What's the typical learning schedule for riding lessons? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-19-2011, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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What's the typical learning schedule for riding lessons?

As a beginner having done a couple of lessons I was wondering how quickly people are taught and tend to progress through the different levels of riding activities, eg learning to canter and jump, assuming private lessons?
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-19-2011, 01:25 AM
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It all depends on the person, and whomever is teaching them.

No one learns at the same speed, so you have to take into account your age, physical and mental fitness, ability to understand direction and apply them etc.

Some coaches are more strict for when a person can move on then others, so it can also be dependant on that.

No one should move onto jumping until they have aquired a firm, solid support base.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-19-2011, 02:12 AM
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It took me 9ish months to learn how to walk,trot,canter,gallop and jump.Though I haven't jumped high at all and I don't take lessons anymore. I'm improving on everything at the moment with my TB. I do want to do lessons again later though :)
My instructor always said I was a natural rider so yeahh.

"When Nature made the Thoroughbred, she made no mistake."
"when riding a horse we borrow freedom."
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-19-2011, 12:09 PM
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Agreed with Velvets completely.

This is my criteria for my students: must be able to post and steer to enter a group lesson. Must be able to have a proper leg position AND do a posting trot without stirrups for an entire lap before cantering. Must be able to circle/cut across at a canter AND do a lap without stirrups before you can jump. To get to this point I would say on average for the student who rides once a week this takes about a year. For some of the really little ones who aren't strong or aren't as coordinated it can take 2. The ones who take twice a week probably take closer to 9 mo. But it all depends on the rider!
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-19-2011, 12:24 PM
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I have been taking lessons for about 8 months now and I am progressing some. I went to take lessons to learn my seat better for Cutter. I ride all of the lesson horses it depends on what the instructor and I are trying to get accomplished on which horse I ride. Lately I have been riding an Arab for the canter.

Striving to always excel in everything I do. Whether I fail or not I always try to do better than last time.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-08-2011, 07:51 PM
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I have been riding for 2 , almost 3 years and am just learning to canter and jump. I took breaks in between, switch disciplines, ect.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-08-2011, 08:32 PM
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It depends on the instructor. Some will push students through quickly just to keep their business up - kids who want to be cantering and jumping asap and parents who think cantering and jumping means their kid is talented.
I think this is a money hungry, useless way of teaching to be honest, as the student does not know the basics and when sh!t hits the fan the kid can't stay balanced and stay on board.

I start them very slowly, teaching work on the ground so grooming, tacking up etc. General horse common sense, mounting, position, 'stop, go and turn' etc. I lead the student for a few lessons so I can stay close in case they lose their balance, before they go out onto the lunge.
I much prefer them to be totally comfortable on a horse, confident and capable at 'stop, go and turn' CORRECTLY -yes, even 10 year old kids can use their seat to control the horse. If you teach it early, there's a much better chance that they'll retain the information for future riding.


You can't put a time frame on learning. I'm absolutely still learning and I compete, coach and train regularly. Internationally competitive grand prix riders are still learning.
As has been said above, everyone learns at a different rate, and feel that putting a time frame on a person to achieve things in their riding is unfair, as if they do not meet that time frame they feel down about themselves and their abilities.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-08-2011, 11:22 PM
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I think it truly takes time to become a good rider. When I first started taking lessons I was jumping after a month (I had had some western lessons before that but it had been a while) and my trainer just kept putting the rails up. He didn't work on technical things or the basics at all instead just kept putting the fences higher.
After about 2 years I was jumping 2'6 2'9. At shows I was just merely getting through the courses but I wasn't winning! About a year ago I switched trainers and I love my new trainer! In the past year she has really worked on all the basics I missed out on. My position and leg has improved tremendously! Now I am actually winning at shows! I am jumping about 2'9 3'0 now but I have actually learned how to ride versus sitting on a horse. I see some of the girls I used to ride with at shows sometimes and in a year they have gone from 2'6 to 4'0!!!! They have absolutely no leg at all! Their form is sloppy and they fall off frequently! That just shows that it takes time to develop the skills you needn't be a good rider and a higher fence doesn't make you a better rider.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-08-2011, 11:37 PM
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I agree with the last two post. So many people want to canter now. Then they want to jump now and every time. If you dont teach them then you are no good. Thier is so much about horses that if you rush it you miss alot and then it is realy hard to fix bad habits down the road. If you get hurt it can make it very hard on you to get back in the grove. I realy think two yrs if you have just started riding but I tend to be on the cautious side of things. You need to undeerstand the micanics before you do.

live for the moment.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-01-2011, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Well as a bit of an update; I just did my first jumping lesson this week, I thought I would be nervous, but surprisingly not! I've certainly made huge improvements in my position, hands nice and soft now, and sat up straight. Although, I fell off the other week when my horse slowed to a trot when I wasn't expecting it, while we were doing stirrup-less work.
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