Trials and Tribulations of the Adult Beginner - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 270 Old 10-24-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Cammey View Post
We started to work on worrying about which diagonal I was posting on and on switching diagonals when I changed directions on turns (Ďstartedí being the operative word on that last one).
Of all the things that were different when I started riding English instead of western, catching my diagonals was probably the one that took me the longest to get down. My only advice is to try closing your eyes to feel the motion of the horse's feet while you do a seated trot, and to find a point on the shoulder to check, since the point of the shoulder's what you need to be looking at.
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post #62 of 270 Old 10-24-2016, 04:50 PM
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Adult begginer here (well, I am going to be so bold to call myself novice now, four years later). I would like to pre-empt your upcomming irritation with the speed at which you are learning. What's going to happen soon is you will get irritable because you will progress slower than you think you should be progressing. You will think: I was shown how to do this already twice, I should know how to do it.

The thing is, riding is basically like walking or driving a car: the fact that a child might know theoretically how to do it doesn't mean she can do it until it becomes automatic. I read that such physical activities become automatic only when the neurons in the spine take over the processing because the signal which travels from the brain simply takes too long for the action to be well timed. And spine will only take over with enough repetition. So, relax, and enjoy the practicing:)
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post #63 of 270 Old 10-24-2016, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
Adult begginer here (well, I am going to be so bold to call myself novice now, four years later). I would like to pre-empt your upcomming irritation with the speed at which you are learning. What's going to happen soon is you will get irritable because you will progress slower than you think you should be progressing. You will think: I was shown how to do this already twice, I should know how to do it.

The thing is, riding is basically like walking or driving a car: the fact that a child might know theoretically how to do it doesn't mean she can do it until it becomes automatic. I read that such physical activities become automatic only when the neurons in the spine take over the processing because the signal which travels from the brain simply takes too long for the action to be well timed. And spine will only take over with enough repetition. So, relax, and enjoy the practicing:)
THIS x 100
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post #64 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 06:35 AM
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Early a.m. now, happens more often as get older :( but will give me time to read HF more. Through only post 30 (realized different sizes of computer screens might bring up different "pages", so referring by posts will be better), and still finding this fascinating. You are clearly brilliant to be able to lay out activities and feelings to them so clearly, plus respond to each person's posts so well. Mostly very brave to be on, and be enjoying, such a big energetic horse on first lesson! I'm also finding the videos and books that people have mentioned a really good resource ó will have a hard time keeping up with this pace ó but sure appreciate all the accumulated and new wisdom you're generating. Will read more tomorrow...
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post #65 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LlamaPacker View Post
Early a.m. now, happens more often as get older :( but will give me time to read HF more. Through only post 30 (realized different sizes of computer screens might bring up different "pages", so referring by posts will be better), and still finding this fascinating. You are clearly brilliant to be able to lay out activities and feelings to them so clearly, plus respond to each person's posts so well. Mostly very brave to be on, and be enjoying, such a big energetic horse on first lesson! I'm also finding the videos and books that people have mentioned a really good resource ó will have a hard time keeping up with this pace ó but sure appreciate all the accumulated and new wisdom you're generating. Will read more tomorrow...

Iím glad youíve been enjoying it. Mostly Iím just trying to go through my experiences - and yes, enjoying the responses.


Seriously, Dragon is an absolute joy - energetic and forward, but also patient and utterly unfazed (at least in the context of her home outdoor arena - zero idea how sheíd be outside that). My biggest fear with her was that she wouldnít stay still to let me dismount, but thatís turned out to be a complete non-issue. I do actually understand why she can serve the role of beginner lesson horse - sheís incredibly patient. She just wants to go. But it's far more joyous than scary.

The influx of resources on here has definitely been awesome.




Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomhorse13 View Post
Now we know you are hooked, if you are willing to get out of bed early on a weekend!


Totally worth it, IMO.

YeahÖ Iíve now signed up for Saturday & Sunday early AM lessons. I am really, really hoping we can move one of these to a saner hour - but at least Iíll be getting time in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StephaniHren View Post
Of all the things that were different when I started riding English instead of western, catching my diagonals was probably the one that took me the longest to get down. My only advice is to try closing your eyes to feel the motion of the horse's feet while you do a seated trot, and to find a point on the shoulder to check, since the point of the shoulder's what you need to be looking at.

I do agree I need to get to feel the motion and be able to tell by that. I can actually tell diagonal by looking at the shoulder - but even that is messing up my balance and timing right now as it takes probably 90% of my focus not to mess those up by themselves.


Iíll get it eventually, just need a bit of time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
Adult begginer here (well, I am going to be so bold to call myself novice now, four years later). I would like to pre-empt your upcomming irritation with the speed at which you are learning. What's going to happen soon is you will get irritable because you will progress slower than you think you should be progressing. You will think: I was shown how to do this already twice, I should know how to do it.

