First return to riding lesson

*toHorse&Away*

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Hello there,

As mentioned when I said hello in the Café it must be about 15 years since I rode regularly, other than an occasional hack, and at least 5 since I have even been on a horse. So it was really exciting to get a lesson booked. Don’t know what made me after all this time but horses never really go out of your life do they? Not that I have ever been fortunate enough to own one, but I've had many happy hours in their company.

So, there I was at the stable all prepared to spend the remainder of the weekend having to soak in Radox and essential oils and wondering how it would be. I was lucky that I got a sweet pony called Angel who behaved beautifully and was so willing despite having the equivalent of a sack of potatoes on her back! She cantered for me first time, but the trot – o my goodness, how AWFUL! It must have been soooo ugly to watch and I suppose I could make some excuse for being stiff and ungainly and trying to remember all the things I knew I should be doing all at the same time, but honestly, the instructor’s blood must have run cold watching it!! Still, by the end of the lesson I had settled in much more comfortably and it started to feel a bit better about being able to hit the rhythm in trot and stay pretty comfy in canter. The logistics of leg on and cantering were escaping me though.
All in all I felt it went ok considering the length of time it had been.
I was so excited I booked another one straight away.

Last week we had a little go at jumping :eek: , over a small cross pole. I was so busy looking forward and keeping going that I forgot all about jumping position. Oh dear! We had a couple more goes and although it felt untogether we made it (thanks more to the horse than to anything I was doing) so for a second lesson it felt pretty positive.

My instructor said it looked like I would be ok in the intermediate group lesson – this was progressing from half an hour to a full hour. But, since I got away with minimal John Wayne impressions the first couple of lessons I thought it would be ok. Should not have been so naïve – half of the first lesson was without stirrups and showed me exactly how awful my seat was!

There seems to be an unusual (to me) approach at warming up at the group lessons where everyone can practice transitions and circles in their own way to get the horse listening. This is fine, but it’s a bit hard to know where everyone is going when there are about 6 horses in the school. Is this approach familiar to other riders? What do you think?

I have spent the last couple of weeks really trying hard to take on board all the things I have been told and all the things I have been reading from you helpful folk on this splendid website. I am scared of getting addicted as I keep sneaking off to read what’s happening in the threads!!! I think my worst points at the moment are my seat and keeping my heels down. I don't know if I am taking it all too quick thinking off the long break or whether I should be pushing more.

I am going to save my pennies and see if I can get a lesson on the lunge.

Sorry to have gone on so long, I just get a bit carried away as although my other half is happy I am doing something that makes me happy, I know that discussing the merits of serpentines and 20 metre circles do not thrill him! There, it’s all out of my system now.

Byeeee! for now
 

Luxie

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I had an enormously long break from riding, but when my daughter started school I had to take it up again; several years of one lesson a week, then the opportunity came up of sharing a gorgeous little part-arab, four blissful years with him, followed by a desperately sad parting and me vowing that at my age I was too old to start all over again with another horse.

I now have a wonderful ?standardbred-we-think gelding on permanent loan, and have never been happier.

(PS enjoy yourself on this board, it's the friendliest and most informative I know, but also BY FAR the most addictive ...)
 

denise42

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" I know that discussing the merits of serpentines and 20 metre circles do not thrill him! There, it’s all out of my system now."

Thats why we are here :)
My poor hubby gets sick to death of hearing my horse stories too.
There sure is a lot to take in when riding, isn't there ?
I had never taken lessons as a kid, I came from the get on hang on school of riding. So when as an adult I decided to get back into horses I had no idea that I didn't know how to ride. What an eye opener.. :p I would ( and still do) come home from lessons reciting my instructions for my practice sessions... leg back , shoulds back and down , don't lean to the inside. keep you hand low....on and on... some times I feel like my body has a mind of its own and no matter what I tell it to do it does what it wants to any way. :rolleyes:
 

Alle

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May 18, 2004
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hee, just about all my friends and family are sick of horse talk! :)

Your warm up group sounds pretty similar to my Saturday morning group lesson, although we only have four horses warming up. Just be alert to traffic and call out if your going inside or outside. Or does your school have a protocal on who goes on the rail etc? My place doesn't, so we just watch out for others and use common sense. Two of the kids were so focused on what they were doing that they almost had a collision. :eek: Luckily, their horses were smart enough to stop, and although both kids did fall off, they were more embarrassed then bruised.

Isn't it great to be back riding? :) I had a long break that sounds similar to yours, and have now been back at it for 1 1/2 years. I've owned my lovely mare Sevigny for 1 year and 4 months now, and its been an awesome experience. :) And NR has been a huge help. It is very addictive!
 

MadMumInKent

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Hello, welcome to NR :) It sounds like you're getting on really well ! Jumping already?? :eek: Well done!

Not sure about the warm up routine as I have private lessons, but my uneducated and often useless opinion is that its not a bad idea... stops the horses just following each other round the track, and gets them actually listening to the rider, so I can see that this might work. When I was trying out my part loan horse yesterday, I was left alone for a while in the indoor school and after a while some other people came in to exercise their horses... was quite an experience, I was scared to canter in case I crashed into someone! ;) Then the girl that owns Zip told me all about school rules - passing left to left and stuff... I haven't quite got the hang of that yet !

