Getting back into riding?
I have two questions about getting back into riding...
1. I used to ride when I was younger. I used to do trail rides and a family friend would give me lessons on their horse. The most advanced thing I remember doing was short caveletti jumps. However, I don't think I can remember how to ride! :lol: I'm going to assume it's best for me to start right at the beginning again. Am I correct?
2. I'm rather unfit. I can easily walk for a few kilometres (about a mile) easily, but walking longer than that would be a workout, not leisurely for me. I also assume that it would be best for me to get a bit fitter before I start riding?
The short answers are "yes" and "yes."
I would get the opinion on whether you are fit enough to ride from someone who is actually with you. Perhaps someone who will be loaning or renting a horse to you? You may be better able to handle riding and benefit from it than you think.
Looking around, most places offer an assessment session to see what level you're on, so it seems like I will not have to worry about that.
I can't schedule in anything until I get my university timetable next month, so I have at least a month before I can start lessons. I think I'll use that time to get as fit as I can. :)
When choosing a riding school, is there any things I should look out for? I'm guessing I should see healthy horses, not too dirty, knowledgeable instructors etc?
I rode as a kid, had no lessons but trail rode mostly by myself into late teens, then got married, life and when I was 45 I got my mare who was 3yrs. with 30 days of riding......I took my time with her, working in the round pen, learning to trust her and her trust me........now almost 8yrs. later we ride all over on trail rides with friends! I don't think I was that great in shape when I got back into riding but it sure helped me by riding and working with horses to get back into better shape....
Honestly if you start out at beginner level, you will be sore and may get a little tired but its going to depend on what you work on. If you're working on position and a lot of walkin work your fitness level won't be tested as if you're were working on posting trot or two point.
More fitness never hurts though.
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2. I'm horribly out of shape and overweight and I was determined to ride this year on my horse. I hadn't ridden consistently for years. I got a trainer to come to me. We took it VERY slow, at my pace. I didn't want to overdo it and end up all cramped from using muscles that I hadn't used in years.
If you get lessons, see if they will ease you into it and work up to the half hour lesson or the hour lesson.
At home you can "chair ride" to get you started with muscle build up. Take an armless chair and straddle it as you would a horse, ensuring you're sitting on it backwards (i.e. you are facing the back of the chair). Grip the chair with your knees, post on it, grip with your calves, shift back and forth, pretend you're riding.
If you have one of those huge exercise balls, you can do the same thing. The chair won't buck you off but the ball will! You'll develop your sense of balance again.
Go for long walks to build up your leg muscles and your wind. Intersperse sprints along the way. Add light weights (about 2 lbs) and carry them, pumping your arms as you walk. If you dont' have weights, fill two soda pop bottles with water and hold one in each hand.
Overall, have fun and let us know of your progress!:D
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