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Looking for any and all advice!

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        08-03-2011, 10:52 PM
      #21
    Super Moderator
    If I were the instructor, I might try you on a more advanced horse to see if the match were better. It is so dependent on the personality of the student. Some people do need to be left the thrash it out with the challenging school horse and they will emergy stronger riders. Others need to be supported more in the beginning and over horseing them will NOT help in the long run.

    Either your instructor has more confidence in you than you do in yourself (for right or for wrong) OR she is not paying the kind of attention to you that $75 an hour warrants. She should be giving you her ALL for that hour, and be very perceptive if you can do it with a little more time and a challenge and a push. If you are saying "I am scared, and uncomfortable and not enjoying this " and you mean it and she doesn't get that, well she is not worth the money.

    I wonder if they go through students the same way they go through horses sold; like clockwork.
         
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        08-04-2011, 08:13 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    Thank you all so much for your advice. I really want to believe that I will emerge from all of this a better rider, lol. I have learned a lot.
    I just miss the other schoolies I had been riding. They did challenge me which I liked. But this mare is just a tough cookie to crack. She just has no respect for me under saddle.
    Someone mentioned a crop...I've never seen anyone use one. I'm sure they do, but I feel funny asking for one. I just don't feel ready to do that at this point.

    I don't want to be a fearful rider. Gosh, I can remember when I was 19, we were trail riding and thought it was just sooooo much fun when we reached the end the and horses would gallop all the way back to the barn, wheeeee! 20 years later, that wouldn't be so much fun, lol. I'd be pretty scared.
    I began taking lessons pretty fearful and insecure about starting riding english at almost 40. Then my confidence was building up and now it's crashing down.

    I'm wondering if I should wait until kid's camp is over and I can go back to my morning lesson. I have Wednesdays off and I used to go Wednesday morning. Then kid's summer camp started and there was not enough horses to go around so now I go in the evening. I think my horse is just tired and crabby. I've never been on a horse so un-pleasurable before.

    I also had my mom take video of me this past spring and she did again last week. I looked like a much better rider in the spring. I was posting on the diagonal, going around. I actually looked pretty good. Last week's video makes me look like it was my first time on a horse.

    Well, I'll update after tomorrow. Here's hoping for a good lesson!
         
        08-04-2011, 09:43 PM
      #23
    Weanling
    Don't underestimate the Horse Camp effect! My previous lesson horse was interesting but challenging...until Horse Camp started, and then he was just pissed off!

    I know this will get better for you - either you'll figure out how to deal with this horse, or this horse will behave better (after Horse Camp), or you'll find another horse. But it will get better! I am 43 and learning to ride (properly, after a lifetime of doing it half-assed). We can take the Long View! You go, girl!!!
         
        08-04-2011, 09:44 PM
      #24
    Weanling
    Also...I do not know if this will work for you, but the way I've dealt with the Horse Camp Effect is by getting my lesson in super-early in the morning. It is so much better for me and for the horse...and it's also cooler at that time of day.
         
        08-04-2011, 10:03 PM
      #25
    Yearling
    People take lessons for different reasons.
    Some want to eventually become trainers, instructors, top level riders, and would do well with a lot of challenge.
    Others want to just learn to sit a quiet horse confidently, having fun while doing so.
    Each would probably be dissatisfied with the other's horse.
    Tell your trainer what it is that you want, what your personal goals are.
    If you want to ride a quiet, confidence boosting horse for the next month, year, or 10 years, I believe that is your right to do so.
    A challenge is good, but one does not want to be set up for failure. Not every rider gels with every horse.
    If you are not enjoying yourself, and your trainer won't change things or has no other horse to offer you, I would find a new barn and new trainer.
    brandilion likes this.
         
        08-04-2011, 10:17 PM
      #26
    Weanling
    I would love to do my lesson early. My trainer doesn't come in until 10 and then it's camp time. If she offered to come in earlier for me, I'd take her up on it. But she didn't so I didn't want to ask.

    Quote:
    Others want to just learn to sit a quiet horse confidently, having fun while doing so.

    Read more: Looking for any and all advice!
    an

    This is me! I don't have any real goals other than just to become a better rider. I want to continue to improving every month and see myself grow as a rider over the years. But I don't really have a solid time frame. I can really see how fear holds your back more than anything else. Like now, rather than feeling like I can't wait for my lesson, I'm kind of nervous about it. :(
         
        08-05-2011, 12:16 AM
      #27
    Green Broke
    What good is riding if you don't enjoy it? Sure, a challenge here and there is good for you. But you are PAYING to ride. You should be getting a good feeling from it. Enjoyment, accomplishment, satisfaction. Not nervous apprehension, at least not every ride.

