How typical to have a 30 min lesson? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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How typical to have a 30 min lesson?

When my daughter first started riding, the instructor spend about 30-40 minutes helping her to get the horse and get it ready for riding. The actual riding was 25-30 minutes, but I felt we were getting about an hour of instructor's time, and it felt reasonable.

Now the instructor tells her to get the horse herself, which my daughter is very proud of, but... The instructor checks her email or chats with someone while my daughter grooms and tacks up. The riding lesson is still 25-30 minutes long. Everyone's lesson in the barn (private lessons only there) is 30 minutes long. It seems that those who lease there also ride for about 30 minutes.

Is this a typical lesson length?
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post #2 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:26 PM
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Depending on where you are...

Some places tack up for you before you get there. Others you have to go get the horse and do it yourself (I prefer this option). There's no reason why the instructor should be assisting your child unless she (your daughter) is unfamiliar with horses.

And yes, 30 minutes is a common lesson length.


Edit: I wouldn't be too concerned with the instructor checking emails and such while your daughter gets the horse ready. You're not paying her for anything except the time that your daughter is actually ON the horse.

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post #3 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:37 PM
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I give lessons to kids and I guess my kids usually end up riding for about 15 minutes. It's not really intentional but that's generally the way it works out. Here's a break down of what a typical lesson from me looks like:
On the hour, the kid arrives (some of my kids generally arrive 5-10 minutes late which I include in the lesson "time")
We catch the horse
We groom+tack up said horse and USUALLY by 20 after, the kid is on and riding. Some kids do take longer to tack up so they have shorter ride times (some kids are more chatty, etc, and I want to take the time to answer their questions/chat with them if that's what they want to do vs jut shoving them at the horse because it's "time").
Then, from about 20 after to 35-45 after (that depends on how the lesson is going and how experienced the kid is with untacking), the child rides.
The average "stop time" is 40 after at which time I have the child dismount, we walk down the barn, untack the horse, etc. Post-ride things (feeding/blanketing/cursory brushing/locking up/putting everything away/etc) generally go right up to the hour, then we walk up from the barn to where ever the parents has parked or is waiting which generally takes us about 5 minutes into the next hour.

Some instructors focus a lot more on the riding side of things which I would love to do but at the same time, I grew up taking those sorts of lessons and when I got my own horse, I had ZERO idea of how to take care of a horse pre/post ride, how to feed a horse, etc. Since most of my kids are taking lessons because they want to own a horse someday, I'm trying to make the transition into ownership a bit easier by making it so they already know what "the right thing" is.

I do hang out with my kids while they take care of the horse pre+post (great time to answer questions and find out how the kid is feeling that week!) but I can understand why it might be hard for an instructor to do that, especially if the child in question is competent. I've sometimes found myself "mother-hen"-ing and not allowing the child to take care of something on their own that they know how to handle . So that's something I have to watch myself for - not taking over when something little goes "wrong". And depending on how social the instructor is, she might feel awkward talking to a child on a 1:1 basis without a horse in the way. I know I did at first but then I powered through the awkward. But it took a conscience decision on my part to NOT "give up" once I wasn't really vitally needed during tacking up.

Bottom line, as long as your daughter is enjoying herself and looking forward to her lesson, I wouldn't worry about it. It's probably not the absolute best way of teaching a lesson but it's not uncommon - that's how every instructor I've ever had has been. One I actually had to call, on my cell phone, to get her out of her house for my lesson AFTER I had tacked the horse up! THAT was silly. Hahaha

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post #4 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Bay View Post
Depending on where you are...

Some places tack up for you before you get there. Others you have to go get the horse and do it yourself (I prefer this option). There's no reason why the instructor should be assisting your child unless she (your daughter) is unfamiliar with horses.

And yes, 30 minutes is a common lesson length.


Edit: I wouldn't be too concerned with the instructor checking emails and such while your daughter gets the horse ready. You're not paying her for anything except the time that your daughter is actually ON the horse.
Thanks! It is true, she doesn't need any assistance now, she's fine with getting the horse and tacking up. It is just suddenly the lesson price seems so much higher now, as her actual time with the instructor is so much shorter.

It is good to know that 30 minutes is a common length.
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post #5 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
One I actually had to call, on my cell phone, to get her out of her house for my lesson AFTER I had tacked the horse up! THAT was silly. Hahaha
That is a little ridiculous.
Of course I sort of do the same thing. When it's time for my lesson (in the middle of cleaning stalls) I call my BO and she tells me to get the horse ready. I grab him from his field, brush him down, and tack him up. Then I either call the BO again or wait for her to come to the barn from her house (less than 100 feet away). She's cool and I never have do do anything else on those days anyway...plus she's recovering from a full hip replacement soooooo...yeah. She needs to rest.

Horselessmom, in regards to price. I don't know how much you're paying. That's your business. The place I was riding before I moved to the place I'm at now was $480 for twelve 1-hour lessons. And that was GROUP lessons...

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Last edited by Reno Bay; 11-13-2012 at 09:44 PM.
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post #6 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

I understand what you are saying. I like how your lessons include horse care as well. It is a difficult choice, for a child, though, to decide what they want more--talk with the trainer or ride. My daughter is so interested in all horse care aspects and used to ask so many questions, but she also loves to ride. Since she figured out her lessons will be shorter if she asks questions, and she doesn't talk to the trainer as much.

