Lessons or not? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Lessons or not?

Hey guys, i'm pretty new at owning/riding horses. And i'm wondering what your opinion is on riding lessons. I can ride a horse, i'm just still pretty green with them. I've ridden them on and off all of my life. Do you think everyone should take riding lessons? Or is experience the best teacher? I've thought about taking lessons, but there isn't really a place close to me that gives them. (there is one in a town near by, but they dont' let you use your own horse.) I'd rather use my own horse to train with. What do ya think?? Are they necessary to ride?
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 12:03 AM
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They're not necessary but they're immensely helpful and will help you progress a lot quicker. I am self taught but started taking consistent lessons about a year ago and the improvement is worth the money.
You can always do your "homework" on your horse and just ride the lesson horse for new concepts.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 12:21 AM
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I really encourage anyone to get lessons if it's in their means, even if they are the best riders. I thought I was good, but lessons have proven to make me a much better rider. My trainer still takes lessons, and the few clinicians that have come to our stable have even said that they still take lessons.

You just never stop learning and taking lessons leaves you open to learning even more :)
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 07:31 AM
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Yes, lessons are VERY important. Even if you are experienced there is room for improvements! I did ride before, but started taking regular lessons with good instructors last year and only then I realized that I know very little about correct posting, cues, etc. Well, I knew some of course, but they were far from perfect. Of course if you just trail ride and your horse is well trained and you are confident you probably don't need lessons. So it all depends on what you wanna do.

BTW, I trailer my horse 1 hour one way to the instructor. So it's not next door either.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
Yes, lessons are VERY important. Even if you are experienced there is room for improvements! I did ride before, but started taking regular lessons with good instructors last year and only then I realized that I know very little about correct posting, cues, etc. Well, I knew some of course, but they were far from perfect. Of course if you just trail ride and your horse is well trained and you are confident you probably don't need lessons. So it all depends on what you wanna do.

BTW, I trailer my horse 1 hour one way to the instructor. So it's not next door either.
I am mostly just riding in our fields and doing trail riding. Nothing too special :) I'm not into competitive riding or anything like that. Allie is 15 and a very well trained horse. Do you think I need lessons for what i'm doing??
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 01:25 PM
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Everyone can use lessons. Even most coaches still take lessons or go to clinics. You don't have to take one every week, but if you haven't ridden in a while, it might be a good idea for you to take lessons every week for a while so you can nip any bad habits in the butt so you don't teach them to your new horse.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 01:41 PM
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I would take lessons, especially if you have your own horse, what better way to strengthen a bond. Well at least in my mind lol. I am going to be taking lessons soon just become a better horseman and rider. Good luck!
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 01:50 PM
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Until you take lessons, you don't know what you don't know.

How do you know you're riding correctly? You don't.

How do you know you're light in the saddle and not hanging on the horse's mouth? You don't.

How do you know that your position isn't throwing the horse off balance? You don't.

It doesn't matter whether you're 'just' trail riding or doing dressage. Riding properly is first and foremost about the horse, and making sure you're not inadvertently causing pain and stress.

Lessons are good for everyone, regardless of discipline. Your horse will thank you.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Until you take lessons, you don't know what you don't know.

How do you know you're riding correctly? You don't.

How do you know you're light in the saddle and not hanging on the horse's mouth? You don't.

How do you know that your position isn't throwing the horse off balance? You don't.

It doesn't matter whether you're 'just' trail riding or doing dressage. Riding properly is first and foremost about the horse, and making sure you're not inadvertently causing pain and stress.

Lessons are good for everyone, regardless of discipline. Your horse will thank you.
Agreed. Even just a few will help you. I think everyone needs some kind of guidence to be pushed in the right direction.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-04-2010, 05:56 PM
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I think everyone always has more to learn. There isn't anyone who knows everything. Riding lessons are beneficial to all people.

Maybe don't look for an "establishment" that gives lessons. Ask around at your local tack store or riding club and they might know of a good teacher who will come out and give lessons to you.

Be discerning about your instructor. Just because they are at a riding school, or because lots of people use them, doesn't mean that they are right for you. I think there is a lot of incorrect, and often dangerous, riding these days because many of the instructors just aren't good. Many people think an instructor knows best but sometimes they don't, in most places it isn't too hard to get an instructing qualification, and these look at set achievements and basic knowledge rather than methods, abilities and experiences.

Maybe take a video of yourself riding and look at it. Make an honest assessment of what you need to improve on, maybe even put a video up on here. Then look at your horse and your riding, what do you want to achieve? Note these things down. During your lesson see if your instructor picks up what you think are your flaws. See if they ask what you want to learn, and what you want to do. Some instructors only teach you what they want you to do and learn, not what you want to do.

If you can't find an instructor you like consider joining a riding club, or keeping an eye out for clinics. A two day clinic every few months can give you new things to work for and offer a critical eye to look over your riding and your training.

Instructor's can teach you new ways of doing things, notice problems, and just watch your ride - something you can't really do.

I would recommend lessons, although try to get them on your own horse. Riding school horses are often well trained and quiet, and because of this your weaknesses that effect your everyday riding will not be apparent.

Good luck.
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