How do you know?
I am very new to the horse word, so don't laughter to hard I'm just trying to learn all I can.
I hear people talking about all this tack and what bits to use for this or that so on and so on. Where do you learn all this stuff. Is it just through experience, classes, friends...?
Books are a fine place to start, but lessons from a professional trainer and being around other horse people are where most of your knowledge will come from.
Heck, I've had horses for over 30 years and I still don't know all the bits, and how they're used or why! You'll never learn it all; it's just not possible.
Your best bet is to pick a discipline you like, and learn everything you can from every resource available. This includes books, DVDs, professional trainers, and other horse people.
I never laugh at newbies who actually want to learn something. It's the noobs who have had a horse 6 months and suddenly become an expert on all things equine, that I can't stand.
And don't get me started on the people who can't find their bums with both hands yet think because they now have a horse, that they're some kind of wunderkind 'trainer'......
Good luck. It's hard breaking into the horse world, but once you're in you'll be surprised at how much you'll learn as long as you stay willing and open to suggestions, especially from professionals and those who have had horses awhile.
The one thing I've discovered is that you don't STOP learning. Each horse and discipline has something to teach you, and it's endlessly fascinating.
We have started with a trainer. Right now it's all about the basics. You know this end eats this end poos.
Unless the stable you pick offers theory classes, you won't learn much background information by taking riding lessons. I remember, when I was riding at the highest level my barn offered, the teacher decided to play a game with us. She would ask a question about horses and the person who answered got to do a jump or steal someone else's horse. The other riders' level of knowledge about horses was what mine was when I was, oh, ten... because I READ BOOKS. I tried not to answer all the questions but it was hard :wink: Some of them didn't even know what a martingale was called or what it was for, just how to put one on. They didn't know where the croup or the poll was. It was scary really.
Sometimes the only way to learn is by talking to people and asking questions. Other things you pick up along the way. Always read books. My younger decided she wanted a horse and six months later she still doesn't know what bit her horse wears, or why.
It can seem daunting at times, but it's well worth it. Never forget to learn the parts of your horse too because, trust me, it comes in handy. I never thought it would when I started.
A good book to read (if you can find it) is Stuart Tinney's Making The Time. A very good book from a very good rider. The first few chapters detail the tack your horse wears and when and why you should use particular bits. It's mostly cross country riding, but I read it a couple of times because it was very helpful.
Hope that helps! Good luck! =)
Thanks guys! These are all very helpfull ideas. I will start looking for some good books. I love to read, might as well read about something I love.
I've learned from trainers, friends, trial and error... I've read in books but I prefer the advice of friends and trainers over books sometimes. I ask a lot of "dumb questions" here on the forum. I've even learned to *gulp* bend a little on my training beliefs...did I really admitt to that?
Books and internet research is a wonderful place to start but IMHO, there is no replacing the conversations and wisdom that you can get from hanging around knowledgeable horse people. Even if you may feel silly asking something that everyone else seems to know, that is the only way to learn. Most people will be willing to help a person who asks an honest question for the purpose of learning more.
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