Pony share at stables

Gloi

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That’s pure child labour. I did what he does from aged 11 onwards at a riding school back in the 70’s on a Saturday and always got a free ride for helping. It was a great experience but my parents didn’t pay the YO for the privilege.
Yes it sounds like what my friends and I did. Help out with the ponies on a Saturday in return for a free ride. We were a little older though, about 13 , and we didn't have to pay anything, and did a lot less work than your child, manly lead reining beginners on lessons and catching/tacking up/ untacking ponies .
 

FinnishLapphund

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At the moment he still likes it when he's actually there, but between that, he says this experience have ruined his love for horses. Don't wait with putting a stop to this until when he no longer likes it also on the days when he is there.

To only take one example, you've said he's been cleaning other horse's tack, not just his supposedly "share" pony's tack. Remind him about that what he currently does, do not equal the actual amount of work of looking after only 1 pony, because then he would only need to keep his pony's tack clean etc.

Even if you don't get his own pony, surely it would be better to travel further to somewhere else, where he might get less time but better quality pony time, than to continue as it is.
 

Trapieter

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I have to give a weeks notice so he still has to do the rest of this week and next week. ( and not change his mind!) he can volunteer up there from the age of 12 so if he wants to do that then .. fair enough. But yes I shouldn’t be paying for the privilege. I’d rather buy a horse and get a share on our horse to reduce costs
And work…. And make another person happy! But I think it will be a while until he gets back to that point. I think even after we stop the share my son will be stuck on this horse for lessons. He is a lovely horse but I really think he prefers hacking to schooling and so in the evenings he’s just had enough. And my son is progressing his canter/ jumping/ gallop so it’s not working.
I may have to move schools
As suggested.
 

Nasicus

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I have to give a weeks notice so he still has to do the rest of this week and next week.
Ex-CUSE ME?! They want you to pay for the privilege of your child doing hard labour and they want a weeks notice, presumable with you continuing to pay for it? He's a child, paying for an activity, he's not an employee being paid for gods sake!
I mean this will the best of intent, but you need to grow a pair and tell them no and find a different school that doesn't take the royal almighty piss, make your primary aged child work 9 hours doing manual labour and charge you for doing so. For context, I work 7.5hrs a day and get PAID for it, and I'm a full grown adult who can stand up for themselves and their rights. The entire setup and the fact that people willingly pay for it is absolutely mindboggling.

He is not enjoying himself, he's said it's ruining his love of horses so you need to stand up and advocate for him.
 

Lacuna

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This doesn't sound like a share to me.
Local riding centre where I used to live did an 'Loan a Pony scheme' when you could use the horse when you wanted when it wasn't being used in the Riding School (restrictions on the amount of work per day/week), you did the stable management of only that horse (tack clean, muck out, etc) and had to attend a stable management course. It was a 3 month arrangement and worked out the same price per month as the OP is paying. You paid for lessons at a discounted rate and was aimed at those people thinking of horse ownership and moving to a share. Not gaining free labour for the yard!

This sounds more like the work for ride arrangement I did as a teen (yard wouldn't allow primary school kids to do that even back then (25 years ago). And that was one 'day' of work of about 4-6 hrs and you had a ride in the week as 'payment'. I'm pretty sure insurance wouldn't cover under 14s today and so a lot of people don't allow kids to help out any more.

16hrs a week is way too much for a primary age kid - I wouldn't let my daughter (10) to do that much however horse mad she was as I think it has far too much potential to sour the activity for the child.
 

Pinkvboots

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I think what they are doing is disgusting I can't believe it's legal either.

I spent every waking hour at a riding school when I was about 11 until I was about 13, slogging away for nothing but at least I wasn't charged for the pleasure.

I think its a very sneeky crafty way of exploiting kids personally and I would just find a local pony to share and enjoy 😉 and if you want to be there for a few hours on your days at least you can.
 

ester

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I presume it’s a way to get round the regs of having kids his age ‘work for rides’ etc (hence why they can volunteer once older) in that you are currently paying for him to be there
 

Wishfilly

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Why not see if you can find him a private share? It will be a lot less work, and a much smaller leap than buying your own.

Getting your own is work- and to be clear it will be work for YOU as livery yards will not have young children on them unsupervised. There are hidden costs to horse ownership too (but I agree livery down here can be cheap).

