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What to do? Working student/half lease situation

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  • #21
    Originally posted by eastendjumper View Post
    So the arrangement: in trying to help 2 working students have as much opportunity as they can on their famiy's very tight budget, offered them a half lease on a horse. Horse cost very little, under a grand, so family's each paid for half of the horse, and then are responsible for dentals and 1/3 of any additional veterinary care horse may need.
    I'm still caught up on the bolded part. You say the family's each paid half for half of the horse. Half of what? It's purchase price? Cause that's not a lease, that's ownership.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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    • #22
      Originally posted by eastendjumper View Post
      We bought a second project horse about a month ago, that Student A is taking on, leaving Student B with sole lease benefits of the first horse. Her family and her were thrilled that she essentially has her own horse now, and it will make my life easier, too! But, despite this, the kid is still not riding outside of her lessons unless I say "Hey, its beautiful out! Want to ride?"
      Oh, just kick her out or make her pay full-up like everyone else who doesn't work additional.

      You can't nag want-to into a person.

      Buy out her half of the 'sale price' and be done.
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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      • Original Poster

        #23
        RugBug, you're correct in that they did each put in the equivelant of half of the puchase price, but money was put in for the purpose of paying a portion of the lease, not for the actual purchase, so I bought the horse (I see now how I was unclear in OP, was trying to relay what they put in financially). It was discussed at length before horse was bought, and family's did not want the obligations and liability of true ownership.

        Kids were told that they could lease as long as they wanted it to, so long as the work was kept up and they were taking advantage of the situation. The original amount of money they contributed, however, along with the work they put in, technically will last them until May when lease started (we just divided the amount to last the year). It is at that point that I hope to have found a solution, or ask her to move on and allow another hard working kid the chance.

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        • #24
          You can't make a kid want it. Either they do or they don't. Everyone rides for different reasons. I have a couple like this. As long as they understand that their lack of practise limits their progress and don't complain when their reward is equivalent to their efforts, I am okay with it. I simply try to match these types with a horse that is not in need of a consistent program to be rideable. That doesn't necessarily mean made, it just takes a horse with a certain mindset. There are only 3 tricolour spots at any horse show anyways. There's a lot of people out there who don't mind not winning.
          Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

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          • #25
            Originally posted by eastendjumper View Post
            RugBug, you're correct in that they did each put in the equivelant of half of the puchase price, but money was put in for the purpose of paying a portion of the lease, not for the actual purchase, so I bought the horse (I see now how I was unclear in OP, was trying to relay what they put in financially). It was discussed at length before horse was bought, and family's did not want the obligations and liability of true ownership.

            Kids were told that they could lease as long as they wanted it to, so long as the work was kept up and they were taking advantage of the situation. The original amount of money they contributed, however, along with the work they put in, technically will last them until May when lease started (we just divided the amount to last the year). It is at that point that I hope to have found a solution, or ask her to move on and allow another hard working kid the chance.
            What does your contract with the girl's parents actually state? If it just includes the hours of work required and the financial commitment, it could be difficult to end the lease because she isn't riding as often as you'd like. It might be easier to buy out her share and bring in a new investor/leaser. "Taking advantage of the situation" is pretty vague wording for a legal document.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by eastendjumper View Post
              RugBug, you're correct in that they did each put in the equivelant of half of the puchase price, but money was put in for the purpose of paying a portion of the lease, not for the actual purchase, so I bought the horse (I see now how I was unclear in OP, was trying to relay what they put in financially). It was discussed at length before horse was bought, and family's did not want the obligations and liability of true ownership.

              Kids were told that they could lease as long as they wanted it to, so long as the work was kept up and they were taking advantage of the situation. The original amount of money they contributed, however, along with the work they put in, technically will last them until May when lease started (we just divided the amount to last the year). It is at that point that I hope to have found a solution, or ask her to move on and allow another hard working kid the chance.
              Ah ha. This makes it more clear. I though "they" co-owned the horse.

              Have a talk, but if it is not working out, end the lease for Child B. Walking around on the cell and texting is not doing work to work off a lease. Gotcha.
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                Contract states that it is a 1 year lease with option to extend when year is up. If student had wanted out of lease prior to that date, with 30 days notice, I would refund the difference (we're talking $30/month). After this first year us up, as long as students will continue on with same amount if work, they can continue with the lease.

                The "taking advantage if the situation" is purely verbal but something I found myself saying frequently. I am not in a position to end the lease early because she isn't riding very much, only if she doesn't put in the honest hours of work. However, I do have the right to not extend the lease here soon enough. This Spring was a bit if an experiment...what kind if commitment will she show if I am not pushing at all? To better help my decision here. This is also why I posted this when I did, to give us the rest if this month to decide what to do when it is time to decide whether to extend; if it's a good time to let the lease fizzle out.

