Encouragement for beginners - What a difference a year makes :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Encouragement for beginners - What a difference a year makes :)

This is sort of an update, and hopefully encouragement for the new riders (especially those of us starting at, ahem, a more mature age...).

I started riding casually about 6 years ago when invited by a new friend to ride her 'babysitter' horse. Had always wanted to ride but had never had the chance (or never made time for it). Quickly fell in love with it. Though she was aging, that was the first horse I'd ever ridden that didn't just follow along. She would do so, but she was well trained and responsive and began to teach me to ride. She finally 'aged out', and had to be retired. My friend and I hatched the plan that I needed my own horse and would board it at her place.

2 yrs ago we bought my first horse... the trials and tribulations are well documented on this forum. I felt like a failure, but finally sold her just over a year ago, which ended up being the right thing to do. Then, after considering giving up on the dream, I decided (with my friend's encouragement) to try one more time. I kept crossing paths with a particular mare, but kept doubting myself (that is also documented on here). Finally, a year ago last Friday, I took the plunge and brought her home. My confidence was deeply shaken by my first experience, but I was committed to doing everything as 'right' as possible this time around. I've had my share of "Oh My!" moments... then I post on this forum, and calm experienced voices explain what's going on. This horse is very willing and patient, and if I show similar patience - we figure it out.

Now a year later, I feel totally at peace with this horse, and like we are a team. I can't get complacent - have to always be alert around horses - but I no longer fight the nerves every time I ride. I was fearful of trotting for more than a few strides when I first got her. Yesterday, we went on a ride which included maneuvering through gates (one with mud/water that came to horse's knees), herding the neighbor's horse out of a small back pasture (she refused to cross through previously mentioned mud - and had been 'trapped' for several days)... dismounting several times at gates and to roll up and secure some downed fence wire; obstacles and slopes; and LOTS of ground-covering trotting. Next on my agenda is gaining confidence at the canter/lope (have only had the nerve to do that a few times for a few strides...). I'm having the time of my life!

I am grateful for all the experienced equestrians who take the time to visit the 'New to Horses' forum and calm us down... You are a true blessing.

I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
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post #2 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 10:26 AM
Green Broke
 
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what a wonderful post! I hope all those struggling read it and take heart!
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post #3 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 10:49 AM
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Great post, indeed!
Thank you for sharing your experiences; to many more great rides! <3
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The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 10:53 AM
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That's so awesome Folly! Thanks for sharing! I know exactly what you mean as both my daughter and I have come a long way since we bought our first horse over a year ago, and our second over six months ago. When I look back at where we were then, I see so much progress.

I'm 46 and am more fit than I have ever been in my life! It's not too late for us middle-aged horsey folks.
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post #5 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 10:58 AM
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That is so great to hear. What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing!
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 11:18 AM
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Glad you're enjoying your horse!
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R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #7 of 28 Old 02-01-2017, 11:46 AM
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Yay Folly! Sounds like you and your mare have become an awesome team!
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post #8 of 28 Old 02-02-2017, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Yay Folly! Sounds like you and your mare have become an awesome team!
Dreamcatcher, you've been a witness to this 'folly' from just about the beginning.... You probably have had your doubts :)

I still do a lot of things wrong - but 2 years ago I didn't even know how to pick a horse's hoof... or that I even needed to lol. Now I'm reasonably self-sufficient (ie, not a burden to my riding companions while tacking up or riding). Ha - sounds a little lame when my loftiest goals are to 'not be a burden', but that's where I've been. I'm looking forward to improving my horsemanship in 2017 and feel like we've put down a pretty good foundation of trust.

I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -

Last edited by Folly; 02-02-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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post #9 of 28 Old 02-02-2017, 08:50 AM
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I'm in a similar position as yourself (minus the disastrous first horse). Bought my first horse last spring and I was TERRIFIED. I can't even remember why I was terrified, I just was. A couple of days ago, my mare spooked and started bucking, which she never does. I was not only not terrified, but I enjoyed it! And laughed! Six months ago I would have dismounted and it would have taken me a week and a stiff drink to get back on. Now it was a non event, we just carried on with pole work. Amazing.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-02-2017, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I'm in a similar position as yourself (minus the disastrous first horse). Bought my first horse last spring and I was TERRIFIED. I can't even remember why I was terrified, I just was. A couple of days ago, my mare spooked and started bucking, which she never does. I was not only not terrified, but I enjoyed it! And laughed! Six months ago I would have dismounted and it would have taken me a week and a stiff drink to get back on. Now it was a non event, we just carried on with pole work. Amazing.
Great story!! Yes, I know what you mean. My girl rarely spooks and when she does it's for a good reason. I'd had her a while and was really learning to trust her - a storm was blowing in, and a gate slammed like a gunshot in our blind spot. She lurched forward for 3 big strides before I collected myself enough to ask for a whoa. She stopped immediately, totally calm, and we walked on 'home' - and I had a giant grin on my face. She was just trying to keep us safe, and thankfully she never does that 'duck and spin' thing that my previous horse did!
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I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
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