novice rider at 56
Hi..I am looking for good advice on riding. I scouted around in this website and was impressed by the good quality answers to questions. I am 56 and whereas I have ridden off and on (mostly off) since my mid-teens, I never took lessons long enough to feel really capable. I have owned a few horses, 2 ponies and a 3/4 tb but it was out West and on an open range and was not the same as owning or boarding a horse in the 'usual way'. I have started lessons again with a good instructor/trainer..who rescues horses. Needless to say, the rescues are not well trained and a couple have a tendency to buck. I appear confident as a rider, and generally am up to the trot (english or western) so I suspect that I am going to be assigned to ride these horses shortly. They need the work. I am worried about being bucked off. Or the horse bolting. The farm is small and most riding has to be done on the road..with light traffic. My question (at long last!) is this. Should I stay with the good instructor and trust her judgement of my skills, or go back to the 'other barn' with good horses and a poor (very young) instructor? Thanks
First of all, brava to you for pursuing your riding education! Don't let anyone discourage you! (I am 52, btw)
Do not go back to the young, poor instructor.
It is very important to have an instructor who understands adults, and adult novices. However, riding rescues is not going to do much for your confidence. I would suggest finding an instructor with school horses for you to hone your skills on; or approaching the current instructor that you like about riding something calm and reliable for now while you're in this stage of learning. If you appear calm and confident, she may be overestimating your skill or comfort level. You may be able to ride the rescues occassionally, or even every other ride, but you really need a steady, stable horse to learn on.
As an older rider (middle 60's), I find that at my age it hurts a lot more when I hit the ground then it did when I was younger - and it takes a lot more to heal. Regardless of the trainer's age, I would stick with the one who puts me on safer horses - at least until I got my skills honed.
thanks for the encouragment. It's helpful to talk to other riders around my age. I don't want to be overmounted, I want to build enough confidence that I can buy and board a horse and feel safe riding it by myself. I did quite a bit of falling and being bucked off in the early 80s when we lived in WA state. But I am not so sure I would bounce like I used to!
I can echo what the above posters said, being 53 and having only 12 years of real riding under my belt (minus punkiing around as a kid). It's hard to learn if the horse knows nothing and is pushing beyong the "challenged" level into the "fear" level. I would suggest speakig to the instructor who you like and being honest and telling her of your real fears. If she still has some more reliable horses available, perhaps she can keep you on them. That way you have both the better instructor and the better horse.
Good luck and welcome to the forum. Personally, I love seeing another "mature" rider to keep us company.
my husband suggested I actually do both. Take lessons from K, the very experienced trainer, but every other week, go back to J to 'practice' what I learned. J is a good rider, just very young (22) and not very attentive to an old lady riding! She had me cantering two lessons after trotting and I was very unbalanced and only stayed on because i had a death grip on the saddle.
one of the things I love about being in my 50s is that I am far more confident and comfortable sharing my fears with others. I still work in a male-dominanted, challenging job, and when I can relax and talk to other women around my age, it is as refreshing as a dip in a cool mountain lake!
First, welcome to the forum Kathy :D. I will echo what everyone else has said, I would visit with the better instructor about sticking with the trustworthy horses for now. Maybe after you have gotten more experience and your confidence is better, you might be able to help put some miles on the non-bucking rescues. It may just be me, but I don't think I would consider putting anyone less than an expert on a horse that was a probable bucker. Not only does it risk serious injury to the person, but it doesn't do the horse any favors either.
This is an excellent point, as the more a horse successfully bucks a person off, the worse of a "bucker" he may become.
Having been bucked off before, it sucks!!
Yes, it does. LOL.
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