this conversation with an adult amateur the other day who was like, Oh, I never thought of it like that. I’m like, Yeah, you spent the last couple of years leasing one for, you know, 20 ish a year. I was like, If you buy one for 50 and keep it for a year or two years and sell it for 50, like you’re way ahead of me. 

Geoff Case [00:31:37] You’ve made 40,000. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:37] Yeah, Yeah. And if you sell. 

Geoff Case [00:31:40] It for 30, you’re up to 20,000. And I think that’s I think that’s a perspective people need to have, especially when you’re talking about amateurs and and kids and them growing in the sport. I think you need to look at it that way. And then if people can really wrap their head around that, then it’s they’re going to be happier at the end of the day, take a little bit of a loss because your daughter gained hundreds of thousand dollars in experience and you lost 20 grand. You know, it’s and then I think a lot of the prizes will become more reasonable. The other thing people don’t think about. Is. The carrying costs of that horse if you’re holding out. You know, my theory is that if I’m holding out for 10,000 more, you know what? In four months, if I’ve spent that. So if I can sell it today for 10,000 less. You know, it’s not always the worst business decision long term. 

Piper Klemm [00:32:40] Oh, I completely agreed. And I have. That’s how people get so hard and fast on a number. I want 75 for it that they’ll spend. You know, you watch them spend another 30 to get the 75 and you’re like, how, how does this. Okay. 

Geoff Case [00:32:55] Oh you should have taken 60, 2 months ago and you’d be up 15. 

Piper Klemm [00:32:59] Exactly. 

Piper Klemm [00:35:09] A lot of people don’t think about, especially when it comes to their kids. Like I’m not very good. I don’t need the pressure of every time I go up there, I’m like, devaluing my animal like. I mean, I know that I am. But if it were an investment horse for me that I’m riding like like, oh my gosh, Like I have my family’s finances on my shoulders on top of already struggling with the task at hand. I mean, it’s not it’s not pleasant for your outlook professional. This is what you’ve chosen for your profession like that. That’s part of the game. And there are ups and downs of that. But like if it’s not part of your lifestyle like that, it’s really an undue pressure. And I specifically don’t put that on myself. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:36:00] Well, I think that’s that’s smart of you to do that, but not everybody does. And that can be a difficult burden to carry, knowing that if there’s pressure from parents or co investors or owners of the constant understanding of the value of the tour and what are you doing to affect that value? You know, every time you ride it, every time you go in the ring, every show you go to, you know, that can be a lot to handle if you’re a junior, if you’re an amateur, certainly if you’re a professional, you should be able to understand that and be able to set that aside and and do your best with the horse. And and, you know, I always try to operate under the assumption that I’m I’m buying these horses, whether it’s myself buying them or I’m buying them in partners or I’m buying them for a client, then I’m getting them for the best possible price I can. And hopefully I’m buying them with some potential there that I can increase the value, that I can make them better. And and if the idea is then to sell them, you know, hopefully that’s at a profit. But if it’s not that easy, it doesn’t always go that way. So as Jeff said, as long as there’s an understanding that, you know, you may not make money on this horse or every horse, but if you’re in it for the long haul and if you’re in it with enough horses or enough numbers, then then you do hope to be coming out ahead. But sometimes the horses get sold quickly and it’s easy and everybody makes money and sometimes you’ve got to hold on to them for a while. And how long that while it really depends on each individual circumstances and how long you want to keep it. Do you want to. Yeah. Hold out for 10,000 more or 50,000 more? Or do you want to now ask 5000 more? Because that’s how much you have more into the horse. Well, you know, when you’re learning on a horse or a young rider or an amateur, it’s just trying to go in the ring and enjoy themselves like it’s a recreational vehicle that then are you wanting to get the tanks of gas out from the recreational vehicle and you sell it? Are you trying to get the bodywork that you had to spend at the body shop and the mechanic to sit with after, you know, you you blew the engine out or you drove it off the road? I mean, these are all things that are a little bit easier to quantify when you’re talking about a house or a car. But when you’re talking about horses, it just there’s not the the Kelley Blue book value. There’s not the MLS listing. These horses are really only worth what somebody is willing to pay for them on that day and in that moment. And that can constantly fluctuate and change. You know, I mean, you can have $1,000,000 Grand Prix horse and then it goes and stops out at the open water or the Liverpool at a Saturday night Grand Prix. And guess what? It ain’t worth what it was when it walked in the ring. Now what is it worth? Well, it’s worth whatever somebody is willing to pay for it now. And so being able to understand the fluctuations of of the pricing in the market and appreciate that and and be in a situation that if the value of your horse goes up or down, you know, you’re willing to make these market adjustments and or and make decisions. You know it’s really important when you’re you’re talking about whether this is a quote unquote investment or is this a horse for a client that now all of a sudden you get a big offer and you have to entertain that? I mean, I I’ve kind of always taken the position of, you know, I will bring offers to to owners, to clients as I get them. And then let’s try to make the best possible decision based on where we’re where we’re at with the horse. And and if it’s something that we want to sell, then we consider it and maybe we we sell it. It’s not and maybe we declined the offer. Or maybe we counter with some ridiculous number that we don’t really want to sell it, but we would for this amount and and maybe it gets accepted. You just never know. But, you know, these are all things to think about when we’re talking about buying and selling and you know this part of the industry. 

