Private lessons – I think everyone should start out with private lessons to gain some basic skills and confidence about their riding.
Private lessons are good when there is not another student available that has about the same skill ability as you. They are good for someone returning to riding.
Private lessons are good for riding instructors, because I think everyone, no matter how long they’ve ridden, can benefit from eyes on the ground. We get into the habit of holding and or moving our bodies in specific ways without even knowing we are most of the time. Our brain tells us we’re correct. Maybe for walking, riding a bike, the exercises we do, etc., but maybe not for riding horses.
Semi-private lessons – They are generally less expensive than private lessons.
Students learn to handle their mounts with another rider in the ring. This improves their focus on their riding and their horses.
There is a saying – ride every stride. Here at Meadowsweet there are very few times that the riders will follow each other. So, the rider will need to have the skills to keep their mount focused on them and not giving into the herd instinct of following the other horse when what their rider asks them to do is something different.
Friendships are often formed, sometimes being lifelong. After all, you know right from the start that you each have at least one thing in common. And there are generally times when one student or the other cannot make a lesson so there will still be times when private lessons happen.
Group lessons – Again, the price is usually less than private and/or semi-private lessons. Maybe the savings will allow the opportunity to try other things, like participating in a show; a special barn/student event; a special program or class, etc.
We keep our group lessons to a maximum of four students so that each student still gets some individualized attention during each lesson.
We group riders that have similar skills and abilities so that each rider can continue to progress and not be held back by a beginner rider. This enables riders to learn from each other. Some times watching someone else ride helps with envisioning what a student would like their body to do, or not do.
Each student will continue to increase their skills and abilities to ride their horse with more distractions. Camaraderie, teamwork, friendships also often grow within the group.
A student usually gains the confidence to participate in barn events and activities.