New to Riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-30-2009, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Question New to Riding

Hello everyone!
My name is Dakota Martins and I live in the U.S. I've always LOVED horses - I practically live and breathe them. Unfortunately, where I live there are not many places for a thirteen year old girl to ride. I have been reading, studying and watching films all about riding, and I know the basics. I know tons of information about horses and I've contacted several riders with questions.
I am interested in learning to ride english. Jumping fascinates me and this summer my parents are letting me take some lessons.
Could someone please give me pointers on the basics of English riding? What do I need to know before I slip into the saddle? And what are the necessities of riding English?
Please and thank you!
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-30-2009, 09:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
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welcome to the forum Dakota. There is a lot you can learn on the internet, but you will get the most horse knowledge from the experience..and with lessons, it seems you are on the right track. For your lessons make sure you have a good instructor, and always use an ASTM and SEI certified helmet. I'd take a few lessons before you invest in anything, such as clothes or grooming supplies. Just have fun.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-30-2009, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
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First of all: Don't think you'll be jumping or even cantering for a while. Start out trotting and walking and work your way up. I know way to many beginners who think they're supposed to be galloping courses and can barely walk. =P
Neccesitys of riding english? Um, having a good seat is always important for any style. Try & sit up as straight as you can, keep your leg back and heal down. Hands up and forward. If you're riding a fast horse who likes to take off, you might need short reins. Otherwise, loose reins are good. =]
English is really fun! :) Keep us posted on progress?
IheartPheobe is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 03-31-2009, 01:15 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Welcome to the forum, and to riding!

A couple things to keep in mind...
- You're not going to learn it all at once. Your instructor will probably take things slow and easy with you initially... but depending on how fast you learn, you may advance quicker. With English though, I think, things take a long time to learn. Sometimes its easy to develop bad habits (such as a slouched back, or turned-out toes) and riders sometimes need to relearn things. I've been riding for 6 years and still mess up on things I've learned a long time ago. Just take things slow and concentrate on one thing at a time and don't beat yourself up if you have an off day.
- Riding is both fun and challenging. Ask your instructor if you can ride a variety of different horses. This will really help you improve and get used to different heights, speeds and body builds. Of course, your instructor will probably put on you on a quiet horse to begin with.
- Keep your toes pointed in and heels down! I still struggle with my toes sometimes, and its all because I wasn't told to point them forward in the stirrups when I first started riding.
- Think about balance when you ride. There should be an imaginary line from your shoulder to your butt to your heel -- this creates a line of balance above your horse. When you lean forward, you are ahead of the centre of balance and when you lean back, you are behind the centre of balance. Think about keeping your body steady, breathe deeply and relax.

Also, I have to disagree with IheartPhoebe about needing short reins with a fast horse. It's actually the opposite. Owning an ex-racer has taught me that using short, tight reins only encourages speed. To slow a horse down, you need to control your own body movement and sit back, use your leg and slow down the pace with your seat. Pulling at the horse's mouth makes them take the bit and run with it, so to speak. This probably sounds complicated, but you'll understand the more you practice it.

That's all I can really think of for now ... its late and my brain isn't functioning that clearly. Lol.

Good luck!

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Jubilee Rose is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 04-01-2009, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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start practicing your posture and strengthening your leg muscles
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-01-2009, 07:48 PM
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I'm not riding yet either. One thing that I work on when my legs are hanging (if I'm sitting on a high seat or something) is stretching my heels down. I overextrend but I tend to forget on a horse, so it makes it easier.
You can also start getting in shape. I bike in the summer, and it will help.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-01-2009, 09:02 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Hi and welcome to the forum! Well you will have alot of fun! As for exercises to help get ready, you can stand on the bottem stair of your staircase with your foot on it only to the ball, as you would in the sturrip of a saddle. Stand up on your toes and reach for the sky and then drop your heels as low as they can go, this will help stretch your calfs and get a better heels down position. Also, do ab crunches, or any other ab workout. This will help ALOT when in the saddle. As for gear, you sound pretty serious so you will need-
A pair of breeches(AKA Jodphors, Jods, tights) I would recomend the brand of Karrits or Devon Aires, they last FOREVER!
Boot socks
Paddock Boots, I would recomend Ariats, they can be pricy, but will last for YEARS!
A helmet that is cirtified. I like the Troxel brand, they are fairly priced, and are comfy!
I also use gloves, they really help when gripping the reins! I use SSGs.
Also, wear a tightish shirt, because your trainer will want to see your back. I wear alot of polos, because the coller helps protect the neck.
Oh, and, you will fall off! Expect it! I still fall! I fell in the mud the other day after jumping an oxer! lol!
Do you have a Youtube account? I'm StormValleyStables, if you want to be friends!

Jumping a horse = Getting wings!
Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
StormyBlues is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 04-05-2009, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by Jubilee Rose View Post
Also, I have to disagree with IheartPhoebe about needing short reins with a fast horse. It's actually the opposite. Owning an ex-racer has taught me that using short, tight reins only encourages speed. To slow a horse down, you need to control your own body movement and sit back, use your leg and slow down the pace with your seat. Pulling at the horse's mouth makes them take the bit and run with it, so to speak. This probably sounds complicated, but you'll understand the more you practice it.
I agree. On my pony you need very little rein contact, if you pull on her mouth she gets upset and just ignores you more.
Flexion is offline  

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