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Young male, questions about starting...

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    04-23-2012, 06:46 PM
  #21
Foal
Since you're just starting, you'd probably be in a western saddle right away. That's how we start where I take lessons until you master your balance and seat. Peraonally, I prefer western and im the only one out of my friends who does. Especially since you're not interested in showing, i'd reccomend western. The saddles are much more convenient for trail rides.
     
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    04-24-2012, 12:20 AM
  #22
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by horsesandhockey    
since you're just starting, you'd probably be in a western saddle right away. That's how we start where I take lessons until you master your balance and seat. Peraonally, I prefer western and im the only one out of my friends who does. Especially since you're not interested in showing, i'd reccomend western. The saddles are much more convenient for trail rides.

While this is a good idea, England is pretty much entirely English. I know that Reining is big in Italy, but other than that, I don't think there is much western anywhere else.
     
    04-24-2012, 12:59 AM
  #23
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Lad    

I read through an article on safety provided by another poster, and although some of it was a little unnerving, I doubt I would ever be doing anything dangerous with an instructor. I have no doubt I'd fall at some point, but that's just something you have to get over really.
The risk of injury is certainly there, as it is with any sport. However I've been riding for 30 years and the worst injury I have had is a sprained ankle and a few bruises.
You have to remember that you will be riding at a speed that is relative to your ability so you are not going to be jumping fences, galloping etc for a good while. So any tumbles you might (or might not) have early on, are going to be slower ones.

About the clothing, some places might let you ride in jeans for your first few lessons but after that if you are riding English, I think you'd find jods or breeches more comfortable. The clothing that I think you have seen (jackets) is just for showing, and you'd be fine in a tshirt, boots and helmet.

I only skimmed the conversation, so not sure if this was covered or not - but with lessons, you get so much more from private lessons as all of the attention is on you. In addition to that, I dislike group lessons for new riders as there are a bunch of brand newbies in an arena all trying to control their horses. I personally feel that there is enough going on for a new rider to control their own horse without worrying about some idiot getting too close to them, or any other number of things they could do.
For me, riding is expensive enough, and so if I am paying for it I'd rather have all that instruction just for myself.

It sounds like your parents are supportive of you, it's just that you feel odd asking about this. I can understand that, as your parents are probably not expecting you to ask for this as you are a footie player . Equestrianism is thought of as being a women's activity because it mainly is at the lower levels, but that's not the case at the top level of the sport. At the world class level, there tends to be a whole lot more men.
     
    04-24-2012, 01:15 AM
  #24
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Lad    
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.
--------------------------------------------
     
    04-24-2012, 02:52 AM
  #25
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mildot    
Most falls from horseback end up with nothing worse than a bruise.

Some of them incur broken bones or separated or dislocated joints.

No different than contact sports.
True, I've seen some pretty nasty injuries just from football. I'd always be wearing a helmet at least and you just have to be sensible, thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumanji321    
While this is a good idea, England is pretty much entirely English. I know that Reining is big in Italy, but other than that, I don't think there is much western anywhere else.
Pretty much, but it doesn't really bother me now, English is just as good. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS    
The risk of injury is certainly there, as it is with any sport. However I've been riding for 30 years and the worst injury I have had is a sprained ankle and a few bruises.
That puts me at ease, knowing I had worse injuries playing 2 years of football than someone who rode a horse for 30 years Just need to use your common sense and stay safe really, but you guys are right, no sport is without risk (apart from maybe chess)

Quote:
About the clothing, some places might let you ride in jeans for your first few lessons but after that if you are riding English, I think you'd find jods or breeches more comfortable. The clothing that I think you have seen (jackets) is just for showing, and you'd be fine in a tshirt, boots and helmet.
After some further reading, jodhpurs and breeches are actually more forgiving than I first thought aha. They look comfortable, so I'd happily wear them, they really aren't that bad. They even look like some of the gear my rugby playing mates used to have.

