Correct way to give a riding lesson?

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Correct way to give a riding lesson?

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    11-13-2012, 11:05 PM
Question Correct way to give a riding lesson?

So I am only 16, but I have been riding horses since I was 5 and I am very good at it. I have taught many of my friends to ride horses but never the correct way... I usually just tell them to get on and hold on tight and how to turn left and right and stop.. that's prettymuch it. But now.... an older lady that lives by me wants to pay me to give her riding lessons... so I should probably do it the correct way! Any suggestions on how I should start her out and how fast or slow to go or prettymuch any good advice really? Im thinking about putting her on my horse and then putting my horse on a lunge line so she can first get the hang of how its going to feel riding and stopping without having to have full control herself right off the bat... what do yall think?
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    11-13-2012, 11:07 PM
Green Broke
I would suggest you find a good instructor in your area and apprentice under them for a good bit of time. I would also suggest you (more to the point your parents, as you are a minor) do some learning about things such as liability.
    11-13-2012, 11:31 PM
Unfortunately, Macpack has a good point. There are liability issues. At the very least, you must have the lady sign a good waiver. And your parents must be aware of what is going on. Does the lady have her own horse? If so, your liability is lowered. Much higher if you use your own horse.

Watching an instructor give some lessons would be a really good idea.

Lunge line lessons are great, as long as your horse is good on the lunge line. If he will spook or jump, then don't use him that way.
Wallaby and Fulford15 like this.
    11-13-2012, 11:52 PM
Honestly? I think that being a great rider at 16 does not qualify you to teach an adult to ride. If you care about this lady's safety, and if you have pride in your own standards then you should say to her that you are NOT the best person to teach her, and that she should go to a qualified teacher instead.

Just because I can read and write doesn't mean that I am qualified to teach young children to do so - the same principle applies here, but it's a more urgent one because either the rider or the horse or both could get hurt.
    11-14-2012, 12:06 AM
Here's my non-horsey opinion. I'd love to find a teenager who was able and willing to teach me to ride on her own horse, hopefully at a lesser price that certified instructors. I'd think of it as providing a teenager with experience, and I wouldn't expect perfection. However, if you were to tell me to just get on the horse and wing it, that wouldn't work either.

I've observed great teenage instructors in various sports, and I taught tennis from the age of 15. However, since I learned to play tennis with a qualified instructor, I knew very well what I had to do in order to teach. I had lesson plans and strategies ready. I was actually sought after, because adults and children loved my lessons.

If I were you, I'd watch beginner lessons--first on youtube, then go to different barns. Read books on how to teach riding. There are different ways, I'm sure, and different approaches, and after some research you'll find something that works for you.

Don't overestimate yourself and your horse. Keep your student safe. Make sure you explore the liability issue and that your parents are in agreement.

Good luck!
tinyliny likes this.
    11-14-2012, 12:27 AM
Green Broke
You need to apprentice. NEED. I had to apprentice for a full year before my coach began to allow me to take students. I thought, when I first got into it, it was a waste of my time. Pssshaww... I knew how to ride...

I didn't know that teaching and riding are a different thing. You have to also learn to teach. They don't go together. There are a lot of ways to teach. You have to learn them all, because different people need different ways of being presented a concept. The same people need different ways of being presented different things.

There is a structured way of teaching a person to ride. You don't them on and say "turn left!" It's like coaching anything. Patterns, practices, things that you have to learn before other things, building a strong foundation, things you teach in order for your students to get something that seems completely unrelated, etc.

PS: I started my apprenticeship at 16!
    11-14-2012, 08:56 AM
Green Broke
... I usually just tell them to get on and hold on tight and how to turn left and right and stop
This, right there, is why I think you need to seek an apprenticeship. There is so much more to providing quality instruction than what you have said above.
    11-14-2012, 09:07 AM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
unfortunately, Macpack has a good point. There are liability issues. At the very least, you must have the lady sign a good waiver. And your parents must be aware of what is going on. Does the lady have her own horse? If so, your liability is lowered. Much higher if you use your own horse.
In addition to this, being a minor generally will make you uncovered by most homeowner's liability policies and farm/barn policies (unless you want to pay an exorbitant premium) I know what I pay with a well established 40 year track record at our farm with zero accidents and it isn't pretty. A lot of qualified folks decide against giving lessons when pen gets put to paper and they realize just how many lessons you have to give to cover the cost of liability insurance alone. Even with a waiver, should something happen, parents could still be sued on gross negligence as an unqualified minor giving lessons very well could be seen as negligent. Another thing to consider is that you will also have to track & file/pay your own income taxes.

Originally Posted by themacpack    
This, right there, is why I think you need to seek an apprenticeship. There is so much more to providing quality instruction than what you have said above.
Absolutely agree. Most would be unpleased to pay for a lesson and get "kick, pull to turn, hang on". Start out right, find a qualified instructor/trainer to apprentice with to get your feet wet. Then when you are ready, students will be getting what they pay for. If you were to start without the qualifications you might be shooting yourself in the foot, you'll find that in the horse world people talk, a lot. The talk generated from giving subpar lessons could end your career as an instructor before it even starts. I'm not against teens giving lessons, I did so myself but did so with a very qualified trainer there every step of the way.
    11-14-2012, 09:09 AM
In addition to what everyone else said you as the instructor also need to know and be able to ride correctly. If you don't know how and can't ride correctly then how will you teach what you yourself don't know?
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    11-14-2012, 10:20 AM
There is also a difference between how a young teen can ride, and how an older rider starting off needs to ride. Not sure what you consider "older", although it is probably younger than MY definition...but it makes a difference.

But the liability is a killer. As a general rule of thumb, the courts believe a new student cannot assess the risk themselves, and it is up to the instructor to inform them and to minimize any risks. IOW, many courts will believe you are responsible for what happens to her while she is paying you for lessons. And as a minor, they may well decide your parents are responsible for anything that happens. Not all courts, but some will.

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