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If your DCs help out at a yard how much riding do they get?

(33 Posts)
emlu67 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:45:08

DD (8) has been helping for a few months at a private yard but doesn't ride every time and I wondered if this was normal. If she does a full day then she will almost always ride but usually only for a short time and if she does a couple of hours after school quite often it is just poo picking etc and no riding at all.

She has recently had a couple of falls (nothing serious thankfully) and the owners are wary about her losing confidence, however she will never get it back and improve if she is not doing much riding and in her own words the lack of riding is destroying her confidence more than anything else! She works really hard and never complains as she loves horses so much.

marialuisa Fri 14-Jun-13 12:20:26

Sorry, if your DD is 8 and not 18 the set-up sounds a little odd?

NatashaBee Fri 14-Jun-13 12:25:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pantone363 Fri 14-Jun-13 12:30:02

I've never understood this swapping yard work for rising thing. My friends daughter works a full day (11) and rides for about 30 mins.

It's slave labour! If she was paying someone it would be for a lot more than 30 mins worth of riding

PestoSwimissimos Fri 14-Jun-13 12:32:01

My DD2 used to help at a local riding school/livery yard. The rule there was that you had to work 2 full days, Saturday & Sunday, from 8.00am till about 4.00pm or 5.00pm, and you would receive either an hour's hack or an hour's lesson in return.

Donki Fri 14-Jun-13 12:34:40

It used to be quite common for older kids (11+) to help for the day at a riding school and in exchange get a 30 minute lesson.
Now It comes under employment law, so it is illegal to employ anyone until they are 14, even if 'pay' is a riding lesson. (special arrangements are made for child actors etc). Also insurers are stricter.
Some yards run clubs for older children to get experience of pony care as well as riding, but this will be charged for as they need supervising.

twooter Fri 14-Jun-13 12:35:45

When I was 10 I used to work in a riding school for a whole day - 7.45 to 5.30, and got paid 50p, with no riding. If she is being genuinely helpful, it might be worth you having a word with the owners yourself to see if you can have a set deal.

Littlebigbum Fri 14-Jun-13 13:02:23

I did help at a riding school and there was no set rule there, think I must have been 13. I rarely got rides unless young/new horse. And I know I got more than most, maybe once a month.
At 15 I moved to dealer/competition yard rode 8 hrs a day 'expected to win' yeap it was stressful and I would not let mine do it.
I know that the ponies/horses had to much work at the wkend to much to give out free rides. I would ask the owner for a set amount and offer to run Dc after school one night a wk or ask for a discount on lesson.

Littlebigbum Fri 14-Jun-13 13:05:01

One thing is crazy show pony owners are desperate for little jockeys, think you might have to look for the right yard/owner.

emlu67 Fri 14-Jun-13 20:34:30

Thanks everyone, DD is 8 and not 18 but it does seem that youngsters are taken advantage of in general simply because of their love of horses and can be easily replaced. We are not in a position to buy or loan so this was the next best thing and she does love it but I can't bear the thought of them regarding her as free child labour sad

emlu67 Fri 14-Jun-13 20:42:51

Thanks everyone, DD is 8 and not 18 but it does seem that youngsters are taken advantage of in general simply because of their love of horses and can be easily replaced. We are not in a position to buy or loan so this was the next best thing and she does love it but I can't bear the thought of them regarding her as free child labour sad

Floralnomad Fri 14-Jun-13 20:47:26

I doubt they see her as free child labour ,TBH an 8 yr old could be considered quite a liability on a yard ( particularly if they've not grown up with horses so are not yard savvy IYSWIM) . I think you're lucky you've found someone willing to have her at all at that age.

umbrunion Fri 14-Jun-13 23:48:16

shock shock She's EIGHT. I think that's awful. get her some proper lessons. My oldest dd used to stay all day at the stables but I paid 30 quid and she had two 45 min rides as well as doing pony club badges. She did plenty of hard labour but it was done to teach her properly rather than free labour!

umbrunion Fri 14-Jun-13 23:50:42

She had a couple of falls! She shouldn't have any falls at 8 if not riding naughty ponies.

Donki Sat 15-Jun-13 10:29:00

Umbrunion Even on the most well regulated of yards, 'tis not possible to guarantee no falls. I agree that an 8 year old should not be put onto a naughty pony (or asked to do things that they are not ready for), but short of velcroing them on you cannot always prevent someone from losing their balance, or anticipate an unexpected noise making a normally steady pony shy.

