Scared of taking group lessons?
My whole ridden life i have only ever had private lessons and when i tell people at my riding school they look really shocked. I came into some spare money today and although its not a lot, its enough to get sveral group lessons. Considering i only get to ride half an hour each week which is paid for by my mum, id love to be able to ride a little more each week. But theres just a couple of problems1) i am not a people person, and the girls at my riding school are all really bitchy! I dont know whether i would be happy riding while i have like 6 or 7 sets of eyes watching me while i ride, judging me, you know?
2) While doing a test at this school the other week, i was in the school for the first time ever with other people and i got really nervous. So much so the normaly good as gold horse i was on was being really tense and spooky. I couldnt concentrate properly and i kept missing my instructors instructions completly embarassing myself!
What do i do? i dont want to just try it with one or two lessons because when you buy lessons in bulk you get a huge discount, and that would be the only way i can currently afford it or afford to continou with it if it turns out i like it. Some reasurence would be nice as well as some advise?
I think all riders should at some point take groups. Very seldom when you ride in the real world will it be alone. Take for example my dressage loving daughter. Why does she love it? Because its her and her horse, no outside factors. Until....she gets to a show and there are 25 people in the warm up and she freaks.
It's best to get used to the other people, try to make sure you are in a group that your riding level fits in so you aren't riding down and lose instruction time waiting on the others.
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I love group lessons and really dislike that most trainers have gone to giving mostly private lessons. In groups you frequently find someone else who is having the same problem you are, by watching them as the instructor tells them what to do, you sometimes have the light bulb come on for yourself. You also can sometimes avoid developing certain bad habits. You hear the instructor tell someone else about something, watch what they do and fix what you're doing before it becomes an issue. I find groups to be very enlightening.
You should get over yourself-most others will be there to learn, not ridicule you or your riding. It will be good experience as others have stated.
Thanks guys for your feedback, i really do appreciate it :D
And thanks Cacowgirl, i certainly will be getting on with getting over myself.
At the barn where you ride is it possible to simply buy time to ride without taking a lesson? Maybe you could spend some of that money just riding and practicing what you have learned... riding at your own speed, so to speak.
Whatever you do, the more time in the saddle you have helps you become a better rider.
If you do take the group lesson, try and not be intimidated by the other riders. After all, they have not yet achieved "world class" status or they would not be in the same group class as you. : )
i love the concept of group lessons. as others said, it gives you opportunity to watch other riders receive instruction and figure out if that also helps you. it also gives the great experience of having your horse in the arena with others, so you learn how to ride in a busy arena, and learn arena etiquette (pass left to left, faster gaits get priority on the rail, etc).
i'm back in the saddle (hence my screen name, lol) after 12 years of pretty much not even seeing any horses in person. i rode for 10 years prior to that. i'm leasing and am considering also taking a weekly group lesson at a different barn just to brush up my skills and be able to enjoy riding with others (my lease is at a barn that has a different mind set and set of goals than i do - it's a show barn and i'm more of a 'just learn and improve yourself' type of person).
Thats a fantastic idea, one i would love to do. However, they wont even let you go on the yard without assistance. Everywhere you go, on or off horse, they are watching you and telling you what your meant to be doing. To be honest, i wouldnt even ask, but its defitly an idea for when i start work there.
Would it be worth me asking to be in a slightly lower class then i should be going in for now, and wait for them to move me up? they have a system where each group is catagorised e.g Walk trot or walk, trot, learning to canter or walk,trot,canter learning to jump. Once you reach the top of the class and have learned everything you can in those catagories you get moved up into a harder class. That way it can be a little slower paced, and i wouldnt be in a class thats too hard for me, and if they think im good enough then they will move me up themselves?? Ideas please??
Good luck with starting up lessons again, i bet you love being back in the saddle after all those years of being no where near horses :D
Group lessons are invaluable. Something to realize is that the time commitment for private vs group lessons is most often different. Private lessons are typically (here any way) shorter and more intense while group lessons are longer to give all the opportunity to work a min amt of time. RIng time means time sitting watching as well as working. My son's instructor also has course lessons where she puts a more advanced rider in the lead of a string of horses and has them follow that rider through/over all sorts of obstacles at whatever pace she wants set. These are very intense at times but expose the riders to all sorts of things and she can evaluate/correct all sorts of issues that don't crop up in the ring. She stays close in a golf cart unless she comes across something that needs her closer up/on the ground. Don't worry about the others. There isn't time for social interaction in the ring and out of the ring will be what it will be. You can take care of your business and leave or get involved and be part of the group. It may not be as bad as it seems from the outside looking in.
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