How to Find the Perfect Riding Instructor

By David Garcia, Guest contributor

Choosing a good riding instructor is paramount to developing proper riding skills. This person can help you enter the equestrian community and take up horseback riding with flying colors. Although some riders prefer to learn on their own, the trainer is still your guide and friend in the world of equines.

FIRST STEPS

To get started, you can visit an equestrian club or barn, and ask about the educational process and the staff. If the instructors are calm and friendly, the horses are clean and well-groomed, and the stable is neat - congrats, you've found an excellent place to start horse riding!

Besides, it makes sense to see how your future trainer provides classes. If they act unconfidently, the horses are not handled well, or the riders behave poorly - it's better to avoid such an instructor.

SMALL TALK WITH AN INSTRUCTOR

When you're introduced to a new trainer, they will initially ask you about your riding experience and skills. They may even ask you personal questions such as your height and weight. Be honest! The instructor needs this information in order to choose a proper horse for you. And if the lesson is not individual - select a group of peer riders.

Before you start working out with your new coach, you'll need to spend time talking with him or her. If you took lessons before, tell him how your things were going, what you were doing, what your level was, and what horses you prefer. (If you've only jumped 2 'don't tell them you've jumped 3' no matter how much you want to be at that level.) The more your instructor knows about you, the easier it will be to find a common ground.

Apart from that, let your riding instructor know the goals and objectives of your training. Trail riding just for fun is different from getting prepared for horse shows . Different skills and techniques are required.

Discuss your schedule before hopping on a horse. The working hours of the horse instructor can be different from when you can ride. They could be a non-staff worker at the barns or they can visit your property to provide lessons.

INDIVIDUAL VS GROUP LESSONS

Horse owners generally opt for private lessons with an instructor. This, of course, is an extremely convenient option as the trainer's attention will be focused on you only. You can enroll in individual lessons at any time. When riding in a group you will not get as much personal attention, though checking with other riders can be advantageous as well.

We recommend taking the first few lessons as private lessons to learn the nitty-gritty of horse riding. This includes mounting and dismounting, walking, turning, and stopping. But if you're a team player, or on a budget, you can choose group lessons.

CHECK YOUR SUPERVISOR

Before hiring an instructor, make sure you ask if they know first aid. This is essential, as there may be nobody around but them if you are injured. Ask your experienced riding friends to assess whether their qualifications match the ones they stated. If you're looking for an instructor for your children, ask about their experience with teaching children.

GET ON WELL WITH YOUR TRAINER

Listen carefully to the opinion of your future trainer. Let them assess your current riding skills and suggest a proper program. This will allow you to get aware of the entire educational process from A to Z.

The instructor's opinion is of overriding importance. For instance, if your instructor says that you should avoid show jumping until you develop more advanced skills, there's no need to argue: listen to her opinion. Of course, they should provide you with solid reasons why they made such a decision. Perhaps you need a bit of practice before moving on.

USEFUL TIPS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER

Do NOT hesitate to ask your instructor questions so that they will feel you are truly interested in equestrian sports.

If you fall off the horse, there's NO need to panic. It happens to everyone at some point! Your instructor will help you, and you should learn how to trust them over time.

THE BOTTOM LINE

To sum up, choosing the right riding instructor might be challenging but it's worth your effort. Once you find the top-notch trainer, you may end up achieving great outcomes bonding with your horse and performing together.

David Garcia considers himself a huge fan of equestrian sports. Being born in a family of farmers, he was literally living at the ranch. His first riding experience was when David was six. He was so fascinated with the grace and intelligence of horses so he decided to plunge into equestrianism deeply. Thus, he's been participating in a range of horse races and shows where he often grabs medal positions.

David believes that we could be better at sharing our experiences. That is why he founded Horsezz - the blog that is dedicated to equestrian sports.