Answer: Most professional trainers are providing you with the opportunity to gain valuable information. However, it is your job to listen to what they have to say and implement that knowledge on your horse. Riding and training a horse does not come with an instruction book detailing a program that will work with every horse.
Be sure that when your trainer asks if you have any questions that you are honest with them. It is your hard earned money that has bought you the chance to ask a professional questions. If you don’t completely understand what is being taught, ask them to explain in greater detail. The only dumb questions are the ones that you never ask. I always encourage my clients to ask questions and to question me when they are in doubt. I would rather take the time to go slow and make sure they understand than to speed past something that I thought they understood, only to go back and keep fixing the same problem over and over. It wastes my time and their money.
Be respectful of your trainer’s time. Remember that this is his or her job and they may have other commitments that need to be taken care of after your lesson. When I was running a larger lesson program, I liked to have my customers at my facility early enough to have their horses tacked, warmed up, and ready to ride when the lesson began. If your lesson time is 1:00-2:00, try to be there half an hour early so that you can be ready to start at 1:00, and not 1:30. In my program you will still be finished at 2:00, no matter what time we started and still pay for the whole hour. Remember, just because you are running late, it doesn’t mean that the next lesson is.
Be sure to work on the homework that you trainer gives you so that you will be prepared for your next lesson. While at home, keep a small note pad in the barn. If you think of a question while riding on your own, you will have the pad close to write down your question, rather than trying to remember what you wanted to ask during you lesson time. You might also be able to save some money and learn more by having a group lesson with some friends. Taking a lesson with friends will allow you to gain an extra set of eyes when you are at home training; they will have an understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. Having a friend or family member video during the lesson will provide you with ability to review what you worked on during the lesson. Remember that it is your job to get the most out of your lesson, only you know what you don’t know.
As always; Ride Hard, Be Safe and Have Fun - Steve Kutie