What's your preference: group or private lessons? - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #51 of 59 Old 10-24-2011, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 164
• Horses: 0
Thanks everyone for the responses! It is helpful to be reminded of the value of group lessons. For me the primary benefits are getting used to riding around other horses, for both horse and rider, the social aspect and being inspired by watching other riders who are better than I am.

If I were in a position where I could only afford group lessons, I would still try to find the extra cash to pony up for 1 private lesson per month (+3 group/month). I have found I learn much more and improve at a much fast rate with private. While I agree you can learn from watching others, so much of riding is muscle memory and building fast reactions which only comes from time you spend riding, not watching.
catsandhorses is offline  
post #52 of 59 Old 10-25-2011, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 2,061
• Horses: 1
I am a very very old man who has been riding for almost 40 years. The last lesson I had was less than a year ago. I had a problem getting my mare to adopt a rounded outline and maintain it. So I had a lesson with my friend who showed me how - or actually showed me why I was having difficulty.

The previous lesson was a few months earlier when I was having a problem with a mischeivious welsh cob who was lazy. What was it that I was not doing to keep the little devil going? From where I was sitting I could not see what was happening although I could feel it. After half an hour with my friend
I'd got the measure of the crafty little devil - he was testing me out.

The point I am trying to make is that lessons never stop so long as you have horses. I'd not choose to have a group lesson, because usually I'll have a specific problem with a particular horse. A pair of eyes from the centre of the arena is always welcome. And watching others make mistakes can be very informative.
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #53 of 59 Old 10-25-2011, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: The Deep South
Posts: 177
• Horses: 1
I think I'd actually prefer a healthy mix of both private and (smaller) group lessons.

Back in college, we did nothing but group lessons. Usually 3-4 people in a group, the usual nose to tail thing, but our trainer was fantastic and we got plenty of individual attention. And then while we were walking/trotting, he'd give us little horsemanship quizzes, lecture us on colors, breeds, disciplines, history, etc.

Now that I'm getting back into riding, I've done nothing but once-weekly private lessons for the past 10 months or so, since group lessons aren't offered at my barn.

What I miss most about group lessons is the peer pressure. Knowing that while you may not be 100% comfortable doing ____, someone in your class probably is. And you do it anyway, so you're not *that* person. It's like an extra little kick to get you motivated. Plus, private lessons get a little stale when you do them all the time. Right now, that's the only way I can ride at all is in private lessons. While I do like the individual attention, sometimes it would be nice to have a little less attention and have some space and time to figure something out in my head before being called on.

If I could manage one private lesson a week and one group lesson, that would be ideal. But that would mean splitting my lessons between two barns and I'm not sure I want to open that can of worms just yet.
Opus is offline  
post #54 of 59 Old 10-26-2011, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,782
• Horses: 0
Unfortunately I can't afford private lessons.
And the private lessons at my RS are during the day when I have school, so wouldn't be able to go to them anyway.

If I had my own horse, then yea, I would rather have semi/private lessons.
ridingismylife2 is offline  
post #55 of 59 Old 11-06-2011, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 74
• Horses: 1
I prefer private lessons over group. When I was in a group lesson I felt as though the other girls in my group were pushing me into following what they wanted to do, jumping, while I felt more comfortable riding dressage. I jumped for three years because that's what the rest of the group was doing. After a nasty fall, and a year off, I returned to riding but began dressage in private lessons. I felt as though I learned a lot more while doing private over group because all of the focus was on me.
I haven't taken lessons in about two/three years and own my own horse. By taking lessons for both jumping & dressage, and in a group & individually, it taught me the basics & I am now able to teach myself & my horse on my own.
So I liked private better, but group is also beneficial, sometimes it helps you to move out of your comfort zone by being pushed to do something the rest of the group wants to do.
harmony624 is offline  
post #56 of 59 Old 11-07-2011, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2
• Horses: 1
I haven't taken lessons in a few years, but when I used to I always preferred private ones. Group lessons would make me feel really self conscious if I messed up and I wouldn't like the fact that I'd be pushed into doing stuff with the group that I might not feel ready for.

Last edited by JennaMarie; 11-07-2011 at 11:01 PM.
JennaMarie is offline  
post #57 of 59 Old 11-07-2011, 11:02 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: alberta
Posts: 2,747
• Horses: 1
The barn I'm at now they only offer private lessons... which i find i do learn so much more and love having my coaches full attention, but theres no replacing how much fun group lessons can be with good people!

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
ridergirl23 is offline  
post #58 of 59 Old 11-07-2011, 11:41 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,221
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by ridergirl23 View Post
but theres no replacing how much fun group lessons can be with good people!

So true!! The only thing more fun then having a lesson is having a lesson with good friends!
upnover is offline  
post #59 of 59 Old 11-09-2011, 01:12 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 100
• Horses: 2
Private, private, private! I cannot stress how much private lessons can do for a rider. Group lessons are good if you just need more saddle time and don't have your own horse. But I really think it is best to spend the extra money on a prviate lesson and apply what you learned & practice on your own until the next lesson.

From a trainers perpective, it's hard to see everything in a group lesson and to really work with a rider to get them in the correct position, etc. My focus with group lessons is to just try to get everyone to go along 'decently' and stay that way. We only get to work on a couple of things and progression is slow. In private lessons I can focus completely and get so much done in just an hour. Most of the time my students can't even last an hour because they are so tired.

olympustraining is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teaching group dressage lessons? Romie Dressage 2 03-14-2011 06:59 AM
Help !! Novice rider - Private lessons or Group?? TheCountryLife English Riding 25 08-11-2010 03:57 AM
Getting the most out of group lessons claireauriga Horse Riding & Horse Activity 7 10-08-2008 07:15 PM
What's your preference? tim Horse Tack and Equipment 15 01-13-2008 06:56 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome