What do you get for your money?

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What do you get for your money? 

How much is a lesson

       Have you ever considered what you actually get for your money when paying for a lesson?


Social media always seems to have questions regarding prices of lessons, which made me think about what MY clients receive in return for their money.

To begin with I am going to say these are MY offerings, I cannot and will not speak for anyone else here.

Riders tend to spend an awful lot of time and money on their horses, I should know! Once they have bought and paid for livery, bedding, feed etc, the attention often turns to training. Rightly so. I am going to speak from experience here when I say this, the first question USUALLY asked is HOW MUCH?

Now, I agree cost needs to be considered, obviously, there is no point having a highly trained horse that has no feed or bedding! So, how do you put a price on training?

Adding in here I am speaking from a rider’s viewpoint rather than a coach’s perspective, well mostly!

From my own point of view, I have always looked at the credentials of the coach I am thinking of approaching, do they put the horse’s welfare first? Can they offer anything other than ridden advice, such as nutrition as my horse develops? Do they understand my breed of horse? Have they any experience of dealing with my issues? Do they have a “one size fits all” approach? Are they invested in MY goals, not just that one session? How often do they offer training? Can I work my schedule around theirs if we click? Are they open to being contacted in between sessions if I come across a problem? What are their current clients doing? Are they doing the same old every session or are they progressing? The questions are many! BUT the one question i leave till the end…. WHAT DO YOU CHARGE? Why? Well if this coach can offer me everything I am seeking, my horse is happy and we make progress, the charge is then irrelevant, to me anyway. All these are highlighted in the diagram at the top of the page. 

I may not be able to afford to see that coach weekly, but a good coach will always give you homework and therefore if I only see my coach once a month, providing I have my homework done, once a month shouldn’t be an issue.

Less knowledgeable riders or those who require extra support may need to see a coach more frequently, in these circumstances perhaps asking if the coach could do a “package deal” or maybe just 30 min sessions to help reduce costs could be looked at, or perhaps sharing a session with someone. Another option could be remote lessons, you ride at home, no travel costs involved, your coach has you on their iPad/laptop etc and you learn that way, most coaches I know charge less for this as it doesn’t involve arena costs or travel. My final thought is video analysis, you video a schooling session and send it to your coach for feedback, again it is usually much cheaper as your coach can review it at their leisure, it also provides a great opportunity to review your ride yourself afterwards, watching it with your coach’s feedback is very interesting! If you can think of other ideas, please comment!

Coaching doesn’t need to be an expense which frightens your bank manager every time you bank transfer payment! From experience, coaches do really want to help you, but unless you discuss your problems, they can’t.

On a side note, please do not ever think the person down the road who charges £15/£20 a session is a better option, you get what you pay for, and those who undercut good coaches are 99% of the time unqualified, not insured, lack experience and are not invested in YOU.

So, when you consider looking at changing coaches, just take a moment to ask what they can do for you and your horse, and then ask "how much".

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