Riding school expectations

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New Member
Nov 16, 2020
I just turned 40 and started taking lessons after a long 20+ years break. I found a small barn with 4 horses and the trainer is an experienced rider. They have a horse for complete beginners but since I have ridden before the trainer has had me ride a mare that is on the smaller side (I'm only 5 ft 1") but she is what I would call "hot" meaning she likes to go fast and furious. Our first lesson was okay, but yesterday since she hadn't been ridden all week, she was completely out of control and was bucking and cantering all over the place. The trainer got on her for a while and got her to calm down after riding her back and worth on the trail. My question is should I keep going to this barn for lessons? Is this something that comes with horses? The trainer made it sound like she never bucks and the only reason she was doing it was because of my aids being wrong and confusing her. This could be it, but then again I am not confident in the saddle after just two rides so I probably shouldn't be riding a "hot" horse. I would love to hear your thoughts. I don't remember riding being this much of a fight with the horses I rode. Thank you!


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Hello and welcome. :)
Doesn't sound like a good idea to me that you should be given that particular horse. I once had lessons on a horse that bucked going into canter (I was warned about it to be fair) and that was difficult for me, I came off a couple of times. (I was an adult too - I started having proper lessons early 30's). I would call them and explain you don't feel happy and would prefer the complete beginners horse. You don't want to be put off riding before you're even back into the swing of it properly.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
I don’t think it matters what is or isn’t the norm, if you aren’t happy ask for a few rides on the beginner horse to get back in the swing of things 🙂


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
Hi and welcome.

It sounds like you know the answer to this already and I agree with you - after a 20 year break it isn't reasonable or safe to expect you to ride a horse that behaves like this, and even worse that it has had a week off before your second lesson. I'd say you either talk to them about riding a much calmer and more mannerly horse or find another school, personally I'd go for another school if possible since I'd be questioning their judgement after they put you in this position.


Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
I think if they are not happy putting you on a quieter horse, I'd run for the hills! I don't think it's fair "because you've ridden in the past" to give you the difficult horse, or to blame you for the bad behaviour. To say she never bucks is, I think, nonsense, and again, unfair to you. Of course she's bucked before. Sorry, I'm ranting, but I hate when people say about dogs and horses "Oh she's never done THAT before" - it's almost always not true - grrrr! However, if they're happy to let you have a lesson on an easier horse, and you like it there, give them another chance.