Geoff Case [00:40:52] And I think that, you know, for for us, again, part of one of the reasons we made the move to Europe is that, as we discussed, the carrying costs are so much lower. It’s it’s less pressure to sell now because we’re not dumping huge sums of money into it as quickly as we would if we were based in the States and a couple of years ago. You know, Taylor and I had a conversation about sail horses and. You know, ultimately what we decided was that and again, we’re a little bit unique in that for the most part, we own the horses ourselves. We don’t have partners, we don’t have investors, we have clients we’re trying to sell horses for. And, you know, we just came to the realization that. What we want to own are horses that we don’t. They’re for sale, don’t get me wrong, but. That we don’t actually care if we sell, because in the meantime, they’re serving a purpose. We’re enjoying them. You know, we we when you get desperate to sell, I think is. People smell that, first of all. And they’re all going to lowball you if you’re if you’re pushing, pushing and you really, really act like you need to sell it. And that’s why I think patience again, we were talking about the one off. Investors are often no disrespect to the amateur or the parent investors, but there’s a certain point at which I think they all kind of hit the panic button because they’re putting large sums of money into the production of the animal. And at some point you got to sit down and think, you know, it’s going to be difficult to get all this investment back out. However, as I said before, if you’re enjoying the process and you’re enjoying the animal and you’re getting personal fulfillment out of it, I think that helps offset the financial risk because at least it’s something it’s benefiting your life, it’s benefiting your happiness. It’s it’s it’s benefiting you in a way that’s not necessarily monetary. And then when you do get that offer, you do get that client for maybe it’s not the dream number you wanted, but it’s close. Then you can say, you know what, we’ve gotten X amount of time out of enjoyment of this experience. We’ve enjoyed the ride, we’ve enjoyed the horse, we’ve enjoyed being a part of this. We’re okay with taking a little bit less money. I think you’re in a in a favorable position. I think when you’re I mean, there’s so many stories of families in this business that have gone bankrupt, taken out multiple mortgages on their house, all these things to kind of to keep it all rolling. And at some point, I feel like you have to have a dose of reality and say, hey, you know this for the lion’s share of people participating in this sport as a hobby. And if you can’t allow yourself to get so upside down and a hobby chasing that, chasing that star, that may or may not come again, I think you have to you have to enjoy the ride. You have to enjoy the animal, you have to enjoy the process. You have to enjoy the sport. And I think if you take that mentality at the end of the day, in the long run, you’re going to end up making money. But I think if you I think of the it’s an old Bugs Bunny cartoon with the Abominable Snowman. Where the Abominable Snowman is holding Bugs Bunny. And he’s like, I will love him and squeeze him and call him. George is hugging Bugs Bunny so tight that his had almost pops off. And I think investors get that way a little bit. And then that pressure translates to the professional who’s trying to do the best they can to produce the horse, to sell the horse, to make your money. And it becomes this sort of stressful downward spiral where then in the end, even if you get the money, nobody’s happy because the whole process has been so horrible and stressful for everybody that you’re just it’s a sense of relief. It’s not happiness. And I think that’s where, at least with me, when I’m discussing things with investors, if they’re not enjoying watching the horse, they’re enjoying getting personal fulfillment and both an emotional benefit from the animal, it’s not worth it in the end for either party. That’s my opinion. 

