I think I will always have an ongoing relationship with riding lessons. I have been horseback riding for nearly 20 years now, but I really frequently take a few lessons, even now. So today, I’m going to answer your question: why horseback riding lessons?
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In general, I think we should always try to keep learning.
Why should horseback riding be any different?
But maybe you’re a little skeptical because you’re an experienced rider. Or maybe you’re even at an intermediate level, and see cutting back on lessons as a good way to cut down on your riding costs.
Well, hopefully I’ll convince you why horseback riding lessons are worth it – no matter what stage you’re at.
Why Horseback Riding Lessons are Great as a Beginner
Many people would think that taking riding lessons as a beginner is the most obvious one to justify. But I’m not so sure that that’s actually the case.
If you’re just someone who loves horses, maybe it hasn’t even occurred to you that you could start riding.
I know a lot of adults feel like it’s too late to start riding, and that you can only pick it up as a kid.
But let me reassure you that I know so many riders who have started later in life. Riding is a new challenge for them, and continuously challenging yourself as you get older is really good for your mental health and wellbeing.
It’s also great physical exercise, and as we get older it’s really important to make sure that we retain good muscle tone and flexibility. Horseback riding is great for both of those – and more!
Finally, I just generally think it would be such a shame for someone who loves horses, or wants to learn more about riding, to miss an opportunity to give it a try. So please, for me, get out there! Even if I’m your reason why horseback riding lessons are a good idea, do it for me!
Why Horseback Riding Lessons at Intermediate Level Are Wise
For me, the classic intermediate rider is someone who had lessons at a young age, and then maybe hasn’t ridden very often since then. I have lots of friends in this category!
And let me tell you, these friends of mine always have a blast when they go back to lessons.
It’s a really nice feeling having the skills you thought you forgot come back to you.
I have one friend in particular who I think has a great approach. Every summer her family will go on a trail riding holiday. And a few weeks beforehand, she schedules a lesson or two, just to get herself comfortable back in the saddle.
This means that by the time the holiday comes up, she’s able to relax and take in the scenery instead of stressing about her seat and her hands. Genius! I think more people should follow her lead – that’s why horseback riding lessons are good for intermediate riders!
Why Horseback Riding Lessons are Good for an Advanced Rider
If you’re an advanced rider, you might still be a little skeptical. Yes riding is good for you mentally and physically, but you’re experienced enough to reap the benefits without lessons. And you ride frequently enough to be confident all the time. Why should you take lessons?
I think Katie, my co-editor summed it up really well. She’s been skiing for her whole life, and last winter she decided to take a couple of afternoon lessons, just a couple of hours each.
She had two really important takeaways from the experience. The first was that her instructor was Austrian, and he was able to teach her some techniques that they don’t use in her native New Zealand. But more importantly, he also pointed out some bad habits she had developed, and helped her correct them.
When she was telling me about this, it really struck me that despite the difference in sports, the reasons why horseback riding lessons are good for me are just the same. First to pick up on any new developments in the field that I might have missed, or to learn different perspectives from different riders. But second to fix my bad habits.
You know the bad habits I’m talking about right?
They’re the shortcuts you take totally unconsciously.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s in our nature as humans to stop focusing when we are doing something really familiar. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of driving somewhere, and when you arrive suddenly thinking “huh, I don’t actually remember much of that drive.” That’s because for you, the practice of driving is innate.
I get the same way in my riding. Sometimes I daydream so completely that half the ride I’m not present for. And I know my riding must suffer if I’m not mentally there.
A riding instructor is literally paid to focus on you and your technique. They’ll notice your bad habits, even if you don’t. Then the two of you can start the hard work on fixing them. Trust me, it’s a grind, but it’s totally worth it!
So have I convinced you why you should take horseback riding lessons?
I certainly hope I have! If so, here’s your next step on how to ride a horse.
I know that at the time of writing (heading into winter, and in the midst of a global pandemic) taking actual in-person lessons can be a little tough. Generally the risks associated with horseback riding and COVID-19 are low, but it always pays to be careful. So if you’re looking for a digital solution, you could always try online horse riding lessons. I really recommend EquestrianCoach.com!
In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions!
We’re always happy to help.
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