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Old 10-26-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
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Riding lessons

I started taking riding lessons four weeks ago but because life happens I've only had two lessons. I would of shared after the first one but I was so traumatized I had doubts I ever wanted to ride a horse again

I had this idea that since I have to live away from home and my job was the toughest one I have ever had yet I needed something for fun. The closest barn is in East Grand Forks, an hour away, but hey, its all part of the fun, right? So the instructor said that she'd give me only what I could handle which was very reassuring and from what I heard and saw I trusted her immediately and completely.

Twenty minutes into the first lesson we were cantering I FREAKED! A death grip on the horn, my legs grabbing so hard that they were sore for days afterward. I am embarrassed now to say that I yelled "NO! I CAN'T I'M TOO AFRAID" which made absolutely no difference what so ever I managed to control myself the second time we loped on the other lead but I did get tears in my eyes.

You guys, what the heck?! I wasn't ready! Apparently she felt I was, said I did just fine, no wobble, no bounce, just fine... um, don't think so

The second lesson was last night on a smaller horse, thank you very much, which did help somewhat. This time during the lope I could feel the horse, you know? I was nervous but we loped long enough for me to realize that I was okay because I could notice that I had one leg on either side and my bottom was solid on the seat just like in a chair. But the biggest help was that I am totally determined to "get this" and spent the past two weeks trying to figure out this connection between my belief about myself and what I am actually doing. My instructor said that I need to believe in myself and trust myself and trust my horse through our relationship. She said more but I didn't get it so I don't remember much more

I didn't expect that this would turn out to be psychoanalysis! But it is! I do feel better about myself, gaining confidence. Huh! No wonder horse people tend to be such egotistical bores Especially those thin blonde ones, ugh!
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:19 PM   #2
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Good for you!! Way to go on the cantering . Relax and have fun and you will find youself doing all sorts of things that you thougt you couldn't. Keep us posted on your lessons.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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Hey! Easy on the thin blondes
Sometimes we just need that push to get going, think of it as a challenge instead of a nightmare, she is DARING you to prove yourself wrong.
Clearly you know how to ride if you were cantering 20 minutes in, so don't doubt yourself so much. What you need is confidence, and every successful lope is giving that to you.
I work with a lot of first time riders who are absolutely terrified, what they need to realize (and usually do in the first 5-10 minutes) is that they need to relax and let the horse do their thing, and then its smooth sailing from there.
Relax, deep breaths, the horse is not trying to kill you. You would be well aware if they were planning on killing you, and they would have already done so, so the hard part is already over.
I tell a lot of people 'if he was going to try to hurt you he would have already done it by now, so cut him a little slack'
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Ya hoo!!! So happy that you're making progress. Sounds like you'll be making progress by leaps and bounds there. Keep up the good work!

I know that with it being so far away, this could be difficult, but for me, I really never turned that corner of confidence until I started taking lessons 2x a week. It was more expensive but it really felt to me like it was what I needed to get past some of my issues ... didn't have a week for my brain to sit and get in the way of the positives that happened. And down the road I think that the compressed timeline was good too ... like we made more progress in ten lessons that were just on a shorter time scale than if those lessons had been dragged out to twice as many weeks, so um, could stop going to lessons as often.

Anyhoo, keep us posted, love hearing about it!
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyaussie94 View Post
Hey! Easy on the thin blondes
Sometimes we just need that push to get going, think of it as a challenge instead of a nightmare, she is DARING you to prove yourself wrong.
Clearly you know how to ride if you were cantering 20 minutes in, so don't doubt yourself so much. What you need is confidence, and every successful lope is giving that to you.
I work with a lot of first time riders who are absolutely terrified, what they need to realize (and usually do in the first 5-10 minutes) is that they need to relax and let the horse do their thing, and then its smooth sailing from there.
Relax, deep breaths, the horse is not trying to kill you. You would be well aware if they were planning on killing you, and they would have already done so, so the hard part is already over.
I tell a lot of people 'if he was going to try to hurt you he would have already done it by now, so cut him a little slack'
I'll let you be the thin blonde exception that proves the rule
For me, I wasn't worried that the horse was going to kill me. Its that I didn't have a good connection between what I was doing and what was "supposed" to be happening. Like, I can recognize a good rider when I see one but I don't know its happening when I'm doing it. I was thinking about what might happen out of my imagination rather than what is happening in the real world.

The third time cantering I was able to realize that one leg was on either side of the horse, my bottom was comfortable and stable in the saddle and I could feel the horse. I could feel the horse rather than simply imagine disaster! THAT is what I'm excited about, I want more of that.

Lady, you told me about the 2x/wk and I'd like to do that. But for right now I practice the lesson over in my head. I think about that first moment when I was paying attention to the good stuff and not concentrating on the bad stuff. That's how I was able to go two weeks between my first and second lesson and not have to start over.

So hey! I'm learning how to use my imagination for good, not evil! That's huge too!
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:33 AM   #6
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Way to go! Its was scary but you did it!
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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Good for you! You obviously have the skills to do it, just gotta get the mind in the same place as the body!

Hope you are able to continue with lessons with your busy schedule and that you continue to enjoy them!
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Yeehaw good for you Version!! Hope your lessons continue to be a success!
I remember when I first learned to canter bareback a few years ago.. on a pretty little spotted pony who gave kisses lol. May all your lesson horses canter smoothly Have fun!!
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:17 AM   #9
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I am delighted that your lessons are working out. I know that many instructors do what your instructor did. On the other hand, I don't do that. When I had a student who was insecure, I would let that student stay on whatever level they were confident in. I promised them I would never push them to do something they didn't want to do. Then I broadened their experiences at whatever level they were. For example, if they were only comfortable trotting, then we would trot--over poles, through the woods, at a horseshow, emergency dismounts, through obstacles. It didn't take long before they WANTED to canter and they knew they were ready.

It is one of my personal peeves when instructors push students saying they are ready when the rider feels they are not. I've seen two accidents from it and both times I was furious because if the instructor takes their time, it will come with time no matter what. One was a friend of mine in a group lesson. The instructor made a really long scary jump and insisted our horses could do it. My friend was the better rider so she went first--the horse tried to come down in the middle of the jump, making it an in and out and got hurt--my friend got hurt too. Doing it my way, the slow way, I think is better. It will come--it just takes time.

Just my two cents. I hope your riding continues to improve steadily and I'll bet it will.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:31 PM   #10
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I hope that there aren't any more hurdles
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