Will the lesson really teach you someting? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 02-14-2011, 05:27 PM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
So I'm thinking if it's a waste of money and time for me at this point.
Since you are taking lessons on him for the sole purpose of jumping, I think you should look elsewhere. Not only does he appear to be unsuitable for what you need, I would also question a trainer giving jumping lessons that doesn't have a horse suitable for it.
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post #12 of 21 Old 02-14-2011, 06:24 PM
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I definitely would suggest that you look elsewhere. Before you put any money down for lessons with another trainer, I'd see if you could go out and observe a few lessons. Look at the quality of the horses and the quality of instruction being given. Then, if you like what you see, sign up for a few introductory lessons. If you're still happy after that, then great! If not, keep looking. It's not worth throwing your money away (or possibly even taking steps backwards by having your position/riding style ruined) riding poorly schooled horses or "learning" from instructors who really don't turn out to be all that great.

I never realised until recently how lucky I was to have found an amazing instructor right away. I started with her when I was 7, & I'm 24 now. It wasn't until I moved away & tried to find a new instructor that it dawned on me just how HARD it is to find what you're looking for. I spent several months bouncing back & forth between different barns, before getting fed up & deciding it was well worth the gas money to make the hour & a half drive back home to ride with my old trainer again. She's spent the last few weeks fixing the bad habits that the other trainers basically forced me to learn.

Definitely keep looking until you find a horse/trainer/barn that you're happy with. Good luck finding your perfect match =)
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-14-2011, 06:45 PM
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My question to you would be where are you in your jumping education and what do you need to be working on?

If you need to work on solidifying your two pont and jumping lots of gymnastics, and this horse is absolutely stable at all gaits and will jump with little direction from the rider, then it may be an absolutely fine horse to take beginner jumping lessons on. If you're at the point where your position is rock solid, and you need to work on timing and shortening and lengthening stride and making different distances work, then no, you're wasting your time.

The ideal horse to begin jumping on *doesn't* have advanced flat work, and *doesn't* have a lot of movement through its back. I'm going to wait for that heresy to sink in for a minute before I explain.

A horse that moves correctly and rounds its back over a fence will toss a novice out of the tack every time and it won't be a good learning experience if you need to work on position alone. And if ridden consistently by a novice, it will learn very quickly NOT to move through its back or round over fences.

What I'm getting a sense of from your post is that you're a much more experienced rider in dressage than you are over fences. If so, the way a suitable beginner over fences horse moves and works on the flat is going to be VERY frustrating for you, but riding that horse might be preferable to trying to learn how to maintain two point without being thrown up on the horse's ears.

Just my two cents.
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post #14 of 21 Old 02-14-2011, 06:53 PM
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As I was reading this, I was thinking the same thing as Maura. On the flat, I am a much better rider than what my hunter lesson horse is. He was previously trained in dressage, but is not really worked that way so he travels around hollow and with his nose in the air. Sometimes he is sticky on transitions and is quite lazy.

However, I am a beginner jumper as well. I don't know what level you are at right now but as for me I don't need to worry about what the horse is doing. I am still getting my strides and position correct. I guess as I progress I will learn how to make the horse work well for me on the course, but right now I am the one who needs to learn how to work well around the course.

Eventually you should move to another horse, yes. But are you at the point yet where you are supposed to focus on the horse and not yourself?

Just something to think about ;)

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #15 of 21 Old 02-14-2011, 08:30 PM
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Supposing there is no where else for you to go, then I agree you can learn some basics from the old schoolie guy. Our jumping lesson horses rarely (well, never really) go in a frame with the little beginners. They are not athletic and they go flat over the fences. I am still not very good at jumping, and I can maintain my balance fine on the school horses, but have a very hard time on my guy with his big round jump.

