New to Horses and Riding (no experience) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-14-2015, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Smile New to Horses and Riding (no experience)

Hello everyone,

As you can tell from the title, I am completely new to all of this. I was browsing through the threads hoping to find something that can help me as a beginner but I couldn't find an appropriate one. I decided not to search for a website or organization to learn about horses and riding because I wanted to hear from real people.

Please share your passion for riding with me because I want to know all your stories! Also, tell me how you got started and how long it took for you to become comfortable with riding.

liljen is offline  
post #2 of 17 Old 03-14-2015, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Hi, don't have much time. Best advice is to find a qualified, excellent trainer and start taking lessons. How to find one? Watch people ride. Go to shows and watch people that ride who you would like to ride like. Find people who's horses and abilities you admire and ask them where they train etc. It doesn't have to be a fancy show. A local show will work. But start watching everything and learning through reading and more observations. And when you start, make sure 100% that you have a qualified well respected trainer to help you. Not a friend or a trusted neighbor, but a real trainer to guide you through the most wonderful but difficult joy in the universe (according to me).
Talk to a trainer first and find out if they would object to you just watching a few lessons. Chances are they won't mind. If they do find another and ask them. Just because they say no doesn't mean they are bad. Just maybe more private with their students. Good luck
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Light is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 03-14-2015, 07:44 PM
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Oh, I have had my horse for 3 years. I am still not comfortable with riding. I have not even scratched the surface. I have only had a good trainer for less than a year. Wasted allot of time with BS before finding the trainer I have. Real lessons are expensive. You cannot expect to be able to ride after a few lessons. It takes years and years. While you can learn some things quickly you will soon find out that you really don't know anything very shortly. So, be prepared for the expense. Don't waste money on any clothing other than good boots, and what ever discipline of riding pants you chose and a helmet. Other than that wait on the bling. Wait on the things you don't need.
Light is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 03-14-2015, 09:08 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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Hello and welcome to the world of horses! For me, I have ridden and owned sporadically for the last 11+ years. I'm hoping to get back into it in a big way myself, but your first stop needs to be a qualified instructor that you trust. This person can teach you about riding and horses from the ground up.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-14-2015, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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Welcome. I'll echo what lightning said above - find a good quality lesson barn local to you and get yourself started. Buy only what you need and spend your money on saddle time instead of unnecessary gear - saddle time trumps all when you're starting out. A lot of new riders think they need all sorts of fancy expensive gear and spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars buying it all. In reality at the very beginning you just need a good helmet and a set of half chaps (assuming you're contemplating english?). Any barn that has been around for a while will have buckets full of brushes, picks, etc etc - basically, everything else you'll need in the very beginning, so don't waste your money on it. Down the road you'll collect plenty if you stick with riding, don't worry.

And I'll also echo others in suggesting that for every lesson you take, watch two others - when I started riding english I learned SO much just standing and watching other lessons...and that's FREE. ;)

Have fun!

-- In the great white north - Canada!
Every ride is a lesson, for you AND your horse - Newbies read this thread!
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-15-2015, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by lightning View Post
Talk to a trainer first and find out if they would object to you just watching a few lessons. Chances are they won't mind. If they do find another and ask them. Just because they say no doesn't mean they are bad. Just maybe more private with their students. Good luck
Finding a trainer is a little like finding a doctor, you don't have to like them personally but you do need to find one that you feel comfortable and confident with
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-15-2015, 10:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
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Welcome! If you really want to learn about horses, I'll quote the others as I say find a trainer! Make sure they're reputable - do your research. But as for me and my riding journey so far, I'd love to share (:
It started when I was a baby, I was raised alongside horses. Got my first pony at 5 (she passed when I was 9). Had a hiatus, then took up real riding lessons in barrel racing and pole bending. Had a nasty accident and wouldn't touch a horse for 8 months. Then got back into lessons, this time doing Dressage. Got my horse after a little less than a year. I've had her for 2 years now. About 4 months ago I left my old trainer and found a new one, starting yet another new discipline; jumping! I think I'll settle down now lol. I'm very happy with my current trainer and am improving tremendously. The thing that taught me more than any trainer or book ever could; however, was my horse. She taught me patience, trust, and perseverance. And of course, I now know how to identify and treat Line Disease, Thrush, Suspensory Ligament tears, popped Splints, Founder, and Hematomas.

c'est la vie
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-15-2015, 10:54 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,863
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It's great you want to learn more about horses and riding!

The best first step is to take lessons. Some people might remark on how expensive they are, but they're much cheaper than horse ownership!

How long does it take to get good/comfortable? Well that's a tricky question. I would say probably a 50 hours in the saddle to be comfortable riding a reasonably well trained and quiet horse.

However its hard to measure how long it takes because counting weeks or months or years is vague - some people ride once a week for one hour, others ride twice a week, some everyday and some ride monthly. The less frequent you ride the slower you will progress - because you will spend more time recapping previous riding ideas. I think, if possible, riding twice a week is ideal for a beginner.

I start riding when I was eight. I rode for about two and a half years before I got my first horse. I probably had about 250 - 300 hours experience riding but as I was a kid it wasn't all serious lessons! The lessons got me comfortable with walk, trot and canter, as well as trail riding and low jumps, cross country and some gaming. However, it was a massive learning curve with my first horse, who wasn't exactly the ideal first horse. Even though I'd spent lots of time riding, I'd spent no time training or correcting horses so I had to learn all of that too. There were a lot of tears and mistakes, but a year and a half later I'd mastered my first horse, and started competing.

Then i moved onto younger, more difficult horses and had ups and downs. There is always more to learn, and just because you're great at one thing in riding doesn't mean you know anything about something else!
Saskia is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 03-16-2015, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ont. Canada
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Welcome to the crazy world of horses!!

I started out by watching my best friends lessons for the first 3 years. After going with her every week to watch her lessons I found interest in actually wanting to be apart of it as well.. So when it became time for me to get on a horse and start lessons, I found I advanced fairly quickly and got up to her level in no time! So find that good instructor and after your lesson or before, stick around and watch the other lessons!

Oh and get someone to come and record your lessons (if possible)! I found going back and watching yourself and listening to what your coach is saying really helps solidify what you learned and lets you see anything you might have missed during the lesson!

Good luck and enjoy the ride! :)
Sarahrachael is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 03-16-2015, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
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When you are just starting out it can seem overwhelming because the beginner doesn't feel confident to make the right choices. Lessons from a qualified instructor on good horses are vital. If you cannot get any recommendations for a good facility, start with making phone calls to as many places that you can find in your area. Ask when it would be convenient for you to visit to watch a beginner lesson and speak with management and the instructor. Keep in mind that if you arrive at a busy time you might not be able to speak with someone immediately. The facility does not have to be fancy but should be well maintained and neat. Do the horses look well cared for? Is the stable clean ? When watching a lesson look for order. Is it starting on time? Are the students getting enough individual attention/ is the class small enough for them to do so ? Do the horses seem well behaved? Take everything into consideration and make a choice and get started
Textan49 is offline  

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