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What do re-riders look for in a lesson program?

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    #41
    Originally posted by Kirikou View Post
    I've read the "re-rider support" thread and a few of the other "specific threads" but would appreciate more specifics:

    Adult re-riders, what do you look for in a a lesson program?

    I seem to see adult group lessons (no riding with kids), suitable safe lesson horses, quiet environment crop up the most. What else would be a deciding factor in choosing a suitable barn for you?
    SAFETY. Attention to detail. Close supervision during grooming, tacking up, mounting, and riding by experienced pros until the re-rider is competent at handling these tasks alone. Private and / or longe lessons until the rider has re-established some muscle tone, ab strength, and balance and independence in the seat. Well-trained and extremely reliable school horses.

    PATIENCE Rusty riders are a special breed and we sometimes require a more gentle approach than new or younger riders. Our minds know what to do, but our bodies don’t remember how. Or we were taught incorrectly originally and need to re-learn through kindness, not yelling or belittling.

    HONESTY Our safety is in the trainer’s hands. If we aren’t ready to progress to a certain skill like hacking or jumping, or riding a particularly horse, you need to tell us that and why. And also tell us what we can do to make the necessary improvements. Figure out when to push us and when to pull us back. But please, do this kindly and empathetically. We learn more slowly than kids, we have more worries than kids and possibly more fear, since we can’t afford to get hurt.

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      #42
      What do re-riders look for in a lesson program? Easy. An instructor who doesn't spend half the lesson, on their phone "or other device."
      Surrealism: once an art form. Now indistinguishable from daily life. (Forgot who said that.)

      Comment


        #43
        Wanted to follow the snark with something a little more helpful. Re-riders sometimes have different goals than people of other age groups and previous experience and instructors need to pay attention to what the re-rider's actual stated goals are - a new social circle, just being with horses once a week, hobby riding, family-geared activities, or maybe exploring returning to low/medium/high level competition. In my previous work-life I had a co-worker, a young woman who had competed as a teen on the very tough east coast h/j circuit, took time off for college, grad school and developing her professional career, and who could finally afford to get back into riding. But she was frustrated that wherever she went to talk to instructors and barn managers, no one seemed to get that what she wanted was a group of friendly, relatively non-competitive riders who were more interested in just messing around with their horses, group trail or beach rides, and the occasional "fuzzy coat" show at best. Different ages, different stages, different goals.
        Surrealism: once an art form. Now indistinguishable from daily life. (Forgot who said that.)

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          #44
          Originally posted by TheresanAppfurthat View Post
          Wanted to follow the snark with something a little more helpful. Re-riders sometimes have different goals than people of other age groups and previous experience and instructors need to pay attention to what the re-rider's actual stated goals are - a new social circle, just being with horses once a week, hobby riding, family-geared activities, or maybe exploring returning to low/medium/high level competition. In my previous work-life I had a co-worker, a young woman who had competed as a teen on the very tough east coast h/j circuit, took time off for college, grad school and developing her professional career, and who could finally afford to get back into riding. But she was frustrated that wherever she went to talk to instructors and barn managers, no one seemed to get that what she wanted was a group of friendly, relatively non-competitive riders who were more interested in just messing around with their horses, group trail or beach rides, and the occasional "fuzzy coat" show at best. Different ages, different stages, different goals.
          The reverse of this is true to! It can be hard to find a barn with lots of adults where the focus is moving up the levels rather just having fun time at the barn. That’s why it’s so important that trainers ask about goals - everyone is different and there’s no wrong answer, just the wrong fit for you!

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            #45
            very focused one on one training. I want to learn techniques. I want to learn why asking him THIS way is good for his way of going. I want the reasoning behind what you are asking me to do and if I a dont get it or require further depth to understand you stick with me until I get it. Lessons for teriders can be much more intense than kids.
            My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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              #46
              Don’t pander. I’m glad you think my horse is nice - but some of the gushing about him is overkill - it makes me question how “nice” he actually is.
              Stop saying “good girl” and “that’s a girl”. I’m 43 years old for Pete’s sake and am not a “girl”.
              Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings. Call me out on any stupidity. I can handle it.
              Those are my pet peeves of working with trainers who generally work with younger students.

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                #47
                A very, very tall mounting block!!!!

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                  #48
                  Originally posted by BasqueMom View Post
                  A very, very tall mounting block!!!!
                  So, so true. I am too old to be wobbling around on a rickety stool that’s only a foot tall. I remember the first time I heaved my foot into the stirrup, only to realize that I literally could not pull myself up and actually mount. . .

