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FertilizerLeaves
May. 27, 2011, 07:42 PM
Hi all!

So, I commute 1.5 hrs one way to a lesson. 1. Yes, it really is worth it, the instructors, barn, horses, people, etc are all fantastic, and 2. There are really NO good barns around me to ride. I'm a re-rider and right now, I ride just once a week. At first, it was alright. As I hadn't ridden in 6 yrs, it gave my non-existent muscles a chance to recover. I was so out of shape, that my legs would stay sore for almost the entire week between lessons. Now that I'm done with the spring semester and work minimal hours during the week, I can, time wise, afford riding more than just once. Plus, I can actually ride for more than 30 minutes without dying! :D

Right now, I feel like I'm not riding enough to progress. I grab ride when I'm at a friend of the family's house. But it's nowhere close to anything consistent enough to truly make a difference. However, I don't know if I want to ride more than once because I really am not progressing, which I do, or if I'm just competitive and because as most of the riders there, ride better than I do, I want to ride twice a week. No really, I have to beat people out of the stoplight when it turns green. I really easily go into competitive mode. :no: I really don't mind progressing slowly, I'd rather learn things right than quick.

So here's the real question. For riders who lesson:
How often do you ride a week? Obviously, if you own or lease, you ride more. So if you do, please answer as well. But I really want to know for those that lesson on school horses, how often do you ride?

For instructors:
How often would you prefer non-beginning 're-riders' to ride to show improvement? Or rather, how often can you expect riders, such as me who commute that time, to ride?

Thanks!!! Sorry! That was a little longer than planned!

Pirateer
May. 27, 2011, 07:50 PM
When I was younger, I would lesson (my only riding time) as often as I could. My barn was only 20 min away, but I was also a busy high school kid, so not a lot of spare riding time available.

Generally I rode 1x week from Sept-Dec. 2x from Jan-April, 3x during show season depending on show schedule.

Opus1
May. 27, 2011, 08:30 PM
So here's the real question. For riders who lesson:
How often do you ride a week? But I really want to know for those that lesson on school horses, how often do you ride?

You're pretty much me, from what you describe. :)

Adult re-rider, out of the saddle for 10 years before taking up lessons again last December. I did a month of 1x lessons a week, no extra rides. In January, I did 2x a week, and yeah -- it made a big difference. It felt like I was fast-forwarding through 2 months of riding, if not more.

Then, work kicked in, and I was lucky to get 1 lesson a week. Now that June's here and my schedule is stable, I'm set to start taking lessons twice a week again.

I really think at this point, just getting extra saddle time at all is a huge help to me. Yes, obviously having a trainer and a lesson is good (I love mine to pieces .. in case she stumbles on this) ... But I tend to learn a lot from just being in the saddle and relearning and redeveloping muscle memory. Which is why I'm also thinking about doing a 1/2 lease when work picks up in late August. I'll still be doing lessons at least once/week, but I'll have the ability to ride more than that, time permitting. And without messing up my schedule, or my trainer's with last-minute cancellations.

If you don't mind me asking ... how much do you spend on gas, per lesson?

The lessons themselves are a great price ($30, prepaid), but the gas ... Dear lord. I drive a Jeep Wrangler, so it costs me roughly $20-22 in gas to get to the barn and back. (100 miles, round trip). So, it ends up being about $50 a lesson.

Eventer13
May. 27, 2011, 08:52 PM
Hate to say it... but about once every 3 wks. I also have to "commute" to lessons, and with gas (especially while towing) its getting very, very expensive. Plus add in travel time and its hard to work it in around everything else.

But, I try to make up for it by having someone video my lessons, and then I take notes immediately afterwards so I can focus on my homework until the next one. I do feel like I can make reasonable progress but I have to be much more focused during my regular rides and plan out a training schedule. I'd love to do once a week but that's not financially in the cards right now.

superD
May. 27, 2011, 08:54 PM
I own my boy but I lesson 1-2 times a week. Before I moved I kept my horse 1 1/2 hrs away but would still make the drive at least 5 times a week if not all 7 to ride but could only afford to lesson once a week.( the gas is a killer!!)

Thankfully I now live within 5 min of the barn and couldn't be happier.

rizzodm
May. 27, 2011, 09:03 PM
I am also a rerider after 10 years off. When I started back riding I took lessons 1x a week. My trainer would comment on my progress "Are you riding somewhere else" as I did progress pretty quickly. (In my younger years I rode western pleasure and as a rerider I now ride dressage).
Like you 1x a week just wasn't enough, I wanted more time in the saddle. I wanted my own horse so I could ride more. I was shocked by the increase in all the prices; boarding, feed, farrier etc. etc. So I picked up a second job (a very flexible job with little hours)so I could afford a horse. God Bless my trainer she saw my passion and for the last two years I have been leasing from her(for a nominal fee). If my learning topped out on a horse she had another one for me. I have had my current pony for over a year now. I lesson 1 x wk and ride 4x a wk. I ride in clinics and get to show 1 to 2x a month.
If I owned my own horse after paying board I wouldn't be able to afford the lessons, clinics and shows. I love my trainer!!!

