What is the going rate for an exercise ride?

Hi all,
I’m going out of town next week and don’t want my mare to be laid up because she’s has suspected PSSM2/MFM and the vets have recommended that consistency is super important. I’m currently trainerless and I also board at a small private place so there’s not really a professional I have access to with set rates for this type of thing.

There is a super talented teenage rider at my barn that has ridden my mare plenty of times and gets along great with her. My mare is as close to bombproof as you can get and super easy to ride. The kid doesn’t compete so being paid for exercise rides wouldn’t jeopardize USEF eligibility for her.

This would only be a few light 30 minute rides. I used to do this when I was a teenager for people and they’d pay me 20 bucks a ride but I have no clue what the going rate is now that I’m on the other side. Any ideas?


Depends on the kids schedule etc.

If the kid doesn’t have enough ride time she might be thrilled to just ride your horse without paying a lease fee.

Otherwise, take into account she is not a pro, and shouldn’t be getting pro wages. I think $20 as a token is probably quite adequate.

Juniors are allowed to be paid, its only adults that divide into ammie and open/pro.


She definitely gets plenty, she has her own horse and is a working student for her trainer. She’s a great kid though and super responsible. If I asked her to do it for free she would but she’s probably the only person I’d be 100% comfortable on my horse unsupervised so I’d want to make it worth her while.

Is the kid regularly at your barn? If so, maybe a hundred to cover 3 rides?


Yep she and her family board their horses with mine and it’s a self care/ co-op/ share care situation so I’m super close with her family.

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Ah if she has her own horse pay her something. Especially in a self care barn, she will be busy!


My thoughts exactly!

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That’s a great situation!

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Oh trust me I know! We tried the co-op/ share care thing before with 2 other people at another barn and it was such a freaking disaster… There was So. Much. Barn. Drama. I moved my horse out of that barn 2.5 years ago and they followed me and there hasn’t been an ounce of barn drama since we left the crazies behind.


Barn drama is not approved. I can’t imagine drama in a co op situation! shudders Granted I’ve not share boarded before myself, but barn drama is bad enough in full care. I’ve got mine at home again now and only have to deal with my own drama lamas lol.

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“I know that we decided to feed them grass hay but I decided to give them alfalfa instead for a treat”

“So what if the gate got left open… everyone makes mistakes!!!”

“I know I didn’t show up for feeding 3 days this week but I have A LOT going on in my personal life!!!”

All real things I had to put up with dealing with people that had no business doing self care.

As I suspected, not approved.

At least with a BO / BM I have some bargaining power, ie I will receive the services we agreed I would pay for or I’m taking my business else where.

Now, I’m the BO and if breakfast is late I can only bitch at myself.

*Mr LS was actually listening to me whine through the years of boarding as he now likes to fuss mightily over the common boarding gripes. “LS! That horse doesn’t have enough hay! Why isn’t this water trough sparkling? Those shavings look thin! Where is this horse’s fly mask? Are you gonna put something on that scrape? You need to mix that bucket ration better so horse won’t leave his supplements behind!

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Ugh yea. See I worked at huge barn my entire youth so I’ve been on the staff side of things. I’m a pretty low maintenance boarder myself when I am in full care but there’s just not a barn close to me that meets my standards so that’s why I do it myself.

I listen to my friends that board at other places about their boarding gripes and I’m not going to lie, most of it makes me roll my eyes. People really don’t understand that “full care” is not “custom care”. You pay for the services the barn provides and if those services are insufficient, you go somewhere else or you do it yourself. Which is why I do self/ share care!


I’ve done my fair share of barn work. I call it knowing enough to be dangerous :wink:. I don’t consider myself high maintenance, but I dang sure want what I’m paying for and am not shy about expressing that. Boarding options are getting more limited in my area, but I was pretty pleased with my last place. They did exactly what they said they would do and the facility was super nice. Still glad to be back in control ya know?


Personally, I’d pay her $40 a ride, and perhaps give her some guidelines about what you’d like her to do. You can also ask her to write a couple of sentences in an email to you after each ride about how the horse is doing, and what specifically she did with the horse that ride.

I think that treating someone professionally usually yields better results.


If you’re still just suspecting PSSM, this would be a pretty good test to see if it gets worse with a week off.

Did you ever get the X-rays of the hinds? Your horse is trying to tell you that something is wrong with the toe dragging. You should continue to do vet work until you find it, no matter the cost - not wait years for a biopsy on a guessed diagnosis.


I don’t think I would need anything quite that formal because like I said I’m pretty close to her and her family but I totally agree though. Knowing her I’ll get updates via Snapchat. :joy:

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I have a teen that is doing this for other boarders. Right now she does not asked to be paid. We will likely switch off for rides on our horses when we are out of town for one of the owners. The other owner she’s ridden for is pretty friendly with us so she lets my kid take her place in her weekly private lesson - daughter gets an extra lesson for ‘free’ and horse gets exercised.

Really I think $20 is enough for a 30 minute ride.

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I think $20 or $25 is enough. Even in my 30’s, I’m always happy to meet new equine friends and usually charged about that much (or free for friends!)

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