My plan - comments please? Long. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-21-2010, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,847
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My plan - comments please? Long.

Its long but I wanted to sort of out line my past and plan and hopefully get some comments or opinions on it all.

Today was my first riding lesson in about four years. I stopped riding regularly maybe 3 and a half years ago and I decided I wanted to get back into it, so I took a lesson. I am in so much pain, I didn't know how much horse riding could hurt.

It was interesting. I sort of have "big horse fear". A few months before I stopped riding I was riding someone elses horse, a 17.2hh OTTB and it threw me, I hurt my ankle and was on crutches for a few weeks. That really shook me up because I have never seriously hurt myself when I have fallen. A few months later I was riding my last horse, a 16.3hh Clydie/TB and we were cooling down from a session on a long rein and she just went a bit crazy. Started full out bucking, threw me after a few and I landed on my head, then she kept bolting around bucking, ripping the bridle up. I don't know what happened, it was so out of character for that horse that I figured maybe something stung her, she never did anything like that again. I was so dazed and dizzy when I came off I didn't get back on for about a week, and those two incidents combined sort of made me lose my nerve.

I sold the horse when I left home and moved away (went through a teenage stage) and since then I have ridden a few times, but only smallish horses.

So I thought I would have a nice lesson, and for some reason I thought that all school horses were kind of small and nice. I was wrong. They brought me to this 17.2hh Warmblood dressage/vaulting horse with the hugest strides ever. He was taller than me.

I thought I would do worse and that the instructor would tell me I sucked, but I was pleasently suprised. She said my position needs no work and I have excellent heels. She said I did well on this horse who gives many people trouble with canter transitions because you have to hold him together and be clear with aides, but I got him first go. I also faced my big horse fear - I wouldn't buy anything over 16hh but I feel better about the giants.

This muscle on the outside of my ankle hurts like hell. And I know exactly where my seat bones are because I feel them everytime I sit down.

As good as it was to have a lesson it got my thinking. To me lessons have been tools to help train me and my horse for a goal but I don't have that anymore. My riding is good enough for general riding and low level jumping/dressage. It was fun to ride but I felt like there was nothing much to achieve. Like we worked on yielding of the leg and extensions but I don't know if its worth forking out $50 for a private lesson if I am not really accomplishing much.

So I am thinking of getting a horse of my own again. I can just afford it, and have a few grand in savings that I was going to use for travel, which I can get set up with rugs and such, and I kept my saddle.

There is this association where I live that rehomes Standardbreds. You put in your application and then where there is a suitable horse in your area they notify you and you can go check it out. If you like it they give it to you on a 12 month lease. If at any time you feel that the horse you have isn't right for you or something you can give it back with some notice. If after 12 months (and two vet checks) you like the horse and want to keep if you send the association $40 and they transfer the horse into your name.

They're generally unbroken to saddle but broken to harness. I started my clydie/TB alone so I think I should be able to do it. Also, I'd keep it at the place where I took lessons, they also have horse trainers there so if I needed a hand I could get some help. They have a round yard, indoor arena, jump arena and cross country course. The shared paddock option costs more than I wanted to pay per week but I think it is worth it for the facilities - once the horse is broken and basically trained I could move it elsewhere or into their larger paddocks. They also have some people from the uni I attend, so maybe I could make some new friends.

I only want a horse for pleasure riding, maybe adult riding club, the occasional unofficial competition in something, but at the same time I like a challenge. I don't like "perfect" horses, I like having something to work at. I've heard Standardbreds have wonderful temperments, and although they can be a little trickier to retrain many of them seem to come good. I also like the idea of helping a horse that is in a bad situation. I know many people like TBs more, and I have had one before but I don't want one at this stage in my life.

I know its long, but I just wanted to talk about the situation - I have no horsey friends and my family is not into horses so I just wanted to write my plan down and maybe get some comments, opinions?

Thanks for reading!
Saskia is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-21-2010, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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First of all I am going to say - reading your post was like reading an excerpt of my own life. I have just recently gone through nearly the exact same thing. I'm going to tell you my story and hopefully you can draw some conclusions out of it. :)

When I was 14 my parents bought me my first horse. An 8 year old OTTB that I had been taking lessons on. At the time, I loved him. He was so calm and such a good boy. About 3 months after we bought him, I was riding him in our outdoor and out of nowhere he bolted and ran full gallop around our outdoor completely out of control. I stayed on for about 10 laps and then I fell off. I assumed he had been stung/bit by something.

A few months later he started bucking, we assumed it was because he wasn't getting as much turn out as usual and so we started lunging him before riding. He bucked me off a few times throughout the next few months, and gradually I become more and more scared to ride him. In January 2005 we moved him to a new barn - a really big, really nice barn. The only problem with it was that they didn't have any fields, just individual paddocks. So, of course, we planned to continue to lunge him before any riding. On the morning of what was supposed to be my very first lesson on him since we moved him, I woke up with a terrible feeling in my stomach. I told my mom I didn't want to ride and she called my coach. My coach agreed that she would ride him, but my mom wanted me to go watch at least, so we went. My coach tacked him up, lunged him, and hopped on. He was being very good, but suddenly he bucked. She fell off and broke her collarbone. From that point on I couldn't ride him any more than walk/trot for about 10 minutes and it was like pulling teeth just to get me to go there. I had completely lost confidence.

We gave that horse away and I decided to try riding at a more casual/fun barn. I rode there for around a year, and I was fine with riding the school horses but if I was ever put on a hot horse, I would simply sit on it. Couldn't bring myself to do anything.

Finally I realized that I was learning nothing at this barn. My first barn had been a very strict dressage barn, this one was a very casual eventing barn with TONS of little kids running around all the time - they were more a "family fun" type of place than a serious lesson barn. So, I decided to go back to my first barn. I rode there for maybe a year or so, and again I was fine most of the time, but if a horse was acting up or a little hot I would completely just melt down.

In Spring 2007, I had to stop riding. I was in Grade 10 and needed to keep up with my work, I had a job, my parents no longer wanted to pay for my lessons and if I wanted to pay for them I'd have to work way more which wouldn't leave me any time to actually ride. I ended up spending two years without sitting on a horse. To this day, I still have no idea how all that time passed. Suddenly I just realized, "Wow, it's been two years." I immediately started looking for leases and horses to ride. I jumped around between horses to lease but they never worked out - one was sold, one was moved, another one was going to be listed for sale. But at least I was around horses, and enjoying myself around them.

During that two years where I didn't ride, I grew up. Now I look back and say "Why couldn't I have just helped him work through his problems?" Even though I know that then, I just could not do it. I was terrified.

Now, just a few weeks ago I bought my first horse since. A 3 year old OTTB. But you know what? I am passed being scared. I know now that I can be confident in myself as a rider/handler because I have so many years of experience. I still get a little worried if anything starts to go wrong, but now I take a deep breathe and I think to myself, "what is actually going on here?" and I realize that, my horse is not acting up to hurt me - he's upset at mosquitoes (true story, my horse is such a wuss when it comes to bugs), or he doesn't want to leave his herd behind - but I am willing to work on it, instead of just retreating because I am scared.

I hope my rambling along has given you something, if not just a good story for a few minutes.
Carleen is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 07-21-2010, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: GA
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[quote]This muscle on the outside of my ankle hurts like hell. And I know exactly where my seat bones are because I feel them everytime I sit down. [quote]

^^i know this feeling all to well. i started back like a month ago after taking a break for about a year, i was in so much pain! my back, my ankles, my butt, lol..everything hurt and i was getting so winded, i am out of shape : / lol.
good luck though : )
Regan7312 is offline  

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