I am new to horseforum.com and to horse riding. My husband and I just purchased a 3 year old Standard Breed/Rocky Mountain Horse. She is an amazing horse, extremely smart, has her stubborn moments, but listens very well. She is a good horse to start out on, my problem is I am incredibly nervous when I get on her. I am fine if I am in a ring but when I am out I am paranoid that she is going to take off. I was riding her in the yard and she took off kinda fast and it took me a moment to slow her down, and it scared me. Does anyone have any pointers for a beginner rider to help improve my confidence with her?
Just keep on riding her. I'm not going to say you won't be nervous, or that you won't get hurt. I can say the things that give me the most oconfidence is when I do fall off and I know I have to GET RIGHT BACK on. When I get back on that horse and do whatever I was doing the RIGHT way and we do it well I feel like I have conquored the world. Allways remember that 99% (not statistically correct, but to show you that ALOT) of accidents/falls/screw ups around, on or with horses are caused by the rider/handler. If she does something (like taking off to fast) ask yourself first "what did I do wrong to cause this?" Its almost never the horses fault.
Sorry it so long and kinda rambles. lol Hope you understand it.
Another thing, for a very beginner rider lessons are allways great, I have been riding for over 15 years and I just started taking some lessons and my riding is improving. See about a place where you can take her and you can learn together. Especially with her being a 3 y/o as they need to learn alot too. I get nervous when riding 3 y/o because they don't have the expericance that an older horse will. Not saying that they aren't wonderful horses.
Have fun with you girl, but allways be safe. I think lessons would be great for the both of you.
Lonestar, the problem is I don't think there is really anywhere around my area that I can take riding lessons. My brother-in-law has been helping me learn, but I can't always be in a ring. That does help though, I guess I am just going to have to get over it and get on her.
I am afraid to ask my brother-in-law questions, I am afraid he is going to laugh at me or think I'm stupid because he has been around horses his entire life. I really love being on her and with her, but I just get nervous. I am kinda confused about how to make her walk, after my husband rides her and gets her going quicker, when I get on her she wants to go faster and I have trouble making her walk. I think my problem is knowing exactly what to do, she is a great horse though, acts a lot older. I know when she takes off too fast that its my fault, but I'm not quite sure how to fix it? She is very calm and has been ridden alot, she listens pretty well but sometimes I don't know what to do/say if that makes sense? She responds to speaking commands and my feet. Any suggestions there?
Thanks for the tip, I will start riding her more and hopefully I will get more comfortable.
Don't be afraid to ask questions at all! I've been around horses my whole life and I'm CONSTANTLY asking questions! It's so much better to know what your doing (or at least have an IDEA of it!) Ask your brother-in-law EVERY question you can think of! And knowing how to stop a horse is THE MOST important thing you will ever learn when riding a horse. There is this thing called a one rein stop. I use it when my horses are excited and wanting to go fast and aren't listening to my other commands. Here are some videos of it.
The big things with Dutchess is she is very sensitive in the mouth, if you pull to hard with her she will freak and start to kinda buck a little with you, so I think thats another problem I was having. I was scared to pull to hard on her so I wasn't pulling hard enough, usually I can get her stopped just by pulling a little and saying woah. Thats handy though if she ever takes off with me and she won't stop.
Do you have any other tips for me? You have been very helpful :)
Lessons. That's my #1 recommendation for ANY type of rider (whether experienced or not so), but it's especially important for the beginner IMHO. It'll do both - build confidence and teach you how to ride/deal with the horse correctly.
kitten_Val, there is not really anywhere around me to take lessons I have been looking all around me and have no found anything yet. If anyone could help me find someone close I would appreciate it.
Keep in mind that if you feel you can control your horse in the ring, you can control her outside the ring, too. Confidence and trust in your horse comes from time and miles in the saddle.
Take it slow, ride as much as you can, relax, and enjoy yourself. There is a whole world out there for you and your horse to explore together.
It would be helpfull to know where your located so we could help you find a lesson barn. Lessons are the way to go. You will learn something new about yourself and your horse every time your there.
A few things come to mind:
1 - Lessons. Even just a couple lessons will help you feel more confident. You will need to find your balance on the horse, so no matter which way she goes you can go with her. You need to grip a little with your knees, but too much grip with the calf will make her trot, or go faster than she's going. Just a few lessons can teach you the basics so you're not flying blind.
2 - Learn to ride in two-point position. I did that and I feel more stable there. It's just leaning a little forward so your rear comes off the saddle just a tiny bit. When you do this, your weight is on your knees, not on your feet in the stirrups. If you are a new rider, you may not be familiar with how to post properly, so you will be bouncing around a lot. Riding in two-point at least helps you keep your balance when the horse is trotting. It worked for me. I leaned to post in lessons though.
3 - Also, keep your heels down. Your feet should be in the stirrups so that the stirrup iron is under the balls of your feed. Your heels should be down, a little lower than your toes and your toes should be pointed slightly in. That helps you with balance and keeps you from planting your heel in the horse's side.
You should go online and get a book. I have "Basic Horsemanship English and Western" by Eleanor F. Prince and Gaydell M. Collier. You can read the book and practice each new thing you learn before going on to the next lesson. It starts you out as a beginner and teaches you each step in order. Heck it's just like having an instructor... for me anyway.
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