Updated: Sep 21
Hello all my horse lovers, those who ride and those that really want to! I want to share with you some tips on finding an instructor that is safe and right for you!
When I decided I want to ride, no one really said what to watch out for when finding an instructor and my parents just wanted me to be able to ride and not kill the bank! Well we sure learned along the way what to look out for and which instructors to stay away from! I do not want you to have the negative experiences that I had! And if you are with an instructor that is not great, I want you to know it is okay to stop riding with them and to find an instructor that is right for you! Watch the video below for all the tips or skip on past and read all about it!
What You Need to Know About Yourself
Price Point! - How much money are you willing to spend on riding lessons? Now there is a HUGE price range for lessons! You can find lessons ranging in the 100s down to maybe the 40s. Some factors that can affect price are how fancy the barn is and what the instructor teaches, like dressage or show jumping. Always make sure you check the price before going all in with an instructor!
How often? - Maybe you want to ride every week or maybe more than once a week to really push yourself! Or maybe you want to start slow and do every other! It does not matter which you choose as long as it works for you!
How far? - Depending on where you live, I know horse barns can be pretty far to travel to. But you have to keep in mind your schedule and if it is realistic to do a long drive x amount of times a month.
Who needs an instructor? - You? Your horse? Your kids? All of you??? All instructors and trainers will specify who they like to teach and train!
What type of experience? - If you do not have your own horse, do you want a lesson that teaches you how to go get the horse, bush them, tack them up, ride, untack, and take them back out? Or do you feel like you want the horse all set for you and you just ride? Each barn/program/instructor runs lessons differently so make sure to ask or read up on what is expected of you for the lesson!
What type of riding? - Now if your a beginner you should focus on learning the basics but do start to look up different riding styles to get an idea of what you would like to try as you progress! There are tons of amazing riding styles including dressage (English & Western), jumping, agility, vaulting, etc!
Key things to do before going all in with that instructor!
Meet your possible instructor before riding with them! - Get to know them, get a feel of their personality and if it meshes with yours! Even better is to watch them instruct a lesson so you can see if you like their style of teaching!
Talk to other students and equestrians! - Listen to what other students have to say about their instructors. Read reviews online and reach out to other people in the horse world! We are a tight knit community that has a lot of intel!
Visit your potential riding barn! - Ask if it is okay to visit the barn and get a feel of the atmosphere that you may be a part of when you ride!
Alright I have given you tons of tips and tricks to help you find the best instructor! BUTTTT there are a few things I want to make sure you do not settle for or allow!
Red Flags to Watch Out For!
Bad Feelings - If an instructor makes you feel uncomfortable, bullies you, or is unsafe please stop riding with them! As you learn to ride whether you are a beginner or advanced, you put your safety, your horse, and your emotions in the hands of your instructor and those should never be messed around with!
For Those With Their Own Horse - You may love your instructor but sometimes your own horse may not click with them, or the instructor's techniques are not right for them. You can absolutely keep riding with your instructor BUT do it on another horse! You need an instructor that clicks with your horse for the mental and physical health!
Abuse - If you see an instructor mistreating a horse immediately stop working with them and please report them! There are so many amazing instructors out there but there are those rotten apples floating about!
Boring! - If you find your lessons are not fun and you are not progressing it is time to move on and find a different instructor.
Not Welcome - If the barn you are riding at does not feel welcoming to you and helpful, let your instructor know politely. But if you do not see improvement or it worsens, LEAVE! You need to be comfortable in the barn you are riding at!
There are so many amazing instructors out there that want to help you on your journey to learn to ride and work with horses. If you take the time to research and talk with them you will find one that is perfect for you! And to all the instructors and trainers out there, you are awesome and doing an amazing job!
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