Learning to ride again - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-30-2017, 09:16 PM
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I too have eaten dirt, had face plants and hit my skull so hard my helmet split.

My fall I will not describe but it took me 5 years to get on again, and then it literally was a pony-ride with me shaking like a leaf in fright.
Today, years later I am back to galloping wide open trails but not on wooded paths...we walk and trot those. Mostly walk.
My horses are as safe as I can find.
I use to ride and jump horses, work in the barns for a living ...
Today I have "0" desire to jump fences much. An occasional down tree or log across the trail I'll jump but courses...no thanks. I've had enough.
Today, I enjoy riding for me, not anyone else but me.
I have the knowledge, the balance and legs again to do whatever I want....I want to just enjoy!
At my pace...

Lessons, yes and with a adult instructor. The right instructor...
You need a supportive and a good communication base to help you past the fear....
Fear is good, but you need to learn how to control it, not it control you....takes time.
Your horse at home is fantastic but having a set of learned eyes watching as you take those baby steps again astride is a good way to go.
A veteran lesson horse who knows what is expected and can offer you a safe ride...then go home and ride on your trusted friend.

So, from your avatar you are in NY...big state and depending where you are depends upon what kind of riding establishments are around.
You want a place where adults are encouraged but not pushed beyond their ability and true comfort-level..
Where the pace is slower and confidence is gained before you move forward in difficulty.
This kind of barn does exist.
You do want a lesson barn.
I am from Long Island, moved a few years ago.
Horses are still in abundance their, you just need to know where to look.
Upstate NY is still a horse lovers heaven of opportunity and facilities as is the rest of the state.
Find a place that you feel comfortable in, one you enjoy being at.
A place that has a adult riders program so when you're ready, you ride with other adults not kids...it makes a difference.
Find a place that has multiple instructors, so you can find a instructor who gives you confidence. A compatible personality. Be picky who you ride with.
Then start to flex those baby wings...go slowly.
Most of all you should be happy and enjoying yourself.
If you're not, then you are not at the right place riding or with the right instructor offering support.
I bet you once you get back on you will remember more than you think.
Learning a new saddle style is fun and challenging. Having to work to achieve is a good feeling of accomplishment when "you get it".
Go for it....
Enjoy the journey as you again find the sheer joy of riding start to claim your spirit again.
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-30-2017, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: NY
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Thank you for all the advice. (:
I have definitely met riding instructors who almost encourage falling, which I hate. I used to take lessons at one place that had the sweetest instructor ever, I really got along with her, and she made me feel very comfortable riding. We did trail rides, and just quick barn lessons. She really helped with my confidence. Unfortunately she moved to a different state at some point, and the other instructors at the barn were not people I really vibed with.
I do live in Upstate NY. There are tons of barns, and people who ride around here, but I have yet to really find a barn that I like. A lot around me are filled with little kids, and only offer group lessons. There are definitely tons more I could benefit from checking out, but until I find the right barn I do agree that baby steps are the way to go.
Since I've stopped riding I have lost touch with all of the people I used to trail ride with. I should probably also look into finding some new people to ride with... but I'll probably hold off on that until I am actually comfortable enough to get back out on the trails.

Also, the idea to have somebody maybe hold the horse for me when I first get back on until I feel comfortable on my own is a great idea. Even though I have confidence in my horse, having that extra control would definitely be reassuring. Maybe that is what I will try first.
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-31-2017, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Joel Reiter View Post
Well that's very kind, tinyliny, but if you're ever in Minnesota stop in and I will disintegrate any remaining respect you might have for me. Yesterday my horses didn't even come when I called. I was fortunate nobody was there to witness my humiliation.
I've been shanghaied into going to St. Paul next weekend - DH has bank security officer (The guy that works there as an unassuming loan officer but he's the guy that's legally packing heat under that sport jacket) training. He's a tremendous chicken when it comes to traveling and flying alone, so I'm going.

In compensation, I am promised time at the Minnesota Ren Faire. It looks amazing.

OP: My neck bore the brunt of the fall. Its a testimony to all the raw, whole dairy milk I enjoyed as a kid that I didn't break any bones, specifically my neck. (Never have in my entire life, despite falling out of trees, a nasty car accident - not my fault, and numerous alcohol related slip and falls that left me unable to walk for a week - usually because of water that's leaked out of an ice chest full of someone else's beer in the kitchen floor, have I had a broken bone).

Up until last winter, everyone but my husband that had ridden Trigger had ended up afraid of him and said: He's just too fast and runs too long without getting tired. And I've gotten this from two other young men who grew up on a horse, they're rodeo bronc riders, but also in the summer months do nothing but ride other people's horses, and they do it well. Trigger scared even him, simply because he never. stops. running. once you let him get his full stride going. He'd run till he dies of a heat stroke or a heart attack, we're sure of it. In fact, he wore out three young men at a friend's roping arena. He let us use it one evening last autumn to see just how long it would take to tire Trigger out. He and his wife stood there with me and four other people while the other three took turns letting him run all out around the perimeter of the arena.

