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  1. #1
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    Jan. 6, 2013
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    Default Being a doormat

    I've come to realize, that in my current working student position, I'm being taken advantage of. Let me try to explain a bit.

    I'm currently a working student at a hunter/jumper and dressage barn. The people there are great, the atmosphere is good, and the barn is basically one big family. I know the two trainers there would never intentionally try to take advantage of me, it's just that recent circumstances haven't exactly been in my favor.

    Last fall I lost "my" (was just leasing her, so not technically mine, but I was the only student riding her), riding horse when she got sold. Since then, I've become a working student for the barn, and have been bouncing between multiple other horses, sometimes being left without a horse to ride. In the past couple months, my barn chores have increased, while my riding time has significantly decreased. This is not really a fault of my barn or trainers though, since most of the horses that were available to be ridden are now either sold, or have finished their training and left. The other working students are still in high school, and usually only come out on the weekends. This is where the biggest problem lies.

    We only have a couple lesson horses that are suitable for jumping. Others are either getting to be too old, or they are out of shape, or they are already overworked by other students. A lot of times I go out on the weekends to do some chores and ride, and instead of riding, I can only do chores and leave with a promise from my trainer that I can get a lesson another day. This is because other students have already claimed horses for the day, leaving me horseless. A lot of the time, the other students get priority over me. At first I just figured it would get better with time, but it hasn't.

    I just wonder if I am overreacting however. This is the only working student position I have ever had, so I don't have much to base my experience off of. I was never really "hired" for this position, I just fell into it after being a lesson student for a year. My barn is not really a lesson barn to begin with, it's a training barn that just happens to give lessons on the side. I'm just starting to get really frustrated that my opportunities to ride have been cut so drastically in response to our "horse shortage". It really causes me to think hard about getting a horse of my own, because arriving at the barn for the day only to find out I can't ride is really getting old. Especially after all the work I have done. I have no problem working hard for rides, if only I actually received the rides I work for. I feel more like free labor than a working student at this point.

    For example, last weekend I went out to ride, and the first thing I get told is to start doing the morning chores while everyone else saddles up and has a lesson. This was because my trainer was running late and had to be somewhere right after the lesson, so she was trying to get the barn chores done in time. I almost just went along with it but thankfully one of my trainer's middle aged clients stepped in and told my trainer "She probably wants to ride with us!". I was so grateful for that, because my trainer agreed and told me to go grab a horse to ride.

    I want to talk to my trainer about this, because I feel used at the moment. I just don't know how to word it without feeling like I am whining to her about it. From what I can gather, I'm the only one being treated this way out of the rest of the students. The other students either get priority over me, or they even have their own horses at other barns, yet they still get to ride the lesson horses and the client's horses more than me. I'm completely horseless, no lease or ownership here.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  2. #2
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Default

    It sounds like originally the situation was you would do barn chores in exchange for riding, but I didn't read how you were benefiting from the situation now. By doing all these chores, are you receiving anything exchange? It's definitely not over-stepping any boundaries or "whining" to sit down with the trainer and explain that you cannot afford to work for free. Is leasing another horse an option? I'm a firm believer that if you are serious about riding then you need to be with a trainer who will help you achieve your goals. So, I would sit down, and make a list of short term and long term goals to discuss with your trainer as well as making sure the working student position is mutually beneficial.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Default

    Agreed with the above.

    I would start by calculating how many hours you work. Maybe use a 2-week period for this. Then list what you get in return. Even take the "price" of what you get (lessons/rides) and calculate how much you are getting per hour of work. You might be shocked.

    Simply put, you either need to get paid in rides/training, or you need $ (to lease a horse or whatever else).

    Calculate those numbers, think about what you could make elsewhere, and talk to your trainer.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalila View Post

    Last fall I lost "my" (was just leasing her, so not technically mine, but I was the only student riding her), riding horse when she got sold.
    This would've been a good time to sit down with your trainer & discuss options/changes (i.e. resolve to communicate more).

