Riding lessons always starting late. Advice please.

Joined
7 August 2009
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7
Hi All,
I've recently started back riding after 10yrs out of the saddle (uni/work/kids etc) and currently taking lessons at a local riding school. I really like the yard and my instructor but I find the lessons are always running at least 15mins behind, and the last one was almost 1hr late!! With two kids under 3yrs old I don't have the flexibilty to wait around like this as our schedules are already full on. I am wondering whether I need to wait a few more years until my kids are a little older and therefore can be left for longer (with my husband or baysitter!) or should I look at changing schools?

I appreciate riding schools don't always run to schedule but as a business I still feel its not really acceptable to run late all the time. Are my expectations too high? How would others deal with this situation?

Thank you!
 

Keith_Beef

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If possible, move to the first lesson of the day. But also explain to the manager that it's just not normal to run behind schedule all the time. If the staff are doing everything they can to keep to the schedule but they just cannot, it shows that the schedule is too crowded. Either get more staff, better staff, or cut a few lessons from the schedule.

Delays accumulate through the day; it starts out five minutes late, next is ten minutes, one after that fifteen minutes and so on... until by the mate afternoon everything is an hour or more late.
 
Joined
16 September 2012
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Do you have group lessons or private? In my experience, group lessons can start a bit late because of a variety of factors e.g. riders not turning up until 'the time', needing to sort out tack etc. However, a good riding school should account for this and build the time into their schedules. If you are having a private lesson, these really should be on time.

I agree with Keith_Beef, I would bring up that you can't keep being late because you have other commitments.
 

MissTyc

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Have a chat with the instructor. When I was still working as an instructor, I quickly got to know which of my clients were on time and which were late, and adapted my own schedule accordingly!
 

merlin84

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30 July 2012
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In all the RS I have used over the years I have never had a lesson be an hour late. I went back to riding when my daughter was 2 and fitting it in has been fine (supportive husband but still..). I would speak to them but change schools if this is a regular occurrence
 

Cowpony

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I have my horse on a yard which is also a riding school, and have lessons there. I have never seen a lesson be more than 10 minutes late (and I've been riding there about 15 years). Most lessons the horses are brought out bang on time. I'd find a new rs if I were you.
 

Red-1

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15 minutes late is OK for me, that can be because a horse loses a shoe and another needs prepping, some tack needs replacing, someone needs the loo...

1 hour is not!

I would tell the owner about your problem with the kids and needing to be on time and see what their solution is. They may simply be presuming that everyone is outrageously happy that they are allowing everyone extra time. As KB says above, swapping to the earliest appointment may be better. It is certainly my technique when going to the doctor's.
 

zaminda

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26 August 2008
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Where I teach we have a 15 minute change over built in. I would say by my last lesson of the evening I'm usually a bit late but that is mainly because I like everyone to have a good and valuable lesson! I would be deeply unhappy if they were more than 15 minutes late for a private lesson, although I know someone who went to a highly respected centre and they ran behind by quite a bit.
 

Peter7917

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That is no good. Move schools. I have not been to a riding school in a long time but went to many different ones as a teenager. Riders began bringing the horses out and getting onboard before the lesson started so everyone was ready to go when the lesson was due to start.
 

Keith_Beef

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Where I ride, we're expected to arrive half an hour before the lesson is due to start, brush down and tack up, and be ready for the start of the lesson.

Lesson lasts one hour, and if it's delayed for any reason (like the previous lesson not vacating the arena, or several people turning up late, or some kind of accident), we run past the scheduled end of the lesson and still have the full hour.
 
Joined
25 October 2018
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I was at a yard that was also a rising school. Had a few lessons on my horse with the instructors there. On my last lesson they made me wait over an hour from when my horse was due to have his lesson, all because the people before were fart arsing around getting on and off the horses and the instructors were just standing there laughing. She then cut my lesson 15 minutes short and still charged me for a 45 minute private lesson. I complained to the yard manager and they decided to fire her as she had made to many mistakes.

Complain to the manager and if nothing gets done move riding schools but don't give up! :)
 

Carlosmum

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At my mother's school, children ( parents) are expected to arrive 10 mins before start of lesson to be mounted & sorted so that the 'ride' can leave on time. They are also expected to stay for 5-10 mins after to help untack ponies and put tack back in the tackroom
 
Joined
7 August 2009
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Thank you for the replies.

I had another lesson booked today and ended up being 20mins late again. It’s a private lesson so I’d expect a bit better tbh. I think the RS is just seriously overstretched, which doesn’t fill me with confidence from a horse welfare point of view either.

It’s probably best I look for another RS!

Thanks everyone :)
 
Joined
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I have been riding at riding schools in England for years and have never had a lesson start late. And that includes a specialist dressage training centre. But I have had a different teacher slotted in - often an inexperienced young girl. I too think you could explain but we students are not that significant in the scale of things. Dont stop riding but yes, maybe look for another school?

Just to remind you that it is fine to pick and mix riding schools - to find the right horse and the right teacher. And in your case, a reliable timetable. Which will change over the years depending on what you want to learn.
 

Keith_Beef

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Seine et Oise, France
But I have had a different teacher slotted in - often an inexperienced young girl. I too think you could explain but we students are not that significant in the scale of things. Dont stop riding but yes, maybe look for another school?
If students didn't count for much, then the yard owners and managers wouldn't run classes. If they do run classes, or rent out the arena to instructors who run classes, it's for the money...
 

Littlebear

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27 November 2017
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I would go elsewhere, I cover several riding schools and never ever run late, if a client arrives late then they only have their allocated time still so that I don't run over and become late for anyone else.
They need to get more organised!
 
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