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Help !! Novice rider - Private lessons or Group??

This is a discussion on Help !! Novice rider - Private lessons or Group?? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Novice rider in group

 
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    07-22-2010, 10:37 AM
  #11
Started
Your relationship with the tutor must be sympatico - and the tutor must know what tutoring is all about. Not all certified instructors are good at teaching.

The horse on which you are learning is of signficant importance - and I would always say that it is the horse that teaches you to sit - the instructor meely tells you how. You'll need a schoolmaster horse that knows its business

At the beginning one to one must be the best - even if it means that your lesson is cut down to half an hour.

Your position in the saddle is of prime importance at the beginning. You must learn how to sit correctly and you must maintain that position throughout the ride. Remember toes up, heels down, feet straight. And sit up straight in the saddle - head high. Then relax. All must come automatically - without conscious effort or tension. Don't leave the gap between lessons too long.

Then when the tutor reckons you are on message, try arranging lessons on the horse you plan to ride.

And also go for some pilates exercises. You'll need for your centre core muscles to be tuned up, your calves and hamstrings to be stretched.
Get a friend to take some videos and sit and study them when you get home.

And above all enjoy yourself. It is worth it.
     
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    07-22-2010, 10:46 AM
  #12
Weanling
I started out with private lessons for a little while, then joined a group...It consisted of one middle school girl (my "adopted" daughter) a college girl, myself, and a lady about 20 years older than me. The younger girls were riding greener horses while myself and the eldest lady were newer riders. It was a great mix because at that point we were all at the same level. I also rode a few lessons with my instructor so she could help me with my rein work. Those were the most helpful lessons, being able to ride along side her and watch her hands and posture.
     
    07-22-2010, 04:04 PM
  #13
Yearling
I would say private then group. Private lessons help you learn and focus on yourself, and I've found that I don't care as much about how I look. In group lessons, people tend to try to be their best, which is good, but you need to ride normally so the instructor can help you learn and correct bad habbits.

The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that you need to find a center that has good schooling horses. You don't want to be learning and focusing on making sure the horse won't take off on you, that will defeat the purpose. You don't want to harm your confidence if you are already a little shaky. Make sure you get to ride a horse who has been there, done that and is a little lazy so you don't have to worry.
     
    07-22-2010, 05:08 PM
  #14
Green Broke
I'd say private at first ^^
     
    07-22-2010, 05:51 PM
  #15
Started
You have been given advice from both sides which gives you a hard decision...

I would say that you should have a few private lessons to get your foundation back and then switch to a group lessons if you want to save some money or ride with some other people.

From teaching this is my experience: I start EVERYONE out alone and on a line ... this way I can either help them learn the foundation or bring back the things they were taught. Then I make sure that they are safe in controlling the horse, doing circles, walking, trotting, sometimes cantering, being able to stop, change direction, 2 point, sitting trot, maybe a little no stirrup work etc before they get mixed in with other riders. One out of control rider won't affect the horses I teach on BUT it will affect the rest of the riders in the lesson.

Anywho talk to the instructor and be truthful about your riding ability and fears. I would rather have someone come to me and say "well I have ridden before and I have done a WTC but an very nervous from a fall" then someone who says "oh yeah I have been riding for 10 years and I can do it all" - quickly I always learn that they are full of hot air

Good Luck!
     
    07-22-2010, 06:10 PM
  #16
Yearling
If you can only afford one lesson a week, definitely go group. Private lessons are shorter and you don't get better at anything doing it for only half an hour a week (a whole hour is bad enough). Take as much time in the saddle as you can get.
     
    07-22-2010, 11:18 PM
  #17
Yearling
I prefer private lessons, however I do enjoy group lessons too as I'm somewhat competitive. I won't lie, I enjoy showing off. However if you're just getting back the basics, unless you're with a group of people around your own age or not too much younger (as in, not like 8 and 9, I know I wouldn't be comfortable learning with people that much younger than myself) I would go private for at least the first few lessons. It'll give you time to get that "feel" back and get your confidence up. Then, go for the group if you'd like! Might as well at least try it, eh? Then pick between the two.
     
    07-24-2010, 07:33 PM
  #18
Foal
Thank you everyone for your comments, its greatly appreciated.

I visited the riding school today with a friend and was so impressed. We don't have too many schools locally and one close has a bad reputation so chose to look a further a field and so glad with the results. The school has a large outdoor and indoor arena which is great especially with British weather - we tend to get more rain than dry days. The sizes of the arenas were great, and the horses wow what beautys. There was horses grazing in the fields and horses and ponys being tacked up for lessons. The environment was very relaxed and the horses looked relaxed and healthy.

One thing I was glad to see was a man and women in late 40s approx doing semi private lessons - so was glad to see adults doing lessons rather than just children.

My friend has decided to join me doing lessons, therefore, starting Tuesday night im having semi private lessons with my friend. Im really excited but very nervous, nervous mainly being because my friend is coming along and although she has not rode for 10 years she was a competing rider for 8 years so I am nervous she will pick the riding back up faster than myself and I don't want to keep her back if she does really well.

Anyway thank you all for your imput and I shall message how my first lesson goes
     
    07-24-2010, 10:20 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Godden    
Your relationship with the tutor must be sympatico - and the tutor must know what tutoring is all about. Not all certified instructors are good at teaching.
Quote:
And also go for some pilates exercises. You'll need for your centre core muscles to be tuned up, your calves and hamstrings to be stretched.
Get a friend to take some videos and sit and study them when you get home.
Two of Barry's points I would like to emphasize.

Teaching is a skill, separate and unrelated to subject knowledge. In the horse world, just like in the academic environment, there are lots of subject experts that make terrible teachers. If you find a good teacher, you'll learn equally well in a group or private setting.

Whether you use pilates are other core muscle excercises, core muscle strength is essential to good balance, and with good balance, your riding will be orders of magnitude easier and better. If you invest time in your own 'ground work', you'll thank yourself later.
     
    07-25-2010, 03:39 AM
  #20
Yearling
I think private lessons would be best at first in my opinion. So you can master the basics and have all the instructer's attention focussed on you. Then once you have gotten the basics down you can then go onto group lessons and have fun.
     

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