Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Just to keep in mind, there are many different leasing options.. partial lease (usually 1-2 days) with no obligation to pay for anything of the horse's unless something happens whilst in your care.. then you foot the bill. So it'd be like those rental trail rides.. you pay to use the horse and that's it.
Then there's half lease where you ride usually 3+ days but are responsible for paying 1/2 board, 1/2 vet bills, 1/2 farrier usually because even those options have variants. It'd be kind of like renting your own horse for x amount of days per week, with a LOT more price tags involved.
Thank you, that is the exact information I needed.
I did some searching and familiarized myself with the general concepts of leasing a horse, but it's nice to have it laid out so clearly.
I'm a 45 YO male new rider (started almost a year ago).
I'm at a level I would call beginner-intermediate, meaning I am not a beginner anymore (I can w/t/c in confindence both on the arena and on the trails, understand and can perform basic lateral work, can ride solid, mostly accurate school figures, can get a horse on the bit and using his back without forcing him, etc, etc), but I have still SO much more to learn. Jumping is next on my list of things to begin learning.
I ride english exclusively, and I am concentrating on learning how to use dressage to improve both my leased horse and myself.
To the OP, please submit an after action report of your first lesson(s). We'd all like to know how that went.
To transition from a beginner to almost intermediate level within a year sounds like a very good rate of progress, correct me if I'm wrong. Knowing that it's possible to learn that much in a year is great motivation. Would you mind sharing how often you take lessons, what else you do for practice?
I'll definitely update the thread with how my first lesson goes, it will be a couple months until that can happen though.
I'm not sure how to respond to this, but I'll try because part of me feels like you're suggesting that if I carried myself in a more confident "manly" way that I wouldn't get stereotyped. For the record, I am not metrosexual or anything of that nature. I like to consider myself a mans man - in a straight way. A little bit white trash with my NASCAR loving and a little bit of a city slicker, but definitely 100% straight and I carry myself that way. I also kind of look like a thin lumberjack. :)
When I first started riding a friend of mine mentioned how it's great to see a straight guy riding English. I never actually thought about male riders as being either straight or gay until that moment, it doesn't matter anyway to me what someone is as long as they love riding. However, I ended up asking at least a dozen of my female rider friends and every single one of them had the opinion that most, not all, but most male English riders are gay.
While you haven't been stereotyped, maybe because you have a wife or children so it's obvious, there is definitely a large percentage of people both riders and non-riders who look at male English riders as possibly being gay. It's very strange to me, because I'm not sure where the stereotype originated from... most of the Grand Prix level riders have girlfriends and wives and families, but it does exist regardless of how the man carries himself.
I agree, age may be a factor in mildot not having is sexuality questioned, I've had mine questioned before for pointless reasons.
Although the entire stereotype that men riding english or generally engaging in any activity dominated by women are gay is absolutely ridiculous, it's an inescapable reality for some of us I guess. I just laugh when it happens.
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
I would certainly encourage you to do both. For those of us that love the open spaces and trails, we use the ring to teach/practice the basics and provide an contained environment with reduced distractions for both the rider and the horse, (semi) jokingly to get someone to the point that they won't kill themselves. Outside the ring, though, is the real world, where every ride is different and there is nothing more pleasurable to me than getting on your horse, looking around, and deciding "where should we explore today?" Whatever you decide, set aside some fun, relaxing saddle time where you're not concentrating on all the details from your lessons. I've met many people that lost their desire to ride because they turned it into work... there is a time to learn, and a time to enjoy.
Riding is about balance, and balance comes from core muscle strength. If you have that, any soreness will be short lived.
Good luck, enjoy, and be safe.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I can see how lessons being the only horse time would make something that's supposed to be pleasurable feel like work.
My core strength is pretty good I think, but I'll make good use the time leading up to starting lessons and work those muscles even more.
Mind - another issue which has not been mentioned is the size and fit of the English saddle. Most men need at least a 17.5 inch saddle whereas a slim woman can sit comfortably on a 16.5 inch. I did once use an 18inch saddle
Some modern saddles rise up towards the pommel which again gives problems to the male anatomy. A man usually needs a flat topped saddle rather than a deep saddle.
A woman when riding presses her crutch down and tries to sit flat on the saddle in the so called '3 point seat'. An inexperienced novice male rider who still bounces in the seat, especially at the sitting trot, will find this painful - until his body learns the knack of not crushing his male parts.
If you go to a riding centre where lots of different young women are taught on the horse regularly allocated to you, you may find that the saddle fits the horse well enough but it feels uncomfortable for you.
Until you eventually buy your own horse and a saddle which fits the horse and which feels comfortable to you, you may have to come to terms with the problem. To solve the problem you'll then put more weight on the stirrup bars than a young woman might when riding the same horse in the same saddle. You might be better off using a riding centre which favours jumping rather than dressage. The dressage seat tends to be deeper.
A British saddler, will select a saddle which fits well the shape of the horse's back and then once the saddle has been chosen, the saddler will ask the regular rider to check it out for comfort at all paces. Sometimes it is found that the saddle selected suits a female rider but not a male.
A saddle which is not comfortable to the rider can be made more acceptable by the use of a saddle pad - but if the saddle is too short then you'll need either a different saddle or a horse with a longer back and a longer saddle.
As I wrote before, the essential first step for a novice male rider is to learn how to adopt the correct seating position and if the saddle doesn't suit, that will prove to be difficult.
Yes, you should find a school which employs an instructor you feel comfortble with, but that school must also have a school master horse on which you feel comfortable to ride - and that includes the saddle.
Very, very good information, I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me that, thank you.