I'm self taught. Western, anyway. I grew up with horses, and my parents gave me some instruction, but most came from reading books, watching online videos, taking videos of myself and watching them later to critique, and more books. I would say I'm a pretty strong rider, but maybe I could be a better rider if I had some formal instruction Western.
I'm switching to English to compete in eventing, and am taking English lessons right now with my horse's trainer. She used to be a steeplechase jockey in England, and now she reschools OTTB's for eventing and dressage. I've only had one lesson thus far, but it was amazing. She taught me so much about riding English in just 2 hours. I realize I need formal instruction for something I'm going to compete in, whereas with Western I just do fun shows because it's not really what I want to do on a long-term basis, and I don't think I would value a Western lesson like I value my English lessons.
As far as training my horses, I don't need or have formal instruction for that. I'm talking about teaching sidepassing, pivots, turning on the forehand/haunches, etc. I can figure that out on my own, and by doing that, I see areas to avoid as much brighter markers than if I was told exactly what to do. Why I shouldn't teach some things one way or another becomes clearer when you experiment yourself and find the loopholes.
And through the books and videos you were able to figure things out?
English is a fairly big change from Western, hope that it all works out for you! It is good to experiment. Especially with a new discipline. I ride Western, but have had to ride English a few times and it isn't easy at all.
I have been taking lessons for a year, but am now out of the stable I was riding at and am thinking about trying to learn things on my own. I know the basics and am an intermediate rider in Western, I am always looking up videos and watching shows on TV about riding improvement, tips, how-to's and all... I can figure it out. I just didn't know if it would actually work. It's worth a try, right?
Are you now figuring out Eventing on your own, or trying to get back into lessons?
I've thought about taking lessons again, but I really want to take a shot at figuring things out on my own and improving by the learning experience.