Originally Posted by polkadotsx
jinxremoving: What kind of questions should I ask?
Im REALLY new at this..
As for goals and such..Im not to sure, I would like to jump, and try a few shows. Pole bend, Barrel racing and dressage? Uhmm... ? I don't know what that is
Read this first: Horseback Riding Styles - Differences Between Western and English Riding Styles
It explains the differences between western and english riding, but if you're looking to jump and do some showing then that would be english. When you have the basics down, you can often go between english and western but most people usually stick with one.
Some questions to ask:
- Do they offer group or private lessons?
- If you take group lessons, ask how many other people will be in a lesson.
- Are the instructors certified? What about first aid certification?
- How many students at the barn? (A busy barn is a good sign, IMO.)
- A lot of experience working with total beginners?
- Horses or ponies that will match your size. (You do not want a bad match!)
Some things to observe around the barn:
- Is the tack room organized? Everything neat and labeled?
- How do the aisles look? Exceptionally dirty? Any hazards around?
- Do the horses look happy? Ask to approach a few, see if they seem friendly.
- If there are other riders around, do they seem nice? Maybe even say hi?
Some things to observe during a lesson:
- Everyone wearing a helmet?
- Instructor paying attention? (Not looking at phone over and over...)
- Instructor speaking in a clear tone that you can hear?
- Instructor communicating with ALL riders if a group lesson.
- Do the riders look like they are having fun?
I'm sure others on this forum will have plenty of other things to suggest!