1st lesson age 31

loisin

New Member
Feb 6, 2012
9
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South Wales
Hi New Riders,

I'm new :redface: I decided to make 2012 the year I learn to ride!

I am very fortunate that there are 12 riding schools within a 30 mile drive from where I live. The closest is just 11 miles. All except two of them are BHS approved.

The cheapest private lessons are £24 for 45 mins or £27 for an hour (different schools) The first of these two schools got a 'Commended' from BHS for its Instruction/Coaching, and the secnd one, whilst approved, has not had its grading inspection carried out yet.

Other schools that charge more for private lessons, but are 'Highly Commended' by BHS for their Instruction/Coaching.

I know that people say to try different schools to find one you like, and I am happy to do that, but it will take ages to get around all 12!

Should I opt for a more expensive school that has been highly commended by BHS, or does it not make that much difference?

Sorry for rambling on so. Hope someone can give me friendly advice.

Thanks
 
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KarinUS

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2001
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Texas
users.wireweb.net
Just drive around and see how you like the facilities and get an impression of how the horses are kept.
Then take a lessons and see how you like it/feel about it.
I wouldn't try all of them either if I found one I liked well to begin with.
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
55,271
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On an island
Just drive around and see how you like the facilities and get an impression of how the horses are kept.
Then take a lessons and see how you like it/feel about it.
I wouldn't try all of them either if I found one I liked well to begin with.

This!^^^^^^^^
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Just drive around and see how you like the facilities and get an impression of how the horses are kept.
Then take a lessons and see how you like it/feel about it.
I wouldn't try all of them either if I found one I liked well to begin with.

Yup. And try to meet some horses, see if they are friendly, and talk to the instructors too. Ask about their teaching, watch a lesson. Do you know how you like to be taught? I couldn't stand the instructors who shouted at me, "Sit up straight! Inside leg to outside hand!" :banghead:

Oh and welcome !:bounce:
 

Tillytoo

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2010
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Welcome, I had mt first lesson two years ago aged 46!!

I found that it was the relationship with the instructor to be the most important thing that enabled me to learn, rather than the methods of teaching. I am deaf in one ear, so an instructor that can shout is a bit of Godsend to me, and as long as the shouting is because I'm deaf and not blind panic on their part its fine. :biggrin:

I'd definately have a look round them and chat to instructors before booking a lesson, see which ones you feel most comfortable with.
 

Wiz201

New Member
Nov 13, 2011
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I got back into riding late last year at 26 and I'm finding a combo of a simulator lesson plus two half hour group lessons are helpful at the moment. Took me some time to find the right school for the real horses but I've finally found one.
 

beakysian

New Member
Mar 26, 2008
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Durham, UK
Welcome :wavespin:

Definitely have a drive round to the various RS, try to chat to the instructors if you can, and watching a lesson is very useful before you consider booking one for yourself. I find it great to chat to other people on the yard too (other learners or parents etc). Enjoy the process of finding the place for you and don't be afraid to discuss what you want from an RS with the staff, or to move on if you aren't happy. A good RS will try their best to be right for you but sometimes it just might not click.

Also, it's often pointed out on NR that the BHS standard doesn't *necessarily* mean you're getting the best tuition so don't discount the non-BHS places until you've seen them. Some amazing RIs don't have the certificates.

Congratulations on starting out - you'll never look back :biggrin:
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
55,271
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On an island
And a good school won't mind you just coming for a look either, cos I remember when OH and I rang up the one we ended up going to regularly, they were fab. They said come and see us and gave us a lovely guided tour, showed us the school horses and explained what type of lessons were on offer - then they asked us what we wanted to get out of it. Also I felt fine asking the "daft" questions like, what do we wear? Do we need to get our own hats? etc etc.
I do remember ringing one place and they were so vague, I didn't even bother going to look around..........
 

loisin

New Member
Feb 6, 2012
9
0
0
South Wales
I visited one of the RS yesterday, I turned up and asked to be showed around. The manager was really friendly and didn't bat an eyelid, she showed me the indoor school, the school horses and the stables. There were two children having a lesson but in fairness I didn't see much of that. My impression was that it was very clean and tidy and the horses looked happy enough (difficult to judge with little to compare to) they we in a barn eating hay.

