Ergh...I have way more bad habits than I thought, apparently?
   

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Ergh...I have way more bad habits than I thought, apparently?

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    10-07-2012, 11:40 PM
  #1
Foal
Ergh...I have way more bad habits than I thought, apparently?

So, I just took my first lesson back to riding (again -_-) and I guess the things I learnt at other places were wrong. XP I had years of lessons teaching me the wrong thing, according to my new instructor. Like, I know you're supposed to be gentle with the reins, I've never been yanking on them like a crazy person or anything, but apparently you are like, barely supposed to use them in order to use them...if that makes sense.

Every time I wanted the horse to stop, I would pull back, and apparently that is like, really bad. (She didn't yell at me or anything, she just said that it's sad that so many places teach this to people.) When I say pull, I don't mean like, insane pulling the reins up to my face, I just mean pulling back a little to get them to stop. That's just what I was taught, and I've taken lessons at a few different places, and that was what they also taught. She said that she never pulls back, she "resists" and "compresses" the horse. I have no idea, really. Every time I had to stop, she just told me to stop pulling, and I'm like, dude, I don't know how to get the horse to stop otherwise! I know you can ask with your seat, too, but I've never done it without pulling back before. :[ I pulled back a little, and he just kept going, so I was taught when they do that, you pull back more. But she said even if they're not stopping when you ask, you don't want to resort to abusive behaviour. I've been abusive? :C But she also said she doesn't want to give me the impression I should be timid, that I should be in control. But how?

Also, turning...to turn, I was taught to use leg and rein, but she said I was using waaaaay too much rein, that I'm supposed to use mostly leg, and then after that a tiny little bit of rein. I never knew I was using so much, honestly. I was just doing what I had been taught, and what the lesson horses I had ridden would respond to. I did use leg first and a little rein, but he wasn't like, super responsive and didn't turn, so I thought I had to use more. He just wasn't listening, he wanted to go to the instructor, and I was supposed to get him to go where I wanted him to go with very little rein. Confusing!

Every time the horse would trot without being asked to do so, my reflex was to instantly pull back, because I was taught that if they start going faster than you asked, you just slow them down right away. But she said I'm still not supposed to pull back, lol, just let him trot and keep turning him to get him to listen to me. So, yeah, I never thought I was like, super good or anything, but I never knew that I was taught so many bad habits. Like, when I came back to riding after college, I took some lessons at a place I'd never been to before and the instructor there said I didn't have any bad habits. Now I'm being told I'm super dramatic with the reins. Aw. :C I don't understand how to get a horse to stop now...beyond telepathy, lol.

I also spent like, a half hour trying to get on the freaking horse to begin with. I kept walking him in front of the mounting block and when I stepped onto the block, he would instantly move himself perpendicular to it so that I couldn't get on, and she just had me keep trying to get him to listen to me. Don't get me wrong, I greatly prefer that to the person just being like "You suck, I'll hold him while you mount." I don't know, I just felt like, stupid as hell, she said if you make a motion towards his hind end, he'll move forward, but she said I didn't believe that it would move him forward, so it didn't work. I know what she means, but yeah...ugh. I'm no horse whisperer. : / Sorry for the essay, haha. :P
     
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    10-08-2012, 12:49 AM
  #2
Started
In my opinion, you might have run across a nut job. ;D
No, I'm kidding and all jests aside, I'm not sure what I think of this new instructor... The fact that she referred to contact and using rein pressure as abuse is a bit bizarre to me. She would certainly hate those of us who ride with a constant contact, regardless of whether or not we're pulling or using it for just that... contact. And while I agree there are multiple aids to consider when stopping and turning, it is strange to completely discount the use of reins. The fact of the matter is, if we were meant to avoid all use of the reins, would they still be there? If horses were controlled ONLY by use of our seat and legs, what would be the use of a bridle? Perhaps that's a bit extreme, and I'm well aware that there are some horses who do function off of seat and leg only, it still boggles me a bit that she would be adamant you do not use rein unless you were being harsh with your hands.

Especially the situation of a horse running away from you. Just trotting or otherwise, if my horse speeds up when I do not want him to there will be no dilly dallying about it, he will be corrected with proper aids to slow his butt down, no continuing around the ring until he decides to listen.

