Learning about horses...*rant* - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Location: South Africa
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Unhappy Learning about horses...*rant*

*sigh* So, I am ever so slightly frustrated, and I know it's my fault, but still.

Having a horse has been my dream since I "rode" a little carnival pony on a lunge line when I was 3 or something, but I couldn't really start riding until I was 17. It's been on and off for the past 1.5 years because we travel a LOT. However, my high school has agreed to let me ride for a health credit (celebrate!) instead of taking a health class so I've been riding three times a week pretty consistently for the past two months.

So, here is my problem. I'm not in this for the shows, because there's nothing good on TV, or because it's a phase. A sixteen-year-long dream (and counting) is not a phase. I want to learn everything I can about horses, and I think learning hands-on is much more effective than learning from books. But for some reason, we don't cover all this in the lessons. I can saddle a horse and do some basic grooming (curry comb, soft brush, hoof pick) but all that I had to figure out on my own or ask some of the workers. I LOOKED UP how to clean hooves on the internet, and I'm still not sure if I'm doing it right.Don't get me wrong, my instructor is amazing and I love her, and she's helped me so much with everything, especially with my confidence in the saddle (I started out slightly afraid of horses lol). But I am not by any means a bold or even remotely "hey, let's ask questions" kind of person, and if I don't ask for help, I'm not going to get it.

This is turning into rambling, sorry. What I'm trying to say is that I often feel as though I can't approach my instructor about all this, and the people I take lessons with either don't know either or are too busy with their own stuff. The gist of it is that ideally I'd like to spend a few hours a week just learning the basics of horse care, largely because I'd like to have my own someday and be at least slightly prepared for it. I adore these animals and I love just being with them almost more than riding. In fact if I were given a choice and could only choose one, I'd go with just being with them and taking care of them.

Not sure if I'm asking for help or what, maybe I just needed to rant or something. How do I do this?? Should I just suck it up and talk to her about it or stock up on books? GAH.

Thanks if you read all that haha.

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom." Helen Thompson
africanstardust is offline  
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: In a land far far away, or so I wish.
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Simply explain to your instructor that you want to learn all avenues of horsemanship, including all the stuff most people find boring (horse care).

I would guess your instructor is used to teaching people who want to ride, not people who want to absorb everything horse.

Ask about setting up a lesson time where you do not ride. Where you learn other stuff (anatomy, grooming, lunging, feeding, stall cleaning, etc).

If you like to read I highly recommend the US Pony Club manuals. Lots of great information in there. You can buy them on Amazon (I assume Amazon ships to South Africa).
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 08:27 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Carolina
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I agree with Alwaysbehind. I'm sure your instructor won't mind helping you. Just ask.

I'd also continue with the reading and there are lots of videos on youtube that can help also.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Location: South Africa
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True, I didn't think of that, Always...would explain why she never even offers to teach us things other than riding. I'm thinking I might ask if I can work at the barn one day a week w/out pay, just to gain the experience. She works full time at a day job, so she isn't really there other than lesson times and weekends, but if I go work on a Saturday she might be okay with it.

Thanks, I'll definitely check out those books! And yes lol, youtube is already my go-to for these things...until yt I had no clue what the difference between a curry comb and a body brush was.

Also, Always, I love your avatar. At first I wasn't looking closely and didn't see the words, but that just made my day :P

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom." Helen Thompson
africanstardust is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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In most yards you dont learn about the practical cause people just dont want to.
I suggest asking your instructer for time just in the yard helping and go from there.

Also forums like this contain lots of information that people have hands on experience with.

To give a horse your heart guarantees a love that will last forever undamageable
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 09:30 AM
Green Broke
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First, I commend you for wanting to learn all the ins-and-outs of horse care, as opposed to just riding. Most new riders aren't like that. -applause- I agree with the others. Just tell her. If she's like me, she'll be thrilled that you realize the importance of basic horse care.
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 10:57 AM
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You need to ask questions to get answers. People are always willing to help others, if you just ask then you'll learn a lot
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 11:11 AM
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Location: Western US
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If they'll allow it, maybe you can exchange some work in the stables for some of your lessons. You learn a LOT, and very quickly, when you actually have to do it
Another option, if you have one available near you, is to search for a horse rescue. They are often looking for volunteers and will help teach you everything you need to know while giving you hands-on experience.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MN
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As everyone else has said, there are many people who go through "horsey-phases" who don't really care or ever have any intention of keeping this up (or who learn that its not something they're really that interested in), so a lot of beginners do get over-looked, in my opinion. Although, in some cases I think they get too bombarded and overwhelmed as well.

Most instructors or horse lovers in general are THRILLED at the opportunity to get to pass on their knowledge to someone who is genuinely interested, but it does get old, "preaching to the choir." For all the hours we log in the saddle, significantly more are spent taking care of our horses and you'd be surprised how many people don't realize that, so good for you for wanting to learn.

I would just talk to her about it. Tell her this is something you are seriously interested in and something you want to continue. I think volunteering to work without pay will certainly help show her that.
soileddove is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 09-09-2010, 07:28 PM
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africanstardust, you sound just like me when I was younger. I spent a lot of my spare time reading about horses and I couldn't understand why the other kids I rode with didn't. I wanted to go to Pony Club because they do teach horse care there but it was too expensive for us.
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