Not just a boarding stable; it’s our

February 2020 Tip

February 29th, 2020 by admin

So you’re thinking of taking some riding lessons either for yourself or your children. The family down the road has a teenage daughter who says she will teach you for free. It all sounds great until you take your first lesson and her horse takes off with you and now you’re scared to death to even think of trying again.

I’ve been giving lessons for over 16 years now to people of all ages and disciplines and I
love when I get a call for a new student. There is nothing more fun then that first
lesson, but any riding lesson is only as good as the horse you ride. Today I want to brag about the unspoken hero, the ultimate teacher, the tattle tale ,the never quitter, the over looked portion of every lesson – the forgotten lesson horse.

We have many lesson horses at our facility and each one serves its own special purpose.
We have a grandma horse for the little kiddos who knows her job is to take special care
of these little humans. She goes wherever you point her nose and is extremely safe.

We have several horses for the older beginner/intermediate riders that know the
difference in the human skill level. These are the horses that take care of the beginner
students but challenge the intermediate riders. Our horses aren’t push button; you should
never come here thinking they are just going to automatically do what you want them to
do because these horses are the true teachers. Yet, place a handicapped child on
their back and they melt like snow. These horses are worth a million dollars to me
because they are hard to come by in the buying market. These are the horses who once
retired, have earned the right to live out their lives here.

Lastly, there are the horses for the advance riders who have so much to teach because they are extremely talented and long for that rider who knows how to ask for a certain move. They excel with the soft handed mount, the person who knows how to use more seat and leg then reins. They don’t like to be pulled on or man handled, but they love a lively lesson where they get to use their talents and help the rider learn to be less visible in their aids.

If you are going to invest the time and money into taking lessons you would be crazy to
go where they can’t start you at the beginning and take you clear up to advanced concepts
when the time comes. I have students who I’ve taught for years; beginning as little girls
who knew nothing and are now riding advanced horses and going into the show ring
where they do very well. That can only happen when you have plenty of horses to ride
and instructors who know how to teach on all levels. If you only ever ride one horse then
you will only ever learn to ride that horse, which is fine if you are happy with your chosen mount and only them.

I liken that neighborhood girl who says she can give you a riding lesson to those places
where you can go get a quick hair cut. All they can do is cut your hair and they get you
in and out in record time. But if you need a perm or want a special color they don’t have
the skills or products to do it. You’re left with finding a salon where they can do it all
and excel in what they do. That’s our philosophy with riding lessons. We’re teachers,
we’re confidence builders, and we know how to instruct. We’re creative; we certainly don’t teach each student the exact same way just like you wouldn’t give everyone the exact same haircut.

Anyone can hang out their shingle advertising riding lessons but when it comes to the
safety of you or your child, ask yourself how much that safety is worth. Frankly, I don’t
want the gal fresh out of beauty school coloring my hair and for many good reasons. She
might be the nicest person on the earth but she doesn’t have the experience yet to deal
with my thin, fragile hair. I’m going to choose that hairdresser who’s dealt with many
hair types and different coloring products so she doesn’t turn my hair purple or green or
worse yet, make it break off at the roots. I want that experienced stylist who can
work with what I have and make me look great when the process is completed.

Just one more thing, just because someone may know how to ride well does not mean
they know how to teach. That’s like saying just because someone has great hair that they
would know how to cut and style yours. When it comes to your safety I implore you to
be very careful about what horse you throw your leg over, even if that horse belongs to
your best friend. There is just something to be said about a trusted lesson horse that the
average horse doesn’t possess. You can get a quick hair cut for cheap but you always get what you pay for.  Same goes for taking riding lessons.  Happy Trails!!

 

 

Happy Trails!