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Harder Than It Looks!

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  • Horseback riding harder than it looks

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    07-15-2010, 04:56 PM
I remember asking my first instructor, who was teaching me a balanced seat for English Pleasure, when we were going to get to the 'pleasure' part of riding!

She laughed. I was dead serious.

Riding correctly is hard work, and don't let anyone tell you differently.

Does it get easier? Of course it does. But learning as an adult is much harder than learning as a child. Children are naturally supple and bounce well. The older you get, the more creaky and nonbouncy you are!

Once you learn the proper form, your body will naturally fall into it when you mount a horse.

Good luck, and have fun!
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    07-15-2010, 05:06 PM
Of the three lessons we've had together, each one has been slightly less catastrophic.

And I am having a blast.
And each one following will continue to do the same thing, just get better and better and easier and easier. Of course, there will be off days (for both you and your horse) and catastrophe will rear its ugly head occasionally but that is the nature of the sport . The most important thing is that you are having fun. Even hard work doesn't seem so hard when it's fun.
    07-16-2010, 12:49 PM

Riding will become easier. It is just like learning to ride a bike without training wheels, wreck, not so bad a wreck, wreck, back of ankle smacked with the pedal, get going wobbly, You got it and off you go. Go faster, look Ma no hands!!

"No ride - whether pleasure or performance - will ever be perfect."

Wrong way to look at it. I was out riding one day and meet up with some folks who where looking to buy a couple of my neighbors horses. They asked me "Have you ever had a bad day of riding?" I pondered on that a bit and replied, "No, no matter what my ride entailed: horse won't go, horse won't slow, dumped, rained on or whatever: when I am on my horse there is always something good about my ride and my day of riding."

There is a saying that goes something like this: The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse.

Best of luck to you,


    07-16-2010, 01:06 PM
"Quit leaning into turns, your horse isn't a motocycle," comes out of my mouth all the time when I am teaching.

Yes, it gets easier. But I've been riding as long as I can remember and I still eat dirt sometimes.

Things will start to become muscle-memory. Your heels will stay down and you'll sit up straight automatically. It just takes time, like anything else.

Welcome to the world of horses. :)
    07-16-2010, 09:22 PM
Green Broke
I had one of "those days" yesterday. My leg was popping off and it just was... ugh!

First of all, I would like to stand up and applaud you for coming into the world of horses at an older age. Seriously, major props.

It WILL get better. Soon everything will come naturally. My heels go down and I can do basic dressage and jump 2'3" without having to think about it at all. I can stop a horse with my seat and legs, and all that kind of stuff. It's all with keeping with it. You'll definitely get better when your muscles build up.

And now I have to ask, what disapline are you riding? :)
    07-16-2010, 10:37 PM
I've only recently gotten out of that stage. I've had my horse for under a year and I've been having such a hard time with him, always feeling like I'm not getting anywhere and always feeling worse after riding. Recently though, everything's turned around. I've started improving in everything, flatwork and jumping. Me and Lopez are working more as a team now.

It takes time to get where we are, it takes time and hard work. It takes the want to be better and the want to become a team and do the unthinkable. Just keep practicing! It all gets better.
    07-16-2010, 10:43 PM

Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
I remember asking my first instructor, who was teaching me a balanced seat for English Pleasure, when we were going to get to the 'pleasure' part of riding!

She laughed. I was dead serious.
I've been riding most of my life and was on a western pleasure horse that was just a push-button horse. I was going around the ring with a smile on ym face and had just said to my instructor(as I was loping, "I could get used to this." Right then the horse slammed on the brakes and I almost flew over his head. So it gets easier but there's still a lot of excitment. =P

Good Luck!
    07-18-2010, 07:44 PM
Originally Posted by StormyBlues    

First of all, I would like to stand up and applaud you for coming into the world of horses at an older age. Seriously, major props.
Ugh. Older age. I don't feel "older!" But I guess 42 is pretty ancient to just be getting started, so I forgive you!

As for discipline, I'm riding western right now. I don't know where I'll ultimately wind up, but given my advanced years, I don't foresee competing. I think it will be mostly about enjoying the great outdoors with a good horse under me. And that seems like a decidedly western pursuit.

I do have a curiosity about reining and cutting and may attend some clinics on those later I get the basics down.

The English disciplines...I don't know. They're amazing to watch and I'm encouraging my daughters to try them (we are learning together as a family). But I don't think they're for me. It's not that I fear the breeches - but it would be real injustice to subject anyone else to having to see that.

Ironically, I'm learning western riding from an English instructor! Not sure how long that can last. My wife and daughters may continue to learn from her, but there will come a time when I want more out of western than she can provide.

Already she's got me doing this weird hybrid thing where I'm riding in a western saddle, but direct reigning (I try not to call it "plow" reigning around those decidedly English stables) with English reigns attached to a western bridle. It feels very awkward and formal. Not quite what I'm looking for.

I'm going to see how it progresses for awhile, and if I get the sense that I've exhausted her western tutelage skills, I'll find someone more suitable.

Long answer to a pretty simple question...sorry...
    07-18-2010, 11:06 PM
I had 'one of those days' today too...

I went out to the barn with a couple of friends today (they wanted to meet my horse), and even though we've had awesome rides lately, today, of all days, Ms. Flicka gets all 'goosey' on me...Lol! She threw a couple of half hearted bucks in there even. But she did eventually relax and get to work...

I have to grin, Blink, when you say that you are riding in a western saddle, with english reins...I ride mostly in my western saddle right now, and haven't switched Flicka's French link bit onto our english bridle, yet, so I have an old broken in pair of english reins, her cavesson, and a western training bridle on her...hahaha
    07-19-2010, 09:06 AM
Blink, I think with your flair for writing and your fantastic sense of humor you would make a wonderful novelist. Keep the humor, you will need it on lots of days while learning to ride, if you can laugh at yourself you will have fun always.
Just the other day I was fooling around while getting on my horse and somehow ended up on the ground, on the other side of him, on my back, looking up at him and laughing so much I had trouble getting up. It was a good day because no one actually saw me making an a-- of myself!

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