Possible instructor? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-07-2013, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Question Possible instructor?

I've been riding since I was little and can hold my own pretty well on a horse. However, during my last two endurance rides, my horse came up with a sore back. Part of this is due to saddle fit and I'm riding in my best internet-learned half-seat on short jogs with him to keep him ridden. However, part of it is influenced by my seat I'm sure. I was never taught to post and I'm fairly positive I'm terrible at it and have been contributing to the back issues. I was raised riding Western and learned pretty much everything from my dad and only ever rode foundation QH's and one paint, but have realized his riding/horse philosophy and mine don't align with one another. For instance, my dad hates Arabs and I am quite smitten by the one I bought for endurance and for all the reasons he hates them haha.

I'd really like some lessons to take a second look at everything I'm doing. Since I need to post on our endurance rides due to the movement, getting that figured out is first priority. However, I firmly believe both my horse and I could use a little dressage instruction to give us a firmer foundation and learn to move and work together better. I've always wanted to learn English from an instructor (my sister tried to teach me a thing or two and that lasted about 30 seconds) and am currently using more English equpment than Western since it's better suited to endurance. Eventually, I might give eventing a shot if things go well and I enjoy it, but my heart really belongs to the endurance trail and I prefer that quite a bit to an arena.

Anyways, I did a quick search on instructors in my area. I would need them to come to my location since I want to work with my horse and don't have a truck and trailer. This instructor looked like a good option and is willing to come to my location for $25/hour. I have no idea what to be looking for in an English instructor, so I was wondering what you think? She does have a few pictures, so maybe you can tell how skilled of a rider she is. Over the phone, she seemed nice, and I'd probably do a lesson or two per month and then practice so we can fine-tune and continue to learn each time. Does she look like a "qualified" instructor to you?

Erica Webster: Listed in Horseback Riding Lessons in Nampa, Idaho
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-07-2013, 08:52 PM
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Can you get in touch with any of her past or current students?

I'd say go for the lesson and see how you like her.

I'd also like to add that I am very jealous of that lesson price. I pay $60/half hour.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-07-2013, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I know - you can get quality lessons around here for around $35/hour from a few people I know. I'd take from them since I know the quality and success they've had (I used to board with them before I moved to my friend's house for finaicial reasons and I also LOVE the privacy!), but I can't trailer anywhere. There is one place I know that charges more like $50/hour, but I also know the back-story with that facility and they're not people I want to work with.

A lot of the instructors here are more laid back than not and give lessons on the side, so lessons tend to be on the cheap side, but you have to be careful about who you're getting them from. You put a lot of trust in your instructor that they're teaching you correctly since you don't know any better - made worse by the fact that every owner and rider can have hugely varied approaches and opinions. That's what happened with being taught by my family - I know enough now to know that there are some serious differences in how I think horses should be cared for and ridden. Plus, if he can take that horse into the back country and get his elk, what does he care if he has a correct seat position? Lol
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-07-2013, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Let's just say that there are a lot of people marketing themselves as "instructors" taht, wihle they could teach you how to ride, they couldn't teach you how to ride correctly.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 07:22 AM
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May be it's a normal price for Idaho, but I'd never go to anyone here in Maryland for $25 (as it would be a waste of money, I don't know of any good instructor cheaper than $50 at the least). Have you tried to look at the prices by other instructors? If they are about the same, I'd say go for it (because her ad sounds really good). If everyone else charges $40-50 and higher I'd pass.

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 07:55 AM
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wow, that is cheap! I am going to start taking lessons next week at a barn (they dont travel to yours) and its $45 for a group!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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While there are a few places that charge very large amounts, most places are around $30/hour, including a few people I know that I really respect. I'm more wondering if you can read her description and look at her pictures and tell me if she sounds like a decent rider - as in she actually rides correctly. I don't know the names of the places, events, trainers, etc. to know if they're as elite as they sound. For instance, I could say that I've won the state championship in bareback, reining, and western pleasure. That would be true - but that was when I was 14 and in 4-H. Not exactly an "elite" trainer. I'm sure people could pick apart my riding then if I'd posted a picture or video here.

To me, she sounds good, but I don't know how to judge her ability at all since I'm not familiar with the discipline. I can tell you she looks cool and like she knows what she's doing over those jumps! But that's about it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Can you judge her riding by these pictures?

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post #9 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 10:00 AM
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I don't see anything alarming in the photos. She may be a bit strong in the hand, but those horses look like they may be a bit strong and need it.

As for her charging so little, she may just be getting going and testing the market. Once she gets a client base, she may raise her rates accordingly. Just like one of the posters said, try her out and see if you like what you get. Not all great riders are good teachers and not all great teachers are good riders. It is much more a case of depth of knowledge and good communication skills.
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