<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WestWindsJr:
3. Our board prices, I am not even going to get into that one. It is a "no brainier" .......
4. "Our Helmet rule" We had an error before printing and meant to add the "Tipparery Sportage and the International Pro-Rider were also allowed. We hand wrote it into our hand books and Will edit the web site copy.
We in no way want our rider to look a like, you should see the helmet covers we all wear! It is for safety, in the last year we have had one to many "schooling Helmets" just fall of our riders when riding or falling off. Or the harnesses not being adjusted right, The helmets all have an easy none slipping harness. Once adjusted they STAY! Also they have a lower back to help prevent "whiplash" and hold the helmets more to the head with less unsecured movement. We also have a good hand-me-down program at our barn and if helmet is less then two years old and have not been fallen in we re-sell them with in the barn.....
#3 -- I have looked at many barn websites all over the country to get ideas for the one I designed. From California to upstate New York, I never saw different board rates for different sized horses. I'm not critizing your board rates, if you can get people to pay what you charge good for you. But calling it a "no brainer" is somewhat presumtious as the best of the best don't even do that. However maybe you will start a new trend and all the barns will be doing it. My barn charges for extra hay and extra grain (beyond 2 cans and 2 flakes) which some of the larger horses require, but not ALL big horses eat a ton, and some ponies are hard keepers.
#4 -- So you've expanded your horizons to allow 4 helmets. Wow, I'm impressed. You still haven't given a real reason that the rule isn't just "approved" helmets. You say that you had one too many schooling helmet fall off b/c the harness wasn't adjusted right. Well that is mostly the trainer's fault as most kids don't know how to adjust the harness. Same thing would happen if a kid rode in an improperly adjusted GPA, ATH, tipperary, or International Pro-Rider. Now I agree that kids should own their own helmet for fit and saftey, and they should get help when adjusting the harness, however I still don't understand why ANY approved helmet isn't OK.
A couple quick comments. IMO, $80 an hour for a private lesson isn't outrageous. It all depends on your location. Here in NY, that would be quite reasonable, especially if they have good facilities.
Unsupervised riding - it says you are allowed to ride unsupervised once you have been approved by a trainer to do so. Seems reasonable to me that they want to ensure that the riders have attained a certain level of competency before they send them off. I didn't take it that people needed to ask permission every time they went off, just that first time. And just b/c someone owns a horse doesn't mean they can ride it... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_eek.gif
Board - that does seem strange to me. Height definitely doesn't determine how much a horse eats... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif
Helmuts - well, my initial reaction was that was ridiculous but as the poster from here explained, they do allow other helmuts, just wasn't put on their website.
I think its great that they have this available. It allows prospective students to read & determine if this is the type of place they would feel comfortable. If not, they don't need to bother going to check it out.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by perf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rider's mom:
have a daughter who shows. When the approved helmets were required in 12/01 my daughter loudly protested all approved helmets. She was 11 at the time and had never worn an approved one before.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Really? So your 11-year-old daughter was riding with decoration on her head, and no real protection? Didn't that scare you a bit?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Actually up until the rule came out you hardly ever saw any pony kid with an approved helmet on. And when I was showing in the Large Juniors I don't think I ever saw an approved helmet. Approved helmets are a good thing, but really no one wore them much before the rule.
"3. Our board prices, I am not even going to get into that one. It is a "no brainier" ......."
I disagree-- I don't think it's a "no brainer" at all. My horse is a very easy keeper-- gets 1/2 can of pellets twice a day, plus hay. This is less than many horses smaller than he, and he'd be in your 16.3 plus bracket.
What's not making sense to me-- given that horses' size is not ALWAYS directly proportional to their feed intake, why wouldn't you choose to set your rate for board at one universal rate that took variable feed levels into account? Bearing in mind I have never seen your facility (so this statement is meant to be generalized) if I had a small pony in a 12 x 12 stall (when all the other stalls were 12 x 12), I wouldn't feel entitled to any break in board because my animal was smaller than the others.
