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View Full Version : Speed of improvement - kids vs adults



snaffle635
Nov. 8, 2010, 03:12 PM
I participated in a clinic this weekend and rode with a great group of kids - kids who were on school horses not too long ago and have moved onto shareboarding and leasing. I was so impressed by how much they've all improved...which got me thinking...

how come I haven't improved at that rate?

Why is it that kids seem to learn and improve so much faster than adults?

Do adults spend too much time analyzing what's happening whereas kids just do it?

Is it physical?

Are kids brains more in learning mode because they're in school?

Interested to hear your thoughts.

hntrjmprpro45
Nov. 8, 2010, 03:27 PM
I think in generally kids are more likely to take risks/accept challenges which CAN help them learn faster. They also tend to be very loose and limber. However, I think to a certain extent that adults usually have more body awareness and muscle tone than young kids which makes them learn their position much easier. So for me it is a toss up- it just depends on the individual. I have had some adults who were much faster learners than kids and others that are much slower. I think the important thing is to figure out what learning style suits you best- that is how you learn faster.

KateKat
Nov. 8, 2010, 04:12 PM
As an adult who didn't start riding until I was 24...I think my biggest hurdle has been getting out of my own danged head and just riding! A lot of the kids I know don't think about things-they go off feel and just get out there and ride. I, on the other hand, have to think about everything and compartmentalize everything. Its gotten better the more I ride (riding 4 times a week versus just the once a week I was doing for the first 3 years) but there are still times when my brain breaks everything down in steps and I overthink.

Also, definitely agree about the fear thing. All the juniors I know are pretty much fearless. They'll hop on any horse and do a course with it. So of course they improve much faster than I, who would prefer to stick with my sweet, saintly school horse. However, I just bought a super talented jumper for the sole purpose of getting out of my comfort zone so I can learn. She is definitely schooling me on having to actually ride correctly!

Canaqua
Nov. 8, 2010, 05:37 PM
I agree, distraction, fear and, in my case, age of body, are all issues. I was reasonably accomplished and competitive as a junior and am now back into it several months, after 30 years off! I'm in my late 40s now.

I bring all kinds of thoughts to riding with me (my job, my kids, my husband, health insurance and taxes, what are we having for dinner, etc...) that kids just don't have to be concerned with! And, I know I over think and analyze the riding as well.

When I was 17, I was not afraid to fall off...I fell off or crashed numerous times and was not much the worse for wear. At 48, I'm assuming that bones will break more easily and my family's life would be really difficult if I were laid up for an injury. Shoot, my car has a stick shift, a leg or arm injury would make it impossible for me to get to work, do the grocery shopping and pick up kids from after school!

I've found that I can still build muscle, or get into shape, in a reasonable period of time, but it's very hard to maintain it. I had a bad cold two weeks ago and didn't have the wind or energy to keep up with my off the horse exercise (aerobic stuff like walking/biking and things like crunches and squats, since I only ride 3 times a week)...it showed up right away in my riding (even though I skipped no lessons or rides while sick) that I'd been neglecting the general fitness for 10 days. When I was younger, I could use muscles once a week and they'd retain decent strength..now, I need to use them nearly every day or they start to get weaker.

InWhyCee Redux
Nov. 8, 2010, 05:41 PM
I think in generally kids are more likely to take risks/accept challenges which CAN help them learn faster. They also tend to be very loose and limber. However, I think to a certain extent that adults usually have more body awareness and muscle tone than young kids which makes them learn their position much easier. So for me it is a toss up- it just depends on the individual. I have had some adults who were much faster learners than kids and others that are much slower. I think the important thing is to figure out what learning style suits you best- that is how you learn faster.

I agree — it depends on the individual. I feel that I grasp concepts MUCH faster as an adult. And I am in better shape physically, believe it or not. Unfortunately, I only get to ride about a fifth as many hours as I did as a teen, so c'est la vie....

equidae
Nov. 8, 2010, 05:49 PM
Why is it that kids seem to learn and improve so much faster than adults?

Do adults spend too much time analyzing what's happening whereas kids just do it?



Yes and yes. The answer is simple, we adults over-complicate things!

Across Sicily
Nov. 9, 2010, 12:09 AM
Well, I think improvement has to do with the trainer, too.

There have been trainers with whom I've regressed and trainers with whom I've LEAPT forward.

billiebob
Nov. 9, 2010, 02:12 PM
I teach beginner lessons and have had students from age 5 to mid-60's. Adults are generally better with the technical things like body position and why certain things are done (like diagonals). Kids are a lot less fearful but their body awareness just isn't there. I don't really teach adults and kids all that differently (except if they're really young or exceptionally timid). My favorite kind of student is one with good listening skills--no matter the age!