Editor’s note: This month, Stable Management is tackling the issue of hiring outside instructors who come to your facility to teach riding lessons. There can be pros and cons to this decision, and we’ll give you tips to help you decide what might be right for your equine business.
When an equine business decides to work with outside individuals, it requires organization on your part. The amount of time this takes depends on the frequency and number of professionals a barn works with. A stable with one outside instructor who uses the arena on the same day at the same time each week is simple because that becomes a standing appointment on the master schedule.
However, some facilities welcome multiple trainers at varying intervals. That takes attention to detail by the facility manager or a designated staff member.
Kaitlin Curington, executive assistant to the president at Fasttrack Staffing, Inc., is also a head trainer and stable manager at a Wellington, Florida, barn. She creates the schedule at least a month ahead of time.
This is critical so that the facility isn’t double booked. It’s equally important for communicating with boarders how and when they can use the spaces at the facility.
“I let my boarders know that the ring will be occupied at certain times,” she said.
When she sends the boarders’ monthly invoices, she includes the specific dates and times of upcoming events and when the main arena is being used. She also includes a reminder that the field and secondary arena are always available for use.
In most situations when an outside riding instructor is using a facility to give a private or group lesson, the expectation is that only that person and his/her clients can use the arena at that time.
That means boarders and other clients must wait or have access to another place to work.
If you have a busy boarding stable, you’ll have to consider what times of day and what days of the week you want to allow an outside riding instructor to use the facility.
Monitor the peak times of arena use at your barn by your clients to decide how to maximize your facility without inconveniencing your own people.
Also determine how you will handle scheduling if an instructor has to re-schedule lessons because of illness, weather or other problems.
It can be a delicate balancing act, but with careful planning, it can be arranged to benefit all parties.