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How much to charge for schooling?

11 replies

Pleasedontdothat · 26/05/2020 21:37

DD’s been asked by a couple of families at the yard to school their ponies on a regular basis, at least for the next few months. Both ponies are young (5) and very green and neither has a particularly confident rider. Dd is in her mid teens, has been riding for years and is a very quiet, confident rider. Her horse was very green when she got him and he’s now very well schooled and happily competing at novice dressage and 100-110
SJ. Both families would like to pay her but she’s really not sure what to ask for. She’s got her BHS stage 1 and will be taking her PC B test as soon as corona allows but obviously isn’t a qualified teacher. Any ideas as to what would be a reasonable amount?

OP posts:
maxelly · 27/05/2020 00:02

My instinct is to say about £20 p/hour but I've no idea if that's way off for your area compared to what a pro would charge (my instructor charges same price for her to ride as for a lesson, so £40 for 45 mins - she's not cheap but obviously is fully qualified and competes to a high level on her own horses!).

It depends a bit on whether the families are literally just asking her to ride and will get pony ready, groomed and tacked up beforehand and she can then hand back to them to cool down/wash off, skip out and turn out/bed down afterwards, or whether they want her to do all that too. Even without having to do a full muck out, just bringing in, getting ready and turning out again afterwards could easily turn a half hour schooling session into closer to 1.5 hours of your DD's time!

It sounds like it could be a great opportunity for her to gain some experience and earn a little cash, but do make sure you keep an eye out and make sure she isn't being taken advantage of. Green and needs some experience/manners is fine but even little ponies can be nutters and you don't want your DD being the crash test dummy!

Pleasedontdothat · 27/05/2020 08:52

Thanks @maxelly, she’d be getting them in from the field, tacking up and turning out again afterwards so it will take quite a bit of time. The ponies aren’t nutters but they are inclined to spook/buck when they’re unsure of things - DD’s not fazed by that sort of thing and just takes it in her stride - I think the parents are hoping her confidence will rub off onto the ponies and riders! I’d thought around £20 would be about right so good to know I wasn’t completely off!

OP posts:
SansaSnark · 27/05/2020 09:11

I think this depends a lot on your local area and also how much your DD wants to do it!

Personally, especially if doing yard work too, I would charge per hour and agree timings in advance- maybe something like £10-15 per hour + travelling expenses (this is based on my local area, in the SE I expect it would be higher). Basically if she turns up and the pony is a Pita to catch, has been out with no rug on and is filthy, this will stop her getting short changed!

If she is keen to do this and not too worried about time then I think charging £15-20 a time would be reasonable too. Again, this might be a bit higher in the SE.

Look at what pros are charging in your area, as this will help you work out what's reasonable. If she's keen to get the riding, then it might be worth charging less if they'll have more frequent sessions.

Before she starts she should get insurance that covers her public liability and against injury to the horse - you can get this via the BGA. This might seem like an unnecessary expense but normally the person "in control" of the horse is considered liable or partly liable if they cause an accident and this can cause real problems for people. If she does any teaching of the kids, she will need to be insured for this too.

I know that might sound like overkill and she will probably be fine but unfortunately I know some horror stories and just wouldn't risk it.

Pleasedontdothat · 27/05/2020 09:56

Thanks Sansa - she doesn’t need the riding as she has her own horse, but she enjoys training up young ponies and seems to be pretty good at it.

We are in an expensive area of the country so she’d appreciate a bit of extra cash (to spend on her horse!)

She’s already got 3rd party insurance through her BHS junior gold and PC memberships - would they cover her for this kind of thing as well?

OP posts:
maxelly · 27/05/2020 11:22

No her BHS insurance won't cover her unfortunately as it specifically excludes any situation where you are being paid to ride/operating as a business. She'll need additional cover for this both to cover any personal injury to her but also as Sansa says 3rd party cover. It shouldn't be horrendously expensive but another reason why she needs to charge a reasonable amount to make sure she covers her costs!

