Helping at a yard for free riding

Hoppyjazz

New Member
Nov 4, 2015
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Hi, I'm new to riding and don't have much money
I saw an advert for free riding in exchange for yard work for experienced riders, I don't have much experience (a few hacks as a teenager, some tacking up mucking etc but that was 20years ago!)
Any way they gave me a chance, I muck out, groom, tack up from 9am until 2.30pm, then I pay £5 for a half hour lesson (usually £18) and some days I get a free half hour hack
Would that seem fair to you?
I'm quite nervous of the large horses so I'm not a perfect helper, and I have to ask lots of questions and double check things so I hope I'm not too much of a pain
But do you think I'm getting a fair deal, or are they getting a fair deal being stuck with me!!
 

Hoppyjazz

New Member
Nov 4, 2015
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I think I pay the £5 because the instructor is freelance so not an employee of the yard, so im paying the instructor but using the horse for free if that makes sense, thank you for your reply :)
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Well, it sounds as if you are learning a lot so I think it's probably a reasonable deal. Once you have more experience you might ask them to up the riding !
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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13 quid for 5.5 hours work is a good deal for them, but getting training and guidance for free is a good deal for you too, while you find it beneficial and you are learning it seems it works for everyone :)
 
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OldandNew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2007
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I've been volunteering at my yard for four or five years - but only about 3 hours a week. I alternate mornings and afternoons. I still pay my monthly membership (which entitles you to a weekly group lesson or hack plus lots of social events and lectures). They don't charge me extra for private lessons. For me, this has been a fantastic deal because I have learnt just about everything regarding horse care and management - and being up close and personal with the horses is wonderfully therapeutic.
 

newforest

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
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When I was a teen I worked from 9am to 6pm in the school holidays seven days a week. The riding was trekking out when they had a booking.
It enabled me to ride every horse on the yard that I was allowed to based on ability and experience. Obviously some were experienced riders only and I wasn't.
Some days I could ride up to four different ones in peak season. I also learnt which ones I didn't gel with.
I got dumped by a Shetland which was funny. :)
 

Hoppyjazz

New Member
Nov 4, 2015
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Thanks for all the replies, I'm happy with the deal hopefully they are happy with me!
I just wish they would sometimes remember I'm still a beginner and being sent to groom a horse that keeps trying to kick you is very frightening :/
 

Gimp

Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
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dont put youself in danger if your feeling threatened, I would discuss the said horse with the boss and tell them your fears. As time goes on you will get to know all the horses antics and quirks. Some do pull misrable faces ! most of the time you can just give them an OY and tell them to give over and you can feel more in charge. If your grooming always tie them up, if you dont feel secure grooming in the stable you can always tie up outside it to. Confidence around the bigger ones will come with experience :)
 

OldandNew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2007
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London
Slightly worried about any horse trying to kick you while you are grooming. Are these riding school horses??? As Gimp says, always tie the horses up. And tell the YO or YM your worries and ask for more guidance. For example, some horses may be more sensitive and need a very soft brush - or some might be more sensitive about their legs for instance.
 

laurenapp

New Member
May 17, 2015
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Horses and ponies (especially riding school ones) are very good at picking up nerves and taking advantage. I used to watch the children try to pick out the ponies feet and all they had to do is put their ears back and the children would be petrified. Staff could walk over and they would be as sweet as pie and overly obliging to pick their feet up. But well done for being cautious around the horses you don't know. As stated above always tie up when grooming. We look after a witchy mare and found that if we rest one hand on her neck whilst we brush her and lean into it it stops her from whipping round to snap her teeth at us! Every horse has their quirks. Maybe watch an experienced member of staff groom the horse and see how it reacts for them. That will give you a good indication inlf it is picking up on your nerves xxx
 

ponylover88

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2004
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I used to volunteer at the local mounted section and there was a horse there who would attempt to either bite (with intent) or double barrell/cow kick (also with intent). I can sympathise. With him, location was important. Always head collar on over door and brought him into yard to groom etc. Never in stable as that was his nemesis.

Find what makes the horse tick, you might find he's better in certain places than others, or with a haynet etc
 
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