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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every year when it starts to get warm, people are always bugging me to let them ride my horse. If it’s a close friend or something, then I usually say fine and lead them around a bit. But this year it’s been so annoying.
2 people have asked me to essentially give them free riding lessons and at first I’m just like oh no I can’t, but then they go on and on about how they can’t afford it. I feel bad so I let them come out to just see the horses and then they push and push until they are riding them. I feel bad because I know I’m insanely privileged to have a farm, and I wouldn’t be the horse woman I am today unless I had the kindness of others growing up. It’s just all so much sometimes.

And one person somehow manipulated me into giving her lessons and she’s constantly late and hangs out at the barn for like hours afterwards when I’m trying to work, never offering to help. She is always popping my horse (I only let her use a halter) because I’m assuming the only riding she’s done is trail rides where they tell you to do this, but my horse is pulling because she’s super cranked up on the reins. I tell her to stop and she won’t and says she’s being tough. So she’s never riding her again lol.
Another woman asks me like 2-3 times per week to come see the horses with her kids and always says they will do chores in return. But they always hang out with the horses and then have to go and don’t offer to clean anything. She brings her young boys along, and they are always running around the horses and I know they are going to get kicked or something. They have release forms of course, but obviously I don’t want something to happen to the kids. Like if I’m doing actual lessons then it’s worth the liability but not if they aren’t paying??

It’s so frustrating because I know they have looked up lesson prices and know I charge $70 per hour, and they don’t even offer to pay me half or anything. Sorry this is just a huge vent, I just don’t have any horse friends in my life and I’m so annoyed by this. It makes me just want to close my farm to the public.
 

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Your last sentence is the right answer.

I too grew up in a time where I was fortunate to be able to ride horses that didn't belong to me nor did I think a thing about letting others ride mine but we've reached a point in time where too many people are sue happy and we need to be a lot more careful about things. Yes people can sign waivers and it may make them think they can't sue you until they talk to a lawyer. The waivers might help lessen the judgement against you but you can still lose a lawsuit.

For people that bug you about coming out just tell them you're really expanding your lesson business and that paying customers are taking up all your time.
 

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You need to learn to say, "NO..."
A very simple word and one you obviously have not learned how useful it can be in life...
No to free lessons.
No to hanging out...
No to being used...
Learn the word and to mean it when you say it and amazingly all those leaches will disappear or those who are not leaches but truly want to be friends and around you learning will be recognized for what they are.
If you charge for lessons....then you tell them, no more freebies, the next ride will cost you ?? paid upfront before you get on the horse.
If this is how you make a living, make income needed to support your animals...then it is time to grow that alligator hide and learn the vocabulary of "NO!" and live with now having that word in your arsenal...
You will soon find out if you are/were being used, or if these people were genuine...
Money has a way of weeding out the leaches and showing the real side of people quickly.
🐴...
 

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You're being taken advantage of - I think it's time to cut them off. :)

I hope you can find some horse friends nearby soon, and we're all here on the forum in the meantime!
I second this. You’re a very kind hearted person to care. These people are bold enough to beg you, you should feel comfortable saying NO. Growing up, I worked at the barn cleaning stalls to pay for my lessons and was ecstatic when my riding instructor allowed me to go to regionals and nationals as her groom.
I personally would not allow someone else’s small children in my barn unless they are there for a lesson and I’m directing their every move. Sounds like it’s time for you to put your foot down so you can get back to enjoying your students and horses. 😊
 

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I'm not letting anyone ride my horse unless they have insurance specific to that. (In Ontario there's OEF and I made my part-boarder get coverage with them because if we both have it, I'm not liable if she's hurt by my horse.) You have the potential to be sued if any of these people are hurt. Even if they SAY they won't, and even if they sign a waiver, their health insurance providers WILL sue you, because they won't want to pay for medical expenses if they can make somebody else do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your last sentence is the right answer.

I too grew up in a time where I was fortunate to be able to ride horses that didn't belong to me nor did I think a thing about letting others ride mine but we've reached a point in time where too many people are sue happy and we need to be a lot more careful about things. Yes people can sign waivers and it may make them think they can't sue you until they talk to a lawyer. The waivers might help lessen the judgement against you but you can still lose a lawsuit.

