Building Your Equine Business: Multiple Instructors

Having more than one instructor at your horse farm can mean higher income, and bigger headaches if not handled correctly.
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Having more than one instructor at your horse farm can mean higher income, and bigger headaches if not handled correctly.

Having more than one instructor at your horse farm can mean higher income, and bigger headaches if not handled correctly.

Busy barns might need multiple instructors to handle the volume of riders asking for lessons. Using more than one trainer can also provide discipline-specific lessons at a variety of skill levels. There are several logistics to consider when hiring multiple instructors or when allowing outside trainers to use your facility for client lessons.

“I carry a liability package for my arena and for riders to ride there, but instructors need to carry their own liability insurance,” said Cathy Ellis, who runs Peaceful Paradise Farm in Argyle, New York. All riders haul in to Ellis’ farm, which does not offer boarding. 

Boarding stables or barns with instructors on staff have more of a balancing act when it comes to scheduling riding lessons as well as having arena time for boarders.

Creating a lesson schedule is one way to keep things simple. Reserving time on specific days or at specific times and sticking to those timeframes enables other facility users to plan around established lesson times. Think about when the facilities are the busiest for boarders, and think about how to make the most use of the facilities without inconveniencing large groups of customers—boarders or lesson takers.

Keeping track of schedules can be challenging. Try these tips for communicating when the ring is open for riding or closed for instructor use:

  • Post a schedule in a visible location within the barn.
  • Create a communication group either via text messaging, FaceBook or another platform to provide updates on schedules and changes.
  • Establish clear guidelines and expectations for outside trainers using the facility.

Even the most well-thought-out plans can go awry. An instructor can get sick, a horse can get injured or the weather can force a cancellation. Have a backup plan for announcing a schedule change. Also, if you employ the instructor, decide if you or the teacher will contact the rider taking the lesson. 

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