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FrannyGlass 02-16-2011 04:03 PM

What will my first 10 lessons be like?
I'm starting private lessons next month. What do you think my early lessons will consist of? Thanks everyone, so excited!

Arksly 02-16-2011 04:07 PM

It would really be beneficial to know some of your background.

If these are your first lessons you'd likely be walking and trotting on a lunge line. If you've been riding for many years it may just be tweaking your posture and getting the best out of your horse.

FrannyGlass 02-16-2011 04:18 PM

I learned to ride English many years ago and only had a few lessons. Then the years of watching (and paying for lol) my dd to ride. Now it's my turn. I don't have a horse yet, there are a few at my barn for lease. I really want to start "from the beginning." My goal is to ride with confidence and some grace and to ride w/ my area hunt by fall.

Arksly 02-16-2011 04:23 PM

Ok then. It really depends on your trainer. They might work on re-teaching you how to properly sit on and control the horse. They might work only on the position while you are on a lunge line.

Whatever they get you to do, you should keep us updated!

tinyliny 02-16-2011 05:27 PM


it's cool that you are starting back into horses. I will be fun to hear from you from time to time on how its going and I love that you have a GOAL. (I am terrible about setting and keeping goals, so I admire this).
I think you will just be getting your seat back. If you are now closer to middle age than you were when you used to ride you will find a lot of things different; You level of caution will be higher, you may lack muscle tone , you will tend to "think" things through more, rather than just see and do. Hopefully, your instructor will be cognisant of this and teach appropriatly.
Try not to compare yourself to the young girls riding . It won't be fair to yourself and will deprive you of the joy you should award yourself with each thing you accomplish as you move forward.

slc 02-17-2011 12:11 AM

It's good if you have a well fitted riding helmet and some sturdy shoes like 'paddock boots' to ride in.

Well a lot of it depends on how fit and wild and fearless you are. If you're very athletic and active, the teacher will be able to roll along pretty quick with you. Sometimes the first lesson is on grooming, tacking up, leading, mounting, etc. But most first lessons include some riding.

Usually, you start out with position, the instructor will show you how to get your feet in the stirrups, hold the reins, sit in the middle of the saddle.

Some instructors put new students on a 'longe line' and you go around in a circle around the instructor while she holds the longe line - so the instructor controls the horse, sort of like those student driver cars, LOL. Usually, on the longe, you just worry about your position and the instructor keeps the horse moving in the right direction. Being on a longe line may seem boring but actually, people progress very well with that method.

Next, you'll most likely learn steering around turns, halting and moving off at a walk. Then a slow trot, and posting (moving up and down). Posting is good, far more fun than staying in the saddle and trying to absorb the trot motion with your body. But you'll learn to sit to the trot too, eventually.

Next, cantering, which feels absolutely wonderful. The horse springs along very effortlessly and it's really fun to ride in canter.

Jumping lower obstacles just feels like a BIG canter stride. You'll learn the jumping position, and how to steer your horse straight to the jump.

As far as going fox hunting very soon, 'that depends'. Some hunts are on very easy ground, and folks 'hill top' on an old, gentle quiet horse, without jumping. The 'hilltop' views let you see how the hunt staff is working the hounds.

Some hunts have a whole contingency of hilltoppers, even some driving carriages, on bicycles, on foot!

Some hunts move very, very fast and the country is such that everyone has to go like a bandit and jump a lot of varied obstacles. If your hunt is like that, it might be some time before you can muck in with THAT lot! But you'll get there, don't worry about that.

FrannyGlass 02-17-2011 08:57 AM

These responses are so encouraging! I did a little gulp about the young girls passing me by because I used to be one of them - but in figure skating and skiing more than riding. I remember just jumping onto the ice or mountain and starting, w/out a "thought" at all! I was a natural athlete when I was young so we'll see if the muscle memory is still here lol.

Absolutely I'll keep posting about my progress. I do think I should break my goal down into more achievable stages, though so I'll feel better more frequently, or focus more on where I'm stuck without obsessing about the prize.

Thanks too for the comments about having a goal and slc, for your awesome knowledge about the hunt. It sounds like there's a role for everyone and believe me I *know* there are some really "mature" riders at my local hunt.

OK - thanks again everyone for the support and guidance.

DunOverIt 02-17-2011 09:15 AM

Good for you! I think everyone covered most of your questions. So I just want to say I look forward to updates!

And pics are great! ;)

kitten_Val 02-17-2011 11:49 AM

Be prepared for the pain in muscles after 1st couple lessons. :D Other than that yes, it depends a lot on instructor. But personally I found private lessons to be the most beneficial to me and my horse. Have fun and I hope you'll like the trainer!

FrannyGlass 02-17-2011 01:48 PM

Thanks Kitten, I'm prepared to be very sore. I'm visiting a few trainers next week and then will choose. I truly hope the trainer at the local hunt/polo club is great given my goal. But I'll meet a few .... Great to have so much support here!

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