    Since then, I've become a working student for the barn, and have been bouncing between multiple other horses, sometimes being left without a horse to ride. In the past couple months, my barn chores have increased, while my riding time has significantly decreased.
    What horses are you riding, barn owned horses or horses in training or boarder horses?
    What is your chore schedule/list?

    The other working students are still in high school, and usually only come out on the weekends.
    Are you there daily, then? (homeschooled or finished school?)

    We only have a couple lesson horses that are suitable for jumping. Others are either getting to be too old, or they are out of shape, or they are already overworked by other students. A lot of times I go out on the weekends to do some chores and ride, and instead of riding, I can only do chores and leave with a promise from my trainer that I can get a lesson another day.
    Are you getting flat/dressage lessons? are they a possibility & you've been focusing on jumping lessons?
    If you're at the barn daily, why not schedule those promised lessons then, rather than trying to squeeze into the weekend schedule?
    If some horses could jump but are out of condition, then why aren't you (with your trainer's help) getting them fit?

    This is because other students have already claimed horses for the day, leaving me horseless
    Are you arriving later?


    A lot of the time, the other students get priority over me. At first I just figured it would get better with time, but it hasn't.
    Ask your trainer how the priority listing goes? - it may be some schedule or it may be erratic & trainer is just not noticing ...

    I was never really "hired" for this position, I just fell into it after being a lesson student for a year.
    Sort this out with the trainers/barn owners.

    My barn is not really a lesson barn to begin with, it's a training barn that just happens to give lessons on the side.
    I'm just starting to get really frustrated that my opportunities to ride have been cut so drastically in response to our "horse shortage".
    Imagine how the trainers/owners are feeling over the lack of clients.


    It really causes me to think hard about getting a horse of my own, because arriving at the barn for the day only to find out I can't ride is really getting old. Especially after all the work I have done. I have no problem working hard for rides, if only I actually received the rides I work for. I feel more like free labor than a working student at this point.
    Talk to your trainer - will you be able to offset board & lessons with your chores?

    The other students either get priority over me, or they even have their own horses at other barns, yet they still get to ride the lesson horses and the client's horses more than me. I'm completely horseless, no lease or ownership here.
    Take a step back & consider what other students may be bringing to the horse, vs what you may be bringing to the horse - you haven't mentioned your riding level, but if you were a lesson student for a year & then in your current situation for several months, perhaps it's about ridership ... of course, it's difficult to move up the levels without lessons/rides & you're presently not getting the riding time ...

    I suspect the trainer is scheduling lessons etc based upon economics rather than favouritism but you really need to sit down & have a discussion about expectations: yours & the trainers.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    Default

    Do you have a formal arrangement with trainer specifically defining how many work hours equals how much saddle time and "free lessons"?

    I'll be blunt (imagine that), paying clients will always have first "dibs" on rides and trainer will sell when s/he can whether you want the ride or not because trainer needs actual cash money to pay their bills.

    The best way to handle this is to work for CASH and pay for lessons.

    You may feel like a doormat but trainer is running a business so you need to be businesslike and have a better defined arrangement...and watch resenting the paying clients that keep trainer in business.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


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  6. #6
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    Jan. 6, 2013
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpsJumps View Post
    It sounds like originally the situation was you would do barn chores in exchange for riding, but I didn't read how you were benefiting from the situation now. By doing all these chores, are you receiving anything exchange? It's definitely not over-stepping any boundaries or "whining" to sit down with the trainer and explain that you cannot afford to work for free. Is leasing another horse an option? I'm a firm believer that if you are serious about riding then you need to be with a trainer who will help you achieve your goals. So, I would sit down, and make a list of short term and long term goals to discuss with your trainer as well as making sure the working student position is mutually beneficial.
    I have been thinking about leasing again. At this point it's between leasing or buying my own horse.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    This would've been a good time to sit down with your trainer & discuss options/changes (i.e. resolve to communicate more).


    What horses are you riding, barn owned horses or horses in training or boarder horses?
    What is your chore schedule/list?


    Are you there daily, then? (homeschooled or finished school?)


