Getting down your form
 
 

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Getting down your form

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    07-12-2012, 11:12 AM
  #1
Foal
Getting down your form

I'm a beginner, just had what was probably my 7th lesson. I'm having a terrible time keeping the horse I ride on the rail of the arena. She just won't listen to my leg commands! I know she understands them because I can do the leg yield drill, and I can keep her out on the lunge line, not to mention she is older and well-trained.

Is it a problem of my form, which I admit needs a lot of work, or does she just not see me as the boss? I try very hard to get the form down but my muscles and balance just aren't there yet. I know form is part of it because I also have trouble not bouncing in a sitting trot (I think this is a result of needing to keep my heels down more and strengthen my inside thigh muscles). I am also a non-assertive/shy person so I am not sure where the issue is coming from.

I am trying to keep optimistic but it's frustrating me, and today I rode with someone on his second lesson and he definitely out-performed me on all accounts. I am determined to get this right so I can enjoy riding. Does anyone have advice?
     
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    07-12-2012, 11:23 AM
  #2
Trained
Don't let the other person get you. It might be their second lesson but may e their 100th time on a horse. I rode for years before I ever had a single lesson!

School horses are tricky because some of them, while well trained get VERY naughty and ignore riders. Some of them only listen with a very precise and correct cue.

Being shy with people doesn't come into play.

Off the horse, working on your balance and exercising your core will help you ride better, as will lower body work if you're weak there.
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    07-14-2012, 07:27 AM
  #3
Trained
Don't compare yourself to others in your lesson. It doesn't matter how fast or slow they progress. Horse riding is all about the improvements YOU make yourself, not about how you compare to others. If you want to compete against others later, that is what shows are for. Trust your instructor, follow their directions, try your hardest, and don't be so hard on yourself
     
    07-14-2012, 12:28 PM
  #4
Yearling
I like to film myself and then compare it later to video of good riders to see where I'm improving and where I'm still making mistakes. For you though it sounds like you're still building that muscle memory. It'll come, give it time. As you go along you'll have epiphany moments where things will just click and that's a pretty thrilling feeling when it happens.
     
    07-14-2012, 12:46 PM
  #5
Showing
As a beginner rider with 7 lessons under your belt, I think are putting too much pressure on yourself. Becoming a great rider doesn't happen overnight. I have been riding since before I could walk and still 30 some years later there is still always something I could work on or do better. Set small achievable goals, each of those little ones that you check off lead up to the big picture. Don't worry about other riders. What they are doing isn't going to help your riding. I know that's easier said than done but really try to focus on yourself.

As far as the horse goes, sounds like a typical schoolie that is testing to see how much she can get by with. I have one like that. I usually start riders out on my mare that does whatever any level or size of rider asks to learn basic control, cues, finding balance. Then they move on to my "tester" to learn how to be the boss and make her mind. She doesn't do anything bad, just typical aged lesson horse tricks like trying to come to me or a gate, trying to get out of work because she thinks she can. Once her rider shows her they have the upper hand, she won't try it again. Ask your coach for guidance on how to become the mare's "boss".

Sitting the trot - toughest thing to learn. Think about being a "weeble" - the kids toys that wobble but won't fall down. They work with a metal ball bearing inside that rolls with the motion to keep the toy centered and balanced. Think about having that ball in your midsection, letting it move freely to absorb the shock of the horse's movement instead of your rear end. We expect our horses to move each body part independently, we as riders need to as well.
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    07-14-2012, 12:49 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Along with what the others said, keep in mind that a person has good and bad days. Maybe that fellows day was especially good.
Some people are "naturals" and some just have to work harder, but can still get there.

I am surprised that you are doing sitting trot and leg yields already.
Have you ever had a lesson on the lungeline?
     
    07-14-2012, 12:51 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters    
Sitting the trot - toughest thing to learn. Think about being a "weeble" - the kids toys that wobble but won't fall down. They work with a metal ball bearing inside that rolls with the motion to keep the toy centered and balanced. Think about having that ball in your midsection, letting it move freely to absorb the shock of the horse's movement instead of your rear end. We expect our horses to move each body part independently, we as riders need to as well.
I like that mental image. Totally going to try that.
     
    07-14-2012, 12:54 PM
  #8
Showing
It works Ian, as silly as it sounds. I also have students hula hoop to loosen up their midsection & hips.
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    07-14-2012, 07:56 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters    
It works Ian, as silly as it sounds. I also have students hula hoop to loosen up their midsection & hips.
No way! I've had that same idea.
     
    07-14-2012, 08:17 PM
  #10
Showing
Honey it's only your 7th lesson.. give yourself a break! Horse riding is a work out. You need to teach your body to open up and to relax.

This isn't a video game where you press a button and WALA you know it all!

Take your time, don't be so eager to bolt up the levels. You aren't ready. You will 'get it' when you do it right and know how to get a lazy horse (who isn't lazy, he is smart and knows that you're new) to do as you wish.

Case in point, I've been riding over 8 years and I am now learning how to canter. Do I majorly suck at horse riding? Nah, I am just taking my time making sure my body is 99% with it at riding.

Maybe you don't have or want to spend THAT much patience to get things down golden but I did And nothing wrong with that at all. But 7 lessons is a drip in the ocean.

Keep on riding, keep on taking lessons.. you'll get there.
     

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