Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lesson Fees: What are you paying?

While at the barn this morning for Sir Robert's vet appointment, I saw notice for price increases for board and lessons. I can understand the board raise--though it still makes me have a serious sad face, and I'm not looking forward to telling Hubby--as shavings, hay, and grain are all going up and my barn certainly doesn't skimp on any of those things.

However, I was a little taken aback by the price hike for lessons. I don't lesson anyway as I don't really mesh with the way BO teaches and I have a hard time swallowing the price anyway, but the new prices definitely ruled it out.

I was wondering if maybe it's just my cheap ass that thinks the prices are high. What are you guys paying for group lessons? Private lessons? What's the experience level of your instructor? Do you feel like you're paying a fair fee? I'm genuinely curious, and I'd love to hear from you guys.

adorable without lessons. we just progress slower.
way slower.

In other news, Bobby was a star for the vet. He's the biggest mooch for the vet, and while the two horses on crossties were completely losing it because Vet smelled like the dairy barn she had just come from, Bobby was too busy trying to stuff his face in her pockets to care. She spent most of her time fawning over him and telling him what a wonderful pony he was and making Bobby voices to him. My vet office may be the most expensive in the area, but everyone there is pretty fabulous.

Bobby didn't get his teeth done last year (on recommendation of Vet), and this year he had such minimal issues that Vet didn't even bother with tranq or a speculum to float him. He did have a little hook on the top left which probably explains his heaviness and general distaste for the left rein. Hopefully that will be cleared up now.

But in even better news, she complimented his feet! She saw the event lines and new growth and asked if he'd had a diet change. I told her no, and then about my farrier woes and that I was now trimming him myself. She said it was obvious that he'd been trimmed wrong in the past, but that the new growth was really healthy looking and I was doing a really good job with him. Yay!

41 comments:

  1. I'm interested to see everyone's responses... I have a myriad of answers but they're all from the dressage, private lesson world.

    First up is "H" who I rode with for a few years. She's well known in our state, probably the leading person in biomechanic-based riding (in my opinion anyways) and charged $70 for an hour private. She showed competitively in the past but has not/does not have students showing regularly now.

    Then there's "L" who comes in to our barn every few weeks to teach some lessons. She has ridden and shown at the FEI level, has her silver and bronze medal, and is an "L" judge. She charges $100 for a 45(ish) minutes lesson, yet it's more like an hour.

    Then there's "JL". Sigh. He is definitely someone I only clinic with as I would 100% be bankrupt if he came our way more than two or three times a year. He is a graduate of the Equestrian Military School, competed Internationally in dressage, steeplechasing, stadium, and eventing, and has won individual and team gold medals at the military world championships. To say the least, the guy is qualified. His lessons run $185 for an hour... yes, I cry every time I write a check out but it is so, SO worth it. I seriously learn so much each lesson I have to video them or I'd never remember everything.

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  2. I think my lessons are pretty reasonable at $45 for a private lesson that runs an hour or $35 if you pay in advance

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  3. I'm almost embarrassed to admit how little I pay for lessons because I'm probably VERY much on the cheaper side; I pay $45 for an hour private and I lesson twice a week. With that said, I recently switched trainers at the end of January, and I am surprised that my current trainer is so affordable....I have seen myself progress muuuuuch faster riding with him only a month, and I feel like his lessons are priceless. I wouldn't even bat an eye if he were to raise his prices, because he's just THAT good! You can read about my love fest with my new barn and new trainer on Stories From the Saddle :)

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  5. I pay very reasonable prices due to the fact that my coach gives a deal to my college's Intercollegiate Dressage Team. I pay for 8 lessons at a time which breaks down to $55 for a 45 minute private lesson. Our coach is a Bronze medalist one PSG score away from her Silver medal and has competed in Eventing up through Intermediate. She also does semi-privates which are $40 for an hour. I absolutely feel like every dollar I pay is worth it.

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  6. Looks like I'm right at the average, I pay $47 for a 45 minute lesson with the understanding that I will be on and warming up for 15 minutes before the 45 minutes starts. That said, if no one is after me, I've had lessons that have gone for twice that if we're stuck on something and needed it. Also, it's required of all the boarders to take at least one lesson per week. Since we're all here to event and we like the trainer, that's not a big deal to anyone.

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  7. I think all four of our trainers run in the $45 an hour range. Board with turn out and a stall w/run is $610.00 a month.

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  8. Depends on the trainer. Barn manager or assistant trainer, $50/hour. Trainer, $80 an hour. Worth every penny. I work off all my lessons via barn work, and earn credit at $10/hour. It usually works out to a day of chores = 1 regular lesson, a day of chores + pm chores = trainer lesson.

    I would lesson with Trainer every single week if I could. She really is phenomenal.

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  9. I pay quite a bit, in my opinion. $65 (canadian) per lesson, but my coach has to drive 45 minutes to get to me so a portion of that is gas fees. Private lessons from a coach who has competed internationally in both eventing and dressage, and was a team rider. Other coaches that I ride with on occasion charges $50 for an hour long private lesson (at his farm). Also a team rider. The price difference basically comes down to gas fees.
    I pay for it by working off the cost, managing my lessons carefully, and working hard! Worth every penny though.