On top of it all, she should not expect you to be able to hear 'don't pull on his face, you've been doing it wrong' and know how to utilize your other aids in the way she wants you to. A good instructor would TEACH you before informing you you're doing it all wrong, doesn't at all sound like what she's doing.
     
    10-08-2012, 01:17 AM
  #3
Super Moderator
There is no absolute right way and absolute wrong way to ride a horse. It's done many different ways, the world over. If you were taught one way in one place and now find this person wants you to do something different , it does not mean you have a ton of "bad habits". It means she has some things to teach you, that are different. The attitude that you have going into this will completely shape your experience. If you are all about "Man, I am such a dummy, I can't do any thing right", you will be predisposed to failure.

If you are like, "Well, I wonder what we are going to do today? I guess I'll just have to go and try and see." and keep an open mind, you'll learn ANOTHER way of riding.

However, if you really think this instructor is off base in her directing of you, then you should seek another. Not all instructors are equally good.

I just detect a little bit of a "poor lil' ol' me" sound to your post that says that you have things already figured out to be "wrong", so you might miss out on some good learning here if you mind is already less open that it can be.
     
    10-08-2012, 01:19 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexischristina    
In my opinion, you might have run across a nut job. ;D
No, I'm kidding and all jests aside, I'm not sure what I think of this new instructor... The fact that she referred to contact and using rein pressure as abuse is a bit bizarre to me. She would certainly hate those of us who ride with a constant contact, regardless of whether or not we're pulling or using it for just that... contact. And while I agree there are multiple aids to consider when stopping and turning, it is strange to completely discount the use of reins. The fact of the matter is, if we were meant to avoid all use of the reins, would they still be there? If horses were controlled ONLY by use of our seat and legs, what would be the use of a bridle? Perhaps that's a bit extreme, and I'm well aware that there are some horses who do function off of seat and leg only, it still boggles me a bit that she would be adamant you do not use rein unless you were being harsh with your hands.

Especially the situation of a horse running away from you. Just trotting or otherwise, if my horse speeds up when I do not want him to there will be no dilly dallying about it, he will be corrected with proper aids to slow his butt down, no continuing around the ring until he decides to listen.

On top of it all, she should not expect you to be able to hear 'don't pull on his face, you've been doing it wrong' and know how to utilize your other aids in the way she wants you to. A good instructor would TEACH you before informing you you're doing it all wrong, doesn't at all sound like what she's doing.
I just don't know, you know? I just do what I'm told in a school/lesson environment, and I've learnt that being humble is the only way to go, so I just don't know how to do anything else besides accept that I'm wrong. I am just so annoyed with trying to find a place to take lessons, it's hard trying to balance affordable with good, sometimes I feel like just being like, let me save up money and don't bother until I can afford my own horse and some badass trainer.

It's just that she was saying that I need to be the leader and in control, but not to pull to stop. I don't know how else to stop. Yes, it was frustrating that I wasn't allowed to pull even when he was doing what he wanted to. She said that if I just kept pulling he would try and resist it even more and be less receptive and just try to keep doing his own thing. She was trying to say, like, he doesn't want to trot, he's doing it because he wants to be done working and you didn't ask for a trot, so he's doing that to sort of get the best of you. So I guess the idea was that if I just let him trot and try to stop him without pulling, it would show him that his behaviour wasn't getting the best of me. I don't know if that's "right" or not, I just think that was her message.

She did say that I do use the reins, but in a much more subtle and secondary way than what I was doing. She said it's like, leg, then as he's moving in response to the leg, a little bit of rein. But still no pulling back to stop... I don't know if she means she wants me to like, barely pull back by like, moving my hands a little towards me, but I asked if she pulled at all to stop and she said no, she just resists the forward movement and compresses the horse. Like I said, I don't assume I know better than anyone, so I don't know if that's right or not. The reason I'm confused is because I always read about riding the horse from back to front, engaging the hind end, etc., and that's what she was saying we're trying to do by keeping the rein usage subtle. So that sounds right, I think, the turning I could get used to. But I'm at a loss for how to stop without pulling back at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny
There is no absolute right way and absolute wrong way to ride a horse. It's done many different ways, the world over. If you were taught one way in one place and now find this person wants you to do something different , it does not mean you have a ton of "bad habits". It means she has some things to teach you, that are different. The attitude that you have going into this will completely shape your experience. If you are all about "Man, I am such a dummy, I can't do any thing right", you will be predisposed to failure.

