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walkingmedley 03-06-2010 02:41 PM

how did you learn to ride?
hey all,
Im 25 years old and new to riding. I have always wanted to learn to ride but never had the opportunity. recently i finally took a couple of lessons at a riding stable with an awesome instructor. i learned so much in a few lessons and felt very confident and satisfied after every lesson. unfortunately the place is a far drive and a bit pricey so i was looking into something closer to me ( and less expensive). in my search i found a lady that is willing to give me some "lessons" in return for some barn help. she has several horses which she says need excercise so shes willing to give me lessons in exchange for help. I thought it was a great idea, since that would help me learn more about taking care of horses, be more comfortable around them and get to ride without the cost. But im a bit hesitant. she obviously isnt a ceritfied instructor, although she has been riding most of her life. the horses also arent lesson horses (theyre younger and a more energetic). i think its a great opportunity but im also concerned about safety. i was wondering what you guys think and how many of you actually learned to ride from a proper instructor at a riding stable and how many learned at a friends or neighbors barn?

Brighteyes 03-06-2010 02:49 PM

I learned at a lesson barn owned by a friend of my mother's. What we did that helped me the most were trot/canter trail rides with other people. Pick a horse, keep up, keep in the saddle, or get hurt and left behind. When the leader says canter, you canter. When she says gallop, you gallop. Your position had to be perfect, and you couldn't slack off. It learned a lot from those. :D

Horsesrawesome 03-06-2010 10:13 PM

I'm not too experienced in riding but I can tell you something. My instructor always make sure we do safety checks. Safety checks are where you look for things that aren't properly buckled,or the stirrups are too long or too short, if the saddle is on right, if all the bridle buckles are buckled(there not buckles, I forgot what they were, there like belts, with the holes and where you have to put the metal stick through them:) I don't know if those are buckles) Then after you fix everything time to ride!

Cheshire 03-06-2010 11:11 PM

I learned with an actual instructor, although I'm pretty sure I was his only student. He was more into showing (H/J) than teaching anyways.

We always longed the horse before getting on -- he was a big proponent of this and it's carried on into my own routine now. Not to tire them out so I'd have an easier was part of the warm up, allowed the bloaters to deflate, and it got them in the proper mindset. He taught me most of what I currently know and for this I will forever be greatful.

The horses were another story...he more or less had me on a different horse every other week. I'd come in the morning and he'd be like "Oh, I have a new one for you try today!" lol Some of those were not beginner-safe...had my first fall when my obstinate lesson-horse-of-the-day decided he wasn't going to listen to me and went over and shocked his nose on the hotwire my instructor had forgot to turn off.

But it was a great experience and I don't regret it!

HooverH 03-07-2010 01:04 AM

I didn't start taking lessons until I was 25, too. Well, I turned 25 soon after starting them. I had always wanted to learn, and after graduating my masters with no job, I decided to do something for myself. I started out with the most awesome old cowboy to ever be born in the wrong era. Bill had this...magic with horses. He touched them, he spoke to them, you could see their eyes gentle, their bodies relax. He taught me how to really communicate with my horse, to understand what it was trying to tell me.

He passed away two years ago this coming summer, which made me question continuing. Bill always made me feel so safe, like nothing could ever go wrong as long as he was there to protect me. It took me a month to get back on my own horse...but one day, I just climbed on...bareback, in shorts, no shoes...Bill was looking down at me having a fit, yelling "I taught you better, girl!" But it showed me I could ride without him physically being there.

I continued taking lessons from his daughter, Kay, who trains very similar to him, but with a slightly different teaching style. Kay constantly challenges me to step up to my fears and face them, and has given me in a lot of confidence in a totally different way than her father. She's going to be moving away, so once again I face the question of continuing. His younger daughter is planning on training this coming year, so I am hoping to continue the "Bill" method.

I really wasn't looking forward to having to adjust to a totally knew trainer and method. Bill didn't particularly teach "Parelli" or "Anderson", it was a mix of his experience and what he knew worked. You could probably call it natural horsemanship, but it's a still all his own. He didn't have any particular training or certificate, just 50+ years experience with, rehabbing, rescuing.

The best advice I can give you is go with your gut. If you aren't comfortably with the situation after giving it a try, walk away.

kmdstar 03-07-2010 01:06 AM

I started going on guided trail rides with my mom, a year later she bought me my first horse (I'm lucky, I know! :D). I still haven't had lessons and I've been riding for almost 3 years (HOLY..! time sure does fly!) but I'd like to find some nearby dressage trainers if possible :)

PechosGoldenChance 03-07-2010 06:01 PM

I learned to ride at this animal care school that I went to for about 2 yrs. This was a while ago. I absolutely loved it. Not only did we get to ride everyday, she also made us clean, organize, and basically maintain the barn. It gave us a taste of what it would be like to have our own horses. I love it!!! I'm out cleaning stalls every day dude! I've been riding for about 5yrs, soon to be 6 I believe. Wow, time does fly!

RaiRaiNY 03-08-2010 10:23 AM

I started going on family vacations to an AZ horse ranch as a kid, and then worked as a junior counselor at a western riding camp in high school. I learned so much at the camp!

Now, I lease a horse after taking a long break from riding, and the two of us are learning together.

smrobs 03-08-2010 10:44 AM

I was one of the fortunate ones. I have always had horses around even since before I was born. I got my first ride at about 3 weeks old in my Dad's arms. When I got a little older and was able to sit up by myself, he would sit me in front of him in the saddle while he warmed up his show or roping horses. I graduated to my own real horse when I was 4. He would occassionally correct me on something that I was doing wrong; "Sit up straight", "Reins in your left hand", etc. but other than that, I just learned on my own from hours, days, and years spent in the saddle. I may not have perfect form on a horse but I am in a position that is comfortable and secure for me. I have never had a "proper" lesson from an instructor. Pretty much everything I learned, I learned from mistakes that I made. Every time I fell off, I learned something new LOL. :D

qtrhrsecrazy 03-08-2010 10:54 AM

Because I've loved horses basically since birth, as a toddler I was in my grandmothers friends pony carts, and at 4 or 5 y/o, I was put on my grandmothers other friends horses. I was put on the old bombproof mare and my feet couldn't even reach the stirrups lol...

For several years to come I rode that old mare, as I got older I got to ride the other horses then got my own finally.

In the beginning I was told the basics, and basically took it from there. Like above post, I don't have good form but has always worked for me. I never got into showing so wasn't much of an issue... I trail rode, and did smaller rodeos and play days was my thing

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