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Young male, questions about starting...

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  • Young horse starting
  • Learning to ride a horse male

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    04-22-2012, 11:34 AM
  #1
Foal
Young male, questions about starting...

Hey all, have read these forums in the past but now I have some questions about starting to ride.

I'm a 17 year old guy, and horse riding is something I would like to try. I'm pretty athletic, having played various sports in the past and do enjoy going to the gym and working out. I do have some concerns though, mostly about how to get started.

1) I don't really know how to talk to my parents about it? I know this is kind of silly, but I can imagine exactly when I tell them I would like to try riding that they will say "You want to learn to ride a horse?". I'm not trying to say my parents are unsupportive, they definitely aren't, but it will surprise them. Should I just muster the courage and say it straight?

2) Is it really expensive? I was looking at places near to me, and one offers group lessons (up to a maximum of 8) which costs 18 pounds for an hour. Is that a relatively competitive price?

3) Being 17, should I go for adult only lessons? One place I was looking at does offer them, but I guess I would have to ask them whether I would count as an adult or not. I'd just rather avoid being in a group with what will probably be younger girls.

4) Is it particularly dangerous? I have a feeling my parents might say this, but in reality, is it actually dangerous? I have no doubt I will fall off at some point if I started, it's unavoidable, and doesn't scare me.

5) Which 'discipline' should I go for? I know there is English and Western riding, and I will do some more reading about the difference. I don't want to compete in any shows or anything like that, so I'm not sure English is the right way to go. I don't want to be dressed up in high boots and skin tight pants I know I would have to wear things like a helmet, which is obviously fine with me, but I'd rather just take lessons in comfortable clothes.

What does Western involve, and do you think it's better for someone that has no interest in showmanship, jumping at a competitive level etc. Again I guess I would have to ask the places near me what they teach.

Thanks a lot for any replies, and I have read through another thread created not that long ago by a guy in a sort of similar situation. Thanks!

Edit: Forgot to mention, I'm pretty confident in myself, and I'm not particularly fussed what my mates might think or say, so that's not an issue if it's something I enjoy. Ta.
     
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    04-22-2012, 11:39 AM
  #2
Weanling
Honestly? I'm a western girl so, I won't be giving you points on eastern and I may be a little biased. Western is more relaxed and great for trails and just fun riding. You can also compete, but I know most people who compete out here do it in jeans, so, no skin tight clothes!
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    04-22-2012, 11:43 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Since you're mentioning pounds-are you in England? Not everyone who rides horses wants to show & compete. But, the basics of riding & controlling the horse are pretty similar. Horses generally do get pretty expensive,but taking a few lessons to see how you like it is a smart move before investing the $$. I'm sure there will be some more answers along shortly.

&--Welcome to the forum!
     
    04-22-2012, 11:56 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisssMarie    
Honestly? I'm a western girl so, I won't be giving you points on eastern and I may be a little biased. Western is more relaxed and great for trails and just fun riding. You can also compete, but I know most people who compete out here do it in jeans, so, no skin tight clothes!
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That sounds more like my thing than English I think, thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cacowgirl    
Since you're mentioning pounds-are you in England? Not everyone who rides horses wants to show & compete. But, the basics of riding & controlling the horse are pretty similar. Horses generally do get pretty expensive,but taking a few lessons to see how you like it is a smart move before investing the $$. I'm sure there will be some more answers along shortly.

&--Welcome to the forum!
I am yeah, just across the pond from a lot of people here probably I know not everyone competes, I was just wondering whether English is more linked to showmanship than Western? I don't really know whether you can learn English without dressing up in shiny high boots and the whole shabang, if that makes sense aha?

I'm not going to be owning a horse or anything, just lessons would be great to see how I find it. Cheers for posting!
     
    04-22-2012, 03:59 PM
  #5
Foal
Anyone else? On reflection my original post was pretty long winded, my mistake.

Do people feel that's a reasonably good price for what's on offer? Thanks a lot
     
    04-22-2012, 06:23 PM
  #6
Teen Forum Moderator
Don't worry about your posts being long winded Horse Lad, you ought to see mine XD

I'll try to answer each of these questions to the best of my ability, though many other people have different opinions.

1- If I were you, I'd be straight foreward about it. Boldness says a lot about a person and they will probably give you less of a hard time if you're direct with what you want.

2- I live in Texas, so I don't know how many pounds this would amout to or if that's normal in your area, but group lessons where I live run at about $30-40 an hour, including tacking up. I'm an assistant instructor at the barn where I work and we charge $40 for a semi private lesson of two to three people. My advice to you would be to take private lessons though, if at all possible, for atleast the first 4-6 lessons just so that you can have that one on one help with learning how to balance yourself and control each part of your body differently.

3) That would be my recommendation, if the stable will let you. You'll feel less self-concious and won't have any 12 year old girls giggling and offering to do everything for you- not letting you focus on learning to do them yourself XD

4) with this one I'm always very straightforewards. YES. Horseback riding is dangerous. Actually, doing anything with horses is dangerous. After all, they're 1,000 pounds of unpredictable flight animal. Most lesson horses are very laid back, and forgiving, but the further you go into the sport the more dangerous it is. I've personally broken 5 bones so far from riding. If you love it though, its a risk you're willing to take. And learning to always keep focused and to do things with the proper technique (even if they seem silly) will decrease the chances of you getting hurt severely ^^

5) this is entirely up to you. I chose to ride western because it's more of a relaxed family-type atmosphere for the most part. In higher levels (reining, cutting, etc) ofcourse, there is the same stress and perfection, but all in all western just fits my personality better. All of the guys that I know ride western, but they're all cowboys too so they never really had a big choice xD it is nice to be able to ride in jeans though and not 'skin tight pants' as you put them! (called breeches just incase you ever wonder.) Theres nothing wrong with english riding though, I have quite a few friends who absolutely love that style of riding, and their horses are wonderful. You can't really call one better than the other because they're two totally different realms of the world, only linked by the fact that we both ride horses. Do some research, maybe try out both, and decide which better fits you!

