Lesson horses - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-28-2010, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: I am omnipresent (mostly Alberta...)
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Oh, I was just wondering what everyone's opinion on the subject is :) I currently full-lease a horse, and I ride her 5-6 days a week, one of them being a lesson, and I will be competing a few times this summer on her. But I also take 1-2 lessons on lesson horses during the week, and I try to ride as many horses as I can outside of my own horse and the lessons, I find it REALLY helps!

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post #12 of 21 Old 04-28-2010, 10:19 PM
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Before I became owned by my horses, I did weekly lessons at a local barn. I started out on one or two horses for around two months, both old hands and steady eddies. As I progressed, my instructor moved me to more challenging horses, like her youth WP pony on half lease, her young guy, her smallest pony when she needed put through her paces, and some of the "milder" boarders' horses who needed a tune up (with the owner's permission, of course). It's not so much better or worse to be riding one or many horses in and of itself, but being saddled with an appropriate challenge for your riding level, or even for that day.

That being said, there does come a point when one is capable of successfully riding a wide range of quirks, and getting as many of those under one's belt as possible is an excellent idea.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-28-2010, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
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I can see Pros and Cons to both.

Differant Horses- You get to learn how to deal with differant situation and differant horses, and you learn to deal with differant quirks. It teaches you that not every horse is psycho and spooky, but not every horse is gonna be a push-button, flat broke and dead-side old mare. They can be everything in between. Some horses may be dead sided, some may have a hard mouth, some may need a little more encouragement to pick up a differant gait, some may not like tarps and some may run back to the gait. You get to learn to deal with all these things that will probably show up when you get your own horse.

Same horse - You get to be very comfortable with the horse and you get to learn in an environment in which you aren't nervous because you know what the horse can and can't do, and you get a bond that helps you through the challenges of horsemanship.

Eh, either way works for me. I will act as a substitute Coach for Toni's ids who are just learning the basics (Ages five to ten, experienced horses only) I would love to be able to teach higher levels some day, but I don't trust myself with that yet. I still have lots to learn :)

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-28-2010, 10:30 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,246
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At our barn, we have six lesson horses and ride a new one every week or two. I've gotten to know all the horses and have learned to change gears to work with each. We have the lazy one, the clever, testing one, the hyper one, the moody one, one that's dumb as a rock and green as grass, and the fussy one.

This system seems to be a bit of the best of both worlds. Many horses to master, but, after a few weeks, you know and can handle them all. Usually.
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-29-2010, 07:54 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Florida
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I like both methods. I have a very small lesson program, I have my steady guy that will go in circles all day if you don't know what you are doing, and then when they are ready they can step up to one of the more complicated horses that actually require some communication rather than just a passenger. I am a fan of riding different horses and have been riding different horses my whole life.

Interestingly enough, my most difficult horse to ride is my personal horse. It sounds bad when I put it that way, as this horse is capable of doing things that people drool over and has competed in so many disciplines that I am surprised he can still function so well. However, we have been together so long that his weaknesses are my weaknesses. Its kind of funny, I can get on horses all day and get results that really impress people, the horses fall right into my seat and hand and are more than willing to work with me when the day before they were tossing people off. Then I get home and my own horse just tells me "crap, you still can't ride". He sets the standards, requires me to find my weaknesses and improve them, but to be able to put what he teaches me to use on other horses is the real reward.
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-29-2010, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
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I'm getting back into english riding after a serious of several very scary falls and for me I feel that riding 'Poneh', a nice little school master is the best thing for me. At this point in time, its more important that I find my balance again and confidence.

I think that riding different horses has a place in every horse rider's life because it opens so many doors and gives you so much experience. However, I don't think it should be forced upon beginner riders because whats important at that stage is trust and confidence.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-29-2010, 09:23 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
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A little bit of both. Our barn has about 15 school horses with differing levels of difficulty. When someone starts off in a group w/t/c lesson I put them on the easiest most robotic horse we have. I would say we have about 3 or 4 horses that are great for the most rank beginner. I won't switch them every week but I might switch around every few weeks. Once they get a little more secure in the saddle I start putting them on something more challenging. Once they're about ready to start jumping they should be able to ride the most difficult flat horses. So they might ride the same horses for a while (especially if I know they really like that horse) but they will switch it up a bit, especially as they progress. Once they start jumping they might switch around a bit until I find a good match and then they'll usually keep to that one horse for a while. Especially if they're going to be showing, I want them to be as knowledgable about that horse as possible. On occasion though I will switch things up a bit just because you learn SO MUCH from riding different kids of horses!
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-29-2010, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Texas
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Swapping horses, definitely. For my first several years of riding when I didn't own my own horse I was on a different horse almost every week, even as a raw beginner. If you have a set of good, capable lesson horses I don't see a problem with switching even the beginners around weekly. I think the only reason I'm a capable, good rider is because I rode about 15 different horses in my first two years of riding, not only that but they were all different sizes and breeds, so I learned that I'm capable of handling any horse, no matter the size. Granted, if a rider is very nervy and very, very unsure, I can understand keeping them on one horse, but I still feel that swapping out is the best option even for beginners. In my opinion, it helps build confidence moreso than keeping them on one horse.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-29-2010, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Africa.
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I am neutral on this subject, as both can be beneficial, it just depends on how you work as a rider and how you feel.

I've had a taste of both, and yes, it is nice to have a horse you ride most of the time and get to know them well and you become in tune with them. But the problem sets in when you have to get onto another horse that is completely different and then you struggle to become accustomed to the horse and you end up spending most of the lesson trying to figure out the horse and not learning anything from the actual lesson.

The place I am at is excellent, because although I full lease Night Heat and I am completely responsible for her, I get to ride the other school horses there and train with them too.

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post #20 of 21 Old 04-29-2010, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada
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I rode at one barn where we switched every week and another where we had the same horse for two months. I'm in favor of switching. If you figure the average lesson barn has 25 horses, that's only 5-6 horses appropriate for each level of rider. Switching between six horses is not too much to ask, and I think you learn more that way.
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