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Whipple 02-23-2009 05:19 PM

So many options!
Ok, so I will be starting lessons quite soon, and I keep putting them off because I'm nervous. I tend to be this way. I still don't have my driving license because I'm nervous I'll fail :shock:
So anyhow, I was just wanting to know, what do you......specialize in? And why? If you were trying to convince someone to take the same route, what would you say?

Jubilee Rose 02-23-2009 05:53 PM

By specialize, I take it you're referring to riding disciplines.

I'm an English rider through and through. I've recently become fascinated with dressage. I love how dressage training is so refined and structured ... it's a hard, but rewarding challenge. It teaches you the discipline of riding correctly through a balanced seat and precisely-given aids. I believe that with dressage, you get the most of your horse. Trained correctly, the horse learns to move uninhibited through all gaits with the guiding of a balanced rider. The horse develops muscle, self-carriage and fluidity in her movements. I would recommend basic dressage to every rider, no matter what discipline. Learning dressage does not mean buying a fancy saddle or using special equipment -- it is learning how to truly communicate with your horse in a give and take relationship.

Since you are just starting off with lessons, I wouldn't be concerned with what discipline to get into just yet. You need to have a knowledge of basic riding itself before you can understand the nuances of specific training. Do whatever you feel comfortable with ... lots of people start with western riding first. Take private lessons where an encouraging trainer can focus solely on you and help you build up the confidence you need. The thing about horses, is that you have to take calculated risks. I say calculated because a risk doesn't mean something dangerous. Everything new is scary at first, but if we're too afraid to try things because we might fail, we are truly missing out on great oppourtunities. Don't worry if you fail. You're only human and everyone makes mistakes. Riding lessons are wonderful learning experiences that give you the structure and assistance you need to become a competent rider. Don't underestimate yourself ... just go for it!

Ok, getting off the soapbox now. Hope this helps.

randiekay215 02-23-2009 06:09 PM

I totally agree with jubilee rose. You don't need to focus on a certain discipline yet. Just get the basics down. I ride western Always have, always will. It just seems so much more relaxing to me. I trail ride, run barrels, work cows, team rope, and I'm learning to breakaway rope. I would recommend starting out western first though. Not to be biased or anything, but to get the basics down western seems the way to go. I think I feel safer in a western saddle than English. Anyway, I would DISAGREE with jubilee rose (just because of the opinions on discipline) in that I would go western. But it really all depends on what you want to do down the road...Do you want to show, trail ride, game (barrels, poles, keyhole, etc), or jump? There are so many different options out there? Just get the basics down first (tacking up, seat control, reining, leg cues, etc) before you chose your certain discipline. But I would start out learning western. Its pretty laid back and easy to start out with.....

Good luck with whatever you do! And DON'T be nervous. Its just one more new experience! :)

randiekay215 02-23-2009 06:13 PM

I wasn't sure if you wanted advice on a certain discipline or a certain event. Sorry if I confused you. I just saw that it was in the "English Riding" catergory and realized you may have not been talking about discipline....OOPS!:)

Whipple 02-23-2009 06:50 PM

Thanks! I am going to be starting with english. I just like the idea of feeling closer to the horse without all the bulkiness of the western saddle. I would really prefer to start out bareback, but I doubt many trainers would go with that.
Anyhow, I'm not scared. I'm nervous. I think just because I've always had an issue with authority. I'm so used to being in charge (mother of two, head of household, only child, you get the picture). So it's more the instructor I'm nervous about then the horses.
The reason I'm asking about disiplines is just because I love to research. If I have an idea about what the different disiplines entail then I'll have an idea of what I should be looking into for the most part. Otherwise I'm just going to end up doing whatever the barn I learn at specializes in. YKWIM? I want to choose for myself I suppose.

So anyhow, if anyone would like to convince me why their disipline of choice is best, go for it!

StormyBlues 02-23-2009 09:04 PM

EVENTING ALL THE WAY BABY! I have been riding for 7 years and started training in eventing, went to another barn(which training sucked, trainer was horrible, girls were snooty etc.) and now am back with the trainer I started riding with! Eventing is such an adrinaline rush! You have to perfect the bending and work of dressage. It takes communication, willingness, supleness. Then the XC is challenging, and quick. It takes endurance on both team members part! It is, IMO, the true test of what kind of bond you have with your horse. Then Stadium is a test of acraucy and power! GO EVENTING!

Snaffle 02-24-2009 10:08 AM


Originally Posted by randiekay215 (Post 257580)
I think I feel safer in a western saddle than English. But I would start out learning western. Its pretty laid back and easy to start out with.....

Hmmm other than that you get a horn to hold onto, I'm not sure how it's easier to start with.
Off topic: Haha I went on a trail ride and have never been in a western saddle before and it was so uncomfortable for me. It really hurt my butt bones.

Whipple 02-24-2009 11:06 AM

The horn is really distracting, a major reason I'm going english. It's hard notto grab onto it at every chance. I can see me taking twice as long to get balanced on a western saddle.

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