My trainer keeps her lessons between 3:30 and 5pm but when it starts to get dark during our lessons, we just turn the lights on. At my previous barn, lessons went later during the winter time, and people from the last lesson would be done around 7pm. My new barn tends to close up shop earlier(everyone is gone by 6pm) but it's about a third of the size of my old barn and most of the riders are juniors(who take the afternoon lesson slots) or ammys(who take the morning lesson slots), so it works out.
The person I currently train with(kind of sporadically the last few months- weather related) has some night lessons. A few of us adults trailer in for an evening lesson- 6:30pm. I think most of her actual boarders are kids, so we are the only ones that do a later evening lesson.
We are a smallish barn so the lessons get clustered into 3 weekdays + one weekend day. Trainer will teach until 8 PM to accomodate working adults. Plus, riding at 7 PM in the summer is often the nicest part of the day
All but one trainer I've worked with offered evening lessons during the week. Most of them offered evening lessons multiple days a week. I think most trainers with adult students have to offer evening lessons or their clients simply would be unable to attend lessons. I have a lesson tonight with a group of adults at 6:30 because that's the earliest everyone can get there. In the summer I've taken them as late as 8pm, especially on hot days.
Best answer is it depends on the trainer and their schedual. More to do with human limitations then anything else.
For example, if the trainer has to be at the barn at 7am to feed and muck, then has 8 or 9 head that need to be schooled with no help grooming, tacking up or cooling out then starts giving lessons at 3pm? They are less likely to offer many evening lessons and certainly not 6 nights a week.
But, if the trainer either has help or leases stalls and has no responsibility for the feeding and mucking? More likely to be there after 7pm for evening lessons.
Only so many 13+ hour days anybody can put in on a day in day out basis and that is what governs how many lessons at what hours may or may not be offered.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Evening lessons are available 6 days a week, although trainer tries to schedule Sat lessons earlier (usually done by 4 or so?). For years my standing lesson was Tues at 5:30.
Winter months the last lesson is usually 5:30 or 6. Summer (lighter) months will sometimes have later lessons. She will also go later if the lesson isn't on a lesson horse so she can teach and then leave before the horse is cooled out and put away.
She doesn't start all days at 7am, though. She's usually at the barn around 9am.
Last edited by RugBug; Jan. 15, 2010 at 01:58 PM.
Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"
As a working adult with a fairly demanding job, this has always been an issue for me (and a deal breaker in some cases.) There was one barn that was otherwise lovely but wanted to be totally closed and locked up by 4 pm, not just for lessons but for customers, period. (This was not disclosed when I moved in, BTW... it was announced about a month later.) Obviously that place didn't work out for me but apparently the other (mostly non-working) clients didn't seem to mind.
The trainer I ride with now makes a special effort to come BACK to the farm at 6 -6:30 pm to teach me two nights a week; the other weeknights I am there by myself and just call her as I am leaving to let her know I did not kill myself while hacking on my own. I cannot describe how much I appreciate that, as I know it makes for a very long day for her. There is also compromise on my part as it means I have to scurry out of work way earlier (4:30) than I normally would and it means I have to log back on to finish up and check email, project status, etc around 8 -9 pm to find out what I might have missed at the end of the day.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
For smaller barns, I think it makes sense to schedule 2 early days a week and 2 late days a week. That way you can accomodate those wanting to ride before work/school and those after. But if all those people are in full training and expect to get lessons every day, I guess they are SOL. Maybe you convince them the importance of training rides!
At my barn, my trainer is there at 7:00 every morning because all the amatuers ride before work. He doesn't have too many juniors to worry about but will come back out to teach them if necessary. I just feel bad for the groom who is there from 6:30 - 5:30.
I've been lucky in that both my former and current barns are owned by the trainer- so the schedule is fairly flexible - evening lessons/weekend lessons. Neither place has ever set any hours. This time of year hardly anyone is riding in the evening- too cold; but in the summer the barn is usually empty by 8-8:30.
Much of it also depends on the trainers client base - whether they have working adults, adults w/ flexible schedules and then the Jr. riders in school.
With 9-5+ working adults and Jr. riders in school - chances are teaching in the evening would be nice to offer - especially considering that weekends might be tied up w/ shows.. that shuts out working adults
There late enough for the after-school kids four (maybe 3?) late afternoons a week and 1-2 for the adults that have to ride after work. At the moment, the majority of the adults have jobs where they can ride in the AM, have no jobs, or have no interest in riding on the days they work. Not as bad, time-wise, in the winter as there is no need to get an early start to beat the heat and people often don't want to be out too late b/c it gets dark and cold. Thus, more motivation to fly out of work and get to the barn earlier so you're not there in the dark with the coyotes howling in the distance.
More of a problem in the summer when it can get pretty hot at our barn. Then the most pleasant times to ride are pretty early or later. Why rush out of work to ride at 5 pm when the barn is still an oven, but will be more pleasant by 6:30 or later? That makes for a long day for the trainer, who may even be there earlier than the AM clients to get a few rides in and then is there late too. With an assistant there can be a split schedule where one starts early and the other finishes, but pretty hard on one person.
I work full-time and have to take lessons in the evening, so I'm thankful that I can have a lesson at 7 PM. I believe evening lessons are offered 3 days out of the week. There are no lights in the outdoor arena, so in the winter when it is dark evening lessons move to the indoor.