Friday’s Five – Tips to gain the most out of every riding lesson

bitofbritain-Week1

 

Five tips to gain the most out of every riding lesson

Riding lessons are never free. Depending on which coach you are working with and your arrangements with him/her, the price of a single lesson can range from days of hard labor as a working student to over $100 a pop. You need to gain the most out of every lesson to improve as a rider without going broke. Remember, your coach is not your babysitter. Do not be pay your coach to simply supervise your rides a few times a week and then ride around aimlessly the rest of the time. Even if you can afford to ride with a coach every time you are in the saddle, this method will turn you into a dependent rider. During competitions, your coach cannot shout out advice so if you are too reliant on your coach it will show with poor results. Make a promise to yourself that from this moment forward you will try to utilize every lesson to its full extent to take your riding to the next level without spending a fortune. Use these five tips to get the most out of your lessons and become your coach’s favourite student:

1) Schedule your lessons logically: Look at your budget and decide how many lessons you can afford in a month. Find out when your coach is available that month and write it on a calendar. Then add the days that you will NOT be able to ride for whatever reason (work, school, special occasions, etc.) to the same calendar. You do not want to book a lesson the day after you give your horse off. Decide which days you want to jump and when you want to dressage then space your lessons out accordingly. You need enough time between lessons to practice what you learn so you can move on to new exercises. By organizing your horse’s training schedule with a good old fashioned calendar and booking lessons accordingly, you will instantly get more out of your lessons.

2) Make sure you understand the big picture: It can be easy to get caught up in your coach’s instructions of half-halt, kick, circle, jump, etc. but still not grasp why you are riding how your coach is commanding you to. The next ride after your lesson, you will be left clueless without having someone on the ground to micro manage your riding. This coaching style is effective to get riders on the right track with their mounts but in order for the effects to be lasting, riders need to understand the method to their coaches’ madness. I used to ride around like my coach’s puppet in lessons and my horse would go amazing. Then when I would ride on my own I could not recreate the magic. It took a long time for me to realize that I needed to talk to my coach to understand the big picture. At the end of your lesson take the time to ask your coach to clarify why he/she had you riding the way you were. Be detailed about your questions. Ask things like “Why when my horse did this during this exercise did you tell me to do x,y,z?” Don’t feel silly about your questions, asking them is a lot smarter than riding around confused on your own.


3) If something is NOT working talk about it: If your coach is telling you to ride a certain way or exercise and you feel like you’re making zippo progress then speak up. Maybe you do not understand the instructions or purpose of the exercise. Perhaps because your coach cannot feel what is happening underneath you, he/she is giving you advice that is not 100% helpful. Communicate with your coach during your lessons to ensure neither of you ends up wasting your time on something that doesn’t work. This is not to say that if something isn’t happening you should immediately abandon ship. But if you are certain you have given it your ultimate effort and there is still absolutely no progress then its time to move on to plan b.

4) Devise an ‘after the lesson plan’ with your coach: You can only work on so much during one lesson but you can pick your coach’s brain to formulate a training plan for your horse in-between lessons. Ask for specific exercises that you can work on by yourself to improve your own weaknesses and your horse’s. Coaches want students who ride well, so your coach will be happy to spend the time to set you on a productive path between lessons. Follow this plan and you will be rewarded with noticeable improvements from one lesson to the next.

5) Do not be afraid to ride with different coaches: Not every coach is meant for every rider. If you feel that your riding has hit a plateau it may be time to try switching coaches. You do not have to leave your coach permanently; sometimes just taking a few lessons with a different person will fix an issue that your coach was struggling to help you solve. Just like horses, all coaches have different strengths and weaknesses. You are not married to your coach and even if you were it is 2017 so you could get a divorce. Use these six helpful tips to help you find the right coach for you if you’re currently coach-less or thinking that you need to move on.

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

The science behind the products – What I discovered about equine nasal strips | Eventing Connect   There are so many products out there to help horses and humans live better and perform better. Sometimes, it is difficult to know what is based on facts and science and what is not. I have always been a sceptic about anything that is not obviously explained. I am a student of science and I love reading and di…

Men versus women at the 2017 CCI4* events: Are we really equal? – Sponsored by Back on Track | Eventing Connect   Great for muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. Products for horses, dogs and people. Visit www.backontrackproducts.com   Men versus women at the 2017 CCI4* events: Are we really equal? – Sponsored by Back on Track Equestrian sports are the only Olympic disciplines where men and women compete against…

bitofbritain-Week1

The top 20 photos from 2017 that will leave you amped for next season – Part 1: Show jumping | Eventing Connect   The top 20 photos from 2017 that will leave you amped for next season – Part 1: Show jumping The 2017 season has come to an end in North America. Eventing Connect’s ‘photographers’ attended many of the top events on the continent this season and captured some awesome shots. Our Christmas present to our reade…

Extreme hacking: Ditch edition – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   Extreme hacking: Ditch edition – VIDEO Break Hacking can be as boring or as exciting as you want it to be. You can just walk down a nice little trail and enjoy the great outdoors with your horse. Or you can add some difficulty to your hack by throwing in some jumping obstacles. This rider decided that jumpin…

SeminoleWellness2017_770x170

Wednesday’s SCOOP from Eastern Hay | Eventing Connect   Wednesday’s SCOOP from Eastern Hay Today’s SCOOP sponsor: Eastern Hay is the premier source of hay bales in Eastern USA.   Worldwide bits and bites China: Glanders, flu and African horse sickness targeted by international horse sport body – Horsetalk.co.nz The International Horse Sp…