FertilizerLeaves
May. 27, 2011, 09:12 PM
Opus1, nope, don't mind one bit. One way is about 60 miles. Right now gas is at 3.80, just down from 3.96. It's about half a tank round trip, more or less. Now, at least in that aspect, I can suck it up a bit, I only drive to my lesson and get gas. I live close to campus so I either walk or ride my bike (that helped with being able to survive a lesson!). So, it usually costs about $20 that has to be bought at some point, whether its after my lesson or the week after. (Hm, I don't drive a Jeep Wrangler....maybe I just speed...excessively) Plus, my lessons are $45. The lesson cost to me is justified it's the build up of gas that's a pain.

So maybe, it's worth it, even just for a month so I can feel like I'm progressing. Also, it could get me to a point where when I do grab the occasional ride, I have something to work on and I could make something out of it, rather than just working on transitions and trying to get my heels to go back down. Plus, right now is really the only time I could do it. School starts again in the fall, and where I live, they plow M-F, 8am to 5pm. So during the winter riding can become a once a month type thing.

FertilizerLeaves
May. 27, 2011, 09:15 PM
But, I try to make up for it by having someone video my lessons, and then I take notes immediately afterwards so I can focus on my homework until the next one. I do feel like I can make reasonable progress but I have to be much more focused during my regular rides and plan out a training schedule. I'd love to do once a week but that's not financially in the cards right now.

That's a good idea. I've recorded one of mine in the past to watch my legs. But to do it more often, then I can see what I want to work on if I do get a chance to ride outside of lessons. Thanks!

Punkie
May. 27, 2011, 09:35 PM
I lesson 2-4 days a week, but I have my own horses. We are required to take one lesson per horse per week, and I usually fit in two lessons a day.

bits619
May. 27, 2011, 09:54 PM
I take lessons once a week, typically. I ride my trainer's horse, don't own my own. Lately I've been taking an extra lesson per week about once or twice a month. That usually goes right after a good money-making week (and I feel I can afford it!) Or right before an impending vacation. Or if I have had a remarkable lesson (either fantastic and I want to keep rolling or a horrid time and I'm desperate to fix it!). I basically just ask if she has a free hour to give an extra lesson that week and she usually can accommodate me.

I am at the barn three days a week (at work the other 4, boo). Trainer will give me other horses to ride after my lesson, and I'll ride my "schoolie" those other days, too. So I get abt 4-6 rides per week total.

I currently just have to drive 35 minutes to the barn (highway), but it used to be just under an hour commute. There is another trainer in the opposite direction, but she's at best 10 minutes closer, and who knows if I could have the same opportunities for saddle time tgere. Plus, my trainer's just awesome and has taught me so much.

I found that even the second ride has made a huge difference. When I get two lessons in a week, that's even better! I don't usually push myself as much when it's just me in the arena- working on that!!
For me, having a trainer that is willing to give me those riding opportunities (for free too!) is worth the price of gas, time, etc. I appreciate that so much, as ownership wouldn't be responsible at this stage of my life.
In order to make the drive a little less painful on the gas budget, I plan ALL of my errands in town to fall on my days at the barn (which is, ironically, closer to town than where I live). That or I try to get there and done as early as possible, so my whole free day isn't at the barn, and so Mr B. can remember what I look like!

Eta : I keep a binder of notes about my lessons and rides. Don't read it as often as I should but it helps sink things into my thick skull if I write soon after I finish. I'll find that I repeat things in my head as trainer says them, with the sole point to "remember to write that down!"
In between riding days, I will mentally review my usual equitation issues and the laundry list of prompts to fix them. I do as much throughout the week to get the most from my limited instruction time. Best of luck! If you can only ride more frequently for short periods of time, take advantage of it while you can, and don't feel bad if it's no as much as you like. For most of us mortals, our level of horsey involvement ebbs and flows throughout our lives. There will be intense times and less involved times but the horses will be there in some way no matter what!

SkipChange
May. 27, 2011, 10:17 PM
When I had a 2 hour commute (4-hour round trip), I lessoned 2-3 times a week. All lesson costs were included in board, so it cost the same wether I lessoned 20x a month or

Now my trainer comes to me once a week and I pay per lesson.

mizchalmers
May. 27, 2011, 10:35 PM
Another re-rerider after ten years (and two babies :) I ride twice a week most weeks, on school horses. It's 35 minutes on the freeway, but I'm lucky enough to carpool on the weekends.

