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View Full Version : For those with instructors - how often do you get lessons?



thesaddleclub101
22-06-11, 01:20 PM
As the title says :)

Do you find that once a week is sufficient? Or have you had lessons twice-three times a week at times?

And for those who are instructors - what do you think?

Renvers
22-06-11, 01:22 PM
For someone like yourself TSC, weekly lessons would be ideal. It is also very good when the horse is ready to go up a notch to have a few lessons in a row if you can.
Two lessons a week is fantastic but you also need to time to practise what you're learning in between and have a play.

CheratonClassique
22-06-11, 01:24 PM
I go twice a week. Once, for an hour privately with my instructor, and once in a group lesson - which is actually just an excuse for me and my horsey friends to get together for a ride, or jump or the occasional hoon around the XC paddock plus a good chinwag, gossip session, Saturday catch-up plus lunch lol :)

SexyRitzy
22-06-11, 01:27 PM
I have weekly lessons. I would love to have lessons twice a week but my bank balance doesn't like that idea :p

rmjens
22-06-11, 01:27 PM
I try to go every week but very often, like lately, weather prevents me from riding and I don't really enjoy turning up if I haven't done my 'homework', so I'll put it off until the next week.

morgen_88
22-06-11, 01:28 PM
I have a lesson every fortnight. BUT... I am very lucky that I agist at my coach/friends training stables and ride with her a few days a week when she is riding her horses or I am riding whilst she is teaching in the arena as well so I nearly always have eyes on the ground (or on horseback! :) )

I think for novice riders or green horse riders once a week is really beneficial as long as you are putting in the effort another 4-5 days a week. If you are only riding the horse in the lesson and not doing any training in-between then I think that a minimum of 2-3 lessons per week would be better.

Cybergirl
22-06-11, 01:29 PM
Twice a week for many years up until recently. At present back to once a week, work and winter hours getting in the way. Umming and aahing about picking up the second lesson again when daylight hours get longer.

I find two lessons a week really push you along well, particularly with a green horse.

Kath
22-06-11, 01:29 PM
I try to go weekly, but sometimes comps or life get in the way because I can only have lessons on the weekend.

thesaddleclub101
22-06-11, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far guys. The reason I ask is that I'm in the process of getting lessons with a new instructor and I feel like I really need a lot of help with Gracie under saddle (which is a reflection of my capabilities and experience - not her temperament/behaviour). Even though my bank balance will hate me, I have been thinking of getting two lessons per week at least over the holidays but didn't want to come across as excessive.

k123
22-06-11, 01:39 PM
I do dressage lessons fortnightly as then I have 6 days or so to practise homework exercises. The other 4 days in the fortnight are used for fun stuff like trail riding, jumping and training cross country. When I start jumping lessons again, they will probably be monthly so I will have lessons 3 weeks out of every 4, but 2 dressage and one jumping.

You need to ask yourself what are you aiming to do, will you realistically do your homework or will you find excuses for poor execution of homework in your next lesson? If you won't do your homework properly and have the horse improved for the next lesson, do weekly or more frequent lessons. (ETA sorry for those who have really frequent lessons, I didn't mean to imply you don't do your homework - I was writing from my view of myself and can't think of how to reword!)

My personal preference is to pay once to learn something, so we do it in lessons, I get 3 homework exercises to work on and we work on them diligently and always have them improved for next time. Doesn't make them perfect, but if they aren't perfect, I am able to show where the problem is and then get exercises to fix it.

If I am not getting the homework exercises correct at all, I'll do an extra lesson and so have weekly lessons over 3 weeks, as I think it is best to acknowledge when you are right royally stuffing something up and to get it fixed.

kait21
22-06-11, 02:12 PM
I have lessons once a fortnight. My coach only comes to my place once a fortnight, so if I wanted a lesson once a week I would have to drive to his place every 2nd week and as he lives an hour and a half away, it means I have to take the whole day off work or uni to get there and it's just not possible very often. And also my bank account doesn't allow it either :( I am competing most weekends though and my coach usually warms me up for all my tests and helps me out, so I guess it's more than once a fortnight really.

cobie
22-06-11, 02:18 PM
I have lessons as often as I can afford it, I aim for twice a week, but sometimes it's once and sometimes it's three. That's with a local dressage instructor who travels to me. Occasionally I have lessons with the professional eventer who used to campaign my horse before I got him, but that's a three hour round trip so not always feasible in regards to time and money.