    I would try to use another lesson horse. And if they don't have one they feel is good for you, you might have to look elsewhere. I hear a lot about horses leaving. Do they also have horses coming? Could it be that if you waited it out for a few lessons they might have a new horse or two? Maybe you could ask what the odds are of that happening in the near future? Because if you are going to be stuck with a horse you don't like long-term, then that's not really a good deal for you.
         
        08-05-2011, 12:43 AM
      #28
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Heelsdown    
    I would love to do my lesson early. My trainer doesn't come in until 10 and then it's camp time. If she offered to come in earlier for me, I'd take her up on it. But she didn't so I didn't want to ask.
    You're paying her $75 an hour? In my eyes, that gives you some privileges...including ASKING HER if you can have your lesson earlier in the day. It doesn't hurt to ask. The worst she can say is no, and then you're just in the same position you were in to start with.

    As far as giving you her all, like tiny mentioned, I completely agree. The trainer at our barn charges $35 an hour and you have her entire attention for that hour. My friend took an English lesson with her one day (my friend rides Western, but was having some balance issues--which ended up being caused by her stirrups being too long, but that's another story) and I decided to watch. The trainer was more than happy to have me observe since I'm going to be taking lessons from her in the near future, but once she was in the arena with my friend, her entire focus was on my friend. I tried to ask a question about something she had asked my friend to do and got ignored, so I saved all my questions til the end. Then she was happy to answer them. What really impressed me was that she took the time to explain what she wanted until my friend got what she was asking for. She listened to my friend's concerns while doing certain exercises and worked to fix or work through them. That, to me, is what a good trainer does. They LISTEN to their students and respond accordingly and appropriately to help that student feel confident in what they're doing. They don't throw them on a horse they can't work with and except them to figure it out (which, honestly, is what it sounds like your trainer has done to you).
    brandilion likes this.
         
        08-05-2011, 08:37 AM
      #29
    Yearling
    Longe lessons, longe lessons, longe lessons. Ask her for them. When I first started riding (at age 7) we were put on the horse and expected to start learning how to walk, trot, and canter. I spent a lot of time standing by the gate, kicking a 30 year old quarter horse who wouldn't move a foot. Later (when I was about 12) I started English lessons with a new instructor who was fairly horrified by my bad habits. She had a horse who was a very nice sensible chap, but a big mover, and I could barely stay on him. I spent about a year on the longe line trying to fix bad habits.

    When I teach beginners, I always longe them. I find the brain can only handle so much new information at a time, and when new riders start out, most find it overwhelming to be expected to find their position, remain in balance, start the process of learning about independent aids, AND stop, steer, and keep the horse moving in whatever gait. Some people more than others. Some students seem naturally balanced on a horse and easily come into sync with its movements, while others struggle, through tension, lack of bodily awareness, or whatever. The strugglers will find their balance and confidence but may require more patience. That means more longe lessons! Many students develop quite a lot of bad habits in the effort to get the horse to do stuff while compensating for their lack of balance. And while you're flailing about, trying to find your seat and coordinate your aids, you're most likely sending all sorts of confusing messages to the horse and the horse is going to be saying, "WTF does she want me to do?" A well-schooled horse who is perhaps not accustomed to the trials of the beginner rider might get quite confused, frustrated, and consequently grumpy.

    So back to the longeing. That gives you the opportunity to work on your position and your balance while someone else controls the horse. Then you're only focusing on one thing -- you -- and leaving the horse aside for the moment. It's hard to learn how to control your body while its being tossed about on a trotting or cantering horse and the longeing is a method of breaking riding down into steps for people. Here, we're just working on you. At the end of the lesson, you go off the longe and we can talk about steering.

    The caveat is that you need a horse who knows his job on the longe line. Longeing doesn't have the same beneficial effect if you have a horse who thinks longe = bucking, play time.
         
        08-05-2011, 09:01 AM
      #30
    Yearling
    As a further thought.... Does your instructor have much experience with teaching adults?

    I have found, generally, that adult learners have far more tension and consequently riding position issues. Now and then you get a terrified, uncoordinated kid and a very balanced, supple adult, but in my experience kids' bodies adapt quicker to the horse's movement than adults'. You also have to approach it differently. With kids, most of the time you can say "Do this" and they do, but adults often cope better if you are explaining why you are telling them to "do this."

    Up to a point. :) I had a physics student once who wanted me to give him an explanation using Newtonian physics for why he should sit up straight during a downward transition, rather than sitting well back behind the motion and letting stopping motion of the horse throw him forward to an upright position, which made more sense in his head. I explained that the horse, in theory, needed to lift her forehand and make the transition by shifting the weight to her hind end in order to be in balance, and if the rider was out of balance, that put her onto her forehand. "But she's still slowing down," he said. At that point, I did go with "Just do it" as an answer.
         

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