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JustPaint 12-05-2010 05:19 PM

Need some horse riding exercises
 
Ok I just started taking lessons and have been for about three weeks now. I'm not scared or nervous when riding. However I can't grasp the concept that I am supposed to "control" the horse.

Just a background check, I learned how to ride bulls before I started getting "serious" with horses. Now that I am learning to ride horses everything is "backwards." I keep wanting to grip with my heels and let the horse take me wherever instead of me directing. My trainer is very understanding and tries to "get in my head" so to speak and help me out.

It just feels like there is so much to do on a horse from turning, keeping the horse moving, using legs etc. It gets overwhelming, to the point that I get frustrated. In fact I called it "quits" early today because of the mistakes. I knew you weren't just sitting around, but I was wondering if there were some exercises out there to help me out.

sonnygrl 12-06-2010 03:24 PM

beginner and young rider do this a lot they are just "along for the ride" so to say. you have to first of all know all of your aids. . . your reins along with legs to steer the horse, how to sit deep in the saddle and pull back to slow him down and squeezing with your legs to go faster. do you know what serpentine's are? if not i or another member will explain them. but do lots of them that will get you to grasp the idea of steering your horse and lots of transitions ex. halt walk trot walk trot halt walk halt walk trot walk trot walk halt... and so on and so on. that will get you to grasp telling the horse to move faster and slower. if you can canter do that in your transitions as well. don't get frustrated that will only make it worse just stay calm and relaxed and i hope i helped some

tinyliny 12-06-2010 07:40 PM

Hi Justpaint,

First of all, just to help you feel better, all of us get overwhelmed by the number of things you must do ALL AT THE SAME TIME in order to ride effectively. It's kind of like driving a car; when you first start you can only focus on one thing at a time, i.e. pusthing the gas pedal , watchig the mirrors, keepint that same speed, signalling etc. etc. As a new driver , you can't do them togehter but rather quickly switch from one to the next in a rather jerky manner. Over time you get to be able to multi task and it gets easier.

Riding is much the same. It requires attention to many seperate parts. So you will have to be patient and allow yourself to get there, little by little.

If you were my student, I would have you worry ONLY about your seat. I would put you on the longe line and have you just ride the horse with absolutely NO HEELS. In fact nothing below the knee. You would go around on that line for at least 5 lessons and pretend you are a double amputee who has no leg below the knee. Just let you lower leg swing like dead meat.

I would have you think about letting your hips go with the horse and then YOU ride YOUR hips. I mean your upper body rides your lower body, (which is completely at the mercy of the horse's movement)

ONce you get that down, then you can pick up the reins and think about "driving " the car.

JustPaint 12-07-2010 07:49 AM

Thank you both for the replies. I know everything comes in time just thought I could sort of "help" it along. Yes I am familiar with serpentine, my instructor has me do them between cones and barrels. I can do it but I am all over the place. She talks about inside leg/outside leg, adjust your reins, don't use your rein to steer, etc. If I make a mistake she yells "stop, stop, stop!" That just makes me feel even worse.


Tinyliny, my instructor always compares horse riding to driving a car. Honestly I think its the worse analogy I've heard and it frustrates me more. This and another one my instructor uses which is moving a horse is like moving toothpaste. A car and a horse are two totally different things.

I agree and was thinking about having her lunge me for quite a bit, I called her yesterday and left a message.

I can do fine at a slower jog, and get a good seat but when the horse starts trotting I am all over the place. Cantering which has only happened twice (both by accident) my butt is at least a foot out of the saddle. Thankfully the horses I've ridden didn't do anything "crazy."