If you are like, "Well, I wonder what we are going to do today? I guess I'll just have to go and try and see." and keep an open mind, you'll learn ANOTHER way of riding.

However, if you really think this instructor is off base in her directing of you, then you should seek another. Not all instructors are equally good.

I just detect a little bit of a "poor lil' ol' me" sound to your post that says that you have things already figured out to be "wrong", so you might miss out on some good learning here if you mind is already less open that it can be.
No no, not at all. D: I did like some of the things she was saying, but being the way I am, I just sort of interpreted that I must be wrong, so that's why I wanted to post here, to hear what others had to say. Because I was caught between "Well, everything I know is wrong..." and "I've never been taught this way before, is it right?" and "This sounds more like what I've read about" and also "How the heck am I supposed to stop this **** horse?" It's hard to know whether something is good advice when you've only been taught one thing and someone else tells you it should be done another way. Like I said, I'm just like that, I just accept that I'm wrong...and maybe that's why I'm "bad" with horses, I'm too gentle or whatever. : / Animals seem to take to me really well on the whole, I work with them, but people don't like this gentleness when it comes to horses because they're huge and you'll be screwed if they try to take advantage of you. Yet I'm being too harsh with the reins? So it's confusing. They don't listen because I'm not authoritative enough, and then when I do something to try and get them to listen, it's too harsh.
     
    10-08-2012, 01:59 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
Well, maybe this teacher should be showing how to do things better, without saying what you do is wrong. I mean, a person can get along and ride ok and never really realize that though that way is "ok", there is a better way. So, it's not like you have to throw awy all you learned, but modify it.


I can imagine the frustration with the rein contact. It's challenging to find the way to make contact "meaningful", as I call it. That can be really strong contact at times, and much less at times. That all depends on the horse.
In my book, the hrose sets the amount of contact you'll have . Well, of course he doesn't set how long your reins are, but if you shorten your reins, take up more contact, he can come off that contact and still have hardly any pressure on his mouth. Or, he can choose to push back against your hands, so he chooses a lot of contact.

If I want a hrose to choose less contact, I have to match his pull on the rein with a resistance that is equal to his BUT a tiny bit more. It must be a tiny bit more to lmake hhim change his thinking and look for another way out of the contact. That way is for him to flex at the poll and "give" to the contact.

When he does this, I give him the same amount or a tad bit more. So, my "pull" on the rein is flexible, depending on the horse.

Also, it isn't "pull' so much as it is a kind of resistance. You say , "here and no further" by making your hands firm. The hrose kind of runs into that firmness, as if were a brick wall.
For backing, you put the brick wall in your hands (and don't do it suddenly, do it slowly , breathe out and sink down into your saddle). When the horse hits that brick wall, he needs to go somewhere. You ask a tiny bit with you leg, but your hands disallows forward, so the horse backs up. No actual pulling.
Is this kind of what your instructor is talking about?
     
    10-08-2012, 02:26 AM
  #6
Foal
I think so, I think that's what she was trying to say, I just didn't know how to go about it. With the turning, I understood, because she was saying instead of steering with the reins, tell him with leg and then use a bit of rein to back it up. With the stopping, I don't know, without pulling at all, he just kept going. I wasn't really given an alternative to what I was doing, and I think maybe she was trying to let me figure it out. But I'm not sure how to make my hands firm without pulling back whatsoever. Because if we're moving right along when I'm holding my hands in a normal position, what changes to make them firm so that there's resistance? I just always thought that the way to do this was to pull back, or else they'll just keep going forward. It definitely makes sense to change the amount of contact based on the horse, but I guess I have to learn how to do it with less first so I know where to start from before adding more.

To be fair, she was really nice and didn't say, like, "You're wrong", she just told me to stop pulling and my brain was exploding because I was supposed to be making him stop and I literally could not do it without trying to pull. When she said that she thought it was a shame that people are taught to pull, that's when I figured I had been taught that element quite incorrectly. I enjoyed the experience of riding again, though. :3
     

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