Riding schools! What do you learn?

What don’t you learn at riding school?
It has been many years since I started my career as a horse girl at a small riding school in Denmark. It is actually 55 years ago. Many of the memories are still strong and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.
It was of course completely different then, but many things are still the same. The horses are doing much better today, as they usually come out daily. The horses used to be in the stall and they had to obey, otherwise they would be spanked.
One thing we didn’t learn was how to get along with the horse. When we were supposed to have a riding lesson, the horse was saddled and ready and it was far too big a risk to let us little ones go into the horses’ stall. Not all horses were kind, not so strange, so we didn’t get to do that horse-care thing. When you got a little older, you could be lucky enough to become someone’s attendant, but you hardly knew how to do it.
I got my knowledge of horses elsewhere. My parents bought a summer cottage in Blekinge and with a whole long summer every year, with nothing to do, I roamed around and found all the horses in the area and fed them sugar and bread. The old men who owned the horses and had them on the farm thought it was funny with my interest in horses and I learned a lot. There I gained insight into how they should be looked after, what they ate and how to take care of hooves and the like.
I don’t know how it is at riding schools today, but I have heard several people who have thought that there is far too little information about the horses beyond the riding. I have naturally noticed that there is a big difference in how you take on the responsibility of teaching the children everything around them.
I had an intern once who came from Kiruna, who was amazingly talented and hardworking. She told me that there was a long queue for the riding school and if you were to have riding lessons, it included work in the stable, otherwise you were simply not allowed to ride there. Very clever! Then you found out if the interest was big enough, for the horses, at the same time you got to learn all the important things.
What are your experiences? Do you learn things about riding at the riding school, or can they get better at such things?

Author: Anne Axell

I have helped many equestrians with their mindset and relationship with their horse, so they now are confident and enjoy the equestrian sport. Thanks to my extensive experience with horses, I can lead you to success in your riding. I have been actively riding the different riding styles,(dressage, hunter/jumper and trail) owened a lot of horses and have an equestrian business. l have also been breeding and selling horses for many years. I am a coach and trainer and have also completed courses as a judge. In addition, I have been a saddlemaker for many years and can advise you in terms of equipment and how it affects your horse. I can help you in 3 langauge, Danish, Swedish and English.