I hadn't ridden regularly in about 14 years when I decided to find a way to get back into it. I found a small, backyard barn and an older horse that seemed perfect for me to lease one day per week.
I quickly realized I wasn't learning anything new with him, and moved on to a different horse at the advice of a riding friend. Coach was fantastic, when he was being worked with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, my friend had to move on, and he was no longer getting the exercise he needed to be safe for me. My confidence was disappearing, and there weren't any other horses suitable at that barn. I didn't want to leave them, but I wasn't happy either.
6 months into riding on a regular basis, I decided it was time to move on. I've always ridden Western (with the exception of one month of intensive English riding when working at camp), but found a new barn that I really liked, only, it was all English.
So now, fast-forward to my 3rd lesson on Romeo, a 10 yr old Irish Sport Horse, who has plenty of pep to keep me paying attention and is safe enough for me to get my confidence back.
My first show, in English, is 2 weeks from yesterday, and I'm so happy with my decisions. My riding is improving tremendously with each lesson, the barn is safe, clean, and the horses are well cared for. They are competitive but not snobby. I'm really enjoying my time with this new horse, and am excited and nervous to be showing for the first time ever.
Big congrats! I am in a very similar situation to yours. I stopped riding about 10 years ago, and returned last fall. By December, I was a horse owner yet again and am now completely and totally back into it full swing. My poor fiance had no idea what he was getting into. Good luck and I can't wait to hear how the show goes!
I had another great lesson today. My confidence is improving, as Romeo always spooks at one section of the arena at the trot, and today I was able to push him through it without losing my focus. Did some balance exercises at the trot and more two-point work, I'm going to be really sore tomorrow!
I've purchased all my show clothes except for tall boots, which I can't afford at the moment. As its a schooling show, the barn owner said leather chaps will be fine, and has offered to let me borrow hers :)
I can't believe the show is only 10 days away, I'm so excited, but getting more and more nervous. We've decided I'll only do walk/trot, as I'm most comfortable and look my best at those gaits for now.
I think this is all awesome! I am also in a very similar situation, and am thinking about starting a journal - just to keep myself faithful and be accountable (and perhaps vent once in a while). Keep us posted on how it goes - I couldn't be more excited for you to do your first English show!
Thanks! That really means a lot to me :) I'm really glad I started a journal, mostly because it forces me to reflect on each lesson / ride.
I had another lesson tonight, only one more lesson until show day :) My trainer switched my horse tonight, most likely only for the show, but who knows, lol. I was riding Romeo, but when my trainer showed him this weekend, she said he was pretty spooky and excitable in the ring, and he spooks fairly often in lessons as well. She thought for my first show that I should be on someone a little more dependable, aka, Fritz.
I tried him out tonight, he's recovering from a suspensory injury, and he's completely sound, but they're waiting longer to canter him, which is fine for me because I'm just trotting right now anyway. We had some fairly large downpours this afternoon before my lesson, so the arena was muddy and the footing was pretty bad.
He's a little pokey, lol, but he's very sweet, and does everything I ask for. It took some time to get him into a nice trot, and his trot is much slower than Romeo's is, but I partially blame the footing. There were a lot of puddles and half the arena was unusable.
I'm going to ride him again on Saturday, hopefully in dry conditions, to see what he can really do. I was somewhat hesitant to push him too hard because of his injury.
He's a beautiful bay gelding, about 15.3 hands or so, and a complete goofball. Nickered at me everytime I walked by him after we were done, and stood completely quietly while I hosed him off. I think we'll be good friends.
All in all, a good lesson. Finally trotted in 2-point without feeling like I was falling over, which was so nice. Also, as he doesn't rein western, I really have to focus on steering him properly, which is much better for me in the long run.
It's almost time, I'm so excited for show day!!!!
Can't wait to hear how it goes!! And btw, with your "encouragement", I actually posted my story in the journals section. Go easy on me...but I think we'll be good for each other... LOL!
My show is in 3 days, and I am getting really excited (and nervous, lol), but I'm also kind of stressed.
I STILL don't have tall boots for the show (I know, not good). I haven't had the money for them yet. I'm going to the tack shop today to pick up my monogrammed collar (yay), and hopefully they'll take a check for the boots (I get paid via direct deposit tomorrow morning).
I'm also still unsure about the new horse. My trainer has left it up to me. Romeo has always been great for me, but he does get spooky, even in the ring at the barn. Fritz, who I rode on Monday, was really hard to keep going, but very dependable. I'm not used to needing constant leg contact, and honestly, it hurts! LOL. I'm very out of shape from being sick for a few years, and my muscles are not just out of shape, but atrophied in important areas (like my back). I'm hoping that my nervousness will hype him up on show day.
If I could only get boots today, I would feel so much better. I know they won't be fully broken in, but I'll feel so strange riding in my half-chaps.
Do you know what tall boots you are going to buy!? I'm curious!
Wow....2 Days Left!!!!
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