I've gone from having maybe half a dozen lessons in the first ten years of my riding career to as many as I can each week, and the difference is incredible :p

ktgirl88
22-06-11, 02:58 PM
Twice a week. One jump lesson and one dressage lesson (2 different coaches)

gasbuster
22-06-11, 03:03 PM
You guys are extremely lucky. I have had one or two lessons a week for a few years, but for those who know my regular instructor, this is no longer possible. We now have to work with one, two day clinic every couple of months, and I would kill for a once a week lesson again.

Rusty B
22-06-11, 03:05 PM
I was having a lesson weekly. I need to get back into it.

Caille
22-06-11, 04:11 PM
With any physical sport, you've got to look at not only what your mind retains in the session, but also muscle memory, strength, balance, and flexibility. I've always preferres 3 lessons a week for me personally in ANY physical activity I've done (riding, yoga, ballet, and martial arts).

When I was training to learn to teach MA, and in the 3 years of teaching I noticed:

One lesson a week: the student was there for something to do. They pottered along slowly, and would often get frustrated at others achieveing faster because they were only training once a week.

Twice a week: the student really likes what their doing and was interested in fitness, competetion, and progress. Most taking 2 lessons a week maintained enough of a level of fitness to be able to make acceptable (to them) progress.

Three lessons a week: Absolutely ideal for improving fitness, balance, flexibility and core strength. Students were pretty serious at 3 lessona a week

Five lessons a week: Completely insane who could not get enough bruises and who made consussion a normal state of being. (Put in as a "Ha Ha")

I improved soooooo much doing 3 lessons a week with H_P. It's also fantastic for motivation!

Renvers
22-06-11, 04:34 PM
I suppose Caillie that it also depends on the riders' motivation to keep up the work in between. When suggesting one or two lessons a week I know that that is the most feasible to maintain for the average rider in terms of what they can afford each week in time and money. If you work or study full time it's difficult to get a coach to commit to more than that unless you are incredibly flexible and can work in with what suits them. I would assume that the rider would still be schooling at least three other days a week and preferable four-five. It also depends on the stage the rider or horse is at.

k123
22-06-11, 04:48 PM
Callie, I am not sure what MA lessons cover - is it just showing up to do formal practise? Do the students doing 5 lessons a week practise at home too?

My theory, and my preference due to me being totally stubborn, is that I like to learn to do things myself. I find instructors a little distracting and having to listen to someone talking to me actually takes away from me riding as my concentration is split. So I do lessons and practise in the lessons. I run through things without instruction to make sure I can do them myself and instructor will give me feedback at the end or we will go over it if I am wrong. That way I can recreate by myself and I can practise and get both the horse and I doing the work well.

I've seen riders who are coached every time they ride and if they encounter something unusual when riding by themselves, they can't nut out a solution as they are used to being given the answer.

So do people who get a number of lessons per week also ride by themselves during the week? If so how many days a week do you ride? That's just me being curious :)

Caille
22-06-11, 04:49 PM
Very true, Renvers...

MA classes are 1/10 the cost of a riding lesson, and unlike MA classes, one does tend to ride in between lessons (Doing Karate, yoga, or ballet in ones living room tends to end up in banged knees and rugburnt feet!).

So I'll revise that to as long as you're riding regularly enough to maintain your progress, even fortnightly would be enough. I, however, am faaaaaar more motivated to ride (and clean my house, and have dinner cooked) if I know my instructor is coming! *blush*

windsweptfarm
22-06-11, 05:01 PM
All you lucky people having lessons twice a week!!!

I get them once a fortnight because it gets too exxy otherwise. Would love weekly or twice weekly, but just not possible right now.

Renvers
22-06-11, 05:02 PM
I think we all are, Caille, lol.
I do think that when you are just starting out then the more lessons the better. It does take a little while to develop the experience to school effectively on your own. But it's good for a beginner to spend time in between hacking out or trotting around the paddock to build up some riding fitness and work on their balance, without interfering with the horse too much.
I know one person who has four lessons a week and that's the only time they ride. I'd love to see them go for a ride with a friend and just enjoy themselves.

ps. I do my daily yoga in our entrance hallway but I'd struggle to find space for kata practice!

Babyboomer2
22-06-11, 05:17 PM
I'd like twice a week but at $80 an hour I can barely afford once a week.