I love horse back riding but honestly between differentiating the "trainers" and "instructors" it just might be better to go solo. I may make mistakes but at least no one chastises me for it.

sonnygrl 12-07-2010 11:14 AM

the problem you have coming from the canter to the trot is prolly because the horse is troting fast and unbalanced. that will throw anyone all over the place. try not to canter then untill you have a secure seat at the trot. work on trot transition (collected trot, extended trot) that will help your body become acustome the the diffrent speeds and how to move with the horse at each speed. so when coming out of a canter and your horse does a fast trot your body will already be trained to keep in balance with it and it will feel more smoth to you untill you can get him to do a more steady paced trot. and in the canter you can chose to canter in your 2 point position if its more comfortable for you or untill you learn to sit the canter. and you do use your reins to turn your horse. if your turning to the left for example, you will pull your left rein to get bend in the horses neck and use your inside (left) leg at the girth to keep him from stepin in and to keep a good bend threw his whole body. then to straighten you can release the left rein take your inside leg off the girth and you can even apply some outside pressure if the horse is still drifting to the left.

JustPaint 12-07-2010 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sonnygrl (Post 842970)
the problem you have coming from the canter to the trot is prolly because the horse is troting fast and unbalanced. that will throw anyone all over the place. try not to canter then untill you have a secure seat at the trot. work on trot transition (collected trot, extended trot) that will help your body become acustome the the diffrent speeds and how to move with the horse at each speed. so when coming out of a canter and your horse does a fast trot your body will already be trained to keep in balance with it and it will feel more smoth to you untill you can get him to do a more steady paced trot. and in the canter you can chose to canter in your 2 point position if its more comfortable for you or untill you learn to sit the canter. and you do use your reins to turn your horse. if your turning to the left for example, you will pull your left rein to get bend in the horses neck and use your inside (left) leg at the girth to keep him from stepin in and to keep a good bend threw his whole body. then to straighten you can release the left rein take your inside leg off the girth and you can even apply some outside pressure if the horse is still drifting to the left.

Sonnygrl, like I stated I was NOT INTENTIONALLY trying to canter, it was an accident. I asked for a jog/trot as instructed via trainer and the trot was bouncy for me. Thus lead to my butt "laughing" which snowballed into me grapsing ( I know your not supposed to do just a reaction) which lead to the cantering.

I have no clue what a two point position is. As for reins I'm riding western and my instructor says that reins are a "suggestion" and that my legs are supposed to move the horse. Moving away from pressure. She's not a big fan of using reins to turn she claims it makes the horse heavy. Don't ask.

Still haven't heard from her so most likely I will have to wait until I get my own horse to continue riding.

Kayty 12-08-2010 01:11 AM

From your replies JustPaint, I feel that maybe you have to change your attitude towards riding. You come across as though you feel everyone else is in the wrong and you know best in regards to your instructor. Try to open your mind and instead of getting angry and frustrated by trying to push your 'ideas' of what horse riding is about, just allow your instructor to teach you what she knows. When you get more experience on a horse THEN you can start to question training such as using the reins to turn ;)

Horse riding and driving a car is actually not a bad analogy. A car is always waiting for you to tell it what to do, it will remain at one speed until you tell it to change speed, it will continue in one direction until you tell it to change direction... you want the horse to do the same.

Being a coach myself, it is very frustrating having beginners come in and because they've read books or talked to 'horsey' friends they think they know it all and it is **** hard to do my job in that situation without wanting to give them a slap round the ears! If I was coaching you, I would be putting you on a lunge rein and removing both your reins and stirrups, and do some balance exercises in walk, trot and canter, before allowing you to take your reins and stirrups back. You cannot attempt to control a horse until you are in tune with that horse and can easily move with it's movement. When you can feel it's movement and roll with it, then you can start to think about altering your body to make yourself a 'driver' rather than a 'passenger'.

JustPaint 12-08-2010 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayty (Post 843961)
From your replies JustPaint, I feel that maybe you have to change your attitude towards riding. You come across as though you feel everyone else is in the wrong and you know best in regards to your instructor. Try to open your mind and instead of getting angry and frustrated by trying to push your 'ideas' of what horse riding is about, just allow your instructor to teach you what she knows. When you get more experience on a horse THEN you can start to question training such as using the reins to turn ;)

Horse riding and driving a car is actually not a bad analogy. A car is always waiting for you to tell it what to do, it will remain at one speed until you tell it to change speed, it will continue in one direction until you tell it to change direction... you want the horse to do the same.

