What would you do if you could start over? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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What would you do if you could start over?

Ok some know me here as the know nothing guy with lots of useless opinions (which is true)! But i have recently been getting peer pressured in to riding. Not just any riding, dressage riding. I appreciate the balance, strength and precision required in order to be a proper dressage rider and im all about technical precision!

So theres this guy (yes guy) that keeps pushing me to ride because he hates being the only guy rider. My plan from observations of others and cinnyswhinny is to learn to ride correctly first and foremost by a well qualified dressage trainer. my guy friend (that sounded gay) had an awesome trainer in my opinion (he rides very well) and i am gonna try and set something up with the trainer soon.

So i jump on our horse Cinny thinking "no problem! Just turn a couple laps and hop off". Well cinnyswhinny tells me i have to ride bareback with no sturrups! My feet are too wide for hers. I get on the horse and first thing, my left leg cramps up! I have zero core strength to balance even standing still!!!

I have lots of strength traing to do before i attempt to ride again. Im thinking Yoga or palates and ab excersizes and working my legs. After all that i will give it another shot.

I love this challenge and it had woke me up to the fact that i am out of shape! Any suggestions on what you would do first if you had to start all over again would be welcomed.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:02 AM
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Congrats on your decision to start riding! I think lessons will help you all way through to start and learn.

Do you plan on using Cinny or the lesson horses?

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Using cinny would be nice but from my observations learning on a dressage horse thats been there and done that may be the best way to go. when i hopped on cinny my legs started flying around trying to keep my balance and of course this confused the heck out of him but he tolerated me with no complaints. maybe i could use cinny to learn to balance and when the time comes to learn proper riding i should use a experienced dressage horse idk thats why im looking for suggestions. some of you have seen cinny in action so maybe you all could tell me what he could be used for in my case.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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To sum it all up. What would be the first thing you would do if you could start all over from scratch?
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:12 AM
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rob, if there is an experienced lesson horse (that is BTDT and patient with beginners) you could use that would be really beneficial (and by experienced I don't mean higher levels :) ).
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"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 01:05 AM
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Good on you for being motivated to get in there and learn. My partner of nearly 4 years is finally caving to horses and has asked me to start teaching him as well :)

I wish when I had started, that I had the oportunity to ride a schoolmaster, and spend months on the lunge with no stirrups or reins, developing my seat.
I started out at a pretty dodgey riding school, then bought a pony with no knowledge, didn't have lessons for a year, and just hooned around at pony club. I rode lots of 'crazy' horses in that time as well.
The majority of Australian kids start out like that, hence we're a nation of top eventing riders. The dressage misses out as we never started out with that essential firm grounding of an independant seat, and once you've started training your body and mind to ride one way, it's very hard to undo that.
Years later, many thousands of dollars spent on professional lessons on good horses, I feel that I am finally on my way, but I very frequently have to remind myself while riding, when my body wants to go back to old habits.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 06:10 AM
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What Kayty said. On a dressage schoolmaster and on the lunge line, for months. I have bad habits now, like a terrible leg position, that I developed from my first five years of riding lessons (ages 7-12 or so) where the instructors didn't really give a toss about basic position. Thousands of dressage lessons later, those habits seem here to stay. :-/ I should post videos of myself riding with the explanation that while it's not a good example, it is a warning of what can happen when an instructor plops you on ridiculously behind the leg horses and gives you very little instruction on what your position should be.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 07:32 AM
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Longe lessons from a good trainer 2-3 X per week. Forever.

Lessons on a horse who knows basic dressage. - the word "schoolmaster" gets used a lot, and people have various ideas as to what it means. In the case of a beginner wanting to learn dressage, all you need is a horse who can do training/1st level work-doesn't have to be a warmblood or a ribbon-winner. Just a horse who has correct basics, who will reward you when you ride correctly.

Most of all, find a good instructor. Good dressage is a skill that takes immense work and commitment and a sound and willing partner-in-crime, and you tend to get what you pay for. The going rate for a lesson on the east coast for a good trainer is $75/hr. It is what it is.

I would rather take 1 good lesson every few weeks than shoddy lessons every week. Many people I know did in fact progress taking lessons this way.

There is no faking correct riding and training, regardless of the horse's breeding.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weezilla View Post
Longe lessons from a good trainer 2-3 X per week. Forever.

Lessons on a horse who knows basic dressage. - the word "schoolmaster" gets used a lot, and people have various ideas as to what it means. In the case of a beginner wanting to learn dressage, all you need is a horse who can do training/1st level work-doesn't have to be a warmblood or a ribbon-winner. Just a horse who has correct basics, who will reward you when you ride correctly.

Most of all, find a good instructor. Good dressage is a skill that takes immense work and commitment and a sound and willing partner-in-crime, and you tend to get what you pay for. The going rate for a lesson on the east coast for a good trainer is $75/hr. It is what it is.

I would rather take 1 good lesson every few weeks than shoddy lessons every week. Many people I know did in fact progress taking lessons this way.

There is no faking correct riding and training, regardless of the horse's breeding.
^^ This! Especially the lunge lessons! They're definitely a challenge, but I feel like I progress so much more quickly when I have a number of lunge lessons in a row and then go back to having stirrups.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:41 PM
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And if your of a certain age, regular massage scheduled after those lunge lessons, especially if you're trying to learn to sit a big working trot.

Parts of you that you didn't know had muscles will ache.

I speak from experience.

I had dabbled with dressage for a while, taking a lesson here and there and muddling through my tests, eventer style. At one point, I got a green horse I intended primarily as a dressage horse who had spectacular gaits, and was told by a wonderful judge at a schooling show that if I didn't learn to sit correctly I would ruin his gaits, and I needed to go take lunge lessons on a school master for a couple of months.

As a certified instructor and working professional who had had a lot of success in the hunters and jumpers, that was kind of a difficult message to hear.

But I did as she suggested, and it was excellent advice, that I have never, ever regreted. Or the massages.
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