Teens teaching beginner lessons?
I am in my late teens and my two passions are horses and kids. I've really wanted to start teaching kids riding lessons and I was wondering what your opinion on this is?
I don't do top level showing or anything but I know my way around a horse and will be starting a part time job as a horse exercises/trainer. I have been riding for 10 years and babysitting/working with kids for 5.
In my area for a private 1 hour lesson it is about $45 and for a private half hour is $35. I was thinking of charging $25 for an hour or $20 for a half hour. This would include me being there to help with grooming, tacking up/down etc. Does that seem fair? [given that I am not a certified instructor and the lessons would be given at a small family farm]
Cait...the hopefully soon-to-be instructor for beginner riders :D
I don't have a problem with teenaged riding instructors theoretically...many teens are very skilled riders. But the issue I have is that most, if not all, aren't certified or insured, which can be a big problem.
I served as an assistant riding instructor at a farm for a few years (mostly teaching 5-10 year olds in summer camps) but I always had a supervisor even if I was running the lesson myself, and she was certified/insured. The farm and horses were also under insurance, so I was fairly well covered. I did fine, but it was a lot of work and not every parent wants their kid to learn from a teenager.
Would you have someone overseeing you? Who's horses would you use? What would you do if a child was hurt or a parent became angry?
I think that is fair. I hope everything works out for you!
Well, I'm a teen and have been teaching kids lessons for a few years now, so I'm all for you teaching. But are you planning to do it out of your own barn or try to get a job training at an established lesson stable? I don't really think it would be a good idea to start teaching by yourself. If something goes wrong its always good to have and adult, experienced trainer around. Just saying, I would never teach a kid's lesson without my own trainer around, it just makes me nervous. I suggest finding a job at a camp or lesson barn, at least until you have some real teaching experience. It's harder than it looks, IMHO teaching someone to ride is just as difficult as learning to ride yourself.
For someone in their older teens it's fine, but I really think that it's important to get certified. When someone charges for services there is an understanding that they are certified in whatever they do. You could start a certification process and work at it while teaching, that way you could implement the things you learn each week.
Of course insurance is very important and make sure you work out exactly what you are being insured for.
As for your age and needing certification etc- I started teaching lessons at 19 through a riding school and I was completely terrified at first lol. I had a great time but quickly found weaknesses in my knowledge. Thankfully with the support of the other instructors, who were not much older then me, the internet and my willingness to constantly learn I grew as much as some of my students and I loved it. I did look in to being certified and in the US, at least in my area, it was difficult and a bit expensive. If I decided to teach anything more then the basics to beginners and brush ups to intermediate riders I would become certified. However, since instructing isn't my first career choice I chose to focus on college courses.
Do you have lesson horses? Have you studied how a typical lesson is conducted? Ie. teaching a rider how to warm up, a couple of exercises to work on each lesson and then some time to talk over how those exercises went during a semi guided cool down? Will you only be giving private lessons? Is the arena there safe for beginners who are timid at steering? There is a lot to consider.
You only have to be 16 I think to become certified riding instructor in Canada, from Equine Canada?
Not sure if certification is typical in Canada, but in the US I've never seen an instructor advertise as being certified, I've never asked about certification, and there's no governing body who issues certifications that I would care about even if someone was certified.
Actually, not entirely true, I could potentially care about USDF instructor certification, but there's literally 1 USDF certified instructor in my entire state. Given the number of well respected dressage trainers in the area who have not bothered to get that certification, I guess doesn't hold a lot of weight, either.
As Endiku pointed out, the biggest thing would be insurance. Be sure the facility you're thinking of teaching at carries insurance and what it would take for you to be covered (i.e. it may require you to be supervised for all lessons. That may be just a designated adult on the premises, or it may mean someone actually watching at all times)
I have run a riding stable for the past 25 years. I have had teenagers that have taught both in our summer camp and beginner lessons. They have done a wonderful job.
The insurance would be the biggest thing...to protect you. Make sure that your farm has insurance.
As far as certifications go, not many people have teaching certifications that I know of. I have had a few that did...they were no better than the ones that didn't, and in some instances were even less qualified. I think it is nice to be able to say you are certified but it doesn't always mean much more than you paid a fee and completed some program...it doesn't necessarily make you a good instructor.
Best of luck!
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