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  10. I pay $65 for my monthly lesson with my trainer. Most people call it a clinic, but she's the only person I work with so ... they're lessons. Affordable monthly, not so affordable more often.

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  11. I'm $50 for a roughly 30 minute private, $35 for an hour group, or $40 for a training ride

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  12. Oh wow, most of you have cheap lessons! Here is Australia, to get the instructor S out to my horse would cost $55 for half an hour and she has competed Grand Prix dressage, but to go to the local equestrian centre would cost $70 for an hour on a school horse or $50 if you bring your own. But those instructors vary from the run of the mill coaches through to quite established ones. I still haven't found one I am 100% happy with yet though.

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  13. I've paid $25 for 45min private lessons (which were a true example of sometimes you get what you pay for…) I have paid $45 for 1hr group lessons, $50 for 1hr private, and I pay $50 for 45min private lessons now. Not bad, considering all of these lessons were on school horses. I had one instructor raise her rate because her insurance was going up, at least that was understandable.

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  14. At my current barn, 1 hr private lesson is $50 and semi-private is $45, but they mostly deal with younger riders and beginners, so the instructors aren't experienced enough for me to feel like it is worth it.

    At my summer barn (I migrate, I'm a college kid), lessons are $65 for an hour private, but my trainer is moderately experienced in dressage, so I can justify paying a little more.

    I have taked lessons with an FEI level dressage trainer, and that was $90 for an hour private. Can't afford that too often, but it REALLY helps.

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  15. When I started riding it was $25 for a group lesson, It's now double that, for a group. Buuuttt if you pay for half training which comes out to 2 rides a week it knocks off about $10 a group.

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    1. (I'll add on, since I ride with same trainer) ... Full training is a better deal... if you can cough up the $$$ / month I find my mare may get shorted one week but then gets extra rides or jumping on lunge etc the next. Plus our 1 hr lessons often run long during summer when everyone was jumping and there was light. I kinda like that our lessons are a mix of private or group because it helps to have private when need extra attention but good to learn to ride with others too. Jumping around beginers is fun right?

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    2. haha yes. Full Training is the biggest deal of them all and our trainer is very good about crediting what you need. I just take lessons though because I like it.

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  16. I'm up in Ontario and my trainer charges 50$ for an hour or 25$ for half an hour (she only teaches privates). I usually do half and hour cause after I've warmed myself up thoroughly beforehand I'm not fit enough to have my butt kicked for an hour straight!

    I personally think this is an absolute steal; my trainer is young, but she's phenomenal. She's evented Prelim with two different horses that she brought up from babies herself and she only stopped there because the horses topped out (one was 14.1 and the other developed allergies), I can't wait to see what she does in the future with the two she's working up now. She's a talented rider, but more importantly she has the ability to see minute things in the rider and explain them in such a way that the student can correct it and fully understand why.

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  17. Hooray Bobby! Ponies are extra cool when they have good teeth and feet. And behave when the vet comes along too...

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  18. I live in a very unhorsey area, so the price of just about everything is much lower than most places. My trainer charges $40 for an hour, but we almost always go over...more like an hour in a half. There's another trainer that comes to my barn once a month as well. When I rode with him it's $65 for the hour.

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  19. I'm a trainer in the San Francisco bay area so take all this with a grain of "everything is absurdly priced in California". I charge $65 for a 60 minute private lesson and the same for a 75 minute group lesson. If I come to your property / a barn I don't belong to it's $80/hour because of the various hassles. My students are competitive both in the dressage and hunter rings. My advanced kids are showing 2nd-3rd at recognized shows. I try to provide a lot of value -- handouts of lesson plans and videos of most lessons.

    At other barns locally the prices range from $55/ 30 minutes to $175/hour. Sadly I have yet to find a trainer I like enough to pay for. I'm from the Midwest and am accustomed to $50/hour private lessons from my grand Prix instructor....

    It's almost cheaper to fly home to take six lessons from Betsy every two months haha oh god why.

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  20. I can pay $45/30min private for a dressage lesson at my barn with a local veteran that doesn't show anymore. It could also be a she rides for you or longlines for you instead. She teaches very well, is respected and onsite all day, 5 days a week. She's also the BM.

    I can pay $40/1hr private jump/lunge/whatever lesson with my trainer who is onsite 2 days a week. She's a lifelong rider and experienced eventer. She can't really ride anymore, so another other then that could be the lesson. Groups lessons are possible, but it's still $40/person.

    I could go 5 miles from me to the local dressage celebrity (CDI) and pay what I think she's charging now at $85/45min private or there-a-abouts.

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  21. So interesting to see what everyone pays! In High School, both my trainers were $30/hour. Now, I pay the two Grand Prix level dressage trainers $65-$75/hour private and my jumping/eventing trainer $75/hour or hour and a half for a group lesson. Which is why I can only lesson twice a month :/

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  22. Here in Central Texas it's $80/hr for lessons with a Grand Prix dressage instructor, and $50/ half an hour private or hour semi-private with the AA h/j instructor. The eventing instructor charges $65/hr private. Each of them bring their own expertise and are worth every penny - took me a while to find them, but so so worthwhile.

