The self-taught rider going for lessons - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By nikelodeon79
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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The self-taught rider going for lessons

I'm almost 30, and I've been around horses since I was born. My dad taught himself and plopped me on a horse with the instructions "kick means go, pull means stop" and everything else I've picked up by accident, experience, or reading about it somewhere.

I started taking lessons for the first time late this past summer, and while I knew I had a lot to learn it's been really interesting finding out all the stuff I DON'T know. Apparently, I hold my legs totally wrong (too far forward with my toes practically straight out to the sides ) and I lean forward too much. In just a few months of lessons I can really feel my balance changing and it's getting a lot easier to hold myself in the 'correct' position, and it's finally starting to feel natural instead of off-balance but I know I have a looooong way to go.

I'm having a blast and even after the rougher lessons where it just felt like nothing went right, and my legs feel like bowlegged jell-o, I hope I can keep going with them for a long time.

Just wondering about the experiences of other self-taught riders who've taken lessons have gone - did you enjoy it or was it just frustrating?

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: west palm beach, fl
Posts: 1,724
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I have a student right ow who taught herself for a yr before she started taking lessons with me 3 months ago. Shes got a big ottb, who she brought back from being a wormy underweight mess. all this student used to want to do is run, so she bought a fast horse. realized her horse was becoming a nut job, and now is learning how to do hunter work with her. Her most frustrating part is keeping her heels down and i line with her body. she bounces all over cause she braces for her mares *HUGE* movements, so posting is the hardest part for her. also getting her horse to relax after being pushed for so long.

she says she enjoys her lessons, but more than once shes had to get off and collect herself out of frustration. its all part of the learning process, but at the end of a good lesson, theres nothing better than seeing a hay horse and rider connect :)
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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I took lessons a couple of summers ago after riding for 2-3 years without them. The instructor was big on teaching how our balance and cues affects the horse's balance and understanding. They were great lessons. Money permitting, I'd like to take lessons again this spring.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 12:01 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: AZ
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I rode on my own for about 10 years or so (Western)-then I took some English lessons, which included some dressage, & cross country also. Since I had arthritis by then getting the ankles flexed was my hardest thing. But I went on & did a bit of showing, then had some Saddleseat lessons prior to showing in that discipline. Then back to "just" trail riding, but using what I've learned over the years. I also have always read all the horse/riding books I can get my hands on & have gone to some clinics-audit only-didn't bring a horse.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 12:09 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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I'm a self-taught rider, but I haven't had the chance to take lessons yet. I have had the chance to ride with a couple of different trainers (good friends of of them put the first four rides on Aires for me) and they both liked what they saw. I'm in the process of trying to find affordable English/jumping lessons in my area that have horses I can use (since Aires is too young to jump), but it's proving difficult in this predominantly Western area.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Range, WI
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I've been riding for over 20 years and am just now taking lessons. I've had much the same experience as you: difficult, but rewarding. I think correcting bad habits can be more difficult than learning new things!
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 12:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 2,808
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I never had lessons when I was younger. I used to spend 10 hours a day taking out trail rides and thought I was a pretty good rider. Now that I am in my 40's and about 4 years back into horses I realize my riding wasn't as good as I thought. I had great balance but when I took some lesson I learned a ton. I never knew about leg cues or anything. I hope to take some more lessons this spring.
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