What are some basic stable manners? Advice for first lesson? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-20-2015, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Charlottesville, Va
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Smile What are some basic stable manners? Advice for first lesson?

In the past my family hasn't been able to afford riding lessons. So sense then I have just been reading every single horse book I could find and learning as much as I could. However, recently both my parents got new jobs, so my first lesson will be on Friday. Does anyone have any advice?

I had gone to a trail riding program for about a year and had a few lessons with the neighbor in 5th grade (I'm now 15). I left the trail program because I didn't agree with the way they treated the horses. So, anyway, I have never ridden at a barn or had my riding critiqued so I'm pretty nervous. I will be riding under Gabby Dickerson at Warren Hill Eventing (I am hoping to do eventing after many years of practice. ). What are some of the basic stable manners so I don't walk in there and accidentally offend someone or get in trouble?
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-20-2015, 10:25 AM
Green Broke
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Just be yourself. Ask what the rules are and listen carefully. Don't go in there acting like you know everything. If there is something you are not sure about, ask. If you make a mistake just apologise and move on, don't dwell on it. Just relax and don't try to impress anyone. Ride how you normally do even if its wrong so you can get evaluated properly and learn what is right. If people talk to you, be friendly and talk but remember you are there to learn how to ride. Making friends is always nice but it's secondary.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-20-2015, 10:29 AM
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Most likely you will get oriented by the barn staff, everybody has their own way of doing of things and usually have a reason for why they do it that way. Learn their procedures and follow the rules. You have a lot of book knowledge, you do not have experience to go with it, now is your opportunity to gain the experience.

If you do not understand something ask, if your not sure about something ask, assume nothing. A professional barn with professional trainers are used to new people and questions.

Smile, be approachable, be polite and have fun. Once you learn the ropes ask what needs to done and pitch in once in a while. The more professional you are and eager to learn the more the staff will respect you and be willing to teach you.

Don't go in and bad mouth any other places you have been, or comment about how such and such was done someplace else, nobody likes a gossip. If it ever comes up about your past experience you can always say I learned a lot but it was not a good fit, or something like that.

Best of luck, I hope you find what your looking for and fulfill your dream.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-20-2015, 11:26 AM
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i agree with what was said above. i work at a show barn - so we have a trainer and an assistant trainer, they both teach lessons. and then we also have boarders. the biggest issue that annoys us when lesson kids come - specifically around your age - is that they act wayy too know-it-all.
when you get there, the trainer will introduce him/herself and show you around a little and show you the horse you will be riding. you should arrive about 10-15 minutes early before your designated lesson time. they may show you how to properly groom and tack up the horse. if they tell you to do something one way, do not be like "oh well at my previous place we did ...." or "online i saw that it should be done this way" or anything like that. also, dont try to overstep your boundaries. dont just push someone away and say that you can do something, when you know you cant.
just be upfront and honest. dont be afraid to ask questions. there will be people there that are willing to help. dont try to impress. you are going there to learn, so it wont always be perfect and you will make mistakes.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-20-2015, 01:54 PM
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Yay congratulations!! Riding lessons are a ton of fun, and the people there will quickly become your "second family". It's okay to be a little nervous. Most barn owners/instructors are mindful of this, seeing as they deal with new riders all the time. Everybody starts somewhere!

A couple of tips you may or may not already know:

~ Wear pants and close-toed shoes to your first lesson. If you don't already have riding pants and boots, you will eventually have to get them, but most instructors don't mind if you show up in jeans and sneakers for your first time.

~ Bring a water bottle or two! You're going to get thirsty, and it's always polite to bring your own drinks. Although, a lot of barns I've been to have water tanks that are meant for all of the riders, but it's better to be prepared in case there isn't one.

~ I think this was already covered thoroughly, but I'll repeat it because it's important. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Also, during your lesson, don't feel bad or ashamed if the instructor corrects you or if you keep doing the same thing wrong. That's what riding lessons are - you're going to make the same mistakes over and over again, and it's the instructor's job to remind you of them every time you make them. There's nothing bad or shameful about it - it's all part of learning.

~ Most importantly, have fun. Riding horses is an amazing privilege. I think it's much more than just a hobby; it will shape and mold you as a person. You will learn responsibility, respect, and hard work.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-20-2015, 08:58 PM
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Just the fact that you are concerned about manners tells me you are a considerate person who will be welcomed at the barn.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-21-2015, 10:52 PM
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first of all, I hope all goes well for your lesson! Dont get too worried because to be honest there is nothing to be afraid of :) just be yourself and make sure that if you arent sure about something ASK, i ride weekly (And have for the past year) and i still get nervous sometimes, i do group lessons. at my riding school we learn to tack up and care for the horses (rug them, tack them, groom them, you get it) and sometimes i get told to ride a horse i havent ridden before or arent really confident around, so i usually ask for some help with the tacking up or handling and the people there are happy to help. Chances are (if your riding school is like mine) you will get to try out lots of horses, so you may bond better with some than others, in example the horse i have the best bond with is a clydesdale :P shes very calm etc. (if you end up riding a biggie dont be afraid! the bigger the calmer, gentler etc.) so i have typed for a while hehe, but if you have any other worries or questions, im happy to help
good luck, im sure you will be amazing,
Bea :)
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-23-2015, 08:20 PM
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As someone who has taught beginner riders I will say that I like the fact right away that you are concerned about your manners. I think you will fit in just fine.

Some things to remember. It is expected that you will be nervous at first and forget things and also that some things will come easier for you and some things will be more difficult. Try to have good communication with your instructor and never hesitate to say that you forgot how to do something, you are not sure that you understand something correctly, or that you are nervous and hesitant about doing something. Also, some instructors appear to criticize a lot. If it seems that way remember that it doesn't mean you are not a good student and it is their job to correct you. I think you will do fine. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Textan49 is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 10-24-2015, 10:42 AM
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Good for you!
The only other thing I can add is if your parents stay to watch please ask them to be quiet. I don't mind questions from watchers after a lesson but during one drives me batty.
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natisha is offline  

advice , beginner , first riding lesson , manners , nervous

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