    Are you getting flat/dressage lessons? are they a possibility & you've been focusing on jumping lessons?
    If you're at the barn daily, why not schedule those promised lessons then, rather than trying to squeeze into the weekend schedule?
    If some horses could jump but are out of condition, then why aren't you (with your trainer's help) getting them fit?


    Are you arriving later?



    Ask your trainer how the priority listing goes? - it may be some schedule or it may be erratic & trainer is just not noticing ...


    Sort this out with the trainers/barn owners.


    Imagine how the trainers/owners are feeling over the lack of clients.



    Talk to your trainer - will you be able to offset board & lessons with your chores?


    Take a step back & consider what other students may be bringing to the horse, vs what you may be bringing to the horse - you haven't mentioned your riding level, but if you were a lesson student for a year & then in your current situation for several months, perhaps it's about ridership ... of course, it's difficult to move up the levels without lessons/rides & you're presently not getting the riding time ...

    I suspect the trainer is scheduling lessons etc based upon economics rather than favouritism but you really need to sit down & have a discussion about expectations: yours & the trainers.
    I'm currently riding a mixture of lesson and occasionally a training/barn owned horse. Usually if I do morning and/or evening chores (picking stalls, turning horses out, bedding, water, hay, etc.), I either get a couple schooling rides or a lesson. I'm not out at the barn daily though, just weekends, other days during the week when I don't have class (I'm currently in college) and breaks.

    I don't get many flat/dressage lessons, almost all jumping. The horse that isn't fit at the moment is currently being ridden by another working student to get ready for a clinic coming up where she will be riding him. I was riding him a lot until my trainer decided to put her on him for the clinic.

    Sometimes I arrive later, other times I'm there early, same thing happens. Even if the other students arrive after me. I'm pretty sure my trainer is just trying to match students to horses though, and she isn't favoring anyone.

    I've been riding for almost ten years now, taking lessons non-stop during that entire period. I would consider myself an intermediate rider, and I'm pretty sure my trainer would agree. I didn't start showing though until two years ago.

    Next time I'm out I'll try to talk to her, when she isn't distracted or busy.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  8. #8
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    Jan. 6, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Do you have a formal arrangement with trainer specifically defining how many work hours equals how much saddle time and "free lessons"?

    I'll be blunt (imagine that), paying clients will always have first "dibs" on rides and trainer will sell when s/he can whether you want the ride or not because trainer needs actual cash money to pay their bills.

    The best way to handle this is to work for CASH and pay for lessons.

    You may feel like a doormat but trainer is running a business so you need to be businesslike and have a better defined arrangement...and watch resenting the paying clients that keep trainer in business.
    No, we don't have a formal contract or agreement. I really don't think any of the other working students do either.

    I would actually prefer to work for cash, but the problem is that the trainers don't own the barn. The barn owner is seperate from them. So he hires and pays people, which my trainers are actually trying to change, but I don't want to get into that because that's a whole other thing! I would jump at a chance to work there.

    I don't resent the paying clients at all, they are all wonderful and deserve what they pay for. It's not them that is a part of the problem. It's the other working students, which really, it's not their fault either. I don't blame them for wanting to ride as much as they can.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  9. #9
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    Default

    Double post.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  10. #10

    Default

    It sounds to me that you never had a clear arrangement with the trainer in the first place (i.e. for every four hours doing barn chores you are "paid" with one lesson or two rides).
    Without a clear agreement it is impossible to determine if you are being taken advantage of.

    Bottom line, you need clarity with your trainer in terms of your working student relationship.



  11. #11
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    Sep. 5, 2007
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    Default

    So, what you are saying is basically that you do more work than the other working students, but they are getting preferential treatment and more opportunities to ride?

    That's not right. Your trainer may not realize what is going on. Definitely sit down and have a talk with your trainer and be honest. Don't get overly emotional, write down what you want to say if it will help. Approach it like an adult and go from there.


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  12. #12
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    In addition to what everyone else has said, in the instances when your trainer says you'll get a lesson in the future, schedule it right then. "Sorry we weren't able to lesson today, next week!" "okay, how about Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon?" get something set into the schedule before leaving.
    MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."



