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How much fun should lessons be?
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LetLoveRule · 02/10/2010 19:45

My dd (7) has been having lessons weekly for the past 6 or 7 weeks. She loves horses and is enjoying them, but to me they don't seem to be much fun. They just walk in a circle, trot in a circle and turn a bit. I appreciate that it is very important to learn correctly and safely, but there is very little encouragement and feedback from the instructor and no games or variety. Also, today for example, she was being led the whole lesson, but two weeks ago she was trotting by herself for the whole lesson. It just seems inconsistent.

Reading this back, the school doesn't sound good, does it? Yet, it is very well regarded, BHS registered etc. Perhaps I am just expecting lessons to be less 'dry' when in fact this is how it is (and should be?)?

Thanks

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Pixel · 02/10/2010 20:25

The only experience I have of children in group lessons is the RDA that ds goes to with his school. They play lots of games so that the children improve their balance and confidence while having fun, but I wouldn't know if this is what happens in 'normal' riding schools (nowadays anyway!). The inconsistency thing does sound wrong anyway, the instructor should be interested enough to know what standard a child has reached if they are going every week.

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shufflebum · 02/10/2010 20:31

I would say it is possible to have fun and learn balance, co-ordination and basic skills (walking, stopping, trotting, turning left and right) at the same time.
Is it always the same instructor? Maybe try to book at a different time and get someone else. But, if you/DD are not happy then find somewhere else most places won't object to you watching a lesson to see if it is your kind of thing.
Whilst BHS registration is good meaning the school adheres to certain standards and regulations particularly regarding H&S it doesnt guarantee a good time!

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LetLoveRule · 03/10/2010 09:44

Thanks so much for your replies. I am going to look into other schools. There is another one nearby which looks lovely, but isn't BHS reg, so I thought I should steer clear? The next one is quite a bit further, but worth it if the lessons are a bit more fun.

Yes, dd is enjoying it, but I think she will get demoralised when she doesn't feel like she is moving forward. Unfortunately the same instructor takes all lessons on Saturdays - she makes no effort with the riders names either, only the ponies!

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cazzybabs · 03/10/2010 09:47

i would move

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LetLoveRule · 03/10/2010 20:11

Yes, I think we will be moving. I don't feel we are getting value for money - just an instructor who is going through the motions.

Thanks again for your advice.

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wellywoo · 04/10/2010 14:29

Hi - don't be too hung up on schools being BHS registered.
I rode at a BHS yard last year and the safety wasn't brilliant. the horse I was to ride was being tacked up by a young boy/man who was more interested in playing with his mobile and flirting with one of the young girls who worked there, the bit was way too low in the horses mouth, the girth was on 6th hole on one side and 1st hole on the other. On the hack the girl hardly spoke to us and didn't seem bothered that my neice was a beginner - small things but not what you would expect at a BHS yard.

Have a look here, its fairly new but some stables have comments on their pages.
Good luck in finding somewhere.

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LetLoveRule · 04/10/2010 14:42

Thanks Welly - I'll take a look.

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Spookyoldclothcatpuss · 05/10/2010 12:30

the nicest riding school ever is in the midlands. (blackmires farm, silverstone) it isn't bhs registered, but is lovely. It is also a pony club branch centre, and has a nice range of instructors. If you are nearby, try it. X

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LetLoveRule · 06/10/2010 09:12

Sounds lovely, but far from us. I have booked a lesson at another school for Saturday - fingers crossed!

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BlueChampagne · 06/10/2010 13:13

Try ABRS - Association of British Riding Schools - as an alternative to BHS.

You are a customer, paying (I expect) quite a lot of money for lessons. You are entitled to feedback, and fun as well as learning. No-one can learn without feedback.

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CalamityKate · 11/10/2010 14:31

As an ex riding instructor, yes they should be fun! Being safe and being taught properly doesn't mean you can't have fun!

Apart from anything else, if a child is having fun they are going to be more relaxed and they'll be more likely to forget about being nervous, as long as the activities are kept within their ability.

We used to mix things up; maybe 10 mins of nit-picky positional work, then a walk/trot race, or some drill riding (like the Red Arrows on horseback lol). Still doing everything properly, but stuff the kids love. It's fun for the instructor, too. I defy anyone to watch six kids trotting without stirrups and trying to sing Christmas Carols at the same time without laughing Grin

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