I have my daughter in lessons once a week at the same barn where she started riding almost 4 years ago. I have always been frustrated by late starting lessons (its the one thing in my life I am always early for) and was tolerant of it for a time because usually the lesson would run later if it started late (no lesson scheduled immediately after). In recent years, we’ve had a go at private lessons, lateness and lessons cut short were still issues, and since last fall we’ve gotten back into group lessons. Our lesson time is the first one in the afternoon and although we are often started 15 minutes late, the lesson always ends on time because the next lesson has to start.
And it’s not just the instructor being late, throughout the lesson there is often socializing around the fence lines, people coming into the arena to talk to the instructor, or time texting /talking on the phone. Endless laps at a walk while instructor is distracted. Lessons have sort of turned into a glorified opportunity to just have someone else present while my daughter rides. Mostly at a walk.
We haul our horse in instead of using a school horse yet we pay the same lesson fees. Now that diesel is outrageously expensive, it’s harder to justify hauling in for a mediocre shortened lesson.
The barn is a great community and my daughter enjoyes riding with other kids. No other real options locally for changing instructors, and I don’t want to put off the instructor or burn any bridges… But I’m paying for quality instruction and haven’t been getting it for a while. I’m non confrontational so it’s a real challenge for me to speak up about this. They just notified everyone that they are raising prices, which made me even more frustrating since I’m not getting what I’m paying for as it is.
How would you handle it? Lessons need to start on time and last the full time being paid for, and paying students should have the instructors undivided attention throughout the lesson. This should not feel like too much to ask far but I’m struggling… I know I just need to say something, but how it’s approached feels like a delicate thing…