If it were my barn (which it's not, so you can obviously set up your fee structure in whatever manner makes the most sense to you), I'd set my one rate for full board high enough to cover my expense for horses and ponies who may eat more. By way of illustration, I direct a resident summer camp with 100 girls. We serve three hot meals a day in a combination of buffet and family style, and girls may eat until they're full. We don't charge parents of older/taller girls more because we expect they'll consumer more of our food (therby creating more work for our food service staff and causing us to increase our order quantities), we simply set our rates at a level that we know is sufficient to cover our cost. Just something to think about.
P.S.- To the person who characterized my post and those of others as "attacks" and "witchy", I think that being critical and posing meaningful questions is different from being "witchy". If you put business information on the net, it is likely to be viewed by more than just your current client base, and is subject to public discussion and debate. When I initially posted, I had no idea that this barn's trainer posts here- just had some genuine interest in the hows and whys attached to the various policies at issue here. No witchy attacks here!
I didn't name any names. However I think posting "meaningful questions" and offering criticism (even though they didn’t ask for it) is different than using the adjectives:
I am jumping in this late....and didn't even care to repsond, but felt I owed it to the people at the stable to step forward and speak up about the trashing that has been going on for 4 pages!
Yes, I am one of the trainers at Huntcliff and I own West Wind Farm, Inc. which operates Huntcliff... I have never hidden behind a screen name nor will I ever. I don't expect ANY of you to agree or disagree with us or our handbook.
And for the poster that made the statement "isn't that the stable that had a junior riding a stallion without a helmet".......maybe you should check your facts BEFORE you ramble on. Yes, a rider (who is 18 by the way) with a HELEMT on but had no shoes on, is what everyone made the huge fuss over and it was on the WEST WIND FARM web site NOT the Huntcliff Web site. Just so you know the WHOLE story!
Unlike most stables, I as the trainer am NOT the "boss". I am governed by a board of officials that I have to answer to.
After two full seasons at Huntcliff, we as a board, decided that to provide a better service for the clients that are at our stable.... or would be at our stable in the future....we would provide a handbook with needed information.
This handbook was not designed for any other stable other then ours. We took life experience, gripes, concerns and just plain common sence and put it on paper. Were we expecting it to be PERFECT the first time, ........????????? Heck no! Live, learn and make changes accordingly!
About the helmets, NEVER said they HAD to have a $300.00 helmet because it was "the best", and because a paragraph about other suitable helmets was accidently left out, we are picked at......we have hand written (as well as changed on the web site) in the current handbooks about other suitable, "dummy proof" (and I am sure I will be blasted for that statement) helemts that are EASIER to adjust and keep adjusted.
I guess I just got sick of seeing schooling helmets with three point sytems, flopping all over the place or sailing off into the great blue yonder just before the kid hits the ground!
As for the kick back for the trainer comment at the tack store!
I wish....but I guess with all the trainer "kick backs" it would be hard to imagine there are some out there that DON'T get them!
IF you actually read the ENTRIE paragraph it states that "these helments can be purchased in ANY tack store" but that we reccommend Tack Tavern.
MOST of our clients already have a favorite tack store and like we care who they go to....I shop for the best deals...and I am HOPING they do as well. (Just for those of you out there that said we REQUIRE GPA's..... Tack Tavern DOESN'T even carry them!)
Funny how NOT A SINGLE person has made a comment about the fact that we DO NOT charge a commission to buy horses for our cleints either! Yiks...don't want to go there now do we!
And to answer the question about the board prices.... Facts are plain and simple..... ponies don't eat as much as horses. So we took a basic care fee and charged ACTUAL costs for feed and hay over and above actual care costs. (ie: actual care costs are things like shavings, manual labor, water, electricity, insurance, repairs, etc....) averaged it all out and came up with three different prices.....our system, our way...and it happens to work for those who board at our stable. And the "size" reference was just a standard, we have boarders that have have horses that pay pony prices because they have super easy keepers, but you would only know that if you boarded at our stable.
relocatedTXjumpr- I don't know who you are, but if you EVER interviewed with us....I don't remember you. The ONLY position we EVER put an ad out for was a Saturday/Sunday HELPER to assist the trainer with our busiest days so that parents and kids were NOT lost and were being taught how to tack up the ponies and this was a paid position. I will not nor have I ever had "prissy" kids who can not care for their own animals!