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                    #49
                    I don't think I've taken any breaks long enough to "re-rider" myself, but I've taught a little and really like working with the adult beginners and re-riders. I see many good points above, and will reiterate all the people who said, knowing exactly what your riders' goals are at the time, and working towards those as much as possible, not just a set "program" or your idea of what they "could" be doing.

                    I will also add to the "safe schoolies" part. You'll also do well to have some more "fun schoolies" available as well. By fun I don't mean spunky or fancy, but forward enough to.... move. I once taught a re-rider whose biggest struggle was fitness, but her base was solid enough and her hands were soft, so I was quite happy to use a more advanced horse for her (while saving the true beginner horses for the true beginners). One week while I was away I guess she ended up on a little mare who was very safe, but, well, needed a lot of convincing on the going part. I got the impression she didn't have a ton of fun. She was always up for me putting her through the paces (transitions, two point, etc) to get her fitness back, but I don't think she enjoyed spending all her physical energy just on getting moving. I know that little mare frustrated the kids some days too, but for them it's more something to work through and learn from, than an adult who is trying to relax and enjoy themselves.

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                      #50
                      When I was still teaching, quite a while back, I focused primarily on adults who said "I rode as a kid" or "my kids/grandkids are riding, I just want to go with them sometimes." One of the former "I rode as a kid" student was a smart, articulate, artistic, and very, very funny young man who said all he wanted to do was go trail riding. We were near a state equestrian park, pretty tame environment, so perfect for this kind of student. Well. What he REALLY wanted to do was go trail riding and SING. Gorgeous light tenor voice and he knew every naughty Irish pub song ever written. I felt guilty actually charging him for lessons because the entertainment value was definitely in my favor.
                      Surrealism: once an art form. Now indistinguishable from daily life. (Forgot who said that.)

                      Comment


                        #51
                        Former re-rider, now just rider... As a working, bill paying adult, the thing that first gets me into a barn is a clear, publicly available (website/Facebook/whatever) outline of the things everyone will need to know. Such as, basic services available, prices (!!), and restrictions (no lessons on Tuesdays, no kids under eight, or whatever). It doesn't have to be exhaustive, but I don't want to have to call you because you're too coy to put the cost of a lesson on your website.

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                          #52
                          Having gone thru lesson barns and then smaller barns that offer lessons I think that if you really want to learn to ride better and more a smaller barn that as a couple of good lesson horses is better. But then you have to look at the other factors - is the barn competition oriented so you might go a couple of weeks a month without a lesson, or is the end goal to find you a horse to lease or purchase so you too can enter the competition arena.

                          For me the most important things are

                          1. Knowledge
                          2. Flexibility - some of us have work schedules/commitments that can unravel at the end of the day or traffic has made your 30 minute barn commute into 2 hours
                          3. Understanding that some of us have bodies that don't work as well as they used to, or we're trapped with brain that says yes I can and a body that says whoa.
                          4. Safety for horse and rider are also paramount
                          5. knowing when to push us and when to allow us to cave in to our lack of confidence.. like you flub in a lesson, you do the exercise again this time perfect - let's call it a day because if you ask me to do it again it might not work out as great.

                          I think if you have the opportunity to watch some lessons and meet the people that ride there - how long some of the adults have ridden with that particular trainer etc says a lot about them -especially if there are other barns out there. I know several trainers who have clients that started as jr riders, off to college, married and back to riding with that same trainer now for as many or more years as an adult than Jr.

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                            #53
                            I rode for a year when I was six yo, and started again 26 years later in a barn where I started to question how things where done after +-6 months (it felt weird/wrong).

                            Most of the things I was looking for have already been noted :
                            • Lessons on weekend
                            • Trainer that explain in details the why and how, and who won't become frustrated and start being condescending/yell if I do not get something right away
                            • Horses that are well cared for, with tack that fits them correctly
                            • Trainer that do not forget your lesson/try to have a groom give it (Life happens, but please let me know before I'm at the barn...)
                            • And a trainer that sees the value of lunge and private lessons. Being told that since I was probably a beginner, it was not worth it to have individual lessons and that I would only be offered group lessons (+-6 people in the lesson) was irritating.
                            How is establishing a good and correct foundation (aka seat), by doing lunge and private lessons, not worth it?

                            After much research and frustration, I was lucky enough to find a coach who explains as much as I want and gives me lessons on her personnal horse on Sundays.

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