  13. #13
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    Default

    Having a calm discussion with the barn owner is not whining. Like you said, it is probable that she doesn't realize what they are doing. But, because she is busy you are getting taken a bit for granted.

    When you sit her down, tell her you understand that there will be ups and downs, and that sometimes there will be more to ride and sometimes there will be less. Then say that you are a bit worried that there don't seem to be as many riding opportunities, and that sometimes you work a whole day with no ride in return.

    Then just ask her if she has a plan for you, and if not, the two of you can try to come up with one together. That may mean shopping for a young horse, or her putting out feelers for a lease.

    Her answer may just be that you're right, there isn't much to ride. Then, you can either stick it out and hope for better in the future, or you can ask her to help you look elsewhere for a different position.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh



  14. #14
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    Sometimes the relationship between other WS and the trainer has things going on you will NOT be privy to and they are not going to share with you.

    Like trainer knows they will be buying a horse soon. Or trainer has some other pre exsisting business, family or personal relationship with one family and not another and, again, that is not going to be shared to avoid conflicts.

    When I worked off some charges, we signed in and out daily and got $10 credit per hour worked that could be applied to charges. It was 40 for group lessons including a horse. Keep track and arrange it with specific $ credit per work hour or, better, get paid so there is no question.

    Oh, yeah, schedual the lessons in advance and be sure you and the horse you will ride go on the schedual.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post

    When I worked off some charges, we signed in and out daily and got $10 credit per hour worked that could be applied to charges. It was 40 for group lessons including a horse. Keep track and arrange it with specific $ credit per work hour or, better, get paid so there is no question.

    Oh, yeah, schedual the lessons in advance and be sure you and the horse you will ride go on the schedual.
    Great advice. If you can't be paid in $$, make sure that your trainer knows how many hours you are working (having her sign off every day is a great way) and that you get credit based on the hourly rate that you both agree to.

    Schedule your lessons in advance every week so you make sure you get a horse to ride.

    If you start amassing too much credit, then you can go to your trainer and tell her that you want to spend those hours earned before you do any more chores.

    I was a working student many years ago and sometimes you have to give the trainer some structure for the arrangement because they are too busy to think about how much time you are working. Formalizing the agreement will make your trainer value your time more and give a leg to stand on when you ask for more riding time.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  16. #16
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    I don't think there's anything wrong with having a business discussion with your trainer. Any "working student" position needs to have a clear set of guidelines as to compensation. On both ends. What are your chores worth by the hour? What are the lessons worth by the hour? A chart might be helpful so that no one feels like a "doormat". You must understand that your time is not worth nearly what your trainer's time is worth by the hour. This is where I would strongly urge you to look into babysitting, pet sitting, whatever in order to just earn money to take riding lessons. Sometimes you are going to be way ahead that way.

    Let me just address something that comes up on these threads ALL THE TIME. Folks like you need to understand that trainers don't just have all of these great horses that are waiting to be ridden by students like you. The owners of training horses are paying to have their horses ridden by professionals, not by kids. I promise you, if you ever spend the money to purchase and maintain your own horse, you'll understand why folks are so "stingy" with the rides. If you want to ride a nice horse, you really need to lease or buy one because your trainer really shouldn't be letting you learn on client horses.

    Lesson horses usually have a very full dance card and are limited. They are not the same quality as private horses because they have a different job. You say that some of the lesson horses arent "fit". Why don't you offer to fit up one of these horses? I know that they aren't very exciting, but if that's all your trainer has that she can let you ride, then that's what you need to be doing unless you're willing to put some cash out there.

    If you want to drink the milk, you're going to have to buy the cow.


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  17. #17
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    Looks like some great advice has already been given. I've been in a similar situation before and did the math to find out I was getting about $2/hr for my work. Instead of having the uncomfortable "this doesn't feel right.. what can we do differently" conversation with the trainer, I picked up an outside job making $10/hr, gave my notice to the trainer, and started paying for lessons. That is an option. For me, that actually led to another trainer, who showed and cliniced at the first barn, asking me if I was interested in working for her teaching beginner lessons, tacking up the training horses, and other non-stall cleaning work. So I worked part time at the retail store and part time as a working student (and went to college). This trainer paid me for my time and I paid her for lessons.