And for the uniform look...... ya....right....I like purple and green....my opionion, my colors....now that you know that, maybe you should look at our web site and see the collage of colors that the kids use to express themselves or just look for us at a show and see that we usually look like a patchwork quilt and ARE PROUD OF IT! I have always ecnourage my kids to "do their own thing" and stand behind their opinions.
So to finish off this reply, we put our handbook out in public view so that people could have a choice as to whether they wanted to be a part of our stable family or not. Up front, they know what they are getting into, they know what our "rules" are and how we function as a group. If they don't like the way we do it, at least they knew BEFORE they got involved.....
There are many trainers out there and many stables. That is a gift, not a burden. Just means there is something out there for EVERYONE! I don't expect you to want to come to us because of our handbook or because of who we have training... we want people who WANT to be at the stable....to participaite with us and if it isn't your bag of oats, then you have the right to go to another feed store.
Lucky Duck, I'm sure Huntcliff is a very nice facility and whatever the rules, requirements, or recommendations are--that is Huntcliff's business, Acually, I have edited to add that I think the handbook is an excellent idea. Everything, rules and expectations are upfront and very detailed. Also, I have to say that charging ones board based on horse size is a good idea. Why should someone with a 15H easy keeper have to pay as much as someone with a 17H high maintenence hard keeper? The 17H eats more, poops more, and takes up more space.
However as someone who owns a horse in the Atlanta area, I just have to say the the Tack Tavern is the LAST place where I'd spend my hard earned cash.
[This message was edited by Cinnamon Girl on Dec. 03, 2003 at 12:36 PM.]
Plus Tax- NOT trying to change our image.... DEFINATELY NOT! And thanks for noticing that we do try to support the beginners.
The helmet change was because with 70 plus kids a week and only 1 trainer doing 25 lessons and the other covering the rest......I WAS not able to keep up with staying after the kids to adjust the three point harnesses all the time. They may have started off adjusted but as the kids went to scratch their heads or adjust something, the harness were loosinging with every tug.
My own daughter had a terrible accident this past summer on her pony and without her helemt that WAS properly adjutsed like it was, she would probably not be here today. It still left horrible bruising across her jaw, but her brain was protected. She was in the hospital for 3 days.....
Then I watched another kid a few weeks later come off her horse and as her shoulder hit the ground, her floppy 3 point system helemt went rolling away and her head took full impact on the ground.
I guess it just made me start thinking about helemts that have less straps to adjust and easier to stay put.... NOT to make everyone match.
I just wanted to say that when I saw it was your barn I thought to myself, "Well, they must have a reason. I don't agree, but there must be a reason."
You've never seemed to be outrageous in any of your posts and many times I find myself nodding along...agreeing. So, more power to ya.
And for everyone else, the Tipperary is a $60 dollar helmet...and has the full harness, which seems to be what this particular barn feels most comfortable with. Most other approved helmets, including the cheaper one (Aegis, Troxel, etc) have a three point harness. Maybe the rule should be stated as 'An approved helmet with a full harness' (examples: GPA, ATH, Tipperary, etc).
"I am witty. Ask around." --Pat, COTH
I think a hand book is a great idea. Hey, it is their barn, they can run it however they want. As a boarder who has often gotten in trouble for "not following the rules" even though I had NO idea what they were, I would have welcomed some guidelines to follow. One of the major problems in this business is lack of communication! I can't tell you how many times I have opened a bill and been confused about the charges. Well, since I have never had anything to refer to (such as a price list) it has left me in the position of contacting my trainer. I have never walked away from one of those conversations feeling good about it. I feel bad for making my trainer think I don't trust him and I am always worried he will think I am cheap.
