Horses at your riding school

minkersmum

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Aug 4, 2009
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For those of you who have lessons at a RS on RS horses, do you just take whatever horse you are given??

I started a thread yesterday about requesting to try a dif one at a new RS and quite a few people commented how good it was that the RS were trying to accomodate me. Now i'm wondering is this unusual. At any RS i've been to i've always expected (perhaps wrongly) to be able to learn on a horse who matches my abilities and who is well schooled and reasonably 'easy' to ride esp as i'm a novice rider. Am i 'high maintenance'?? :eek:
 

Snowyboy

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I've often asked for my daughter to have a change of pony - she was riding one that was too like her own so I didn't feel she was gaining much

then another was just too lazy - she spent the whole half hour just trying to get the pony moving which was just frustrating and at £20 a session I wasn't happy as she can sit on our friends pony for 1/2 an hour trying to get it moving for free (and she does!) The pony is a lazy pony - it wasn't her - I didn't mind occasionally having this pony but all the time was just putting her off too much

As she has her own pony and has lessons on him, I see no point in spending the additional money at riding school to ride the same pony week after week - she can do that at home!

I am looking for her to ride different ponies with different ways of going - slow, fast, nappy, the lot - so she gains confidence to ride anything so week after week on the same pony doesn't gain what we are looking for from the lessons


I also requested the same instructor on a weekly basis - I find this works much better for a small child - in group lessons u get who u get but she has 1-2-1 lessons so I want the same teacher week after week - and she has a regular instructor now who she adores - the instructor knows her know so she gets a trailored lesson not a generic for 7 year old child lessons

also, I've made it clear she can hack out anytime - I am not paying for a pony ride! In summer its a bit treat for most kids to have a hack out - but we do that several times a week so I am not paying £20 for that either

makes me sound like a dragon I guess - but I've never been rude or demanded anything but equally - its my money, I am a customer and on that basis I expect to have any of my requests considered and to be able to discuss these matters
 

Mary Poppins

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My instructor decides who we will ride. While we can request different horses, we really don't get much say at all. He likes us to ride a variety of different horses and move on when he thinks we have learnt something. It isn't the 'done' thing to argue with his choice of horse and if you do, you generally have to ride the horse you don't like for longer!
 

minkersmum

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Thanks for replies.

Snowyboy i feel the same and feel too that the lessons are just too expensive to either spend weeks doing the same old same old because you are in a group lesson of fairly mixed ability or because the riding school give you any pony, not one that is suited to what you 'the customer' is looking for. I know lots of teenagers who would prefer the faster stronger horses but i've just come back to riding after a 10 year gap and now that i'm 30 something with a few young kids under my belt i want a more relaxing, steadier ride, i prefer my lesson to be enjoyable rather than exhilarating for the moment.

I have been trying a new RS and requested to try another horse as the first one was extremely lazy, the second really strong and i felt i didn't have great brakes. Both were lovely and i was happy enough on them but none of them were just right (feel like goldilocks and the 3 bears here...) My aim is just to find one that i gel with, not too lazy , not too strong or fast. The lessons will be 1-2-1 and they aren't cheap so i'd like to have the same horse for a few weeks in a row to see if i can progress with them, rather than have a dif horse each week and have to adjust to get used to that particular horse, by the time i get the feel of them the lesson is over.

marypoppins i too have been to RS like that but i'm too tight/skint now to part with my hard earned cash for something that i'm not getting what i want from
 

eml

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I choose who riders have but do try to change them around as appropriate and where possible and not detrimental to the riders progress let them have a favourite.

On the other hand bear in mind the average RS is juggling horses and riders abilities, horses availability and work load, riders sizes and particular needs (narrow horse for stiff hips etc), to say nothing of lesson content ie better jumping horses for specific jumping lessons etc.

I agree that it is better to have a few lessons on the same horse but you may well find that the second lesson on a horse you thought you did not like is much better. It is not always best to ride a horse that is 'perfect' there is a lot to learn from riding a wide variety.
 

Mary Poppins

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My riding instructor once said to me that I was paying him to teach me to ride. He said that he could stick me on an easy horse and I would have an enjoyable ride, but he wouldn't be doing his job properly and I wouldn't learn anything.

My fave RS horse is well known to apparently be the 'laziest, slowest' horse on the yard. Yet we have won jump offs, galloped round cross country and won dressage competitions. My instructor has taught me how to ride him correctly and I have learnt how to adapt my riding to the horse I am on. I do struggle with the more forward going horses, but he puts me on them regardless of my protests (and sometimes tears) and I am slowly getting there.

It all depends on the quality of teaching and what you want to achieve by your lessons. If you just want to have a nice simple ride, then by all means find a horse that you feel is suitable. However if you really want to learn to ride, you have to be prepared to get on lots of different types and be put out of your comfort zone. When people get on my fave horse and can't get him to move, it is because they are not riding him properly, not because he can't do it.
 

Nimbus65

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Our RS tries hard to accommodate individual wishes/preferences, but as has been said above they're juggling clients with differing abilities, shapes, sizes and a limited number of horses. They currently have about 40 total - split 50/50 between horses and ponies. I'm a "larger" lady so can only ride the weight-carrying horses - which narrows it down to about 4 - but my ability (I've been riding for almost 7 years) means I ride lighter than a complete novice and they can put me on the sharper horses. Another rider my size and shape who was a complete novice would be limited to 2 horses at our RS.

