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Should I buy a pony to give lessons on?

(6 Posts)
TropicalHorse Sat 08-Feb-14 11:24:35

Hi Tackroomers!
I live in an area where there are only two small (and totally dodgy) riding schools. I am a qualified instructor who has been out of horses for several years and have recently started doing some casual riding club teaching as I'm on maternity leave from my day job. A friend recently offered me the use of her pony for teaching a friend's daughter and, after casually mentioning it to some people, there's been interest from 6-7 horseless children who would like to start lessons! They are the children of friends and relations, mainly. They are happy to pay a premium price for "quality" one-on-one instruction, rather than the 'free for all' group lessons offered by the local riding schools.
After only doing one lesson on the borrowed pony, I lost my nerve re: no insurance and have stopped, but it made me realise that there's a market, and that maybe I should buy a quiet 13.2hh pony and keep it at a friend's private yard? It could be an after-hours part time job for me, get me my horsey fix and be a nice intro back into the horse world.
Does it sound like a totally stupid idea?? I have looked into accreditation and insurance and it will be a reasonable initial outlay, plus what I might spend on a pony and tack, but really quite cheap as far as setting up a small business. I suppose there's also tax implications which I'd have to look into and some sums to do. My husband and mother could handle childcare while I'm teaching in the afternoons.
Any advice or opinions would be most welcome, I'm sure there's things I haven't considered!
(Note that I live in Australia so British regs won't apply)

Littlebigbum Sat 08-Feb-14 14:11:42

Are you small enough to ride the 13'3 and UK insurance is so high. Even if you get them to sign a dis-claimer.
And what plans are there for the pony if you run out of children?
But Gd luck it is nice to have something for yourself to do.

Lovesswimming Sat 08-Feb-14 16:45:55

If you buy a pony for people to have lessons on I think you may be classed as a riding school which is different to the insurance needed for an instructor to teach someone on their own horse. Disclaimers are worth nothing if the law is on a claimants side. Look into it carefully I'd say

Mirage Sat 08-Feb-14 18:41:44

Would you be able to ride the 13.2? I'm just thinking that 1 pony being ridden by 6 or 7 novices,being socked in the mouth and bounced about on will soon end up dead to the leg,sour and possibly learn to evade work if there is no one to qive it a break or school it in between lessons.

Zazzles007 Sat 08-Feb-14 23:31:34

Hmm. Is the friend's pony a suitable lesson pony, or is there a suitable lesson pony you can borrow? Rather than putting much outlay into a small business at this point, can you get something up and running on a very minimal cost? Borrowed pony, borrowed tack, etc, do it for 3-6 months and see how you go?

carabos Thu 13-Feb-14 17:22:53

if you give people lessons for which you make a charge using your own horse or pony, you have to register as a riding school.

Under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970, anyone that carries on the business of keeping horses for either or both of the following purposes, that is to say, the purpose of their being let out on hire for riding or the purpose of their being used in providing, in return for payment, instruction in riding requires a licence.

You will have to register with your local council (which will charge a fee for the licence)and be subject to inspection (for which you will be charged a fee), insurance (for which you will have to pay)etc.

If you fail to do this you may be subject to legal proceedings, as it is a criminal offence.

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