How did you find your Barn/Instructor? - Page 2
   

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How did you find your Barn/Instructor?

This is a discussion on How did you find your Barn/Instructor? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

    View Poll Results: How did you find your barn, trainer or instructor?
    I saw a business card. 0 0%
    I saw a flyer. 1 3.23%
    I drove by the place. 2 6.45%
    I saw them at a show. 1 3.23%
    I googled. 7 22.58%
    I saw them on a classfied ads website. 1 3.23%
    Word of Mouth. 10 32.26%
    Other! 10 32.26%
    Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

     
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        02-07-2009, 12:34 PM
      #11
    Yearling
    There are two stables nearby, and I have friends who learned to ride at both. I picked the one where I wanted to learn to ride based on their reputations and what I saw at the stables - one was great, one not great at all.

    If you're looking to get customers, don't underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Perhaps give an introductory offer for the first lesson (who wouldn't pass up a discounted lesson?) to hook people in, or hold some sort of event that'll help make people aware your barn exists and is a possibility, e.g. If you've got a few horses and ponies available for lessons, hold a pony day where kids can come and have a little ride and learn something about the world of horses.

    Look at your local advertising opportunities, and if you make a website, for goodness' sake make it a professional-looking one. As a consumer I am instantly turned off any product with a shoddily-made website.
         
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        02-07-2009, 01:37 PM
      #12
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by claireauriga    
    Look at your local advertising opportunities, and if you make a website, for goodness' sake make it a professional-looking one. As a consumer I am instantly turned off any product with a shoddily-made website.
    I couldn't agree more with that statement! I have passed over barns that I saw online just because of their website. I know getting a grand old website isn't cheap, but I would suggest at least exploring your options.

    Things I like to see on websites are:
    Pictures of the barn
    Pictures of the turnout spaces
    Pictures of other amenities (indoor arena, tack room, wash stall, outdoor arena(s), round pen, etc)
    Prices of board/lessons/other services offered. (I don't like wasting my time if I see a really nice place online only to find out, through talking on the phone or going there, that they are out of my price range.
    Pictures of horses (whether being ridden, out in the pasture, etc) That way I can see the conditions of the horses prior to going there.


    If you wanted to, maybe even have a "Boarders" page. Where there are pictures of the horses and owners. Some people might feel more welcome if they see the names and faces of people already there (it kind of takes away from the "new kid on the block" type feel.

    You could even put up upcoming events on their too.
         
        02-07-2009, 01:49 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Remember that the website is there to sell your services; it's not a blog for friends and family! For the style, go with clean lines and have a consistent layout, e.g. A side or topbar with links rather than each page being some FrontPage mashup. Keep grammar, spelling and punctuation good. Take decent photographs that show you know what you're doing and the good things customers can get for coming to you.
         
        02-07-2009, 04:22 PM
      #14
    Trained
    While I agree that it shouldn't be a blog for friends or family, its always nice to know what kind of environment you are going to be in. Strictly business vs. more family style.

    I've been to both kind of barns and I much prefer the family feel than business. JMO though.

    I agree that it should be easy to navigate both to and from pages.

    My fiance does make websites for a competitive price too, in case you're interested (he also specializes in Search engine optimization if you're interested)
         
        02-07-2009, 08:58 PM
      #15
    Foal
    I found mine by word of mouth. My mother had a friend who was a judge, and she reccomended my instructor. I've been with this instructor ever since, she's great!

    I have to agree that a professional looking website is a HUGE factor if you have a boarding barn. Basically you should look seriously into having it done professionally. Many businesses will offer solutions for you if you want to update it yourself etc. My parents run a web design business (Mum designs, Dad builds) and this is one of the things that they do. They made a website for my instructor with an updates box that she can do herself, profiles on each horse and other pages that suited the barn which was a VERY family/kid-oriented place. On other websites they are completely user-friendly and allow the client to update each page by themselves.

    Good luck with your business!
         
        02-08-2009, 08:36 PM
      #16
    Foal
    I found my trainer(instructor) at the county fair two years ago. I was having issues and he just came up and started giving me advice that worked pretty much instantly. XD He gave me lessons in the evenings during fair week and I started going to his house and getting regular lessons.

    I'm currently boarding (sort of. Two horses in training with my trainer and he uses this barn's facilities during the winter. So, I heard about this place from him and I really like it. (Double K Farm for any of you Michigan people looking for places to board! In Blissfield lol)
         
        02-09-2009, 12:28 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    My mom called the vets and asked for the numbers of the local barns, there were 3 and only 1 was looking to hire. I didnt want any thing to do with it cause I knew I would start to want a horse. But ofcourse I couldnt stay away then started to work there, lessons, and begun to wine "I waaaant a hoooorse" until I got Gypsy.
         
        02-09-2009, 10:50 AM
      #18
    Weanling
    LKSDFLKJ *kills forum* It refreshed or something. D:

    Anyways, retyping.

    First I went to summer camp at a barn run by a state park. Probably found out through the newspaper or a brochure or something.

    Then I went to a therapeutic riding barn for handicapped people, and volunteered there for two years. I was able to take lessons on the side at this barn. Found out about this through mom's ex-boyfriend.

    Then I went back to the summer camp place and took actual lessons there for a while.

    I then went to visit a barn associated with the therapy barn and really liked it there, so I rode there for a while too.

    After that, I went to help train my mom's ex's friend's 3yo mare, and she wanted to take her to a trainer that she knew, so I went there with her. That's how I found Lynda. I stayed there for about a year, and that's also where I got my horse Beau.

    I got sick of Lynda being ... grouchy all the time I gues, so I looked for other barns on the internet, and on a barn listings website linked from a tack store, found one I liked, went out to look at it, loved it, and moved my horse there. I haven't regretted moving there since, and my current trainer works VERY well with my horse, as Lynda worked on me more than my horse (who was very green when I got him)
         
        02-09-2009, 04:39 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    I found my current barn by searching on the internet. There are only 2 I could find that did English riding at all. One of the 2 was almost 2 hours away. I am glad that I really like the one I ended up with since I did not really have much choice. Before the internet, I would look in the phone book and go by word of mouth.

    A website is a must with current updates. Nothing says unprofessional to me as a website that is still talking about events scheduled to happen two years ago. Also ads at the local feed and tack stores in your area. Also, talk to the people at the tack stores. The lady at the tack store was who I would ask if I was looking for someone who did such and such.
         
        02-09-2009, 07:00 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    I just did my own website.... www.starlinestables.com Its not quite done but if yall want to critique it be my guests!!!!
         

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