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8 Ways to Prevent Burnout In the New Year While Running Your Lesson Program


If there is any industry that can cause serious burnout, the horse industry will definitely be on that list. Running a lesson program and barn can require a lot of your time and attention. Which can quickly lead to the inevitable burnout. So, lets jump into 8 ways you can prevent burnout:


  1. Move your program into sessions:

  • Mentally you will know when you will have your next break. You will be able to plan vacations.

  • Your horses will stay fresh

  • Your staff will stay fresh

  • You can budget for the time off. Because you will have the time off, there will be a break in payroll, and it will even out as you will not have lessons. It’s a “blank week”

  • You can plan for other actives. It can be a camp week, or a week for make up lessons.

  • Do your sessions in 6, 8, or 10 weeks. I have found that 8 weeks works best. I have been practicing this model for 3 years and going into our 4th year.

  • It is an easier commitment for your clients. They will tell you which sessions they want to ride in, and what ones they will be taking off. It makes scheduling A LOT easier.

 

2.     Get rid of the headaches in the barn. Whether it be clients or horses.

  • Not all clients and/or money is worth your mental health.

  • It is perfectly alright to say, “I don’t think I am a good fit for you and/or your horse”

  • Make sure that it is in your policies that you have the right to “Amend services at any time”

3.     Make yourself less accessible.

  • Don’t respond after a certain time of day.

  • This is completely different if you also run a boarding facility. You can still set boundaries there too, though.

  • Have solid processes and procedures.

  • This will eliminate A LOT of conversation.

  • Policies are policies. Make them concrete.

  • Some clients may want to constantly reschedule, ask for refunds, or ask for you to work with them etc. Having straight forward policies will eliminate that.

5.     Find something else that you enjoy doing.

  • What is another hobby that you like to do. Read? Journal? Draw? Build things?

  • We all know that we can be consumed with our barns 24/7 if we allow it. Find time to take your mind off of that

6.     Delegate tasks.

  • If you are able to have helpers at the barn, let them help.

  • Bring up that super competent student and let them have a little extra barn time showing them the backend things of running a barn.

  • Being able to have someone take care of the barn will free you up to take a break, and do other things.

7.     Find time to take a break in between lessons.

  • I am sure we have all had 6-8 hour lesson days and forgot to eat. Try and find at least 15 minutes in a day were you can take a break.

  • If you’re like me, you take your break and eat your sandwich while your advanced students who know how to tack up on their own.

  • Especially in the summer, have a cool place in your barn to cool off before you go into that next lesson.

8.     Say No.

  • If they don’t fit, don’t force it.

  • I understand sometimes you will need the money. Just remember, you don’t want to get stuck with a headache client and have an amazing one waiting on the waitlist. This is when it is good to do trial rides if your unsure if they are a good fit. “ You want to make sure you’re a good fit for eachother.


Take care of your mental health. Your clients and horses need you.

 

 

 

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