Opinions needed for beginner

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Opinions needed for beginner

This is a discussion on Opinions needed for beginner within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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    10-14-2009, 09:29 AM
Opinions needed for beginner

Been riding on the flat for 8 months with a relatively greenish horse (I know what was I thinking), yesterday did our first crossrail lesson. Horse is relatively steady to the jumps although steering has always been an issue for him. Anyway, I expected to do one crossrail, get comfortable with it, then add another, etc. My horse will jump the smallest crossrail, never just steps over them.
We wound up having to do two crossrails in one line. He wanted to canter between the two jumps. It was really unnerving to have to think all this through on the first jumping lesson. I would have thought you would start with one crossrail and even then maybe add another one on the other side of the ring on the other line with some "organizing/thinking" time inbetween. Needless to say the second jump was never pretty and staying on was my primary goal. Any thoughts?
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    10-14-2009, 09:56 AM
Wow, this make take some time to pull these memories from the cobwebs (yes, I am that OLD!) but I think I can I remember my first few jumping lessons. I was an extremely confident rider, but who isn't at 10 yrs old?! I started jumping cross rails after only a month or two of lessons on the flat, so it may be slightly different. My trainer started us over ground poles to be sure that our seat was secure. Then, she moved us up to half a cross rail (one rail with one end in the jump cup, the other end on the ground). Once we were secure with that, then she added the second rail to make an actual cross-rail. Everything was done in steps, never moving on until we were secure and confident with our current step. If you're uncomfortable doing what she asks, talk to her and tell her you would prefer to focus on jumping one cross-rail at a time. The last thing in the world you want is to develop unhealthy nerves or fears while you're on your horse. Go with what you're comfortable with! That being said, its always good when a trainer can push you out of your comfort zone, but not to the point that you are overly concerned about falling off.
    10-14-2009, 10:05 AM
Thanks for the advice. I had intended to have a conversation with my trainer and I truly felt out of my comfort zone and could not understand why you would ask more of someone than what they were ready for. I am 52, not terribly brave at this age, and ride a 16.2 horse that is also new at jumping. Unfortunately there aren't any schooling horses to ride that would help as this is a training facility and they have alot of greenies. I just couldn't understand the point of doing two crossrails in a row. I have been doing poles on my own for some time and am confident at the WTC without supervision. Thanks for your response. I felt like I was making a big deal out of nothing, but if it scares the daylights out of you cause you feel out of control - maybe something needed to change.
    10-14-2009, 10:10 AM
Oh!!!! I'm sorry, I tend to tailor my advice assuming that posters are kids/teenagers!! I am a returning rider who hasn't been on a horse in 10 years. Most trainers are not used to working with adult beginners. As an adult, I have NO problem speaking up and telling my trainer that I am not comfortable with something and would prefer to scale it back. I'm an adult and am perfectly able to decide how I want to be trained and what I am comfortable with. If I'm paying someone to instruct me, I should have a say in what we are working on and focusing on. I'd recommend having a talk with her and explaining that you are learning for fun (I'm assuming you probably don't intend to train towards a show career? ;) ) and see no need in pushing yourself into something that you're not comfortable with and not having fun doing.
    10-14-2009, 11:04 AM
That makes perfect sense to me. At this age my biggest concern is staying ON the horse as coming off isn't really a great option. When my daughter was young she would get dumped repeatedly on stubborn green ponies and get right back on. At this age, I don't bounce on the ground so well and need to be able to work everyday to afford this horse. I will have a talk with the trainer and see if we can take baby steps. We did with the flatwork because of my lack of confidence at this age. The desire to ride for me is strictly for pleasure. I just didn't know if there was a logical reason for moving things along quicker than I envisioned. Thanks
    10-14-2009, 11:35 AM
I completely understand where you're coming from and am on the same page with you! There's a bit of a different mentality when you're older and riding for fun. A lot of trainers have a program that they're accustomed to using with children who want to learn to do it all RIGHT NOW! Trainers just need to be reminded once in a while that we have different priorities (i.e. Not getting hurt as opposed to winning ribbons!)
    10-14-2009, 07:43 PM
I hear you on the issue of gravity and 16.2 horses. I'm 42 and have nowhere near the bounce I used to have. Safe and slow is just better at this point. We can still have plenty of fun!
    10-15-2009, 09:24 AM
My solution was to buy a 30 yr old drafty. He can't jump and can't go fast no matter what any instructor would like me to do!! Problem solved! LOL!
    10-16-2009, 10:37 AM
VERY good point! I never understood the need for me to have a horse that large, we have no plans of showing. Add green to that, a beginner rider, and we have had what I like to refer to as "an interesting" relationship. Luckily he is a very sweet and forgiving horse who seems to keep in mind that I am 52 and inexperienced, but does give me challenges to keep me learning and certainly not bored. I'm convinced these animals come into our lives to teach us something - why else would I have been advised to buy a huge, green horse for a beginner rider? He has a job to do - I just hope I live through it!
    10-21-2009, 10:37 PM
I am glad to see more adult riders enjoying training hunter/jumper. I am also an adult rider 39 and bought a green ott thourgbred.It has taken us a couple of years to perfect our flat work. Even though it doesnt always stay consistant. We are now jumping 2'6. I definety wanted to start off low and slow. I need to stay in the saddle and not break anything since I own and work in my salon doing hair. So, I totally see your point of getting pushed and not feeling comfortable. Let your trainer know its not that important to push you, it will come in time!!! Good luck and happy riding!

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