Riding with an instructor can help you avoid those little habits that we pick up—and become hard to break once they are ingrained. My bad habits are riding with my hands flat, and if I get tense, pushing my feet forward. My coach was able to point this out, and make some suggestions about how to break those habits. While I haven’t completely conquered the problems, I now recognize it and know how to fix them.
And, don’t think that just because you are a beginner rider, or ‘just a backyard rider’, that you shouldn’t take lessons from top-level instructors. Many high level coaches are glad to help beginners or pleasure riders, because they like to see any rider have a good start, solve a problem or try something new.
Riding lessons for children of horse owning parents are sometimes a good idea, even if they can take lessons from mom or dad. Kids often will tune out a parent. Especially if the child is developing a bad habit, an instructor can reinforce what the parent has been telling the child.
If you can’t afford lessons on a regular basis, it is helpful to take one every so often as a tune-up. I know it’s sometimes difficult to allocate the time, or the money for weekly lessons, but you may want to treat yourself every so often. Both you and your horse will benefit.