Honestly right now Iím kind of amazed at how quickly this is moving. Am I a bit frustrated that I keep rising up on my ankles? A little - but to be fair to myself an awful lot is getting thrown at me at once. Mostly I just donít want to annoy my instructor by watching me make the same mistakes and I kind of wish I had some time to just go solidify things on my own. Just generally I am driven to try to be a good student who listens, takes and tries to incorporate corrections/feedback, and does whatever work I can do outside lessons to try to improve.


So really my real internal goal right now is to get safe enough with horses to be able to independently and responsibly get a quarter-lease on a horse (since thatís a thing around here) and be able to put some hours into practicing my fundamentals when I can do so at my own pace.


Specifically, right now I really would want to work on walking on the horse without stirrups and feeling the motion of the horse through the saddle without having to look down at the saddle. If I had a quarter lease today, that's what I'd be working on. I don't even think I'd attempt posting trot without an instructor present quite yet.


But yeah, right now my lesson time is my only practice time. You donít learn to play a musical instrument just because your hands can find the right position one time - it takes a tremendous amount of practice, and you speed up the tempo just a little or add another element and suddenly everything is going to **** again. Iím anticipating that.


I just wish I could practice more.
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post #66 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 02:21 PM
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Can't tell where you live, but down by my folks house out in the country in CA, including in their pasture, there are lots of horses just standing around with no one using them. Old people like my parents, father hasn't ridden for a long time, now almost 85, would love to have someone come along and be willing to ride their babies. Mom has told me that in the past, so one idea is to take your Hold Harmless Agmt (easy to find lots of those from stables on internet or like the one you already signed) and go hat-in-hand to look for a nice horse to ride. Maybe it's different in other parts of the world, don't know.

That's the same thing with the little pony I just got this summer, as have this need to have a horse-y around, apparently, since at age where have more time and those old passions want to surface (maybe someday pony will be for g-dtr). Right now, I've been looking for an experienced kid to ride her, hopefully train her for showing and so forth, as she is from a line of show ponies. Did not find a child like that in our very rural area, so instead am having the 11-yr-old neighbor girl go to 4H with me and we'll see if we can get the pony to riding better.

I'd prefer to have found a child with actual riding experience, so as not to "ruin" whatever training the pony might have, and this little girl has not had any of the advantages of many girls, like gymnastics or organized sports, so her balance is very bad and I can see that her coordination on reins will be a long time coming (she does not use any yet, just lead line). However, does make me feel good to be able to give a child the experience and to see "my little pony" improve. As have said in other posts, she's a little beauty (little horse, really, being reg. Welsh/Qtr, 12-2h, 12yo mare, strawberry roan) and I'm so happy to have found her. Although am having lots of anxiety over things I didn't know would have to be worried about, such as too much pasture. Hope you have the same luck with finding one that you love to practice on!

Also, given what you said about privacy issues, I broadened my location to cover a few more states and try when posting pictures to blur faces and not to give any identifying background, although a very dedicated searcher would probably be able to find me, as llamas are not all that common against terraced hillsides! Awful that we have to worry about such things, but as will eventually come up on my own Member Journal, I learned at age 14 there are lots of perverts out there when selling a little Shetland stallion, so do not have a FB page and am very leery about this whole internet tell-everything culture.
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Last edited by LlamaPacker; 10-25-2016 at 02:27 PM.
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post #67 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 02:36 PM
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Darn edit feature cut me off! Was going back in to say that having people who want horses ridden does cover a bigger area, as remembered when I lived in a faraway state, a co-worker had offered me the use of her stabled horse, much nicer than anything I'd had as a kid, but except for riding it one time (I was kind of scared in the snow and ice, hadn't had that before), I didn't take her up on it. Realize now that having other neighbor kids to ride with (all rag-tag like me, never any formal training, but boys were naturally helping "break" my ponies in the right gentle) may have made part of the fun for me when young and was probably also suffering from effects of Post-Traumatic Fall Disorder (just learned that phrase here at HF!) The PTFD raised its head earlier this summer when the little molly mule bucked the kids and me off (that's a story for another day on my MJ...)
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post #68 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlamaPacker View Post
Can't tell where you live, but down by my folks house out in the country in CA, including in their pasture, there are lots of horses just standing around with no one using them. Old people like my parents, father hasn't ridden for a long time, now almost 85, would love to have someone come along and be willing to ride their babies. Mom has told me that in the past, so one idea is to take your Hold Harmless Agmt (easy to find lots of those from stables on internet or like the one you already signed) and go hat-in-hand to look for a nice horse to ride. Maybe it's different in other parts of the world, don't know.

That's the same thing with the little pony I just got this summer, as have this need to have a horse-y around, apparently, since at age where have more time and those old passions want to surface (maybe someday pony will be for g-dtr). Right now, I've been looking for an experienced kid to ride her, hopefully train her for showing and so forth, as she is from a line of show ponies. Did not find a child like that in our very rural area, so instead am having the 11-yr-old neighbor girl go to 4H with me and we'll see if we can get the pony to riding better.

