4 Tough Topics you may have to address with clients in your Equine Lesson Program
To the person that is to heavy to ride a horse…
What do you say when a person walks into your barn, and they are to heavy to ride one of your horses? Well, first I hope you had something on your website explaining the weight limit. This is the first screening. The second screening can be when you send out your policies and procedures and the weight is included. Now, if they make it past all of that and into your barn, you will just have to be honest with them.
“Hello *name of person*- I understand that you are here to have a horseback riding lesson, however currently I do not have a horse that can meet the requirement of your body weight. In turn, I would like to offer you uncounted lessons (or whatever you have to offer). I know it’s a tough, sensitive, and uncomfortable topic but you have to make sure your horses are taken care of.
To the parent or rider that always wants to go fast or ride longer, no matter what.
You can keep this one short and sweet. Kindly explain that the workload of horses has to be monitored in order to keep them healthy. Most lesson horses have more than one lesson a day. If they persist, then suggest that they buy their own horse. That always does the trick!
To the parent who wants their child to progress faster…
Start off with the breakdown of how often their child rides. Most riders have one lesson per week for an hour. If they ride for 1 year, that’s approximately 52 hours for the entire year (as its rare when someone NEVER misses a lesson). Now lets compare that to other sports, who practice multiple times a week for multiple hours. Riding horses is a life long sport, and 1 hour a week is not enough to meet the progression rates that some parents want their child to meet!
To the parent who helps you try to teach lessons…
To the parent who always wants to chime in on a lesson. Simply explain to the parent that horses are very complex animals and to many commands to the rider can have someone get hurt. The student needs to be focused on what the instructor is saying to be able to better use their skills. If necessary, have it as a barn rule.
These topics are topics that may not necessarily be in your policies, but they can certainly be in your barn rules!. They tend to be a grey area but rest assured, you will have to address them at some point!