Groups are awesome if you can get a group that sticks together. You build a relationship with other riders and it can become a source of motivation when you need it but then you need to insist the group and instructor must remain a constant. Most yards are very happy to comply to a regular group. Just speak to the instructor you like the most and make a fixed arrangement. Individual lessons can be difficult if you are unfit because the instructor focuses on you and pushes for the full lesson time where a group you can take a 2min break if needed. Posted via Mobile Device
I have asked several times about being in the right group, and having the same people in it, but it never lasts. I almost left the stables because I was in a group with 7 year olds that would start crying over everything and they wouldn't change my group, but once we threatened to leave they suddenly came up with a group that was perfect for me with two girls my age and ability. That lasted a few weeks, and then gradually the lessons just started becoming random again. Sometimes they are private, sometimes I'm in a large group. I suppose it's good though because I'm getting private lessons sometimes and I'm not always in a group.
I would rather find a yard then that can cater for all your needs. You are after all the paying client instructors are a dime a dozen and I certainly think they are much too opinionated. I am an instructor and my clients pay my bills so I listen to them when they have a concern Posted via Mobile Device
I don't jump and I rarely ride English, so take this FWIW:
Two of my horses regularly get excited about cantering and will speed up to a near gallop. Pulling back on the reins has no effect. HOWEVER, if I move the reins to signal each front leg individually, it is different. It isn't pulling back on the rein so much as it is not not moving that rein out as freely. The idea is that when the left foot is about to go forward, the left rein doesn't go as far as the pace would demand, so that the rein is saying, not 'slow down' but 'don't extend your leg quite as far'.
Doing that with each rein, combined with settling back on my pockets (western style, sorry) seems to settle them in about 6-10 strides. It doesn't bring them down to a trot, but it takes it well below the near-gallop! Also, this can be practiced at a walk and trot...just to let them know to walk or trot with shorter steps.
Again, I'm not jumping and my English saddles are sitting in a closet, so FWIW...
Horses are left and right handed just like us. They have a preferred lead just like we have a preferred hand to write with. I rode a really stubborn horse who absolutely hated his left lead. He'd always buck and try to switch back when you got it correctly, and if you got it wrong it was impossible to get him to switch to the correct lead unless you were trotting in a tight circle and asked for the canter...and even that wouldn't work most of the time. He was just a brat.
The horse has to RESPECT you. You can't let him get away with being a stubborn, obnoxious nag. You have to learn how to make him pick up the correct lead, make him keep his gait collected and not run away with you. Respect is the key. A stubborn horse can be way more dangerous than one that has respect for its rider.
It can take some getting used to.
Depending on where or what you're learning, the basic way to try to get the correct lead is to keep the inside rein shorter than the outide and almost turn his head that way (you don't want him to go walking out into the middle of the ring) and use pressure with your outside leg just behind the girth.
Collecting, from what I mean at this point, is just using half-halts and keeping him calm and in a smooth gait. If he's trotting fast, he'll canter fast because of the momentum. Hold him back gently and release when he listens to you (but don't let him break into a trot again), repeat if he gets faster again.