My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

Discuss horse riding and ownership on our Horse forum.

The tack room

Kid's beginner lessons - is this normal?

19 replies

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 17:33

My nephews have been taking lessons for about seven weeks not and tbh I'm not sure if they're getting any actual tuition or even really improving! For four or five weeks, they've gone on a hack for 30mins - though all they do is ride along the track that goes around the riding school. They have had two lessons in the arena but didn't do much differently - the ponies were being led (more like dragged about) by leaders who are all slightly older kids. (Nephews are 5 and 7)

Neither of them know how to steer or stop, or even make their ponies go beyond kicking and it's making me wonder if we're paying for nothing! We also asked about then sharing a private lesson and were told it would only put them off as it would be too intense.

None of it lines up with my experience - I used to work with horses, though in a private school rather than a riding school and the kids were taught very differently - how to steer, hw to sit properly, "games" like touch your pony's tails/ears, around the world, that sort of thing. They were confident and seemed to progress much more quickly!

Aibu? Is this normal? If anyone is in the NE I can PM you the riding school name!

OP posts:
LightDrizzle · 06/01/2024 17:35

No. That sounds shit and not typical to me. I’d change riding school.

gwenneh · 06/01/2024 17:36

No, that doesn't sound like a lesson at all. While there is some element of "saddle time" involved in any good lesson programme, there should also be an appropriate amount of skill building and that sounds like it's absent.

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 17:37

Thanks! I could see them having hacks for the first few times to get used to riding but it's all they're doing and I don't feel like it's teaching them anything.

OP posts:
twistyizzy · 06/01/2024 17:48

@QuestionableMouse I am NE if you want to PM the name to me.
Is it a BHS approved riding school?

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 18:07

Apparently not approved by either BHS or ABRS!

Will send you a pm!

OP posts:
twistyizzy · 06/01/2024 18:08

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 18:07

Apparently not approved by either BHS or ABRS!

Will send you a pm!

Then that explains a lot! BHS isn't perfect but it does set a benchmark in care and tuition. I would stop using that school and go to a BHS one.

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 18:13

It's my sister who's booked and paid so I'll need to talk to her!

Any recommendations for a decent riding school near Billingham?

OP posts:
twistyizzy · 06/01/2024 18:16

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 18:13

It's my sister who's booked and paid so I'll need to talk to her!

Any recommendations for a decent riding school near Billingham?

I have PM'd my recommendations

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 18:32

Thank you!

OP posts:
idontlikealdi · 06/01/2024 18:59

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 18:07

Apparently not approved by either BHS or ABRS!

Will send you a pm!

There's your answer. Whilst not perfect better than nothing. I don't know your area I'm afraid.

FictionalCharacter · 06/01/2024 19:10

Definitely go to a school that's been recommended by someone who is knowledgeable about riding.

There are some really, really terrible riding schools out there. The fact that the ponies at yours are being dragged about by child "helpers" is a bad sign.

It's really heartbreaking - dreadful standards of animal welfare and appalling "teaching". If kids are taught badly in their early lessons they get into very bad habits because they don't understand what they're doing. So they forever yank the horse's mouth and kick it endlessly.

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 19:27

The horses are all in good condition so I have no worries there, it's more the fact they're just riding up and down a track and not much else!

OP posts:
Newuser75 · 06/01/2024 19:37

I am in the NE and know of a couple of good ones if you were interested.
The one you mention doesn't sound good at all.

FictionalCharacter · 06/01/2024 19:44

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 19:27

The horses are all in good condition so I have no worries there, it's more the fact they're just riding up and down a track and not much else!

It’s good that they look in good condition but unfortunately you can’t always tell from their appearance whether they are being handled correctly and treated well. Your words “dragged about” imply poor handling. You don’t lead a horse by dragging it - that shows that both horse and handler are poorly trained. The child “leaders” are probably clueless.

The school you went to sounds like one that has few if any qualified staff and poorly schooled horses. They can make money from beginners by pulling them around with a rope, but no learning is happening. I hope you find a good school!

QuestionableMouse · 06/01/2024 19:54

Oh yeah, I totally get that - I'm not inexperienced with horses though it has been a few years since I actually rode or worked with them. Tbh I thought I was just being judgy because stuff isn't being done the BHS way but this thread has reassured me that I'm not!

OP posts:
GildedAge · 06/01/2024 20:25

It does depend how old they are as this is totally normal and fine for under 5 year olds. If they are older then no they should be being taught basic aids and how to rise to the trot.

pinkyredrose · 09/01/2024 12:52

Neither of them know how to steer or stop, or even make their ponies go beyond kicking and it's making me wonder if we're paying for nothing!

Any school that teaches kids to kick horses is to be avoided. They sound like they need reporting tbh.

MyopicBunny · 19/01/2024 23:09

There are, as far as I know, a LOT of riding schools who just take people's money and don't actually teach people to ride.

If you are anywhere in the midlands, I would really recommend my DD's riding school. She has only been riding for 11 months and has gone from being in the lead rein class to being in the intermediate class and she jumps 80cm and can ride a variety of different horses and ponies. It has actually changed her life. The instructors are all super positive. Pm me if you want the name.

QuestionableMouse · 22/01/2024 00:54

I'm in the North East sadly but they're on waiting lists for a couple of better places and are booked in for a lesson at a BHS reg stables next weekend.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.