Being a coach myself, it is very frustrating having beginners come in and because they've read books or talked to 'horsey' friends they think they know it all and it is **** hard to do my job in that situation without wanting to give them a slap round the ears! If I was coaching you, I would be putting you on a lunge rein and removing both your reins and stirrups, and do some balance exercises in walk, trot and canter, before allowing you to take your reins and stirrups back. You cannot attempt to control a horse until you are in tune with that horse and can easily move with it's movement. When you can feel it's movement and roll with it, then you can start to think about altering your body to make yourself a 'driver' rather than a 'passenger'.

Sorry you feel this way but your assumption quite misunderstood, things are not always as they seem. I seem annoyed in the posting because of tired of this. All I want to do is enjoy riding and feel confident riding a horse.

Yes I do read and watch videos but only to enlighten myself that way when I go and so/see it in person it "clicks." I NEVER claim to be the know it all or smart mouthed student. I know those types and I can't stand them, that's with anything though. I'm always willing and eager to learn, the issue I'm having is how people portray it. I don't like it when people get flustered and start yelling because that makes it even worse as I get nervous.

When I first started getting into the horses I worked for a trainer at a barn and the only thing she was interested in was $$$. So I really wasn't taught anything. Fast forward a year ago now. I was at a place where my friend's daughter taught lessons. It was a nice drama free barn and everyone is really nice. However when I took lessons with the daughter she made me feel absolutely stupid. She would belittle me, yell at me and make these rude snide remarks. How am I supposed to do these things when I don't know them. She's younger than I am and I can't tell you how many times I tried to hold back tears. My current trainer is better, although she can be pushy and get flustered. When she tells me to do something on a horse it can get overwhelming to me. However unlike most instructors she tries to understand, but I don't think she gets it.


I'm bouncing all over the place yet trying to steer this horse. I've been taught so many ways on "how to steer" its quite easy to become confused.

Like I mentioned above I would prefer to have been lunged, but none of the previous instructors thought it was necessary. I was told by the daughter that it was useless and that you won't learn anything. Thankfully since like to educate myself I know this is not true. Same with my friend telling me I won't learn anything from a "push button" horse.

Again thanks to researching, I know now that I need a different instructor, yet again. Kayty, I know you don't think much of me but honestly I wouldn't mind being a pupil under you. You have just solved a problem that took me 5 years to understand. Thank you.

One part of my journey is over and another one begins.

sonnygrl 12-08-2010 12:00 PM

i ride english but dont your reins help your horse bend threw his neck? thats just how i was taught. and i know that your legs do turn the horse but just using your legs dosent bend them correctly... again enlgish perspective. sounds to me like you need a new instructor. i mean i dont like to put anyone down but for your needs as a beginer rider it sounds as if the instructor is not embracing those needs as well as they should be. just something to think about. 2 point is like jumping position but since you are western im not sure how that would break down.... sitting the canter is more apropriate for western style riding

Kayty 12-08-2010 05:09 PM

JustPaint, sorry that you felt I was having a go at you. I don't know you so I cannot 'not think much of you', I just felt that you were starting to get overly defensive in some posts when in your first post you made out that you were a very raw beginner rider having only been on a horse a handful of times.

As I said, lunging is definitely the way to go. Until you feel comfortable with the horses movement, you are going to have no hope of ever influencing it's direction and pace, at least if you want it to look effortless and comfortable as should be striven for.
Maybe ask your instructor if they would put you on the lunge a few times. I start all beginners/inexperienced riders on the lunge doing balance exercises before allowing them out on their own to control the horse. I find that when it comes to letting them control the horseo n their own, they naturally have a much better feel and ability to time their reactions, to a rider who is thrown in the deep end and expected to learn to balance as well as steer.


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