Trivia Challenge: Do You Know How to Maximize Your Riding Lessons?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and educational information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. True or false: Older riders will find they get all the exercise they need if they take lessons plus ride independently at least three times a week.

T / F

2. What’s the best strategy for remembering your trainer’s tips and advice from each riding lesson?

A) Eat a protein-rich snack immediately before your ride.

B) Practice rhythmic belly-breathing throughout your ride.

C) Record notes by hand or keyboard right after your ride.

3. True or false: If you watch videos of yourself riding in between your lessons, it can subtly undermine the positive effect of your trainer’s coaching.

T / F

4. True or false: Lessons on an extremely well-trained horse and under the guidance of a qualified instructor or trainer is by far the best way to learn to ride well.

T / F

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. F is correct. Riding fitness, especially for senior riders, is best maintained with strength and flexibility routines that complement time spent in the saddle.

[HERE’S HELP: Riding-fitness advice from a pro.]

2. C is correct. Recording notes directly after your ride (or even during breaks in your lesson) will enable you to remember, internalize, and begin to act on your trainer’s key concepts. This way, you’ll be able to recall not just general information, but also the important details long enough to get them into your long-term memory.

[MORE STRATEGIES to maximize your riding lessons.]

3. F is correct. A video can help you to see the weaknesses your trainer has been describing, enabling you to make more precise corrections. This is especially true if you view the video with your riding coach or a savvy friend.

[3 MORE TIPS for becoming the best rider you can be.]

4. T is correct, of course! The veteran horse will teach you almost as much as the trainer will. While the trainer tells you how to ask for a particular response, the super-broke horse teaches you how the correct response feels—knowledge that will ultimately make you a truly proficient rider.

[DETAILS on more reasons why a “packer” is the best teacher.]

[RIDE ON! Essential tips to keep you in the saddle as you age.]

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