I just started throwing in the odd hack. It's really remarkable how much better I am when I can get that third ride in. No substitute for time in the saddle.

mildot
May. 27, 2011, 10:50 PM
I'm as green as they come (I did one summer session of eq lessons 35 years ago) so I am learning everything all over again.

I ride at least three times a week and either one or two of those days are lessons. The balance are hacks to drill what my trainer has been working me on.

I do a half lease at the barn, and depending on what's going on on weekends there (BO/trainer not showing, me not having other sports) I'll ride the balance of the lease on weekends.

Oh, the barn is 20 min away and my car gets 40 mpg, so that eases some of the pain.

KitKat987
May. 27, 2011, 11:02 PM
I'm a rerider as well, and have two young horses, both just turned six and are still plenty on the green side. I keep them at home and trailer out for lessons. For the past few months I've been doing two a week, one on each horse. But I ride at the same time as my trainer 5 days a week, so she ends up giving me a lot of mini lessons in between.

I was doing one a week, alternating horses, but for jumping, it just wasn't enough for either of them to really progress at this point in their careers. Now that it is 'summer' and I use that term lightly looking outside, I will likely drop it back to once a week since I can ride at home and jump whenever I want. Weeks when I have shows, we'll just do lessons in the warm ups likely.

Opus1
May. 28, 2011, 02:21 AM
(Hm, I don't drive a Jeep Wrangler....maybe I just speed...excessively)

Do you do a lot of city driving? From my front door to the barn is 55 minutes and it's exactly 50 miles away. Only about 6 minutes worth of traffic, then it's open road. (Aside from a tractor here and there.) That might have something to do with it.


So maybe, it's worth it, even just for a month so I can feel like I'm progressing.

I think it will be worth it. If nothing else, give it a month and see how you feel.

To me, it feels like I'm less lost at the beginning of a lesson. Like when you get on after a week off and you have to shimmy around in your saddle a bit, get the feel of posting or doing the sitting trot, getting acclimated again. All that seems to come back to me much, much faster when I'm lessoning 2x a week. Plus, if you have a bad lesson, you'll have another in a few days. Mentally, that works wonders. Otherwise, I sit around for a week and beat myself up over why things went South.

RolyPolyPony
May. 28, 2011, 07:33 AM
Another adult re-rider - I've been riding again for about 1.5 years, and I lesson once a week because that's what I can afford. And while I was making progress, I seem to have stalled, thanks to having missed a fair # of lessons over the last couple months due to allergies killing me :( I do think that being able to do occasional practice rides (unsupervised hour long flat rides, cheaper than a lesson) has helped immensely.

I think the once a week is starting to be a bit problematic in that we alternate jump and flat weeks, and I need to jump more consistently in order to not lose my courage! I'm moving in a month and changing barns (my instructor is conveniently moving too, and close to where I will be - yay!) - new barn is cheaper, so I'm hoping to lesson 2x a week then.

ETA - gas for me is minimal right now, as the barn is 10 mins away! When we move, the new barn will be 25 mins away.

SquishTheBunny
May. 28, 2011, 08:14 AM
I only lesson once or twice in the spring before show season, then every day I am at a show (generally 3 weekends a month)...however, saying that I have an ultimate packer and he doesnt "do" winter.

I have a greenie now, so will probably pick up a few extra with him...but cant commit to weekly lessons.

goosejumps
May. 28, 2011, 09:58 AM
Another adult re-rider (isn't it wonderful to be back?!) and was lessoning 2 times per week on a school horse when I started back up a few years ago. 2-3 weekly on a subsequent lease horse, and now I'm in 3 or 4 lessons weekly on my own horse. Bumping up from 2 to 3 was when I felt myself progressing more solidly, for what it is worth...

FertilizerLeaves
May. 28, 2011, 05:13 PM
Eta : I keep a binder of notes about my lessons and rides. Don't read it as often as I should but it helps sink things into my thick skull if I write soon after I finish. I'll find that I repeat things in my head as trainer says them, with the sole point to "remember to write that down!"
In between riding days, I will mentally review my usual equitation issues and the laundry list of prompts to fix them. I do as much throughout the week to get the most from my limited instruction time. Best of luck! If you can only ride more frequently for short periods of time, take advantage of it while you can, and don't feel bad if it's no as much as you like. For most of us mortals, our level of horsey involvement ebbs and flows throughout our lives. There will be intense times and less involved times but the horses will be there in some way no matter what!

