I've been riding since June, with private, half-hour lessons once or twice a week. I've ridden a variety of horses, though all are calm and gentle, and always ask lots of questions so I've a pretty good theoretical knowledge. I like to know the why and how of what I'm doing. I'm not an intermediate rider yet but I'm not a total beginner.
Having private lessons has been great: I really like the one-on-one attention and get so much done each lesson. My instructor is able to nip bad habits in the bud and so I have a quiet seat and pretty good position, and soft hands. However, I'm still at the point where there are lots of things I'm learning/improving on where I really benefit from the focus my instructor has on me.
I'm off to uni next week and hopefully my student union's riding club will be able to hook me up with lifts to a local stable and weekly group lessons. In a group lesson, the instructor won't be able to do things like observe how well I sit the canter and offer suggestions for improving it - they've just got too much going on. I'm really, really going to miss that because it helps me progress so much faster.
So what can I do to continue to get the most out of my lessons? I'm guessing the best way would be to have my own private agenda for what I need to be working on within the lesson, whether it's a trot-walk transitions or freeing up my lower leg in the canter. The hard part would be knowing what I need to work on ...
Do you guys have any suggestions for things I can do to get the most out of a group lesson?