At age 26 I am learning to ride again. I started riding lessons when I was younger around 10/11 years old and loved every minute of it, until I had a bad fall which left me badly bruised along with bruising my confidence. I sadly never rode after that. I have always kept an interest in horses and now I am keen to ride again.
My best friend has 2 Cobs, one which is 15.2hh which she rides and has another horse 14.2hh which she wants someone to ride and hack out with. Although she has allowed me to ride in the outdoor arena to gain confidence and learn to ride again, I have only just begun to trot and get used to rising never mind canter etc. The horse in which I am riding was a school horse for a number of years and was used to help teach disabled children so he is relaxed, confident and very easy going allowing novice riders.
I have been thinking more and more about going to professional riding lessons once a week to gain a little more experience with the help of a qualified instructor. I know the instructor will help me to ride correctly rather than me learning on my own and picking up bad habits and passing them on to the horse.
Therefore, this weekend I am hoping to visit a few equestrian centres to find which would be best for me. However, I am unsure whether to pay extra to have private one to one lessons once a week or to have group sessions. I do find that I learn best when I can visualise what people ask of me and I think a group lesson would be beneficial however I have worries that I wont be at the full attention of the instructor and may take longer to learn about MY riding habits etc if we are in a large group.
Should I start doing private lessons firstly then move onto group lessons or vice versa?
What would you recommend?