New Adult - Discouraged - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 33 Old 11-05-2012, 01:49 PM
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Better to start at 45 than at 55, or 65. Never look back, it's a waste of time.

IF the others in the arena judge you, then it only means they have some growing up to do. But, I'd bet that if they are watching you, it is not with a judgemental eye, but with admiration and respect.

I started at 41.
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post #12 of 33 Old 11-05-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - ALL!!

You are all incredibly nice, encouraging and supportive.

Virtually all of the other students are teen girls or girls in early 20s. There is only one other adult male who I rarely see. Instructors though are highly trained adults - who I think see me as their special "pet" project .

The teens are all very nice and polite ..

In a way I'm glad I'm doing this now with my current mindset -- I don't think as I teen I would have had the same resilient attitude, and been able to laugh at my mistakes like I do now.
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post #13 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 08:10 PM
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My mom is almost 50 and even though she lives in florida she takes lessons 2x a week and calls me to tell me about her progress and asks for help and my opinion and is thrilled with it. She has a lot of the same issues but loves every second of it. I've been riding (seriously riding) for 4 years and I have the same problems sometimes and I'm 22, so don't get discouraged!! The important thing is that you decided to do something that you love and have always wanted to do, so don't be hard on yourself! Be proud that you took the steps to do it, there are lots of people that let fear get in the way of that. The only person you have to prove yourself to is you (and you're trainer but only so you can get the lesson done, it comes with the territory)
It takes time to get the muscle memory there and when it kicks in it'll come second nature. As far as the muscle stiffness, I recommend eating a banana before you ride, it helps cut down the lactic acid release in your muscles and helps you maintain flexibility and endurance. Also, even though you're a guy, YOGA IS AWESOME! Some guys are a little skittish about that, but its not girly and it'll help your flexibility, position and balance. Take you're time and don't beat yourself up about the small stuff, riding takes an extensive balance of forethought and zen. Don't give up!
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post #14 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 09:52 PM
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Nordic, your mind is sharp. It's the body that's lagging a little. A good lower body stretch which you can do while watching tv is to grab a piece of 2x6" at least a foot long but doesn't need to be longer than 18". Stand alongside a wall or stout piece of furniture. With hard soled shoes (riding boots) place the ball of your foot (both feet) just on the plank so your heels can touch the floor. Tell me if I'm wrong but you're bent over and your bum is sticking out behind. Here's the fun part. Stand up straight. OK, not so bad, right? Now pull your hips forward until your shoulders, hips and ankles line up. Feel the pull? The wall is there to help you balance. Bend forward a little to release then repeat a dozen times. This will stretch all those muscles up the back of your legs including your glutes and will help you lower your heels when riding. You have to do them almost daily for weeks. The more you do them the pull will begin to diminish and you'll be able to hold the position for longer periods of time.
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post #15 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 10:03 PM
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Well, consider this. Taking lessons 2 times a week, you are riding, on average, 8 times a month. After 4 months, you've probably gotten somewhere in the neighborhood of just under 50 rides under your belt. In the grand scheme of things, that's not very many. If you were a horse, you'd still be considered very "green broke" LOL.

Like others have said, it will come in time, just relax and remember that having fun is the most important thing. You'll progress at your own speed and the less you stress out about it, the faster you'll progress.

Also, congrats on getting into the horsey world after wanting it for so many years! Good for you!
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post #16 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 10:18 PM
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[QUOTE=CharliesMom;1748815]My mom is almost 50 and even though she lives in florida she takes lessons 2x a week and calls me to tell me about her progress and asks for help and my opinion and is thrilled with it. She has a lot of the same issues but loves every second of it.QUOTE]


Almost 50? Well, imagine that! That's like practically ancient.


Sorry, I just had to make fun of that the tiniest bit. There are a lot of 50+ riders here, and we don't think of ourselves as that old, but just funnin' ya.
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post #17 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 10:27 PM
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This is something that might help your ankles:

Stand on te stairs with your heels hanging off, all the weight on the balls of your feet. Push yourself up and down on the balls of your feet with your ankles. Ankles go down like your riding, then up like your tippee toeing. Will really work those calves!:)
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post #18 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 10:54 PM
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Here's a heels down tip that really helped me, TOES UP, not heels down. Like BSMS noted, it messes with your leg position if you try to cram your heels down. Instead, just try to lift your toes up a little bit, and I found my legs didn't move.

I'm 55, rode English all my life, showed and did all the jumping and stuff. Now, I'm all about low & slow, I started riding Western Pleasure and Trail classes 2 years ago and I'm loving it. My husband is just now learning English, and he's having a tough time too. Unfortunately, he's not real consistent with the lessons, so he's not having an easy time. We're hoping next summer he'll be able to start going 2X/week at least and then he'll see some real progress.

We all have to start somewhere, sometime. I still want to learn how to cut cows but I need to get better at the western stuff first. So....maybe when I'm 60? LOL! We have no plans to quit riding anytime soon, so just keep on going and keep on trying. I'm sure your instructors love you, you're never going to give them a bad attitude, get pissy because they take away your stirrups or throw a tantrum because your favorite school horse is lame. And you probably pay on time.

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post #19 of 33 Old 11-07-2012, 11:14 PM
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I think it sounds like you're doing great! You shouldn't judge your progress by any set schedule. Everybody learns differently. I've seen young people in their teens and 20's who ride for a couple of years and are behind you - they just have no natural talent. I've seen true "naturals" who just pick it up like they're en extension of the horse. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Are you having fun? Do you feel like you're mastering something a little more each lesson? Are you doing something that challenges you each lesson? Then you're learning at your correct pace.

Don't worry that your instructor might think you're slow compared to others. First, you're paying for your lesson, you can learn however fast or slow you want. Second, any good instructor knows that a 45-year-old isn't going to be as flexible and learn the muscle-memory as quickly as a kid, and should be setting your expectations and challenging you accordingly. What the girls think doesn't matter. Sounds like they're being friendly and respectful. Most riders respect other riders, regardless of skill level. We all started out and had our own learning curves at some time. And I don't think anyone is ever done learning or making mistakes.

For the heel down, when I get sloppy and let my heel drift up, I pull my toes up, rather than pushing my heel down. Seems to engage different muscles and keep my leg more relaxed. Works for my 43-year-old stiff muscles. Just try it to feel the difference.

Remember you're only riding a couple times a week. That probably isn't enough to get your muscles trained well enough to keep from getting sore. Each ride might be like the first ride for your muscles, though it should be progressively getting better.
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post #20 of 33 Old 11-08-2012, 01:15 AM
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Never too old! We have a chap at the hunt meets who is galloping towards 80 and only started riding at 69. He is AWESOME! You will be too! Keep at it! Sore legs means you've had a good ride! And it sounds like you're doing really well! :)
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