Jump to content

Open Club  ·  40 members

Off Topic

Horseback riding lessons


Rihannon
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am seeking advice from people who are very familiar with horses and riding horses.

 

I recently began taking beginner lessons in riding. Very recently. I've had two lessons. Before this, I had only been on a horse a couple of times in my life.

 

What have your experiences been in riding horses? Do you use a western or english style saddle and what is your preference and why? Is one easier or more comfortable?

 

The teachers at the stable are a little gruff and almost rude. They care much more about the horses than the riders, and that's fair. But at the same time, I feel a little nervous asking them questions or making comments if I'm uncertain about something. Like when I told them how inexperienced I was, they looked doubtful that I should even be there. On the first day, the woman giving the introductory lesson said things like "you will fall off the horse, you will get broken toes, you will get stepped on and that hurts..." And I was trying to figure out whether she was just being honest to prepare us, or if she was trying to scare us away. Maybe I should find a more beginner-friendly stable but this one was the closest to my house. Maybe this is typical?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are speaking reality. All Horse people warn non horse people that they WILL fall at some point. Horses are big. They can step on your toes without intending to. Its up to you to respect their size. and to get comfortable being around them. Its both a warning and to scare off anyone who thinks this is My Little Pony - don't expect to ride like the Lone Ranger on day one, either. Its better to be gruff so you mind your safety than having an accident and you are serious about it. There is no instructor that is going to coddle you and speak in a sweet tone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been around animals and horses all my life. I actually volunteer with an organization that takes disabled children and vets on trail rides in the mountains.

 

Can a horse step on your toe? Of course. Is it that common where they will put all their weight down and break your toe? Not really. In fact all you have to do is lean on the horse or lift up on their leg and they will respond.

 

Falling off a horse happens just like falling while riding a motorcycle. Getting kicked or bitten is much more serious than getting stepped on or falling and that is what should have been covered.

 

I think you should at least visit a few other places that give lessons. Ask if you can watch them as they teach others and see if you like the way they handle the newbies. What you described is very poor teaching in my opinion and counterproductive to the goal which is to teach inexperienced riders to ride well.

 

To you other question: Depending on your build a western or English/Polo saddle will feel differently under your butt. Small framed people seem to like the English (usually women) and bigger people and especially men(they feel more manly) like the western with the horn.

 

Go visit a few other stables or look for private lessons on CL. If you don't feel comfortable where you are go some place else.

 

Lost

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try somewhere else, this is poor. Safety around horses is very important but as a paying customer you should be made to feel comfortable and your queries addressed in a professional manner. Your instructor should be firm during lesson as they are essentially teaching you to improve at a sport and are safeguarding yours and the horses wellbeing. Out of the saddle they should be polite and friendly like any other place that relies on custom for income.

 

Unfortunately some places can be rather cliquey as it's typically the livery horses hired out with your bad habits as a learner ruining the horses performance.

 

I think you should visit a few places and ask if you can help out on the yard to get to know about horses and see how they treat you before paying your hard earned cash.

 

I've only ever used English saddles since I'm English and live in England. It's a totally different style of riding that requires a lot more discipline so if you feel you are confident and disciplined go for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horses are intelligent and very sensitive creatures.

 

Many public stables are like factories.

Most of the younger horses in them are nervous.

 

Choose your horse.

 

Ask to spend an hour watching, softly talking to, smiling and gently touching them.

Your horse will respond to you in movement and eye contact. (They can't see straight ahead.)

 

As for biting, friends don't bite friends.

For kicking, never stand directly behind any horse. They can't see you.

For toes, you're not paying attention to your friend or your feet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it takes a while to feel comfortable in the saddle? I seem to have the wrong posture and positioning all the time. The instructor kept trying to correct me for the whole lesson. Heels down, arms down, back straight, up and forward not bouncing. I kept lifting my elbows too much and bouncing straight up and down, like pushing through my knees. I felt so bad for my poor horse, I was probably confusing him so much! Toward the end I leaned over and whispered an apology, and a thanks for being patient with me, and that's when I was scolded to not lean forward.

 

I might try somewhere else, too. Everywhere else is like twice as farther away so it would take twice as long to get there. If this place is really a poor instruction place, I may have to put off my dream of learning to ride until I live near a better place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it takes a while to feel comfortable in the saddle? I seem to have the wrong posture and positioning all the time. The instructor kept trying to correct me for the whole lesson. Heels down, arms down, back straight, up and forward not bouncing. I kept lifting my elbows too much and bouncing straight up and down, like pushing through my knees. I felt so bad for my poor horse, I was probably confusing him so much! Toward the end I leaned over and whispered an apology, and a thanks for being patient with me, and that's when I was scolded to not lean forward.

 

I might try somewhere else, too. Everywhere else is like twice as farther away so it would take twice as long to get there. If this place is really a poor instruction place, I may have to put off my dream of learning to ride until I live near a better place.

 

They’re scolding you to get you in the habit of consistency.

