When you have your own horse, it is not uncommon for others to ask for lessons or permission to ride. However, choosing whether or not to allow this is not a decision to be made lightly. Be sure to ask yourself these three questions before making the leap to a paid instructor to avoid regret down the road.
1. How Does my Horse Act Around Strangers?
There are countless horses who are very well behaved for their owners and regular riders, but who act up around strangers. Think carefully if yours fits into this category before offering to let someone else ride him. Lesson horses generally have distinct personality traits that make them well suited for their jobs. There are several methods available for evaluating a horse’s temperament and innate personality. It’s a good idea to use one before making any decisions about your future as an instructor.
2. Will My Insurance Cover any Accidents?
Even if you have the most bomb-proof horse to walk on four hooves, accidents can still happen. Anything from a rider getting stepped on to a horse getting out of a pasture and injured can lead to major trouble. Listing your horse on your homeowner’s insurance does not mean that accidents or injuries from business activities are going to be covered. Now is a good time to check into a high-quality Horse Business Liability Insurance policy.
3. Do I Have the Knowledge To Safely Provide a Lesson?
Being a superb rider does not always translate into being a competent instructor. Take a few minutes to honestly assess whether you have what it takes to teach others what you know. A basic understanding of effective teaching strategies and basic anatomy — both human and equine — should be the bare minimum.
Sharing your love of horses with others can bring great joy. Asking yourself a few questions before you offer up your own horse can ensure it stays a good experience for everyone involved.