Why you need social media for your 2018 riding goals – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster | Eventing Connect   Why you need social media for your 2018 riding goals – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster 2018 is almost here and with the arrival of a new year, we always attempt to reinvent ourselves with new self-commitments to improve our lives. Making changes is not easy and many New Year’s resolutions are often not kept after…

Tuesday’s Top 10 – Stupidest Christmas gifts for eventers | Eventing Connect   WARNING: Only read if you have a sense of humour Check in every Tuesday for our Top 10 list that could feature just about anyone or anything related to Eventing. No rider, owner, coach, or nation is off limits. Remember: “Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.”   …

Who is the ‘five-star’ Novice jumper at Grand Oaks Horse Trials? You decide…vote now. | Eventing Connect   Who is the ‘five-star’ Novice jumper at Grand Oaks Horse Trials? You decide…vote now. Over the weekend, riders in the Florida were competing at the Sneak Peek Grand Oaks Schooling Horse Trials. This exciting new event ran divisions ranging from Beginner Novice up to the Training level. I was not competing…

How Superman rides a horse – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   How Superman rides a horse – VIDEO Break The famous fictional superhero, Superman is known for flying around and using his superhuman strength to save the world. But what would happen if Superman saddled up a horse? I think this video explains it…

A ‘grand’ new addition to the 2018 Eventing season – A show preview you must see | Eventing Connect   A ‘grand’ new addition to the 2018 Eventing season – A show preview you must see Eventing around the Ocala, Florida area has been steadily growing for years. Over the last two years, there have been three new events added to the area: Three Lakes Horse Trials, Exmoor Horse Trials, and most notably, …

Last Week TODAY | Eventing Connect   Last Week TODAY Catch up on interesting tidbits that you might have missed last week. We work hard to catch all the good stuff so you don’t have to.   Eventer or show jumper?   Birthday fun. Just got back from a great birthday night away in #Savannah with @jesshampf. Couldn’t hav…

Winter is an exciting time of year according to horses – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   Winter is an exciting time of year according to horses – VIDEO Break Winter is well underway and the cooler temperatures are making horses around the world quite fresh. Riders are doing their best to survive the bitter temperatures and riding their suddenly feral horses. Even four-star eventer and dressage q…

offbeatsafaris-4-770x170

Eventing absolutely slaying it again on Instagram this weekend | Eventing Connect   Eventing absolutely slaying it again on Instagram this weekend Instagram connects the world through photos and eventers love to share their lives on this social media platform. We have found Eventing pics from every continent in the world on Instagram. This is your chance to check out the entire world of event…

Bitches and dogs ruling the barn: Winter warriors and snowbirds | Eventing Connect   Bitches and dogs ruling the barn: Winter warriors and snowbirds No stable is complete without numerous dogs hanging around. At horse shows, there are likely more dogs in attendance than horses. It is almost unheard of to meet a rider who does not own at least ONE dog. Check out these killer bitches and dogs …

Eastern Hay 770x170-March

The most beautiful montage of horses in action you will ever watch – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   The most beautiful montage of horses in action you will ever watch – VIDEO Break Horses are one of the most stunning animals on the planet. Combine horses’ natural beauty with some of the best landscapes in the world and you have this mesmerizing video. This video is a promo for an equine photography worksho…

Crawling Between Heaven and Earth – The adventure begins with this free introduction | Eventing Connect   The adventure begins with this free introduction On a lazy Sunday, we are happy to bring you an excerpt from the latest novel Crawling Between Heaven and Earth, from Eventing Connect contributor, Mary Pagones. Mary is a New Jersey-based writer and editor. An enthusiastic reader of all things pony-and horse-re…

The votes are in and the new Perri’s halter goes to… | Eventing Connect   The votes are in and the new Perri’s halter goes to… With over 4,000 votes cast, our readers chose Mr. Muddy Moose as the coolest name containing the letter “U”. Congratulations to Christine Backston from the United States; Mr. Muddy Moose will be getting a fine ‘Amish made’ Perri’s leather halt…

What winning a CCI1, CCI2* and CCI3* looks like | Eventing Connect   What winning a CCI1, CCI2* and CCI3* looks like Winning a CCI event is a huge career accomplishment for an eventer of any level. FEI event wins are hard to come by, especially CCI events because horses tend to only compete at two of these a year. In order to be victorious at a CCI event, horse and rider have…

Things you NEED to know before riding your new OTTB | Eventing Connect   Things you NEED to know before riding your new OTTB This week, the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project opened up entries. So horse people around North America are on the hunt for Thoroughbreds to re-train for this incredible competition. It is the ideal time to share with you again, this informative article from AJ…

Find out how eventers around the world answered these tough “Would you rather” questions | Eventing Connect   Find out how eventers around the world answered these tough “Would you rather” questions Last week, riders from around the equestrian world played a game of “Would you rather”. The questions we asked made riders choose between some tough choices. Everyone has different opinions on what is important to them. So…

BACK ON TRACK-1-770x170

When you ALMOST stick the landing – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   When you ALMOST stick the landing – VIDEO Break Not every jump is perfect and sometimes it is tough to stick the landing. This rider almost had it and then things took a sudden turn for the worst. Have you ever seen such a random fall?    

Eventing Connect Classifieds are here – Post your ad FREE for 60 days | Eventing Connect   Eventing Connect Classifieds are here – Post your ad FREE for 60 days Eventing Connect is pleased to offer a Classified section to provide you with another platform to sell your horses, tack, services, property or whatever you may have for sale. Hundreds of thousands of readers visit us each month and we w…