Piper Klemm [00:45:26] So let’s talk about how fair evaluations occur. So like, as you said, there is no Kelly Blue Book. I’m pretty in the loop on, you know, what animals are selling for. So I feel like I have more data than the average bear. But I ran into a situation earlier today actually, where one that I thought had sold for a certain amount of money. It turns out, you know, like a year and a half ago, just as a data point, I wasn’t involved. And I don’t really care inherently. But I you know, I like to know where the numbers are and what selling for what. But actually, the owner had gone to the person who bought it directly and cut out all the other people and sold it for half what they had originally tried it for. And it was a moment for me like, oh, I went the whole time thinking that one sold for twice the money that it sold for as a data point in my, you know, graph of, of what what’s moving at what price. So we really kind of all don’t know exactly. Even though you know some people have better ideas of where the market is on others, how do we put a fair valuation? On a horse when we are kind of all a little bit in a black box. I I’ve had non horse people like asked me and I kind of my most simple explanation that I give is that the biggest or best job a horse can do as a ratio of the number of people who can ride that horse to get that performance out of it. So if you’re horses, best job is the National Grand Prix. But like literally at any barn, any program, it’ll be a solid National Grand Prix horse. That horse is worth a lot of money if it’s a National Grand Prix horse and literally one person can get that performance out of it, even though it’s still a National Grand Prix horse and it might have a lot of wins, there’s not a lot of people to sell it to just as a numbers game. And that’s how I kind of very simply back of the envelope describe it in cocktail conversation. But like, yeah, how do you even approach valuation, especially with newer people in the sport? Are people looking into the sport? Because, you know, I struggle to explain this like how some pony that one pony finals is actually not worth anything because that’s what gets everyone noting finals on it versus like the pony that maybe hasn’t won much, but that’s because it’s been ridden by kids who are not very good and it’s always good to them. 

Michael Tokaruk [00:48:03] The way you’ve quantified it is pretty good. You know, it’s the horses commercial and it has a broader market and the majority of the horse show can ride it. And it’s in a good desirable age range of, you know, some people that might be too young if it’s five or six, maybe if it’s seven to young, but maybe if it’s between eight and 11 years old. You know, I kind of think these horses have a bit of a bell curve in terms of their value, where it goes, you know, up when they’re younger, maybe it plateaus at some point. And then, you know, at some point it’s going to go down. You know, how exactly does that translate to dollars? I think every horse does is different. But yeah, the bigger job they can do, the in theory, the more valuable it should be and the bigger job it can do to the bigger number of people, then in theory, it should be more valuable. You know, if a horse is producing good results and it’s easy to ride at the good age, it sounds it doesn’t have that issue. The ride ability issues, you know, these are all things that are going to positively impact the horse’s value. If it’s a difficult horse to ride, if it’s exceptionally small or exceptionally big, if it has a vetting issue, if it has, it won’t jump to Liverpool or the open water or it has some other quirks about it. It’s difficult to deal with in the barn. You know, any of these things can narrow the market of buyers and therefore have a negative impact on on its value. Sell it generally when I’m trying to to speak with people about, you know, what horses may be worth, you probably would talk in ranges for a short stirrup horse could cost between this and this a first junior hunter could cost between this and this. A winning junior hunter at Wellington or at indoors could cost between this and this. And then, you know, you have to add in these other factors of age, ease of of ride ability, soundness, any and other of these other factors that we’re talking about. And then you could get to a price and that it really just can vary and also can vary in markets and locations. You know, the prices in Wellington, Wellington’s a great place to sell horses. If you can sell them, it’s not so great if you’re trying to sell them and you have to carry them and keep them for months and months on end in Wellington, there could be other places that are cheaper to keep horses that are more cost effective and you’re not going to have as much into them. But then you won’t be having, you know, high dollar buyers coming down your driveway every day looking to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on horses. If you are staying at home in the mid-west over the winter time. So, you know, it’s all a little bit relative to to each horse and its situation and where it is physically in the. Country. And if you have it in the right place at the right time, hopefully you can sell it for the best possible price. 

