riding after a long break - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-25-2012, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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riding after a long break

Hello everyone! I am starting lessons again after almost 3 yeas having not ridden at all. I am fairly nervous. I am wondering how comfortable I'll be back on the horse. Will I remember some of the stuff I have learned? Will I revert back to my good, and bad, habits?

Thanks for all your information.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-26-2012, 12:12 AM
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From my own experience of not riding for almost 10 years and then getting back on a horse....you'll revert back to your good and bad habits almost immediately. Nervous? I dunno....from the age of 40 going to the age of 50....I was just a little nervous of getting thrown and getting hurt! LOL Other than that, I really wasn't nervous. Just don't psych yourself out. If you were an ok rider before, that won't have changed much. You may have to relearn some or you may find that the break has taught you how to handle your body better.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-26-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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I stopped riding after a roller derby accident. I managed to hurt my hip pretty badly. It still hurts, but I am done sitting back and letting my pain control me.

The other thing that is making me incredibly nervous is that I gained quite a bit of weight since my injury. I kept putting off riding until I lost some of the weight. I finally came to my senses and realized that maybe the riding is the exercise I need to help me lose the 60+ pounds I gained.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-26-2012, 12:27 AM
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Just make sure you're riding a horse you feel comfortable on. That will help a LOT. I had gained about that much weight too. It's harder coming back after an injury. Just be prepared that you are gonna HURT a lot. It will get better with time, but you'll be pretty miserable for a while. I have fibro so my pain is constant and mainly in my neck and shoulders....if I'm not relaxed and comfortable on a horse the pain can become unbearable. A hip injury will cause the same thing. Pace yourself....don't try a 4 hour trail ride first thing LOL Good luck and you'll be glad you got back into riding. I wish I could do more, but don't currently have a horse I can trust enough to not dump me on the ground.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-26-2012, 02:03 AM
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I started riding again after like...six or seven years away with only a couple of rides during that time. I found that my riding-specific muscles (like inner thighs...hah) were all gone, but I seemed to know how I should be sitting and what my muscles should be doing if they were still there. The instructor said she could see me trying to keep my legs from going back during two-point, but my body wasn't strong enough yet. Some things I forgot, but once I was reminded, I was able to do them properly. For example, I was holding the reins a bit awkwardly. Once I was reminded of where to have my thumbs, it was like "Oh yeah!" and I never messed it up again. You'll remember some things and might forget other things. But I think it would be a stretch for you to not remember anything. :P
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-27-2012, 03:00 PM
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I never really "stopped" riding, but for the past 10 years I've only been able to ride once a year and on well-behaved trail horses from trail riding companies (not my firecracker of a boy). I'm super nervous about getting back in the saddle again starting in October. I'm tempted to tell my Aunt to treat me like I've never ridden in my life and teach me from the beginning.

I'm in the same boat, but I'm sure we'll both get back into shape. Haha. (:
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-27-2012, 04:20 PM
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From gaining weight, you'll probably find your balance is a bit different than it used to be. I had this problem when I started riding again, and it took a little while to get it back. Some things will come naturally to you, and other things you may need a gentle reminder. And you'll be sore as the dickens a few days after! However, I think you'll have a blast. :)

Good luck!
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-27-2012, 04:24 PM
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After my horse Honeycomb passed away (who I'd had from the age of 12 'till I turned 30) I thought I'd never ride again. Even catching a whiff of horse-and-buggies in Central Park from a cab made me melancholy! But, wouldn't you know it, on a bright Fall day three years later, I woke up and wanted to ride.

So I called the woman who owned the stables where Honey had lived and asked if I could come out and ride one of her school horses.

I got on and.....it all came back. Everything from the bad habits I had accumulated during the years Honey and I stopped showing or taking lessons to my velcro butt. By the end of the ride I was cantering around, grinning like a fool. Of course, I was definitely rusty, and later very sore! But since then (4 years), I've been riding very consistently (4-5 times a week) and earlier this year started took a huge step (for me) and have begun Dressage lessons again. I even find myself entertaining the thought of a schooling show. Which is crazy talk, since had I vowed to never show again after my last trainer/experiences. Just goes to show what time does, right?

Anyway, the bottom line is, like everyone else who has commented, riding a horse has been like, well, riding a bike! Your body never forgets. Just be warned - your horse-fever will come back with a vengeance! Mine simmered down during Honeycomb's later years (she was 27 and had Cushings - not much riding toward the end. Just lots of love, grooming, carrots, and hanging out). Then, when she died, I was so heartbroken and sure I'd never ride again that I gave away all my tack and equipment. But now...I'm as totally horse-bit as before. As evidenced by the fact that I am on this forum instead of working! HA! Good luck, have fun, and don't be scared. You'll do GREAT!
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Last edited by gtmochi; 08-27-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-27-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

I knew I had to ride again. I never packed away my saddle or any of my riding gear, just waiting for the day I would get the guts to get back on a horse.
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