Sharp Pony!

laawlerr

New Member
May 11, 2020
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Hello!

I've been riding since January, I had a few lessons in a riding school and progressed nicely to trot. My partner is an extremely experienced showjumping and dressage rider and she suggested we part loan a horse rather than ride on riding school horses which are very different to privately owned. It'd been a little up and down as the first horse we loaned for a few weeks was not as described, he was an ex-racer with a bundle of problems (bless him) which I as a novice found very difficult! I couldn't lead him as he would rear up vertical, he bit me in the stable etc... anyway, under saddle he was a lovely boy and really helped me further establish my trot. My partner and I concluded as lovely as he was under saddle he wasn't the right loan for us as I could never be solely responsible for him.

Okay so - we now loan a new horse and she is a dream pony. She is easy to lead, she puts her head down to try and help you tack up, loves kisses etc etc etc. I've been lunging her myself in trot, taking her the field and she has really restored my confidence on the ground.

My problem is... she is very, very sharp. Her owner and my partner both think she is fantastic but when I first rode her my leg slipped back and I went in a tornado of canter for about 4 laps of the arena!! She was very good bless her and didn't get excited or buck, but now I am so aware of my leg position and how sharp she is that my confidence is very low on her. I always get nervous when we're in trot that I will accidentally get her to canter again. (I want to get proper lessons in canter when my trot seat is perfect.)

My partner has been working on more advanced movements with me in just walk. For example leg yielding up the wall and down the diagonal. (which is amazing to do by the way!)

Has anyone got any advice for a new rider on a sharper horse? I know she is a more experienced ride and my partner is telling me if I stick with it and work slowly on my confidence and leg movement then it will be worth it in the end.

Any advice appreciated!
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
Whilst i agree with your other half that sticking with it might be worth it in the end. You say he is experienced in showjumping thats great he has lots of knowledge by the sounds of it to help you. But you are a beginner from what you are saying. What he may be capable of and what you are currently capable of riding sounds worlds appart. It sounds like you are over horsed. You need a quiet horse to learn on. Not something sharp. I think you probably need a horse each. But yours needs to be less sharp and more of a plod. You will only continue to lose confidence if you get on something that is not suitable for a beginner. Being over horsed will only lead to you giving up riding and shattering your confidence.

I would urge you to get something that is more suited to you yourself or if you cannot afford that countinue yourself going to a riding school to ride other more suitable horses for a beginner.
If you want to continue with the current loan alongside thats great but you might need to find an instructor who is suitable to help you and horse as a combination.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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Hello!

My advice for you would have to be go back to the riding school and their safe ponies, or at the very least get something on loan that is extremely quiet and used to beginners that don't have a lot of control over what they do. It's all very well for a competent rider to say you'll learn quicker on something with a bit more about it, but the chances are they've forgotten what it's like to be a beginner. The reality is you're likely to end up hurt and/or with your confidence in shreds. And another thing to remember is just because someone's a capable rider doesn't mean they're a good teacher, it's two very different skill sets.

Please do yourself a favour and don't keep on with this pony. It may be fine for your partner, but it certainly isn't for you and at the moment I don't think you'll be able to get something that suits you both so you need to decide who you're loaning for.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Agree - get something quieter. Way back, I got a pony on loan, who was actually the other way round - she was a dream to ride, but nasty on the ground. I got hurt a couple of times, sent her back, and heard she had really hurt the girl who took her after me. If you're novicey it could knock your confidence for good, and that would be a shame. Have you and your partner got the capacity to have two? This one for your more experienced partner, and a more ploddy one for you? Oh - and welcome!
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Welcome to NR :)

You're in a bit of a spot there, we haven't seen you ride or what's going on in person and your OH has, but from your description it doesn't sound ideal. I think I'd see if you can get an instructor (not a friend) to come and make an impartial assessment of you and your horse. Perhaps it felt worse to you than it looked to your OH, it often does, but at times we can be encouraged by those with more ridden experience to continue plodding through when perhaps it's not ideal, an independent assessment might help you make a non-emotional decision and to potentially have a difficult conversation with your OH or help you feel better about riding :)
 

laawlerr

New Member
May 11, 2020
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5
3
Welcome to NR :)

You're in a bit of a spot there, we haven't seen you ride or what's going on in person and your OH has, but from your description it doesn't sound ideal. I think I'd see if you can get an instructor (not a friend) to come and make an impartial assessment of you and your horse. Perhaps it felt worse to you than it looked to your OH, it often does, but at times we can be encouraged by those with more ridden experience to continue plodding through when perhaps it's not ideal, an independent assessment might help you make a non-emotional decision and to potentially have a difficult conversation with your OH or help you feel better about riding :)

Hello! Yes it's tricky as sometimes I feel 100% fine and other times nervous. My OH thinks the pony was quite fresh when we had first gotten on and her owner has her very sensitive off the leg. I'll try get some pics and videos next time I go!
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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It's very hard to find one horse to meet both extremes of riding ability. The first horse was fine to ride but hard to handle on the ground, the second one lovely to work with but very responsive to aids so if you wobble you cause her to go into overdrive, not her fault. A lot of people would like her to be like that. Also if your partner is riding her and used to very sensitive horses then you aren't able to replicate that. So maybe you need to rethink the concept that one horse can at this time suit both of you.
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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I would ask yourself if you are enjoying riding this pony? If so, you just need time and hours in the saddle to learn to gel together. If you are not enjoying yourself, why are you doing it? Life is too short to live to other peoples expectations, just because your partner likes this horse it doesn't mean that you have to. Find a horse that suits you and become as obsessed with riding as we all are on here.
 
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newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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Send them back. It's knocking your confidence, it's an expensive hobby to have and be unhappy.
Worth it in the end, for who?
You are still learning the basics, you haven't got a muscle memory yet. And if you fall off that will be one memory that sticks with you.
 

laawlerr

New Member
May 11, 2020
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Hi everyone, so sorry for not coming back to you all for so long! I've been working hard, getting used to this pony and making sure my leg doesn't slip back. Finally back to trotting independently now and getting weekly lessons to improve my seat and work up to trotting poles. We're taking my stirrups away once a week now too. I wanted to add a little video but I don't think I can. Seems we are slowly getting there now!! Thanks everyone for the advice
 

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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Hi everyone, so sorry for not coming back to you all for so long! I've been working hard, getting used to this pony and making sure my leg doesn't slip back. Finally back to trotting independently now and getting weekly lessons to improve my seat and work up to trotting poles. We're taking my stirrups away once a week now too. I wanted to add a little video but I don't think I can. Seems we are slowly getting there now!! Thanks everyone for the advice
Well done - sounds like perseverance is paying off. :)
 
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