I'm going backwards in training...please help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-21-2011, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 339
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Unhappy I'm going backwards in training...please help

A few months ago I had to move my horse out of a dressage stable due to abuse. I was taking lessons there and my riding was improving at a slow rate mainly because of the trainer and me not being able to ride a lot. The thing that helped the most there was that my horse was being exercised 5 times a week and he was staying fit.

After I switched stables, I could and still can only ride once/week because it is so far from my house. My horse has lost all his fitness and his training has all gone down the drain; so has my riding. I took a few lessons with the trainers at the new place and they tried changing my positions so that my hands were stretched out past my horse's withers and I was leaning really far back and sitting in a chair position. Then they tried to teach me to look down at my horse's head and neck because "dressage is all about the head and neck" and then pull my horse's head in. I stopped those lessons but wow that really put my horse and I back in training. I'm trying to bring back my good position but I find it really hard when I just ride once a week. Also, my horse is very unfit and has lost a lot of his muscles that he used in dressage. It has been three months of him being ridden once/week, part of that with me screwing up his mouth and training with bad lessons.

When I go out and ride, he's so stiff, disobedient and hard on the bit. I know it's not his fault though. I can only get him on the bit at the walk and everything else absolutely sucks. I feel like if I was a better rider, I would be able to move forward. I feel so frustrated and every ride gets worse. Do you have any suggestions?

"A horse can bring you down your path, but you can't bring a horse down your path."
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-21-2011, 01:23 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Wellington, FL
Posts: 500
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It's not that you are a bad rider. No one can be consistant in their riding if they only ride once a week. You have to maintain your fittness along with your horse's fittness. You won't improve unless you ride consistantly. Riding once a week won't cut it. The top riders in the sport ride every day and ride multiple horses a day. If you were learning to play piano you wouldn't expect to improve a lot by only practicing once a week. The same rule applies to horses.

Another thing to remember is that training, both horses and humans, is a series of hills and valleys. Sometimes you are at a high point and sometimes you are at a low point. It happens but it is something that everyone works through.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-21-2011, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 329
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Have you thought about half leasing him? You could find a rider in the experience level you need and have him/her ride your horse a few days a week. This way his is not only getting worked, but is getting worked correctly. When you get on him once a week he will be more fit and responsive.

It can be hard to ride only one day a week, but I definitly understand. Not everyone has the time or ability to ride every day. Do the best you can and try not to get frustrated.
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