Teaching Riding Lessons
So, a family at church recently approached me to see if I taught riding lessons, I said that I don't, but that I can and it had been a thought in my mind before.
After discussing it, I accepted and I'll start giving this girl lessons in April.
She is in 6th grade, never ridden before, and we will be using all of my stuff and my horse.
My fee, I said, would be $25 for 1.5 hours with $10 per extra hour (depending on if she wanted to ride extra/wanted extra coaching).
I've been doing research on designing a lesson program (I'm taking this very seriously), since I want to give her a good foundation in riding/taking care of horses.
I have a few questions, though.
1) What does your lesson program look like? Do you keep records of lessons/student progress?
2) What happens in your typical beginner lesson?
Rethink this. I used to teach at the place that I boarded my horses for 10 years. Now that I have my OWN place I won't do it bc if my students get hurt, their parents could sue me and I could lose my place. I bought 5 acres with a house, 4-car garage, 2 outbuildings, fencing in place and a good sized barn for under $90K. I cannot replace this.
Tell them to look for a stable that teaches.
I don't teach lessons but here are some ideas for what to include. :)
Different parts of the horse and tack (this will help her better understand what you're talking about)
Safe handling should be a huge one. Really be a stickler with her. Don't let her do things like duck under the horse to get to the other side, etc.
Catching, grooming, tacking up, ground work, mounting, etc!
Do you have insurance to cover you in case she gets hurt?
just be sure they sign a release. If they had their own horse to use, this would be better, too.
I would work in a round pen for the first 5 lessons.
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 would start with safety first, then grooming, then tack, then lunge line work. Do the grooming and see if the child is afraid of the horse and has a since of where she is compared to the horse.
Makes me wonder why I bothered to go and train for 3 years. Spent all that time, money and effort when I could have just posted here and asked what to do and then charged to take customers for a ride.
Have you thought about what happens if your customer falls off. How will you be able to say you're not negligent because you know what you're doing. A bit difficult if you're asking people on a forum.
What about insurance?
What about your horse? Is it highly trained and quiet enough to do beginner lessons.
First off. We charged 35 dollars a half hour at our lesson/training barn, IF they paid for 6 lessons up front, they got price break down to 25 dollars, but money came first.
When I did them I got 20 for 1/2 hour lesson.
Any less and you are biting yourself in foot.
And curious about the ducking under neck? Since when did this become a no no? Done it all my life, as do all the horsepeople I know, of various breeds/disciplines. It is not unsafe, any more than anything else working around horses. Simply have to let horse know you are there.
But your insurance carrier may not be gung ho over this, and you need to check with them.
Secondly, if you don't know what you are doing, and I mean as in many years with this, an accident could have lawyer grilling you "So what exactly is your background in training riders? Where did you study? How many hours in your degree were necessary for you to be able to teach horseback riding."
Of course, nothing may happen. If you decide to go ahead with this, you need to establish right from get go that student has to be attired properly, and behave. Parents can stay first lesson, after that, they can't hang around, as I have had parents cluck to horse, or wave arms around inside pen while hanging on it. One time of that was all it took to start that policy.
I also had sheets of homework, word search for horse words, conformation drawings showing parts of horse, book lists for them to read, that sort of thing.
Be very careful. You need special insurance for that. Because if not and she gets hurt you could loose you house and everything you own.
It's one thing offering to give a kid a few lessons on her own pony, but using your horse, your equipment and at your place (assuming you;re not boarding because that is even more complicated) then you seriously want insurance. And getting that insurance when you're not qualified is expensive. But if you don't have it, and then kid falls and their head gets kicked and they get brain damaged? You lose your house.
Not trying to be rude about it in any way, in fact I was on your side of this conversation a few years ago (but teaching the kid on his own pony). I teach at a local riding school, but the yard owner and head instructor is supervising , insured for me to teach, and knows that I know how she likes lessons to be taught, and I know all the ponies involved very well. However, when a parent approached me asking for some private lessons for one of the kids, she warned me right off. Not a good idea when the facilities weren't mine, I would be in sole charge, and legally responsible as I was accepting money for it.
So if you want to do it - go and get qualified! I don't know what it takes in the states, but getting BHS PTT over here is only something like 500 hours logged teaching time under supervision. I really need to get organised and actually do it...
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