Riding without a coach - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Riding without a coach

I've recently started doing a lot of riding on my own and I find that once I get in the ring I don't really know what i should do.

Any suggestions for some sort of a riding plan would be awesome.

I'm not super experianced so good explanations would be really helpful. :)
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 10:16 AM
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I've been thinking about this recently as well. I hope you get awesome advice so I can use it too :)
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 10:59 AM
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Well, okay here are my suggestions - coming from one who doesn't like schooling overly much so needs to be organised when I do!

1 Make sure you know what you want to achieve, so that you are focussed on the job rather than 'ambling'. This could be anything from achieving a good working trot, or perfect 20 metre circles, or just one clean downwards transition, or practising a dressage test. Anything and everything that you have done with your instructor, and more.

2 Then in your mind divide the schooling session into warm-up, work, cool-down. Decide before you start what each session will consist of, and do it. Don't cut corners (figuratively and literally ) if you're bored or not sure of yourself. Get in the habit of persisting.

3 Plan to use some but not all of the 'moves' you know. Circling in the corners, serpentines, 20 metre circles, turn on the forehand. Think before you school as to what you need to do to get the horses mind and body ready so that when you do these moves, you get the best result possible to you both.

4 Sometimes, get some poles out and use them to school over or around.

5 Always finish on a good note for you, and always finish with a cool down and relax for the horse. Sometimes this might mean your session is shorter or longer than you were planning. This doesn't matter, so long as you both leave the school feeling like you have achieved something.

6 If you have a video camera, see if you can set it up to film you. Even if you only get one end of the school, and just the warm-up, it will still be interesting for you to watch.

7 If you jump, put jumps up in the school and school around them. Get the horse so used to them being there that when you do jump, he's not in any way excited or spooky.

8 Do some 'de-spooking' exercises - all of which will utilise your flatwork skills. Put a sheet of tarpaulin on the ground to walk over. Find some flags to pick up and collect. Use some cones to manoeuvre around.

Let your only restriction be your imagination :)

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks I will definetly use your advice!
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 11:26 AM
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I have been ridding without a coach for many years and done extremly well with a few lessons here and there. Some things I would suggest from experience are:
- set goals for each ride (if it's keeping your horse forward or not cutting corners etc.)
- focus on 1 thing for every ride but don't introduce a new thing until your goal before has been reached and completed succesfully and both horse and rider undertand.
- stick to the basics until you have ALL the basics down pat. (so circles/change of reins/diagonals/leads/different patterns/understanding leg to hand/lateral work etc.)
-REASEARCH!! do not be afraid to head onto websites and watch the educational videos. that's what they are there for! so
e websites are equestrianlife.com or equestrian coach.com or go to the FEI website and there are many more.
-learn your horse. Firgure out what they like to do what they know how to do/how they react to certain things/if u need more encouragement through a whip or small spur (but only if your leg is quiet enough because you don't want to end up constantly spurring your horse)
-when your ready start pole work but look up how much space there is to be between each pole depending on what you want to do.
-and if your going to jump work on your position first. look it up. understand a half seat/two-point (understand why it is called 2point)/crest release/auto release.
- when you go to start jumping first work on jumps just on the quarter line. than add some onto diagonals than on center line and than on circles. once you understand your approach/take-off/suspension/landing/and get away than add in another jump to make a line. look up spacing and learn your horses stride ao you know if you have to work of a 10ft stride or 12ft stride.
understand striding. how to count.
There is a lot to take into consideration. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions you have. you can always reach me at cedge13@live.com. I have many years of experience in both show/training:and now a few in teaching consistently. feel free to contact me :)
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Thanks for all of this. I had a really bad fall and wasn't able to ride for about 3 months. So now getting back into it i really need to focus on the basics. :)
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-23-2012, 02:42 PM
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Do you get any lessons at all? If so ask your trainer for "homework" - in other words exercises to help you work on issues you and/or the horse may have.

Like trot/halt (square and immediate) transitions in preparation for learning half halts.

Like exercises to strengthening the horse for more collected work.

Like if horse start running doing things like 10 meter circles or shoulder fore if HH's aren't working or not solidified yet.

Goal is to strengthen your horses muscles correctly while also concentrating on yourself - are you looking forward? (not down). Are tyou lifting your ribcage, not collasping your core (belly)? Are you maintaining a nice constamnt contact with outside rein, anf not throwing it away when you "give" on the reins - rather woftening the contact?

To do "lessons plans" for you one needs to know what level (ability) you have, what issues you have, and the same 2 things for your horse.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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