So . . . yes, our RS tries to accommodate - but they have alot to consider. Oh, and they also need to take into account the amount of work the horse/pony does in a day/week - really popular ponies (those who are off the leg, uncomplicated and good for nervous/novice riders) are obviously in higher demand. I'm lucky that not many other people ride the two horses I like the most - up-to-weight, big (but not cart-horsey) but sometimes sharp/bolshy - also I've been a regular customer for so long that I think the YM does give me preference (probably naughty, but probably true).

N
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I swapped horses at the riding school where I used to have reg lessons with OH - only cos he'd started with the "easier" horse and was progressing quicker than myself. It worked well for a while (till the little monkey realised I was not as firm with my aids as OH!!!!)
 

minkersmum

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Thanks for replies.

Now i'm thinking maybe i should have stuck with the second horse i rode. He was fine just felt quite strong. I suppose i ws also thinking about which instructor i'd get, one was really young and not qualified. She was lovely but not overly firm and didn't shout instructions which is what i prefer. The other one was great, very sure of what she wanted me to do and clear with the instructions. The strong horse and better instructor would be fine but i think the strong horse and less positive instructor would have made me quite nervous i think. Oh well we'll see what the lesson brings. Looking forward to it regardless.
 

eml

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Different thing all together...I would ask for the instructor you want.

I do most of the instructing in my RS and make it clear to prospective pupils that they need to be comfortable with my style as I think the pupil/teacher relationship is more important than the choice of horse.
 

Nimbus65

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Agree with eml . . . this is more about instructor than anything else. We outgrow instructors . . . some instructors just aren't right for us. Learning to ride requires that we trust several things: a) the horse we are sitting on; b) our instructor (that they wouldn't ask us to do something we weren't capable of); c) our own ability. Trusting our instructor to help us get the best out of the horse we're sitting on is pretty key. Sometime we need to step "backwards" onto a horse we feel safer on . . . but trust in our instructor is important too. I have switched instructors b/c the trust had broken down and I needed another voice.

N
 

clare123

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eml is as usual spot on :)

I would ask to have the teacher you prefer every week and then leave the horse in the lap of the gods - with a good teacher you trust you should be fine!
 

minkersmum

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Yes think you've hit the nail on the head. Hopefully the lesson today will be with the instructor i like best then i can see what they think and stick with that.

Thanks everyone
 

minkersmum

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WELL!!!


I had my lesson. It was fab!! Horse B was a star nice and forward going but steady and consistent. Loved him he was a proper school master. Was a totally different instructor, never had before but she too was fab. Better than my prefered one from last time.

Also my husband video taped the lesson which was brilliant. But thats another thread....

I'm definitely going to have more lessons on this horse. RS recommended a lunge lesson which i have never had before so quite excited about that. She thinks it'd really help.

Very pleased on the whole!!
 

melmo1313

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Sep 5, 2009
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Glad it's finally working out for you and you found an instructor that suits you! I always liked riding a wide variety as it taught me what I like to ride now and what I would like to buy eventually as my first horse. I actually need to go back to lessons, I'm far too 'Western' with my English riding at the moment!
 

popularfurball

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Jul 18, 2005
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Ours put you on any horse but the one you requested :p

They refused to let people refuse to ride horses - all of them were school, safe and sane that were used by the general public (us saturday kids a different matter...thats how they became sane :p) They were alawys some that were kept for just advanced lessons, and obviously weight restrictions etc play into it - but strict policy of if you refuse a horse, you dont ride - they wouldnt accept it as otherwise people would always want the same horses.

However, they changed horses most weeks so you really learnt on a variety - and were strict on changing people so it works both ways really. I liked the policy they had... expecially as once you became a saturday kid you got to ride the "projects" in your lessons - which was always fun :p:D
 

minkersmum

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Well, where is this video then, cant get aways THAT easily ha ha x


Ah you see unfortunately we are very low tech here and it was taped on an old style camcorder not digital and i have no idea how you would go about getting that on to the laptop. Otherwise i would.
 

pharoah

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My RI likes us to ride different horses so that we experience the different feel of different horses. The RS have got some slightly more experienced horses that we have just begun to ride and you can certainly tell the difference between the horses that are, for want of a better word, beginners horses although some of them do work well for the next level up and the new horses which are the next level up. You definitely have to up your game when riding the more experienced horses (the more experienced horses are not ridden by beginners). I like the fact that you can turn up at your lesson and not have a clue who your going to ride. I ride the horse that nobody likes to ride, i didn't like riding him at first but now i've got used to him. My friend rode him the other day and for the first time she said i can see why you like him now. So it's good to ride the ones your not comfy with.
I did once go riding full of cold, felt rough so asked RI to ride one of the more reliable horses. Guess what???? I fell off. I'll never ask for an easy ride again.
 

notpoodle

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where i rode as kid i always requested certain horses - instructor obliged happily because they tended to be the lazy burgers at the end of the ride nobody else wanted to ride :p

more recently ... last place i had lessons i had been known to request to be swapped over when eg. it took 3 people to pin the horse down to stand still for mounting and i'd already spent half the lesson circling the beasties as he kept randomly taking off :eek: didnt want to ride that again .... cue me loving the unpopular, slow cob :)
 
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