• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Cancelling lessons as punishment for grades-

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cancelling lessons as punishment for grades-

    Hi all-I'm looking for some thoughts/advice.

    I own a training/boarding/lesson facility and I am lucky to have generally wonderful students/parents that I enjoy thoroughly. However occasionally I will get calls from parents leaving me a message that "Susie" can't come to her lesson tonight because of her poor grades/performance in school and not riding is her punishment. More times than I care to count the parents have cancelled their childs lessons to punish them for poor grades, or even poor attitude. While I fully understand and can sympathize with the parents and I obviously agree that school comes first, it really affects my bottom line. I don't like being used this way, especially since it affects my income. I do this full-time and every lesson counts. Is there something that I can do or do I just suck it up?
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Charge a fee - or full lesson price - if a lesson is canceled without 24 hr notice.
    Nevertheless, she persisted.

    Comment


    • #3
      This happens to me as well. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it--the parents have to deal with their children as they see fit, adn as much as this is our livelihood, it's the kids' priviledge, and priviledges get taken away for bad behaviour.

      However, I have firm rules on no cancellations the day of--unless its first thing in the AM and the kid has woken up suddenly very sick. If you can't be organized enough to call the night before, you have to pay the full lesson price. This has helped some.

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe charge a fee for not canceling 24 hours in advance? That might put a dent in it, or at least keep people from canceling at the last minute. If you had more notice, would you be in a better position to fill that slot?

        I think my dr's office has a sign saying appt's need to be canceled 24 hours ahead of time or there is a 25$ charge or something. Don't know if anyone's paid it.

        Originally posted by fargonefarm View Post
        Hi all-I'm looking for some thoughts/advice.

        I own a training/boarding/lesson facility and I am lucky to have generally wonderful students/parents that I enjoy thoroughly. However occasionally I will get calls from parents leaving me a message that "Susie" can't come to her lesson tonight because of her poor grades/performance in school and not riding is her punishment. More times than I care to count the parents have cancelled their childs lessons to punish them for poor grades, or even poor attitude. While I fully understand and can sympathize with the parents and I obviously agree that school comes first, it really affects my bottom line. I don't like being used this way, especially since it affects my income. I do this full-time and every lesson counts. Is there something that I can do or do I just suck it up?
        Thanks!
        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
        -Rudyard Kipling

        Comment


        • #5
          At the place I work, there is a policy that helps with that sort of thing. Parents buy lessons in at least monthly increments (so a set of 4 weekly lessons) up to a maximum of 12 weeks at a time. These are paid in advance. Makeups will be scheduled for lessons missed due to illness or family emergency. No other reasons. So parents are free to withhold riding lessons as punishment, but not to "punish" us by removing part of our income. There is also a time limit on when makeups can be done.

          That's not to say a parent couln't lie and say their kid was sick when they are in fact withholding lessons for some reason. But it doesn't seem to be a problem (knock wood).
          Equinox Equine Massage

          In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
          -Albert Camus

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fargonefarm View Post
            I do this full-time and every lesson counts. Is there something that I can do or do I just suck it up?
            Thanks!
            Sell them their lessons in a package, paid in advance. They get one make up lesson per package. They don't ride, you are still compensated.
            Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
            http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, my BO/Trainer requires that lessons be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance. The only exceptions are medical issues or bad weather (i.e. uhh tornados, blizzards, extreme cold or horrible ice). We have a nice, heated indoor so no reason to not ride due to bad weather.

              If you do cancel due to a medical issue - you should know well before 24 hours that you can't make it. I've riden a few times when I really shouldn't have, but it didn't kill me .

              It's just common curtisy (spelling?) to give as much notice as possible. Parents should understand this. You don't just not show up at a doctor's appointment.

              Anyways, if you cancel a lesson for anything other then what's stated above, you owe her the full fee, regardless. She has it stated in writing as part of the policy. I don't have any issues with being charged a lesson and not riding. Yea, I'd like to keep my money - but unfortunately this is how my BO breaks even... boarding doesn't do anything, the lessons and training she does helps immensely.

              Hope this helps.