It's been worth it though - no way on my own could I have given Solly the solid basis a 4 year old needs. She been there to ride him when there's been the occasional training issue I couldn't ride through myself.

My instructor has not only given me valuable tuition in riding and training but also the ringcraft I needed to navigate through official prelim/novice dressage tests, - which I can now ride confidently and even bring home the ocassional rosette;) - yay! elementary here we come!

OakyPoke
22-06-11, 05:19 PM
I think we all are, Caille, lol.
I do think that when you are just starting out then the more lessons the better. It does take a little while to develop the experience to school effectively on your own. ps.!

Absolutely.

I've been having lessons for years now. Even my teacher advises I dont book in unless I have actually had time to practice what we did at our last lesson.
So lets say I have a lesson then it rains for two weeks, well I wouldnt have another lesson. I'd cancel it and book in a week later or something like that. With my QH who has some good training on him, he might go with me to a lesson every 3 or 4 months or longer.

And with my current 'project' my OTTB learning dressage, I"m learning right along with him (being from a Western background) so its working, he's definitely improving, I just feel I need lessons every week or two at the moment with him. To check my work so to speak. I actually dont think I could have too many lessons with this guy at the moment. Just to ensure both he and I are on the right track.

So I guess there is no 'right' answer, its one of those things that depends on lots of different factors like what you feel comfortable with and how much help you need right now. (and what you can afford! Lets not forget that one ;) )

alchemist1
23-06-11, 10:02 AM
Around once a fortnight, unless something pops up that I want someone to take a look at, then I'll sneak another one in.
I am one of those though who is very good at nutting things out for myself. I had to be, at one point I went something like 12 years without an instructor, while still competing.

StElmosFire
23-06-11, 12:04 PM
*sigh* Just wish I could afford lessons, period! One a week would be like heaven to me.

1st foal
23-06-11, 12:29 PM
There are 2 issues for you TSC because you are a green rider on a green horse. If you can afford the time and cost, talk to your instructor about having more than 1 lesson a week, but splitting each lesson into 2 parts.1 for your instructor to get on and teach Gracie and then for you to ride so he can work on your position, aids, etc.
It is difficult to teach a green horse balance and self carriage if the rider is inadvertently interfering through inconsistent aids and their own balance issues. It would be great for you if he has a "school" horse that you can ride from time to time to get the feel of a balanced horse. Good luck!

Renvers
23-06-11, 12:51 PM
Good advice 1st Foal. When my horse was very green I had six lessons a month - a weekly one on the baby horse and a fortnightly one on a schoolmaster. If you're riding a few horses it's not so critical but if you have just the one you get very used to each other and green horses are excellent at training inexperienced riders :)

Harriette
23-06-11, 02:04 PM
wow, I am a little gob smacked...I must be a freak or something

when I have an adult horse in competition training I have 1, 1 hr lesson every 6 weeks. twice a year, usually through holidays, I have 4 lessons in 4-6 weeks, this is often including a clinic.

I find I learn ok, I retain the lessons by writing down the important points straight after I get home..these then go up on the fridge and are part of the focus of my training over the next 6 or so weeks...by then we have it all down pat, and are ready for the next stage...
I would not consider booking the next lesson till 90% of the home work is done. If I have an unsolvable issue I get on the phone for clarification. But I have always just worked through the lessons.

I have always thought weekly lessons (month in month out) were brain deadening for an instructor and for slow learner riders or special needs (loco) horses....clearly this isnt so....

but what on earth do you do with all that time in front of the instructor????? and if you get that used to riding under instruction, what happens when you have only yourself to rely on


obviously inexperienced riders or horses with issues will do better with more supervision..but once your independent/experienced.....

Renvers
23-06-11, 02:23 PM
Harriette, are you taking the p!ss?

Flick_09
23-06-11, 02:33 PM
For the last 8 years I have had lessons about twice a year mainly in clinics.

For the first 8 years of my riding career 'lessons' consisted of mum, and ocasionally other people who were also in the arena, ocasionaly yelling stuff at me when I was riding. I learnt from books and videos and trial and error.

I just wish the internet with things like 'Horse&Country TV' had been around then :cool:

So why should Harriette be taking the piss? Different approaches work for different people and it is possible to improve with out having formal lessons, you just have to be very proactive and self critical.

