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Ideas for a Lesson

This is a discussion on Ideas for a Lesson within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        09-25-2012, 02:56 PM
      #11
    Foal
    I am a VERY anxious rider. I know for myself, I have to FEEL confident in what I am doing in order to get around that mental block. So start at the beginning. There is so much confidence that can be gained at simply mastering the walk and trot. I trotted for months gaining confidence. I am just now starting to canter my horse over jumps. Do lots of body building/strength building exercises as well. Just afew off of the top of my head are:

    Walk and trot standing in the stirrups, 2pt in the stirrups. Stand with no stirrups in the walk. Work different shapes around the arena in the walk and trot focusing on using the body and not just her reins. Do that with no stirrups as well. Sitting trot with and without stirrups.

    Those are just a few.

    I have to say, I don't think your BO handled that well at all. From someone who is terrified of most things, going from a crossrail to cantering a 2' oxer would send me into hysterics and I would have left. There is a time to give a good nudge and I personally don't think that was it.
    Ashsunnyeventer likes this.
         
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        09-25-2012, 03:02 PM
      #12
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by krisfulc    
    I am a VERY anxious rider. I know for myself, I have to FEEL confident in what I am doing in order to get around that mental block. So start at the beginning. There is so much confidence that can be gained at simply mastering the walk and trot. I trotted for months gaining confidence. I am just now starting to canter my horse over jumps. Do lots of body building/strength building exercises as well. Just afew off of the top of my head are:

    Walk and trot standing in the stirrups, 2pt in the stirrups. Stand with no stirrups in the walk. Work different shapes around the arena in the walk and trot focusing on using the body and not just her reins. Do that with no stirrups as well. Sitting trot with and without stirrups.

    Those are just a few.

    I have to say, I don't think your BO handled that well at all. From someone who is terrified of most things, going from a crossrail to cantering a 2' oxer would send me into hysterics and I would have left. There is a time to give a good nudge and I personally don't think that was it.

    You make a wonderful point, and it's nice to hear from the student's point of view the same situation. You're right, when someone is afraid, adding pressure Never helps (same with training horses ;) )
    I think you're idea of spending time working on strength and confidence building exercises is wonderful. With a number of my recreational riders I see other trainers just throwing them in front of a jump before they even fully understand the mechanics of riding, still steering with all hands, not understanding or feeling the horse's stride.
    I think some no-stirrup lessons (of course starting slow) would do huge for her confidence too! I also think the student should learn some ground work skills too, working on controlling the horse from the ground will give her a stronger feeling of control, control=less fear. Have her work on a lot of transitions, if she knows she can stop confidently, smoothly and comfortably, she'll be less worried about trying higher speeds. Give her time to learn the feel of the horse, learning how to manipulate different aspects of the horse, such as disengaging the hind end, steering with seat+legs rather than hands. All of this will give her a better understanding of how to the horse moves and works and with understanding comes also less fear.

    This student sounds like she'll be a lot of fun for you to work with :) It was nice to hear about your experience as a nervous rider too!
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        09-25-2012, 03:12 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    a stronger feeling of control, control=less fear
    I cannot emphasize that more.
         
        09-25-2012, 03:14 PM
      #14
    Started
    Control+Understanding=Safety If you know how to handle any situation, it's not so scary. :) Even when not related to horses!
         
        09-25-2012, 06:05 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    This has been really helpful. I know that adding pressure to the situation won't help. My BO is ine of those people who just does it- even if she's afraid. I don't think she really gets what this girl feels like. We work really well together (me and the BO) because I'm the same way- I just do it. For me- learning to ride- I was always nervous or scared of the next step, but I was too shy to say no, so I did it even if I was terrified. This has really built my confidence because I showed my self that I can do it. I get where this girl is coming from and I think with a lot of hard work she could get more confident. She has to learn to trust what her instructor tells her because we wouldn't push her past what we know she can do.
         
        09-25-2012, 07:07 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    I know some trainers who do stretches on the horse, but make it a game.

    Like Simon Says.

    "Simon says touch your horse's poll!"
    "Simon says touch your horse's tail!"

    And if she does it when you don't say simon says she has to sidepass through poles. Then back up to the next one..Like this:

    ___________
    > > > > > then back up to the next pole
    ___________
    Back up < < < < <
    ___________
    > > > > > back up
    ___________

    Does that make sense? Lol
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        09-25-2012, 08:49 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    Has this girl ever expressed exactly what she's afraid of? Is she afraid of the horse bolting and not being able to stop her, of falling, is she uncomfortable in the saddle? Is she just plain afraid of horses? You might be able to address the root of the issue.
    If she's afraid of her horse, she could do groundwork with her. Teach her the basics of care and lunging to show her that she's in control, not the horse.
    If she's afraid of falling, teach her emergency dismounts so she knows how to get out of the saddle and knows what it feels like to hit the dirt.
    If she's uncomfortable, fix it.
    If she doesn't feel secure, check her saddle fit to her and work on her seat: lots of lunging and stretching exercises and semi-acrobatics/gymastics/stretching in the saddle at all gaits without stirrups.
    Most people are afraid when they have a weakness. Find her weakness and strengthen it.
    Does she want to ride? Does she like to ride? Or is this something her parents want her to do and it's not her thing? Tread carefully on that one...
         
        09-25-2012, 09:35 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    I have thought that her mom pushes her to ride, but she always insists that she wants to do it. My saddle fits her better than her saddle, so she will be riding in my saddle untill their comes (it's being made still). Overall, she is just a fragile person. I think her mom babied her for too long and was over protective. My cousin is the same way and what my cousin is afraid of (with horses and in general) is pain. Any situation that could involve pain or get close to pain freaks her out- she takes no risks. I'm pretty sure this girl just has no confidence at all. I found out that she fell off this weekend when her horse spooks and was bawling (even though she landed on her feet). I'm not sure what exactly she is afraid of, but I'm assuming that it has something to do with being a perfectionist and/or being afraid of what could happen. I know she didn't want to jump because she didn't know how to get the perfect spot, and she was afraid of hurting her horse. I'll talk to her tomorrow (the lesson is at 9am) and try to find out whats scaring her. I honestly think that maybe a pet horse would be better fo her than a riding horse, but they are looking into selling her pony and buying a dressage schoolmaster that both the mom and the daughter can ride. I think they are just looking for a confidence boost, but who knows what will happen if she falls off a horse that is supposed to build her confidence.
         
        09-25-2012, 11:58 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    I think she should have a lesson in groundwork. She should be confident with her horse on the ground, then try riding. :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        09-26-2012, 01:53 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    SO the lesson went great. We worked on leg exercises at the walk and a little bit at the trot. I had her doing leg yields around poles and we played red light green light. I braided part of his mane to give her a handle because her hands were too high. We worked on 2pt position and then she did some trot poles. I showed her how to cout canter strides and then at the end of the lesson she jumped a little course that she made. In the canter- her legs were tense and coming out of the stirrups ao I had her get in 2 pt and stretch her heels- it worked great :) After wards she got on her pony and I helped her get through some of the spooks (really her horse only flinches, but it scares her). We are going to do this again next weekend. Thanms for all the suggestions-- She had a lot of fun :)
    freia likes this.
         

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