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How many lessons a week should you take?

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  • How many lessons a week should you take?

    Where I ride, I take one lesson a week and my horse will get schooled once a week, if needed? Between my lesson, I practice what we went over in my lesson, so I'm prepared to move on the next week.

    Meanwhile, other people at the barn take two or three lessons a week - even those with their own horses - so I was wondering what the general opinion is. How many lessons per week should you take to learn as much as you can?

    My feeling is that it's more worthwhile and cost effective to take a lesson, have time to practice, and then take another lesson, but I could be completely wrong.

  • #2
    I think part of it really is cost. Not everyone can take more than one lesson a week. I take one a week. I can see enjoying more, though!
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde


    • #3
      I take two lessons per week, but that's because I can only ride two days per week, period. If I could ride a couple other days, I'd probably only lesson once per week.

      When I was a junior, I would lesson around three times per week (but on different horses).


      • #4
        Do what works for you
        and your horse!

        If you can ride & lesson on more than one horse, that's a bonus


        • #5
          It depends. Lessons usually mean guaranteed arena time -- I always have a lesson one day a week regardless, and sometimes I have up to three. Sometimes lessons are the only time I'm able to get into the saddle for various reasons.

          I do see how having a day to your own devices between lessons would be good. That way you get to work on things without any pressure. But if you're just starting to learn something new or particularly tricky, a couple back-to-back to get the concept firmly cemented in your brain is also good.

          I think it's usually down to time and money.


          • #6
            When I was young and a newer rider, I found I was at my best when I was taking 3 lessons a week (course that was all I could afford).

            As an adult and further along in my riding education, I take 1 lesson a week and ride as many other times as possible (5-6 more times/week). I would like to add a second lesson a week, but don't think more than that is necessary. I'm at the point that I can "train" my own horse during my solo rides. The rides aren't as productive as a pro's rides, but they maintain the current levels of training and can improve the horse's skill set, so.... If I'm struggling with something, I will ask for assistance or request certain types of exercises during my lessons.

            In a nutshell, the lower the level of the rider, more lessons are valuable. As the rider's skill increases, the actual lessons aren't as important.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


            • #7
              I take 2 lessons a week. I feel like one lesson is not enough. I lesson on Tuesday and the usually is the harder lesson and then on Thursday most of the time its an easier lesson just practicing the stuff we did on Tuesday and hopefully getting it a little better than we did 2 days before.
              I have a greener horse though and its taking me a long time to really learn how to ride him properly. Maybe if I had a more made up horse I would feel I only needed one lesson per week. I don’t really jump on my own except sometimes practice a crossrail for keeping my horse in a frame or maybe my heels need working on. I just feel I need someone around if I got myself into trouble. My trainer will get on my horse and fix it for me if something goes wrong. I don’t have that luxury if I am jumping on my own.
              So I practice on the flat myself, but I need supervision over fences and I think jumping 1x a week is not enough.


              • #8
                Originally posted by alto View Post
                Do what works for you
                and your horse!
                There is not set in stone right answer that someone can say will work best for you and your horse.

                If lessons once per week is working for you then continue on with that. Some people prefer to work with more guidance, some people prefer to work things thru on their own and have guidance only to keep them working in the correct direction.


                • #9
                  I double the do what works for you. If it's working well, then keep it that way. Just as long as you're progressing at the rate that you want and feel that it's effective.

                  I personally do two lessons a week, with two hack/flatwork days between lessons and a rest day once a week. This works well for me since I cannot jump outside of lessons and do have those two days to work on flatwork or have a flatwork lesson. So really 2-4 lessons a week should I choose to take flatwork lessons.


                  • #10
                    Whatever works best for you to achieve the goals you have set.

                    I currently lesson 3 times a week. I have been riding for over 20 years, however, I have a very green horse and I want to be absolutely sure I am doing everything correctly with her.

                    Like many posters have said, this really comes down to what you can comfortably afford. I would love to lesson four times a week, but I know I couldn't afford that on a regular basis. I suspect that as my young horse becomes more solid and we become more of a team, I may cut back a bit here and there with the lessons. I also thoroughly enjoy lessoning, so I choose to take a lesson as opposed to going shopping, dining out on a regular basis, and spending money going out.


                    • #11
                      I will never forget a lesson in college - the trainer was working with me over 3' courses on a new horse. My parents were supportive of lessons, but never bought a horse for me, so I rode lots of different ones, mainly in lessons. I didn't jump outside of lessons, just flatted young horses. Anyway, the BO, an AO jumper competitor, came into the arena, chatted with the trainer, and sort of hijacked my lesson (in a very nice way - she was a friend to most of the older students). She told me, "You are going to ride this course and I'm not going to say anything." And voila, we rode a beautiful course. She told me she could see me waiting for the trainer's instruction - like my body would start to take back or push, but I'd stop myself to be a good listener/student. Now, I adore lessons, but I do believe it is critical that you get a chance to do it on your own so you truly understand it, not just getting good rides because you listen well to your instructor's excellently timed input I now lesson 1-2 times a week, but own two horses, so once on each, and ride at least 4 days a week on each to practice and "get" it before the next lesson. I also try to then go to the lesson with any questions or sticking points I had. Works better for my riding style and my budget.


