3 Lessons a Week at 3 Barns? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryland
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3 Lessons a Week at 3 Barns?

Ok. So here is my convoluted long story.

I have been riding at Barn A since I was a wee tyke. It is located about 15 minutes from my house, and 55 minutes from my school, according to Google Maps, but the actual drive is shorter. All summer, I have been looking for a horse to bring there to do a year long lease and get seriously into showing hunters, and planned on continuing to ride there when I go back to school later this month.

Barn B is the barn where my school's equestrian team rides. I'm not a huge fan of the facilities or the horses they provide, but its not up to me where the team practices, and I have to take lessons with the team in order to be part of the show team.

So my plan was to just squeeze in my weekly team lesson at Barn B once a week, and take another lesson with my trainer at Barn A, and go to Barn A a few times a week to ride my horse.

However, here we are at the end of the summer, and I have yet to find a horse. What I originally wanted was a six month lease, of which 3 months would be summer, three would be school, to make sure I could actually handle having a horse at school. I then hoped to purchase a horse if this all went well. My trainer offered me one of the advanced lesson horses for a lease, but another of the advanced lesson horses has retired since then (he was a big grey warmblood with LOTS of melanomas, and all the sudden they seem to be affecting him a lot, and he collapsed in a lesson and is no longer fit to be ridden). So I don't know if the other horse will still be available, and in all honesty, I'd feel kind of bad taking one of the only good lesson horses away from my other friends who can't afford their own horse, when I can.

While I was searching for a horse to lease, I came across this barn that is closer to my school (but further from my house) that seems really nice. Let's call this Barn C. I was considering switching there, I had made another thread about that. It seems like more of a show barn than my own Barn A, and that ultimately is what I want to do. Plus it is closer to school, which is a huge plus.


So the plan I came up with was to take a weekly private each with Barns A and C, and then my team group lesson with Barn B. That would be three lessons a week, two of them with reputable trainers on quality show horses. Three lessons a week would not be leasing a horse, but I feel the time commitment would be similar, so maybe I could still get an idea. I wouldn't, however, have any of the responsabilities that come with a lease (not sure if that is good or bad). And instead of leasing a horse I have no intention of buying, I could save my money for a horse that I would want to buy. These lessons would only come to $400 a month, as opposed to $1200+ if I were to lease.

Has anyone done anything as complicated as this? How has it worked out?

If you read this whole thing you are my hero.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
kathryn is offline  
post #2 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I think if you are athletic enough to be able to follow what a different trainer is telling you to do on a different horse on a different day then it could work. You will certainly learn many ideas which in the long run will serve you well.

Rule #1 of riding with different trainer: Never ever say, "But Suzy (other trainer) always has me doing it this way".
Alwaysbehind is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Maryland
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Oh absolutely, AlwaysBehind. Haha I have such deference for pretty much anyone who isn't me when it comes to horses, I always just keep my mouth shut and try my best.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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To make my life even more complicated, I am thinking of informally leasing my friend's mare. I rode her a few times during school last year, and she is desperate to lease her out, because she doesn't have the time/money for her with her new horse. She's super fun, a great jumper. I've always been interested in trying jumpers, I was thinking I could just pay her a nominal fee and maybe enter some jumper shows with her, just for my own amusement and stress relief, and to help my friend out until she finds a real leaser. This mare is at Barn D haha, only about twenty minutes from campus but in the opposite direction as my house, so not a viable option for me to keep my own horse at.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 12:40 PM
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A couple years ago, I was riding my horse, who was at my trainers place at the time, twice a week, a friends game pony once, dressage lesson once, and a friends giant Percheron, just for fun, once a week.

That was everyday after school I had a lesson with almost different people everytime.
It worked out fine, no issues. I just made sure I always had a set day, for each barn, and kept it that way. No issues ever occured.
It was hectic, but I learned a lot riding everything from a crazy spooky pony, to a gentle giant of a percheron.

So as long as you keep a set lesson plan for each barn, it shouldn't be too troublesome.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Virginia
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I have owned my horse for almost 2 years, and I love him and all, but I probably bought too soon. As my horse is on full board at a barn, I don't think the responsibility of owning is significantly different than leasing would be. I do small health maintenance chores, and the barn takes care of pretty much everything else.

I think if I had saved money and taken more lessons instead, I would have known better what horse would be a good match, and would have been able to get a more schooled horse to start with.

With the three lessons at three barns you will still have responsibility, it is just slightly different than actually owning or leasing. I think you are right on that, it is basically just the time commitment. If you are happy committing all that time to other people's horses, you are sure to be all set when it comes time to buy.

The up side to owning or leasing is that you really get your communication down with one horse and maybe can go father faster if you are competing. But if you are showing interschool anyway, and your main goal right now is to improve your riding, I think your plan is a good one!

Unless you find out the two trainers are totally opposed to each other in what they're teaching you ...

Good luck!
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Maryland
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Yeah, that's what I think I would be missing. I would trade extra instruction for a bond with my horse. But my eventual goal is to buy a horse, but the horse I picture in my brain I don't think I am currently ready for. So it doesn't make sense to spend money to lease a horse that is not one I would end up buying.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-06-2011, 11:16 AM
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Saving $800 per month is always good. As long as you can adapt to 3 different teaching styles, I don't see why that wouldn't work. The only downside I can possibly see is if you're the type of rider who likes to always be on the same horse. I personally don't have the patience for a forward nut job one day, lazy horse the next day, etc. I prefer to be just with my own guy and learning about all his little buttons and triggers. Try it. You can always change your mind if it's not a good fit.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 08-06-2011, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Vermont
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Your school team is with the IHSA, right? If so, all this riding experience is perfect. At IHSA shows you have no choice in what horse you ride, most of the time.
Honestly, I think it'll be a lot. But I also think you seem to be confident and can handle it. If you can't, make barns A and C every other week, alternating (so you always have two lessons a week.)

"The wise man thinks he knows nothing.
The fool thinks he knows everything."

Tymer is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 08-06-2011, 10:15 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New Zealand
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See personally I wouldnt do that - I like to progress from where I last left off and I also like to be consitant with what I am being taught (Different trainers have different techniques etc)

However I do own my own horses so its a little different... I do try to have lessons with other trainers so I can learn new ways but not regually as such like you are planning....

thats just me though..... each to there own and all that :)
jody111 is offline  

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