I'm new to posting here but have read the forums for a couple of years now. I would love your thoughts on something I'm having trouble deciding on. Background on me is I'm 37, always wanted to ride as a kid but never did much more than the occasional trail ride, but now I've been taking lessons very casually for a couple of years. I've tried to ride once a week but have kids so that hasn't always been possible coordinating schedules so my progress has been slow, to say the least. Over the last 6 months I've been 1/4 leasing though so have increased my riding to 2-3 times a week so that has helped a lot!
Anyway, my question is my current coach is moving where she's coaching from to a facility about a half hour away so it's making me question if I should try a different place (there's one that's literally 2 minutes up the road from me). My current coach teaches mostly kids and is only available for lessons after schools two days a week and on Saturdays (a big pain for me since I have kids), and like I said, she's now about a half hour drive away. However, her lessons are very cheap ($30 for a full hour with about 3-4 students) and she only charges me $100 to lease and I can ride 2 extra times per week. There is only an outdoor sand ring (with lights) and fields though - no indoor ring.
The place I'm looking at is a full-time facility so lessons are every day but Sundays, all day, and they have an indoor ring. The lessons are $40 for half an hour though, but they're private and to be honest, I think a bit more professional in terms of technique. For example, at this facility I know they start you on a lunge line at first and I've never had to do that at all with my current coach with the exception of starting cantering, even when I was brand new... My current coach doesn't think starting on the lunge line is necessary... Leasing at this facility though is $250/month (including the once a week lesson) but you only get 1 extra ride a week vs 2 at the other place.
Cost is a factor for me for sure so I wouldn't necessarily be able to lease with the more expensive facility right away (plus you can't lease with them until you've taken lessons for 2 months with them), but I'm concerned with 1) that I'm not really progressing with my existing lessons anyway, even though they're cheap, and 2) that even though I can ride twice a week with my current coach, it's too far away so that won't really be feasible with my schedule.
My current coach also does lots of school shows, so I end up having lessons missed a lot as she's at shows on the Saturdays, and she also gives the horses the winter off so I can't ride for 2 months of the year (I'm going through withdrawal as we speak!!). There's also the fact that I have lessons with kids, which isn't always the most fun, especially with the parents watching! LOL
So, what do you think? More potential time in the saddle (albeit alone a lot which can get rather boring as a relative beginner!) at a better cost or an indoor ring, better location, and maybe better coaching??
Thanks so much! I've asked my husband but he doesn't ride so he doesn't really understand much beyond cost and distance (so that makes them about even). LOL Sorry for the novel! Hope you could make sense of my rambling!