Weekly lessons are often the most practical option for the majority of people. However, sometimes it seems like a week between rides is a long time to remember everything from your prior lesson. For those who take lessons even less frequently, it is even harder to retain what you learn in your lessons during the time between. Here are a few pointers for getting the most out of your lessons:

  • Take notes! While it may sound silly, actually writing down or typing out a list of the things you worked on in a lesson can help jog your memory. This is something that has helped me, especially while reflecting on what I learned after a particularly demanding lesson
  • Ask questions! If you don't understand something, speak up! Sometimes as instructors, we take your knowledge of something for granted. Learning how to ride well is a process that develops from the ground up and without understanding something fundamental, you will have a hard time building upon that concept.
  • Keep it simple! Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by over thinking whatever you are working on with your instructor. Often, we can apply the same basic principles over and over when we ride. Repetition is key to learning. For example, once you have learned a leg yield at the walk, it is very similar process to learn the maneuver at the trot.
  • Be consistent! Everyone has weeks where life can get in the way of your riding lessons, but the only way to get better is to practice. Riding lessons can be very similar to learning in a classroom in this respect. If you take an algebra lesson, then don"t do any math for a month, you are probably going to have to do some reviewing to get back up to speed.
  • Be patient! Riding horses is as much about understanding the "how" and "why" as it is about learning the timing and feel of your horse. Even though you understand a concept, you are still going to have to learn how to execute it well. Develop a trusting relationship with the horse you ride and the instructor you ride with. Having a healthy and positive environment when you ride will set you up for success!