Buying your own is obviously not a 9 hour a day commitment, but it is a commitment every day unless you're shelling out for full livery.

I'd tell them he's not attending next week, even if you have to pay.
 

View

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It’s done by direct debit so they will take the money anyway. But yes he shouldn’t have to go.
Just cancel the direct debit at your end online.

Then tell them he is not attending.

What has been happening is pure exploitation. I hope somebody more local to you can suggest a better riding school - it needs to be fun and not drudgery for him.
 

Trapieter

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Ex-CUSE ME?! They want you to pay for the privilege of your child doing hard labour and they want a weeks notice, presumable with you continuing to pay for it? He's a child, paying for an activity, he's not an employee being paid for gods sake!
I mean this will the best of intent, but you need to grow a pair and tell them no and find a different school that doesn't take the royal almighty piss, make your primary aged child work 9 hours doing manual labour and charge you for doing so. For context, I work 7.5hrs a day and get PAID for it, and I'm a full grown adult who can stand up for themselves and their rights. The entire setup and the fact that people willingly pay for it is absolutely mindboggling.

He is not enjoying himself, he's said it's ruining his love of horses so you need to stand up and advocate for him.
 

Trapieter

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I had a day taken off and reduced the long day by an hour.. the owner wasn’t happy but it turned out in holidays he had to do 3 9 hr days and still only get one ride!
its hard as his fave teacher is there, it’s the pony club centre and he has no where else to go. I also feel the owner would have no trouble making us pay in other ways if I got on her wrong side. It’s already clicky as hell up there and we are not in lol. Frankly I’m peed that he got pushed into sharing this particular horse when he is very unsuitable. By other staff I trusted! To be honest I’m already feeling it. If we could go somewhere else I would be less diplomatic lol
 

Fjord

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You have to pay AND he has to work 27 hours for one ride? That's madness, no wonder he isn't enjoying it.

You'd be much better off cancelling the direct debit, telling them he can't attend (say he's ill if it helps) and finding someone with a pony that needs a sharer a couple of days a week.

They are taking the p.
 

Highmileagecob

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Ask around in your local feed merchants or put an advert on their notice boards. There may be a family who would welcome a helping hand with the family pony. Your situation sounds to be a cop-out of health & safety regulations, which have to be observed to the nth degree if they employ people. I am betting you have a disclaimer saying that you allow your child to be around the ponies, and they accept no responsibility for injury.
 

ycbm

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I had a day taken off and reduced the long day by an hour.. the owner wasn’t happy but it turned out in holidays he had to do 3 9 hr days and still only get one ride!
its hard as his fave teacher is there, it’s the pony club centre and he has no where else to go. I also feel the owner would have no trouble making us pay in other ways if I got on her wrong side. It’s already clicky as hell up there and we are not in lol. Frankly I’m peed that he got pushed into sharing this particular horse when he is very unsuitable. By other staff I trusted! To be honest I’m already feeling it. If we could go somewhere else I would be less diplomatic lol

Why do you keep calling it a share? You are paying £30 for one shared lesson a week, in addition to which your son works 18+ hours a week for the stables. That is not any kind of a share.

Where is this place? It wants reporting.
.
 

Flyermc

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I did this, when i was younger (20+ years ago) i went to the riding stables to help out for free, all day and in return i got a hack out. However you only got a 'free' ride if you had at least 1 paid riding lesson a week. Back then it was £15 for an hour lesson.

Id work once for free and have to pay for my lesson, and then twice for free, for a free ride (wasnt a lesson) but, if there wasnt any ponies free, you didnt always get a ride. This didnt happen often tho!

It wasnt a share/loan as it was any pony and often the ones that were not that suitable for lessons!

It worked for us, as i got to ride and be around ponies 3 days a week for £15
 

Gloi

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Why do you keep calling it a share? You are paying £30 for one shared lesson a week, in addition to which your son works 18+ hours a week for the stables. That is not any kind of a share.

Where is this place? It wants reporting.
.
I was thinking that. Child labour and exploitation. Is the riding school licenced? Who could it be reported to. Pony club? Bhs? Council? Social services? Police?
 