Obviously if there is a nice hunter jumper barn with better horses and a great trainer that you just haven't tried yet, go there. But, if you have no choice, I agree you can probably learn a little from this guy. I'll bet you have amazing core and leg strength though, so it probably won't take you long to be balancing in a nice two point on every jump. And then it's time to move on to better horses.
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post #16 of 21 Old 02-14-2011, 09:41 PM
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While I understand the point that Maura makes, I personally would not feel safe on a horse that is very unbalanced and is not in any type of frame at all. I would feel like I had limited control over him, and wouldn't be able to relax and concentrate on myself. Maybe you are different, but personally, it wouldn't work for me. That being said, it takes a lot to gain the trust of a trainer to get them to let you ride the "made" horses who are balanced in a proper frame that you can correctly influence. These are usually privately owned horses that have to be leased. Occasionally you can luck out and get rides on them, but it can be difficult.

For me, I switched barns when that option was pulled out from under me. I went from riding a horse that I won two reserve division championships at our first show on, to two weeks later being told I had to ride all the green horses. I literally was taking lessons on horses that I had to teach to canter in the lessons and take over their first jumps. I'm sorry, but I'm paying you to teach me, not paying you to allow me to train your horse. Now, I am at a barn where they do have some really nice school horses, the packers that will take a beginner around but will frame up for a good rider and will put together a nice eq round - nothing fancy, but correct. However, my riding skills on the flat have earned me rides on the private horses that other riders aren't allowed on (forgiving hands will win you rides). It took me about 6-8 months to get on these guys, but now I'm showing our zone junior hunter of the year. I never thought I would get that opportunity, ever. Personally, I would keep looking if you feel you can't get out of the lessons what you need than throwing your money away.
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post #17 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 07:22 AM
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(and he gives it for couple strides from time to time)


Any horse you ride will be a learning experience for both horse and rider. It can be a bad exerience, or it can be a good one. It's all up to you, as the rider. That's because the horse is bound to have bad days, etc., but you have the option to get frustrated or not.

The reason I bolded part of you quote is because THIS is the key. You said he has very little- no muscle. I forgot to bold that one. That's exactly it! He isn't trying to be disobediant or misbehave (although there are times that he will) he simply cannot hold it for longer than a few strides. As soon as he gives you the level of roundness that is correct for his level, down transition to a walk. ***ONLY use seat aids*** No reins AT ALL!!***
If you are in a lesson, and down transition is not acceptable, just give with the least soft rein for a few seconds, then **scoop** it up. This will teach him he'll get a reward for good behaviour, not be worked to death.
It will take much time and a lot of hard work on your part. Especially if you're riding him once a week.

**Scoop** When I say scoop the reins, I mean it to be very gradual. Don't just slide your hand up and down the reins to give and take contact, move you hand forward slightly to give a reward, and scoop it up as if you're scooping ice cream to bring the contact back.

"Dressage-The passionate pursuit of perfection by the obsesively imperfect."
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 07:47 AM
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Getting a horse 'round' in that way, that probably doesn't teach you anything either.

Best to just get on and ride the horse.
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, folks, for the replies and opinions!

slc, just get on and ride is not what I pay money for. I pay money for "learning", not just "riding".

Maura, I absolutely agree with what you said. I didn't even think about it, but I very likely have too much expectations from lesson horse (I guess I'm too spoiled ). However here is what I'm not very positive about:

1) He doesn't have stable gates (as well as transitions).

2) He can jump (we did it on 1st lesson although he feels kinda "heavy"), however in 2 lessons we did zero 2-point work. And that's confusing a heck out of me: when I was taking jumping lessons on my own greenie (in different barn where they don't have lesson horses) at least 30% of the lesson (I'd even say 50%) was 2-point work.

3) When we started working over the poles last lesson (4 on circle: 2 on trot, 2 on canter) that's when he went bananas refusing to work. Per instructor he's not used to that kind of work at all.

Again, I'm NOT whining here nor look for excuses, I'm just getting opinions on what's best in this situation - continue or try another place as I don't have tons of money just to throw away.

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post #20 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 09:23 AM
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Based on the above post, I'd say you may be better off looking for another barn/situation. Even if if the instruction is otherwise good quality, you're right, this is not a good horse for you to learn on.
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