I like the binder idea. With college, I've become a I-can't-remember-unless-I-write-it-down type of person.

Yeah, I feel like things did go up. But then again, the last time I rode I was a junior so there was a disconnect between the cost of things. Hmmm, maybe that's why I worked at the barn so much. I see what my parents did there. :eek:

Awesome, thanks for the ideas. I think writing things down and video-taping will help get more out of the lesson. With my university, included in all those fees is a gym membership, so that could be useful! :yes:

iechris
May. 29, 2011, 07:59 PM
Yet another adult, but actually only started riding about 2 1/2 years ago. Lesson once a week in the winter typically and now am going to start back to lessoning twice a week. I lease one of the school horses when the college kids are gone and right now am riding 4 days a week. I do make more progress when I ride more often and really improve when I lesson two days back to back.

HGem
May. 30, 2011, 12:14 AM
My aunt has two horses not even 5min from my house. I help ride/show/take care of them. I ride 5-7 days a week weather permiting March-Nov. Don't ride much if at all Nov-March due to our lack of a riding arena.

When I was dabbling in rated stuff a few years back I would ride that plus trailer out to a trainers once-twice a week (20min haul). Though I would only pay for a lesson once a week. I would just school the other times. The trainer was my Aunts old trainer who didn't really do lessons anymore and would just chit-chat and give me some really helpful pointers/guidence so the lesson fee was nominal.

The last few years I just do my own thing. Try to do 2-3 [local] shows a month and use that as a self-assesment. My Aunt will be my eyes on the ground here and there, but nothing regular. I'm doing a clinic next month and I'm pretty excited for it - well excited/nervous considering I haven't had a real "lesson" in atleast two years!!

quietann
May. 30, 2011, 09:49 AM
Adult re-rider here, started back with the idea of eventing but for various reasons cannot jump anymore. Anyway. I'd been away from horses for 25 years. Started almost 5 years ago with a weekly lesson, and then there was some barn drama after a few weeks, so a friend offered to take me trail riding (eventing-style, not all walking, using terrain, road work, popping over a log occasionally) on her mom's old mare. We also used a neighbor's dressage arena for short lessons, and occasionally trailered to an indoor for longer ones. My work schedule was very flexible at the time, so I started with twice a week on the mare and then added in a weekly lesson at a different barn. So rode 3-4 times per week, eventually switching to friend's gelding when mare was retired, sometimes at both barns in one day, until I bought my own horse. I now ride her 5 times a week, with 2 of those rides being lessons, and occasionally do a lesson on a different horse.

I really think riding more than once a week helped me get back into it... I too was VERY sore at first as I was heavy and out of shape (I've dropped 25-30 pounds since I started.) Also, having such variety in what I was doing really helped with building confidence in being able to deal with spooks, unusual situations etc.

txhjgirl
May. 30, 2011, 12:08 PM
I ride a school horse and this is my weekly schedule:

Wednesday-flat lesson
Thursday or Friday- Jumping lesson 1
Saturday- Jumping lesson 2
Sunday- Sometimes Jumping lesson 3

So 3 or 4 lessons per week, 1 flat, the others jumping

GingerJumper
May. 30, 2011, 12:13 PM
Well, when I used to ride at my trainer's barn (with my horse boarded there) I'd go out right after school and ride about 5 horses a day, give or take depending on the day.

Then I moved my horse, and he's in work every day. THEN I bought a second horse and put the first one on the market, so I ride the new guy (he's a project prospect, lol) and when the old guy's not on break, I'll ride them both. (he was shown/worked heavily and earned a week off ;) )

eclipse
May. 30, 2011, 12:25 PM
Adult rider: I lesson 3x per week. 1 group dressage flat lesson, 1 group jumping lesson and now 1 private over fences lesson (new horse). My trainer also rides my horse once a week and I ride by myself another once or twice a week. Luckily I only live 5 mins from my barn so it's easy for me to get out there and my barn schedule lessons after work and on weekends to work around school and the adults work schedule!

xxreddxheaddxx
May. 30, 2011, 04:10 PM
i own. i lesson like 2-3 days a week. (more if i could but the pro has to ride him somedays so he just cant be jumped everyday of course!) and i ride other horses too. so i try to ride at least 2 a day.

StrawberryFields
May. 30, 2011, 04:24 PM
I usually lesson 1-2x a week when my trainer isn't super busy with shows. I also ride different horses a few times a week at the same barn as well. I think it's important for me to ride many different horses on my own as well so I can have the entire ring and my own time frame to figure things out. I usually do much better in my lessons if I have been practicing throughout the week (obviously!!). It's hard to afford more than one or two lessons a week since I'm in college