Nasicus

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I had a day taken off and reduced the long day by an hour.. the owner wasn’t happy but it turned out in holidays he had to do 3 9 hr days and still only get one ride!
its hard as his fave teacher is there, it’s the pony club centre and he has no where else to go. I also feel the owner would have no trouble making us pay in other ways if I got on her wrong side. It’s already clicky as hell up there and we are not in lol. Frankly I’m peed that he got pushed into sharing this particular horse when he is very unsuitable. By other staff I trusted! To be honest I’m already feeling it. If we could go somewhere else I would be less diplomatic lol
Just... LEAVE. Noones holding a gun to your head and making you go there. Cancel the direct debit, block the number if you're likely to get harassed and find somewhere else. Why would you even want to go somewhere where the owner 'would have no trouble making us pay in other ways if I got on her wrong side'? A place that uses child labour and makes primary aged kids do manual labour for 27hrs a week during holidays and the parents pay £30 just for a single bloody ride?! I can literally ring up any of the riding stables around here, book a lesson or hack, pay my £30 and go enjoy the ride without any labour involved at all.

To put it another way, if he was being paid an apprentice wage (aka the lowest amount possible), for 27 hours he would be earning £129.

Where are you located in Cornwall? There is bound to be somewhere else that operates like a NORMAL riding school and not some bizarre child labour camp. Your son will find a new favourite teacher and a new favourite pony.
Even a share could be an option, my friend has a little welsh A that a primary aged girl has been coming up and riding, fussing and loving on for over 4 years now. Friend doesn't charge anything, girl and her mum just poo pick and put hay out. The girl and pony are best of friends, he's taught her a lot as she has him! They've gone from pottering around on the lead rein to jumping and cantering in the grass school and hacking out. Things can be so much better for your boy, but they won't get better staying at that absolute disaster of a yard!
 

Wishfilly

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I had a day taken off and reduced the long day by an hour.. the owner wasn’t happy but it turned out in holidays he had to do 3 9 hr days and still only get one ride!
its hard as his fave teacher is there, it’s the pony club centre and he has no where else to go. I also feel the owner would have no trouble making us pay in other ways if I got on her wrong side. It’s already clicky as hell up there and we are not in lol. Frankly I’m peed that he got pushed into sharing this particular horse when he is very unsuitable. By other staff I trusted! To be honest I’m already feeling it. If we could go somewhere else I would be less diplomatic lol
There are a couple of pony club centres in Cornwall, if you're at one of the central ones then you could switch to the other. There are also lots of really welcoming branches, so if you did find a private share or loan you could continue with pony club outside one of the centers.

(There's also a riding stables which is a pony club centre which I wouldn't want anyone I knew to go near, but that's another story).

You absolutely can go somewhere else, depending on where you are in Cornwall, PM me and I may be able to recommend somewhere with nice instructors and a supportive atmosphere for you to try!

It sounds like there are lots of issues with this place, so I STRONGLY suggest you find somewhere else where you are all happy.
 

Trapieter

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Thank you for all the replies. We are cancelling it and my son is happy. He heard his grandma talking about a different stable and asked why, I explained we felt he should go somewhere else but he’s not happy about it. There is a lovely little stable near us and it has great pony days and things but not so good on lessons. But I’ve seen them advertising for more instructors so I’ll try to move him over gradually. Pony club is the only stickler. The others are miles away. But I know he wants to do the shooting with pony club and they don’t do that here. His fave 3 things.. swimming, shooting and riding! I’m going to see if we can watch an event and that may help him want to move elsewhere.
I’m just a mum of a horse lover. Everyone else seems completely happy with these arrangements .. so I figured that is just how it is? They are charging money to mums to learn what it takes to be a pony club mum… it’s more than the pony club session. Surely this should be free advice? But mums are all up for it?
I do keep an eye out for a pony share but many won’t have anyone under 18 and want experienced riders. I would insure him if he did a pony share and a parent would be present. But I think we will get summer over now, let him forget this weirdness and see where we are.
 

Wishfilly

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Thank you for all the replies. We are cancelling it and my son is happy. He heard his grandma talking about a different stable and asked why, I explained we felt he should go somewhere else but he’s not happy about it. There is a lovely little stable near us and it has great pony days and things but not so good on lessons. But I’ve seen them advertising for more instructors so I’ll try to move him over gradually. Pony club is the only stickler. The others are miles away. But I know he wants to do the shooting with pony club and they don’t do that here. His fave 3 things.. swimming, shooting and riding! I’m going to see if we can watch an event and that may help him want to move elsewhere.
I’m just a mum of a horse lover. Everyone else seems completely happy with these arrangements .. so I figured that is just how it is? They are charging money to mums to learn what it takes to be a pony club mum… it’s more than the pony club session. Surely this should be free advice? But mums are all up for it?
I do keep an eye out for a pony share but many won’t have anyone under 18 and want experienced riders. I would insure him if he did a pony share and a parent would be present. But I think we will get summer over now, let him forget this weirdness and see where we are.
Put out a wanted ad for a share, or get in touch with your local pony club branch (not center)- they will know if there is anyone looking for a sharer/rider.
 

