Getting back into riding, some questions :)

Floppy91

New Member
Feb 10, 2017
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Recently started getting back into riding after a 2-3 year break. First couple of lessons went really well, last lesson not so good as really struggled to get the horse to canter and not cut corners, kind of beating myself up, is it normal to have a bad lesson sometimes?

Also my adductor muscle on the right is very painful, possibly because I was trotting without stirrups? Are there any exercises I can do to prevent further pain? Will swimming help?

Also kind of a weird question but I want to start doing 2 lessons a week at two different stables. will the stables mind? It's mainly because the other stable does proficiency tests and I would like to do that.

Thanks for your help :)
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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Hello and welcome,

Firstly yes it is possible to have a bad lesson where you feel like you are learning anything and sometimes end up just plain old frustrated. It happens but actually what you will have missed is that you noted that you were have issues and what the issues therefore you can look to your next lesson to make corrections. I still have bad lessons now.

It is good that your adductor muscles are hurting as that means you were using your core but you need to make sure you are even/straight it could be that the horse was stronger on one rein than the other which has caused this or you aren't quite sitting straight. Get you RI to check your position before the start of the next lesson and keep checking yourself through the lesson. it's a lot easier if they have mirrors.As for execises, yoga is excellent for core muscles but to be honest any form of exercise is great to improve your overall rider fitness.

As for using two different riding schools you should go to which one offers you what you need you don't have to be loyal to one. I have three RIs, One for jump and two different ones for flat work they all offer me different things.

Good luck
 

Floppy91

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Feb 10, 2017
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Hi thanks so much for your quick, detailed reply and all of your help! I've booked a yoga class for Monday :)

Thanks you are right about learning from mistakes as well and I will read up on canter transitions, the instructor said when I asked for canter I wasn't sitting deep enough in the saddle so next time I will try sitting deeper.

It's good to hear that others ride at different stables as well, I'm definitely going to go for it. I think the structured syllabus will help because in all my years of riding, I've cantered circles and jumped but have never once even walked a serpentine which in the levels, comes before canter!

I think my position is quite good but I'm wondering if knowing how to ride but not having done it in years could be a shock to my muscles, since I'm working muscles hard that I've more or less ignored for so long.

You could be right about the horse being stronger on one reign, the arena is really wet and the horse did not want want to walk or trot through the puddles on the edges. I had to work really hard to keep her in to the side, especially when trotting w/o stirrups!

Thanks for all your advice
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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One can go to two schools - I hacked at one and had lessons at another. However remember that one can stop and start going to riding schools - having only as many lessons as you want.
The things about riding and riding schools is that there are a variety of ways of setting about almost everything and though some of what one is told to do will depend on the horse one is riding, a great deal of the variation comes from the personal view of the rider. I have gathered a great variety of solutions over my years of lessons - but my rule is that when I am in a lesson with a particular teacher, I will do what she says and not argue. Particularly dont go to one teacher and try to force her to agree with what another teacher has taught you. And dont try to reconcile the two views yourself either.

Similarly if one teacher thinks you are a complete beginner and makes you do childish stuff even tho you are doing complicated canter work with another - Accept it.

If you dont agree with a teacher, ask for a change of teacher or leave that school - you have the freedom.

You mention serpentines - if one is learning in a group, or sharing an arena with another student , one may well not ride serpentines because they involve going to the outside track and leaving it again. You sound to know a good deal and tho levels and structure are fine, the communication with the horse which you sound to have, and good balance in the saddle are more important.
 

Judy S

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Feb 5, 2017
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As an older rider who returned to the saddle last year, I recommend a few stretches before riding, much as you would do before a Gym session - this cold weather and cold muscles are likely to cause pain if not properly stretched or warmed up - in the same way as you would always warm up your horse in walk and by doing transitions and changes of rein before asking it to work in trot or on tight circles.

Working without stirrups can make you tense up too - breathe deep and concentrate on relaxing into it.

I have ridden at several riding schools over the years, but never at two concurrently; there are no rules against doing that of course, and you could alternate lessons with hacking if it helped you relax and enjoy your riding more. A lot of riding schools feel a little like a "club" or "family", which is perhaps why you might feel a little guilty if you ride elsewhere!
 
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