When the trainer spent an hour with her, it felt I was paying for 1 hour, but now I'm paying the same money for less. But I guess this is how it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
I give lessons to kids and I guess my kids usually end up riding for about 15 minutes. It's not really intentional but that's generally the way it works out. Here's a break down of what a typical lesson from me looks like:
On the hour, the kid arrives (some of my kids generally arrive 5-10 minutes late which I include in the lesson "time")
We catch the horse
We groom+tack up said horse and USUALLY by 20 after, the kid is on and riding. Some kids do take longer to tack up so they have shorter ride times (some kids are more chatty, etc, and I want to take the time to answer their questions/chat with them if that's what they want to do vs jut shoving them at the horse because it's "time").
Then, from about 20 after to 35-45 after (that depends on how the lesson is going and how experienced the kid is with untacking), the child rides.
The average "stop time" is 40 after at which time I have the child dismount, we walk down the barn, untack the horse, etc. Post-ride things (feeding/blanketing/cursory brushing/locking up/putting everything away/etc) generally go right up to the hour, then we walk up from the barn to where ever the parents has parked or is waiting which generally takes us about 5 minutes into the next hour.

Some instructors focus a lot more on the riding side of things which I would love to do but at the same time, I grew up taking those sorts of lessons and when I got my own horse, I had ZERO idea of how to take care of a horse pre/post ride, how to feed a horse, etc. Since most of my kids are taking lessons because they want to own a horse someday, I'm trying to make the transition into ownership a bit easier by making it so they already know what "the right thing" is.

I do hang out with my kids while they take care of the horse pre+post (great time to answer questions and find out how the kid is feeling that week!) but I can understand why it might be hard for an instructor to do that, especially if the child in question is competent. I've sometimes found myself "mother-hen"-ing and not allowing the child to take care of something on their own that they know how to handle . So that's something I have to watch myself for - not taking over when something little goes "wrong". And depending on how social the instructor is, she might feel awkward talking to a child on a 1:1 basis without a horse in the way. I know I did at first but then I powered through the awkward. But it took a conscience decision on my part to NOT "give up" once I wasn't really vitally needed during tacking up.

Bottom line, as long as your daughter is enjoying herself and looking forward to her lesson, I wouldn't worry about it. It's probably not the absolute best way of teaching a lesson but it's not uncommon - that's how every instructor I've ever had has been. One I actually had to call, on my cell phone, to get her out of her house for my lesson AFTER I had tacked the horse up! THAT was silly. Hahaha
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post #7 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Bay View Post

Horselessmom, in regards to price. I don't know how much you're paying. That's your business. The place I was riding before I moved to the place I'm at now was $480 for twelve 1-hour lessons. And that was GROUP lessons...
I'm paying that much for the 30 minutes private lessons. Another barn I know charges $50 for 30 minutes private, but they offer cheaper group lessons, at least.
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post #8 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 10:05 PM
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I do 30 minute lessons with my really young kids. Six-year-olds. They just don't have the attention span for an hour, and there is only so much you can teach some six-year-olds. We catch the horse, groom, and tack up. I make them do as much as reasonable by themselves (I end up lifting the saddle and such, but they have to hand me things and tell me how to put them on.) That takes about 15 minutes.

We spend about 15 minutes riding. We stay on a lunge line with the little kids for a while and just teach them basic form and balance. Once they can walk/trot well without hands, they get their reins. From there, it depends how far we can go. Some kids just have rough hands and can't do much more than walk, and maybe trot a bit. If I feel they can reasonably go further than basic walk/trot and have the attention span/staying power to keep with me for an hour, I sometimes upgrade them at that point.

But I stay with them for the whole 30 minutes, teaching and watching. It's a fairly packed 30 minutes. But if the kid's doing everything right, I don't say anything. They know the drill. My goal with my students is for it be to reasonable for them to go to the pasture, catch their own horse, tack it up, and be able to start their lesson without help from me.

Last edited by Brighteyes; 11-13-2012 at 10:08 PM.
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post #9 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighteyes View Post
I do 30 minute lessons with my really young kids. Six-year-olds. They just don't have the attention span for an hour, and there is only so much you can teach some six-year-olds. We catch the horse, groom, and tack up. I make them do as much as reasonable by themselves (I end up lifting the saddle and such, but they have to hand me things and tell me how to put them on.) That takes about 15 minutes.

We spend about 15 minutes riding. We stay on a lunge line with the little kids for a while and just teach them basic form and balance. Once they can walk/trot well without hands, they get their reins. From there, it depends how far we can go. Some kids just have rough hands and can't do much more than walk, and maybe trot a bit. If I feel they can reasonably go further than basic walk/trot and have the attention span/staying power to keep with me for an hour, I sometimes upgrade them at that point.

But I stay with them for the whole 30 minutes, teaching and watching. It's a fairly packed 30 minutes. But if the kid's doing everything right, I don't say anything. They know the drill. My goal with my students is for it be to reasonable for them to go to the pasture, catch their own horse, tack it up, and be able to start their lesson without help from me.
Thanks! She's 10, and she is physically and mentally ready for 1 hour. Her 30 minutes are very packed, that's for sure. I just wish it were at least 45 minutes. (Crazy mom, I know. )

But she mentions too, how short the lessons are.
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post #10 of 42 Old 11-13-2012, 10:25 PM
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Where I am , lessons are at least 45 minutes. Students tack up the horse on their own time, prior to their lesson. If they are late, the tacking up time comes out of their hour. I would find 30 minutes of time to be too short if the child has the strenth and mental focus for more.

How much are you paying? And is this group or private? Is she allowed to spend 30 minutes AFTER the lesson riding on her own, so she can practice?
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