Lacuna

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Thank you for all the replies. We are cancelling it and my son is happy. He heard his grandma talking about a different stable and asked why, I explained we felt he should go somewhere else but he’s not happy about it. There is a lovely little stable near us and it has great pony days and things but not so good on lessons. But I’ve seen them advertising for more instructors so I’ll try to move him over gradually. Pony club is the only stickler. The others are miles away. But I know he wants to do the shooting with pony club and they don’t do that here. His fave 3 things.. swimming, shooting and riding! I’m going to see if we can watch an event and that may help him want to move elsewhere.
I’m just a mum of a horse lover. Everyone else seems completely happy with these arrangements .. so I figured that is just how it is? They are charging money to mums to learn what it takes to be a pony club mum… it’s more than the pony club session. Surely this should be free advice? But mums are all up for it?
I do keep an eye out for a pony share but many won’t have anyone under 18 and want experienced riders. I would insure him if he did a pony share and a parent would be present. But I think we will get summer over now, let him forget this weirdness and see where we are.
See if there are any local shows around where he can watch the ponies and you can potentially chat to other horsey people. A bit of networking may pay off as a lot of shares for kids will be word of mouth and you might find someone who knows of a pony looking for a rider.

"They are charging money to mums to learn what it takes to be a pony club mum… it’s more than the pony club session. " - My tuppence worth is they are charging you for your child's labour! There are costs involved in being a pony club mum and you learn by experience. I would expect to pay for lessons and gear for the kid at his age. A share is about paying for the use of one horse, caring and riding for it; not being a dogsbody round the stables for 20+ hrs a week.
 

Trapieter

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See if there are any local shows around where he can watch the ponies and you can potentially chat to other horsey people. A bit of networking may pay off as a lot of shares for kids will be word of mouth and you might find someone who knows of a pony looking for a rider.

"They are charging money to mums to learn what it takes to be a pony club mum… it’s more than the pony club session. " - My tuppence worth is they are charging you for your child's labour! There are costs involved in being a pony club mum and you learn by experience. I would expect to pay for lessons and gear for the kid at his age. A share is about paying for the use of one horse, caring and riding for it; not being a dogsbody round the stables for 20+ hrs a week.
I’m going to see someone this week who is literally 5 minutes away and looking for a sharer so fingers crossed 🤞 she said they are just busy and want someone to love the horse as they do.
I completely agree. That was not a horse share. Last week he did 12 hrs and didn’t even get a ride as they were hosting an event so the pony sharers were putting up horse jump courses and lead reining, getting their share horse ready for others to ride. I was going to say Charlie was away this week but he has a lesson on his share day. Mind you I’m very interested in “the plan” they have. As the last time Charlie rode this horse the instructor was very unhappy and said she didn’t want him to ride that horse on her lesson but now the owner says they have a plan 🤣 2 instructors, a lead reign pony and then lead reigning the horse didn’t work last time. Our friend also wants to change horse but was told she was not “pressing the right buttons” but surely that is what we are paying nearly £50 for.. to be taught the right button?
im rubbish at networking lol too much of an introvert. I am going to a family day at duchy college though to see if there’s anything they can offer (rda?) or anything up that way. I’ll try to talk to people! Why not, I could do with some more horsey friends, I need the help!
thank you 😊
 

Trakky14

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I'm so sad reading this, they are totally ripping you off, what a terrible arrangement. They are being really unfair to you both, I hate it when people do this at the expense of people who don't have their own horses or access to them, other than at riding schools. These sharer arrangements at riding schools are always bad, the ponies are used to much that the sharer kids never get to use them much and when they do the ponies are just disinterested.

I would post an advert on your local horsey FB groups asking for anyone who might be looking for a sharer, with the cost of living so high there is bound to be someone who wants their horses exercised or generally groomed etc. I hope you find something else.
 
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