Confidence in experience/lessons
I am sure you have seen my stupid little rants on how terrible of a rider I am. (Sigh... :-| I'm a bit overeactive) But this is seriously a big thing for me. My whole life is revolved around horses and just to think I'm bad/mediocore isn't exactly comforting. So I am going to give you the lowdown on my horsey doings and give me an honest (but tactful) answer:
I think I started riding about 5 years ago. That was trail rides and such. Four years ago I really took in interest in the actual art and went to my first horse camp. I trotted and stuff, never cantered. First time riding, so obviously not. Then I went on trail rides again. They were kinda long so I did gain some experience in them. But they were only trail rides. And then I went to another camp and rode. My instructor told me (and the whole group) we were helpless riders and she just didn't know what to do with us. That was a little bummer. The next year I went to two horse camps to gain the experince. One was saddleseat, so it doesn't count. The other we did not canter and jumped no more than 6" jumps. So after that summer I took lessons. They were Western and paid 30.00 for walking/trotting around an arena for 25 minutes. No/little instruction. We just rode and played games. *Groans at the babyishness of the whole thing* And then I finally got Dakota. :D I had little experience. Never really cantered. Never really jumped. (except those little 6 inch things)
NOW I jump 26" bareback and have galloped roughly 30-35 miles an hour bareback on a horse that hates stopping (good times) I trained a very green horse to a nice gentleman. (Well most of the time) All of this was of course self taught.
But I still feel inadequate. I still think there are people jumping those three feet jumps + and it makes me Mrs. Grumpy. I am getting proper lessons... do you think that is what I really need? I can do anything on a horse for the most part just look stupid doing so. Never have done real dressage, BTW. What do you think? Thanks!
It is never the length of time that builds confidence ( but can help) but I found it to be more of finding the one thing that you like to do more with the horse than anything else.
When I started to ride I was 25 in a group of kiddies half my age. It was not nice in the beginning when the horse stopped and I didn't. Looking up at all those smirking young faces from the dirt was no fun.:evil:
I, like you felt that the jumping was the fun thing ( even though my position was terrible) and fell off so many times that I landed in the postion you are in right now and I had only been riding 2 years.:-o
Then I saw my first half pass and was hooked on dressage. Now I am not saying dressage as a discipline, is the way to go but I am saying look around and FIND YOUR NITCH. Concentrate on just that one thing and set realistic goals for yourself to reach....that in itself IS the confidence builder.
Proper regular lessons are a fantastic way to learn/develop as a rider, which raises confidence in yourself with your abilities! What you absolutely cannot do is start comparing yourself to other riders. It doesn't matter how high other people jump. This is a sport that is about the communication between you and your horse. Keep it about that. Find your confidence in your enjoyment of the sport and the fact that you have a desire to keep learning! It's also a sport that's about progress, not the final result. No matter how great or experienced of a rider you are, there is always still more to learn. So you have to be content in making progress. Make sure also that you have a trainer that continues to affirm what you're doing correctly (not just work on correcting your weaknesses) and BELIEVE HER!
As far as riding in every state, when you're ready to travel to Maine, let me know, would love to "show" you and hubby around and host you here!:-)
I agree with all responses. I think you need to find which aspect of rideing you find the most inspireing (western, english, what-have-you). I wouldn't worry about how you look, or compare yourself to others. Just do what you love, and do it the best you can. Also, personally, I think the thing that makes the best rider is miles, ride often and try new things and get comfortable at whatever disciplin you choose, if you do decide to take more lessons, comunicate with the trainer and let them know what your expectations are and what you want to accomplish, and work together to get to where you want to go. Good luck and most improtant - enjoy what you love.
I spent a lot of my first years at a walk trot. This winter and spring, I am really concentrating on collection and my canter. I do a lot of turns as I feel very comfortable doing that. I have two horses. One seasoned and makes it easy. I then have my youngin- almost 7YO. He is harder. He isn't as fluent and smooth. At first, I got angry. I am realizing that I really need to be calm and confident. I always leave my ride on a positive note. Take care and be confident.
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