Getting back into riding...

luckycharm

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Sep 12, 2020
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I took a break from riding (it was a very short break, only five months.. allergies got in the way) and to some people, this may seem like nothing, but I'm SUUUPERRR forgetful! I've been riding for three years but I still have a hard time even keeping my heels down, Guess that's just how I'm wired ?‍♀️ Anyways, Any tips for when I get back into lessons ?? I'm restarting them but I'm super nervous, I haven't been around a horse in ages and scared I might do something stupid
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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Seriously, five months is nothing and you're making yourself anxious for no reason. Everyone makes mistakes, yes even silly ones, but that's nothing to worry about. Horses haven't changed in that time, they haven't suddenly sprouted horns or grown fangs! And heels down isn't the gold standard of riding, in fact forcing them down can be counterproductive as the tension then forces you out of the saddle. So relax, be honest with your instructor, fuss the horses, don't fret too much about those heels (though not toes down please) and enjoy yourself, because enjoyment is what it's all about :)
 
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chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Couldnt agree more. Dont wind yourself up.
I had a lesson this week, first one in ages. New instructor, never seen me ride before. I was getting tense the few days before, leading up to it. Thats who i am. Whilst the lesson was bad from the point it showed all my weeknesses. I could have cried, but its all things ive been told and explained before. It was actually extremely productive as its given me something to work on.
Its like riding a bike you never forget, just a little rusty to start with, but you soon remember.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I too learned to ride as an adult and it is very hard for any adult to put themselves back in a student role, but it is particularly hard when learning to ride because in the end riding entails being very grown up and taking control of a horse. Which a student cant do when feeling cowed and useless.
The important thing is not how you look, but your relationship with the horses.
If you still feel nervous of the lesson situation, one solution is to have lunge lessons from a teacher who knows how to teach on the lunge. People starting to ride are usually taught on the lunge and assume it is like a leading rein lesson. But lunge lessons are far more than that and can teach you balance and control. They also teach you to feel the horse moving underneath you.
It is the feel through your fingers, seat and legs that matter far more than whether or not the teacher thinks well of you. Horses are kind creatures and think well of us, so think well of yourself too.
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I took a break from riding (it was a very short break, only five months.. allergies got in the way) and to some people, this may seem like nothing, but I'm SUUUPERRR forgetful! I've been riding for three years but I still have a hard time even keeping my heels down, Guess that's just how I'm wired ?‍♀️ Anyways, Any tips for when I get back into lessons ?? I'm restarting them but I'm super nervous, I haven't been around a horse in ages and scared I might do something stupid
Psst - dont tell anyone, but ive been riding for 35 years and I STILL can't keep my heels down!
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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I didn't ride for 8 years and picked it up instantly apart from being like a sack of potatoes with no muscles. As for heels down, who cares, being light and considerate to your horse is more important, listening to them and adjusting to them.
 
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niky

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Sep 22, 2020
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Had your lesson already? What about the first day just being arround the horse, smelling the confidence, seing others riding and the next day you go on the horse for a relaxed lesson just to enjoy yourself? You don´t have to galop or trot the first day you start again, it isn´t all a must, just enjoy like others said here ;) Horse riding isn´t easy, but don´t make it harder than it is!!
 
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