lessons or loaning? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 39 Old 04-09-2012, 07:49 PM
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Can you find a place that includes horse care as part of the lessons program? Or as mentioned earlier, can you ask your instructor for this? I really loved the lessons my kids have been taking. The instructor made it very clear before signing them up that these were "horsemanship" lessons, not"riding" lessons. They're only 7, and the instructor started out teaching safety, anatomy, and horse mentality the first few days. Then they moved on to grooming, health, feeding, and care. Then tack design fit, care, and on and on. The first lesson, they had a little riding, then more and more. She interwove the riding with the rest of the education. Even as they are riding, she teaches them about their tack and how it affects the horse's movement and their seat and the horse's anatomy and how it relates to the gaits they're working on, etc. If you could do something like that for a little while, then when you're ready to lease a horse, you'd already have a really good idea of what you're doing, and you can perfect it on the lease horse.
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post #12 of 39 Old 04-09-2012, 08:31 PM
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If you are being rushed through grooming, told not to pick out feet (does anyone do this for you?), and nervous about speaking to your instructor, you need to switch barns. Immediately. These are all big red flags for me and would be for anyone who I've ridden with.

There are three instructors at my barn and I know all of them well enough to ask nearly any question even though I have only been riding there for about six months. The same goes for every one of the 30 some kids who take lessons there. The BO/main instructor makes it clear at the first lesson that you are welcome to ask any question that involves horses. This is the environment you want for learning.

Please do not give up your lessons! Even if you decide to lease, please see if you can work off at least one lesson a week, or do barter, or something! I ride (in a lesson!) four times a week and I haven't paid for a lesson in years. I don't care how good you think you are (and you seem to know that you still have more to learn) but everyone needs lessons. My instructors still take lessons when they can, even Olympic riders take lessons. If after only 18 months of lessons you start riding alone you are very likely to injure yourself and/or the horse.

In my opinion, your best bet is to find a barn that includes horsemanship in the program and where you feel more comfortable. Get the basics of horse care down and if you still feel like you're up to challenge of ownership give leasing a try.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I have seen people get hurt doing what you're considering. We have a pony at my barn that was given to us because his owner thought she didn't need lessons anymore because she had her own pony; he ended up bucking her off on a daily basis.
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post #13 of 39 Old 04-09-2012, 09:24 PM
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There are a couple of excellent points, above. First one is the question about whether this barn is serving your interests - even at a busy barn, you really should be able to ask your instructor stuff, and that includes anything from "hey, what is this weird-looking scab on his hock?" to "is it normal for him to be [doing X]?" to basic questions about horse care.

Another is that having your own horse (or loaning one) does not mean that you don't need lessons anymore. I have my own horse, and I still have lessons on him once a week. Or I will, once I finish rehabbing a minor suspensory strain. I might be willing to go down to lessons every other week, if it's a private lesson, but I *definitely* still need to be learning about the riding. I just also need to learn about the other stuff too.

One option you might consider, since your goal sounds like it's "learning horsemanship" rather than "bonding with a particular animal" is to find out if you can work an exchange: swap your time doing the basic grooming in exchange for learning about the grooming and horse care. For people who make their money training and exercising horses, the grooming bit is just something that makes their days that much longer and that they don't get paid for. Getting out of that would be "worth" something to people like that, if they don't have access to a staff of grooms.

Another thing you might consider is volunteering your time at a rescue or at a therapeutic riding facility. Those places run on volunteer labor, and I'd bet you can get some of the experience and knowledge that you're looking for, while helping out a good cause.
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post #14 of 39 Old 04-09-2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Nevreme View Post
Please do not give up your lessons! Even if you decide to lease, please see if you can work off at least one lesson a week, or do barter, or something!

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I have seen people get hurt doing what you're considering. We have a pony at my barn that was given to us because his owner thought she didn't need lessons anymore because she had her own pony; he ended up bucking her off on a daily basis.
Lessons are definitely important, I take them and I own a horse. You still need lessons! I'm sure that leasing a horse for a month is going to be cheaper than once a week lessons, so there would definitely be a way to afford both.

My mom is the non horsey person that thinks I don't need lessons because she doesn't understand horses.. maybe the OP's family feels that way too.

I just said find in my opinion, find a good leasing situation that you can do both. Take good lessons and learn about what it's like to own a horse.

No I'm definitely a huge advocate to keeping in lessons with my boy. Always improve..!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #15 of 39 Old 04-10-2012, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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I defiantly wouldn't be able to afford lessons and a loan horse, or I might be able to afford one lesson a month which probably wouldn't be enough. I know that I have a long way to go with my riding.

I'll continue looking around for loans, but I know that I probably won't be able to get one that is cheap enough and suitable for me.