Renvers
23-06-11, 02:40 PM
I have always thought weekly lessons (month in month out) were brain deadening for an instructor and for slow learner riders or special needs (loco) horses....clearly this isnt so....



I was referring mainly to this part of her post, not implying that one couldn't progress well with little instruction. However if you want to avoid many of the pitfalls of schooling alone or making mistakes as you attempt to train beyond your previous experience, then good regular coaching is important.

Centaur
23-06-11, 02:43 PM
One coach I used to get lessons with 4 times a year for 4-5 days in a row because thats how he ran his clinics. I loved it! Worked well, but if he'd been a local I would have gone to him at least once a week.
One I haven't been to yet this year (very bad of me because he's great too) but I would try and get to him once a week, but it usually turned out to be once a week for 3 weeks, then he'd go off to the States for 6 weeks :(
Now I see one once a week because she comes and does weekly clinics nearby and that suits me with the young horse.
I wish my clients would have 2 lessons a week!! :rolleyes: At least it would help me pay for my own lessons :D
As a coach, I don't find giving lessons to someone once a week brain deadening, and as a rider, if I could live at either of the first 2 coaches places and ride with them everyday I'd be in heaven! (I'm sure they wouldn't though!!LOL)

LindaH
23-06-11, 02:44 PM
I've never lived anywhere where weekly lessons would be possible. My lessons always consisted of attending clinics with visiting instructors. Some were "one offs" and others became more regular if a group or club got a particular instructor to come back repeatedly. So generally, my instruction has been either one off lessons or 2 day clinics spaced months (or sometimes even years) apart. I always had to travel to the clinics, at least 100-200 km away, and sometimes further.
Luckily now we organise lessons with an instructor who visits our place roughly every 6 weeks for weekend clinics (if we get enough people to fill the clinic). A friend in a town 100 km away organises clinics with another instructor roughly 6-8 weeks apart as well. So, if I have the time and am cashed up, I can do a weekend clinic approximately every month.
If I wanted daily lessons I would have to travel to the instructors and stay for a week or so at a time, which I can't afford the time or money to do at the moment.

Harriette
23-06-11, 02:47 PM
Renvers
no, I am not 'taking the piss',
just saying that my preconceived idea is clearly wrong
no need to get your back up

I do very well with my system, and have no experience of people who have weekly (or more) lessons....none bar here.....and as I automatically assumed you are all not 'taking the piss'.......I commented that I, and the people I know must be a bit unusual.

heres a corker.....if I dont have an adult in competition training I barely get riding lessons at all.... I count 3 in the last 2 years...bad me:D

Flick_09
23-06-11, 02:52 PM
I was referring mainly to this part of her post, not implying that one couldn't progress well with little instruction.

Sorry grabbed the wrong end of the stick.

Ness3
23-06-11, 04:02 PM
I have an instructor that comes to me twice a week for an hour at a time, although I'm sure by the end of it is more like an hour and a half. I find this is enough, firstly because I blew all the spare money that I had on my lovely new saddle (:D) , secondly it gives me time and motivation to do the homework in between lessons.

StElmosFire
23-06-11, 04:06 PM
I can see what Harriette is getting at. But if you're making progress in dressage, you keep adding to your repetoire.... as in, when you master all the Prelim stuff pretty well, you aim for the Novice things: lenghtening stride, beginnings of collection, more lateral work.... and so on, as you climb the ladder. You certainly don't keep drilling and drilling at the same old, same old, day in, day out. The aim is to make progress!

StElmosFire
23-06-11, 04:14 PM
I'm making a new post, because it's a slight change of direction here (but not off topic).... those of you more advanced dressage riders might be able to answer this for me:

Is it worthwhile to have a single lesson with a visiting instructor - somebody either "high profile", or just "jolly good" - when it's plainly obvious that it will be a "One-off"???
Meaning, the instructor comes from far, far away, and you can only have the one lesson..... is it worthwhile? When you can't communicate with them about your progress or problems, and you only have that one lesson with them? You might well have a "light bulb moment" at the time, but can you keep it up? This has plagued me for a long time, and I just thought now might be an appropriate time to ask. Renvers? LindaH? Anybody?

Harriette
23-06-11, 04:22 PM
...................

cbz
23-06-11, 04:23 PM
Regarding what Harriette said; in my experience people who don't have regular lessons are always convinced they are doing "just fine" without them because they don't have someone on the ground watching them going: "hey, you're doing this wrong". And when they do have lessons, they get really shirty because the instructor says: "hey, you're doing this wrong" and then they quit the regular lessons because the instructor obviously doesn't understand that they prefer to concentrate on "other" things; and doesn't get them and their horse; and it's far more valuable to learn to sort things out for yourself anyway.