By all means, make riding as safe as you can - but if you don't want your child to ever fall off, don't let them ride.

MummyMastodon Sat 15-Jun-13 10:37:46

Gosh, she's very young. I can't imagine she does that much useful work.

I used to lead ponies on hacks (on foot) all day after mucking out and grooming, and the great reward was to ride a pony back to the field bareback at the end of the day (about 15 min ride, no hat). We used to get shouted and sworn at and generally treated like crap.

What were my parents thinking ?

mrslaughan Sat 15-Jun-13 11:23:47

Sorry - falling off is part of riding, we all hate the thought of it, but i would almost guarantee you that it is not the ponies fault.
Children become unbalanced haul on the ponies mouth - they panic (they are an animal not a machine)...... Accidents happen. Only way to guarantee no falls is to stay on lead rein, an then she will not learn to ride.
Sorry but your expectations with regard to falling are completely unrealistic.

lovebeansontoast Sat 15-Jun-13 11:24:53

Just a question. What is the insurance situation given her age? I know when I had sharers for my horse I wouldn't take anyone under 16 as I didn't want to be responsible for them (duty of care). I remember having a 14 year old only because her mum came with her every time. It was a big livery yard and she had a great time chatting to other mums and grooming various horses. Who is responsible if anything happens to your daughter? Do you have anything in writing?

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sat 15-Jun-13 11:35:39

I used to help at a yard from about ten onwards. To start with I think it was more a case of them babysitting me for free every day over the summer hols, as the most I could do was poo picking, mucking out a bit and filling haynets. I loved every minute even though I seldom got a free ride. I imagine what my mum would have paid a child minder would have bankrupted her if I hadn't been at the yard.

As I got older, stronger and more useful, I got a ride everyday. Sometimes more, if they had lots of liveries to exercise. The work was very hard but it really did me good. And kept me out of trouble! But I couldnt have done it at eight years old, I would have been too much trouble to the owners and I suspect would have been put off horses by not being able to do much more than poo picking.

fishoutofchlorinatedwater Sat 15-Jun-13 14:20:41

I teach RDA and we have a team of "junior" helpers who come along (for 2/3 hour sessions once a week). We don't take children under 10 - they would need too much supervision and frankly wouldn't be much help. Between 10 and 14 they are allocated jobs to do (poo picking, tack cleaning, some grooming, possibly tacking up, maybe, for the children who are nearer 14, warming up ponies on the lead rein) under close supervision. We properly train them not do these jobs, and that is the reward - a bit of stable management experience. No riding at all (we can't really open the floodgates here!). To be honest, most of the younger children get bored and stop coming fairly quickly, but there's really not much useful that a child of that age can be asked to do in a horsey environment without adult supervision. We love having them as part of the team, and hope that in time they will become full helpers, but in the short term they do need to stick to the dull jobs in order for us to keep them safe. I'd be really wary of letting your 8 year old help out on a yard, she'd need supervised so closely that I'm not sure it would actually be a help.

emlu67 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:46:50

She is fairly well supervised and of course there are limits as to how helpful she can be at that age which I do appreciate. I have taken out insurance for her from the outset and hopefully as she does get older she will need less supervision and be able to ride a bit more. Thanks for your thoughts.

starfishmummy Sat 15-Jun-13 16:57:42

I am a bit confused by the original post - surely as a parent you would have made the arrangements with the owner?

dappleton Mon 17-Jun-13 12:51:44

emlu - I agree with a lot of these other posts, at 8yrs old they are effectivley providing you with a free baby-sitting service, to give your daughter free rides as well would be asking a bit much I think. She needs some lessons- which they would not be unfair to ask you to pay for - horses are expensive to keep and stable yards are businesses. It is however great that they provide her with supervised experience around horses at such a young age, she will be learning so much.
I also think it's crazy of whoever suggested an 8yr old should never have fallen off a pony - how would anyone ever guarentee that - i'd ignore that advice if I was you, but she will need to keep riding to keep her confidence up.

SimLondon Mon 17-Jun-13 21:27:25

I dont think it's an ideal situation really, have you looked into pony club centres?

umbrunion Tue 18-Jun-13 13:52:50

Of course children fall off but beginners, on good ponies in supervised, decent lessons, shouldn't fall off regularly. I am presuming she's walking and trotting and building confidence rather than jumping. I think my oldest dd fell off once in 5 years of lessons! Younger dds have fallen off more but they have their own, sometimes naughty, ponies.

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