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More lesson woes - trotting

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        10-22-2013, 08:46 PM
      #21
    Started
    You described PERFECTLY the feeling I had when I took "adult" tap dancing lessons!!! It was horrible beyond belief, and I even did a recital!!

    The riding always came easy for me, so I can only relate how you feel to the dancing..... I am empathetic, certainly.

    I agree with bsms...learn 2 point, because you can ALWAYS use it!

    Nancy
         
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        10-22-2013, 09:24 PM
      #22
    Green Broke
    Bsms, I certainly have. When posting you are propelled by the horse's natural motion. The effort that it takes to lift yourself out of the saddle ("stand" as you put it) is practically zero.

    The core muscles required to hold yourself in a two point for an extended period of time is considerably more. You must also already know how to sink into your heels, around the horse--something it doesn't sound as though OP has quite mastered.
         
        10-22-2013, 10:02 PM
      #23
    Foal
    Honestly, sometimes I think people should be forced to fall off in the first few lessons, just to see that it isn't that bad. Honestly, falling off for the first time dispelled most of my fears...

    I do think western is a bit easier for beginners, just because of the saddle. However (and correct me if I'm wrong) you don't post in western, which would make the trot harder to sit.
    LilacsBloom likes this.
         
        10-22-2013, 10:26 PM
      #24
    Green Broke
    I think you might find your biggest problem is mentally; rather than physically. I know that you mentioned the horse is bigger than you have previously been riding and it sounds to me like you are very hard on yourself. Being firm with yourself and being hard on yourself are two very different things. Relax and have fun; you're learning. Learning is supposed to be an enjoyable and enlightening experience and you ARE allowed to make mistakes, you WILL have bad moments. We all do, no matter how long we have been riding for. People who jump 1.40m courses still knock rails, they still have coaches and of course still make mistakes. But hey, it looks like they have a tonne of fun doing it. So just breathe, you'll be amazed how much more comfortable you are when you are just enjoying yourself and going with the horses movement. Here is a though for you; why do little kids (in most cases) pick up riding so easily? Because they aren't afraid. They don't worry about how they look on the horse or about how big the horse is; they just ride. Now, being older you are obviously wiser than that and do think about these things. However, try to keep it to a minimal.

    Also, for the feeling humiliated. You are only learning. I am sure your trainer has seen riders who are downright unwilling to learn; they should be the ones feeling that way. Not the rider who is willing to learn, yes, with some bumps along the way. But you are doing the best that you can and taking your coaches advice and experience seriously. Along with doing some extra research. So many coaches would *die* to have students like you!!

    I think maybe even having a lesson on a lunge line would help; that way you can focus on what you are doing without the steering/encouraging the horse to go forward/etc stuff. It sounds like you are on a very tolerant horse though - so that is always a bonus. Are you able to go have a ride on that smaller horse you were previously learning on and ask your instructor to see what you are doing differently to make that 'work' better than on the larger horse?
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        10-23-2013, 01:05 AM
      #25
    Foal
    Thanks for all the tips, videos, and exercise suggestions. I'm trying to take it all in. : ) I do want to clarify that I'm old enough that I'm not ashamed to look silly while I'm trying something new -- I mostly just don't want to fall off! ; ).

    I can't get back to see all the posts as I type, but to the poster who said I just need to laugh, I did....16 years ago when I was on a trail ride at a camp, with the horses running for home and me thinking it was hysterical as I bounced around and said that I wasn't sure I could stay on. Lol I thought it was fun! I don't know what happened, time changes things I guess. I'm older now. My body isn't as strong or as flexible as it us to be. I don't have the confidence that I can tumble off and just hop right up. It's different, and THAT has taken me completely by surprise. This fear is totally unexpected, and a huge pain in the fanny. Scared was the last thing I expected to feel when I decided to take lessons.

    But that is ok. I feel like there are a lot of life lessons for me in this, even if I don't understand what they are yet.

    And to the poster who said trotting won't kill me....part of the problem is that I'm not quite convinced of that yet! ; ) (but seriously, I'm not)
    MiniMom24 likes this.
         
        10-23-2013, 01:07 AM
      #26
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wtwg    
    Honestly, sometimes I think people should be forced to fall off in the first few lessons, just to see that it isn't that bad. Honestly, falling off for the first time dispelled most of my fears...
    I actually think you might be onto something.
         
