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Moxie 11-03-2008 10:56 AM

Riding Lessons: What Are You Learning?
 
I posted this in the western riding section because western riding lessons is really want I'm most interested in.

I've been taking lessons now since early this summer (give or take). I feel like I should be learning more. I am curious to see what everyone is learning in their lessons. What am I not learning? I just want to make sure I am getting everything that I can out of my lesson, and everything I can for my money.

melinda27858 11-03-2008 01:14 PM

I just started riding about a year ago and have been taking lessons since then...bought my first horse in January.
I remember a while ago questioning the same thing you are, am I still learning??? It felt like my learning had plateaued. I made the decision to stick with what my trainer thought was best. I have realized the better that I have gotten at the tasks I practice in my lessons (that even when I thought my lessons were becoming repetitive), I still had a lot to improve on back then. You won't realize it until things become easier or suddenly snap into place mentally for you. I was fortunate enough to have my own horse to practice on between lessons. It may take a while until you say "aha!" if the only practice you are getting is a lesson once a week without practice in between. Trust when I say that you MAY think you have it down...but you will see even more improvement!!!

If you are getting bored, ask your trainer to show you flying lead changes!!! Haha!

CowgirlUp616 11-03-2008 07:00 PM

lol I know what y'all are talking about. I've been taking lessons for about thirteen years, and I thought I knew it all at one point. But then you learn new stuff or you do something as simple as ride a different horse and you're just like, whoa okay maybe I have some more learnin' to do. And yes, I still learn something new about horses with every lesson I take.

My lessons focus more on teaching me how to train the horse right now. I have a BLM mustang that I work with as much as I can. It's hard work, and it can be frustrating sometimes, but it'll all be worth it in the end when I can finally ride him into that show ring. =]

melinda27858 11-03-2008 07:26 PM

ETA: In my lessons we work on training me and my young horse together. Lately, we have been working on obtaining collection, shoulder ins/outs, we do groundwork lessons, respectful lunging....in my lesson on Saturday we worked on cuing my horse to slow his trot (I understand, he doesn't!!! So I guess that means I was having a lesson on training him).

kickshaw 11-03-2008 08:13 PM

mox, when I taught western lessons, we would do the following with beginners/intermediates:

guiding - lots of circles, changes of direction etc.
leg aids - introduction to leg aids followed by exercises to improve
transitions (lots of them)
patterns
improving balance - lots of stirrupless work, hands above your head, out to the sides, etc.
confidence building - usually through games
rating the horse- maintaining a nice slow jog, etc.

basically, at this point, I just "put miles" on the riders...and let them learn how to correct/troubleshoot without me having to tell them.

Not until the rider had mastered all of these skills did i start to refine them

does that make sense?

Moxie 11-04-2008 10:33 AM

Everyone's post made perfect sense! I am just getting a little bored with the same ole same ole. We ride around a bit, do some circles, I try and maintain a trot and work up the courage to lope.. lol... Maybe I just wanna be the best, too fast.

melinda27858 11-04-2008 02:24 PM

I am sure we all feel the same! Just keep up the hard work!

xkatex 11-05-2008 07:38 AM

I took lessons at the same barn for many years. Within the last 2 years I was there I started feeling like things got repetitive. Also our instructor started putting my group on the green horses to help "break them". Unfortuneately we wanted to teach OURSELVES how to ride, not help break their green schoolers. It might just be a quirk of a group lesson but I soon left after that.

I got a private instructor who came for our farm once a week ($45) and taught me on MY horse. It was so much better. Things get explained in more detail and she help you and your horse become "partners". If you take lessons in a group make sure there is no more than 4 people in your lesson. I find anymore than that and it gets dull and repetitive.

kickshaw 11-05-2008 10:59 AM

^^ I second that - and moreover, the instructor can't properly watch and aid you.

my lessons were in groups of two usually, no more than 3 ever, and were private with youngsters and beginners :D

Moxie 11-05-2008 11:56 AM

A lot of the time, I am taking a private lesson. There are never more than 3 in a group. I find that the instructors get preoccupied with other things. My husband goes and watches, and he ends up watching more than the instructor does.

The day I had SUCH a great lesson where I kept a steady trot and even loped, my instructor was consumed with one of her horses that had just been brought to the barn. The only instructing she did was teach me how to ask the horse to lower her head so she'd slow down into her WP jog. Other than that, I was pretty much on my own.

I have another lesson tomorrow. The trails are closed now for the season, so I'll only be doing lessons until the trails open again in the spring. I know tomorrow there will be another girl in the lesson with me, which is fine because she doesn't have much more experience than I do, I think this will only be like her 12th lesson.

I know that when I get my own horse and start taking lessons and what not, things will change, and maybe I'll find the lessons more informative. I know I'm still learning, but I feel like things are just getting boring.


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