Poll Recap: Riding Lesson Expenses

Of the 1,031 respondents, 348 (34%) said they pay $36-$55 for individual private riding lessons.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Last week we asked readers of TheHorse.com how much they pay for individual private riding lessons. More than 1,000 people responded to our poll, and we’ve tallied the results.

Of the 1,031 respondents, 348 (34%) said they pay $36-$55 for individual private riding lessons. Another 190 respondents (20%) indicated that they pay $35 or less per individual riding lesson, followed by 172 readers (17%) who said their individual lessons cost $56-$75. Only 79 people (8%) said they pay $76 or more per riding lesson. The remaining 242 respondents (23%) said they do not take or pay for riding lessons.

Additionally, 70 readers commented on their riding lesson expenses. 

Poll Results

Several people commented on the costs of riding lessons in their area:

  • “It depends on which coach I'm working with; it ranges anywhere from CA$40-65.”
  • “It depends on instructor. My weekly instructor is $45. The advanced instructor I ride with every eight weeks is $75.”
  • “The beginner in my area is looking at $46 - $65 for 45 - 60 minute lesson.”
  • “Sometimes my coach gives me one for $65.”
  • “I pay $35 for a one hour lesson.”
  • “It used to be $115, and double that for clinics.”
  • “It’s $25 per hour here”
  • “I give beginner lessons for $30 each.”
  • “I pay $35 for a private 30 minute lesson.”
  • “I pay $60 for 40 minutes of dressage training.”
  • “I give private lesson at $50 per hour”
  • “I pay $30 for my local trainer and up to $115 for a dressage clinician.”
  • “I have a great teacher who would be cheap at twice the price. I pay $60 for first-class dressage lessons!”
  • “I pay $45 for a generous hour on my green/difficult OTTB mare. It's worth every penny!”
  • “I no longer take lessons, but when I did it was $35 per half-hour.”
  • “I pay $30 for dressage lessons. My trainer focuses on correct basics. Not a big name but an excellent teacher.”
  • “It's a little more if my trainer travels to me.”
  • “I pay $65 for private lesson with dressage trainer who travels two hours to my barn.”
  • “At our barn it's $45 for a half-hour and $65 for an hour.”
  • “I work with horses in a professional capacity, but I believe that $35-$40 is standard.”
  • “I pay $25 plus a $5 tip for an instructor coming to my house. At the barn I pay $35 for a group lesson.”
  • “I pay $50 for a 50 minute dressage or jumping lesson.”
  • “About $35 per hour standard in my area.”
  • “My neighbor is a nationally-known clinician and gives me a reduced rate of $40 per hour.”

Some people commented that they do not take riding lessons:

  • “Never have, never will. It hasn’t stopped my being repeated multiple-state and national champion”
  • “We're trail riders, but sometimes (after a fall) I think I should reconsider lessons!”
  • “I grew up in western riding and took four english lessons. I was told I didn’t need them.”
  • “No time for riding when you're caring for 19 equids without assistance.”
  • “I find learning through experience nurtures a natural rider a lot better than trainers' opinions.”
  • “I probably should take lessons, but I'm not looking to compete, just enjoy!”
  • “I haven't had a lesson in 25 years. I may start back up though as I'm contemplating a switch to dressage!”

Others mentioned different ways that they pay for riding lessons:

  • “I trade for my horse's use as a lesson horse.”
  • “I worked for my lessons and had best teacher who loved getting help.”
  • “My trainer stays with me when she comes to town in lieu of me paying for lessons.”
  • “I have traded paintings for lessons (I'm an equine artist).”

And a few left general comments on riding lessons:

  • “It's so expensive to take lessons in my area that I only take one a month.”
  • “I need to get a instructor! But I’m saving for a dressage saddle.”
  • “It’s too expensive!”
  • “I don't go on a regular schedule, only when the family budget allows.”
  • “Our horses, past and present, are the best teachers. A few good books help, too. They all teach patience!”
  • “Don't waste instructors time...be mounted and ready!”
  • “I study the best, as much as I can: Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt, and Dorrence Brothers.”
  • “My granddaughter gives me lessons. She's a fourth level dressage rider.”
  • “My trainer only gives private lessons.”
  • “You get what you pay for. Better trainers charge more, and rightfully so.”
  • “My instructor is also CHA-certified.”
  • “Though I don't have the money, I wish I could take some private lessons.”

You can find more information about the costs associated with horse riding and ownership at TheHorse.com! 

This week we want to know: Do you rely on the Farmers’ Almanac to make horse management decisions? Vote now and share your comments about why or why not at TheHorse.com!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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