Best Way for a Not-So-Newbie to Learn More? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-02-2016, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 6
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Best Way for a Not-So-Newbie to Learn More?

So, I'm new to this forum, and was wondering what everyone's best advice is to learning about horses.

I have been riding at the same barn since I first began, back when I was fairly young (about 9 years ago). I rode very inconsistently. I rode for two or three summers and didn't get back in the saddle for about three or four years after that. When I did finally did start riding again, I had a bad trainer who I wasted about 2 and a half years with, never really progressing and constantly feeling discouraged.

I am now with an excellent trainer and am progressing fairly well (even only riding one hour a week), but I still am not satisfied with where I am now (in terms of experience, not riding; again I am happy with how my riding is now progressing).

I see a lot of people my age who have been riding as long as I have (sometimes less than I have) or started the same age I did, and they are so much further along in their skills and experience. Many of these people's parents recognized their children's commitment while mine took a while to catch on, so others have been more consistent in their riding. So it's always a little frustrating since I know I am in no way as knowledgeable as other people who are my age. I don't know a ton of terminology, or a lot about different tack and basic gear and attire. I can't tell the difference between a horse who is playing with their owner and a horse who is actually being rude and misbehaving, or at least I don't think I can. I would never be comfortable making any kind of horse related purchase (anything from treats to flyspray to tack). I've never even competed before; something I have always wanted to do since I was young. I would love to compete at the collegiate level, but will in no way be prepared enough by the time I get to college.

So my question is: what is the best way to catch up? How can I learn more about things as simple as daily care, horse behavior, medical emergencies, training, and showing? Where's the best place to begin and gain as much experience as I can so I can feel much more confident about working with these amazing animals?
MariaK is offline  
post #2 of 6 Old 08-02-2016, 11:36 PM
Join Date: May 2016
Location: The boondocks of Kansas
Posts: 1,271
• Horses: 0
This forum is a good place to start, reading posts from every section so you gain a well-rounded view of what life with horses is. You could also take lessons at another barn, volunteer at a therapeutic riding center, attend clinics and shows, perhaps take some equine classes at a local college, maybe pursue a Vet Tech degree if you're interesting in a career in equine medicine.

Also remember, not everybody progresses at the same rate in their horse knowledge and nobody will ever know all their is to horses. Just because someone is more advanced in one area than you does not mean you may not know more in another area.

Enjoy your journey alone the Road of the Horse and be proud of how you are progressing in this lifelong adventure.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-03-2016, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 6,231
• Horses: 3
Join 4-H if there is a horse program locally. It can be a fantastic (and free) way to learn horsekeeping skills and practice what you've learned.
Trade stable work for more lessons.
Read, read, read. Read everything. If you have questions about what you've read, find someone to ask.
Audit clinics and take notes.
Offer to exercise horses for people

And don't compare yourself to anyone else. Just look back at how far you've come.

Short horse lover
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-03-2016, 02:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 8,711
• Horses: 12
I learned a lot just by hanging around people who had horses and listening. If you can find someone who would be willing to mentor you, that would be great. You learn to soak in everything and figure out what makes sense or works for you and you just keep building up from there.
Textan49 likes this.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-05-2016, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Beavercreek, OR
Posts: 620
• Horses: 1
Is it possible for you to ride more than one hour a week? Usually time in the saddle is a great learning experience.
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Kay Armstrong is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 08-06-2016, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,415
• Horses: 2
Id look into part leasing a horse so you can ride more, on the same horse, so you start developing your relationship with one horse.
Dustbunny likes this.
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