 

Leaning forward means something to the horse. Your well intentioned apology unfortunately doesn’t. The instructors want you to learn to communicate with your horses in a way that is consistent and meaningful to them, both for your safety and theirs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it takes a while to feel comfortable in the saddle? I seem to have the wrong posture and positioning all the time. The instructor kept trying to correct me for the whole lesson. Heels down, arms down, back straight, up and forward not bouncing. I kept lifting my elbows too much and bouncing straight up and down, like pushing through my knees. I felt so bad for my poor horse, I was probably confusing him so much! Toward the end I leaned over and whispered an apology, and a thanks for being patient with me, and that's when I was scolded to not lean forward.

 

I might try somewhere else, too. Everywhere else is like twice as farther away so it would take twice as long to get there. If this place is really a poor instruction place, I may have to put off my dream of learning to ride until I live near a better place.

 

Pat the horse when you get off. If you lean forward and the horse jerks, you will end up on your head on the ground. If you sit straight, head up and alert, heels down, it might save you from severe inujury - someone leaning forward follows the horse if they go forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What have your experiences been in riding horses? Do you use a western or english style saddle and what is your preference and why? Is one easier or more comfortable?

 

I've ridden pretty steadily since I was in my early 20s. I'm 42 now.

 

Do you use a western or english style saddle and what is your preference and why? Is one easier or more comfortable?

 

I started out Western but changed over to English after about 9 years. I prefer English. It's not just about the saddle. There are different bits, bridles, and techniques involved. I prefer English because it's more versatile. Try jumping with a Western saddle--you risk knocking the wind out of yourself or breaking a rib with the pommel.

 

Which one are you learning?

 

What have your experiences been in riding horses? Do you use a western or english style saddle and what is your preference and why? Is one easier or more comfortable?

 

The teachers at the stable are a little gruff and almost rude. They care much more about the horses than the riders, and that's fair. But at the same time, I feel a little nervous asking them questions or making comments if I'm uncertain about something. Like when I told them how inexperienced I was, they looked doubtful that I should even be there. On the first day, the woman giving the introductory lesson said things like "you will fall off the horse, you will get broken toes, you will get stepped on and that hurts..." And I was trying to figure out whether she was just being honest to prepare us, or if she was trying to scare us away. Maybe I should find a more beginner-friendly stable but this one was the closest to my house. Maybe this is typical?

 

I think she was just being honest. "Horse people" do tend to be gruff at first. But when they see that you are truly dedicated to learning and working with horses (not just trying to be liked), they warm up like you won't believe.

 

Don't give up. It's such an awesome, rewarding sport.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it takes a while to feel comfortable in the saddle? I seem to have the wrong posture and positioning all the time. The instructor kept trying to correct me for the whole lesson. Heels down, arms down, back straight, up and forward not bouncing. I kept lifting my elbows too much and bouncing straight up and down, like pushing through my knees.

 

Yes! it does take time. And the corrections are a normal part of learning. You might find it helpful to run through that list as you're sitting there. Heels, elbows, hands, back, heels, elbows, hands, back, etc. You'll find that when you correct one element, another gets messed up. Totally normal. Eventually, you'll find a harmony.

 

Some horses are just really bouncy. But your own bouncing will reduce over time, as your core muscles develop. Sometimes it helps to imagine that your whole body is being suspended from a string that comes out of the top of your head. Weird imagery, I know.

 

I felt so bad for my poor horse, I was probably confusing him so much! Toward the end I leaned over and whispered an apology, and a thanks for being patient with me, and that's when I was scolded to not lean forward.

 

Chances are, he wasn't confused. He is probably used to it. Beginner horses are usually the most stolid creatures in the barn. Not every horse can fulfill that role.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Top Discussions this Week

  • Our picks

    • Choosing to Trust
      ‘Trust’ is a philosophical choice. We can be cynical, guarded, and awaiting attack. Or open, positive, and hopeful— BUT prepared for all outcomes. Love Advice discusses the pros and cons of both positions.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Why Your Ex Can’t Make Up His Or Her Mind
      Clay Andrews talks about Why Your Ex Can’t Make Up His Mind. After a breakup, it's really confusing when it comes to getting back together, talking to you or even just being in contact with you. It can also be extremely frustrating how your interactions have been good but your ex is insisting that ex can't be friends and withdraws inexplicably. Had a great time spending time together but still your ex can't make up her mind? By the end of this video, Clay shares some IMPORTANT TIPS on how you can deal when your ex can't make up their mind and how to get your ex back.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Everything You Need to Know About Going "No Contact"
      1. Signs That "No Contact" Is Needed, 2. Understanding "No Contact", 3. The Benefits of "No Contact", 4. Strategies to Make "No Contact" Work, 5. What Makes "No Contact" So Hard?, 6. Why You're Struggling to Stay Away.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 6 Signs You Are Hurting Subconsciously
      Do you value having a positive and optimistic perspective of life, no matter how bad things are? Being overly positive and optimistic can be as bad, or even worse, than having a negative approach to something. After all, lying to yourself is very rarely the best way to approach things and it can be detrimental to your mental health. So, if you're not happy or hurting about something, it is important that you acknowledge it instead of repressing and ignoring it.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 7 Habits That Make You Irresistible
      What are some simple habits that make you irresistible to women, men, and everyone? If you want to be a more attractive person, these easy habits will get you there. Confidence is half the battle - at least.

       
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...