              ETA: I've always cancelled before my 24 hours were up - or rode. I've never not showed.
              Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
              See G2's blog
              Photos

              Comment


              • #8
                I work as a receptionist for the ballroom studio I dance at and it's a policy written in our contract--if you do not cancel a lesson with at least 24 hours' notice, we will charge you for that lesson. The argument is, with such short notice, the instructor doesn't have time to book a replacement lesson and they lose income. If they chose to make it up to you later for some reason, it's up to them, but as far as the management's concerned, that empty slot is costing us and the teacher money.

                This works best when people pay in advance for lessons, obviously, and it's why we try very hard to not let them run up defecits--people tend to be more responsible about things when they've already paid!
                Author Page
                Like Omens In the Night on Facebook
                Steampunk Sweethearts

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been at barns that have that same "lesson package" situation Coloredhorse describes. Worked very well. Instructor got paid no matter what, and offered some flexibility to the riders as well, for instance if you got sick, or were out of town, etc.

                  ETA: My current barn is just pay-as-you go, but I wouldn't mind if they switched to that kind of plan.
                  I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was one of those children. My parents LOVED to hold my riding privileges over my head. It forced me to do really well in school.

                    I remember being in the 4th grade and not taking lessons for 8 weeks because I got a "C" on my report card. It broke my heart, but I pulled it up to a "B" and was allowed to start lessons again at the next report card.

                    I understand this is your livelihood so you need to make a cancellation policy and stick with it. As a future parent, I will certainly hold my children accountable for their grades in the format my parents did. However, I would be fully prepared to pay a cancellation fee if I canceled last minute. Of course, it would then come out of the kid's allowance.

                    There is nothing wrong with making your lessons prepaid... at least this way you are guaranteed your money should they do cancel last minute.
                    Dreaming in Color

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by appychik View Post
                      If you do cancel due to a medical issue - you should know well before 24 hours that you can't make it. I've riden a few times when I really shouldn't have, but it didn't kill me
                      That reminds me of a funny story.

                      I used to get weekly allergy shots before my riding lesson. One time, I had an adverse reaction and began wheezing severely soon after I left the clinic. Mindful of my pre-paid lesson package and the 24 hour cancellation rule, I called my instructor's cell. The message I left went something like this: "I...can't breathe. *wheeze* Allergy shots *wheeze* I'm...driving *wheeze* myself to...*wheeze* ER."

                      I came back the next week, ready to ride. My instructor said, "It was really hard to figure out what you were saying on the phone, so I had to play the message for everyone in the office. We decided collectively not to charge you for that lesson Next time you go to the ER, don't bother calling us first!"

                      We never figured out what exactly caused me to go into pseudo-anaphylactic shock. But considering the shots I was taking consisted of allergens of horse, grass, pollen, and cat (yes, I'm allergic to my favorite things!), it's likely that riding that day COULD have killed me
                      Snobbington Hunt clique - Whoopee Wagon Fieldmaster
                      Bostonians, join us at- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Boston_Equestrian
                      NYC Equestrians- http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/urbanequestrian/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Try the prepaid package a month at a time, full charge, NO make ups for less then 24 hour cancellation and put a time limit on any make ups for those cancelled with the 24 hours (like must be made up by the 15th of the following month).

                        That still allows some flexibilty for the parent to discipline their kids while allowing you to stay on track budget wise.

                        And you can always make exceptions for the seriously ill or bona fide family emergency. Otherwise, this is not something you can be "nice" about or everybody's buddy. It is a business.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1) Charge for lessons in advance. No rainchecks/make-ups if they don't cancel within the 24 hours period. You could even offer a discount for months paid in advance ($40 lesson or buy 4 lessons for $150).

                          2) If not prepaid, cancellations must be made within 24 hours, or charge a fee. Why charge a fee? Because you've already set aside that time for that rider to come for lessons. When they cancel, you lose money and that time spot when someone else could have ridden - seems fair.
                          If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                          DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                          Originally posted by talkofthetown
                          As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Agree w/ the package advice above, but I'd also recommend specifying how quickly the package needs to be used up. Otherwise, you just end up with a new way for parents to "defer" paying for a lesson. Let's say you sell them 4 lessons at a package rate of $150 with the stipulation that they can cancel without paying if they give 24 hours' notice. This will just get parents in the habit of canceling 25 hours ahead of time but still screwing you over financially.

