what would you expect from lessons?

(275 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:29:28

just wondered really as i had my first lesson tonight, i used to ride as a child but ive not ridden for over 30 years.

the first school i had booked with were very lax and when i showed up for my lesson tonight they claimed they had tried to phone me to say the instructor hadnt made it in - they had not tried to phone me and i told them that - then they changed their story and the man said he couldnt ring as had locked himself out of the house, and said they would be in touch. Still no call from them, not even an apology.

so at short notice i booked at another school and went for my lesson tonight.

i told them id not ridden for a very very long time and would need to be treated like a total novice.

it was an arena, a very placid horse and i really had a wonderful time, but i just wondered how lessons normally go?

i found i couldnt concentrate on technique because i was trying to keep my horse going, he was lovely and an old hand but in trot he wanted to stop....is it a good idea to learn to control the horse and learn technique at the same time?

im pleased i was let loose to some extent and i think i will learn quickly - alot of it came back to me tonight though i will need tons of practice and im sure alot of this cant be "taught" and has to be learnt on the job as it were.....but i know my balance is awful and though i was told id done really well, it all felt a bit clumsy and i dread to think what i looked like!

how do first lessons normally go?

Littlebigbum Wed 27-Feb-13 23:53:27

Don't give up Vicar

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 23:59:19

tenacious is my middle name.

(well its not actually but i wont give up - i will get my own horse even if i cant bloody ride it!)

D0G Thu 28-Feb-13 07:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nicecuppachar Thu 28-Feb-13 07:55:14

Have you thought about getting your own and having it on working livery there ( or somewhere else!) and then your horse is getting the exercise it needs and you are having a reduced bill.

I exppect my kids to rids properly - I'm very technical and i ride properly BUT DH gets on and has fun. If he's vaguely doing the right thing ( and the horse he rides is very forgiving) that's enough. Have you told her you just want to ride well enough to enjoy - i'e rising trot, canter, pop a small x pole and safe hacking?

Any chance of a share for a few months? That way you could progress but not be entirely on your own and making all the decisions as you would with your own horse.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Feb-13 22:25:44

dog i would only get my own if RI would have him or her on livery with her.

nice if i could get the right horse then i would certainly have it on working livery - i trust RI and it would be in safe hands with her. I have told her that i just want to be safe and competent enough to have my own. I dont want to compete or show - i just want to enjoy riding.
I would have no objection to learning on my own horse.

I would loan, but probably would want a loan with view to buy....(i get terribly attached!) i have no idea how to find a loan horse.

Try local ads for loans (online at gumtree, or tack shop notice boards etc.)

Floralnomad Thu 28-Feb-13 23:00:13

You may have difficulty finding someone who would loan to you if you plan to keep it on a working livery basis but you never know .

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Feb-13 23:12:54

oh no i wouldnt have a loan pony on working....that wouldnt be mine to decide on.

but i would want a loan with view to buy. i would be hopeless at giving a loan back again....

Pixel Thu 28-Feb-13 23:31:38

Are there no other liveries at the yard already who might consider a part share?

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Feb-13 23:41:01

unfortunately not pixel - she has no liveries at present. i think its difficult because the farmer who owns the yard places some restrictions on RI but i think if she could get straight a bit with some of the horses that are not working/lame/ etc etc she would take liveries on a part or full time basis. at the minute she is full to capacity but with horses that maybe shouldnt be there....its such a shame but she is hanging on to some horses that just arent school material, and others that are lame beyond what the vet can sort out.....she is getting to the conclusions herself....but its hard for her and i understand that. Some very tough decisions need to be made, but i would be useless at making them too....

Pixel Fri 01-Mar-13 01:46:34

Okaaay... Well if you were to find a part-share at another yard in the area, would she come and give you lessons there? My RI does this if I want a lesson on my own horse rather than one of her's as I have no way of transporting him. I just pay her a little bit extra for travelling time.

By the way, I think you want need some hacking experience. If your RI can't do this, just find somewhere that will take you out hacking as an occasional thing.

