How many of you use training horses in lessons? How do you make this agreement with the owners?
How many of you allow boarders to work off board or lessons?
I have enabled a bunch of teenagers to live like princesses and I am about to give them all a reality check. But I am at fault for being too nice and accommodating. So I just wondered how you all do it so that people who are not wealthy can afford to have a horse and yet not get taken advantage of.
I would occasionally put a really good student on a horse in training to give it some extra saddle time, but I always discussed it with the client beforehand. And it was one ride in 4, at most. If I had a boarder with a lesson suitable horse, I would either make an agreement to half lease the horse for the lesson program or give the owner a credit towards their board based on how often I used the horse.
I did not allow juniors to work off board, period. It just never worked for me, working around their schedules. I had a couple of kids work off some of their lessons by bringing in, feeding, trimming heads and ankles and pulling manes, that worked out okay. I had two adults who did not work off their entire board but would get partial credit by feeding and doing chores while I was showing or out of town, they were good horsepeople and very motivated, that was a terrific arrangement but I wouldn't offer it to just anyone.
It is way, way too easy to get taken advantage of in this situation. Ask yourself a couple of questions: if you were paying a regular employee for this work, rather than bartering, would you be happy with their performance? And if you were paying that employee the same wage you're using for the barter calculation, would you consider it a good value.
One last comment - I kept a big, desk blotter size calendar. My rule was, if it wasn't on the calendar, it didn't happen. And it was the barteree's responsibility to make sure their work was recorded accurately on the calendar, not mine.