How do I help a first time rider gain confidence? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-17-2011, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: St.Louis, Missouri
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How do I help a first time rider gain confidence?

There is a woman at my barn, a friend of a lady who's horse I've been working. She and her son just bought their first horse -_- ...yup. Her son knows the essentials of I've been on a few trail rides. She knows nothing. Here's what makes it worse, she's afraid of hurting the horses feelings. So after I get through her head that she can NOT let her 1100lb animal pull her around and tell her what to do(which thankfully she doesn't..yet)
She's nervous under saddle. I didn't see her first time on but I was told she was stiff as a board. I've thought about putting her on my gelding who I've used before with her friend(who was stiff so I made her get on bareback to better feel the movement and relax her legs because she was gripoing fir dear life with her calves which my boy read as faster, but she pulled back so he was getting agitated but bless him he behaved)
I'd rather avoid using my boy though Because a. He's my personal baby I don't like the idea of him becoming the lesson horse b. I want her to gain confidence in HER horse not "that horse was nice but I'm still afraid of mine"
So what do you think? Tips? The first lesson I ever had back 11 years ago I was on a lunge line. What do you think about that? Attatching a set of reins to the halter so we cab establish hands on a line. I was thinking she might be a little more comfortable with the mentality that someone has hold of the horse and is in control of her. I just want her to establish sitting up legs and hands as well as FEEL a trot so she isnt surprised if her mare picks it up.
Her horse is a 10 year old AQHA lazy as sin. If you really know what to do you can get her to trot and canter for days but a beginner has trouble keeper her above a walk which is fine IMO.
I figure ultimately I'll let her decide if she wants to be on a line. I've also thought about taking pictures to show her later how she could improve. And so weeks later she can see her progress and feel accomplished. After her lesson I would get on and sort out any bad behaviors that were allowed such as not staying on the rail etc. I've also thought about getting my gelding down and having him stand nearby so I can if need be show by example what I mean.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-17-2011, 03:12 PM
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When I was a beginner, I requested to get to know the horse first. I hung out in the stables, got to know the horse I'd be working with and groomed him. I chose not to go on a lunge line, but for more nervous riders, this might be a good idea. Having that "connection" is helpful in calming their nerves.
When she gets on, she might have to endure a walk for awhile until she gets used to the horse. After I loosened up, I graduated to a jog, a trot, etc. The first few lessons were monotonous because I felt I needed to get used to each gait. That long transition was very helpful.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-19-2011, 03:25 PM
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climb on a horse and ride beside her.start up a conversation and let her go to talking.if she is relaxing,then the horse can too,and before she realizes it,shes been riding and nothing bad happened.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-19-2011, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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I would LOVE to. I know my horse inside and out, he would never hurt a fly much less provoke another horse. Her horse however gas already tried to kick my horse while riding otherwise I'd have her ponying beside mine. We had a lesson today..which consisted of teaching how to groom a horse and what each brush is used for...I didn't realize HOW beginner we were... it was a very basic 101. Friday night we will have a baby review about grooming then a 101 about saddling and bridling along with maybe 15-20 minutes riding on a lunge. She has to have surgery on her hand so it will be interesting as far as riding. She will have the best seat ever by the time she has the reins LOL
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-19-2011, 04:32 PM
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i didnt realize she was that inexperienced.sounds like you have alot of patience and alot of work ahead of you.but if you ever get to the stage i explained,dont take a chance and get kicked.good luck
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-19-2011, 08:43 PM
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It sounds like you have a very good plan. Letting them groom and get comfortable first is good. You might think it's not enough, but for them it might very well be very satisfying. With timid persons, it's important to do less so that they have the feeling of success. Success breeds success.
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