For people that bug you about coming out just tell them you're really expanding your lesson business and that paying customers are taking up all your time.
yes you are so right. It sucks that this is the culture we live in. But yeah I’ve only known these people for a year or so. Maybe they would be the type to sue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You need to learn to say, "NO..."
A very simple word and one you obviously have not learned how useful it can be in life...
No to free lessons.
No to hanging out...
No to being used...
Learn the word and to mean it when you say it and amazingly all those leaches will disappear or those who are not leaches but truly want to be friends and around you learning will be recognized for what they are.
If you charge for lessons....then you tell them, no more freebies, the next ride will cost you ?? paid upfront before you get on the horse.
If this is how you make a living, make income needed to support your animals...then it is time to grow that alligator hide and learn the vocabulary of "NO!" and live with now having that word in your arsenal...
You will soon find out if you are/were being used, or if these people were genuine...
Money has a way of weeding out the leaches and showing the real side of people quickly.
🐴...
Yeah that’s great advice. Then I could know if these people really care about me lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not letting anyone ride my horse unless they have insurance specific to that. (In Ontario there's OEF and I made my part-boarder get coverage with them because if we both have it, I'm not liable if she's hurt by my horse.) You have the potential to be sued if any of these people are hurt. Even if they SAY they won't, and even if they sign a waiver, their health insurance providers WILL sue you, because they won't want to pay for medical expenses if they can make somebody else do it.
That’s super good advice and may be a great excuse, if nothing else!
 

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I agree with @horselovinguy - just say no or “Sorry I can’t.” No need to explain. You are busy and have lots on the go. They will either ask someone else or find the money to pay for lessons elsewhere.

I used to get guilted into doing all kinds of things I didn’t really want to do (committees and boards of directors worst among them) and then I read an article about saying no. Next time someone asked I just said, sorry I can’t. And they just moved on to someone else. It was a revelation.

The firmer you are without hesitation or explanation, the easier it is for them to move on and find alternatives.
 

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I've gotten to where, unless it's someone I want to deal with, I tell them my horse are not beginner safe.

I can not tell you how many people will come out with "Why haven't you asked me out to ride yet?" Or "So when are you taking me riding?". I guess it's ignorance? I have no idea why people would assume you would take them riding... But they do...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've gotten to where, unless it's someone I want to deal with, I tell them my horse are not beginner safe.

I can not tell you how many people will come out with "Why haven't you asked me out to ride yet?" Or "So when are you taking me riding?". I guess it's ignorance? I have no idea why people would assume you would take them riding... But they do...
Yea that’s a great idea. The truth is my mare really isn’t beginner safe and she hates kids lol. So it’s pretty true.
And yeah. I think because trail rides lull people into a false sense of what riding horses actually is. People think it’s easy and horses just do whatever.
 

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Both of the only people I let ride my horse in the hills (one was my brother and the other my sister's fiancé) came walking back a long time after my horse came home without them. She was trained to rear. They may have inadvertently given her the signal or else it was her idea.
 

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I'm pretty generous with my horses. And when I lived closer to my cows I was generous with the remuda.

The last few years, though, other than ranch friends who need an extra, I haven't had people ask. Even people with kids.

In one way, I don't think this is a good sign for the horse industry. And part of the horse industry is dependent on access to trails and zoning favorable to small acreage owners.

I'm not saying every body needs to loan out their horses or spend their time off giving pony rides. We each know our horses and our situations. Just pondering.
 

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You live on a farm. Farms are a great deal of work… tell them you’re too busy!
In addition, there’s the liability factor if someone gets hurt riding your horse. It’s fine to OCCASIONALLY let someone ride your horse—-if they’re an experienced rider— but it seems as though these “friends” are taking up all your time.
 

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Every year when it starts to get warm, people are always bugging me to let them ride my horse. If it’s a close friend or something, then I usually say fine and lead them around a bit. But this year it’s been so annoying.
2 people have asked me to essentially give them free riding lessons and at first I’m just like oh no I can’t, but then they go on and on about how they can’t afford it. I feel bad so I let them come out to just see the horses and then they push and push until they are riding them. I feel bad because I know I’m insanely privileged to have a farm, and I wouldn’t be the horse woman I am today unless I had the kindness of others growing up. It’s just all so much sometimes.

And one person somehow manipulated me into giving her lessons and she’s constantly late and hangs out at the barn for like hours afterwards when I’m trying to work, never offering to help. She is always popping my horse (I only let her use a halter) because I’m assuming the only riding she’s done is trail rides where they tell you to do this, but my horse is pulling because she’s super cranked up on the reins. I tell her to stop and she won’t and says she’s being tough. So she’s never riding her again lol.
Another woman asks me like 2-3 times per week to come see the horses with her kids and always says they will do chores in return. But they always hang out with the horses and then have to go and don’t offer to clean anything. She brings her young boys along, and they are always running around the horses and I know they are going to get kicked or something. They have release forms of course, but obviously I don’t want something to happen to the kids. Like if I’m doing actual lessons then it’s worth the liability but not if they aren’t paying??

It’s so frustrating because I know they have looked up lesson prices and know I charge $70 per hour, and they don’t even offer to pay me half or anything. Sorry this is just a huge vent, I just don’t have any horse friends in my life and I’m so annoyed by this. It makes me just want to close my farm to the public.

Say NO period! Tell people you can't for legal reasons. You don't want people suing you for anything while they are in your property. Make them sign a waver to cover your back.
 
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