Working at riding schools

giggles mum

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Who helps/works / used to help/work at a riding school? Do you enjoy it, what sort of jobs do you do and what do you get in return?

Just wondered really as I work at a riding school.
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Laafet

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I worked at a riding school from age 13-18. We used to start at 6.30 on the weekend, round up all the horses, brush and tack up, have a quick cup of tea and a biccie at 8 and then go and get other horses from down the road. First lesson was at 9 and when you got good then you were allowed to join that lesson. Then it was mucking out, helping clients on horses and leading the babies until 12, at lunch we had a free half hour on the ponies that were being used much, then back at 1.30 for two more lessons so feeding up, leading babies, getting horses ready to go out to fields.
When I got better I also took out hacks and taught the babies, we dealt in a few horses and I often was the one that rode for clients. It was the best thing I ever did, I rode lots of horses and got experience that money could not buy.
 

sugarnspice

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I used to untill it closed down
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I used to just do everything (except teach
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). Lead (Never thought I would miss that!), muck out if they were in a stable for whatever reason, tidy the tack room, poo pick the barn, get people on and off, tack up etc etc. All the usual things
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Grey_Arab

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I do at the mo and have from the age of 10 (now 17), when I was younger it was mostly the borring jobs like tack cleaning,loads of leading!! etc. as I've gotten older it's been more like clipping, getting on horses if their naughty, and I also now groom for my instructor when she events
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!! I do still do the tacking up and other duties like mucking out though not as much! All really good experience as tarquin said, gives you a lot more confidence!
 

teapot

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I used to, worked at the yard for 3yrs. In a nutshell - was the best experience of my life, gave me so much experience which you don't normally get for a RS and just generally helped so much.


I started off just a general helper, tacking up, mucking out the 2 (thank the lord for all horses being out 24/7). Just a general dogsbody, more of the furniture type thing. Although there were never hundreds of us, just those who'd got through the selction procedure as such. I fell into it though as just randomly offered to turn out a pony once, and it carried on from there. Really got into it during my GCSE results summer when I had nothing else to do. Was working 4 days a week at one point especially when all the camps were on. I can safely say I'm qualified in judging handy pony, dressage, fancy dress and gymkana games now

Then whilst I was at school, I worked sundays as the head assistant person as it were. Meant I had to help teach the kiddies groups, take all the ridden and in hand hacks out (very scared first time I took 6 kids out on my own). I also had to supervise the working liveries and kinda teach them/help them with any problems.

Along side doing all the RS ponies, feeding, tacking up, turning out etc, also gained the experience of handling a couple of stallions - 1 is an absolute jem, another was mad as a hatter when he was ridden so coming back after 3hr hacks was always fun and then the one with his sheep for a companion. Plus the feeding & handling of youngstock.

Not bad experience for working in a RS - RS ponies, comp horses, stallys, foals - the lot. I also helped in the office with some of the admin; dealing with general enquiries. It sure as hell gave me rounded experience.

Not to mention helping on other days with PC comps, teaching SM lessons etc - god I learnt so much and gained so much. Oh and the wonderful art of leading in 5 ponies across a busy carpark and through 2 different sets of gates
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In return for my helping out, I got paid plus had free private lessons every week, plus riding in the PTT lessons, hacking atleast once on a sunday. Oh and some BHS training.

I owe them a hell of a lot and still ride up there.
 

Christmas_Kate

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I worked in a couple of riding schools in my teenage years (Gos I sound old now!).
First one was a small place, and an old lady ran it. I would just really lead and groom for her, tacking up ready for rides etc. Never had to muck out or anything. She would 'pay' us with a huge lunch in her kitchen, always had cake and stuff laid out, and she always gave me the choice of cash or a free lesson. I always had the lesson.
Second place was a bigger school. We (my friend and I)arrived on our first day, no-one in sight, just a box of headcollars and brushes, and a list of ponies to get in. We hadnt even a clue which pony was which. Anyway, we caught a selection of ponies, nearly got killed in the process, spent the day shovelling s**t, and getting shouted at, walked miles with leadrein kids. We did this for about a year in total. Never once got a free ride, never got paid. BUT the owners used to go off to lunch for two hours and we would grab a pony each and take em round the cross country course, bring them back, and dry them off before the owners returned. V. naughty of us, but we never did get caught!
 

kerrylou123

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i used to work at riding school. I used to do the general yard stuff, but my boss also owned 2 grade a sj'ers so i used to school them and groom at shows. She also did a bit of dealing, so would also school those. I really enjoyed it, but my boss was a nightmare, so i eventually quit! Her head groom as left since, so i would have been head groom by now!
 

Mistyrocks

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I work in one now and have done for the last 8 years!! I started off as the usual little helper doing the boring jobs like mucking out the fields and tack cleaning but now i run the helpers club on a sat and sun, which involves teaching horse care. I also teach a few of the lessons, get on misty most of the time in the lessons to get her stop being naughty! I also now basically have the use of misty as my own thats in reward for all the work i do!!
 

JessPickle

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I do and have done for years! normally at weekends we catch all the horses then tack them up, then start the mucking out and sweep the yard, from then on its changeovers for each lesson helping the kids on and off etc If I help out in the week in the holidays its mainly teaching kids to tack up, muck out, what each feed is etc. I have worked my way up the yard and in a few weeks will be in charge on saturdays as the current people in charge are leaving for uni, you may start off doing the not so nice jobs but you tend to gradually get better jobs to do. Oh yeah and I take hack escorts, and sometimes do lead file for kids.
 

druid

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I have done/ still do. Started at 13 as a helper and eventually a few years later took out treks, taught lessons and taught pony camp on my own...good fun but hard work! Still miss our "breakers" (we got 4x 4yo in each year to break-in and we were always the crash test dummies!)
 

Lobelia_Overhill

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When I was 16 I became a Working Pupil at the riding school I'd been riding at. First day I was given a list of what to do, and the two other staff boogered off and left me to do all of it on my own... I didn't know where anything was, much less how to do most of it. I was told off for talking miles too long to do everything. This carried on for a few days then I was told I wasn't having my lunch made for me any more and I'd have to bring sandwiches - so I did, turns out that was a "joke" (oh stop, my sides are killing me!) I quit after that. Over the next 3 years I watched a succession of WPs start work, then leave after a week, or a few days, and on more than one occasion they wandered off at lunchtime and didn't come back... 'course they blamed the WPs not the staff who were already there and dumping on the kids
 
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