KissingKittyKat Fri 01-Mar-13 09:40:06

Vicar If you can afford it I would seriously consider taking a riding holiday where you can do an intensive week of riding and horse care. I also think it would be good for you to learn a bit from somewhere else. I am not saying your RI is teaching you wrong, but there are different ways to do things so it might be good for you to learn from other places too and see things from a different perspective.

When I learned to ride the stables didn't allow clients to hack out and they only did lessons in the school, so I used to go pony trekking in Wales for a week each year which gave me some experience of riding out (although admittedly the ponies just followed each other so it was not quite real riding!). But still good fun and good for the confidence, we used to gallop on the beach grin

Booboostoo Fri 01-Mar-13 09:42:44

OP I am going to be brutally honest with you because your RI is really taking the piss.

Her lessons sound crap. No one can learn on a horse that won't move because a beginner would, mistakenly, try to use too much leg, this would result in loss of balance and the whole body trying to shift the horse forwards which is counter-productive. I don't want to dishearten you, as I don't think it's your fault, but your RI is taking ages to teach you the very basics so you need to consider the possibility that she is not a very good teacher. Even if she is god's gift to teaching if she does not have horses for adults, she simply cannot teach adults.

The way you describe how you muck out and work for hours in exchange for nothing is abusive. You are an adult, if she wants p/t work she should pay you the minimum wage. If she wants to offer tuition in exchange for work there are schemes available that set out what is a fair contribution from both parties. No groom, or working pupil should ever put up with such rubbish. If you are a client and not a groom/working pupil then she should give you proper instruction, e.g. being showing how to muck out once and doing it once is quite sufficient.

Put buying a horse (or sharing or loaning) out of your mind. If your RI is encouraging you with such thoughts she is completely irresponsible or out to get a working livery horse for nothing. She is not a charity for keeping lame and sick horses from the RI, this is what responsible horse ownership requires. RIs need to factor in the costs of vet insurance and the possibility of having to rest or retire horses as part of their general costs. This is what is involved in running an equestrian business.

Is this RI in any way regulated? Is it BHS or other relevant body approved? Is it registered with the council? Do they have an insurance certificate on display?

I would strongly recommend you try another RC. Good RCs do not plonk clients on a horse and let them loose, nor do they advocate beating horses up. Are you anywhere near the Yorkshire Riding Centre? You can't beat the YRC for wealth of knowledge, variety of horses, excellent facilities and world class training, but if it's too far away start with a BHS approved RC near you.

Booboostoo Fri 01-Mar-13 09:43:47

P.S. there is no quick cure for laminitis, your RI gave the horse bute which is an anti-inflammatory and has a short term action, the effects of which you observed. Everything she did was correct and standard treatment for lami, but not a miracle cure!

KissingKittyKat Fri 01-Mar-13 09:50:31

Also.........I currently have my first ever share pony and I am so glad I decided to share before I took the plunge and bought my own. It has been a real eye-opener for me and I am realising exactly how much time, effort, emotional energy and money horse ownership involves.

I used to assist at a livery yard as a teenager so it is not as though I was totally ignorant about what having horses involves, but having one of my own (albeit on share) is totally different. I think what has really stuck me is the emotional energy it involves, worrying when things are not quite as planned etc. I never experienced this with riding school horses. Maybe that is just me as a I am natural worrier!

Also the type of horse you want now might be different to the type of horse you want in one year's time when you are more experienced.

If you can, I would seriously consider a share or loan before you buy. Put adverts in local tack shops, and try Preloved (this is where I found my share pony, I put a 'Wanted ad' up), Equine Ads, Horse Mart, etc.

Also, my quest to find a share pony was very interesting (I saw several completely unsuitable horses that people were quite prepared to share with me even though I am a complete and utter novice). Again the search proved to be a real eye-opener I think the experience helped me out for if / when I do ever look for a horse to buy.

Good luck.

