Having a tough time of it. :( - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-03-2009, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Oregon
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Having a tough time of it. :(

Hi all! I just recently joined the forum and am loving all the information that is readily available. I am looking for some advice. When I was younger I participated in western pleasure riding lessons. The horses were neck reined and relied on heavy leg pressure for cues. I am now an adult and just getting back into the equestrian lifestyle. I ride at a local barn and my friend is helping with training and riding. Unfortunately I feel like a complete mess. I had never ridden english until riding there and learning all the dressage cues has my head spinning. Is there any tips and tricks that you can provide to help with my riding? I feel like I am ruining her horse with my novice ways.

My biggest problem area is the collected jog. It seems like when I ask my mount to jog she always slips into a big trot. I feel like I just can't get her head down and end collected. But, when my friend gets on her she goes properly. I appreciate any advice and/or criticism that can be provided. I know many will say to get actual lessons but that just isn't in the budget currently.

TIA!

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post #2 of 8 Old 12-03-2009, 11:28 AM
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So you are learning Western and Dressage? They are somewhat simmilar. I would pick one and stick with it till you think you've got it down well, then move to the next thing you want to learn.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-03-2009, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillybunny11486 View Post
So you are learning Western and Dressage? They are somewhat simmilar. I would pick one and stick with it till you think you've got it down well, then move to the next thing you want to learn.
I actually ended up picking up a western hornless endurance saddle and ride in that. All the english saddles the barn had felt like they were pushing me forward and out of the saddle. I am not looking into competeing or anything like that but more pleasure riding. The horse has competed dressage and this is why my friend wants her worked in a collected jog. She notices that after I ride the horse takes more work to get collected. This is where my concerns of ruining her come in. Admittedly our lessons are fairly informal. When I am riding she is telling me to get the horse's head down but I feel at a loss as to how to do so. Bringing the reins in towards me only cause a battle between me and the horse. We actually switched back into a snaffle because the curb we tried out was hardening her mouth with me being so handsy. My friend encourages me to do a "seesaw" method with the reins but it seems to do absolutely nothing. I wish I could get a video of the mess that is my riding but I can't.

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-03-2009, 01:18 PM
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How soon did you get into this dressage thing?
Since you can't take basic lessons, perhaps try to have your friend give you basic lessons on her horse?
Then you can get completly used to the English riding.
Perhaps then your friend can teach you some more difficult stuff
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-03-2009, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kashmere View Post
How soon did you get into this dressage thing?
Since you can't take basic lessons, perhaps try to have your friend give you basic lessons on her horse?
Then you can get completly used to the English riding.
Perhaps then your friend can teach you some more difficult stuff
I just started hanging out at this barn near the end of summer. I was going only once a week but I love hanging out with her and the horses so I manage to make it out there several times a week as of late. I am thinking of going out there again tonight and having her really lay into me as to what I am doing incorrectly.

Tell a gelding. Ask a stallion. Discuss it with a mare.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-04-2009, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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We went back to basics and worked bitless and bareback. Walking and cantering were great but I am still a hot mess at her horse's trot. Things were definitely a lot smoother though. I think taking things down and building back up helped a ton.

Tell a gelding. Ask a stallion. Discuss it with a mare.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-04-2009, 01:45 AM
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Good to hear!
Just hang in there and you're going to do just fine
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-05-2009, 05:12 PM
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It is so like me. I've been riding western (trail riding) for about 4 years now but never had any proper lessons. So I just kind of learned to stay in the saddle in some way.
Now I made friends with a nice person who has been riding for about a 100 years and she has started giving me lessons. English style. I ride a very nice and calm Haflinger (pony-kind-of-horse). I just had my 4th lesson and I had someone making some video. Seeing it after the lesson made me think that I have a loooooooooooong way to go. I just can't sit up right and my legs keep moving about when I trot. I never had these problems in my western saddle where my position was okay.
I don't know if it is the saddle or if it's me, but I have a feeling that it's me since my trainer has a perfect position in the saddle when she rides the horse (my trainer and I are quite alike physically). Argh...

They say that if you really want to learn how to ride you should start out with English riding, and after that western riding will be quite easy as the cues are similar (a part from the hands if you neck rein and... well also if you don't neck rein but ride western style with a snaffle and loose reins).
Is this correct or am I wasting my time? I really prefer western riding as all this contact with the reins seems unnatural to me and my trainer has to repeat to me 10 times a lesson to keep the contact with the horse's mouth.

Help!

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