Getting Started

Get The Most Out Of Your Riding Lessons

Dear Newb

Riding lessons are expensive and most people want to get the most out of their time and money, especially if they’re a newbie and just starting own. So I am going to share with you ways that I’ve found, to get the most out of my riding lessons. I hope it can help you do the same.




Write regular journal entries and make sure keep track of your aha moments. If you forget how you got that aha moment or what it was you can look back and refresh your memory.You can look back and see your progress and ups and downs in your riding. You can also keep track of your goals and accomplishments for focus and motivation.

The best time to write would be right after your riding lesson when it is still fresh in your mind. Of course you may have to wait to write it until after you finish taking care of your horse.

You can write what you want in the journal. I some suggestions if you need some ideas for what to write:

  • Date Location of Lesson
  • Instructor Weather Conditions
  • Temperature Today’s Emotions
  • Exercises In Lesson Struggles
  • Successes Goals
  • Accomplished Goals Set Short Term and Long Term
  • Homework

Keep your journal with a pen. Put it somewhere it will be easily accessible and easy to grab for when you have your lessons.

Here is a cute journal I found on amazon.

(Click picture if interested in purchasing. The link will direct you to it’s amazon page so you can buy it. )



With a video you can see what your riding instructor is talking about. For example you thought your position was great, but your instructor keeps telling you that your perching forward and hollow in your back and you didn’t believe them. In the video you see yes you are perching forward and hollow in your back even thought it didn’t feel like at the time.

You can use the videos to review your lessons. You can visually see your riding progression.. how far you have come.

See if family or a friend can film. If you have no one to film, you can ask your riding instructor. However your instructor may not want to or may only be able to do clips here and there, because they are focused on watching and teaching you not filming.

You don’t need a top DLSR camera, in fact they tend to be more difficult to use as they have a high learning curve to figure out. I use my iPhone most of the time to take video. Most smartphones today have decent cameras in them. If you want to buy a decent camera, I like the one I have. Canon – VIXIA HF R72.


You are paying to learn. You can learn more by asking questions. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t pretend like you know what your doing, ask for help or an explanation. Maybe you want to ask to work on something you been struggling on, ask if you can work on that.

You may ask to work on something at the beginning of the lesson or maybe at the end of your lesson for next time. You should ask questions if you don’t know how to do something or if you don’t understand what your instructor wants you to do, as it arises.

Don’t feel ashamed, guilty or afraid. Just speak up and ask.


If you are late it will cut into your lesson time. You will be stressed from rushing and the horses need adequate time to warm up.

I would try to be at the barn at least a half hour early. This way you have time to groom and tack up your horse. If you have to wait around why not watch a riding lesson going on or someone else riding. You can learn a lot from watching others ride.

Figure out how long it takes to get to the barn and add the half hour. Say it takes 20 minutes to get to the barn. 20+30=50. So if your lesson is at 2pm you should leave by 1:10 at the latest. Some people need more time to get ready, so you may want to give yourself even more time for that.


If you think you can’t do something or won’t do well and never try, you won’t be able to do it or do it well because you never tried. We learn from our mistakes, seeing and doing it right and wrong. Remember everyone makes mistakes and every rider had to work their way up in their riding from the bottom. You need to face these challenges and be happy with little accomplishments. Turn these challenges into goals.



Though sometimes you have to work through situations or problems that are difficult and may be frustrating, overall make sure you are having fun. We learn from our mistakes and failures, but ultimately we ride because we enjoy the experience.



Make sure you praise and reward you horse often. Whether it is telling him or her good girl or giving a rub on the neck. Horses need praise and encouragement just like us people. Giving a horse a treat at the end of a lesson is a nice reward as well. Always make sure that it is okay with your instructor first before giving your lesson horse a treat. He may be on a diet or he may be nippy. Wait until the bit is out of the horses mouth and the horse is tied up. Some barns like the horses to be fed treats out of a small bucket instead of your hands, because horses can start to associate fingers with treats and may become nippy. They may mistake your fingers for a treat.

Here are some treats I know my horses really liked:

Manna Pro Peppermint Nuggets

(Click picture if interested in purchasing. The link will direct you to it’s amazon page so you can buy it. )

Cheers and God Bless,


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