Want to Ride - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Want to Ride

So...I am super horse crazy. I really want to take riding lessons but they are too expensive right now ($25 per lesson (group) and you have to go every week). I had the brilliant idea of emailing them about being a working student but she declined. Do you have any ideas for me? I was also thinking about writing a letter to some neighbors down the road about maybe if I helped them with stable chores and such if they could maybe teach me...They have 3 horses and I see them ride past my house all the time. What should I say in my letter? Also if you have any other ideas for me you can leave them below. Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 12:54 PM
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Call around to other barns to see if they will trade work for a lesson. You can always politely ask your neighbors, but be aware that they might not want you riding their horses for various reasons. Maybe their horses are too much to handle for a beginner. Are there any therapeutic riding centers or horse rescues around you? You might not be able to ride there either for a while, but at the very least, you might get to help groom the calmer horses and work your way up.

I'm not sure if writing a letter is that helpful in today's society. If I got one, it would just get put to the side and forgotten about (this might vary depending on what country you are in). If you can find a phone number, I would call up the barn and talk to someone. Or for your neighbors, see if you can catch them while they're out riding or stop by some time for a chat.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 12:57 PM
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I think writing a letter or just calling and leaving a message is a great idea!

Just introduce yourself to your neighbors, tell them where you live, and that you are interested in learning how to ride. Let them know that you are on a low budget, so you can't afford lessons like the other stable offered, although you did try to see if you could work off lesson expenses there. Let them know that you would be willing to work in exchange for riding their horses, and getting instruction from them. You'd have to come up with some sort of work/riding schedule.

Just know that horse chores aren't easy, and they do require an hour or two each morning and night (depending upon the number of horses they have). You'd have to plan accordingly, and be willing to help do the "crap" work (as I call it).

Sounds like a good idea. Just be honest, and I'm sure you'll do fine!
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 01:03 PM
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private parties are less likely to allow you to ride because of insurance reasons, but many barns do trade labor for riding or lessons, that's how I learned. I was a customer at a dude ride place, then went back and offered to clean up for more riding.

good luck
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 01:15 PM
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It's going to be very hard to get a job at a barn. There are dozens of other kids there who want the same job for the same reasons. I'd suggest getting a babysitting job or dog walking/sitting job. Also, ask your parents if you can do chores around the house to earn some money for lessons.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 01:17 PM
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Oh yeah, when you start riding consistently you might make a connection at the barn that will allow you to work there.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 02:21 PM
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When I was a child my parents couldn't afford for me to go riding every week. I did odd jobs for neighbours, as I wasn't old enough to get a part time job. I asked for money for birthday and Christmas, and by being frugal I managed to ride every week.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 04:32 PM
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Do you have any horse rescue or adoption places nearby? You could be a volunteer there. That way you can get comfy around horses and start taking care of them and maybe learn how to do some training and riding.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 07:37 PM
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Depending how old you are, I would say just get a job. Even if you're only working once or twice a week it'll cover the costs of lessons. 25 dollars is really cheap. I pay 70 for a private 45 minute lesson, 60 for a semi private.

But if you could get a job, I'm sure it'd make you more happy. As you get more addicted to horses you can buy your own things lol.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-05-2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SlideStop View Post
It's going to be very hard to get a job at a barn. There are dozens of other kids there who want the same job for the same reasons.
This is what I was going to say. Any established lesson barn has it's usual gaggle of kids who are itching to work for free saddle time, and showing up as a newbie and trying to get into that group would be difficult.

Originally Posted by thetempest89 View Post
Depending how old you are, I would say just get a job. Even if you're only working once or twice a week it'll cover the costs of lessons.
x2. I pay for my daughters single lesson every week, but she often does a second one which she pays for herself if she wants to ride more. She earns the money by babysitting and a semi-steady gig with a family on our street walking their young kids to school every day.

As for asking a private family if they'll help you, that would be great so long as they are willing to teach, and actually know what they're teaching. There are a surprising number of people out there that own horses and ride purely for pleasure, but aren't actually very good riders, so learning from them might not be as helpful as you hope it might be. If there's one thing about learning to ride that's imperative, it's learning to do it right from the onset - bad habits or incorrect instruction are hard to "Un-do" down the road.

Good luck. :)

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