Full Training ... Make-Up Lessons. Do You (or Your Trainer) Do Them?
Just a riff off the "what to expect in full training" question. There's lots of interest in showing at my barn, so show weekends pretty much empty half the facility, including both the trainer and her assistant.
For those of you who are in a 5-days-a-week program and not showing, are there make-up sessions scheduled for days missed due to shows?
Dressage becomes art when it is a joy for the horse. -KBH
I'm in a 3x/week program so make up lessons or rides are usually not a problem.
I've seen many variations though amongst the 5x/week programs at various barns. One place I know has their training packages discounted a noticeable amount specifically to account for times when the trainer and the assistant are gone or if the horse is off, rider sick, etc. I think the figured it was easier to figure out a suitable discount than it was to constantly figure out how to fit makeups in here and there for a large client base.
At other places I know of, you make up the lesson at some point later that month.
One is pretty much full training is full training, and in most cases you and your horse get 5 days/week, but if there is a show or bad weather or a clinic, that is just part of life, no make up, no discount.
The other is full training is 20 rides/month (5 rides x 4 weeks), so an ocassional miss for vacation, shows, appointments is not a make up - if we drop below 20 rides/month, then it is a make up situation. The way I see it, that ends up being one paid month off a year!
So I'm curious to see what people say too - it has always bothered me a bit...
"So I'm curious to see what people say too - it has always bothered me a bit... "
Yes, I think there are a lot of questions regarding training packages. That's one reason why I think a lot of folks choose to go a-la-carte and not deal with the nuances that only seem to show up in the equestrian industry. If Wall Street operated the way the equestrian industry does, we'd be a 3rd world country. lol.
At some barns, if you ask questions about your bill at the end of the month you get labelled a problem person even if your questions are phrased in the most polite manner possible.
At my former barn, the trainer had a habit of "making up" lessons that were missed due to her show travel/vacation schedule by doing things like extra rides (always at her convenience... sigh.) When I objected, pointing out that my 12 year old MADE horse didn't actually NEED any training rides, she got very defensive, but then "carried over" credit for lessons on the next month's bill. After a few months of that, it just got to the point where it was a bit ridiculous, and I moved to a different program, deducting the value of all those lessons from my final bill, with a note that detailed my calculation of the final amount. It was fairly striking that the bill went from well over $1K to a couple hundred...
At the current place, the trainer is much more attentive to making sure that clients get what they pay for. She offers three very simple options: boarding only (with lessons al a carte,) a partial training package (can be a mix of services x times per week) and full training which is daily lessons/rides. If she is going to be away for any reason, whether showing/attending a conference/off on vacation, we know it well in advance and we come up with a schedule to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the arrangements. It works really well.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
I'm surprised to read this thread -- but I guess I shouldn't be. I've had 3-4 trainers and have done part and full training. I'm not a "bean counter" or "clock watcher" type, and if life got in the way of riding my trainers took initiative in getting rides or lessons in -- or if the horse is off, etc., my full training became part-training. In the end my goal is not to have x number lessons or have my horse ridden x number times, but for training/learning to progress. My trainers have been great on this front -- so sorry to hear it is not universal.
My trainer goes so far above and beyond to start with that I don't bother counting lessons/rides. Once in a blue moon, a breed specific thing might come up for one client. Somehow the rest of us manage on our own for a week or so. I'm fortunate that we have a great group of ladies who help each other in a very positive environment. THANK YOU Ladies!!
i think that you need to talk to your trainer and see what your contract states.... i think it is very different depending on who teh trainer is.... for shows barns being away at shows is part of the training schedule and those trainers normally have a number of rides per month that you get for full training and unless they fall below that level (usually 4 rides per week) then no make ups.
my current situation is pretty casual... i am in full training, but that means i get anywhere from 2-4 actual lessons per week but i am 95% of the other time riding in front of my trainer so pretty much i have his eyes on me all the time.
when we go to shows he doesn't charge anything for that - it is just part of the full training package. (and fwiw, any time i have been in full training with a dressage trainer they have all done similar re: showing it is part of the fee)
so the point is: each trainer is different and you need to feel good about what you are getting charged for.
None of my clients are bean counters, so the subject has never come up, but if a horse is in full training that includes the lessons at no extra charge, so it is simply up to the rider to schedule a lesson, if they can. If the horse is not in training, and a rider buys a lesson package, then i simply check of the lesson as it is taught, ten lessons is ten lessons, not a "months worth" of lessons.