I'm having a lunge lesson on Sunday with a dressage instructor. I'm a reasonably experienced rider but my horse is very spooky and that has compromised my seat and position.
Now about 9 months ago now I had 2 falls off an ex-racer where he bolted with me both on and off the lunge the first time (on the lunge) everything was going fine until I went into sitting trot where he started to canter and got faster and faster until the centric-fugal force made the saddle slip and consequently tip me off.
He was a very sensitive horse and I blame myself entirely for the fall I think that I gripped with my knees in sitting trot which to him meant faster then I think it was a downward spiral of him speeding up and me gripping more to hang on.
Now what I am worried about is that on Sunday I'm riding a medium level dressage horse and that when asked to take sitting trot I may grip and the same thing will happen. The horse I'm riding is called Aramis and he is a 15.1 Welsh D.
I'm not afraid to say that the falls ruined my confidence (I don't know why it's such a taboo subject in the horse world as I'm sure everyone has experienced it at some point) I'm just terrified that if I fall again the knock to my confidence would just be so hard to overcome.
Do you think that this kind of thing is a possibility? I will of course be talking to my instructor as well but just wondered what your thoughts were? I'm so excited and apprehensive at the same time haha. Heres the link to her website with information on the horses and her lessons: http://www.jojacksondressage.co.uk/
Congrats to anyone who read that novel. :)
I would recommend dropping your reins, holding on to a neckstrap/breastplate and practising leaning back and absorbing the movement though your hips rather than leaning forward, losing your balance and gripping with you knees. Think long legs, and knees out and off the saddle.
I do an exercise with my students where they hold onto the neckstrap and lean back trying to physically lift their knees up off the saddle in the air and then back down again. This works the stomach muscles you need for balance, and gets you in a better position to sit the trot too. And most of all - practise (: Everyone was there at some point!
If you're worried about going sitting trot on the horse you are due to ride, just explain your worries to your instructor and ask about some lunge lessons working on your sitting trot. It's perfectly ok to ask not to do something in a lesson if you are genuinely worried about it - your instructor will either agree and leave the sitting trot to another lesson where you can work on it, or explain why you CAN do it, and just think you can't.
Hope that helps some?
I had a similar experience with a horse I used to lease- he ended up bucking me off pretty violently twice, with no real common reason between the two times (the first one was at a show, so figured he was tense, but the second time was at home when I asked him for a walk :-|) I had fallen off before, but never been thrown and it really knocked my confidence.
It took a long time to get it back, and really didn't happen until I started riding a horse that I really felt I could trust (the horse that I now own). Even after I started feeling confident again, I had to unlearn some bad habits that I had developed like curling forward especially when asking for the canter.
I wish there were some tip I could give you to help you regain your confidence faster, but it's a long process. Don't be afraid to ride a "safe" horse for a while, even if it's the lazy old school horse that is usually reserved for beginner 6 year olds :-)
I have a huge issue with gripping tightly in anticipation of being tossed. My instructor put me on a horse that gets upset when the rider grips too tightly, but doesn't buck. That way, I can tell when I'm riding improperly but don't end up in the dirt.
Make sure you are completely honest with your instructor about your fears and problems. A good instructor will know exactly the right horse to put you up on.
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Thank you very much guys, yeah with the lunge lessons I'm really hoping that after a month or so my seat will be a lot more independent. My horse (thankfully) is quite forgiving and I think the perfect combination of being quick off the leg but not shooting you into next week if you give him a kick.
I'll definitely talk to Jo on sunday as I'm going 15 minutesbefore the lesson to meet her and Aramis I've ridden medium level and one advanced level horse before and the medium level actually required a fair amount of leg so I'm hoping that Aramis isn't too sensitive she only has 4 horses 2 being ponies for children yet caters from novice to experienced but not compllete beginners so I should be fine right?
She also says that Aramis and Josh are perfect for someone wanting to gain confidence so hopefully it will all be fine and I'm just worrying about nothing :)
Talk to your instructor!! tell her your fears.
Oh and just to make you a little less nervous (incase you hadnt seen it) on this page: Rider Training it says how aramis is perfect for building confidence. If she says this then he is not going to be a horse who panics if you start grippin or if you panic!
Thanks very much faye I will definitely be talking to her about it. Hopefully it will all go fine.
Also faye just wondering how much snow have you got up there? Heard wales was forecast 20-30cm, we've got about 10cm down south. :)
I came off the horse twice during lunge line lessons. I now think this was my instructor's error for putting me on an OTTB for a lung line lesson. This was a horse that would regularly bolt past the arena gate if he heard anything on the other side. So, two falls at the canter made me pretty leary of lungeline lessons in general.
A lungeline lesson should only be done on a very reliable horse, especially if you are doing no stirrups no reins.
Don't be shy to express your fear to your instructor. She teaches humans, so she should be very willing to work with your very human emotions.
Having just been ejected from my OTTB today, I definitely would bring this up with your instructor. The whole afraid of getting thrown and gripping thing is a big time self fulfilling phophecy, so the calmer horse you can work on the better. They all seem to be a little nuts this time of year anyway.
Jess, I'm in hull at the moment and weve got a light covering probably no more than about 2cm
Mum in north wales has about 20cm
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