Good luck with your lessons, can't wait to hear about your progress! :)

Jo
 

SarahHB

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Hi there and welcome to a fellow Chelmsford dweller!

Its exciting (if also a little painful) getting back in the saddle after a long break isn't it. Like you I had a break of 10+ years and when I got back into it there was no stopping me. I had a few months of lessons to get back into the swing of things and I now have my own boy and things are going great. I remember fondly(?) my first group lesson and half an hour of no stirrup work - OMG the pain!

Sounds like you are going great, I'm sure you'll make good progress as everything comes back to you. Just out of interest which riding school are you having lessons at?

Sarah
 

Soupdragon

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Hi! Congratulations on your return to the saddle! :)

Your warm up sounds as if you are riding in "open order" so your instructor must have faith in your ability to control your horse! I think some of the general rules are that you should pass left to left, and if you are walking you should be on the inside track, leaving the outside track clear for those going at a faster pace...

I've been riding on and off as an adult for 15 years or so but still feel I've loads to learn and am a pretty rubbish rider! I am however Aat last thinking about getting my own and I'm going to look at a pony tomorrow .... you may have seen my thread in general!

Keep us posted with your progress!

J xx
 

*toHorse&Away*

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oooh!

Thanks everyone, just gearing up for todays lesson at 3 o clock!

I am go glad there are so many returners out there, people who understand and don't just think Im stark raving mad....Wonder what makes us do it?

SarahHB I go to the Chelmsford Equestrian Centre on Beehive Lane - its handy for me as I don't drive. They are a really friendly bunch and their new little girl Angel is really helping me, so I look forward to the lessons I get her.

Thanks for the feedback on the open order - it is the first time I have come across this and it is helpful as MadMum mentioned to stop them all following each other round without thinking. I just worry I am going to career straight into someone (being a left hander / southpaw I have a nightmare with left v right - how pathetic is that? ;) However, near and offside makes a lot more sense :D And they do go through the rules for each new person.

Soupdragon - I bet even if you ride from cradle to grave there will always be something new to learn, and thats half the fun I guess ;)

Thanks for your support I will let you know how I get on (or off! as the case may be)

Bye for now
Thanks again
 

SarahHB

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That's also my nearest riding school so I went there for a few lessons last year - in fact it was in the Sat 3.00 group! Then I went to Runningwell after that as they do lessons on weekday evenings which is quite handy if weekends become a problem.

They have quite a nice jumping paddock in Chelmsford EC which was fun when we had our lesson in there.

Hope your lesson went well today and not too much achiness! (Is that even a word??! :) )
 

Sarah_ltj

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Hey, im from Chelmsford too and go to CEC on Beehive Lane. Ive ridden Angel once and she was lovely, ive also had Jake once and Bob twice who was very lazy!!!!
 

fabio66

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i just got back on after five years,and loving it again,look forward to every lesson,every time i turn up for a lesson reminds of when i was a kid and my first ever trip to a stable,really i get that excited
 

Morganna

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Open order was quite common for my previous RI, as someone else has said its a good way of getting the horses listening to their riders and not just following the horse in front. We had 5 riders in our group and it also taught us how to be aware of other horse in the arena.

Anyway, welcome back to the horsey world, I myself was away for as long as you and have been a returnee for about 18 months now. Just bought my own boy about 6 months ago and loving it. You will be amazed at how quickly you will get back into the swing of things :)
 

CrisO

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At the riding school I used to go to we were trusted to take our horses down, jump on and start working in. People got to the school one by one rather than all arriving together and getting on at the same time. I liked it because you can warm up according to your horse.

Lots of good advice above on "school rules" but I would say never assume that everyone else respects these and be aware of where other people are and what they are doing.
 

NoviceNic

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Has anyone noticed that this post has been ressurected from the year 2005...:confused: Just didnt want everyone to come on and welcome someone as though they have only just joined....
headsmack.gif
 

*toHorse&Away*

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Ha!!! So funny to see this post from back in the days!!!
I still log on to NR loads, but I don't post very much these days.
Haven't got much useful to say really :(

But, a year down the line and I look back and think wow! come a long way really. Although I can only really afford an hour a week lesson (and its not enough!!) and knowing that I am still way rubbish I still feel I have learned loads.
Managed to get a couple of horsey holidays in with some lovely hacks, my first gallop and my first bolt (separate instances ;))

Sarah - Angel is my favourite girl - I always ask if I can ride her if I have private lesson (my jumping is pants and I trust her!!) in fact we did a nice double no hands AND I never fell off!!
Bobs a lovely lad and if you get him going he can be great - he just knows all the tricks. New horse Cassie is a real sweetie too.
Maybe see you there sometime - my weekly lesson is in just over an hour!!!

:D
 

Sarah_ltj

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Did you enjoy your lesson? And did you ride Angel? My lesson is tomorrow morning, might be going to help out at a livery yard on sundays though but he wants me to do sat and sun each week which i think is a bit much so gotta call him when i can and ask if i can just do sundays!
 

*toHorse&Away*

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No, I got Bob, but he was steaming round - never seen him shift so much! ;) - we had a lively lesson though, lots of cantering and jumping! Great fun.

Good luck with sorting something at the yard - probably one day is enough its hard work if you are studying/ working the rest of the time :)
 
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