Riding Lessons - Realistic expectations?

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Riding Lessons - Realistic expectations?

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    11-11-2008, 06:02 PM
Riding Lessons - Realistic expectations?

Iím new to riding, Iíve done tons of research, riding etc. Iím also very athletic and flexible (Infact, Iíve never been in pain at all after riding Ė and my lesson horse a nice big baroque-style Friesian gelding) I've taken three lessons and so far I am doing pretty good on the trot.

I take lessons twice a week and they are an hour long. I usually pick up on things pretty fast. My trainerís pretty competent and really supports me and helps me iron out the wrinkles like keeping my heels down, head up etc..

But what would be a realistic timeframe for my learning? When can I expect to master the trot? Learn to canter? Iíd also like to show someday (you guys make it look so fun!) how long does it usually take for a rider to be ready to show?

I'm not looking for immediate results, I'm just curious as to the average timeframe to make sure I'm on track.
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    11-11-2008, 06:31 PM
Honestly, there is no definite answer. You learn things at different rates. For example, I learned how to sit the canter extremely quickly and easily, but I STILL (nearly 10 years!) can't sit the trot well enough to suit me. It's just physically hard for me. Also, riding is quite a mental exercise as well, because you have to learn exactly how your body influences the way the horse is going-so some things will likely stump you and will make your learning time longer.

Talk to your trainer and see what her goals are for you and how she plans to teach you; will she lunge you? Are you on a bombproof type of horse, ect. It will also depend on how much of a stickler your trainer is for details. For example, I cantered in a week of riding. But that probably wasn't the best way to do it, because I wasn't balanced. I have a friend that took 11 months to canter - but you should see how lovely her seat is!
    11-11-2008, 07:30 PM
Well I wouldn't canter until you have mastered the trot a bit more and have more of your balance. I also prefer cantering over trotting...especially the sitting trot, bleh!

But everyone progresses at their own rate and some things that are easy for some, are super hard for others.

As for showing, set a goal for yourself, even if you just do a walk/trot class it will still give you the show experience. Start out at small shows with less stress. If your barn does a barn show, enter a few flat classes. You don't have to be a pro and ride forever before you show. It will be good experience and you'll have fun.
    11-11-2008, 11:21 PM
I rode for atleast 5 months before I got enough balance for a canter. I learned the trot after only 1 lesson. Took me 5 months to master the sitting, halfseat and posting trot and then when I was balanced enough I started to canter. It all depends on how you can control yourself
    11-12-2008, 03:43 PM
Everybody learns at a completly different rate. Some people can't get their rhythem in trot but are fantastic in canter and vice verser. It all comes down to how you are in your own riding style. All I would say is when you feel 100% comfortable to go to the next stage then that's when your ready. When I 1st started riding again I don't walk and trot in my 1st lesson and was cantering on my 4th. Everybody is so so different in their riding. As long as you are 100% in one thing you will be ok in the next. Never try to rush anything cz this is where people loose their confidence. Good luck and have fun :)
    11-12-2008, 04:00 PM
Green Broke
I've had students progress to the canter as quickly as two months and as slow as a year and a half. It just depends on the individual
    11-12-2008, 04:00 PM
I learned how to post and trot on my first lesson as well. Unfortunately, the horse I'm with is a big mover, with a powerful trot. So it's been hard to master.

I got to take a break from him this past lesson and ride a nice (lovely) little QH named Doc who's trot was so much easier! I really look foreword to cantering. It looks so fun! :)
    11-12-2008, 04:17 PM
Someone at my barn was jumping 2 feet 6 inches within 6 months of learning with a position to die for. Some other people at my barn still don't get it after having been riding for years. The good thing about shows is how many different level classes there are, providing both advanced and young riders to show.
    11-12-2008, 07:06 PM
Have you asked your teacher how well you're progressing? We ride western but, goodness, didn't even get on a saddle the first three lessons. At first we learned things like how to put a halter on, how to lead a horse, how to hold things (leads, bridles, etc.) in our hands, how to be safe around horses, and how to balance on a bareback pad.

My sister's daughter took lessons and she was doing barrels within a few weeks. Well, that's not learning how to ride a horse. That's sitting on a horse that is going through his paces.
    11-19-2008, 08:54 AM
I think people move on too quickly, like a previous post I am back to walk-if you don't master the beginning principles how can you be really good at the more advanced stuff. As above we are all different and if you put a time table on learning you may miss something-like having a great time. Some of you people have been in the saddle most of your lives and are still learning. What a fab lifestyle-sport-

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