Floralnomad Fri 01-Mar-13 10:00:12

I agree with everything said by booboo ( particularly about the laminitis) , also until your last couple of posts I never realised that the RI doesn't actually own the yard . I doubt things will ever change under these circumstances and I doubt she will ever be making a good turnover . You need to go further afield and find yourself a new school with better and more suitable horses because at the moment you are wasting your money . Sorry if that sounds harsh . I'm not in Yorkshire but I'm sure that someone on here could recommend a good school / RI .

Butkin Fri 01-Mar-13 11:56:37

Vicar, just a few things to consider. What is your RI's qualifications for teaching. At a BHS approved school she'd be a RI or I (latter is better).

Why does she have a yard full of horses but no clients? Who pays for everything. Sounds like a welfare case about to happen.

You say she has no staff - seems very strange with a yard full of horses - not very professional.

You mention Pony Club during half term. Is this something she arranges for children (and calls it Pony Club) or do the local Pony Club come to use your facilities? Does your RI teach the children or does the PC Senior Instructor come?

Sorry if (like the cobs thread) we're shattering a few illusions but lots of us on this thread are smelling something strange about this and just want you to have fun.

CalamityKate Fri 01-Mar-13 12:20:07

You say she's turning people away - hw come she can't afford staff then?

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 02-Mar-13 00:03:30

RI is fully qualified, fully certified and fully insured. She is the only one i went to who is. She used to teach at college - she told me all her qualifications before we started - and showed me her qualifications - she is very well qualified.

she is not encouraging me in any way to get a loan, share or horse, on any livery basis - she tells me this is how to come unstuck. She has never stuck me on a horse and "let me loose" and she never ever beats horses - im not even sure where thats come from - she is incredibly welfare driven - she wont even allow pupils to kick while riding.....are you reading my OP boo? because if you were that was a different school.....

this lady is older, fully qualified, insured, but she has got some charity cases because she couldnt bear to leave them in distress so took them to hers - so she is paying for some horses that are not working and never have been. One was sold as a 10yr old but is actually 4, she knew this from her teeth but she was in such a state she took her anyway from a dealer- she says she was matted from sweat and urine, and she just couldnt bear to leave her. She is schooling her and she says she will make a lovely pony for someone - but she needs some time spending on her, and needs rebacking etc....and schooling. She just doesnt get much time with so much yard work to do daily.

she has plenty of clients - but not enough horses for adult learners. She does pony club activities - the kids come and learn about horse care etc for a full day in the holidays.She used to lecture in colleges so she teaches kids - but she really doesnt charge enough - some of the kids lessons are £12....a full day on pony day is just £25.

the horses she has are mainly for children with only 2 horses that can take adults - one is a school master, the other not, so she is in a bit of a catch 22....
she really is a brilliantly qualified, good instructor - but i like to go in because i learn from going in, and being there is helping me, giving me a reason to get up on a morning, yes some days are a bit fraught in terms of time, but i am enjoying going, for the most part, and im learning. When i feel im not learning i take time out, but i offer to go in and i know she appreciates a hand.

the lami thing - i didnt call it a miracle cure - but i know nothing and so just observing and having chance to see and feel the difference was good for me - i now know how spot the signs before it takes hold and how to stave it off.

My RI is a gem - and i know that because i tried other schools first, schools where i was just chucked on a horse and left to it, where i wasnt told how to ride, or sit, or hold the reins even, if i stopped going in tomorrow she would simply carry on as she has for the last 7 years - without help.

this is temporary for me - i am suffering with depression - going there lifts my spirits and i enjoy it for the most part.
Today, as i was fastening a rug, the pony licked my ear. smile and that, however daft it sounds, made my day. i love being around the horses, i love turning them out and bringing them in, i love grooming, and stroking, and feeding them. Yes im doing some hard work, and yes, its for free, but in 10 days i am back at work, and i will not be able to go in so often, so im making the most of it and getting whatever horsey time and picking instructors brains as i can.

she is a woman in her 50's who loves horses, who is truly very knowledgeable and who is fully insured, fully qualified, she could accredit and assess NVQs etc in college where she used to lecture and teach, she is a proper instructor.

she rents the yard. she keeps it immaculate. She is turning adults away due to lack of adult horses to learn on. Kids she has tons of. The horses are in good condition, and kept well. All are on different feeds, all fed on excellent quality hay which costs a small fortune.

