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? I say just get it out there.
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? It depends- check the prices when you research where you want to start. It shouldn't be too expensive to just start lessons, I would think. I'm not too sure, as I got lessons from my mother and have always had horses, lol.
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. I would say start with adult classes. 17 is old enough, imo. And it doesn't matter what age, beginner lessons are beginner lessons, so you'll be fine. :)
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. It's as dangerous as you let it be. Wear your helmet, don't be stupid, and you'll be fine- it's like driving a car, there's always a chance that something may happen, but you control how large that chance is.
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 would suggest just learning to ride before choosing a discipline- I grew up barrel racing, pole bending, the western works, and now I'm learning dressage. Fundamentals of horsemanship/ horseback riding first, then you can see what suits you best.
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. It doesn't really matter what discipline you do, it's more about the level, IMO. Although I did always find western much more relaxed (as in, barrel racing and such, I never did wp, halter, or showmanship, because I was never interested.)
But really, as I've said before, just start to ride first, and then choose whether you want to continue with western, or english, and then get more specific- barrels, wp, jumping, dressage, etc. Good luck, have fun!
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.