I've had the privilege of being invited to ride with a woman who needs help keeping her horses in shape while her daughter has gone off to college. She has good facilities and is active in the local equine circuit but is not advanced enough to give instruction. She has me riding her 12 yr old, ~15hh QH. He is an excellent riding horse, very kind, but he needs a steady leg to avoid counter-curve.
While I started riding at a young age and rode Hunter Seat continuously for about 15 yrs, I have not ridden much in about a decade. I certainly haven't had any training in that time. I have ridden about 4 times so far with my new friend and am starting to overcome the sore muscles! My legs are incredibly weak, my balance is poor, and I feel like my position is very forward. I feel 'floppy' LoL!
It is very important to me that I start out on the right foot because this lady and the people she rides with will be my neighbors in the future. We have a growing equestrian community in our area and I have some acreage near her where I plan to build a small farm. Just getting back in the saddle is an opportunity to forge some invaluable relationships that may last a long time. I want to 'restart' riding the right way.
What are some tips or suggestions for starting to ride again after so long? Are there any ground or saddle stretches that I should be doing? What are some good ring-work routines for someone like me? Is it crucial to get some instruction right away? Any suggestions are appreciated.
I want to make sure her horse is getting the workout he needs without hurting myself or encouraging poor form in the horse.