Quote:
I only skimmed the conversation, so not sure if this was covered or not - but with lessons, you get so much more from private lessons as all of the attention is on you. In addition to that, I dislike group lessons for new riders as there are a bunch of brand newbies in an arena all trying to control their horses. I personally feel that there is enough going on for a new rider to control their own horse without worrying about some idiot getting too close to them, or any other number of things they could do.
For me, riding is expensive enough, and so if I am paying for it I'd rather have all that instruction just for myself.
It gets a little pricey for individual lessons, which is one of my problems The place I am currently looking at, as an example, also does group lessons with a max of 4 for 22 quid, which isn't too bad for the hour. Still, even that is more expensive than anything I've done before, and I doubt I could go over that. I can ask my cousin where she was taught and compare the prices.

Quote:
It sounds like your parents are supportive of you, it's just that you feel odd asking about this. I can understand that, as your parents are probably not expecting you to ask for this as you are a footie player . Equestrianism is thought of as being a women's activity because it mainly is at the lower levels, but that's not the case at the top level of the sport. At the world class level, there tends to be a whole lot more men.
Yeah, it's unlike anything I have ever done before, but in some ways that's another way it's appealing.

Thanks for the posts everyone, I appreciate the advise.
     
    04-24-2012, 05:27 AM
  #26
Showing
Keep us updated :) I used to live in England
     
    04-24-2012, 08:48 AM
  #27
Weanling
I'd say since your in the UK then english will be the way to go. I ride english since I learned to ride in the UK and I enjoy it and feel more secure in an english saddle than a western one. Also, since you're not opposed to jodhpurs try looking in a local tack store, when I started I went along and got some on clearance for very cheap.

If you're worried about the cost/your parents might be worried about the cost you could try spreading the lessons out, say once every 2 weeks. I had to do that when I ran short of cash.

Good luck!
     
    04-24-2012, 09:18 AM
  #28
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Lad    
I read through an article on safety provided by another poster, and although some of it was a little unnerving, I doubt I would ever be doing anything dangerous with an instructor. I have no doubt I'd fall at some point, but that's just something you have to get over really.
Riding is inherently dangerous, even when you're sitting atop of the horse at a walk or standstill - you don't have to be jumping or going fast to get seriously injured.

There was a very experienced rider at my barn who was killed when her horse suddenly spooked. She was waiting to enter the ring, so she was at a standstill and all of a sudden the horse spooked and dumped her without warning. The poor girl had a helmet on and everything but the way she landed on her neck was fatal. It was a freak accident but still shakes you to the core.

I guess what I'm getting at is when you do take lessons, never let up your guard even when you're sitting around doing nothing. You will fall at some point as you already know, just keep your arms in and try and curl up into a ball. Whatever you do, don't try and catch yourself because that's a sure fire way to break something. I also wouldn't worry about falling or getting hurt. The way I see it, I could be killed crossing the road or have a meteorite fall out of the sky and take me out. As long as you're not reckless and keep your wits about you, you'll be OK. :)
     
    04-24-2012, 02:02 PM
  #29
Banned
Are you comfortable sharing which county you are in? There's lot's of Brits and ex pats here who might be able to recommend somewhere for you.
     
    04-24-2012, 02:11 PM
  #30
Weanling
The only thing I feel like going on about right now is which discipline you should try. My honest to god opinion? Try whatever you can reach. The more styles in riding you know, the better rider you can be all around. Balance, bending, control, respect, and trust can be learned by trying different things. Try Western. I love riding it just for the relaxed state it puts me in. I do not compete - I trail ride and sometimes I just work my horse in an empty arena so he stays conditioned, or to work on a problem we are having.

English, no matter which way you go, is excellent to try. I suggest learning at least the basics of English before trying anything else. Why? Because there's no cheating balance. You don't have a saddle horn to clutch to, and there's a lot of other things to learn. Western is good for it's own reasons. For me, it's too keep in check to not pull on the bit so hard because leverage bits will make a horse go ape**** if you're tugging on them.
     

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