Teaching Riding Lessons - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-22-2012, 10:49 PM
Green Broke
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I agree with what others are saying. Once you accept money you aren't acting as a friend or anything, but a professional.

They aren't just paying for your time to teach their child, but also their daughter's safety. This is further complicated by it being your horse.

I'm not sure how well a release would hold up, most of the ones I have read tend to cover accidents rather than "mis-instruction" which could end up being a potential problem.

Many people say "nothing will happen" but it can and does happen, and if I were you I would be cautious.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pepperduck View Post
Correct me I'm wrong, but don't you board your horse? Talk to your barn owner before offering lessons because they might not allow it, or want your student to sign a special release form.
As far as lessons go, if they are a complete beginner I like to start them on a lunge line
I do, and she's already told me recently that I should teach lessons. So she's completely fine with it. :)

And for anyone wondering about insurance, yes, she is required to sign a release form.
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 09:28 AM
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I share the concerns of other posters in this thread.

I taught for years, but did so by first apprecticing myself to a well known, established instructor, and then by obtaining a certification.

When I went out on my own, insurance was a major concern, and I was astonished at the cost and how detailed the questions were. I needed personal liability insurance and also insurance to protect the property owners.

Frankly, I question the judgement of someone who would approach a teen and ask for lessons rather than going to an established program. Is is just to save on the cost?

Here's some questions to ask before doing this -
What is your training to teach?
What is your selection of safety equipment? Will you provid a helmet and fit it to the child or require the child to provide their own?
Is your tack lesson suitable?
Do you have any first aid training? Is there a first aid kit readily available?
Is the facility suitable for beginner lessons? That means a totally enclosed ring with a minimum of obstacles, and that anyone else using the ring is prepared to give the beginner right of way?
Is the facility owner really on board with this? Does she have a standard release? Does she have liability insurance that covers lessons by outside instructors?
Is your horse suitable as a lesson horse? Why do you think so? Would other horseman agree that the horse is suitable?

You are also putting yourself in a difficult position with your pricing. You're pricing yourself *well* below what an established professional would charge, but you are accepting cash for this service. That constitutes a contract and makes you a professional, which means you can't claim you were just doing it for fun or as a favor if something goes wrong. You'll be held to a professional standard of behavior because you have charged and accepted money.

You'd be better off telling the parents you'd be happy to do it for fun to get the child started, and then have them take the kid to a regular instructor or riding school. Have the parents give you a gift in appreciation rather than pay you.
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 09:47 AM
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To the OP,

I know you probably think we're all raining on your parade and being buzz kills.

And I will be perfectly honest, and tell you I did exactly what you're proposing at your age - taught lessons on my own horse, in my own tack at the place I was boarding. I had a blast and it was good money compared to what I made babysitting or at my other jobs.

What I am trying to say is knowing what I know now, after 20 years experience as a professional horseperson, and 13 more in the corporate world, is that I would NOT do it again. And I wouldn't let me daughter do it if she were in your situation.

I own my own place now, and I have two lovely beginner suitable animals, a horse and a pony. But no ring, limited tack, etc. And I have no first aid equirpment or certification. (I was a licensed EMT for a lot of the years I taught professionally.) I will absolutely put a friend or a friend's child on a lunge line and give a mini-lesson for fun. But I won't do formal lessons, and I won't charge for them. The risk is too great.

It's not that I don't understand the appeal of doing this, I do. I just also have a much better understanding of the down side.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 10:24 AM
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One more point to add about those "liability releases"...

A good lawyer can find a way around those kinds of documents and sue based on something NOT covered by the document.

Never assume that a signed release form covers all situations.

Leasing a spoiled rotten trail horse...pretty - but a brat!
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post #16 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 11:05 AM
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Just so you know, we all would like to tell you to go ahead, but Tort Law makes it difficult for anybody to do any new business now. Many big companies have said that they couldn't start THEIR business in 2012. John Stossel was talking about the impossibility of opening a lemonade stand bc to regulation. I truly WISH that the climate was different. We just don't want you to have a problem down the road.
Teaching is so fulfilling. Do you play an instrument? I taught piano and voice and might again. That's safe enough. I wish you ALL the best. =D
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by sarahkgamble View Post
I do, and she's already told me recently that I should teach lessons. So she's completely fine with it. :)

And for anyone wondering about insurance, yes, she is required to sign a release form.
What does the release say? Who does it cover? It may only cover the BO and not you. (ours does for other instructors) I'd take a good look at it before I agreed to do lessons.
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post #18 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 12:06 PM
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In civil court in the US you can can file a complaint (sue) any one for any reason. This does not mean it won't be dismissed years later after the defendant has been harassed to death, it just means there is nothing protecting society from this type of harrassment - and the lawyers make sure it stays that way. So, nothing trully protects you - however, most states have equine laws which recongnize there is an inherent danger w horses.

I do not mean this in a bad way, however, if you do not even know where to begin with lessons, you should have declined. You need training as much as the student, not good. I never took formal lessons, but I paid for them for my daughter b/c she wanted to do english and I only ever did western. I thought it was interesting how they "formalized" it. It looked so fun, I took a few myself! They were pro's, they knew their hunter jumper "stuff" AND they knew how to train. A parent should have enough sense to hire a pro trainer. There is no law preventing anyone that wants to from taking money for lessons....but I imagine it wouldn't be in your favor if anything happened and you were taken to court.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #19 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Missy May View Post
however, most states have equine laws which recongnize there is an inherent danger w horses.
The state statute liability laws do not cover businesses. If they did, no one would need insurance. They cover activities.

Minnesota Equine Activity Statute
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 12:33 PM
Green Broke
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ITA with everything maura has said.
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