What to do? Working student/half lease situation
So the arrangement: in trying to help 2 working students have as much opportunity as they can on their famiy's very tight budget, offered them a half lease on a horse. Horse cost very little, under a grand, so family's each paid for half of the horse, and then are responsible for dentals and 1/3 of any additional veterinary care horse may need. I pay for all of the horse keeping related costs, and use horse for lessons. Students work 4 hours a week plus one saturday a month, and this brings them one lesson a week, use of the horse, and first dibs to any shows.
The horse, granted, has needed work. The fact that the horse is a project, and something that would take time and commitment, was discussed and accepted by everyone from the start (neither family was in a position to pay for a made horse). Student A has been amazing, comes and rides 4+ times a week, is very good at being told what to work on and why (when either girl is schooling on their own, I "conveniently" have work to do by the arena and offer help if it looks like they need it) and she puts in extra time and effort continually. Her parents frequently thank me for giving their kid the opportunities she has been given, when they normally wouldn't be able to afford even infrequent lessons. And for this kid, I am happy to do it and will continue to do so.
Student B, although a nice kid and has talent, has needed constant, what feels to me to be, nagging. If left to her own devices, she will show up to work and ride during her lesson and that is it. We just finished spring break here and she didn't come down once to ride. Family has been known to voice that they wish she was progressing more quickly, which I can completely understand: they have been with this horse for nearly a year now and the horse is still needing work to be considered finished, but I honestly cannot afford to let this kid ride one of my schoolies for zero money and not a whole lot of work ethic. I have told them that I would completely understand if they wanted to try a different barn, that I understood their frustrations and wish the horse had been easier, too. They have chosen to stay (don't know if they have much choice, though). Kid and parents keep insisting she loves to ride and wants to go far.
I tried all of the following last year, multiple times, to get this kid to accept the work and at least put in some effort:
Told her that regardless of the level of the horse, she would still be expected to ride at least 4 days a week if she want to continue to show. Whether she rides a veteran schoolie or not.
That like any other sport, she needs to ride to get better.
Held open a time slot every afternoon when leasers can ride and school as much as they please outside if lessons.
Told her that MAYBE if she rode more than once a week the horse may progress a lot quicker.
Designed Goal sheets, with daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal goal planning. Offered a gift card to the girl that accomplished monthly and seasonal goals (guess who that went to).
E-mailing, texting, talking, talking, talking.
The above tactics worked fairly well last year, but after taking the winter off, trying to decide how hard I am going to try this year. She has yet to voluntarily ride more than once a week, and everyone else has been in full training for a couple of months now.
I am just tired of trying to get this kid to put in the work, tired of trying to figure out how to motivate her. Clearly, I need a different approach, or the enabling to cut off the arrangement.