                            When I was a kid, I rode at a barn that sold packages of 4 lessons that had to be used up within 5 weeks and packages of 8 lessons that had to be used up in 10 weeks. Exceptions were made for illnesses that required doctor's visits or family emergencies, but otherwise you were SOL if you didn't use them all up. That lesson barn is still in business over 15 years later.
                            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by drmgncolor View Post
                              I was one of those children. My parents LOVED to hold my riding privileges over my head. It forced me to do really well in school.
                              Err ok... we are alike and very different!
                              I lost riding for grades and other school related performance.
                              It did the complete opposite of what my parents thought it would though, it demotivated.

                              My lessons where what I lived for, and cared about.
                              Some of the school issues were social, and the one big one was a course I fell behind in and then was told to 'catch up or lose Pony Club this summer'.
                              Yeah, 'cause 'catching up' on your own in a cumulative subject is soooooooo easy.

                              Sometimes the kid is already being punished enough by their lack of performance [like most kids who are doing poorly don't know that they are?]. Why add insult to injury?

                              Maybe I'm a butt-in-sky but I would ask the parents what they think losing riding will accomplish, and if they're being realistic.
                              Then I would sell lessons in packages- X# of lessons per month must be used that month or cost is forfeited. You can even incl a small discount for more lessons or multiple months purchased ahead of time.
                              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                              http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Ditto others. You're being too nice.

                                Prepaid packages at the beginning of the month. If canceled with less than 24 hours notice, they forfeit the lesson fee.

                                You of course can use your discretion: ie: if student wakes up in the morning with a terrible flu and is sick as a dog? Reschedule. But you don't have to tell the parents that up front.

                                It's a business. It's your livlihood.

                                The place where I took lessons this summer started requiring lessons paid up front at the beginning of the month. Aside from illness of horse or rider, you forfeited your lesson fee if you missed without notice.
                                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I have it in my boarding agreement that there will be no make-ups or refunds for disciplinary actions.
                                  "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                                  carolprudm

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Both sides

                                    I have been on both sides of this issue. I was teaching a lot a couple years ago when I only had one child. Now have three! I was blessed that I did not have to rely on my lesson money to live so a cancellation here and there did not make much of a difference. But had I been completely dependent on the lesson income I absolutely would have pre paid packages and a cancellation payment/policy. That being said I am now on the flip side of things and my daughter is taking lessons with another trainer. The ONLY thing that makes a difference in her behavior/actions is threatening her riding lesson. I hate to do it but her father is a stickler that if she does not behave, help, be nice, whatever.. she does not ride. It really bothers me to cancel (as trainer is single, does this full time) but I have to maintain family harmony as well.
                                    I guess my point is yes- pre-paid and cancellation policy might be a great idea for you.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      As one of those children that was frequently banned from the barn, and who only got found real trouble while away from the barn, I can say that it would have been more affective if I had been sent to the barn to do chores and watch other people ride as punishment rather than a complete ban. I was at a barn for a while that had a policy that if you didn't keep atleast a B average, you were only allowed to come out for a couple hours a day to do barn chorse and take care of your horse. No playing, riding, etc. Just work. If you were really unlucky, other people got to ride your horse. I graduated with a 4.0, so it must have worked
                                      "...through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
                                      Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings." William Shakespeare

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Uhh, you know, bad grades don't happen overnight. Yes, if you happen to have a lesson scheduled less than 24 hrs after a bad report card comes out, then parents might have to cancel on short notice (in which case the lesson comes out of child's horse show fund, allowance, etc.). Otherwise, this simply should not be an issue.

                                        If you, as instructor, have difficulty filling the lesson spot, even with sufficient notice, then you might suggest allowing the lesson ONLY, no barn time, and promise it will be w/o stirrups the whole time, and on the roughest schoolie you have . Or suggest that in exchange for being allowed the lesson, child has to clean all of the schoolie tack, organize the hay loft, clean out the tack room or feed room, muck some number of stalls (all of this on an early weekend morning, mind you, when everyone else is at a show, and no help from barn buddies. And then straight home to hit the books!).

                                        In any event, child's failure to perform academically should NOT affect your bottom line. There are other ways to get the point across to the child--school comes first, but responsibility for horse care cannot be disregarded.
                                        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                        Spay and neuter. Please.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X