Learning to Ride - Questions on competitions? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
I have been riding since I could sit int he saddle on my own. Even before that, I was lead around on my horse with someone holding me on. My first show was a western pleasure class when I was four, just walk/trot. When I was five I did walk/trot/canter, and when I was six I started barrel racing, then around eight I was reining, and by ten I did all the cow work. I specifically started jumping when I was twelve, but reining or reining cowhorse has always been my favorite thing.

My Mom taught me a lot about the basics, but at the critical learning point she was still not capable of teaching me advanced techniques fluently (She's a natural, but not a good teacher) so I took lessons at my family's trainer that trained my Mom when she was my age, and is now teaching me. As I progressed, she started putting me on her horses to show. This is the more recent thing. I've really only been competitive with her horses since I was thirteen, and I'm nearly sixteen now.

I do preach teaching lessons, but there's something I preach even more: Comfort. Take your horse out on your property or on a trail ride and just learn their quirks. My trainer taught me so much, but in the end it was my big ol' sorrel horse that really showed me the ropes, and in ways I taught myself a lot of things about dealing with differant situations.

As far as ability goes, there really isn't a good way to tell in the beginning. If you just want to compete for fun, then try everyhing. No reason why not. And remember, sometimes you have natural ability for something but you don't want to do it. I knew this girl who was the best english rider I had ever seen, but she didn't like doing it so she started reining and she sucked. Badly. So she worked really hard and eventually got better and better, and now she kicks some serious butt at every show.

It's up to you in the end, really. :) :) :)

This post made me feel so good! I have a 3 1/2 year old son and I am hoping and praying he loves horseback riding. Needless to say he is my spitting image from when I was that age and has the biggest heart for ANY animal, whether it's an alligator, a horse, or a dog, and that makes me soo happy! Hearing that your mom was able to help you progress even without being a good teacher gives me hope!

I definitely see why comfort is just as important as lessons - especially since I'll be having my horses at my home, not at a barn.

A woman needs two animals - the horse of her dreams and a *male donkey* to pay for it.
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gidget View Post
I've been riding for 9 months.
I winged it at first but then decided I needed lessons and I plan on still
getting lessons here and there. I went to my first two shows..one in august and one in september. So far,so good. I've been having a lot of fun and I do want to compete in some gaming sometime but Im still learning :)
Congrats on doing so well!! How old are you? That's awesome! Yeah my plan was to wing it but I didnt' have a horse to wing it on! My Aunt who got me obsessed with horses taught herself to ride and has the greatest approach to horses taught me so much about respecting, loving, and still being in control of a horse, even if it was all on ground. It's a little more intimidating when you're in the saddle but so far I can't imagine being happier doing anything else! (other than spending time with hubby & son! ;) )

A woman needs two animals - the horse of her dreams and a *male donkey* to pay for it.
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 08:32 AM
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I've been riding since I was 12, no one in my family rides and the nearest ridding facility was appx 5 hours away. It just so happened that I started going to horse camp for 4 summers, and then took western ridding clinics twice a year for two years.. other than that I trail rode at home on a friends horse and took care of that horse.. over the years I haven't really had much progress with my ridding skills, I certianly know how to handle a stubborn horse though and have lots of patience.. Now I live away from home, am training my 3 yo and hoping to take him in a reining direction.. I'm also getting english lessons a couple times a month just for the heck of it.

I have to comment on Amberpicks last comment, lol. Guys are not "made" for ridding, as in ridding like any other sport guys have the muscle factor, to be a good rider you need to have a strong seat and leg to cue and direct the horse, obviously the stronger person would have less struggle with it...therefore with ridding us ladies should excersise and work out along with it if your into competitive ridding.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by AmberPick View Post
Well I am hoping I can progress that quickly! Did you take lessons (the once a week thing) or did you meet your girlfriend and get to ride a few times a week? The aspects I'm really interested in is rehabing and just enjoying my horses - if we decide to compete that's fine, but I've got a three year old and we're wanting a few more so I'm not sure how seriously I would be able to compete!

And I would love to get into cow work, if we move back to Texas my hubby's good friend said he'd give us a few steers and help us get started with a (side) ranch. Which I would just eat up. :) (literally and figuratively!!)

And how long were you riding before you felt really confident that you could control the horse? Watching my husband ride (even though he has only ridden that one time) was frustrating to me because he was completely confident and his horse just seemed to understand he was in charge! Granted he's got 100lbs on me, but I noticed you had made a comment about guys being 'made' for riding horses and I have to agree!
It was actually my ex that got me into horses, about one of the only good things I got out of that relationship. But starting out I was so turned off by horses, I was straight city. I was into fast cars, partying, etc. Well after she finally convinced me to get on and trailride a few times I started riding almost everyday. Most of the horses I rode were green horses, problem horses, etc. I've been bucked off, reared off, flipped over on, had my finger broke, got a concussion. But...I'm still here and kicking I guess.

