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countrylove 04-12-2013 09:02 PM

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I am starting dressage lessons soon and I am a bit nervous. I have never had a professional lesson and don't know what to expect plus in the last 4-5 yrs I've been lucky enough to ride 3-4 times a year. I use to be a decent rider but after time off for kids and life I am back at the beginning. Any advice, suggestions, similar stories? What should I expect? Ways to prepare? I'm not a newbie to horses and have excellent ground skills. I have ridden many green horses and have been complimented about my handling skills. As many know I work for a rescue and got a lot of riding time last summer but with the snow have been unable to ride besides 5-10 mins at a walk, here and there. I tend to under estimate myself and I know I currently lack confidence. Thanks for reading and thanks ahead of time for your thoughts and opinions :-)
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Vidaloco 04-12-2013 09:36 PM

I don't have any advice but congratulations on attempting an advanced riding style. Try not to scream and stay between the stirrups :lol::wink:

Oldhorselady 04-12-2013 10:02 PM

I would say try and do what I've been told to do and BREATHE! I've recently taken mounted is really interesting....trying to make your horse breathe the same rate you are breathing by being relaxed and breathing deep...whew, run on sentence. Anyhoo....never realized how much I didn't breathe! As I breathed slower on my horse, my horse actually copied my breathing with her own. Have a great time!....and laugh! I can't possibly take it all seriously now, or I would be forever depressed. You will be fine!

countrylove 04-12-2013 10:17 PM

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Thanks I'm pretty scared because it is advanced but I bet I'll start on the lunge and the basics LoL I tried to trot yesterday and was a sack of potatoes *now for the excuse ;-) I didn't adjust the stirrups and couldn't touch the stirrups at all but was in a western saddle too so easier to sit, didnt even try to post. Let's just say I was pretty sure I not only looked stupid but really need some work on balance too. The lady Im getting lessons from has a fresian and Im scared of heights LoL but she is a trainer and is looking for a working student so it could be a very beneficial experience :-) excited and scared at the same time. Im going for it no matter what but am trying to prepare myself. Thanks for the encouragement :-)
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tinyliny 04-12-2013 10:25 PM

I would say prepare to be very tired! an hour long private lesson for someone who has not ridden much lately will be very tiring. Let your instructor know of you physical shape and that you may need to ask for a breather from time to time. It's easy for the instructor to get wrapped up in calling out instructions to you and miss seein how red in the face you are and how you're sucking air. It is demanding, and you need to take breathers.

If you can do some walking, where you walk fast and up and down hills, and some core muscle excersizes, this will help.

Smile a lot! and when you are done say, "That was a GREAT lesson!"

PurpleMonkeyWrench 04-12-2013 10:34 PM

You sound like me. I rode everyday and was quite good at jumping until life happened and I lost everything and was hospital bound for months on end. Fast forward 3 years till now. I gained 95 lbs. since I last rode and when I tried to ride again it was a terrible mess. I'm talking flopping all over the horses back balance at ALL. I wasn't used to riding with all the extra weight and I didn't know how to control myself. I've lost lbs and I'm almost at a normal weight for my height and I must say, it has made things a hell of a lot easier on me and after a few months of riding I started to get my groove back. It was mortifying to me to see how awful of a rider I became, but it does come back. Your instructor will probably start with the basics and keep you on a lung line to asses you have the basics down. if you don't no worries!!! She will help you get back into it =)

LynnF 04-13-2013 09:43 AM

My advice would be, don't over think it and keep the horse between you and the ground :P

Dustbunny 04-13-2013 11:06 AM

Enjoy yourself! Even when you get frustrated.
And, as has been stated above, breath!

Delfina 04-13-2013 11:45 AM

Take any pride you have, throw it out the window and make sure you have a heating pad handy!

Any GOOD trainer will take the first lesson to evaluate you and your riding and proceed from there. They aren't going to throw you on a man-eating beast and expect you to ride 4th level movements (at least not during the first lesson.....). Be honest about what you do/do not know when asked and if you get confused speak up!

countrylove 04-13-2013 01:36 PM

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Thanks everyone :-) I'm excited and I have already informed her that I'm not comfortable in a trot and need a lot of balance work. Its no fun being lunged but it helps and I definitely need all the help I can get LoL

PMW: I have gained about 50lbs and am just over coming a knee and an ankle injury. I'm completely out of shape and I couldn't control my body. I felt so out of control and I wanted to cry :-( but I'm stubborn and determined so I reached out for lessons and since I'm trying something new, then why not go all the way and step out of my comfort zone. I don't even ride English but why not try it. I like challenges and Im at least gonna try it. You only live once and I dont want any regrets in life. If I dont like it, its not like I have to keep doing it.
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