Children’s Horse Riding – How Long Does It Take To Learn?

Riding lessons, equipment and related expenses require an fair amount of money and time from parents of aspiring horse riders, and it is therefore unsurprising that those same parents are keen to understand how long it will take for their child to learn to ride a horse.

The most honest answer to the question is that actual mastery of the sport is really a journey that occurs over the course of a lifetime and riders will learn from a combination of their instructors, horses and peers.

A simple way to look at the answer to this question is to consider a mix of 4 criteria which include:

1, Ability to respond to coaching

2, Individual talent

3, Rider confidence and

4, Desired level of proficiency.

Through a combination of lessons, time spent around horses and simple off-horse exercises your child will be actively learning how to ride.

A rider’s ability to respond to coaching is one of the first key benchmarks in learning to ride and with a myriad of directions and instructions regarding position, technique and control, riders often feel overwhelmed at the onset. However, with patience, your child will soon be subconsciously responding to many of the initial directives without even a fleeing thought.

While initial lessons will be held on the lunge line, your child will quickly progress to private lessons and ultimately a group situation. Through these steps you can safely say, your child is learning to ride and before long, your child’s instructor will be focusing on new techniques as they progress to the next level of accomplishment.

Ultimately, you should recognize as with so many other things in life, that riders progress at their own levels and it is important to realize that proficiency in the saddle comes from a combination of lessons, practice and experience.

Horses and ponies are excellent teachers and equally important as a trainer in your child’s progress towards being an equestrian. From the first lesson where your child will hopefully be introduced to a steady trustworthy mount, to later lessons on the horse that occasionally spooks, your child will be growing and learning from the unique traits, characteristics and behaviors presented by each equine partner.

Every single lesson should advance the young rider along a path of towards riding competency. Riders will also spend lessons learning from their peers. It is here instructors can help their students grow by using other riders and their mounts as examples. Witnessing correctly executed maneuvers and exercises often increases proficiency faster than instructions followed by a trial and error approach.

Learning to ride is typically hindered for new riders given their limited exposure to horses and ample practice time. Young riders looking to develop their skills beyond the limited time available for lessons, should ask their teachers for some fitness training exercises that will develop muscle memory. These workouts, done away from the riding school, will often increase proficiency in the saddle and help your child master riding faster than relying strictly on lessons.

The amount of time required to learn to ride is something extremely difficult to quantify as mastery occurs at different levels for all riders. A better indicator for parents to use to assess progress is how much pleasure their child is getting out of riding. It is here you can see the value of lessons and your child’s individual progress and success.

Source by David W Lee

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