What they didn't really have was much in the way of other facilities, which is not a problem for me, but I am looking ahead to when my daughter will start riding in a year's time and will hopefully be doing pony club activities.

I booked a 30 minute lesson in three weeks time, but I intend to visit the the 3 RS on my short list before then too.

Thank for all the feedback and the welcome I am really looking forward to riding!

(I'm in South Wales by the way)
 

Virago

New Member
Nov 8, 2006
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Welcome to NR!

I returned to riding 10 years ago at the age of 38, after a 25 year gap! As the others have said, visit all the RS that you are considering and try and watch a lesson as well as having a look around.

As an adult 'beginner' I found it really useful to have some private one-to-one lessons, as well as group lessons. This helped build up my confidence and also I felt they were better value for money!

If you do group lessons, I would ask if you can be with other adults. It sounds basic, but at one RS I tried I was put in a group with young teenagers. I just felt old and useless and embarrassed to ask basic questions. Maybe that's just me, but I think 'mature' returning riders learn in very different ways to bold, gung ho youngsters!

Hope you thoroughly enjoy your riding journey! Look forward to hearing all about it.
 

Wiz201

New Member
Nov 13, 2011
635
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I have to join whatever is available as I'm really just available for Saturdays riding and its usually kids. Mind the groups are usually split into riders who can walk/trot and the group who can do all paces so at least I can join the more experienced kids. And I never feel stupid asking questions cause in life you'll never stop asking them!
 

loisin

New Member
Feb 6, 2012
9
0
0
South Wales
I'm off the see the next RS this week.

Also I bought some jodhpurs on eBay and am looking for appropriate boots too. Are long or short ones more appropriate, or is it personal preference? If I get short ones, should I get gaiters too? Sorry or all the questions.

Thanks.
 
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Wiz201

New Member
Nov 13, 2011
635
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I find half chaps and jodhpur boots are better for me with slightly wider and shorter than average legs, easy to put on and are as supporting as long riding boots. Some are cheaper than long riding boots too.
 

loisin

New Member
Feb 6, 2012
9
0
0
South Wales
I visited Werngochlyn today and it was very nice, very different to the other RS I visited on the weekend so a 'like for like' comparision is hard. It was smaller but more serious is the only way I can describe it really. The horses were all stabled but I see part of a lesson and the instructor was very hand-on with the student and I liked that.

I can say that I definitely preferred the vibe, but maybe that is because the instructor was older than me whereas in the other one she was younger. I don't want to be 'ageist' but it made me feel more relaxed, the thought of being taught by someone older than me.

I'm off to see another RS tomorrow night and might even try and squeeze the last one in on Sunday if I have time.

I have booked a lesson at each RS, to see how I get on with the instructors, their methods and how they want me to interact with the horses.

All very exciting (for me, no one else obvioulsy!)
 

beakysian

New Member
Mar 26, 2008
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Durham, UK
And me :wave:

I've always worn short boots simply because leather ones come cheaper than long ones. And I have steel toe caps as I'm not too nimble at getting to of the way of hooves! It's personal preference and I've heard good things about cheaper long boots you can get in 'equileather'. But if you get short boots definitely get some chaps (gaitors) to protect your legs from the stirrup leathers. And they look nicer :tongue:

You might also want to get your own hat. Most RS lend them but they've had other people's sweaty heads in and won't fit as well as one you buy yourself. Don't get one off the internet but look for a tack shop with someone trained to fit hats. And if none of the RS have mentioned it I recommend some gloves. Just cheapie ones to protect your hands if the horse pulls the reins through your fingers.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on :bounce:
 

Wiz201

New Member
Nov 13, 2011
635
1
0
When I got my riding hat, I went to a shop to try one on and make sure it was the style and size I liked, and then found one cheaper online.
 

loisin

New Member
Feb 6, 2012
9
0
0
South Wales
Ok, so I had my first lesson tonight! Wow, it was amazing. Totally exhilarating and awesome in the actually sense that I was awed. Firstly to be on the huge horse and then have him do what you ask him to do - totally brilliant.

We did walk, rising trot and sitting trot, and flippin heck the rising trot is hard work. Probably only did 5-10 mins but felt like I'd been in the gym on the leg press for 30 mins!

As soon as the lesson was over I wanted to go again straight away.

Brill, brill, brill, brill, brill - that all I can say.
 
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