Nervous about first riding lesson

lindsay_314

New Member
Jun 27, 2020
7
16
3
Tri-Cities, TN, USA
Hello! I'm new here :)
I have decided to start weekly riding lessons at the age of 33. My first lesson is tomorrow! I have been on a couple (Western-style) trail rides before, and had a two short riding lessons on my friend's Quarter Horse in an endurance/Australian saddle about 8 years ago. She has been riding for over 20 years, has been showing dressage for about 15 years, and has a horse farm in Florida, so she has taught me some of the basics: I know how to groom a horse properly, lead them, and know the basic aids for walk and halt, but that is all. Oh, and I know how to muck a stall :) I would like to eventually show in dressage (the stable where I'm taking lessons has monthly shows) and maybe try show jumping as well.

I have bought a Troxel hard hat and am waiting on the Ariat paddock boots I have ordered and have been reading as many books as I can, but there is so much to learn. I feel fairly confident on the ground but work in the saddle is what makes me the most nervous.

Any advice for a beginner rider?
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
Hello and welcome.
Enjoy your first lessons, they are wonderful as an adult! I learnt properly at about your age too - and loved every moment. You sound like you've had quite a bit of contact with horses to begin with which is great. Have fun and let us know how it went!
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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Hi and welcome.
My only advice is don’t overthink it and just enjoy! Please let us know how it went :)
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
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Hello, welcome to the forum.

If youve had a few rides before and it hasnt put you off then youll be just fine. Enjoy it. Youll be nervous for sure, but just try to relax. If it does go wrong. Just stop take a deep breath, regather yourself and try again.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
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Hi, nice to have a new "face" :)

All I can give advice wise is relax and enjoy it. You've booked as a beginner so no-one is going to be expecting anything from you, the fact you've sat on a horse and have a feel for how one moves in walk gives you an advantage. It's meant to be fun! If you don't understand something you're told or are struggling to do it make sure you tell the instructor, communication is a two way thing and in that respect I think an adult beginner has an advantage.

Will you come back and let us know how it went?
 

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Welcome! As everyone says, relax and enjoy it - you've got the very basics already, which is an advantage. Do let us know how it goes. :)
 

joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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New Zealand
Just have fun, it's a great sport.
I started learning to drive (cars not horses!) at 33 so I know that "bit old to be learning a new skill" feeling very well :D Some of the "nerves" you're feeling will be anticipation, I'm sure once the first lesson is out the way you'll feel much better!
 

lindsay_314

New Member
Jun 27, 2020
7
16
3
Tri-Cities, TN, USA
Hello everyone,

My first lesson went well! The instructor was great, very patient (we are also only a year apart in age so we get on pretty well), and was good at explaining things if I was confused. She taught me how to groom (I already knew the basics of that), how to tack up--I did the girth and the bridle myself--and then of course how to lead the horse to the arena. He was an older Quarter Horse named Zippy, although he was not actually very zippy, haha. It was raining so we went to the covered portion, but Zippy was very calm; a "been there done that" lesson horse, as we say here in the States...I think "more whoa than go" is also an accurate phrase? :) We discussed how to mount, then a bit about balancing, walking and steering, and even attempted a trot near the end! Then of course walking him back to the barn, untacking and grooming, and taking him to his paddock. I am going to be so sore tomorrow but I really enjoyed it. Going back this coming Saturday but I wish it was sooner!!
Thank you for all your advice yesterday; any other advice? :)
Also attached is a photo of me and Zippy after our ride:
FirstRidingLesson.JPG
(Edit: Add a word, fix captialization)
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I should say a 'more woa than go' kind of horse is perfect for early lessons. Sounds like and looks like judging by the massive grin on your face that you had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it. :)
 
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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Great it went so well - sounds like a good school. Love the pic - that's the face of someone who enjoyed every minute! Zippy sounds like a classic school master and the ideal horse to start with. Looking forward to hearing about your progress!
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
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Gllad you enjoyed it 102929 I returned to riding following a 30 year gap and oh, the soreness afterwards! I struggled to get out of the car the next day and walked like John Wayne for a week. It didn't put me off though, in fact it was only going back and doing it again that helped ease my muscles.

And that's my advice lol - keep going back! (Hope you're not that sore though).
 
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lindsay_314

New Member
Jun 27, 2020
7
16
3
Tri-Cities, TN, USA
Hello all,
Thank you all for your advice and comments! My second lesson was today (it's still Saturday here). I was soooo sore last week but it wasn't too bad today. I had a different horse named Texas Ted who was very chill and curious; he also had a more comfortable trot which was nice. I bought some riding breeches yesterday and I felt like they helped a lot with my steering. Worked more on just controlling the horse, practicing balance, and learning to keep him on the wall. Overall I enjoyed myself--I think I might be addicted ? Can't wait to go back next Saturday!
Edited to add: I also learned how to half halt! I was proud that I picked it up so quickly :)
Here is a pic of me today (please constructive critique only, I'm new at this):
 

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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Lovely horse, lovely pic - glad you enjoyed it. No criticism here because I still (after 30 years of riding) do what you look like you're doing - being just a little tense! Relax your shoulders - I do it too if I'm a bit nervous.
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
7,130
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You do look tense through your body. Im sure after a few more lessons you will be much more relaxed.
I still ride like a sack of spuds so dont worry. Just enjoy the lessons.
 
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