When you give your trust and your money to a riding instructor, you want to make sure that you are getting what you deserve. If you learn bad habits it will take longer to undo them then it did to learn them in the first place. Plus you need to find that happy medium of being challenged so that you get better, but not to the point that you are riding above your skill level.
Taking riding lessons will have a huge impact not just on the way you ride but also on how you view horses and riding. Having someone work with you one on one can be invaluable, but you want to make sure that it’s the right person.
I have taken lessons from a lot of different people. I love getting different opinions and then putting it together in my own style. But if you are just starting out that can be confusing and it’s better to find one person that you are really comfortable with. But you also have to know when it’s time to move on and find someone else to take you to the next level.
I have one instructor that really stands out to me. Her name was Martha and I took lessons from her from about four years. In the beginning she was perfect for where I was at. I had been bored at my other lessons, and Martha knew how to make things fun and challenge me every lesson. I made huge progress in the first year. Then I started to show with her barn and the pressure began to escalate. I had a green horse at the time, and we were both being pushed way past our comfort levels. He started bucking at the canter and stopping at jumps, and I started falling off – a lot. My confidence took a beating. Then I started spending more time at the barn and I saw her methods of training horses, which I was totally not comfortable with at all. I finally made the decision to leave, and it was a tough one, because Martha was a good friend by now, but I knew that my riding was not going anywhere if I stayed.
I went to a few different trainers before finally settling in somewhere again, but I never regretted making that move. A riding instructor is just like a coach, personality and teaching style can be every bit as important as the actual instruction they give.
I made this video for you to just chat about what to look for in a riding instructor and what questions to ask yourself to know if you are in the right program.
There is one thing I forgot to mention in the video, but it is really important! Watch your instructor ride… do you want to ride like them? If you do, great! If not, find someone else!
Enjoy the video!