So Ive decided to take lessons...and am open to suggestions! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-28-2010, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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So Ive decided to take lessons...and am open to suggestions!

So after a year of rehabbing my dear Nico, I lost my job and have now sold him. I have several horse options before me and I thought maybe some input would help.

First option is to 'free' lease my friends horse, Scooter. I love him dearly. He is a great ride even if he is a spooker. He is gaited, which I like. I would like to do a few shows with him and gaited horses aren't super popular in the show ring around here. For shoes and maintenence supplements...my free lease costs me around $100/month.

Second option is to start taking lessons. I havent had a whole lot in my life. I am a predominantly western rider. While jumping scares the bejezus out of me, I wouldnt mind learning sometime other than huntseat. Since english lessons are very common around here, I know of 2 places that I can for sure take 1 hour group lessons for $25. I would prefer group anyways as I am not completely being the center of someone attention. Atleast not for long periods of time.

The last option is one that I have done before. I have advertised myself as a 'free to good home' exercise rider. I usually get tons of responses as everyone has too many horses right now. I am a good enough rider to hang in there with the nasties that I usually end up with when I put myself out there like this. Trouble is, I usually end up wanting to buy my own horse after a while. I simply cannot afford it right now.

Right now, I am leaning towards lessons. It wouldnt hurt me at all. I would like to learn something different. For the lessons, I was just wondering what everyone thought of different english disciplines? Im sure that it wont be a super easy transition. Im not a fan of tight clothes and small saddles but hey! Who knows!

I am totally open to suggestions. I am at a crossroads here and just need some direction!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-28-2010, 07:30 PM
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I think that if I were in your shoes I would be leaning toward the lessons as well. If you take 4 weekly lessons per month @ $25 per lesson, your cost is the same as your free lease, with the option of skipping a week or scheduling every other week to decrease your cost if that becomes more of a factor.

As far as discipline goes, I'd recommend dressage. Not necessarily "D" dressage, but find an instructor to help you focus on flatwork, perfecting your position and seat and learning more about employing the training scale, etc. That kind of lesson can be invaluable applied to any other discipline, if and when you jump back into horse ownership. Jumping is dressage with obstacles; Western is a true test of self-carriage on a draped rein; etc.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-29-2010, 07:23 AM
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If you want to LEARN - go for lessons. Correct riding is very different from riding "in general". And if you really want to learn new discipline it's a best way to go. I'm not sure how much free time you have, but you can also trade work for lessons in someone's barn (we have ads here all the time about "helping out" = "free riding time").

If you just want to enjoy horseback riding without certain purpose - I'd go for "free exercise rider". This way you'll try different horses and not stuck on just a gaited one (especially if you want to show later on).
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-03-2010, 03:54 PM
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Go with lessons.

Having ridden in several disciplines (western, english, jumping, driving, and dressage) I prefer dressage. It has helped me learn to explain better what I want to the horse.

So I'd suggest dressage IF you can find a good trainer nearby. If not find the best trainer with decent horses you can afford and ride what ever discipline they teach.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-04-2010, 11:09 AM
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I think you could go with some lessons and some excercizing for other people. That way you can learn english at the same time as doing some general riding for other people. I think purely riding a lesson horse in a structured setting would get boring pretty quick for someone who has already been a horse owner for a while.

Also, if you exercize a horse or two for outside of your regular lessons, you can try implementing what you learn on different mounts, that will tell you how well you are learning from the instructor and give you greater understanding of what you have learned. Oh and also, you may actually get paid for excercizing horses instead of having to pay yourself, another bonus!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-04-2010, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm...good idea sara! I am meeting a few instructors on saturday. I feel weird 'interviewing' them but I am picky on who teaches me. I may actually watch one of the classes if that is permitted just to see how it goes.

As far as exercising, I have a few people who would pay me a few bucks to take their bad boys and get em some miles. It might be worth it!
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-04-2010, 11:16 AM
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^^ Hell, you are giving them your hard earned bucks so I say interview away! You want to make sure that you are learning from someone who really has something to offer you, otherwise you will be throwing money down the drain, there are some truly mediocre 'trainers' out there. Good luck finding a good one, they are out there!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-04-2010, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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I think it will be pretty hard to find a really good trainer in my area that I respect and I feel there is something truely to learn. Most of the trainers in my area are hunt seat. Since I have no intentions on jumping anything, the art is kind of lost on me. Dressage sounds super interesting and I would really love to learn but finding a decent dressage trainer in my price range will be difficult. I have lived in this area most of my life. I know most of the trainers by name and am friends with quite a few of them. I think it would be odd to get a lesson from a friend though! LOL
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-04-2010, 11:28 AM
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I meant to say also, sorry to hear you had to sell your boy, that must have been tough. I hope you can get another horse when it is financially viable as lessons on your own horse would be doubly worth the money spent! Dressage is great, just be ready to concentrate on 20 different things at once, initially it is hard but once you have the basics down pat many things become second nature, good luck!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-04-2010, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the condolences. I appriciate it. Nico is a great boy but honestly, way to talented for what I really want to do. He is still at our barn and I am still permitted to ride him but I've been avoiding it. It breaks my heart to sell him but its for the best.

Eventually I will have another horse. I just hope im not 90 when it happens!
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