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Help me prepare for my first lesson in 2 years!

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  • Help me prepare for my first lesson in 2 years!

    I'm a BIT nervous. I'll be having my first lesson in 2 years tomorrow. Ive never lessoned with this trainer before, but I rode at her show barn when I was 4-10ish(with a different trainer). I'm also very familiar with her just from the local horse scene. I like her quite a bit and I like her teaching style.

    She will be coming to my farm, where I have a small (120 X 130) ring.

    Sooo, as a person who hasnt lessoned in years, what can I expect?
    I've been riding 3-4 times a week, but no one makes me work hard, so im sure i'll be sore after tomorrow!
    What should I wear? I assume I should be tacked up/warmed up by the time she gets here?
    What am I forgetting?
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

  • #2
    Respect and willingness to just listen & absorb will help you out the most - and just look forward to having fun!

    Yes, being ready to go and maybe a little warmed up is good, but not necessarily required (might ask the traininer in advance what she prefers). Do you need to let them in? If so, then being on a horse could be troublesome - so have your horse tacked up (sans bridle), and just ready to put on the bridle on when the trainer arrives.

    I'd say dress-wise, treat it like a clinic: clean britches, clean boots (paddock boots/half-chaps OK), collared shirt that is tucked in. Same with your horse - doesn't have to be "show ring ready," but clean and presentable will give the best impression.

    Don't hesitate to ask questions and SAY SOMETHING if you don't understand. It's better to ask for clarification, rather than continue around not doing what the trainer asks (making her think you aren't listening). If I was coming to your place for the first time, I'd take a few minutes to talk with you about your horse and your basic goals, then watch you do a 5min warm up on your own, then get down to "business" with a structured lesson.

    Most of all.... Have fun!!!


    • #3
      I've always found that with a new trainer is it nice to let them see you warm up so they can start to get a feel for the horse. It can cut into your lesson time but it gives them a good way to evaluate your riding as well. After I've taken a few lessons I'll be more willing to be warmed up when the trainer gets there but she might want to give you things to work on in your warm-up.

      Be dressed cleanly, no baggy shirt and for a first lesson definitely be using clean tack (my trainer thankfully doesn't care that if I were to clean my schooling boots they would probably just fall apart). Your horse should also be clean.

      For a flat lesson it would be nice to have jumps put away and if you are going to have a jump lesson put jumps out in a decent course but the trainer will probably move them around.
      "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


      • #4
        When I met my trainer for our first lesson, I was tacked up (sans bridle) and met her at the door to say hello and walk down to meet my horse. We chatted briefly while I put the bridle on (did a quick review of our past events and current goals), she told me what her goals were for the lesson and asked me about my goal for the lesson. I got on, she watched me warm up, and then did a few "experiments" with me and my horse to see where we were, find our holes, etc.

        To a spectator it probably looked like not much happened, but it was a mind-blowing lesson for me and they've continued to be all along

        I might add that, unless you're riding-fit and used to riding in tall boots, it might be appropriate to wear (clean, neat) half-chaps if that's what you usually ride in. It won't do anyone any favors if you're not riding "like yourself" because you're fighting slick and/or painful boots.


        • #5
          First lesson I like to do breeches, polo, tall boots, hair up in a net. Have crop and spurs handy if you don't normally ride with them.

          If you'll be jumping, set up a simple course ahead of time. I'd do an outside line, and maybe two singles that could be jumped as a bending line and/or rollback with the outside line. If you're pressed for space take the poles out once you've set it up.
          "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

          Phoenix Animal Rescue


          • #6
            Don't forget to clean your tack and drag your ring. And have fun!


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for all of the great advice/reminders! You guys reminded me of so many things I would have forgotten!

              The lesson was AMAZING! We chatted about goals(short and long term), talked about my horses' history, my history etc. She observed me ride naturally and then we worked on ENGAGING HORSEY'S HINDEND!! He was tricky to pull together when I was riding him before, but with someone on the ground, we made a lot of progress.

              It was a bit rough that it was 95 degrees(heat index of 104) but we survived!

              I LOVE LESSONS! I dont think ill be taking another two year break!
              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.