Geoff Case [00:51:49] This isn’t going to- Piper you’re not going to be happy with this answer. But I look at I think horses are like collectibles. And you said this earlier, but a horse is worth what a person is willing to give you for it. What a certain person is willing to give you for it on that given day. Otherwise, it’s worth about $0.25 pound, and that’s harsh. But that’s the reality. I think there are horses that. I’ve seen it. And I go, Oh my Lord, I cannot believe they paid what they paid for that horse. And then there are other horses where you go, Wow, Like, I can’t believe they got that horse that cheap. It’s all it’s a matter of client timing, Need, geography. I think it will be it would be very hard to have a Kelley Blue book or an M.S. or. There’s not enough data. And the other thing is there’s so much. Money being thrown around in this sport. That you know what makes course X worth 500,000 and horse Y worth 100,000. Honestly, a lot of times there’s there’s not a really a 1 to 1. Comparison. You know, a lot of it has to do with timing. It has to do with the client. And the other thing, when you’re talking about horses, you’re talking about a living, breathing creature with and a human, that’s another living, breathing creature. And the chemistry between the two often times also determines the price. Like you said, a Grand Prix horse, that’s one item that only one person can ride for the lion’s share people is not worth a lot of money. However, a 3’6″ equitation horse that can work in any barn for any rider and get from start to finish even if they don’t win at Medal finals is worth quite a bit of money. I don’t think height of jump matters. I don’t think, you know, pretty is always good. Pretty will always sell better than ugly. But when you’re coming down to the nuts and bolts and finally selling a horse, there’s so many different factors that go into it. You know, there in the beginning when I after I got hurt and I came back and. I always when I rode, I always had horses that were a little bit difficult, but they were quite good at what they did. And they worked for me and I had good results them and some I sold, some I didn’t. And when I came back from getting hurt, I was looking for a horse of a talent and I had. One hunter comes to mind that he won in Palm Beach. He won. World hunter shows all over the Midwest, but he took a good 3 hours of work, actually, to get to the ring to get him to perform his best. And we sold him a couple of times and we gave the people the recipe. We didn’t hide anything, but they didn’t follow it. And after a couple of weeks of calling me like this, horse is too difficult. We’re sending it back. And I don’t understand. Did you do X, Y, Z? Well, no, we don’t have enough time to do X and we don’t have Y. And you know, our grooms aren’t that good. They took literally like every piece of this horses, they had to be perfect. And then he would go win and he would win in any horse show in the world. But then at the end of the day, we ended up selling him, getting him back, selling him, getting him back and selling him for pennies of what we’d sold them for originally. And then I kept thinking like, I don’t understand, like, why don’t these people want to put in the effort to win? If you put in the effort, you’ll win. But the reality is a lot of people don’t have the time be don’t have the patience. And then. On the flip side, a couple of years ago, we had an equitation horse that was. Nothing fancy. He was pretty. But he was literally like everybody says, I want one that stole the ring. And I don’t think when you’re talking hunter’s and equitation that those horses, if you’re going to win a big horse, shows they those are unicorns. Those are those are very, very, very few and far between. But we actually had one. And it’s sold for quite a bit more money than in my mind it was worth. But it got sold for that money because the trainer could say, You know what, if I run out of time and I have time to prepare this horse, we can just give it a bath, slap attack on it, send the kid in the ring, and they were going to be in the top 12 in almost any class. They walk into, and there’s value in that to that particular trainer. Whereas, you know, there are other trainers who might want super fancy and have the time and are willing to put in the time, you know. So much of it is fit and circumstance and chemistry that it’s really hard, I think, to say, okay, this horse is always top eight and a hack. It’s safe at three foot, blah blah, blah, blah blah. It is worth. From x to y this price range because it may not be for everybody. You know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. And every trainer, every client has a different type. It’s, you know, even before now. But, you know, spending more time in Europe, it’s even crazier to me. But in shopping in Europe, I think there’s a reasonable handle on what a good hunter is. But I talk to people about what a good at quotation horses. And if you look at sort of the Mount Rushmore of equitation, say, Andre, Missy, Stacia. All three of those barns have very different equitation horses and their types are all very different. And I think it’s it’s so much of it is fit determines the value of the horse. I think it’s really hard to say to somebody, you know, your horse. Yes. Like Michael said, you can give them a range, but the range to me is quite broad, depending on who the buyer is and who it’s going to suit. If that makes sense. 

