I am a OB and Instructor. I have an older student who was lessoning on my one of my lesson horses for about 2 years now. Another student decided to full lease that lesson horse. She got real upset and went to one of my boarders and asked if she could ride her horse. As I understand it she will no longer be taking lessons but just riding my other boarders horse. Now I have a real problem with that. She wants to be able to come ride the horse without continuing to take lessons and not pay any thing for using the facility. I'm I wrong in thinking that she should pay something $ for use of my facility? After all she will be beating up my footing, using elect., etc. 

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Hi Rebecca,

The person who owns the horse is paying full board, which covers beating up footing, etc. and if the former student weren't riding the horse, the owner would be, so I think I would leave it alone. Afterall, if your boarder had a friend ride the horse once or twice a week, or if she were going out of town for a few weeks and had a responsible person ride the horse, wouldn't that be ok as long as they signed a waiver?

Generally I think of arena fees for visiting horses that aren't covered by board, or for trainers that come in to ride people's horses and charge a fee.

It's possible that the student might miss her lessons and start taking them again on this boarder's horse.

If possible, I would try to leave it be.
That's a tough one, If the student knew the horse could be leased and she did not take advantage of it herself well you snooze you loose. I would talk to the boarder who is allowing the older student to ride her horse for free and say you are not comfortable with this arrangement. I would tell the boarder the former student can only ride when the paying boarder is there with her. I would think you would have some concerns about insurance aswell. If this person is not a paying customer your insurance company and the boarder's insurance company may have issue with a non client coming on your property and taking out a horse. You should also think about the other boarders who are loyal paying customers, what kind of message is this sending. Will this person be taking away from their arena time? What will keep others students from doing the same.
It is too bad that feelings get hurt so easily but this older student must understand this is a business. Maybe there is another horse she can take lessons on?
Good luck
I have talked to the other boarder about this. I never thought about the insurance end of it. It's not cheap! and the part about other students doing the same was conversed to the boarder who is allowing her to ride her horse. I also have 11 other school horses but her statement to me is that I'm an adult and if I don't want to ride them then I have other options. I thought to myself "this is crap"
My reply to that would be" sure you have other options but they are not at my barn, see ya!"
I would kindly ask this person to consider riding another lesson horse or look for another barn to ride at. You don't need the stress and any reasonable person will understand your decision. This tension can poison an atmosphere and take away enjoyment for paying customers and you don't want that. I think it is probably time to part ways.
This person says they are an adult, well they should start acting it.
That's my two cents.
Good luck.
since she apparently ditched you as a trainer, I'd ask her to sign a waiver keeping you from being responsible when she breaks her neck on the other horse.....
You could put in a rule of no unsupervised riding for non-boarders.
Hi Rebecca, I agree with Steve . The insurance would be the thing to fall back on when asking for this to stop. I think if it was an innocent thing happening once in a while it might be OK , but I feel this is the person trying to take advantage of your facility by not having to pay for a horse or regular lessons. You need to talk to your insurance people about this. At the end of the day you , the owner, must have responsibility over who rides on your property. Show her the gate and tell her not to let it hit her on the bum on the way out! Cheers Geoffrey
Thanks everyone for your input. The insurance was the big one for me. I never thought about that. After all I pay huge premium for liability yearly just because I teach lessons as it is. I have a meeting with her on Friday and this really helped me out with what I'm going to say to her.
Thanks again Everyone!
I agree with everyone..if she aint paying anything, she cannot work or ride on your property. I ride my own horse and I pay a small fee ($50.00 a month) to be able to haul in, or $10.00 per haul in. I would assume the same should go for just using the facility, aswell make sure she has her own riders insurance (AEF for example) when she is riding alone so neither the owner of the horse or you get caught when she makes a faulty decision with no guidance from lessons.
I'm with Barbara on this one. Unless you have a policy that states that boarders can't have other people ride their horses, you can't really randomly apply that standard to this one person. If there is no precedent for having non-lesson, non-boarding people ride, maybe this is a call to implement a policy that is applied universally.


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