                Sorry this has been so confusing! I realize it was an odd-ball scenario.

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                • #28
                  It sounds to me like the child who is not riding likes the "idea" of riding more that the actual sport. I'd meet with her and her family and try to get a true handle on her level of commitment. Kids go through phases. Horse crazy girls find other more "mainstream" hobbies like school sports, boys, cheerleading etc. It happens. If all the horse crazy tween and teen girls I rode with were still riding, there would be 100 barns within 10 miles of my house. There is no use being mad about it (not that I think the OP is angry, but she's no doubt frustrated,) If you are middle aged, think about all the kids you once rode with. Are any still riding?

                  As for the horse, now that she's had some saddle time and work maybe she would be leasable to someone else. possibly someone with cash rather than someone looking to work off the expenses. If she's going to go to some shows at least she can generate some coaching and shipping fees to help you.
                  F O.B
                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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                  • #29
                    Late on here but have watched situations like this for years.

                    Never forget a child is an ever evolving young person that is going to change often, and not always in the way you expect. There is NOTHING wrong with a lukewarm commitment to the sport in a kid with many other developing interests. Also nothing wrong with growing out of what seemed a good idea but turned out more of a structured obligation then fun free time with a horse. It happens.

                    But when you have a contract with the parents who often don't know what the kid really feels or don't want to listen? Or play the "Do you know what this costs us" card? You get a disinterested kid parroting what she thinks people want to hear. They aren't lazy or taking advantage of a situation, they just are growing up a d changing focus.

                    Why not just offer to keep her as an occasional student if she wants and concentrate on the other kid who is developing a passion for it instead of letting the one losing interest frustrate you?

                    These co lease or co own deals with young teens almost never work as expected for exactly the reason above. They don't work that well with adults either for that matter. Don't dwell on what went wrong that's out of your control, time to move along...and maybe not get into a deal like this again.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Thank you so much everyone; there is a lot of good advice on here that I will keep in mind. Yes, I was/am frustrated but that is more from a culmination if several years of knowing and working with this kid and family, and general constant reminders that they expect more than what I am offering, and can offer, when I, on the other side of the fence, also expect more from them for what I am giving. Or at least a little appreciation and/or acknowledgement for the effort I put in would make a difference! But there is too much history and so much to the story it would take too much of everyone's time here to get into it, and I will approach them now with the good input from the above posts in mind and hopefully resolve this with both sides feeling like they have benefited.

                      Findeight, your advice was a little sad but good to hear. Maybe I shoudn't get into a deal like this again. Although, with student A, it has been enormously gratifying; as time goes in, perhaps I will get better at sorting out who truly wants to ride, and for whom the desire may be a little more fleeting. Or will come up with a better arrangement.

                      Thank you all!

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                      • #31
                        Any co owner deal ends up with one strong party and one weaker one just like anything between 2 humans-nobody is ever exactly equal to another. Way worse with growing adolescents that change every week.

                        You might think of what is called a "school lease" and I have seen that work to get multiple kids a decent ride at an affordable price and keep your expenses down.

                        Depends on your costs but lets say you offer Sparky on a school lease for 350 a month that includes 2 regularly schedualed lessons and one hack day a week. They can make up missed lessons but there is no reduction in that monthly fee if they don't. If the kid loses interest, it's a month to month renewable lease so they (or you) can exit gracefully.

                        You could charge 250 for one lesson and one hack day or 700 for a full month with 2 or 3 lessons a week and 2 hack days. If horse is ill or injured, you can substitute another. Kids always have transportation issues that make targeting a 2 to 4 day a week barn committment easier to swing then 5 to 7 days for most families. If the kid likes it, they can pay more to increase the days and find a way to get the kid out there more often.

                        This kind of lease works for alot of novice lesson barns, the kids get to use the same horse and bond with it and you can forecast your income stream and expenses.

                        I just think there is a disconnect between that kids actual desires and what her parents think-and that is not your fault so don't feel guilty or that you failed her because of her lack of progress. If the kid wanted it, she'd be doing it. She does not want it and thats fine and no way your problem.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                        • #32
                          The child might not want to admit to her parents, OP or even to herself that her interest has waned. Most kids don't stay with it. maybe the time commitment started to feel like "work." Maybe she's joined the cheerleading squad, who knows. She might feel uncomfortable discussing her change of feeling about riding and might be concerned that the OP wil be "mad at her." Lets face it, right here on this BB it's easy to find posts where pro's express frustration with disinterested or in attentive clients.
                          Be agreeable about that fact that kids lose interest and maybe try to locate someone else who might be interested in the lease. I agree with F8 about in barn schoolie leases being month to month. Most barns I know do it that way. That way if either party wants out it's easier and if a client love it and decides to buy their own, they are not "stuck" with the lease they have.
                          F O.B
                          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            I'm glad the idea of month-to-month leases came up; that was my thought, as well. In fact, for almost a year now I have had an even more casual arrangement with a younger student: her parents pre-pay for a month of lessons, and the girl is welcome to come to the barn to work/hang out whenever she would like, as long as I have a little notice to plan accordingly. If, for example, I have a lesson cancellation while she is here during a non-lesson day, she can get an extra ride. At the end of the month, we add up how many extra rides she was able to get, and the parents pay additional each of them. Sometimes it is no extra rides, sometimes several. It seems to work quite well, but is family has the $ to do it, versus this family.