                      • #12
                        I also agree with alto. I rarely ever take lessons. I am at the level where I train my own horses though. I don't get them trained as fast as a pro, but in the end I get similar results. I will say though that the more horses I train, the faster their training goes and the more solid the training gets.

                        I have to admit though that I am the type of person that needs to mull things over for a long time in order to get them. No amount of explaining, yelling, screaming or drilling or what have you are going to make me figure it out any faster. Unfortunately it just has to "click" for me. Therefore I end up throwing out good money to be told the same thing over and over and over again.
                        Last edited by besttwtbever; Apr. 9, 2013, 04:21 PM. Reason: clarification
                        "Be the change you want to see in the world."
                        ~Mahatma Gandhi


                        • #13
                          I agree with the 'whatever works' for you. Me, i lesson twice a week and ride 5 or 6 times a week. I need the other days to figure out things for myself. If someone is always telling me what to do all the time, without the why's, I would be lost when I wasn't taking a lesson. If you really want to progress you have to know the 'why's' and be willing to take a chance and try something out to see what works best.


                          • #14
                            When I first started riding it was for only 1 lesson a week on a school horse...Once I got my first pony it was 2-3 a week, and it continued on like that for many years and many different ponies and horses. At one point it went down to only 1 lesson a week because trainer was 3 hours away and could only trailer to him once a week because of school, time. etc. The last 4 years however it has been approx. 6 lessons a week. I currently have 2 horses so the lesson will be on one or the other (whichever one i'm struggling most on something with or have more to work on) and I also hop on other clients horses most days. When your riding 2-5 horses per day, 6 lessons really is not a lot (although if trainer is present, then some instruction is given throughout different rides). So in theory I do have lesson-practice-lesson. But really, i'm the type of person who does best with instruction and feedback; although I still have plenty of time to mull things over and think about them. I just really like having someone there correcting me and letting me know if and when i'm doing something wrong that I don't realize so it's corrected before it becomes an issue. I also feel that my skill level has progressed much faster with having daily lessons and as many rides as I can get vs. when I was only taking 2-3 lessons a week.


                            • #15
                              Personally, I think the maximum amount of jumping lessons you should take in a week is 2, 3 on occasion. Save your horse's jump. However, I don't think there's ever a maximum amount of flat lessons that you and your horse can benefit from as long as you have a good instructor that keeps things interesting. If I had spare income lying around, I'd probably take an extra flat lesson a week with one of our awesome dressage-y/flatwork specialist instructors.


                              • #16
                                Find what works for you. If you're meeting your goals with one lesson per week, well, compared to those who take more lessons, you're saving money

                                I don't jump, but I find that two lessons and one training ride by the trainer per week is just about right. Wicked expensive, though...
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                • #17
                                  This is really such a personal horse/rider preference thing. I've done as much as three lessons a week and two training rides a week with a really green horse, to currently no lessons and no training rides.

                                  I could really use a lesson at this point, but, honestly, my horse is so difficult in winter both mentally and physically that it benefits us both to wait until warmer/better weather to pick back up with serious training. He is just so inconsistent that I have to plan really carefully with him and then go to my back up plans pretty often depending on how he feels on any given day.

                                  I've been riding my whole life and am 32 now. I know my horse well, and am capable of doing all of his rides for the rest of forever by myself if I want to, but I do still enjoy and really, really benefit from a good lesson. And he also really benefits from a good training ride (and we both sometimes benefit from some time away from each other, lol).

                                  I'd say that right now, my ideal would be one lesson and one training ride per week for me/my horse. Hoping to get back to that soon!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by goodlife View Post
                                    Personally, I think the maximum amount of jumping lessons you should take in a week is 2, 3 on occasion. Save your horse's jump. However, I don't think there's ever a maximum amount of flat lessons that you and your horse can benefit from as long as you have a good instructor that keeps things interesting. If I had spare income lying around, I'd probably take an extra flat lesson a week with one of our awesome dressage-y/flatwork specialist instructors.
                                    Well put! I want to clarify that when I say I have 6+ lessons per week they are NOT all jumping, they're mostly flatwork. A good flat foundation transfers over into your jumping. You need that flatwork base. You could jump all you want but without the flatwork you will never improve. Each of my horses jumps maybe twice a week, sometimes less (of course this is at home and not showing), however we do incorporate some cavelettis into our flatwork. Cavelettis are a nice way to break up your flatwork, keep your horse sharp, and to work on adjustability, etc.


                                    • #19
                                      I should also clarify that when I was taking three lessons a week and my horse was having two training rides a week, he only jumped twice a week. The rest were flatwork and/or small cavaletti.


                                      • #20
                                        I take lessons 5-6 times a week and I still suck

                                        eta dressage
                                        United States Cat Dressage Federation