Group, Public or Private Horse Riding Lessons…Which to Choose?

If you want to learn horseback riding or want your children to learn it then the first step is going to be choosing the right type of riding lessons. I myself am an experienced equestrian (been riding since I was 5), and have experience with each of the types of lessons I will be discussing in this article. There are three types of riding lessons each with their unique advantages and disadvantages. These three types of lessons are:

  • Group Lessons
  • Semi-Private Lessons
  • Private Lessons

Group Lessons

Group lessons, as the name suggests are conducted in groups. Group lessons are best suited for children as they like to be around other kids and ride with them.


  • Group lessons are cheaper than other lessons.
  • In the group lesson, students can compare their progress with their peers and get an estimate of how much more effort they have to put, if any at all.
  • Probably the biggest advantage of a group lesson is that since students learn to ride in front of others from the get-go, they have an easier time keeping their cool during a recital or performance.


  • Although students get more time with the instructor in a group lesson that does not necessarily mean students will get sufficient one on one time with the instructor if they need more than usual.
  • Students have to work their schedule around the lessons.
  • Due to inequality inattention or praise given by the instructor, there might be conflicts between the students.

Semi-Private Lessons

These lessons are a combination of private and group lessons. In semi-private lessons, students learn in groups of two. This is best suited for parent and child learning or learning with a friend.


  • Cheaper than Private lessons
  • Leaning with a partner gives students chances to compare their progress
  • Students get more one on one time with the instructor.


  • More expensive than group lessons.
  • Less chance to socialize with other students.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are one rider one horse lessons where the instructor teaches a single student. This type of lesson is most suitable for adults. While I did enjoy group lessons as a kid, I much prefer private horse riding lessons now, and still look back fondly on the time I spent learning over in Australia…but I digress. Here are the pros and cons:


  • Student gets the undivided attention of the instructor.
  • Easy to schedule.
  • Very effective if one wants to participate in individual scored performance since these types of lessons focus on efficiency


  • Very expensive.
  • Since the students learn alone he doesn’t get the chance to socialize with other students and they also don’t get the chance to compare their performance with others
  • Students who learn from private lessons may have a harder time coping with the audience in competitions.