Starting riding again, questioning a decision I made about my skill level

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Starting riding again, questioning a decision I made about my skill level

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    02-24-2011, 10:01 AM
Question Starting riding again, questioning a decision I made about my skill level

Hello Horseforum! I am new to the site but since I am in a new country and riding after a long absence I figured I needed to find advice from somewhere I could reach more people then simply non riders around me!

The situation is that I have begun riding again after about 5-7 years out of the saddle, I say 5-7 because I have done the occasional hack over the last two years with both good and bad results. Beginning classes again with boyfriend to get him into the saddle and remember what I am doing. When I finished my riding seriously I was doing crosscountry and endurance events with a half lease on a lovely appaloosa but had to give it up due to costs and time.

Here I am riding in one stable where obviously some styles of teaching are different but am progressing. Looking for a longer lesson time in another stable for both of us I told the secretary my background and she threw me into the level 5 group doing 3 foot jumps. It's been so long I am very unsure if I will be able to count strides and balance correctly while not pulling at the horse's mouth when doing this. She encourages me [without having seen me ride] that I will be fine.

I am currently a grade 2 in my stable now and progressing fast, just working out bits of seated trot and transition to canter. I know I could possibly jump now and be okay but it seems like a huge difference in what two stables are expecting and I want to call and tell them to move me to a less challenging class, since a new horse and the skills demanded might be too much at the same time. My gut says its the right idea but I don't want to try and argue with her.

Suggestions? Do I try it and see if I can or call and move my class?
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    02-24-2011, 10:11 AM
Jacona, you know yourself better than anyone, and if you don't think you're ready for the 3' advanced class, then it's a good thing to take it slow and start with the less advanced lessons.

After all, it's not a race. The idea is to be the best rider you can be, and it'll take as long as it takes.

Pushing yourself to do something way past your comfort level may lead to you getting hurt, then badly frightened, and giving up on horses altogether.

This woman doesn't know you, so don't let her push you into something for which you don't think you're ready.

Oh, and welcome to the BB.
    02-24-2011, 10:22 AM
Thanks Speedracer. I think that's what I feel. I was not taught on a level system but very much in always being a little it uncomfortable, but not so much so your riding suffers. Challenges do not bother me, but it's a bit of a safety concern, if I tense and convey my nerves to the horse and get a refusal I am possibly going flying without the airplane!
Is it normal for schools in the UK to always keep switching horses that their students use? I find it uncomfortable, I was used to being on one horse till you're okay at their level then being moved to a harder one. Each horse also needs specific cues, some more, some less. It all seems so much more confusing starting again then it was learning the first time! I'll give her a call and move the class.
    02-24-2011, 10:29 AM
I don't live in the UK, but it's certainly not unusual for clients to be on different horses during their lessons. A trainer friend of mine does it all the time. She says it makes a person a better rider, and I believe that to be true.

I have my own horses, but occasionally she'll stick me on one of her schoolies when we go out for a ride, just to keep me on my toes.

Being challenged is one thing. Being completely out of your comfort zone and knowing something is too hard for you is another. You're an adult; you don't have to prove anything to anyone except yourself.
    02-24-2011, 10:33 AM
I can see being on different horses forces you to accomodate different gaits and more active or more lazy horses. I guess I am a bit spoiled from my old stable, it seems much more set steps here, comfortable walk, then trot, then seated trot, canter .... I remember being taught collecting the walk and getting a nice rounded active bottom before moving to trot. Then doing that.

It might jsut be the focus of the stable of getting the rider doing each gait, then the details of the gait first. It does get to me a little bit, but that's probabaly why doing the advanced jumping course probably would shake my confidence a bit.
    02-24-2011, 11:24 AM
I am in a similar position...I gave up riding at 14 years old, started again at 22, I ride a broke horse very well, but my boyfriends mom and I decided to get my a 2 year old...everything is going well, but it seems she pushes me further than I am capable of at times. On my mare I am fine, have not come off her, have not gone further than I think is safe and we have progressed nicely.

When I first got back on a horse and everything was different, my weight, my body, my balance.

Like you and your three foot jumps, she had me cantering on a horse with no hands...which was fine until the horse came out of the canter and into the trot where I was focusing on rebalancing myself before asking for the canter again she cracked the whip after the horse came out of the canter and the horse gave a crow hop and a who was not yet balanced from the downward transition came off, flew into a wall and broke my helmet.

I am the rider who wants to be comfortable in the walk before the trot and the trot before the canter. Anyways I know I need to be able to ride through it, but like you say it is a matter of being pushed too far too fast and so I have just said no to the lunge line and hands free riding for the time being until I am comfortable.

My suggestion, just ask to go down a level. I know first hand that going too far out of your comfort zone can be unsafe, there is challenging yourself and then going too far...if you have a bad feeling there is proably a reason and your horse will sense it as well, so go to where you are comfortable and work your way up again.
    03-01-2011, 06:17 AM
Thanks everyone!

advice, skill anxiety

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