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xxJustJumpItxx 07-30-2009 02:21 PM

Getting the most out of lessons.
I can only take riding lessons twice a month because they are an hour away. I don't ride much in between them, other than little rides in a western saddle. The stable where my friends board doesn't allow barebacking for insurance reasons so I can't do that. I do, however, ride without stirrups when I go with them.

I'm just trying to find how I can get the absolute MOST out of the riding time I do have. If y'all can suggest exercises to do in between my lessons, that would be great!

PS. Is it bad to "ride" your saddle when it's on a rack? I did once to get pictures, but I didn't know if it would harm my saddle to do exercises whilst sitting on it... Let me know!

Ahsisi 07-30-2009 07:10 PM

I wouldn't sit in your saddle unless it is on the horse (or a saddle stand like they have at tack stores) so you don't damage the tree.

At the barn you take lessons at, can you ask your trainer if there are any other horses (like lesson horses or something) that you can flat after your lesson? That way maybe you can get a few rides in on the same day, but only one you have to pay for? Maybe you can ask him/her if you can groom &/or tack up horses for him/her in exchange for another lesson that same day or an extra horse to ride...trainers are always looking for help!

Other than that, just make sure you are listening to everything your trainer says and really try to carry it over to the next lesson. Good luck!

xxJustJumpItxx 07-30-2009 11:07 PM

I figured it wouldn't be the best idea to sit in my saddle on the rack!

Today I had a private lesson as the other girl I rode with could not come. I paid for a group one though! But my trainer was able to pay attention to me and only me so I had a really great lesson! I listened to every single word that she said and I really improved! She said that I jumped my best courses yet today!

As for riding more horses, the barn where I ride is SUPER busy so I can't really ride before or after. I wish I could! My parents are discussing starting to bring me once a week instead of every other week, so YAY!

Sophie19 07-30-2009 11:37 PM

Keep a ridding journal. After your ride sit and write out the things you did, how they felt, what your trainer said, what you did good on and what you had trouble with ect. That way you have something to look at between lessons to learn from. Also if you can stay around the barn and watch the next lesson(if their is one right after yours). Watching other people learn can really help you learn yourself.

1dog3cats17rodents 07-31-2009 12:24 AM

It would really hel to build up your muscles and loosen them.. You can do this by stretching, working out, palotti's (sp?), jogging, biking, whatever

Also, write down whatever your trainer told you to work on that lesson. Then read the journal the day before your next lesson so you really know what to work on

xxJustJumpItxx 07-31-2009 10:09 AM

I love keeping journals, so I think keeping a riding journal would be fun! I don't know why I had never thought of that before.

I am going to start exercising more. I am going to get a pilates DVD because I heard pilates are great for english riding. We also have one of those total gym things at my house that I am going to start working out on to strengthen my lower leg.

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!

cheply 07-31-2009 02:25 PM

I have the same sort of problem as you.
Right now I am riding twice a week... but soon I am going to have to go down to once a week again because I just cant afford lessons.
I don't actually understand where people get all this money.

Between college fees, bills, food, rent and my car... Its really hard to scrape together 200+ a month extra on a 10$/hr job. (canadian :p)

I know it really sucks not being able to ride as much as most other people. I get so jealous!
I watch a lot of youtube videos, both of people learning to ride and professionals riding. It helps when you cant watch at a barn. And yeah,.... I watch other's lessons whenever I can, it helps.

xxJustJumpItxx 07-31-2009 02:33 PM

Yeah, I watch people like EQStarOnTheRise and horse12345 and try to channel their balance and strength! It helps a lot. If you watch YouTube, check out these girls! They are awesome riders with amazing horses! But yea, watching other people has definately helped!

I'm lucky! My lessons are $20 for an hour. So $80 for a month if I go once a week! Not too shabby!

cheply 07-31-2009 02:56 PM

Oh my god 20 for an hour!
I ride at the CHEAPEST place within 1 hour and its 55$ per half hour. And its a small ring with no cover
The other places are between 60 and 80 a half hour

To find anything cheaper I would have to go to a different city about 2 hours away. Even those places aren't as cheap as 20 bucks for a full hour!
(The cheapest I found was 25$ for a half hour... but after the money I spent on gas to get there... it wouldnt be worth it)

You're sooo lucky!

kathryn 07-31-2009 03:11 PM

Wow you are very lucky for the price! For me its 260 for 6 half hour privates, which is a very good deal around here!

So at my lesson today, I spent 10 minutes between when I tacked up and walked out to the ring to kind of "meditate" and focus on riding. I tried to put everything out my mind except riding. Then, when I got on the horse, I could focus 100% on him and what I was trying to do. I could really pay attention to what she was saying and control my body better because I didnt have left over stress from not being able to get his bridle on or worry about how I am going to pay for this all. My trainer said it was one of my best lessons ever and she even raised the jumps a lot because she was so pleased. :)

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