        10-23-2013, 01:11 AM
      #27
    Super Moderator
    It's a different world regarding falling when you are middle aged, verses youth. AT 55, I am very , very aware that falling will be bad for me. However, I fell, again, just a few months ago, from a 17 hand horse onto the hard packed earth.
    It didn't kill me. Didn't even break a bone. Just scared me, which has lasted for months. But, even fear cannot last forever, if you keep moving!
    Clava, bsms and greentree like this.
         
        10-23-2013, 02:29 AM
      #28
    Foal
    Your fear of falling off isn't helped at all by dwelling on it and it can, in many ways, inhibit yourself from enjoying the ride + learning from it in a positive way. You're so focused on the "what if --" scenario, in the back of your mind if nothing else, that you tense up and do more poorly than you would be if you relaxed.

    Riding horses comes with the inherit risk of biting the dust. It doesn't matter if you're riding the most bomb-proofed horse on the calmest day - the risk is still there every time your foot hits the stirrup. It's a risk you've accepted, in every one of your lessons, despite (or perhaps in spite of) your current age. If it helps, sit, breathe and tell yourself that "nothing bad will happen" for a little bit before each lesson. Learn to fully embrace it, because hiding behind the fear of falling only inhibits you. One, from fully enjoying and wringing the experience out of each lesson, and two, from relaxing on your mount and loosening your muscles (which helps you ride better as it is.) Breathe deeply while you ride and don't be afraid to ask for a walking break if you feel like you're getting nervous. They can't force you to trot forever (as much as the sadistic little instructors might like to be able to ;) and on your walk break, breathe some more. Singing does help. A lot.

    I might be 19 and telling you this, but when I first fell off of my lease horse I was scared out of my wits to canter him. I almost couldn't get back on him after I was cleared for take off.. I was jittery and in the 5 minutes it took me to come down/be tested I had developed a deep fear and insecurity in myself. I kept thinking to myself that riding wasn't for me, I was inadequate, stupid, all sorts of derogatory stuff, I told myself and resolved that I would quit riding right then and there, untack the horse and go home, never to be seen again. I was a bit over dramatic, but when adrenaline hits me I lose all coherency and I start crying - so whenever I get deeply frightened, angered, or upset, I just cry and beat myself up. (No one said I was perfect.)

    It took three months of riding with the "what if I fall" mentality before I was out riding on my own one day, walk/trot (thinking "I'll probably hit the ground, so I shouldn't go any faster than this.) It took the horse spooking, taking off at a full gallop, me losing one stirrup and flopping over on his neck, barreling through two 2-acre arenas and into the grooming area before I learned that thinking "what-if" wouldn't save my hide and that I had to think and act rather than shut down in fear. There was nothing in that field to spook at, and I do firmly believe that being a nervous ninny up on his back fed into the gallop he gave me; I wasn't a strong leader, I was scared of something, and he couldn't find it. So he went into flight mode. I never thought "what-if" before or during a ride again. So don't you get into the habit either. :)
    tinyliny and LilacsBloom like this.
         
        10-23-2013, 03:54 AM
      #29
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    It's a different world regarding falling when you are middle aged, verses youth. AT 55, I am very , very aware that falling will be bad for me. However, I fell, again, just a few months ago, from a 17 hand horse onto the hard packed earth.
    It didn't kill me. Didn't even break a bone. Just scared me, which has lasted for months. But, even fear cannot last forever, if you keep moving!

    Totally agree, I know falling off is going to leave me far stiffer than it would have when I was younger, everything seems to hurt more when you get older. However, you do need to trust that you wont fall off just trotting and I usually teach someone to ride by running with them until they get the rhythm and can do it alone or on the lunge, you need your balance free from your hands on a good schoolmaster to gain confidence that it is all possible and good.

    My young friend who started riding a couple of years ago fell off my rather naughty 11.1 pony about 6 times in one session, but she was amazing and just jumped back on again even more determined to get the better of him. Fortunately it isn't far to the ground from such a tiny pony.
         
        10-23-2013, 08:23 AM
      #30
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wtwg    
    Honestly, sometimes I think people should be forced to fall off in the first few lessons, just to see that it isn't that bad. Honestly, falling off for the first time dispelled most of my fears...

    I do think western is a bit easier for beginners, just because of the saddle. However (and correct me if I'm wrong) you don't post in western, which would make the trot harder to sit.
    Haha, it definitely wasn't planned, but I bit the dust on my last lesson! Lesson # 2 after restarting lessons. I brushed myself off, and was back in the saddle to finish up the lesson.

    I'm in my 20s, but I was still a little sore the next morning. Nothing that will stop me during next week's lesson!
         

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