Everything is done properly, registration forms, insurance, qualifications, but she has only one paid saturday girl. She doesnt ask me to go in - she suggested it so i could start to learn about horses - when i started riding i knew absolutely nothing and she knows i really want my own. I need to stress that she isnt relying on unpaid help - she survived perfectly fine without me! and if she said that i couldnt go in and help it would be me that lost out - because i enjoy it and its benefiting me, for when i do get my own.

She is certainly not encouraging me to to do that yet.

Some days i learn more than others. Some days with 14 stables to muck out its hard to learn but she talks me through everything she does and explains why she is doing X Y Z.

today i spent the day there, i mucked out only 4 stables - she did the rest. i cleaned a bridle. We chatted. we drank tea. i enjoyed being there. and i got my ear licked....what more could i ask for grin

Booboostoo Sat 02-Mar-13 09:26:38

I am sorry but you misunderstood my post. I didn't say your current RI suggested you kick/hit horses, I said your fear of going to other RIs because this is how they teach is unjustified. I appreciate you tried an RI where they left you to your own devices, but I was suggesting that is the exception and not the rule. I was suggesting that your RI is not the only decent RI around and you have other options.

The reason I suggested that is because in your previous posts you seemed deeply disatisfied both with your lack of progress and with wasting your time mucking out and not really learning. At the same time you seemed to have an unreasonable focus on getting a horse in the future, where to buy one from, what type of livery to have, whether there was space at your yard, etc.

If I read you last post correctly you are now perfectly happy helping out at this yard on a charitable basis - good for you, people who volunteer for charities are wonderful, kind people who see a need and do something about it. If you see your work at this yard as charity and helping out a friend that is a lovely thing for you to do, however you can't complain that you are mucking out all the time and not getting enough lessons. Running a welfare centre for horses is primarily a daily slog through mucking out, poo picking, fence mending and grooming!

If you are a paying client you should get value for money, i.e. ridden lessons on suitable horse and proper stable management lessons.

If you are a friend or charitable helper you should do whatever is needed and accept without complaint whatever can be given in return (I would expect free lessons in that case but if you want to contribute further to the charity by paying for lessons that is up to you).

If you want my personal opinion, I think it is very easy for well meaning but unrealistic people to collect a large number of welfare horses and then not have time for them. It is all very well to rescue a 4 year old and recognise that it needs time to be backed and brought on properly, but if the rescuer does not have time to do this herself she needs to re-examine her priorities. Taking on more horses than one can cope with, while at the same time turning away paying clients due to lack of suitable horses is bad business sense and bad charity-running sense that is very likely to result in welfare issues.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 02-Mar-13 10:57:30

oh i see - i think i did misunderstand your post boo

i am a paying client and yes, there is a lack of suitable horses for adults to learn on. Thats true.

i see what im doing as helping out but also was supposed to be getting some learning from it - which is fine when it works. Sometimes it doesnt. My progress isnt very fast thats true - and some of it down to lack of horse.

i doubt there will be welfare issues - she is limited anyway to 14 horses and has that number now - all very well cared for, all see farrier, all see vet etc when needed.

Ive been to 3 different schools now and i cant find one that is perfect. I think RI is very good but yes, im finding it difficult.

I have not found any other school within this vicinity.

I wonder why you think my focus on getting a horse in the future is unreasonable? im not sure what you mean. Im not throwing myself headlong into something that i cant do - thats why im learning (or trying to) i wouldnt get one until im certain i can care for it and afford it. Thats why i asked about costs etc on other posts.

off to google Yorkshire Riding Centre to see where it is in proximity to me...

saintmerryweather Sat 02-Mar-13 11:54:18

Just out of interest have had a look at yorkshire riding centre and a private lesson with an instructor is 35 plus 20 for the hire of the horse! Unless ive misunderstood that, its very expensive. diy livery is 75pw week for a straw bed. that is absolutely extortionate, diy round here starts at 25pw with full use of a school

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