He wore them out before he got tired, he was lathered up, out of breath, shaking (he has this weird tremors thing he gets going, even when he's fresh if he gets overstimulated) and he was still ready to go.

My husband rode him once - and he grew up riding and working cattle from horseback, and he's ridden some of the most hateful mares (one was named Hellbitch after the horse on Lonesome Dove) - and even he was mystified. He'd watch us try to ride Trigger, and we had to keep a constant tight rein on him, which sucked, because its 'nagging with a bit' and he hated bits anyway and would rear up. DH would say: You're tight reining him... good lord, give him some slack...

Then he rode him himself - and Trigger constantly pulled on the bit, and as we promised, every little bit of slack you gave him, he'd get a little faster, and a little faster... and a little faster... So he'd stop Trigger, make him stand and calm down, and Trigger would just stand there and shake apart like he was absolutely terrified of something. His head would jiggle and shake, he'd chew the bit and want to move around. DH finally calls him a crackhead (LOL) and an adrenaline junkie. He finally looks up at me, and I was on Leroy waiting nearby and he says: This is the craziest thing. I've never seen a horse do this, ever. But I was wrong (he's one of the people that told us to try to run him out and wear him down). Quit trying to run him out - its only making it worse. You're going to have to take him the other direction. He actually then decided I needed to just sell him, and he's right.

Trigger is more horse than I honestly have any business with, but his next stop would be a kill pen. No one here would take the time needed to unravel the mess this horse is. He's not papered, we don't even really know for sure what kind of horse he is, except when he moves, he's absolutely beautiful - he looks like a Hollywood movie horse... but the market is saturated with cheap horses and project horses. Well broke horses cost more, but sell better. Someone made Trigger a mess, we didn't know it, got in over my head with him, and its not his fault.

This is on me to get over being scared of riding him, to be a better rider and to understand him. His last stop is the K-K Ranch - us.

So. For his sake... so he doesn't end up in a can of Alpo, I've sucked it up and started learning late in life how to deal with him. I can understand where you're coming from - once you have that moment when you see all the Horrible Ways This Can End when things go pear shaped, its hard to get back in the saddle again. It took me... I think... 6 months? to even feel comfortable letting Superman trot, and loping left me clutching the horn with a white knuckled, iron grip, which left me rigid and praying to the Lord I didn't get loose in the saddle again... which made me get loose in the saddle again.

I'm glad you're trying once more - just take a lot of deep breaths, and the advice that positive thinking will take you a long way is true. It's a frame of mind that I find myself having to consciously seek out and it's almost starting to feel like ritual to get there. LOL

Pull on the same old pair of faded, worn out, hem bedraggled jeans, a ratty t-shirt, a ball cap... my boots... all the while convincing myself I Can Do This, I can't let him know I get worried or scared, or he gets worried and scared... I can do this. Roll the tack room door open, put on my Country Playlist (Mostly because Trigger seems to enjoy George Strait and Charlie Pride, but also, strangely, Nickleback - there's no accounting for taste, right?), and lastly, after he's saddled up, in the immortal words of Leroy Jenkins I tell myself and Trigger: Let's do this.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you keep us updated on how its going.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-01-2017, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: NY
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So I have decided I am going to try to ride again on Sunday (weather permitting, we might get a storm) so I am trying to get myself feeling excited about it to get rid of some nerves.
I bought a new pair of riding boots today, just a cheap practical pair... my old nice pair got eaten by some puppies one day when I was out of the house. Ah, the life of a dog breeder. I feel like having a new pair of boots to break in adds a little bit of excitement though, makes me look forward to it a little more.
I really hope the storm doesn't come through, I really want to get back in the saddle.

I'm also going to be going out to the local tack store Sunday morning and picking up the girls new halters, and some nice new brushes. I'm going to give Pippin (the horse I will be riding) a really nice grooming after our ride.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-10-2017, 05:44 PM
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Hi, I am new to this forum. When I was a teenager, I never took lessons, just learned some riding from a family member. We had many great riding experiences as I always stuck to calm, slow horses. One day I rode a horse that was known to spook easily - he spooked from a dog and threw me, the wind was knocked out of me, it was very scary. I was terrified to get back on and about a year later I decided to sign up for lessons to conquer my fear. Could it get worse, I was the only adult in a class with a bunch of kids as they did not offer adult lessons - it was sooo humbling and though I admit I felt silly, I still had fun and learned a lot. That was 20 years ago! I haven't ridden since. But now, after staying home and raising kids, although I do work full time, my life has slowed down and I am ready to ride again. I have decided to take beginner lessons and start fresh. This time it is a class with all adults - I am 46!!

Good luck to you!!!! I really miss riding and am excited to start again. I wish you all the best and please keep us updated - I will too!

Wow I really like the advice and encouragement on this forum!!
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Last edited by lmc; 09-10-2017 at 06:00 PM.
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-10-2017, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: UT
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Good on you for getting back to riding, Stephaa! New boots <=> new attitude! I hope you had a great ride Sunday.
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post #17 of 17 Old 09-12-2017, 10:47 AM
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Me too! Let us know how it went.
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