Piper Klemm [00:57:57] Yeah, and I don’t disagree with any of that. I mean, I think so much of it is circumstantial. And I actually think all of these same reasons are why why judging is so complicated. I think our sport is so much more complicated than that than even we give it credit for. And I think that’s what makes it fascinating and why there are so many really smart people really to go with our show all the time. So let’s switch gears and talk about like we’ve talked a lot about misconceptions and miscommunications and and everyone knows that I want to see the best in everyone all the time. Even when I’m wrong and when I’m wrong, I get lots of letters of I. What are some things that that that you see in the industry or that people do that are just straight up wrong or things that maybe you think people might not realize are wrong or you know, and I even think back to the agent thing that a lot of times, um, you know, with my own animals or my ponies leasing, I mean people who want to be put in for five don’t want to disclose to the other party, which is wrong. Basically, if you’re doing anything that you’re not open about, it’s probably you’re not open for a reason. Like what are some things that people can look for? And and I will say like, I see both sides of this. I have some people say to me, Oh, I’ll only like wire the money directly to the seller itself. And then, you know, I hear from trainers that that happened and they didn’t get paid and there’s not a lot of way to enforce it. Sold. You know it everyone gets a little gun shy trying to protect themselves. So what what is rational protection and what is wrong? 

Geoff Case [00:59:52] I’m going to jump in and take the first part of that statement just to launch into something that baffles me. And then we can get into the money part. But. When you have a horse for sale in America, oftentimes, and I’m not talking about a meter 60 horse or so or, you know, $1,000,000 hunter, it’s sort of your average Joe run of the mill horse, trainer will come with the client. They try it once they call again. Want to try it again? Okay, fine. Third time they call. Well, they’d really like to show it in a class. And if you’re really motivated and you know, whatever you say, okay, Yeah, fine. Sure. Show it in a class. And then you don’t get a phone call for like a week and you’re like, Man, I’m just going to check in. And oh, yeah, she decided to buy one off the video in Europe. That blows my mind. That and that happens a lot. And I really don’t understand. And then you sit there and you judge it and you’re like, where this thing came from? Like, I would never have even paid the flight on it. But yeah, we can get into the financial part. But that, that, that practice really. It’s another one of the things that made us decide to leave the States was and that happens more than you can imagine. And it blows my mind. 

Michael Tokaruk [01:01:16] Well and what happens as well is just sometimes you’ll get ghosted. You know, people will come try horses for a second time. It goes great, and then you just won’t hear anything for days or weeks on end. And at least you might get a. Well, we bought this horse from Europe and you’re like, okay, well, that doesn’t follow at all based on what you are, how you’re behaving and what you were asking out of my horse here. But okay, I mean, it’s just behavior with with shopping trainers that are shopping people taking videos and then posting them of crashing horses during trials. I mean, it really that’s a big no no. And in my book, I don’t know, maybe some people think it’s funny that they crash videos, but I don’t I don’t think it’s right or responsible misrepresenting horses, you know, not disclosing things about horses that should be disclosed that I have issue with for sure. Not disclosing. Yeah. I mean, money that’s changed hands or commissions, It’s been paid. I think the more transparency we can have in horse deals, the better off everybody is going to be. And generally, as long as you are upfront with people and speak with them about what’s happening or what the expectations are, you know, you really don’t run into problems. It’s it’s when you’re hiding, things are not wanting to be upfront about things as it’s when you’re going to have a lot more problems. And I try to look at this as I’d like to have repeat business. I’d like to have people that come back to me that want to buy more horses that are asking me for this horse or that horse, and it’s if my horse isn’t the right fit for them, I’m not going to to jam it down their throat and pretend like it is when it’s just going to blow up on me a few weeks or a few months down the line. 

Geoff Case [01:03:32] Well, that’s the other thing with the with this sort of new agent thing is, as you said, like if somebody calls and like, Michael, if you were to call me and say, I need a horse that does X, Y, and Z. If I have it, I’ll tell you I’ll have it. If I don’t have it, I’ll be upfront with you and say, Look, I don’t buy these agents call and they say, you know, I need horse X, And they always ask, okay, what kind of rider, what kind of program, you know, yada, yada. And they don’t have real they might make up answers, but they don’t have real answers to those questions where the client’s trainer would, you know, So you end up showing or sent to these people. And, you know, for me. If I see it going sideways in 5 minutes, I’m happy to say, You know what? This horse isn’t right for you. You can. You don’t have to try it. You can get off. It’s fine. I’m not offended. I’d rather have a quick no than a very slow now, personally. 