The really good riders have "eyes on the ground" as many rides as possible and if they haven't got a coach they'll grab one of their pupils, or anyone who's around and say: "hey, how does this look?" because they want to nip any bad habits before they spend too long practicing them.

I have a friend who is a perfect example. She has taken a couple of breaks from riding and having lessons recently (to have babies) and each time her assurance in giving advice to people on how to ride and train their horses increases each day she doesn't have a lesson. But when she goes back to riding and having lessons, she becomes more humble because she realises it is not an exact science, how it feels on top may differ from how it looks on the ground and everyone is actually trying as hard as they can, not just riding badly because they're idiots. She's just about to start riding again soon and I can't wait :D :D

I find having lessons keeps me humble. It's hard to be arrogant when you're having your faults pointed out every week. (Yes, I have lessons every week and twice a week if I can afford it/pin down my coach).

Harriette
23-06-11, 04:29 PM
my lowly opinion:D
everyone has something to teach you
it may be small but crucial, it may be huge and become part of your everyday,
it may be useless now, but be important in a few years time.
it may be to reaffirm why your ideas are different to theirs

I drove for 12 hrs to listen to Buck Brannaman for 2 days....Reata thinks I am lying when I say I didnt learn many new exercises.....BUT I learnt so very much....about the whys...not the whats...I would go again in a heartbeat...cause the things I do, I understand better thanks to him. I have changed two things...I put in more repetitions, and I reward even more..."rub bare spots"

cyrus
23-06-11, 04:58 PM
Well- I think they charge too much for their time really, if I am brutally honest.
Dons the flame proof suit as I usually get well attacked for that comment... but..

I actually do lessons when the coach comes to my area- maybe every 2 months this year. Winter has me running for cover now- I just cannot make myself part with my dollars to possibly getcold miserable and wet, and whinge all the lesson- should it be feral weather. So I will go and watch her teach in July. Plus we were going away, the following week.

Imagine I pay $90 for a 45 min private lesson.. thats $2 per minute, so I better concentrate, and I want my $$$ worth also.

I paid maybe $150 this year for one private lesson, and one group lesson ( it had 3 riders in it for $75.. but I also got a DVD of all the days lessons, and my lesson, which I did find very useful, it sure beats dragging a friend along to help me. Friend is always happy to help tho, and she learns along the way also from watching my lessons.

I actually usually pay $120 for a private lesson, and $80 for a shared lesson( 2 people) over 2 days ( they fly in) they are the lessons I enjoy the most.
But $200 for 90 mins is pretty good $$$ too.

So really- even if I can afford to pay for weekly lessons, I would not, I have to be realistic and say "how much can I really spend on my hobby and horses" and I always put my family first when they were young, kept my horses, but often missed out for financial reasons.
I always went to ARC for group lessons, its good for me and my horse, and we always enjoy the company and lessons too.
I enjoy clinics too, as I learn lots by watching others too.

Mystery~Bay
23-06-11, 05:00 PM
twice a week when the universe aligns, even if i don't get to ride in between i still have the lessons. It's my ME time, and I need it

sergundo
23-06-11, 05:41 PM
I want to make a quick comment on what SEF said before:
At the risk of being controversial....IF YOU WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS, then no, I don't think that it is worthwhile getting a one-off lesson with a top rider. My instructor is absolutely brilliant; her and I 'click' really well, everything she says makes sense, and we do really well with her. If Edward Gal was giving a lesson for 200 odd dollars, I am not suggesting it wouldn't be an amazing experience. But then I am down 200 odd dollars, potentially with conflicting views which will confuse me. What is the point of going through all that, when I get great results from my current instructor.

On that note... I aim for a weekly lesson. If I am busy sometimes fortnightly... even once a month. But if I have a comp coming up I may get two that week, and she will warm me up for all three phases at the event.

cyrus
23-06-11, 06:08 PM
I will ad one thing, I like my instructor, because she is female, and also not a tall person. So I also think she understands the differences between Edward Gals long leggies, and other things too about not be as tall as we would like to be.

