Originally Posted by midnightdreary
I have two questions about getting back into riding...
1. I used to ride when I was younger. I used to do trail rides and a family friend would give me lessons on their horse. The most advanced thing I remember doing was short caveletti jumps. However, I don't think I can remember how to ride!
I'm going to assume it's best for me to start right at the beginning again. Am I correct?
2. I'm rather unfit. I can easily walk for a few kilometres (about a mile) easily, but walking longer than that would be a workout, not leisurely for me. I also assume that it would be best for me to get a bit fitter before I start riding?
1. Yes, start at the beginning. If you are going to take lessons, you want to ensure your training has all the basics. Just like a horse in training, you don't want any holes.
2. I'm horribly out of shape and overweight and I was determined to ride this year on my horse. I hadn't ridden consistently for years. I got a trainer to come to me. We took it VERY slow, at my pace. I didn't want to overdo it and end up all cramped from using muscles that I hadn't used in years.
If you get lessons, see if they will ease you into it and work up to the half hour lesson or the hour lesson.
At home you can "chair ride" to get you started with muscle build up. Take an armless chair and straddle it as you would a horse, ensuring you're sitting on it backwards (i.e. You are facing the back of the chair). Grip the chair with your knees, post on it, grip with your calves, shift back and forth, pretend you're riding.
If you have one of those huge exercise balls, you can do the same thing. The chair won't buck you off but the ball will! You'll develop your sense of balance again.
Go for long walks to build up your leg muscles and your wind. Intersperse sprints along the way. Add light weights (about 2 lbs) and carry them, pumping your arms as you walk. If you dont' have weights, fill two soda pop bottles with water and hold one in each hand.
Overall, have fun and let us know of your progress!