Do Riding Academies Allow Trading Work for Riding Lessons? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Do Riding Academies Allow Trading Work for Riding Lessons?

I've been volunteering at my local horse rescue place for a while now, it's called Red Bucket Equestrian Rescue, and as great as it is to learn how to read a horse's body language and learn how to care and feed for them, I really want to take up horse back riding.

Of course, the English riding lessons in my area (closest horse area is Chino/Chino Hills of California), are pretty expensive at 50-70 dollars an hour. So I was wondering if anyone knows if its possible to exchange work for riding lessons? Has anyone done that? And how did you approach the riding school owners?
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 01:27 PM
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That is what I did when I needed lessons. I would catch all the horses, groom, saddle, help out with vet appointments, and in exchange I would get a lesson each week.

To ask, I'd say something along the lines of

I really would like to have the opportunity of riding lessons, but we can't afford it. Is there any way I could come help out and work for my lessons?
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 02:11 PM
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Many places will allow a student to work off a percentage of their lesson cost.
You might first though need to prove yourself responsible, and able to handle the work needed done and being able to say catch, lead, tack-up and get students astride and comfortably settled upon their mount over a period of time before a trade-off could be arranged.

The price you give for lessons also makes me think you are looking at semi-private or private lessons.
Have you considered group lessons...they are much more affordable and not usually more than 4 in any group lesson I took as a kid.

Try the below address. It lists lots of riding facilities in close proximity to where you mentioned with lesson programs geared to children, adults, beginner to advanced rider in several disciplines.
With a listing such as this many to choose I bet you can find something that fits your needs and is affordable. {You may need to copy & paste that address if it doesn't give a quick link...}

Good luck and enjoy your soon-to-be riding time!
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 03:18 PM
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This is what my wife did as well. She volunteered to assist with the therapeutic equine program at a local troubled youth home in exchange for seat time and lessons. It was very much a win-win for everyone.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 04:52 PM
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As others have said, usually they're pretty open as long as you've proven you're responsible. One place I worked at in exchange for lessons; I had to clean 20 stalls on Saturday and got my lesson on Sunday.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 06:40 PM
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My experience has been that some do and some don't. The barn I'm with now will exchange work for a discount on a lease horse on a very limited basis. The owner says that if he did that for everyone who wanted it, he would not have enough cash flow to stay afloat.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 07:07 PM
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I to have cleaned stalls for saddle time. People whom run equestrian centers are for the most part quite as busy with maintenance as they are with lessons and such and are rather appreciative to someone that wants to lend a hand.
I would simply ask out-and-out if you could exchange work for lessons and don't be afraid to dig fence posts lol.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone! There is quite a few places in my area so I'm hoping that one of them will be willing to make a deal with me.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 08:32 PM
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Depending on the level of the trainer, $50-$70 is normal (at least in my area). It depends on the place, some will allow you to work off lessons and others will not for various reasons. Best you can do is go for a tour of the place, meet the trainer and watch them coach a few lessons, speak with other students & boarders, see if it's a good fit and THEN discuss cost/working off lessons.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 10:23 PM
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^I was just going to say the same thing. For English lessons (at least, H/J) $50-70 is pretty average.

Honestly, it depends. What is your skill level like, and what kind of experience do you have? What I have noticed, is the more "reputable" the trainer--or, maybe "high level" is a better way of putting it--the less likely they are to offer any sort of work in exchange for lessons. Of course, these trainers are also generally less likely to have lesson horses. At least, from what I have seen.
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