Riding lessons...please help! - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Riding lessons...please help!

I am going to be starting my 9 y/o son, Brandon in some riding lessons very soon. I would like for him to use his own horse, Doc in these lessons. I got him a new helmet, but now have to get him a new pair of boots since his bit the dust last week. Brandon is just starting out.....never had lessons before (except from mom & dad, but we suck at it! Lol) He will be riding western. Basically, I just need advice since my hubby and I have never had professional riding lessons before....we want our son to learn the right way to do things. So, what should we look for in a trainer? On average, what is the cost of western riding lessons when using your own horse? What do we need to take with us besides helmet, boots and the horse? What kind of things should we start working on first?
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 05:12 PM
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I think your expectations of the lessons should be discussed with the trainer before the lessons start. Do you want your son to become a champion rider or a safe trail rider, do you want him to excel in one particular thing or be well rounded and do lots of differing disciplines? I would look for a stable and trainer that understands what your son wants to get out of the lessons. If you can go watch a lesson or two and see the relationship that the trainer has with rider and horse. Also your son is young, choose a trainer for children, I have heard too many stories about adult trainers who aren't particularly good with kids and turn them off riding altogether. Goodluck!
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 07:18 PM
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Excellent advise from Pinto Pony.

Concerning your son's horse. You will need to find out if he is going to be appropriate for the lessons you will be getting him. That's something your trainer will need to evaluate as well. As for prices, you would be better off asking in your area from those who have had lessons. I would think that each area of the country is going to be different.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 07:51 PM
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I've never had a lesson but my husband has. He took them from a now friend of ours who was a grade school teacher before going to horses full time. She is great with kids, wish I could ship her to you.
I know my husband spent so much time just walking around in circles he would come home dizzy (he was a beginner). I think we paid around $350 a month and he had his own horse. That's with him riding as much as he wanted. He spent about 1 hour every day with the trainer, but could stay and ride his horse longer if he wanted. That's been about 8 years ago so the prices have probably
Gone up.
My main point is, don't let your son get discouraged. The beginner lessons can get a bit boring for a young lad.
Also bless you for being a good parent and getting him some professional help rather them making the mistake so many parents make. Buy a horse, put child on horse, child falls off, child never gets on horse again Or God forbid the child gets badly hurt.


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post #5 of 7 Old 09-10-2008, 06:50 AM
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I'd look for trainer's recommendations first. However it's not always a case. I run into trainers who were STRONGLY recommended but were just complete waste of money for me. Also personally I wouldn't go with kids (under 20 years old) giving lessons (no offense to anyone at the forum, just my experience and opinion).

From my own experience you just have to try... :) I'd also recommend to look for trainer with either show experience or horse-training experience (like retraining ottbs or working with youngsters). We have too many so-called "trainers" around here who can only run horses on trails, but still consider themself being a good trainer and give the cheaper lessons. Also look for one who is VERY patient with kids (which is not always a case)

The cost here in MD runs from $35/hour group lesson to $50/hour private (can be higher depending on what you want to learn).

As I said you may try out several trainer before you find one your son will be in love with. Lol!
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-12-2008, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinto Pony
I think your expectations of the lessons should be discussed with the trainer before the lessons start. Do you want your son to become a champion rider or a safe trail rider, do you want him to excel in one particular thing or be well rounded and do lots of differing disciplines? I would look for a stable and trainer that understands what your son wants to get out of the lessons. If you can go watch a lesson or two and see the relationship that the trainer has with rider and horse. Also your son is young, choose a trainer for children, I have heard too many stories about adult trainers who aren't particularly good with kids and turn them off riding altogether. Goodluck!
Very well said. I would also recommend going out and watching that instructor teach a few lessons. You will know right away wether or not that this lady/fella is the right person for your son. As for the costs, I'm not sure how much western lessons are. I can't imagine them being to much different than english lessons but the area you are in will make the cost vary quite a bit. Otherwise it sounds like you already have all the basics.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-12-2008, 08:57 AM
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We are taking lessons now. My ten year old daughter started first and then I started lessons. My advice is based upon our experience.

Ask for recommendations from friends. Our horse teacher is well known as a nice guy. He was a local wrestling coach for many years. He's very well liked. We may want to do 4H but we just really want to have fun and be safe. We have one lesson a week. My daughter started lessons first. It took a few months before she was up in the saddle. She started learning about horses (horse parts, safety, etc) and how to lead a horse. After she got on the horse she sat on a bare back pad and had to have airplane wings. She held her arms up at her side. It's important to separate the arms from the legs. It's more difficult to balance on the bare back pad. After she graduated from the bare back pad to the saddle she didn't get reigns for a while.

It took a while before she was able to be in a saddle and lead the horse herself. She started lessons this spring. We now trail ride. We go across creeks, up and down pretty steep hills, and, well, all over the place. It's amazing what we have both learned. A good teacher is an important thing to have.

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