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When does it become a lesson??

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  • When does it become a lesson??

    So I have a back injury and am seeing a chiro. He says I cannot ride for a few weeks. In the mean time I have a friend that is willing to ride for me. However, she is pretty beginner. Unfortunately, I cannot pay to have someone ride my horse and all my more advanced friends are out of state or driving distance ATM.

    I am comfortable letting my friend ride my horse as long as I am there and can give her pointers. Mainly this has been at the walk, I've showed her the work I've been doing disengaging the hind end and really working on leg cues. However, today she wanted to trot. My horse is green although well tempered and she is a beginner. No one was there today so I put a lunge line on and let her trot. I gave her pointers like 'heels down' or 'quiet hands'. Then we were done.

    My issue is, there is a trainer at the barn and I don't want her thinking that I am starting to teach lessons. I am taking NO pay and recieving NO reimbursement except someone to ride my horse. The trainer is also BM and knows of my injury, has been really excepting and knows of said rider. All liability waivers are signed and rules are followed.

    So when does it go from pointers to lesson? My BM is a stickler on insurance and liability. I don't want to make an issue where she says I need trainer's insurance.

  • #2
    Just go talk to the trainer.

    Then she won't think you're teaching lessons, as she'll know the situation.

    The insurance question -- that's between you, the BM, her insurance policy, and whatever state/local laws might define an equine professional.

    But you know she's a stickler on insurance, so I don't see any way it's going to go well if she has to come to you and ask if you are teaching and whether you are covered.

    "I didn't talk to you before because I thought you might ask me to get instructor's insurance and I didn't want to pay for it" is not going to go down well, even if the situation is one where she would say, "Nope, you're good, carry on."
    Halt Near X | Horse Bloggers - Blog Directory

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    • #3
      If you're not getting paid, then you are not teaching a lesson as a professional, so insurance above and beyond having someone ride your horse isn't an issue. I think you're worrying about nothing. It's your horse. Your friend. No money. Spend as much time as your friend needs and you're willing. The trainer/BM will come to you if she has a problem.

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      • #4
        I agree with Halt on this one. It's so much easier to be proactive and avoid problems, than let the trainer potentially simmer until s/he finally broaches it with you. Why let it get that far?
        I honestly would not spend much time working with someone on my horse if there are numerous other people around. At some point it does become a lesson, though not a pro lesson, and it could be awkward. However, if the trainer genuinely says it's a non-issue, then you're good. The trainer may say it's OK but best left to certain quieter hours. Or maybe you don't watch/guide the rider constantly, but rather check in every few minutes.
        Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post
          If you're not getting paid, then you are not teaching a lesson as a professional, so insurance above and beyond having someone ride your horse isn't an issue.
          I agree, if you're not getting paid, you're not giving a lesson. Period.
          Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

          Originally posted by DottieHQ
          You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

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          • #6
            It doesn't matter what WE think a lesson is, it matters what your BO and their insurance company things a lesson is.

            Me, personally, i don't think you are breaking ammy status by what you are doing, but if you put someone on the longe and started giving them pointers, then yes, I would define you as teaching a lesson. Wether it bothered me or not would depend on how you approached it, and as previously said, when you did this.

            Insurance wise it may depend on their type of insurance. I am pretty sure my company WOULD consider the longe situation a lesson as YOU have control of the horse, but the giving a few casual pointers to someone riding your horse would not be a lesson.

            I may also have concerns as a BO as to if this rider is really suitable for your green horse, but apparently your BM has ok'ed it.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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            • #7
              Just not worth the risks (both liability and relationship with Trainer). That you are not comfortable letting your friend trot without being clipped on tells me she absolutely needs real lessons.
              Your horse can take a few weeks of ground work with you, without falling apart. Prob would be fun, even. If your back is fit enough to handle him on a longe, you can longe him for exercise. Or see if the trainer will put in a couple training rides on him.

              Even if what you're doing doesn't require professional insurance, I think it does create extra liability if there were an accident. The essential fact is that an experienced rider put a beginner rider on her green horse, and taught the beginner some riding skills. Any lawyer is going to paint this as negligence on your part. You may say that your friend would never sue you, but a) her insurer definitely will, and b) you never know-- a major injury or lifetime disability can change friendships right quick. I bet if you run this scenario by your own insurer, they'd strongly advise against it, or even say that you would have no coverage at all for this activity.

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              • #8
                your horse, your friend. I really don't think it's a problem if you're standing here giving her advice...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's a little tidbit you might want to read

                  Back in the dark ages, I taught riding lessons at the hunt barn.

                  To beginners. On ancient schoolies that would trot endless circles at little more than a shuffle. On a longe line.

                  One day, the oldest and most infirmed schoolie, had an absolute beginner on his back.On the longe line. I clucked. Three trot strides later, he launched the little tot sky high, for absolutely no reason any of us could think of.

                  This horse was Mr. Dependable. You could weigh 300 lbs., hang on his mouth, bounce on his back, pull on his tail, stick your finger in his ear, you get the idea.

                  Now, imagine that your friend has a spill and breaks something and has to be off work for 4-6 weeks. Think your trainer's insurance will pay? Nope.
                  Think your BO's insurance will pay? Nada.

                  Guess who she is going to want to take care of all her expenses?

                  I don't care what kind of a liability release you have her sign, won't keep anyone from suing you, and even if she loses, you still have to pay your lawyer.

                  Better if she pays for a lesson from your trainer, or you just pay the trainer to ride him.

                  And if he's quiet, he won't mind just being a horse until you heal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with 2ndyrgal....

                    ...it's nice to have someone else keep our horses going for us while we're unable to ride but like she says...if he's quiet, a few weeks off won't make much of a difference and honestly, if he's only doing walking with a little trotting with your friend, that probably isn't going to make much of a difference either. The important part, in that case, is just to see that he still gets handled fairly consistently, IMHO.

                    And I speak as one with experience since I just got off two months of no riding due to a broken bone. Going to take us a bit to get back into 'the groove' but horse is really no worse for wear and he hasn't forgotten anything we were working on prior (heck, in one case he actually improved after the break).
                    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                      Back in the dark ages, I taught riding lessons at the hunt barn.

                      To beginners. On ancient schoolies that would trot endless circles at little more than a shuffle. On a longe line.

                      One day, the oldest and most infirmed schoolie, had an absolute beginner on his back.On the longe line. I clucked. Three trot strides later, he launched the little tot sky high, for absolutely no reason any of us could think of.

                      This horse was Mr. Dependable. You could weigh 300 lbs., hang on his mouth, bounce on his back, pull on his tail, stick your finger in his ear, you get the idea.

                      Now, imagine that your friend has a spill and breaks something and has to be off work for 4-6 weeks. Think your trainer's insurance will pay? Nope.
                      Think your BO's insurance will pay? Nada.

                      Guess who she is going to want to take care of all her expenses?

                      I don't care what kind of a liability release you have her sign, won't keep anyone from suing you, and even if she loses, you still have to pay your lawyer.

                      Better if she pays for a lesson from your trainer, or you just pay the trainer to ride him.

                      And if he's quiet, he won't mind just being a horse until you heal.
                      The horse owner's liability insurance (which everyone should have) should/would cover it. The horse is not being used for a commercial purpose.
                      Jigga:
                      Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

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