Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hatton Vale, QLD, Australia
I just want to say firstly that I am very proud of you for realising your limitations and starting to work within them even if it is a little down the track. It takes a big person to admit where they have gone wrong and an even bigger one to admit it to the masses. Well done :)
This is a subject very dear to me and one that I believe in to the upmost degree. I have a green rider/green horse story of my own.
I give private riding lessons and a lady emailed me one day asking for help with her green rider husband and their green broke horse. Husband had been riding exactly 14 weeks and had previously had 4 lessons. The horse had been broken exactly 17 weeks and had had only 30 rides when they bought him. The seller told them that while the horse was green he was super quiet and would be fine for them. By the time they emailed me he had been thrown 3 times in 4 days and suffered quite serious injuries on the third fall. The horse would buck and carry on for this guy until he came off.
I went out to see them and rode the horse and while he was typically green he was not at all dangerous. I was kinda stumped as to why this horse was doing what he was to his owner. So, I suggested he come and have a lesson on one of my reliable horses. As I had already suspected it was a case of green horse/green rider.
So we had a lesson on one of my horses and it was so clear the problem was all his. His seat, his hands and his understanding of leg aids and commands were working directly against him and his horse.
Sadly, a lot of damage had already been done because of the situation however with me working with both horse and rider they are now starting to come along well. But its taken time and it will take a lot more time before both horse and rider are fully comfortable with each other and no longer need constant supervision just to have a ride. This man has not been able to ride his horse without me present for a few months. Not through my own doing as at one point I suggested that he start doing light work with him even when im not there but his confidence was shattered and has needed the comfort of my presence to ride.
After that whole story my point is that the damage that can be done to both horse and rider in this situation is massive and to some degree, life long. There will forever be a part of both horse and rider that experienced what they did and no matter how far they go together, both of them will always remember the series of events that were less than fantastic. This signifies the importance of matching horse to rider. If not, both the horse and rider can suffer through incidences that they never should have.
These days my student and the horse can have a full lesson without an ambulance being called but still every time there is much to work on with both horse and rider and as a instructor that has been giving lessons for around 9 years now I have learnt to know the issues that keep arising from such a combination. Its hard, fraught with problems and a headache for everyone involved. I suggested way back in the beginning that they sell him and buy a more suitable horse but to them that wasnt an option so I had to work with what I had. Big challenge that shouldnt have been imposed on horse, rider and instructor but you gotta work with what you got. Just makes it harder on everyone involved
After all that my biggest point is that a horse MUST suit its rider whether you are a green rider or a seasoned rider. I have been riding and working with horses for 28 years now and I still come across horses that I just don't mesh well with it. Its not ALWAYS about experience but when you lack experience you need to make sure you horse is the exact opposite of you. You my dear, have done a wonderful job and, as I said earlier you have made the distinction between green horse/green rider and sought out help and there is no praising that can show just how important this decision is that you have made.
Once again, well done and I wish you all the best for your 2010 show season ;)
"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"