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Lost confidence after a fall - novice (long!)

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        10-19-2012, 09:50 AM
      #11
    Showing
    The longer you let this fear grip you the worse it will get. It works that way with horses too. When you ride, request the lazy mare, and focus on keep your lower back loose. Have someone walk the horse so you don't pick up the reins. I have often observed a rider's back tightening the moment the reins are picked up. Spend the time focusing on letting your hips follow the rise and fall of the horse's hips. Start with you feet out of the stirrups which helps keep your knees relaxed. When you are tense it engages your body from heel to jaw and the horse feels this. Think Rag Doll. Do a couple of sessions like this two days in a row if you can as it will help you mentally. No trotting as this is to focus on you loosening up. When the big horse hastened away from the instructor I suspect you leaned forward and brought your heels back into his ribs cage to hang on. Keep in mind this has the tube of toothpaste effect. Squeeze like this and he will come out between your hands. As you learn to ride relaxed remember to keep your heels down. If you find you tighten in you knees when doing this, think Toes Up instead. Just changing the focus from heel to toes seems to work. That's what my students have told me.
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        10-22-2012, 10:14 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Hello, I'm new here too, and after reading the original post, I would highly recommend not just watching a horse cantering on the longe line but riding while being longed by your instructor. I am a huge believer in beginners starting out on the longe. When I started riding at the age of 7 well over 30 years ago, I learned on the longe line. We were not allowed to have our reins until we could walk, trot, canter on the longe in addition to riding without stirrups, being able to post (with and without stirrups) and knowing our diagonals. This requires a horse that is very steady on the longe obviously, and a good instructor. I am not a professional instructor, but over the years when friends or family have asked me to teach them to really ride, on the longe they go. I'm not quite as strict as my stable was with me as a little girl, but I do want my students to be able to post and walk, trot, canter before they get their reins. I see so many people giving lessons to beginners these days and they are hanging on the horses mouths and out of balance. It is ridiculous and easily corrected. Even the most advanced equestrians with take time out to ride on the longe, especically dressage rideres, to really focus on the feel and balance of the gaits without having to worry about the horse. It also saves lesson horses mouths and spirits. The barn I learned at as a child used the same lesson horses for very beginners as they did for advanced jumping students because the horses were not ruined by careless hands due to the whole longe line system. By the time we got our reins, our balance was fantastic and we could then focus more on use of leg commands, and properly guiding a horse with the reins.
         
        10-23-2012, 02:30 PM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    Jeff,
    This is especially for you.
    It's not typical to have the first experiences of riding BOTH be scary and painful. Bad rides happen, but in the grand scheme of things, usually not so very often. Most of us have maybe a hundred good rides (well, maybe 75?) for every bad ride. That makes us willing to try our luck again the next time. And as your skill goes up, your likelihood of having a bad ride goes down.

    If you decide to try again, hedge your bets by telling the instructor you need the most reliable horse they have ., . . For awhile.
         

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