LouMoo13 · 27/05/2020 15:02

I think £20 per hour is quite a lot. I'm in an expensive area and professional grooms charge £15-25 per schooling session (depending on experience/ qualifications) locally.

lastqueenofscotland · 27/05/2020 16:16

I’m in the north west and charge £20/25. I don’t charge any more for travel on top etc.
I don’t have any qualifications per se but a long list of references, and lots of experience backing and breaking.

I think as she is young and doesn’t have the references/experience you maybe need to start a bit lower? £10/15.
And you will need insurance, the PC stuff won’t cover her unfortunately.

missequine · 27/05/2020 18:19

Anyone that we have ever gotten to casually school our horse we have payed around £15-20 per ride. This is always seen as a favour between friends or mutual friends though so would expect to pay a lot more for a professional or someone I didn’t know.

Booboostwo · 28/05/2020 09:46

Your DD might get away with this, but, equally, things could go quite wrong.

5 year olds are quite green and they need someone experienced to bring them on. I would expect the first time a rider brings on a youngster for them to have very close supervision and very regular lessons from an experienced trainer as well as knowledge of what it is they are aiming for because they have ridden a lot of well trained horses. Your DD sounds like a lovely rider, well done to her for achieving so much, but, honestly, it is nowhere near enough experience for her to bringing on youngsters.

You also say the ponies spook and buck. That alone would make me very weary. It's one thing for your DD to have an accident riding her own pony but quite another to get injured riding someone else's idiotic pony. Call me a pessimist but most people lie about their horses, especially when they are desperate for help. What they describe as capable of giving the odd little buck, may be an insane bucking bronco that has successfully ejected all of its previous riders.

Finally, riding someone else's pony puts you in an odd position. A pony who bucks should start his re-training with a vet visit to eliminate a physical cause, possibly a physio next depending on what the vet says and certainly a saddle fitter. If there is a physical problem, which very often is the case, riding the pony will only make things worse. Few owners are willing to put the money into solving the problem properly and someone who seeks to hire a teenager rather than a professional (there are a lot of professionals who specialize in children's ponies) doesn't inspire confidence in me.

Pleasedontdothat · 30/05/2020 11:50

Thanks for the input - dd thinks £15 pee time would be fair - she wouldn’t feel comfortable with more as she’s not qualified and is obviously young! I think @Booboostwo has got slightly the wrong impression! These are very well cared for and looked after ponies - the mini bucks are just excitement/being a bit unsure, nothing more and both ponies have plenty of vet/physio input plus their riders have ‘proper’ lessons with qualified instructors. Dd riding them is an ‘extra’ - partly for the ponies but also as a confidence boost for the riders to see someone only a little older than them being able to ride their ponies with no drama. When dd started schooling her own horse she had (still has) lots of lessons from a very experienced instructor so she was introducing lateral work etc with plenty of supervision. I have no intention of dd being used as a crash test dummy (had enough of that at riding schools...)

OP posts:
SansaSnark · 01/06/2020 11:49

She’s already got 3rd party insurance through her BHS junior gold and PC memberships - would they cover her for this kind of thing as well?

BHS definitely won't if money is changing hands- it will cover you on other people's horses but not if you are being paid to ride as it's not intended for professional cover. I have no idea about PC cover, I'm afraid, but I wouldn't expect it to cover you if money was changing hands, again.

She really does need something that will cover injuries to the horse as well as public liability- otherwise she could end up in a sticky situation if a pony injured itself whilst she was riding it (unless you would be potentially willing to stump up for vet fees?). I know it's unlikely, but I have seen people get in really tricky situations when they were initially doing a favour to a friend of a friend, and it is honestly not worth it.

Grooms insurance usually isn't that expensive- I don't have it anymore, but when I was a member of the BGA, all in it was comparable to BHS membership and offered similar things, so she could potentially cancel the BHS membership to cover the cost?

I think £15 a time seems very reasonable and could be a nice little earner for her over the summer!

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