Michael Tokaruk [01:04:29] Yeah, absolutely. 

Geoff Case [01:04:31] But and I think that’s part of why as a client you pay your trainer the commission is because the trainer knows you and they know what suits you and they know what suits their program. And and they’ve spent, you know, very rarely it’s weeks, it’s months, it’s a year knowing you and knowing what works. And there’s an old expression that I’m going to get it wrong, but. It’s something to to the effect of. You’re not paying me for the 5 minutes that it took me to fix your problem. You’re paying me for the 20 years of experience that allowed me to fix your problem in 5 minutes. And I think when when clients get grumpy about paying their trainer commission, they forget the real reason they’re doing it is because the trainer knows you. They know what suits you. They have your best interests at heart. And these agents don’t, you know, they’re just trying to make their side, as you say, Piper, or they’re trying to make for their chunk. And they’re, you know, they’re not invested in not only they don’t invest in the future success of the horse, they’re invested in you as a person. And I think that’s where people need to not begrudge their trainer the commission, because if you have that relationship and and those hours of lessons and time at the show and everything that your trainer has put in because, Michael, I think you’ll agree with me, we’re talking board and training. That’s a break even proposition for most people. Borg You probably actually even lose boarding care. You’re probably actually losing money training. You’re hoping to make that little loss back, plus pay whatever assistance managers, whoever you have working underneath you to make your your ship run. And the only profit you ever see really is in commissions. Or if you’re buying and selling your own horses. And for people to try to go around their trainers or an agent or try to begrudge them that money to me is is a little bit insulting because, again, like we’re the lion’s share of us, there are bad apples in every bunch. I don’t care what industry you’re in, but for the most part, look, we don’t want our lives to be difficult either. Like we want the horse to work for you because we don’t want to have to get on. And in between classes, we don’t want to have to show it ten times a week to set it up for you. Like we want to find the right match and that’s why you pay us the commission to find the horse for you. Because again, we’re invested in the final product, whereas these ancillary people aren’t. 

Michael Tokaruk [01:07:09] Absolutely. And I think your trainer is someone you hope is looking out for your best interests throughout this entire process, and not just the shopping process, but then the training, the showing, the living with it, part of the process after the sale. And so to me, that’s why you pay your trainer a commission is is to have somebody on your side that’s looking out for you. And agents are not. They are looking out for themselves and looking out for how many deals they can make happen, because that’s how they make a living. And. And that’s that’s fine if that’s how they choose how to make a living. But if you want somebody that’s truly looking out for your best interests as you’re a junior or an amateur or shopping for horses, that person should first and foremost be your trainer. And I’ve also always felt like, you know, I used the analogy of if you want me to cook dinner, you should at least let me help shop for the ingredients. And so if if I need to teach you lessons, if I need to put you in the ring on the tour, I would love to be a part of the process of finding the horse for you to have some input, to have some direction as far as what’s going to be the right horse for each student at each moment in the riding career where agents are not in that position. And you know, that really needs to be remembered when we’re talking about buying and selling horses here. 

Geoff Case [01:08:52] And Piper, you talk about transparency. It’s been very interesting for me in this very short period of time. Doing business inside of Europe, then I think it’s probably because. The countries are smaller. They’re dealing with less people. And horses are in general, especially in Holland, Belgium. A large part of the economy in general. The tax laws are quite strict. So when you are doing a horse deal, you, the everyone that’s involved in the deal and is getting a commission is legally required to send you an invoice for their commission for tax purposes. So every deal that’s done, for the most part, unless it’s done with cash, which is rare these days, every dollar is accounted for. And I don’t know that you’re ever going to get that in the US economy. I don’t think the government is going to care that much because, again, horses are a relatively small, a small part of this economy where they’re a larger part in Europe. But everything there for the most part is is pretty out in the open. Because when you’re talking about like the value added tax is 21% if you can’t account for every dollar. That you spent. Getting that deal done. The government is going to clip you 20%. So when you’re talking about a $100,000 horse, for example, each $10,000 commission, if that’s not disclosed that 2000 is coming out of your pocket- that 2100s coming out of your pocket. So it is in a way, it’s much more out in the open now. When you get into selling horses overseas, it gets a little muddier. And there are laws on the books, I know in Florida and Kentucky and stuff that they require you to divulge commissions. Now. 