I know that the stables I go to isn't perfect, and there are better places but there is no where near to where I live that is better. for my first year of riding I went to an awful place, and I have also tried out somewhere else when considering moving from my current stables, but they didn't even let you tack up the horse.

When I'm told not to pick out Charlies feet, sometimes someone else does it, but sometimes not. Maybe they had been picked out recently though.

I'm just quite shy when it comes to talking to people that I don't know that well, it's not that my instructors are scary, horrible people or anything. There is usually only one or two instructors about when I'm getting the horse ready, and they are helping other people tack/un-tack their horses and I don't want to slow everything down.

where do you think I could find someone who would like help with grooming their horses? That sound like a good way to learn about things

My mum doesn't think that lessons are pointless, but she has admitted she doesn't really see the progress that well. She is unsure at to where riding leads to, as in with milestones or things to aim for, and I suppose I am too. I do enjoy my lessons, but every one seems to be the same. If I continue my lessons, I'll probably find out though, and learn new stuff.
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post #16 of 39 Old 04-10-2012, 05:27 AM
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Don't discount the idea of taking a horse on part loan and having one lesson a month. Your riding will always benefit from riding more often, especially if you're currently only having one group lesson a week. Lessons on your own horse tend to be a) private and b) cheaper. So you'll probably get as much tuition in one lesson as you were getting in four. PLUS, you'll have around another 10 rides in between to practice, and learn to plan a session on your own, AS WELL as learning to look after the horse.
(as an example of the costs - I pay 80 a month to part-loan my horse, I get to ride three times a week, and I pay 12.50 for a half hour private lesson)

I have a feeling you're under 18. If that's the case, have a look on google to see wether there's a "pony club centre" in your area. Pony club at PC centres is a bit like Girl Guides or Scouts, but entirely focussed on horses - you get to learn about horse management (and earn badges for it!!) as well as riding. Many of the best riders in the world came through Pony Club and centre membership is not usually much more expensive than your regular lesson - only you get the ground based (learning stuff that's not riding) session ON TOP of your riding lesson. (which, for centre based membership is usually a group lesson on an RS horse, though I'm sure most places would let you bring your own)

The best way to find someone who wants help with their horses is through word of mouth, so I'm afraid you'll have to bite the bullet and speak to your instructor or someone else at your riding school. What worked for me (to make me less shy and speak to my instructors about part-loaning) was to persuade a friend to take a riding lesson too - so we were both there at the same time - it made me feel much stronger and I ended up having a lovely chat with my instructor and the office lady, and found out they were both actually really nice!

As for your Mum seing the progress, she should have a chat with your instructor who should be able to tell her what you're working on and what progress you have already made, but you DO get to a point with group lessons where you just don't make as much progress as you could - at that point, ask if it's possible, or wise that you move up to a higher group - which will probably mean taking your lesson at a different time or a different day, or even switching to a half hour private lesson - again, only your instructor can tell you.
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post #17 of 39 Old 04-10-2012, 05:56 AM
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If you can only afford to Lease OR have lessons, then you need to keep having lessons.

Things go very wrong with a first horse when people stop having lessons and it doesnt benefit you or the horse.

You should never ever stop having lessons even when you own your own horse.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #18 of 39 Old 04-10-2012, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
If you can only afford to Lease OR have lessons, then you need to keep having lessons.
Would only one lesson a month not be enough?

yes, another of the reasons for wanting to lease is the amount of time I can have to ride. at the moment I have one hour, shared by about three other people and then I can't ride for another week so can't practice what I've learnt.

I am under 18 (I'm 14), but would the pony clubs be full of really young kids? It seems that most people my age have been riding since they were very young so won't be at a pony club.

A few weeks ago, when I was in lessons with people about half my age, and wasn't learning very much, me and my mum looked around for other stables and I had a lesson at one. When my mum phoned up to tell the stables I am at that we were moving, they suddenly said that I could move to a different group with people more my age, which is the group that I am in at the moment. We did ask about private lessons, which I progress much further in and I prefer, but they said that they don't really do them. The people in a lesson aren't really fixed, and I often have random people in my lesson of different abilities, so I suppose them teaching private lessons wouldn't really fit in with that because they wouldn't be able to add people to the group.

I'll see if I can ask my instructor about being able to learn about horse care at my next lesson though.
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post #19 of 39 Old 04-10-2012, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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I've found this add, which is 50 a month. With one lesson a month, that would be 70 which we would be able to afford.

Preloved | 15.2 gelding for part loan to rent in East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, UK
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post #20 of 39 Old 04-10-2012, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've been looking at the pony club website and it looks really good, and I like the way they have achievements for you to aim for. I don't really understand the pricing though, its 24 to be a member, but that can't be the cost for all being taught as well though? This is the nearest pony club stables to me, and it doesn't say the price of it:

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