Learning riding on your own?

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Learning riding on your own?

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    05-12-2011, 12:10 AM
Learning riding on your own?

Has anyone taught themselves how to ride, and if so how did you do it? I've never taken formal lessons, and can't afford to, but I want to learn how to ride better. Does anyone know of videos or such online to watch that will help with proper form and such? I do mostly trail riding, but might be interested in barrel racing and stuff like that.
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    05-12-2011, 12:25 AM
Sort-of. I never had any formal instruction either, I just had my Dad and older brother there to correct me if I started doing anything too terribly bad (slouching, bracing with my feet, holding onto the cantle for balance, etc). So long as you have access to a good horse that you can trust, then I see no problem with teaching yourself. You can go on youtube or even here and see videos of how people ride, there are instructional videos regarding proper position and all that too. You can also post videos of yourself here to get some pointers on what you may be doing wrong and/or right. It can be done, it just takes a lot of time in the saddle with someone to point out some of the finer things occasionally.
    05-12-2011, 12:31 AM
I've only ever had 2 lessons, but that was later after I was already riding and started my horse.

I started on an older gelding, the sweetest horse that was really stubborn! But, he taught me patience and to be firm and not get frustrated with slow and stubborn old horses! Lol

My aunts mare was the second horse I learned on. She was well trained, but really heard bound. I gained a lot of confidence from her when I was able to stay on, even through her little heard bound fits. She was the first horse I ever cantered on. She knew how to do shoulder and hip yields, side passing and knew leads and lead changes, so, I learned how to cue for those on her. My mom would tell me how to cue for what and why.

My mom used to ride and compete in various English and western disciplines until she finished high school, so even though I never really had a trainer, she would give me pointers here and there. However, most of my riding was just trial and error, I would try to emulate pictures and videos from books and the internet. Overall, I would say that I learned more from the horses than people.
    05-12-2011, 12:43 AM
Right now I have a 30 year old Morgan that I ride at the rescue. She's stuborn, but weve developed a good respect for each other and she now listens just fine. I feel very safe riding her. I was told that I'd get riding lessons at the rescue, however there is so much work getting done that its not an option right now. And truth be told, I don't know how good of a teacher the lady is, or even how good of a rider she is herself, as she's injured and can't ride right now.

Spirits taught me most of what I know so far. She has a way of telling me if I'm doing something wrong, like holding the reins too tight. I've gotten so used to her that I know what she wants and she knows what I want. I love to canter and full out gallop with her. I absolutely HATE trotting. I don't know how to post correctly and it just feels bouncy and jerky in the field we ride in.

Im just not sure if I'm sitting right, or if I'm doing something wrong, and I don't want to get into bad habits.

Let me add to that this is a rescue, on a farm. None of the horses are expensive well bred horses, and I doubt I will ever be doing dressage or such. They are all stock horses that were just for trail riding and such before getting tossed aside for one reason or another. I just want to get good enough that I can train my own horse from baby on one day :)
    05-12-2011, 12:54 AM
I taught myself how to ride western, that was 13 years ago so I didn't really have access to the internet, I read a lot of books, I actually just recently(mid January) started taking lessons for the first time since I decided to ride english...I agree that as long as you have a good horse you can trust you will be ok. My old gelding has taught me so much from how to sit a bouncy trot to how to fall lol Best horse I ever had and ever will own
    05-12-2011, 02:11 AM
I never had real riding lessons either. The only horses I rode before I got my first one, was rental horses. That was a bit hard, my first year as a horse owner, to go from a horse that followed the one in front of it, to one that I actually controlled myself.

But it all worked out great and I've been trail riding for about 17 years now. I think I've actually gotten pretty good, at least as far as staying on and controlling my horse and such. So yeah, it's definitely quite do-able.

I just sort of got on and rode. And rode and rode and rode. Almost every single day for years and years. Eventually you get good at it.
    05-12-2011, 02:31 AM
Thanks guys :) I was starting to feel like an idiot reading people talk on here about all these different things to do and not to do while riding that I had never heard off, using all these technical terms. I just thought to myself, "Well I don't fall off, does that count as good riding?" ;)
    05-12-2011, 12:24 PM
Not falling off is a good start . There is a lot of complexity in the finer points that would be necessary for competitive riding like reining, dressage, or equitation classes, but just everyday riding is pretty easy for people to learn well themselves. Most of the folks that ride western that I know never have had a real lesson. They just got a good horse when they were young and spent hours ever day in the saddle.
    05-12-2011, 12:35 PM
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Most of the folks that ride western that I know never have had a real lesson. They just got a good horse when they were young and spent hours ever day in the saddle.
This how I learned to ride. It was at the camp I work at. I just asked to ride with the wranglers (before I was one) all the time on completely deadbroke horses. I learned the finer points from being on here, reading, and researching on my own. That's been over maybe..3 years? I got Abby in September and the other day I rode her around the arena without reins, just using leg and seat cues.

I have only fallen once in those 3 or so years. I was riding bareback and was just standing. The horse went from a standstill to a lope without warning and I slid off the side. I haven't fallen with a saddle on (I have long legs, which are pretty helpful in gripping crowhops and bucks ).
    05-15-2011, 09:48 AM
I've been riding for 18 months nearly, and have had about 6 lessons all up. I started off on an older STB (still with plenty of get up and go) and walked for about 3 months before I was game to trot. Now I w/t/c and jump to 60cm, and am a bit TOO confident. Sometimes I think learning on your own, at your own pace, can really help. It's good to get at least a lesson a month, or a fortnight if you can find a way to afford it :)

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