Update: The Adventure Begins Friday! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-21-2012, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Update: The Adventure Begins Friday!

So for those who have followed my little trek through planning how exactly to go about getting back into horses after my (wistful sigh) 15 year total absence, the latest post was under the "Essays" section, I believe, and followed the "Male vs. Female Horseperson" (or something close to that!) thread begun by another poster...

My original intent was that, along with a steady diet of horse-related reading of all sorts, to get the mind into the proper frame & re-learn all I have lost since last riding/doing ANYTHING "horsey" waaay back at age 23, I intended to volunteer at one of the many local riding stables in order to reintroduce myself to those here in Tucson in the world of riding, and then after a few months of such, perhaps decide on a lease, or even only a half-lease.

Sadly, though going out to the stables allowed my husband and myself to meet some very lovely people, BO's and boarders alike, we've found BOs to be VERY HESITANT (understandably, in this backward day and age) to have anyone volunteer to do "hard labor" in exchange for letting me/us just "hang out" and get our feet wet (I am quite physically fit, as is my husband, and we are both more than capable of handling 8h/week or so of mucking stalls, cleaning barns, fixing fences, cleaning tack, WHATEVER! But, there is so much legally at risk with having "unknowns" @ your barn...even under the BOs watchful eye, one of us could get hurt and sue (we'd never sue anyone over such a thing, but even if put in writing, there us SO LITTLE TRUST between people today, again, I get it, it's just sad).

Then, there is risk that a boarder's horse could get injured and then we COULD be liable, simply for being present when the situation occurred. Thus, the volunteer option, for now, us a no-go...

Plan change = I began calling around, interviewing potential trainers to take me on as a student. I had some requirements. No nasty "screamers"...had that trainer for years as kid, and it mattered not how well I rode, there was simply no kindness, no compassion, just "I want results, you WILL DO ALL PERFECTLY, AND YOU WILL SHOW AND WIN!" Echh! NEVER AGAIN! Then, I had the trainer pretty early on with the school horses who were so tough (poor guys, they had such a rough job!) that I got to learn little compared to what I was expected to do to school them...I imagine they made me "horse competent" & I learned a lot about disciplining poor behavior and rewarding the "occasional" listening that they did do. Sadly, though, I was too young to fully grasp WHY the horses didn't listen well to me, my role in such, and it was NEVER EXPLAINED AT ALL to me, so I just assumed I was a terrible rider and not that I needed to adjust myself to prepare for their school horse type tricks to get out of working! By the time I was about 9 & started riding higher level horses with less "school habits", I was a pretty good little rider, but had NO IDEA WHY! This left a lot of insecurities for me to work through.

I digress, as have, as usual, rambled on and gotten off track. Anyhow, this afternoon, I found a woman whom I really "clicked" with! She gives a very few lessons to ensure she is doing it for the love of teaching and not to be an assembly line trainer. She is very experienced, owns a lovely boarding stable/ruding facility near my home, and gives lessons on her own four horses. They are NOT SCHOOL HORSES, so she expects both the rider and the horse to get the very most out of each lesson. She is not pricey, and times her lessons by the goal being achieved as was set at the start of each lesson, rather than the "50 minute hour" so many use! She says the lessons are rarely shorter than 90 minutes, not including tacking and untacking, bathing after if I want to bathe the horse, etc...

She has a lovely, sweet and calm disposition, and a great sense of humor. I can hardly wait! My husband will film my lessons so I can watch my progress as time goes on. I plan to take one lesson every ither week and the inbetween weeks, I am looking into volunteering with a facility that does not have riding as an option, but has a SET-UP VOLUNTEER PROGRAM working with kids with disabilities and being a side-walker, as well as grooming the horses and other barn activities. I think this plan will give me the best of both worlds as a START!

Thanks, guys, for listening. I'm giddy with excitement!! :0)
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-21-2012, 03:28 AM
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Well, that is just terrific. This sounds like a really ideal set up. I hope to hear how it's going, as the weeks progress.

Try not to think too much about how things were when you were riding at the age of 9 or 12 or such. you will find that you have changed a lot, and how people approach riding has changed, too. So , think of yourself maybe, as just a new rider. Lots of adults learn at your age. I basically started at 42. What riding I had done as a child really didn't bear much on relearning as a middle aged woman.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-21-2012, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I think you are totally right about not letting things from the past bog me down.

It's weird that I sort of did in the "rant part" above, since I usually DON'T. I think it is because I have done all this thinking about my youth lately in trying to see what the real catalyst was in my "leaving horses" in my 20's. I guess I thought that it wasn't the "place" for "someone like me". I've since found however (in large part, through lots of reading on this forum, in fact!) how many AWESOME experiences people have had growing up with/ON horses, and it IS the place for someone like me, and lots of OTHER kinds of SOMEONES, ALSO!! ;0)

I think my situation of weird, uptight, "command yelling" (even when all was going perfectly well!) instructors, who were very possibly ONLY in it for the money was somehow related to the sort of instructors I had chosen for me by my mom (unknowingly, of course!).

Likely, since mom and I didn't have much money and since she wasn't a horseperson at all (though did want to try and do the best for MY horse-love by putting me into lessons!), but didn't have any idea WHAT to look for in an instructor, she ended up putting me with instructors (again, unknowingly) that were probably less pricey than others and in THESE CASES, were cut-rate in certain areas.

And perhaps, that is why, when I did enter schooling shows, they wanted me to look good for THEM, not ME. Or rather, as a "result of them" only, to get them more clients, and win any class I entered, as they were probably paying part of any associated fees, possibly so that they would be able to later say "I can get your kid to win, come, take lessons from me." I know that is the goal MANY trainers have, of course! It was just the WAY these folks went about it that was no good, IMO.

I shouldn't speculate because I don't know and never will...Everyone has to eat, right? But IMO, (and exactly what I teach ALL the new nurses I help to orient) one should NOT be in a job dealing DIRECTLY with animals, children, or the physically/emotionally ill if the ONLY reason they entered the field was for the money! All of the above jobs/careers are MUCH to simultansously important and emotionally taxing to make any amount of money earned take away the stressors if you don't LOVE the job on some level!
Anyway, that is all in the past, and I AM looking at this through adult eyes, and feel that I have picked a really awesome, kind, and knowledgable individual to help me begin. I like your approach, Tiny, of having me think of myself as a new rider, because, basically, I AM!!

Thanks again. :0)

"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-21-2012, 05:25 PM
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That sounds like a really good deal! I hope you have fun and learn a lot from your new instructor. Update and tell us how your first lesson with her goes when you have it, if you don't mind!
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-21-2012, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-21-2012, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Cinder (& Tiny)!!

I'll definitely fill y'all in, and I totally appreciate the positive, supportive words!!

-Tammy :0)
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