                            This girl from the OP has been a little difficult to talk to, often I hear from her that all is well (and I really try to, and really think I have been, patient and supportive with her, and then maybe vent to my husband when I got frustrated!) and then I will relay to her mother what was said, and often get a very different perspective from her. When I was reading over that thread about the girl "desperate to make something of herself" or something like that, a lot of bells rang because there were similarities from what this family seems to expect. They want to know why this kid isn't competing in the childrens jumpers when they have an incredibely limited budget and not wanting to work more than 20 hours a month. It was just the best that I could offer with those constraints.

                            I imagine, if the girl is truly losing interest, or has found other things to be doing, it will come up when we talk together (chat planned for this weekend with kid and mom). I plan to offer them a similar situation to either the month-to-month, or to the one I have with the other student; she can ride as much or as little as she wants, as long as she does the work to pay for them. We can come up with a work ratio for lessons and a work ration for if she just wants to hack, but if horse gets school leased to another student, her hack days will have to be limited . But, could very well be she doesn't ride outside of her lessons at all, and that won't become an issue! I would feel much better with that type of arrangement, as well, and hopefully they will, too.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I completely agree with findeight. Kids have enough responsibility with school (believe it or not, even these days....) and should be allowed some freedom of choice in their extra curricular activities. I do agree that kids need to be taught the value of commitment, but riding is an expensive and time consuming sport and not necessarily the best way for kids to learn about commitment. I think you have been given some great suggestions on here. It sounds like the kid working off the cost of lessons might be a good way to start if she is still interested in riding. I would also wonder about pressure from her family to compete taking away the fun of it for her. I was never much interested in competition and found I enjoyed riding/the barn far more if I wasn't pressured to show.
                              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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                              • #35
                                When I was a kid we would work in the "school barn." This was where the lesson kids would go, and the "student worker" would catch the lesson pony (so there were not lots of people wandering around the field with the horses in it) assist the younger students to groom and tack, make sure the barn was swept up and tack was organized at the end of the day. Also muck out the occasional standing stalls, and sometimes we got a project job like cleaning the school horse saddles and bridles. I think we got 1 "credit" for every hour we worked, and we had to sign in and sign out. We received 1 or or 1 lesson (cant remember which) for every 5 or 6 credits we earned. We would then sign up for what days we wanted to use those "credits" for a practice ride. Actually, I think we even had a mini price sheet of 1 group lesson = X credits, a practice ride = Y credits, a private lesson = Z credits, etc. It worked well, and let us have some flexibility in how much we worked or wanted to ride - I think we just had to sign up for student worker positions a certain amount of time in advance as there were limited time slots.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  I love that idea of a credit system! I've always just had each hour of work be equivalent to a dollar amount, but the system ShoreGirl describes seems simpler and more direct. Thank you for sharing! I'm stealing it.

                                  I completely understand that other interests pop up for these kids, and wouldn't expect her to sacrifice other things she wants to do for something she doesn't; when else in our lives do we have that kind of freedom to explore activities??? I am trying to find a way to either explain, or better yet, to set her up to prove to herself, that if she really, truly, honestly wants to improve (and will hopefully find out this weekend if its the kid really wants it, or the mom thats pushing for it, in which case I will side with the kid), then it just won't happen magically without the work.

                                  Thank everyone for giving me things to look for, potential reasons, and ideas to keep in mind; for this particular case and for future students.
                                  Last edited by eastendjumper; Apr. 4, 2013, 11:49 AM. Reason: Spelling

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                                  • #37
                                    Are you certain it isn't a transportation issue? I ask bc there is a teen at my barn who had this problem. Her parents would say she never asked to come out, but when my trainer delved a bit deeper she discovered that the girl simply stopped asking bc her parents and brother always complained about the inconvenience of bringing her out to the barn and she was so sensitive to their complaints that she just chose to stop pushing the issue. Once this was discovered and addressed, things got a bit better.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Thanks, PoohLP; it may certainly be an issue like that (girl lives short biking distance away, has almost always come and gone on her own). Last year, after several talks, little problems like that would be discovered and we usually found solutions. Hoping that it is something simple like that that we can fix for her this time around.

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