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For those of you who teach lessons...

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  • For those of you who teach lessons...

    ...how do you make sure your riders show up with the right equipment? how do you educate them on what they need as they move from lesson rider to horse owner?

    'What's in your trunk?'
    Free tools for Trainers and Riders

  • #2
    Not sure how to answer this, but I basically am a very "hands on" instructor. I can do this as I take a limited number of SERIOUS students. As they need to move forward to leasing and then horse ownership I guide them along the lines of what they need, which often is as much of a education of the aprent (if it's a child rider) as it is the rider. My parents are also hands on, and they learn to tack up and help their child. I handle the health care of the horses but make sure the owner/student knows what and why it is happening. I just think that education is the most importnat part of riding/horse ownership. And you NEVER stop learning, at least I don't!


    • Original Poster

      So do you give them a specific list of equipment they need to buy as they move up the levels?

      Do you keep this list at your local tack store?

      How often do you update your list?
      'What's in your trunk?'
      Free tools for Trainers and Riders


      • #4
        Either have the information included on your website,brochures or whatever information you give to clients/parents/interested parties about your lessons... no doubt you have them sign a liability form - mail/email form and a list of what is required to wear/have in order to take lessons.

        As far as going from lesson rider to horse owner - you can make that part of your instruction..my trainer is always teaching the kids something about horses every time they ride - right now w/ the wet weather some of the horses are getting scratches/rain rot so she's showing them what it is/ and what to do to treat it...etc. this works because it's a small barn so can be very hands on - larger lesson facilities its not really that practical for the instructors to take that much time - kids want to ride first; learn later. I do know though that my very first riding lessons were 3 days of more book and practical stuff - we had to get through that before any of us got in a saddle..


        • #5
          Give And Take: I just checked out your site link. Wow!

          I had to sign up for your site. It is wonderful! I think it will save me a lot of time and my clients a lot of confusion.


          • #6
            I do everything face to face with my clients, lists aren't appropriate as every horse can be different. I advise them on what are the best blankets, what size, where they can find them etc, same with tack and supplies. I don't have a HUGE amount of students, I think around 15 right now. Its just a "natural progression" sort of thing, as I find the horses for them to buy and then help them from there. MAny of them board with me, but some do not.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by drewsbadboy View Post
              Give And Take: I just checked out your site link. Wow!

              I had to sign up for your site. It is wonderful! I think it will save me a lot of time and my clients a lot of confusion.

              Thanks for checking it out! Since over my many years in the sport I've watched alot of riders and parents (including my own) learn the hard way about equipment needs and horse care, I provide the website tool for free.

              It's been a fun project and evolved alot of the last 3+ plus years!

              Let me know if you have any suggestions!
              'What's in your trunk?'
              Free tools for Trainers and Riders


              • #8
                I need to revise my post as didn't realize you were coming from the creative /help both riders & trainers aspect. Some riding schools/camps have a list of required items for camp which are provided by the barn/camp.. and I did spreadsheet for some folks who were new horse owners.. there are the basics and then the add-ons.. and all depends. For our new owners they needed pretty much everything from hoofpicks to saddle & bridle and everything inbetween.

                the only thing you might want to add to your website would be "sample list" or something - otherwise a cool website.


                • #9
                  I just take it kid-by-kid, family-by-family. Everyone needs a helmet and suitable boots, but we're pretty informal and I know a lot of my families don't have a lot of extra cash, so the rest varies. We exchange a lot of hand-me-down breeches and half-chaps. I will often answer one parent's question about Christmas presents or stuff to buy for camp and cc it to the group of parents, in case anyone else is interested. Some kids don't tolerate the cold so I'll strongly recommend winter riding boots, but another kid who's heading into a growth spurt may not get the same suggestion. When they're ready to start leasing, again, it's case-by-case because some horses come fully stocked and they don't have to buy anything but a bag of carrots. I've had more families buy stuff they don't need for the first horse and then regret the purchase, than families who are surprised to discover all the stuff they do need, or who try to cut corners.


                  • Original Poster

                    Do any of the parents of kids just starting lessons perpare themselves with basic terms and equipment info?

                    I'm thinking of adding basic info pages to the site and wondering if that would be useful vs offering more features for trainers and clubs.
                    'What's in your trunk?'
                    Free tools for Trainers and Riders


                    • #11
                      A good little lesson program at a barn where I boarded had a flyer/list they gave lesson kids and parents.

                      It let them know the basics they'd need to buy-- approved helmet, paddock boots and recommended half chaps. They included rough price ranges and local tack stores that carried them.

                      They also included a list of things for more serious riders or those who would being leasing the barn's horses. Things like shaped pads, polos and gloves were on that list. They also listed a range of prices for saddles.

                      This may have given some parents sticker shock. But it helped the newest students and seemed to set the tone for making lessons the beginning of a long term project.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #12
                        A friend of mine who is a trainer had me put together "New Rider", "New Horse", and "Showing" lists for her parents and riders (trainer knows what she wants everyone to have, I'm the organized friend who put it all together).

                        We live in an area without a good tack store, so I have two versions of each list, one for SmartPak and one for Dover (because of shipping expenses, most folks want to order from one place if at all possible). Each list has website links to the item, and each required item has at least two options, one of which is a "budget" option. The "Showing" list also specifies what is needed for schooling shows versus rated shows.

                        I made the lists in such a way that they build on each other and you're never wasting money; anything on the "New Horse" or "New Rider" list is also something you would need when you're showing. My friend's riders range from kids who do a few schooling shows a year to kids who do rated shows every month and go to Pony Finals, and at each subsequent level they definitely need to know what is needed to be properly equipped and the kind of monetary investment involved.