While I don't necessarily agree with all of the rules I have only one thing to say. If you don't like it don't go there! The only thing that has been accomplished here is to pretty much assure that no one will want to put anything in writing again. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif
"I'm not going to have reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president."
-- Hilary Clinton
The government is best which governs least.
-Henry David Thoreau
Your right, it was a weekend position. I was then told that the person would also be teaching beginers when the trainers were away at large shows, i was told this was easier than having to re-schedule tons of lessons. I was told that the position did not offer pay, but ;essons given by a trainer, on the barns horses. When beginer lessons were taught a small pay would be added, something like $10 a rider or something. Maybe whomever I spoke with worded it wrong, or maybe I heard it wrong, but I know that it came out or accross as "tacking up the lesson ponies for the kids, assisting them to the ring and untacking when finished"
I know that I did not take the position based on what I felt like I was gettinginto..a high maintance barn. I was also told that since I had just moved to the area, and had not riden for a few months, that i might not be in the best shape to handle the routine.
Bottomline....I DO AGREE that a handbook is a good idea...it lets you know what youre getting into BEFORE the bill arrives. People pay differently for all sorts of things, it varys for many reasons. So it was worded wrong...fine, people make mistakes...your book, your barn, your rules. Dont call people liars based on whats posted, as I have basicly been called. Im sure the people that board at your place CAN afford all the things you provide, and maybe you are trying to keep out certain people...like people who just board and dont take regular lessons, or people who have 5 horses and never come to see them, fine. but let people have their opinions, many based on what they read...they wanted some answers to questions and up until your post only got a run around and flamed for being upset by what they read. If I compare your barn to mine, dont get all weirded out and flame me...barns are different, horses are different, people are different.
"Huntcliff is pretty pricey. I once applied for a position there..said as an assistant trainer. turns out it was to tack and untack the ponies for the kids...and not school ponies, but their own ponies. Basicly a groom for spoiled brats. If you cant tack up your own pony you dont need one."
relocatedtxjumper, this is what you posted on your first reply so maybe I should have read further through the rest of the posts to see if you had changed what you stated. I'm sorry.....
NO ONE is calling you a liar, just clearing the facts.
Everyone who has been to our stable, knows without a doubt, we do NOT have kids that do not care for their own ponies. Beginners go with beginner trainers and tacking, care and learning to ride are ALL part of their first lessons. As a matter of fact, they are not allowed to graduate to the "big ring" until they can successfully accomplish catching a pony, grooming it and tacking it up.
Again, no one is supposed to be offended by our handbook..... it is just what we use for our stable.
1. Effective November 1st, 2003, riders 18 years and under MUST wear an approved helmet with a full harness (examples: GPA, ATH, Tipperary, etc ...No three point systems). These helmets can be purchased in any tack store and are usually between $55 and $350. We recommend Tack Tavern 1600 S. Main St, Alpharetta GA 770-475-8225. This is for your safety!! No exceptions!!
That is a direct quote from the website.Lucky duck, correct me if I am wrong, but you are specifying a harness type, not individual brand. aka, my charles owen would suffice right??
I had a choice of going to a very nice local barn. Lovely place, nice people. One rule stopped me. I could not jump out of lessons. I am 34 years old. I have been riding since I was 11, to me, that is too limiting. Not wrong, as the barn's focus is A/local showing, especially ponies/juniors.
As someone in the business, you have to set rules that you can live with. If people can't, than they can choose not to board there. Seems like you are pretty full though,so it must not be too limiting.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by relocatedTXjumpr:
What do the adults ride in and the trainers? Are trainers and or adults ever seen hacking without helmets...or even guilty of it when no one is around?
I never could understand what makes an adults head so much safer in an unaproved than lets say a 16 year old...both are very squishable.
Dont put the cart before the horse, unless he knows how to push it of course. ~~ Pat Green<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Right but the adults (being adults) and living in a free country can choose to have their head squished and squishable all they want (hashed out many many times in unapproved v. approved helmet discussions).