Lesson Business Critique - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-23-2012, 08:21 AM
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maryland
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Hi, Tessa. My lesson barn works with the local girl scout troops by offering workshops so the girls can earn their horsemanship badges. It's good exposure, and some of the girls in the regular lesson program are "converts" who first learned of the stable through the girl scout workshop. I think it would be a good fit with your emphasis on all-around horsemanship. I think the boy scouts may also have a horsemanship badge.
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-23-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Thank you WriteStuff! That's incredibly helpful. I wonder whether the girls have specific requirements for their horsemanship badge? I think I will write up a lesson plan before I contact the girl scouts of northern california so I have something to present to them. Thanks!
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post #13 of 30 Old 10-14-2012, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Do any of you have experience with insurance companies that I should look into or stay away from? I have a quote from Equisure, they seem nice to work with so far. We have Geico for our car insurance and I love them but they don't currently have any plans that cover what I need. Any suggestions?
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post #14 of 30 Old 10-14-2012, 07:45 PM
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We also did up 'levels' when the students reached a level they were given a certificate. It gave them something to aim for and included ground skills, theory and general horse care as well as riding.
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post #15 of 30 Old 10-14-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Prinella! I did incorporate levels and like that a lot. I would like to incorporate some more 'perks' to leveling up. At my old ranch they have westerny names for each level, and got special privileges in camp (like getting to go to the front of the snack store line, getting to 'help' teach junior campers, etc) I'm not sure what I can incorporate into my program though? So far, taking kids on trail rides is a huge hit. I tell them "you're to the point now where you're ready to go out on trail! Would you like to ride out on trail next week?' And they get STOKED! Haha. I use it as an opportunity to talk about wordy/lengthy lectures, such as horse behavior, psychology and communication.

I should definitely incorporate some kind of certificate. Did you guys have a written and/or riding test to obtain said certificate?
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post #16 of 30 Old 10-25-2012, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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I would like to thank everyone for the excellent advice you have given me so far.

Update- I am now insured with a 1 mil. liability policy through AgriRisk - division of Markel. They were by far the easiest company to work with. Woo!

I also have been trailering horses out to the big indoor arena with students that have progressed beyond the round pen.

I am looking into getting my own gift certificates and putting together some specials for Christmas. I was thinking of offering a 'free helmet' with the purchase of several lessons.

I can see why a lot of instructors might not provide helmets, but so far all of the parents have been VERY thankful for them. And as 90% of my students are beginners, they haven't invested in a helmet yet and I definitely want them to wear one that is approved. Also, the insurance requires it.

I am loving this so far. I have really made much profit, but I have made enough to purchase $130 in helmets, $50 in advertising and promotion, and $700 in insurance. I don't think horse people do this to make money though. If I can make enough to where my hobby doesn't cost anything, that's perfect for me. If I make a little extra, that's a bonus.

I have been contacted by a parent who's child goes to a charter school, and the charter school may pay for lessons as part of the child's education! This interests me a LOT. I think my program would fit in great too because of the all around aspect of it. I have a homeschooler who takes weekly lessons as part of her education as well.

Just wanted to hop, skip and jump for joy a little. :) Thanks for listening!
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post #17 of 30 Old 10-26-2012, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Sounds like things are moving in the right direction. Congrats!

I think providing helmets is a great idea, as I bet many parents don't want to invest in one if their child just wants to try a lesson or two. When my daughter first started she was allowed to ride in rubber boots and a bike helmet for the first weeks, and we appreciated not needing to buy anything special right away. That place also provided helmets for lessons.

I wish there was a dedicated, passionate and organised instructor like your near us. Best of luck with everything and keep updating!
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post #18 of 30 Old 10-26-2012, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselessmom View Post
Sounds like things are moving in the right direction. Congrats!

I think providing helmets is a great idea, as I bet many parents don't want to invest in one if their child just wants to try a lesson or two. When my daughter first started she was allowed to ride in rubber boots and a bike helmet for the first weeks, and we appreciated not needing to buy anything special right away. That place also provided helmets for lessons.

I wish there was a dedicated, passionate and organised instructor like your near us. Best of luck with everything and keep updating!
Thank you so much for the encouraging words! That really means a lot to me.
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-26-2012, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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It's sounding good-definetely pursue the school system paying for some lessons-a solid stream of income equals paece of mind & horses are expensive. Good Luck!
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-26-2012, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cacowgirl View Post
It's sounding good-definetely pursue the school system paying for some lessons-a solid stream of income equals paece of mind & horses are expensive. Good Luck!
Thank you very much! Yes, I'm thinking working with the schools would be great! I actually don't own any horses, I use lesson horses from a barn nearby. The owner also teaches lessons, but my program is different in that I teach basic horsemanship as well as riding. She makes half of the lesson fee so she loves making an income without having to do anything, and I love not having to pay for the upkeep of several lesson horses!
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