I need help with a VERY frustrating riding situation - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-09-2007, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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I need help with a VERY frustrating riding situation

I'm 15 years old, I own a horse and I've been riding english for 6 years. My riding instructor won't let me go past a trot during lessons. She won't advance me at all...I have had about 3 lessons in the past 2 months that involved carrying a hoola hoop around and putting it on a fence..and I had to pay money to do it..ON MY OWN HORSE..seriously.. It's not that I can't canter, because I have done it many times, I've even galloped when I go trail riding with other people. She thinks that it's unsafe to do basically anything faster than a trot. I told my mom that I want to switch riding places but she says that my instructor is the nicest, and she doesn't want to move the horse (even though there are cheaper boarding places) so she's making me stick with her. I don't even want to ride anymore because of this. Any time that there is a situation involving riding, my mom forces me to do it, which makes me hate riding even more. My mom had a talk with her last year about advancing...and nothing has happened yet! I always had dreams of being a good jumper but now I don't even care about anything. I want to be able to enjoy riding again..I NEED HELP! what should I do??
Danielle0408 is offline  
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-10-2007, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oak Hills CA, High Desert
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I'm not a trainer by any means. However, to me it sounds like your trainer is trying to help you work on your balance. Forget about reins, and just balance while at the same time using your hands, and moving around in the saddle (putting the hoop on the fence.) She knows you can go faster, but she wants you to master your balance before you do this. Even if you feel balanced, there may be something she sees that leads her to believe you need a bit more practice. Especially if you hope to jump. Balance is everything! Trotting is the most difficult to balance at. Once you master it at the trot, cantering is easy. As well as the old saying, crawl, then walk, then run...

It would be nice, if she would share her thoughts, but then again... Maybe it doesn't really matter. If you can, do some riding bareback. Walking and trotting esp. It will help with balance. If you can, drop the reins and steer your horse with your body... If you want to go left, look to the left exactly where you want your horse to go, don't touch the reins, same for a right turn. (Some horses don't do this, so if yours doesn't, then um, nevermind.)

I would keep trying. Actually, I would try harder. There is something that your trainer want's you to understand/do/be able to do. And apparently wants you to figure it out on your own... I'm not sure the method is fantastic, but you can still do it. Try practicing more and harder, really focus on this stuff and be as good at it as you can.

Be the best you can be a putting that darn hoop on the fence! Then, I bet you will progress to something else.

Stick with it, hang in there. All good / great riders spend countless boring hours doing the same boring thing, until they can do it in their sleep perfectly. Then, they get to move on to something else.

Good luck!
DesertGal is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 06-10-2007, 05:37 PM
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Yes i completely agree with DesertGal,

she has some very good points, an i hope you take her advice!

Bolly x
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-11-2007, 07:19 PM
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Location: Texas, USA
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Hi Danielle!

I'm a certified instructor in Texas (although I'm actually a Brit), so here's my advice:

If you were one of my students, I'd really want you to come and talk to me about your lessons and why you're not happy. That would give me the chance to understand your frustrations and to do something about it! You sound like a nice rider who is wanting to improve and asking for help on this forum is a great thing to do. I certainly wouldn't want to lose you as a student because you're getting bored and fed up in your lessons!

It does sound like your instructor is taking things slowly because her experienced eye can see something in your riding that you're not aware of, but really she needs to talk to you about exactly what that is and why she is just sticking to lessons in walk and trot at the moment. After all, you're old enough and wise enough to understand the more technical aspects of riding! Three lessons in two months isn't actually very frequent and so maybe each time you take a lesson you slip back in some area of your riding, whether it's your balance or use of the aids (or the horse's problem!). But if this is the case then your instructor really needs to explain a little better why she is keeping you in nothing beyond a trot. (I myself have been riding for years and years and years and am a pretty good rider now, but I still have sticking points with my position and bad habits that MY instructor has to sort out! And these corrections don't happen overnight - you have to work at it! Occasionally I lapse back and have to 're-train' myself again through my problems. This is probably why you're doing the same exercise again and again.). You should also ask her for 'homework': exercises that would help you correct and improve whatever problem it is that she sees. You're very fortunate in having your own horse, so make sure you take the time to ride and work through your set homework everytime you ride. Some variety in the exercises that she's giving you in the lessons would help, too, so do tell her that the Hoola Hoop game is wearing a little thin, and are there any different exercises that would be more interesting but still achieve the same goal? Don't forget, there are tonnes of books out there with exercises in that you and her could refer to!

Teaching riding can sometimes be a scary thing - we instructors have little control over the horse, and although it's up to us to make sure we communicate with the rider as effectively as possible to ensure a safe ride, it's you up on the horse and not us. Sometimes accidents happen and that can often make us apprehensive in letting our students go at a faster pace. So in her defense that's why she may be being a little over-cautious!

We also often get students who can ride but have bad habits that we have to go back and undo. And I've had a couple who apparently canter at home on their mum's horse - but in lessons with me they can't even post the trot, so they probably feel frustrated too just going around and around in walk and trot, when in fact I'm working through exercises to improve their balance, position, and 'feeling and responding' to the rhythm of the horse at the slower paces before going back up the ladder to cantering again. At age 11 I thought I was a wonderful little rider because I could walk, trot, canter and jump, but when I look back as an adult, goodness, I wish someone had taught me correctly from day one and stop all those bad habits that I have now as an adult!

Final note, don't forget that just because another stables is cheaper doesn't mean it is better. Your instructor does sound like she is putting safety first, and safety is the most important thing. My priority is to teach safe, correct riding and to enjoy riding and horses and have fun! You just need more fun, so TALK TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR!

Good luck!! :)
vicki66tx is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 06-12-2007, 06:10 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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i agree with what vicki66tx is saying. i do not quite understand the consept of boarding with instructors but you must obviously be allowed to ride at other points with the intructor arnt u?? i would do as the other say and work at what you are working on now no matter how stupid you think it is. but also work on more advananced things that you feel comfortable have you seen this instructor with other riders more advanced in lessons then u?? is she doing stuff you think you can do? if so i would first of all talk to her as if she is insistant (which she may be) practise the things she was instructing otheer to do and show her that you can do more then she is trying to teach you
good luck
giget is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 07-01-2007, 05:09 PM
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Location: Sweet Springs, MO
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Hey, I kind of had the same problem when I was about 12 or 13. My instructor refused to advance my horse even though I knew the horse & knew he was ready for more. The only way I got it fixed was by changing instructors. Once I did that, my horse & I advanced very quickly
bthny158 is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 07-02-2007, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ontario
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making money

Some instructors will keep you doing the same thing so they can keep making money. There are many who wouldn't but there are women who come to our barn and they took lessons for three years and never went passed a jog. Talk to your instructor and decide form there
prettypalfrey is offline  

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