    While it ultimately worked out ok for me, in hindsight I would probably suggest going the route of tracking your time and compensation for a couple of weeks and then discussing the arrangement with the current trainer first. I know a lot of smaller trainers/barn managers struggle with the idea of paying this sort of part-time working student, but here's some ideas of ways to make it easier to formalize:
    1.) If horses are available, just not on weekends, I would suggest an exchange of 1 days work (6-8 ish hours) for one regularly scheduled mid-week lesson and possibly a hack on a horse on the day worked. If group jumping lessons are first thing in the morning, perhaps one of the horses could be flatted in the afternoon to give you more saddle time. Maybe that horse that's out of shape could use a second lighter workout to help get him in shape faster? Any extra work throughout the week could be in exchange for hacking a horse just to get saddle time for you.

    2.) If there really aren't any horses available or you're looking for more time in the saddle, check out your budget. Can you afford to lease a horse again or buy one? That's probably the better bet for consistent riding time. Maybe someone at the barn is interested in half-leasing to you? If you do have a horse of your own (or partial lease), the issue of no riding dissapears, so you just have to worry about setting expectations for the work-lesson exchange rate with your trainer. Since you are providing for the horse instead of them, I would expect the exchange rate to be better/more in your favor unless they are going to provide you with extra horses to ride. I'd be thinking more of 4-6 hours of work to one lesson.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsalem View Post
    I don't think there's anything wrong with having a business discussion with your trainer. Any "working student" position needs to have a clear set of guidelines as to compensation. On both ends. What are your chores worth by the hour? What are the lessons worth by the hour? A chart might be helpful so that no one feels like a "doormat". You must understand that your time is not worth nearly what your trainer's time is worth by the hour. This is where I would strongly urge you to look into babysitting, pet sitting, whatever in order to just earn money to take riding lessons. Sometimes you are going to be way ahead that way.

    Let me just address something that comes up on these threads ALL THE TIME. Folks like you need to understand that trainers don't just have all of these great horses that are waiting to be ridden by students like you. The owners of training horses are paying to have their horses ridden by professionals, not by kids. I promise you, if you ever spend the money to purchase and maintain your own horse, you'll understand why folks are so "stingy" with the rides. If you want to ride a nice horse, you really need to lease or buy one because your trainer really shouldn't be letting you learn on client horses.

    Lesson horses usually have a very full dance card and are limited. They are not the same quality as private horses because they have a different job. You say that some of the lesson horses arent "fit". Why don't you offer to fit up one of these horses? I know that they aren't very exciting, but if that's all your trainer has that she can let you ride, then that's what you need to be doing unless you're willing to put some cash out there.

    If you want to drink the milk, you're going to have to buy the cow.
    People who actually work there are paid $10.00 an hour, which my trainers think is too much. They think $8.00 an hour is good enough. Lessons are $45.00. I have no trouble paying for lessons at all, it's just that I've kinda "slipped" into a working student position lately. I am going to talk to my trainer about starting to pay for lessons again instead, because at least then I would be guaranteed a ride.

    Please see my above reply about the out of shape horse.

    I really don't expect to be handed the best horses at the barn, don't get me wrong, I understand that. That's not what I'm looking for, I'm just looking to ride and be able to practice on anything that can physically do the job. But in this arrangement, I am not being given that.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  19. #19
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    Been kind of thinking on this since it comes up on here so often.

    The whole idea is, ideally, the barn can get by with one less officially paid barnworker and save a few bucks by using a few WS types that do equal the work of the paid barn staff person.

    In OPs case, her trainer does not pay any barn staff anyway so there is no compelling reason to offer lessons for labor-she is actually nice to do so because there is nothing at all in it for her in return for the free lessons and rides. It can actually take away time she could use to generate income from paying clients.