I was watching a dentist work yesterday, and he was a nice tall person, and he easily went with the horses head etc. So sometimes things that seem simple about working with horses can be challenging to me, as I do not have a great reach, my legs do not exactly hit the same spot, etc,
Bit like little kids on big horses.
I think thats why I like a smaller horse too now.

... Taff
23-06-11, 06:34 PM
There's too much yapping in the background for me to read so I'll write instead.

A looooog time ago I used to have daily lessons. There were a group of us, and we kept our horses at our instructor's place.

He was a German with a face like a prune - he had spent much time outdoors - and was now a little long in the tooth.

And sharp in his tone.

And colourful in his screamed instruction.

In the hottest of the summer weather he wore a small pair of speedos. We preferred the look of him in the cooler weather as he wore his well-tailored, if a little ancient, riding clothes.

I wanted to become The Best Rider In The World and this was my motivation for riding daily under instruction. The result was, I never looked forward to my lessons. The best I felt all day was when the lesson was over and someone, usually Meg, filled up the jug from the tank and made tea, and we sat in the tack/feed/tea room recovering.

I was not a good pupil, it must be said. Although I liked and respected my instructor, he was not the right one for me. I was not the right one for him. My horse did not think she was in the right place either.

But instructors were thin on the ground in this neck of the woods and it seemed to me that there was no other instructor in the vicinity who (and I don't want this to sound bad) had a clue. There were a hoard of them at local riding schools, the type who say "Heels down," and think they are instructing. You feel like picking up a megaphone (reins in one hand) and calling back, "I can talk like that too. It ain't what I came here for, baby." But of course you don't.

(I mean, who carries around a megaphone when riding? I never think of it.)

So, what was I going to say here?

I agree with Renvers. You need time inbetween instruction to fiddle a little by yourself, without "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!????" blasting towards you on the shuddering air particles.

And you need your instructor to be someone worth learning from and someone who you click with.

cbz
23-06-11, 06:45 PM
In the hottest of the summer weather he wore a small pair of speedos.

Eeeeewwww! Eeeeewwww! Eeeeewwww!!!!!

http://th1100.photobucket.com/albums/g420/ALilRebelChick/Funny%20Stuff/th_Vomiting-Smilely.gif

kait21
23-06-11, 06:47 PM
Cobie - If Edward came and offered to teach me (because let's face it, I wouldn't get in otherwise), I would jump at the chance and $200 would be a small amount. ;) But yes I do get what you mean and the point you were trying to make. If you don't have regular lessons, I think forking out heaps for a specialist one off trainer is probably not as useful. If you have regular lessons, are progressing well and want to get another opinion or work on something different or take a different approach, then yes going to a clinic is very helpful. But what's the point of getting the outside opinion if you don't have an original opinion becuase you never have lessons.

thejoth
23-06-11, 07:08 PM
steffen peters can give me a lesson in his speedos any day...

sergundo
23-06-11, 07:13 PM
Cobie - If Edward came and offered to teach me (because let's face it, I wouldn't get in otherwise), I would jump at the chance and $200 would be a small amount. ;) But yes I do get what you mean and the point you were trying to make. If you don't have regular lessons, I think forking out heaps for a specialist one off trainer is probably not as useful. If you have regular lessons, are progressing well and want to get another opinion or work on something different or take a different approach, then yes going to a clinic is very helpful. But what's the point of getting the outside opinion if you don't have an original opinion becuase you never have lessons.

Cobie wasn't the one who posted the comment about Edward, I was. And I'm sure you know it was just an example, and his lessons would probably be more expensive than that.
I'll give a classic example. Clayton Fredericks is coming to teach at a clinic in December, and it is $380 for two group lessons. Or when Lucinda Green comes, they are upwards of $300 as well. I do get regular lessons, but I can't justify spending that sort of money, when I can spend $70 and get an awesome result. I don't feel I would get enough out of a one-off lesson with a top level rider, and don't need to because my current instructor is pretty damn great (having said that she is a 4**** rider and was long listed for the US Eventing team for the 2000 olympics, so she is also a "top level rider" if you want to get technical).
I believe I could get just as much out of one of those lessons watching them as I could riding in one. It takes a good couple of lessons for someone to really get to know your horse. Not saying everyone else should agree, but FOR ME specifically and personally, I can't justify that money just to be able to say I have had a lesson with "such and such" when I am either going to get just as much out of it as I do with my instructor, or going to get told everything I am doing (that has been working) is wrong.

