Your child wants to learn to ride a horse. Great! Your first task will be to find a riding instructor who is a great fit for your child. This can be a little bit of a challenge because every child and every instructor won’t necessarily be a great match. Put these tips to work to help find the right riding instructor for your child.
Consider Your Child’s Confidence and Learning Style
A riding instructor needs to match your child’s learning style and confidence level. If your child is shy and lacking confidence, then you need to look for an instructor who is patient and supportive. Additionally, an instructor needs to understand how a child learns and be willing to work with their learning style.
If your child has a learning disability, this can be important to note to the instructor. Depending on the exact disability and its severity, it may affect how your child learns to ride, so the instructor may need to adapt his or her methods. If you suspect that the disability could have a significant effect on your child’s lessons, have a discussion with the instructor and ask him or her how they would approach the instruction.
Ask Around for Recommendation
If you know other parents of children who ride, ask them for recommendations of local riding instructors. Local summer horseback riding camps may also be able to provide recommendations. This can be a great way to start out on the right path to finding a great instructor.
Watch the Instructor Teach
When you think you’ve found the right instructor, ask if you can come and observe a lesson or two. Watching the instructor teach can give you an idea of their approach and style, and often you’ll be able to quickly tell whether they would be a good match for your child. If you find that the instructor is not a good match, think about what qualities make that so and use that knowledge in your continued search.
Schedule a Trial Lesson
If everything looks good, schedule a time for your child to have a trial lesson with an instructor. Depending on your child’s age, it may be a good idea for you to be present for this lesson so you can observe how your child and instructor get along.
Finding a great riding instructor for your child can take a little time, but it’s worth it – your child may spend many years riding with this instructor.