    OP is actually doing barn chores the BO pays others to do so she should work out a cash deal with the BO who can give her more value for her labor then trainer, who is not responsible for the barn upkeep, can offer.

    You read alot of suggestions to "just find a barn to work off lessons and use of a horse" when the reality is fewer and fewer of these exsist as the overhead of running a barn has skyrocketed and they need a positive cash flow to pay those expenses-they hay guy does not barter for that 4500 load of hay he just wheeled in with. It's cash or check on the spot or it stays on the truck.

    Then you got the price of a lesson and use of a horse going up to anywhere from 60 to 75+ versus the number of hours a WS actually puts in versus getting the 60-75 cash for that lesson from a paying client-for 2 lessons a week is the WS actually doing 120 to 150 worth of labor a few days a week after school and a weekend? Every week?

    Then there is the whole liability issue....but it's mostly plain old economics. They cannot afford to take the time away from clients who generate at least some actual cash income either teaching or charging for any available horse to anyone willing to ante up.

    Back when, many barns had more horses on their own books then they do now. With prices so high, paid client horses fill most of the stalls. Resale horses have to be properly ridden so as to maintain or increase their sale price. An inexperienced worker who needs to be supervised to bandage, change a wound dressing, poultice an abcessed foot or strained tendon, asssist the vet in restraining the "patients", set up the feed cart with correct supplements and meds and maybe change an IV bag on a sickie take and chart temps or hitch up the trailer??? Thats really not worth free saddle time or lessons.

    My own barn has discontinued a succesful lesson program because they could no longer charge what it actually cost to maintain a school string large and varied enough to work enough lessons a week to justify their keep and an instructor to stay home and teach. Therefore they no longer do any WS arrangements as there is nothing for them to ride and learn on and nobody to supervise as they learn the barn management side with the client horses.

    Barn nearby that thrived on the WS arrangement for all the barn chores went belly up when they got 90 days behind with the feed guy about 2 years ago and got cut off. Three other barns catering to beginners and offering work for ride arrangements also disappeared. The only one that is left owns their own property free and clear...and is, frankly, kind of sketchy.

    Times have changed and that advice to find a barn that will teach you in return for labor is really not a practical suggestion any more, especially for non horse owners who need to be taught the finer points of horsekeeping and cannot devote full time availability with their own transportation.

    jsalem is dead on, trainers need income generation from that "cow" and can't give the milk away. Get a part time job, either in or out of a barn, that pays cash and buy the milk.
    Last edited by findeight; Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


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  20. #20
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    We're finding out that our lesson string is not really worth keeping. We recently upped the quality of our lesson horses by buying a couple of good ones and by replacing "client owned" lessons horses (the client got a huge discount on board by allowing us to use the horse- so it was a part time lesson horse) with farm owned lesson horses. We had hoped that the lesson program would grow and mature along with our increased financial commitment. All of our lesson horses receive the same quality feed, farrier, vet and dental work and are all insured.

    Guess what? It's not working out that way. We really haven't found that the lesson program brings us owners. It brings us people who want to show up once per week and hop on and ride. They're not really interested in horsemanship or taking that next step. Everything is just dandy until a horse gets hurt. We've had a run of bad luck with 2 of our horses out for several months. Huge vet bills because we spare no expense.

    In today's world, it really comes down to cold hard cash. And liability. I had to fuss at my sweet assistant yesterday when we had to pull in a sale pony to do a lesson. There wasn't a bridle set up so she was going to have the student walk around the ring with the halter until she got a bridle. Nothing would probably happen. The pony is sweet. But that's just a risk we shouldn't take with a once a weak-er. I feel like a big ole meanie, but I'm the one that pays for the Liability insurance for the farm. I'm the one that is paying those huge vet bills for the lesson horses to be on stall rest. I'm a little weary of worrying about the finances of the lesson string.

    I get Working Student inquiries ALL THE TIME. I get requests for lessons on "something that can jump higher" ALL THE TIME. I'm just about to write my insurance check for the lesson horses and my nice sale and lease horses. It's almost 5 thousand dollars.

    Cold hard cash, people....



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