FNQ62
23-06-11, 07:18 PM
Adding .....Taff's budgie smuggling instructor in with the airhorn blasting instructor, where do you find these people? I must be living under a rock!

carbon
23-06-11, 07:26 PM
Once a week would be the minimum that I would have if I were you TSC. Part of that lesson I would hope that your instructor rides your horse a little as well. I find that a good instructor who gets on and warms up your horse teaches you an amazing amount because you get to see how your horse moves how it reacts and what it can do.
Two lessons a week for part of the time will really help you excel so go for it. I donít think you need two lessons all the time if you do you risk being over focused.
I often have two lessons a week just before a comp but it is not often and it is costly.
Like others have said having lessons all the time prevents you getting out there and having a go yourself. Many break throughs will be during your rides were you are trying something and it works.
The thing is whatever you do in your lessons you need to practice.
As to having no lessons... well in my experience people who donít have lessons are self rated legends who could benefit from being open to instruction. No one is perfect but lessons will help you look that way.
In summary keep your weekly lessons and if you can afford to have them twice weekly especially if you both are green. The key is practice inbetween.

Renvers
23-06-11, 11:00 PM
To answer St Elmo, I think it would be worth it if you can afford to. I think though, that it would be important to go along with an open mind, but be prepared to analyse what you learn afterwards (which you would do anyway) and decide if it would be appropriate to incorporate any new techniques you might learn into your current schooling. Some exercises are hard to mess up, but some are better left for when you have eyes on the ground. I'd ask as many questions as you need to afterwards and, if possible, watch as many other people's lessons as well, to give the work some context for you (and allow you to relax and enjoy your own ride without feeling you have to take mental notes each second - you can use other people's lessons for that).
These days everyone is one the internet, so you can always Google any visiting trainers and decide if you think you'd like to ride with them.

alchemist1
24-06-11, 10:56 AM
I'm going to disagree with those who believe that anyone not having lessons is a 'self rated legend'.
When I went through a huge patch of not having them, there were two reasons. No-one around who would travel to teach, and finance.
I asked judges all the time how this looked.....where that could be improved. Then I'd go home, and work on what feedback I'd got.

kait21
24-06-11, 11:17 AM
Sorry Sergundo - should have known it might come across the wrong way, I agree with you, I was just being a little tongue in cheek. Sorry it didn't translate that way. No need to reiterate what you mentioned, I realised it was simply an example :) And $170 for a group lesson does seem pricey, but it probably goes for more than a 45 minute dressage lesson I guess.

DO
24-06-11, 12:44 PM
How about a stoned instructor, spending the lesson throwing rocks at horses and laughing.

FNQ62
24-06-11, 01:25 PM
R u kidding me? Budgie smugglers, airhorns and now stoned rock throwers????? DO you have to stop this kind of behaviour!! :D Sorry couldn't help myself. Just can't believe these people have the gall to charge money.....

Although I went to watch a friend have a private lesson once by a well-known O/S instructor, where he proceeded to talk on his mobile phone :eek: Good thing he made up for it by extending the lesson, no apology, no nothing. Yikes!

kait21
24-06-11, 02:10 PM
My coach answers his phone in my lesson if it's someone important/urgent. I don't mind, he still watches me and yells things at me in the middle of his conversation

FNQ62
24-06-11, 02:19 PM
@ $300.00 per lesson, I would not be happy to have someone talking on their mobile. Unless it is life-threatening, this is extremely unprofessional.

StElmosFire
24-06-11, 02:26 PM
At $300 a lesson, I'd want every gram of the instructor's attention, expertise and talent solely focused on me for every darned second of the lesson. And if there WAS some sort of urgent message (he/she would have left their phone in the safe-keeping of somebody else for my lesson, thank you!) then I'd expect the minutes of absentee-ism to be timed, and have that, plus 5-10 minutes extra to compensate for the loss of momentum, to be added on after the lesson's original end time.

Fussy? Moi? Nope. I just believe in getting what I pay for, and a fair day's work for a fair day's pay.

DO, if an instructor was on mind-altering substances, I'd demand a refund!

Hazel
24-06-11, 02:49 PM
At $300 a lesson, I expect a cherry on top!!! that would buy me around 4 - 5 lessons with my instructor!!!

I would also expect the phone would not even be switched on for the hour that persons was booked for.

