New to lessons - any tips? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Red face New to lessons - any tips?

Okay, so, I've always been in love with horses when I was little, and I went to a few camps where we mostly did western trail rides where the horses just did everything themselves....
Anyway! I always wanted to do English riding so I could jump eventually (haha) but riding was always too far away/expensive
So yeah,I'm 17 now and finally started riding lessons!! Yay!!
My first lesson I rode a quarter horses, and did some trotting/posting. I was wearing really crappy h&m boots and I felt like I had no balance at all. I had ordered some paddock boots but they arrived after my lesson. Lame.
My second lesson was canceled due to rain/traffic.

I just started lessons kind of late in my teens and only had one lesson but I really love it and really want to get really good and I was just wondering if there's anything I should know about just starting out with English riding/lessons.

Thanks y'all!!
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 04:07 PM
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Relax and enjoy yourself. Your boots wouldn't necessarily effect your balance. Just takes time to get used to the rhythm and movement of what is beneath you. Sounds like you are doing fine. Make sure the balls of your feet are what is resting on the stirrup that will help balance.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 06:45 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Trotting will take a bit of practice - and even with the right boots you'll probably feel like you have no balance! With time though it will come. My tips would be, ask questions when you don't understand, don't be frustrated to take things slowly if you're learning them properly, and each lesson think of what the new things you learned or improved on were.
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Saskia is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 07:59 PM
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First off, welcome to the forum!
I'm glad to hear that you have started lessons. Perfect way to get into riding.

Your balance will come with time so just keep working at it. Also, don't be scared to ask questions if you become confused or frustrated during your lesson. That is one reason why the instructor is there! :)

I'm glad you are having fun! I just started lessons again after being away from horses for a few years. Definitely needed to find my balance too!

Keep us updated on your progress. We'd love to hear how your next lesson goes. :)
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 09:12 PM
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Welcome, and I just want to start by saying that you aren't the only late bloomer - I'm in the exact same boat as you! I've only been riding since this spring and I'm 18 :P

While I agree that your boots won't really affect your balance, I used to have cheap "fashion" leather boots that were literally smooth on the bottom and I had problems with my feet slipping in the stirrups when I would try to post. Proper paddock boots helped with that a lot.

It's normal to feel like you have no idea what you're doing at first, but you'll get used to the horse's movements the more you ride him. As others have said, make sure the ball of your foot is on the stirrup, and keep your heels down. One thing that I found immensely for me was when someone explained that you shouldn't keep your heels down with your ankles but rather let your weight sink into them. It'll help act as a shock absorber when the horse moves, so keep your ankles relaxed.

Your instructor will give you tons of tips as you go, but in general just relax your body, keep your back straight and your shoulders and chest open, ankles relaxed and make sure that you BREATHE. I still have trouble with that one, but it'll keep your core relaxed and flexible, which allows your seat to move freely of your upper body, and it'll also make you and your horse more relaxed and at ease.

Welcome to riding, and I'm glad I'm not the only hopeful jumper that's just started
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Alexandra V is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 07-28-2013, 04:25 AM
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Hey there fellow beginners! *waves*
I just started last month and I'm 29 xD So don't feel like you are late to the game or anything lol. We all have to start somewhere. :)

I'd say if you're not getting something right away or the horse is being a butt, just stop, take a few deep breaths to clear your thoughts and feel better and then try whatever you were trying again. It's always good to end things on a positive note for you and the horse. Don't expect to learn everything right away (personal experience here, lol). Stretch before your lessons, your legs and back will thank you. :)

I hope you have fun at your next lesson!
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-28-2013, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Powhatan, Virginia
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Surprisingly, your choice of footwear will affect you in ways. I CAN NOT ride in my Justin boots! I stick to barn chores when I wear them. The soles are smooth and flat, no grip or traction at all. If I ride in them, I can definitely feel the difference. Though things will come in time.

I've been riding for about 10 years and I've still got a LONG ways to go in my opinion. You never stop learning and that is the amazing thing. Way better compared to soccer or football, obviously :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-02-2013, 10:47 PM
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At least you've got your boots now!
Most important in my opinion when starting lessons is finding a trainer/instructor that suits you. They shouldn't rush you on anything, and should make sure you understand what you're doing and why you're doing it and how to do it correctly before moving on.
English riding is great so kudos to you for going English! Like the OPs said, relax and don't get discouraged. Everything you need to do simulTaneously can be really overwhelming at first. Eventually you will be riding one day and realize it has all come together- your heels are down, your legs are back, your sitting on your pockets, your thumbs are up and your horse's head is down- and you haven't even been thinking about it. Trust me, it will happen.
Good luck and have fun!
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-02-2013, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Enjoy your lesson and lots of practice!
Don't get discouraged if you feel you aren't getting it right away, it takes time.
I've been doing lessons regularly for almost a year now and trust me, every lesson I have I never feel that I am doing everything quite right.. but trust yourself it's rewarding when you do get the hang of it!
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-03-2013, 09:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
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Have fun and ask lots of questions. If you don't understand something ask, any instructor who loves what they do should be more then happy to answer any and all questions. The other thing is learn about the horse, learn the parts of the body, learn about how they work, how they think, how they see. Good horsemanship starts before you climb into the saddle, it is not just about getting on and riding. All this stuff is especially important if you ever plan on owning your own horse someday. Have fun and be safe.
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