Good luck!
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    04-22-2012, 07:02 PM
  #7
Trained
Speaking as a parent/grandparent, I LOVE it when one of my kids tells me what they are thinking. Most of my kids have followed my wife's example - and she assumes I've read her mind and know her thoughts. Trust me - I don't!

English/western: all other things being equal, I'd start western. However, I hate folks who say one is better than the other. I think eventually all riders ought to at least try the various styles. But starting off, you may find it easier to find good lessons in the UK riding English than western.

In Arizona, I don't see a lot of folks riding English just because. I have English, Western and Aussie saddles, and prefer the last. I think the biggest difference between the two is in how the reins are used, not the saddle. Western riding evolved from folks who needed one hand free for work, and from working cattle. That means having a horse who neck reins rather than one ridden in contact. However, the mare I own seems to prefer light contact most of the time - so again, neither is right or wrong.

Go where you think you can find the best instruction. If you love riding, you can always pick up another style later on.

Prices here run around $30-40 for an hour.

Safety:

Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!)

Not sure I agree with everything I wrote on that thread, but it provides some actual studies on riding and safety.
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    04-22-2012, 07:24 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Lad    
That sounds more like my thing than English I think, thanks a lot.



I am yeah, just across the pond from a lot of people here probably I know not everyone competes, I was just wondering whether English is more linked to showmanship than Western? I don't really know whether you can learn English without dressing up in shiny high boots and the whole shabang, if that makes sense aha?

I'm not going to be owning a horse or anything, just lessons would be great to see how I find it. Cheers for posting!
I'm a beginner English rider and I don't really have any of the fancy clothes people show in. I ride in jeans (they are pretty tight, though!), a t-shirt and some mid-calf boots that weren't intended for riding, but they work just fine and look just like paddock boots I wouldn't stress about what you have to look like... just do some research on the kind of riding you would like to do. Look up videos and images of English disciplines vs. Western disciplines.
     
    04-22-2012, 07:31 PM
  #9
Banned
You can buy breeches that are not skin tight. I have some.

Initially you can ride with any safe footwear. It makes no difference. But eventually you will want either half chaps (gaiters) or proper tall boots if you spend any amount of time on an english saddle. The stirrup leathers press on your shins and without some leather between them and you the chafing will be bothersome.
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    04-22-2012, 07:34 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
1) I don't really know how to talk to my parents about it? I know this is kind of silly, but I can imagine exactly when I tell them I would like to try riding that they will say "You want to learn to ride a horse?". I'm not trying to say my parents are unsupportive, they definitely aren't, but it will surprise them. Should I just muster the courage and say it straight?
Yep! Just go out and say it.

Quote:
2) Is it really expensive? I was looking at places near to me, and one offers group lessons (up to a maximum of 8) which costs 18 pounds for an hour. Is that a relatively competitive price?
Price depends on your area, and I don't know about pounds. Horse riding is expensive, but not SUPER CRAZY billionaire expensive or anything .

Quote:
3) Being 17, should I go for adult only lessons? One place I was looking at does offer them, but I guess I would have to ask them whether I would count as an adult or not. I'd just rather avoid being in a group with what will probably be younger girls.
It depends on what's available around you. If you don't feel comfortable ending up in just whichever lesson goes your way (which yes, will probably be mostly younger girls) than ask to be in an adult only lesson. I can't see there being a problem with it.

Quote:
4) Is it particularly dangerous? I have a feeling my parents might say this, but in reality, is it actually dangerous? I have no doubt I will fall off at some point if I started, it's unavoidable, and doesn't scare me.
Yes, riding can be dangerous, but the same can be said for any sport. Honestly, at the beginning, you will be riding dead broke horses and the only danger to you will be your own incompetence (unless you're at a bad barn, then run away as fast as you can).

Quote:
5) Which 'discipline' should I go for? I know there is English and Western riding, and I will do some more reading about the difference. I don't want to compete in any shows or anything like that, so I'm not sure English is the right way to go. I don't want to be dressed up in high boots and skin tight pants I know I would have to wear things like a helmet, which is obviously fine with me, but I'd rather just take lessons in comfortable clothes.
I started out Western, rode it a few years and then went English and never looked back. It really depends on what you like. There's no rule you have to or even should compete in English riding, and I know a lot of people who don't (though it's a lot of fun). And you don't have to be dressed up in the whole "skin tight pants and tall boots" thing unless your barn has some weird dress code which I don't really see. When I started riding English I rode in cheap rubber boots from Walmart and my every day jeans.

On a different note, chaps are actually very comfortable, more comfortable than jeans, and I am 100% a jean person. And a good pair of paddock boots (not necessarily tall boots, which are really for show) can't be beaten for riding. Read this man's posts on chaps versus jeans and the like: Breeches of Promise | Bob the Equestrian
A Few Words Regarding Jodhpurs | Bob the Equestrian

Honestly, if you want to feel more secure at first, go Western, and if you want to develop a more stable seat from the very beginning go English.

Also, you can trail ride and fun ride in an English saddle. I have and I didn't even feel like I was breaking any universal laws!!! ()
     

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