View Full Version : Teaching a Newbie Rider

Feb. 23, 2012, 02:05 PM
I am giving a lesson on Saturday, as a favor to the woman who's gelding I've been putting miles on for her.

It's her son's girlfriend, they are visiting for the weekend. Her background she says is just riding the trail horses who just follow the leader.

I've taught lessons before, but it's been a little while.

What would you start out with?

Normally if I'm teaching a beginner, their first lesson starts with basic care and tacking, riding and then un-tacking and putting things away properly. Obviously this is a one-time deal so I don't want to waste her time with stuff like that.

I was thinking of just starting with her just walking around, getting comfortable and then having her try some figure 8's and circles, focusing on heels down, eyes up and just being relaxed.

It's a 30min lesson so I doubt I'll get into much past that, but I wanted to see what others started out with.

Feb. 23, 2012, 02:32 PM
I think a lot of it depends too on her comfort level and how natural she is in the saddle.

Probably just starting with walking around is good. Teach her about leg pressure, and how to steer. Maybe set up a little course of cones/obstacles for her to go around. If she wants to trot, put her on a lunge line so she can practice posting. I probably wouldn't progress beyond that on a very first lesson with a super duper beginner.

And she might actually want to know a little about grooming/saddling up the horse because you never know, she could decide to continue with lessons after this!

Feb. 23, 2012, 03:08 PM
Can you take her on a trail ride or hack? Even if you have to walk beside her rather than ride yourself, it will probably be more fun for her than riding around a ring. Even if she's been on the follow the leader rides in the past, a trail ride one on one with you will be more fun than walking around a ring!

Id take her to the ring and review basic steering, stopping, heels down, etc just so you can see what you are working with and then take her out.

Feb. 23, 2012, 03:12 PM
Depends on her comfort level...

I would have some cones or something for weaving available, a pole or two for walking over/stopping between, and a lead line or lounge line so she can try trotting. If she isn't comfortable, you may end up walking her around on a leadline the whole time- but at least you'll have everything available.

Feb. 23, 2012, 05:27 PM
First lesson I'd do with dead beginner kids - Basic posture. Learn how to move forward and STOP. Making sure kids weren't just digging their heels and and kicking the horse and yanking on the bit to stop. Then steering.

If she did trail rides - did she learn western and neck reining? You might have to go over English steering.

I'd do a couple exercises with steering - circles, figures 8s, weaving.

Then posting to the walk - really being able to see the diagonal. I wouldn't do trotting with my dead beginners until about the 3rd lesson. But if she's trail ridden, she's most likely trotted at some point - depends on her comfort level. If she wants to - definitely do trotting on the lunge line.