Originally Posted by catsandhorses
As an adult I have found that I learn much more in private lessons than group. I do like the social aspect of group lessons, chatting in the center of the arena while one rider is going around the course. But with up to 6 students in a lesson, that means I'm just sitting there ~80% of the time, versus riding 100% of the time...Am I missing the educational value of group lessons?
I am astonished that your teacher is treating a group lesson like mini-private lessons. When I taught (as when I took lessons) the ONLY time that the whole group was not in motion riding through one exercise or another was when we were jumping a course, or working on a single obstacle. I had my students maintain one horse length in between horses while they stretched, rode transitions, etc., and it probably looked like a big, long striped snake in motion. Group lessons like THIS resemble a Cavalry drill, and I did incorporate some of that in some of my lessons, too. We would move from in file
to form two's
and form 4's
sometimes, and this is where you "dress" by touching the outside of your stirrups together. It's great for getting your attention off of how your seat is, to riding the horse for a purpose. I think when you first start out it can be intimidating to have the focus of a teacher just on you.
After all, there are SO many things you are learning that it's difficult to master so much. Therefore, group lessons are perfect to begin. I also studied piano (Music Major, you see) and my private lessons were rigorous, but the weekly studio class was more relaxing, even though we would rotate performances of our recital pieces. If you own your own horse your private lesson instructor will expect you to put in practice time. In a group lesson sometimes instructors just pick up where they left off the previous lesson.