Piper Klemm [01:10:50] California, too. 

Geoff Case [01:10:51] You know, it doesn’t necessarily happen. But I think that. At the end of the day, if you are so mistrusting of. The person you’ve empowered to find the horse for you that you don’t want to. Pay them a commission and it’s a little bit of the chicken or the egg thing, Right. Like you talked about. You know, people wiring money directly to a client and the trainer getting cut out. You know, if you feel like you need to do that, then you don’t trust the person that’s training you enough. And you probably shouldn’t be in that position. You know, I think everybody that is shopping for a horse with a trainer that they believe in and trust should be willing to say, okay, here’s my budget. Whether it needs to be clear, whether that includes your trainers commission, whatever percentage your trainer charges, there are different trainers charge different amounts, different trainer charge different amounts on a sliding scale to based on whether a horse costs more or less than X amount of dollars. You know, I know certain people charge 15% under 110%, over 100, for example. But that needs to be clear before you go shopping. And there needs to be an agreement with your trainer and you need to be comfortable with paying them that commission when they find you the horse. Otherwise, again, if you don’t trust that person enough for the financial end of it, then you really don’t trust them enough for the training part of it and the care part of it either, in my opinion. 

Piper Klemm [01:12:28] And trusting their ability to teach you to ride the animal. I mean, that’s another thing that’s just so fascinating to me is people expecting a trial to go perfectly. It’s like especially if you’re trying to level up the visions are getting a young horse or something like you’re you’re getting something to build a partnership. It’s not, you know, just add water. 

Geoff Case [01:12:49] Well, there was a sound bite, I’m sure your social media savvy to have seen it, but Noelle Floyd did something with Helena Stormborn and there was a sound bite meme that she created that. Something to the effect of the relationship with a horse takes a year. If you expect success in less than a year, you’re fooling yourself. And again, I think that’s where we get back to two by two different biologicals trying to get on the same page. It doesn’t always happen in the first day, the first hour. I mean, most trials or if a trial lasts longer than an hour, the person selling the horse is stopping their foot and wondering what the heck is going on. I mean, if you if you gel with them that quickly, great. If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you’ll never dealt with them. And I think that’s where and again, it’s all it’s a little bit budget dependent. If you’re willing to spend $1,000,000, you should probably gel right away. If you’re shopping under budget for the level you’re asked, you’re hoping that you’ll compete with that horse. It might take a minute. And that’s where I think you have to trust your trainer’s expertise and vision and everything to say, okay, you know where we’re shopping on a TJ Max budget here, but if you put in the time and put in the work, in the end, this will be a good horse for you. Other than necessarily settling for the one that you gel with, it’ll never quite reach the potential you’re looking for, if that makes sense. 

Piper Klemm [01:14:18] And that’s it. And I’ll I’ll interject here that that’s I’m sure that quote comes from full time riding, which not many amateurs that I know really, you know, said that one year quickly becomes two years, three years, four years. To really gel. 

Geoff Case [01:14:34] Well, I think we’ve also had we’ve always had a podcast on this subject, too. That’s where you have to trust your trainer and the program and the horse’s preparation. And when you’re an amateur especially. A true amateur which has a job outside of horses, can’t commit six days a week to riding. You have to trust that your trainer that you’re paying to train and ride the horse and prepare it for you is it’s going to be an animal that they say, Hey, Piper, you know what? Maybe you can only ride a little bit. But I’m telling you, in our program, the way we do things, this horse, we can get you there in a year. Even if you can’t spend six days a week, 52 weeks a year with the horse, we can get you there. And again, I think that’s why you pay the commission. And I think that’s the commission goes hand in hand with trust to me and the program and the professional and the relationship you have with them, that if they believe it and you believe it, then it’s worth doing. And if you don’t have faith in that situation, then you should be in a different situation. 

Piper Klemm [01:15:45] Absolutely. Michael, anything to add? 

Michael Tokaruk [01:15:48] Amen to that. 

Piper Klemm [01:17:00] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit You can find show notes at Follow The Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of The Plaid Horse Magazine at Please rate and review the plaidcast anywhere you listen to it. And if you enjoy this episode, please share it with your friends. I will see you at the ring!