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The tack room

Starting your own riding school

14 replies

slipperandpjsmum · 10/06/2010 10:36

Just wondered if anyone had ever had a dream of setting up their own riding school? Or if anyone has turned their dream into a reality.

OP posts:
steamedtreaclesponge · 10/06/2010 10:40

Well, I definitely used to dream of that after reading 'A Stable for Jill'...

Sadly I'm not sure that book really offers a realistic assessment of how easy it is to do!

Sorry, I know that's not very helpful

Is this something you're seriously thinking about doing or is it more of a daydream? I still love riding but the sheer amount of work that goes into running a stables has definitely put me off working with horses in that way.

slipperandpjsmum · 10/06/2010 11:47

No, just a dream, was looking for some other day dreamers!!

OP posts:
horseymum · 10/06/2010 14:17

my friend did this and she now has a lovely house with stables and arena to look out on, baby used to sleep on front step whilst she was mucking out etc. I am always so envious of her. It has been very hard work but she loves it. Her dh is very supportive and does lots of stuff for it too. I would love to be in her position but don't think i am brave enough! There are lots of sacrifices to be made but she and her family are happy. Maybe you can just make some plans in your head so that it the time/situation is right you will be well prepared! You could also make some more concrete moves such as getting bhs/ukcc/nvq qualifications to test the water if you have not already done so. I really enjoyed working towards exams and gaining more knowledge. Happy dreaming!

Southwestwhippet · 10/06/2010 21:42

This used to be my dream. Having actually WORKED on several riding schools, it is no longer.

Hard hard work, loooooong days and the constant guilt/stress of trying to juggle horse and pony welfare against drawing a living wage. Unfortunately, if riding schools were to be as profitable as is required to run them ethically with the horses' welfare as a top priority and staff wages to be reflective of the work they do and experience/qualifications they have, the cost of riding lessons would be totally prohibitive.

Stick to dreaming (sorry to be such a boring pragmatist)

ryetangle · 07/08/2010 01:02

I started my own riding school 23years ago but began over thirty years ago by teaching freelance (people on their own horses) my babies in turn sat in their prams at the side of the arena while i taught, or I took them to shows. Then I bred a few horses and when my husband lost his job decided to use my horses to teach people on. I now have the riding school with 12 horses/ponies, keeps me(and husband) busy and fit, lovely life for the children but didn't get many holidays at the start. They are now grown up but I still have the horses and the life and the husband! :)

Callisto · 07/08/2010 12:34

Never underestimate the amount of sheer hard work there is with running even the smallest yard. I've worked with horses for most of my working life and it is lots and lots of slog.

Personally, a riding school would be my idea of hell - people can be vile, especially where their precious children are involved, and horses and inexperienced people don't mix so you need to be on the ball all the time, plus be up to date on all the the insurance, risk assessments, health and safety etc, etc. Also, I wouldn't be able to take the sight of endless heavy-handed idiots jagging my horses in the mouth every time they moved.

It would probably be more realistic to have a livery yard, though you still have to deal with owners who can have very different ideas of horsemanship to your own.

Have you ever worked on a yard or at a riding school?

LannerEquestrianCentre · 27/12/2011 21:17

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roadkillbunny · 02/01/2012 11:13

LannerEquestrianCentre have to say having looked around your website I love what you are doing and your ethos, I wish more schools (or al schools!) were like you! Our local riding school where my dd started and still has lessons has a similar ethos, stable management and pony care form an intrinsic part of the learning to ride process. Even though dd (aged 6) now has her own pony (and a very experienced Mum who works as a freelance groom) she still has a weekly half hour lesson at the school on a school pony and does a pony day most holidays as it really helps keeping her moving forward with learning to ride, gives her the company of her peers and gives her a much more rounded equine education.

My realistic advice though would be keep it a dream, the realities of running a riding school are hard work on top of hard work topped up with some more hard work and no money!
My dd has her grand dream in life, she wants to be a baker and has plans to have a bakery with a riding school at the back, all the parents can have drinks and cakes while the children muck about with ponies at the back before ending their day with cakes! I think she could be on to something lol!

ThePonyAcademy · 05/01/2012 10:04

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LynnHenry · 05/01/2012 15:23

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dappleton · 06/01/2012 07:45

It's wonderful but HARD, HARD work and no financial reward as profits get eaten up with new tack, new fences, repairs, new jumps etc... I have 13 horses in my care and haven't ridden for one week now as they are too busy with clients Sad - my riding is now largely limited to problem solving! - wouldn't change my life for anything but I do some days wish I could just have my horses as a hobbie and actually enjoy them!

Monicucha · 11/01/2012 20:18

Sorry for asking - but why was LynnHenry's post deleted? She always has such good, common sense advise! I am sad to see her posts deleted.

oldbury · 13/01/2012 17:25

We set up a riding school 4 years ago and yes its hard work ,long hours,no weekends off but we love it as do our children.We feel very lucky to be doing something we really enjoy!

ThePonyAcademy · 24/01/2012 00:32

About a week ago I had the very bad idea of joining this forum on recommendation of a friend. I had the even worse idea of answering a post by a mom here asking if any of us had followed our dream of opening a riding school. I shared that I had followed my dream, without mentioning the name of my riding school (watch out oldbury.... you'll be next!!) I have received an email from this forum now saying that they have already written to me (??) about my advertising of Lanner Equestrian Centre with whom I have nothing to do and have no association with... somebody got their names wrong!

So please, either reinstate my post, or delete the whole thing, username and all - I do not need to come here anymore!

Thank you.

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