DO
24-06-11, 03:24 PM
What some of you arent getting is that with an Instructor charging $300 a lesson you getting 1000 times the experince and knowledge of the $40 dolloar instructor.

If you are happy plodding around and getting smoke blown up your arse and being told how wonderful you are, well you aint going to get it either.

FNQ62
24-06-11, 03:37 PM
That may be so, but still unprofessional to be talking on the mobile.....but probably better than a buggie smuggler, airhorn blowin', stoned rock thrower - gawd!

cobie
24-06-11, 03:49 PM
I'm going to disagree with those who believe that anyone not having lessons is a 'self rated legend'.


Me too alchemist, there are so many reasons why people can't have regular lessons. That said though, I spent 10 years doing so many basic things wrong, in hindsight if I had've had lessons or even some help from more experienced "eyes on the ground" more often, I would've made so much more progress by now!

Hazel
24-06-11, 04:12 PM
What some of you arent getting is that with an Instructor charging $300 a lesson you getting 1000 times the experince and knowledge of the $40 dolloar instructor.

If you are happy plodding around and getting smoke blown up your arse and being told how wonderful you are, well you aint going to get it either.

Hmmm, I know that my $60 instructor does not blow any smoke up my arse!! I am clear where I stand at the beginning, middle, end and in between of each lesson!

I am not saying that I wouldn't pay $300 for someone who could give me 1000 times the knowledge, however I couldn't do it every week!!!

And and and and and and, just because of what someone charges, should not determin how good or bad an instructor is!!!

Lord, if we thought like that no one would get lessons! I cannot afford to always buy from Gucci or Prada, I have to sometimes come back down to reality and buy from the specials rack at Myers and David Jones....Heck even been known to pop into Target from time to time!! lol

cbrown
24-06-11, 04:17 PM
Regarding what Harriette said; in my experience people who don't have regular lessons are always convinced they are doing "just fine" without them because they don't have someone on the ground watching them going: "hey, you're doing this wrong". And when they do have lessons, they get really shirty because the instructor says: "hey, you're doing this wrong" and then they quit the regular lessons because the instructor obviously doesn't understand that they prefer to concentrate on "other" things; and doesn't get them and their horse; and it's far more valuable to learn to sort things out for yourself anyway.


OMG CBZ, Have we met?? It's embarrassing but I seriously think you just described me. Just replace 'shirty' with confused and teary and that easily describes every dressage lesson I've ever had. :o

I think sometimes it's not arrogance though, often as riders/human beings we play we play to our strengths, different disciplines have different terminology and expectations, and it can be a huge slap in the face when someone decides you need to go right back down the slippery snake when you feel you've spent hard years climbing up the f***ing ladder.

Also when you clearly suck at something you get the feeling that the instructor doesn't see much potential in you so they don't have a vested interest in seeing you become a winner because it's probably not going to happen. That's how it feels anyway, so you get turned off as a rider.

kait21
24-06-11, 07:59 PM
Lol at Crbown and the above comment from cbz. When I mentioned I was happy for my instructor to talk on the phone, he's not $300. For a clinic I would be offended, but this is my regular coach and I understand he hasa business to run too. We are flexible, sometimes I turn up late, and he doesn't say "well Kait you're 15 minutes late so now you can only have a 30 minute lesson." He's flexible to me and regularly helps me warm up at comps for all 3 or 4 of my tests for the price of one lesson and often refuses money, so I can allow him to accept the odd business call now and then in a lesson.

The problem with a $300 lesson is you aren't necessarily paying for that person and their experience, but often you have to also support their travel costs, flights, accommodation etc if they are coming from interstate or O/S. For instance I recently went to a clinic with a rider from O/S and it was $160 per lesson. She did 12 lessons each day, however her daily rate is not $1920 nor is that what she charges when she conducts clinics at her own place, but for return flights and accommodation for a week from Europe, it gets $$$ and that has to be covered in the lesson prices.

Clinics are great and I am careful about who I choose. I have found 3 coaches that I particularly like that come over twice a year each, and I try to get to 4 clinics per year in total. One clinic (2 or 3 lessons) every 3 months is realistically all I can afford on top of my fortnightly lessons, however it is GREAT to get different ideas. Everyone has their own way, similar but a bit different to your coach, and to me it is important to get these different opinions and tips, as I have found they help enormously in my day to day riding. For instance some coaches particularly work on seat or have different ideas or exercises for certain things.