I'd prefer to have found a child with actual riding experience, so as not to "ruin" whatever training the pony might have, and this little girl has not had any of the advantages of many girls, like gymnastics or organized sports, so her balance is very bad and I can see that her coordination on reins will be a long time coming (she does not use any yet, just lead line). However, does make me feel good to be able to give a child the experience and to see "my little pony" improve. As have said in other posts, she's a little beauty (little horse, really, being reg. Welsh/Qtr, 12-2h, 12yo mare, strawberry roan) and I'm so happy to have found her. Although am having lots of anxiety over things I didn't know would have to be worried about, such as too much pasture. Hope you have the same luck with finding one that you love to practice on!

Also, given what you said about privacy issues, I broadened my location to cover a few more states and try when posting pictures to blur faces and not to give any identifying background, although a very dedicated searcher would probably be able to find me, as llamas are not all that common against terraced hillsides! Awful that we have to worry about such things, but as will eventually come up on my own Member Journal, I learned at age 14 there are lots of perverts out there when selling a little Shetland stallion, so do not have a FB page and am very leery about this whole internet tell-everything culture.

At this point the limitation is really me and my ability to safely manage things rather than objective lack of access to a horse. There's a nice-looking stable around here that does what they call 'quarter leases' - basically 4 hours of riding time a week in 2 planned 2-hour chunks - designed to facilitate exactly the sort of practice I am hoping for. The problem is that I am not yet at a point where I would be confident:

  1. Going out into a herd-pasture environment and catching a horse
  2. Fully grooming/inspecting/tacking up that horse smoothly (especially if this involves anything even slightly off routine or I notice something about the horse and am not sure if it's OK or how to manage it).
  3. Handling anything that comes up while riding which is unexpected - spooks, the horse deciding that it feels like cantering, misbehavior of any sort...

I realize my concerns for #3 might be over-large in my mind because my mental image of a horse is currently probably a bit biased towards forward and reactive. Ironically I wouldn't want to lease anything quite as exciting as my lesson horse - but I also feel a responsibility to be prepared for at least a little of the unexpected no matter how 'bomb proof' a horse I find to lease.

So for now I just need to get the basic skills so that I can be the safe solo-rider I'd need to in order to partial-lease something...
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post #69 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 06:20 PM
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Is it possible to rent one of the horses where you're taking lessons for an hour or 2? Way back when I was first taking lessons, our instructors encouraged us to come out and ride just for practice---they were around the barn and arena to keep an eye on us, but didn't interfere with what we were doing unless it was a matter of safety or being too rough on a horse. It also helps you progress to ride different horses since every horse's gaits, mannerisms, response, etc are different so perhaps they had one who is quieter than the one you're riding in lessons.
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post #70 of 270 Old 10-25-2016, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Is it possible to rent one of the horses where you're taking lessons for an hour or 2? Way back when I was first taking lessons, our instructors encouraged us to come out and ride just for practice---they were around the barn and arena to keep an eye on us, but didn't interfere with what we were doing unless it was a matter of safety or being too rough on a horse. It also helps you progress to ride different horses since every horse's gaits, mannerisms, response, etc are different so perhaps they had one who is quieter than the one you're riding in lessons.
I would love to and will probably ask - but I get the distinct impression that the horse I am on is one of the calmest and oldest ones available there. No, seriously: most of the stable is filled with either performance horses (mostly OTTBs with a few thoroughbred crosses), OTTBs recently off the track and being re-trained as performance horses, or very young horses - many of whom are very green and some of whom aren't yet saddle-broke. Having met some of the crew (and seen even more of it in show-pictures with descriptions) I legit believe I'm on Dragon because she is the beginner lesson horse there (possibly barring a couple ponies).

While I haven't quite heard it laid out, I'm getting the impression that the model works like this:

1. Buy/rescue horse (lots of OTTBs direct from race trainers)
2. Heal up & re-train horse in the show discipline that best suits it to a basic degree
3. Let students (starting from most experienced students and working down the experience scale) have equestrian sport lessons on horse (hunter/jumper mostly, some eventing schooling)
4. Make sure horse is ridden by lots of different riders and riders get to ride lots of different horses
5. Let students compete with horses at shows, drive them there as a team, win ribbons on horses to add to horse-resume
6. Sell horse - now with proven show-history, time as a lesson horse, and a fair bit of experience - mostly to equestrian sport competitors (sometimes to students)
7. Use money from sale to buy/rescue more horses
8. Put the now even-more-experienced students on even fresher horses, find lower-level students to be the end of the chain (though usually not as low level as me)

... I'll be honest, I like this chain. I want into this chain. I'm really looking forward to this being me someday. She holds schooling lessons for groups and I want to join them.

Heck, I may be one of those people who buys a lesson horse... because I can think of no better way to buy my first horse then to get to watch it get a bunch of training, ride it a whole bunch in lessons, compete on it in a show, and THEN buy it - especially since I seem drawn to something a bit less typical for a beginner (this way I would know exactly what I was getting into riding-wise).

But I think I may need to bootstrap this process a little to get to the skill level where I can solo-ride one of these guys and not be badly out-horsed. I'm determined to get there, but I'm also not delusional about the fact that's going to take a while - possibly a long while.
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