is 30 min once a week enough for a new rider?

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is 30 min once a week enough for a new rider?

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    07-24-2012, 11:31 AM
is 30 min once a week enough for a new rider?

I am a very new rider (physically active, 37) and my budget allows for 30 minute lessons once a week. I quickly realized that at first you cannot make a horse go like a car despite what it looks like when you see riders in the movies, so now I know I have to learn to speak horse before the horse will move as I am asking it. Fair enough, I have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

That said, I can spend all week long reading about horses and watching videos and asking questions in between lessons, but with only 30 minutes of practice once a week I am not sure if that is enough time to become a decent rider. My goals for the beginning is to get to the point where I can get the horse to stay on track, make circles that are actually circles, and also trot and post confidently.

I am mostly looking for reassurance that 30 minutes a week is going to be enough time. I am not looking for anything fancy or advanced right away, just control of the horse so I can safely do trail rides with my bf's sister's horses.

Yesterday I asked a question about posting but after thinking about it overnight, I realize I need to have better control of the horse before I worry about posting so I am going to come back to that skill later.

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    07-24-2012, 11:36 AM
Unfortunately, 30 minutes a week isn't going to do much for you, especially since you're a complete noob.

Reading books and watching DVDs is good, but you need actual, hands on experience.

You need at the very least an hour lesson, twice a week, or you're not going to see any real progression.

Yes, horses aren't cars with legs; you actually have to know what you're doing in order to make it look like you're just along for the ride.
Annanoel likes this.
    07-24-2012, 11:37 AM
I don't want to sound very discouraging, but 30 min / week is very little. To become a good rider you need more than that IMHO.

If you have time and will you can look into volunteering in rescue or the barn to help in exchange of some riding time or lessons.
    07-24-2012, 11:42 AM
I would say that you are about 30 min short. If you can find a barn that has cheaper lessons, you should start taking hour long lessons once a week. Once you are confident in your abilities to walk trot canter and post you can take it down again, or you can lease (if you hve the money)
    07-24-2012, 11:49 AM
I don't know about that. I never took lessons in my life until I turned 58, and I'm perfectly comfortable on a reasonably well-behaved trail horse. Note "reasonably well-behaved": I couldn't train a horse by myself but I don't need a bomb proof horse either. (My proof: riding and staying on a horse named "Diablo" who lived up to his name.) Lessons are great and I'm benefiting from mine, but if your bf's sister has some calm horses you can learn on the job.

Note: I learned how to ride from Colorado wranglers, so it isn't magic but I didn't take formal lessons either. Just rode at least once a week on the trail and soaked up every bit of knowledge from them that I could.
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    07-24-2012, 11:54 AM
Originally Posted by chrislynnet    
Note: I learned how to ride from Colorado wranglers, so it isn't magic but I didn't take formal lessons either. Just rode at least once a week on the trail and soaked up every bit of knowledge from them that I could.
Those were still training lessons, regardless of the way you received them.

How long were those once a week trail rides? I bet they weren't just 30 minutes long.
    07-24-2012, 12:02 PM
I had a feeling 30 min a week was not going to be enough.

My other option is to do my 30 minutes a week and practice once a week on a former lesson horse who is now someone's pet and doesn't get ridden very often. This horse is an hour away from my house and I might not get to go every week but he is free and I can spend as much time on him as I want. I think I would feel a lot better if I was able to practice the skills I have learned in my lesson, and just the act of getting on a horse and walking it around the pasture seems like it would be helpful.

I have contacted the volunteer coordinator at my stable. I have to volunteer for a certain amount of time before my volunteer hours will add up to free lessons and since I have a full time job I'm not sure how soon I will get there. I am waiting on a call back and hopefully will have some barn time soon.

I might be able to do something like an hour every other week, then 30 minutes on the off weeks- it is all about money right now. But I am definitely going to try to work out details with the practice horse so I can get some time in the saddle in between real lessons.
    07-24-2012, 12:02 PM
SpeedRacer, absolutely. My thought was that she could get training "on the job" by riding with the bf's sister. Of course, that depends on what the sister's horses are like and if the sister is comfortable with that. But if it looks good, you can learn by experience and not necessarily taking formal lessons.

OCcat, it sounds like you are going to be doing something like this on your free horse. Good for you.
    07-24-2012, 12:13 PM
Everyone has to start somewhere -while 30 minutes a week isn't ideal for learnining perhaps you could continue with the 30 minutes a week on an individual lesson until you have the basics? Once you have those down I would look into joining a group lesson twice a week for an hour.
We have done that at our barn as it reduces the cost, increases saddle time on the horse and you learn a lot just from listening to the instructor correct the other pupils while you are in the lesson.
    07-24-2012, 12:36 PM
Ahhh, group lessons! I rechecked the stable's lesson chart and there are two-student semi-private one hour lessons with a jr instructor for the same price as my private 30 minute lessons, so I am going to switch to that and also check out group lessons when their new session starts. Thank you for the good idea!

Last night I was pretty discouraged over this because I am very active with a lot of hobbies and pretty much knew that doing something for 30 min a week with zero foundation is pretty much not going to be enough time.

I think with the semi-private lesson, practice on the pet horse and group lessons coming up I will be able to get a solid foundation down without stress.
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