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  23. Oh my lord, I about had sticker shock reading everyone's lesson prices. Granted, I would love to get back into taking lessons, as the last time I had a lesson was about 12 years ago. I don't have the time/cash to commit to any kind of schedule, and I haven't found anyone that I like in this area. That being said.....the last time I took a lesson, a 1-hour private lesson was $10 (that usually ended up running over to an hour and a half). WHEW!

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  24. Oh, I envy you all!!

    Jumper coach Level 3 in Canada - $60 private or semi - Semi private is 1.5 hrs...sometimes longer. My lessons are always over an hour.

    Dressage coach Level 3 in Canada - $125 for 45 minutes. I ride with her once a month, sometimes back to back Sat/Sun. She is worth the cost though!

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  25. I pay $65/hour for a private lesson with our eventing trainer (competed and coaches through advanced) and I think it's $35/hour for semi privates.

    The dressage trainer down the road is $90/hour for private lessons. I'm sure she's great, but that's high for the area and out of range for me.

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  26. Back in IN, I paid $90/hr for a private with a Grand Prix level dressage trainer and felt she was worth every penny. Grand Prix level trainer my daughter interns for charges the same here in KY.

    Interesting to read everyone's responses!

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  27. I ride with a BNT here in CA, she's an S judge, Gold medalist, taken numerous horses and students very successfully to Grand Prix. I pay $100 for 45 minutes or $75 for a half hour. I ride with her every week and it's a thousand percent worth it.

    In contrast, I charge $60 per hour. I've competed at Grand Prix, I'm a Silver medalist, my students have gone to 3rd and I trained my own horse to PSG.

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  28. $45/hr with a USDF instructor. I don't need someone that shows PSG yet, since I am not to that point, plus I need someone that is patient with an "off-breed" and very forward. :)

    Other lessons in the past have been in the $30/hr range for a general hunter under saddle type instruction, up to $50/hr for a Paso Fino barn more geared towards rider's equitation.

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  29. All hour long
    $65 to the Grand Prix dressage lady (she also regularly goes over the hour.)
    $50 to the 4th level rider/young horse starter/good all around instructor
    $35 to same instructor for semi-private or group
    $50 to the so-so eventer
    $45 to the so-so eventer for a semi-private

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  30. I pay $250 for 8 lessons ($31.25/lesson) which generally lasts me a month (2 lessons a week). Lessons last ~45 minutes, more or less depending on your horse and work. My trainer has clients through Prelim (eventing), but the last time she competed at that level was decades ago. I just coughed up $150 to clinic with Dr. Schacht, but that is the most I've ever paid ever (and I don't know if I'll do it again). Other trainers at my barn charge from $50 for 30 minutes to $80 for an hour, at various experience levels and disciplines.

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  31. I don't lesson anymore, but when I did I paid $45 for a 30 minute private lesson. I never did groups, so I don't know how much they were... but I think they were around $35-$40 for 30 minutes. My instructor was incredibly experienced and was a great teacher, so I thought the price was fair.

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  32. I have not taken lessons since I retired, but plan to start back up once I start working again. My instructor charges $50 for a 45 (ish) minute lesson. It usually runs about an hour. She comes to MY location every week and once a month I trailer to her location. She is WONDERFUL.

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  33. I'm fully expecting charts and pictures and a complete recap of all the info here... complete with awesome animated GIFs or pictures of Bobby making his awesome derp faces.

    My trainer has 35+ years of hunter/jumper experience, and is an "r" USEF Hunter judge. $56 for 45 min private, $38 for hour semi-private, $28 for hour+ group

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  34. Let's see.. most of the h/j trainers around here charge $60 for a private lesson (usually 45min) and somewhere around 35-40 for a group. Dressage usually runs me $50 for an hour lesson.

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  35. group: $35/hr
    Private: $50/hr (or 45 minutes, depending on who you're paying)
    Now, I'm not sure how much of that is going to the barn, either...

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  36. I pay $55 for a one-hour private lesson, and my trainer is AWESOME. We are eventers.

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  37. Trainer (dressage) I started riding with - $50 for "45 minutes" which many times ran on to an hour or more.

    Biomechanics trainer I live far far away from - $70 for 45 minutes.

    Trainer (classical dressage) I've cliniced with once, and would give anything to ride with again - $650 for five days - one hour lessons and unlimited auditing.

    All theoretical at this point as there are no funds for travel + lessons. :D

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  38. $55 for the USHJA trainer for an hour private. $65 for the dressage trainer for an hour private.

    When I started riding, as a kid, the lesson barn offered 2 hour group lessons for $20.

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  39. I go between trainers. Right now I am not taking any lessons but will hopefully be GP jumper rider(75$) until May when my actual trainer starts coming once a month, which is 100$ for 1hr(3-4*eventer). Once in awhile I'll take a lesson from a localish person for 45$

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