I feel self-conscious at first, but like others, I zone it all out because I'm busy trying to do the 5 things at once that my instructor is asking of me. I certainly imagine them critiquing me, but I'm sure I do that same of them when they ride. I also like to be able to watch others ride with my instructor - I learn much that way as well. It is encouraged to watch when my instructor teaches anyone - and it's always free.
Of note, my barn (~35 horses) is all adult with like 2 teens. So when people watch, they are often very respectful and quietly whisper should they speak at all - so at least I don't have to worry about wayward children. (But I know that sometimes there are much better horsekids then horsewomen ;)
Last edited by shadowanne; 02-11-2010 at 12:56 AM.