I would definitely take that opportunity in Texas, that'd be a dream!!!!

I believe men are just more confident in the saddle, especially starting out. Women can be very nervous, scared of that animal that weighs 10x more than them, scared of the "what-if" factor. Where as I got on and fell off, and fell off, and fell off, hahaha, until I realized there wasn't a good chance I was actually going to get hurt. Am I ever nervous? Oh yeah, especially on problem horses, but I know how to hide that nervousness from the horse, one big factor is breathing steadily and deep. But now I can jump on my horse and can feel safe doing just about anything.

As others have said the forum is a great place to just soak in information, you can buy videos, take lessons, watch youtube, etc. What are the disciplines you are really interested in?

Originally Posted by brighteyes08 View Post
I have to comment on Amberpicks last comment, lol. Guys are not "made" for ridding, as in ridding like any other sport guys have the muscle factor, to be a good rider you need to have a strong seat and leg to cue and direct the horse, obviously the stronger person would have less struggle with it...therefore with ridding us ladies should excersise and work out along with it if your into competitive ridding.
Actually yes, it is proven somewhere that a guy's structure is more built for riding a horse. I'll see if I can find the article somewhere. Yes, muscle has to do with it and everything, but it also just has to do with natural body structure. And also, on that not, it does have alot to do with muscle. When training a horse if I have an issue like it rearing, I can already be flying off the horse before it even goes up, and be in front of him backing him up and reprimanding him for example.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 01:08 PM
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 04:27 PM
Green Broke
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I don't ride purely Western --I'll take an English saddle as well--, but I can still answer questions. I started riding when I was 12 or 13, taking lessons in English and Western and learning the basics of both. I did this for about a year and a half. After that time, I started to show in endurence and competitive trail (I was about 14). I'm now 15 and have been showing more seriously recently, and I've been shopping for my next competitive trail pony.

All in all, took about two years of lessons before any competing at all. Most people don't do this though. I'm not one for competition, really. I prefer to gallop around bareback and have a good time.
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 10:27 PM
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I will say, one of the very best training tool you could ever use is a video camera. Have someone record your riding, then watch it later and analyze what you did right and what you can improve. My method is to find AT LEAST three things I can improve and then visualize what those corrections will feel like before my next ride.

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post #18 of 19 Old 10-01-2010, 11:19 PM
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I've ridden ever sense I can remember. I started showing and riding by myself in WP, Trail and Halter. I agree with what everyone else said, Good luck. :]
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-27-2010, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by AmberPick View Post
How old were you when you started showing/competing? And how long had you been riding? Who helped you get started, or did you just wing it? I'd love to get into roping, penning or barrel racing (for fun, not really competing) but I'm not sure how/when you get started. Are there ways, even in the beginning, if you can tell if someone would be a good fit for any of those?
The first photo evidence of me on a horse, I think was when I was 1 1/2 years old, although I know my mom rode and held me in front of the saddle many times before that. I started riding my own horse at age 2 or 3 (based on photos and what my moms tells me, as I don't actually remember) but I DO remember my first horse show when I was 4 years old. I did the western pleasure (the only showing event they had) and did most of the gaming events like barrels, poles, cup and water, etc.

I got into horses because my mom grew up with them too, so I feel really lucky that it was just natural for us to ride horse!

We always went to 3 or 4 fun horse shows throughout the year. When I hit about age 13 is when I started to get serious with it and tried to learn all I can about anything I could. And I started to push my mom and take us to more shows (it is just my mom and I who do horses in the family. My dad never really did and my brothers eventually lost interest to things with engines.) and we got into doing more things and traveling farther to shows. We mostly like to do gaming and barrel racing, but we do go to local showing shows with all the western events like pleasure, halter, trail, reining, etc).

So for me, it just kind of came along hand-and-hand to ride and go to shows.

And you won't know if you like any of those events unless you try it! You don't have to be the best or win everytime, just as long as you have fun while doing it.

For anything, you can always go to shows first and just watch. And you can talk to people and make connections, because that is the best way to get into contact with the people you are going to need help from (trainers, mentors, traveling buddies, etc).

Roping, for sure, you need to learn HOW to rope from the ground first, before you try to do it from a horse. So that would probably be best to track down a trainer to teach you to rope. You don't want to show up at a jackpot roping if you've never even touched a rope before and if your horse has never been in the box before, just because I guarantee you won't catch anything. So that you would want to practice first and then start out by going to practice ropings, which lots of arenas hold.

Team penning, you of course, need a team to compete with. So again, it might be best to go and watch one first and talk to people and find out who would be willing to add you to their team and/or teach you how to team pen.

Barrel racing would probably be the event that you could just show up at and wing it, just because most barrel races also have exhibition rides that you can do at any pace for practice. Of course, it always helps to practice the pattern at home first, but out of the 3 that you are interested in, this one would be the most feasible to just wing it.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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