Lessons for over 50 rider...finding the right instructor? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-26-2015, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Lessons for over 50 rider...finding the right instructor?

i am 50+ years old and have taken lessons for about 1 year. I love my instructor, she is very generous with her time and horses. However, the lessons are very unstructured and always take place in the saddle. There is no ground work or time spent on learning basic grooming, care etc . I don't feel like I'm progressing or have gained some overall "horse" knowledge. I would like to get to a place where I can confidently lease a horse while taking lessons. Taken some time off and am thinking of finding a new instructor. So am wondering if there are other older beginners who could offer advice on what to look for and how your lessons balance time in the saddle with ground work. Thank you so much.
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-26-2015, 11:23 PM
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Talk to your instructor. She may have tho't you were just interested in riding lessons, not the full deal.



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post #3 of 10 Old 01-27-2015, 12:15 AM
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I applaud your desire to broaden your knowledge base.

is there any other rider there, someone mature, who would give you horsemanship lessons, so you'd get both riding lessons, and ground work and such.?

in the meantime, read, watch videos, audit clinics. if you english, talk to western folks, and viceversa.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-27-2015, 12:27 AM
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^^ I agree. Talk to your instructor, she may have not understood that you wanted ground school lessons and the basic grooming/preparing your horse to be ridden. If there's a ground schooling class, ask to sit in and observe them. You can learn a lot from watching other students, even when they make mistakes, you learn what not to do. Let her know what you want. If she's not willing to do that, then maybe it's time to look for another instructor.

With my instructor, I get there at least 1/2 hour early and go out to the pasture and get my lesson horse, groom and saddle him up. She's there to assist her students, although this is not part of the lesson. All of her lesson horses are geldings. Try to ride as many different horses as possible. Next month I'll start taking english lessons with the other instructor there.

If you hang around the stable for awhile, or visit the stable on days when you're not taking lessons when some of the boarders are there, you'll be amazed at what you can learn for free. Some are always willing to help you learn, all you have to do is show an interest and ask.

When I 1st started taking lessons, I would hang out at the stables sometimes just to get more time being around horses. One day while I was there, a couple of the boarders came into the stables with their horses. I politely said, "Excuse me, but I'm beginner, just learning. Do you mind if I groom and saddle your horse?" She handed me the lead rope then went and got her grooming supplies and tack. My riding instructor was there the whole time. They were getting ready for ground school lessons. I stayed and watched. I even walked a couple of the horses around the arena to warm them up.

Now, most of my lessons is on one of the boarders horses who has a busy schedule and can't come out as much.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-27-2015, 08:30 AM
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I agree with the other posts about speaking to your instructor about your desires.

I think many barns and instructors think that a person who is paying for riding lessons is only interested in riding. Some of the riders are only interested in this, and some think that this is there only interest.

If I am leading a trail ride and the horses will not be used again that day, I offer to show the riders how to take of the bridle and saddle, brush the horses down, and turn them out. The owner of the facility has told me I shouldn't make the people do that work -- I think she is just kidding. Teaching the riders these things doesn't save me any work -- in fact, it may increase my work -- but almost all of the riders seem to enjoy doing this. I have had numerous people thank me for this extra attention.

Unless the horses are already in and saddled, I also teach my riding students how to get the horse, lead it in, groom it, and saddle it. This is all part of learning about horses, so I take the extra time to teach it to my students. Extra time spent with the horses increases our knowledge of them and helps develop a two-way communication between human and horse.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-27-2015, 02:10 PM
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i can sympathize with the feeling of not progressing
sometimes i feel i should progress a little faster than what i am
i usually voice my concerns with my riding instructor
she is always very good about telling me in what ways i have progressed that i might not have noticed
and she is also very good at telling me what i still need to work on before going to the next level

you may not feel as though you are progressing the way you should, but you should voice those concerns to your riding instructor

as others have said, talk to your riding instructor about learning things other t han just riding
i often ask for my riding instructor to switch it up a little bit and teach me something other than riding
she is always happy to oblige

our last lesson she was teaching me how to teach one of her basic lesson horses how to yield forequarters to pressure
it was pretty neat, she showed me what to do, how to do it, and how the horse would react that would cue me that she was getting it
it was very thorough
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-29-2015, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunnysgirl View Post
i am 50+ years old and have taken lessons for about 1 year. I love my instructor, she is very generous with her time and horses. However, the lessons are very unstructured and always take place in the saddle. There is no ground work or time spent on learning basic grooming, care etc . I don't feel like I'm progressing or have gained some overall "horse" knowledge. I would like to get to a place where I can confidently lease a horse while taking lessons. Taken some time off and am thinking of finding a new instructor. So am wondering if there are other older beginners who could offer advice on what to look for and how your lessons balance time in the saddle with ground work. Thank you so much.
I learned a ton of groundwork watching Clinton Anderson and Sean Patrick videos. I didn't need a live person to show me. I suggest you give that a shot! You can buy Sean Patrick's DVD on Amazon pretty inexpensively (way cheaper than CA and less repetitive but with the same methods and results.)

Here's a link to the DVD: http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Horsema...tdown+to+broke

You can also buy it in paperback here:http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Horsema...tdown+to+broke

Oh, and I'm 46, so I get that older rider thing you have going on. :)
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Last edited by ecasey; 01-29-2015 at 07:45 AM. Reason: add info
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-31-2015, 03:44 PM
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Although people talk about learning ground work, I've never been to a riding school that taught it. Maybe its more common in other parts?

Where I learned to ride sessions were an hour and a half. You got there early to saddle up your horse, rode in a group lesson for an hour, then the last 30 mins we talked, learned theory etc. But they were group lessons and I was a kid. Taking private lessons at the same place, and many other places, you paid purely for riding time. Talk to your instructor, maybe there is a reason you aren't progressing?
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 01:46 PM
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My riding school teaches ZERO groundwork. It's not their thing. They teach riding, not training. But luckily there are plenty of good videos and clinics around if you want to learn. It's not rocket science, but it does take very good attention to detail and patience.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 06:57 PM
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Ditto on talking to the instructor. I think mine was just in such a habit on getting the horse saddled up for me that she just did it. I specifically asked if I could do the saddling & of course she was willing to teach me.
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