Now do I learn now to canter when all the school horses keep frightening me? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
. So it's not just me not giving the correct signals (which these blasted instructors keep telling me, that irritates me to no end - sort your **** horses out and than shout at me).
Weeeelllll, it could be you....

See when you get nervous about something like cantering, especially given the problems you have had, it is very easy to start blocking the transition, ask me how I know!

I have had problems cantering, and now I know that just sometimes it IS my fault, not being 100% committed to asking for the transition, asking for it but blocking the horse going forward with my hands, asking for it but blocking the horse going forward with my body, all these I have done.

So you have very real and genuine fears about cantering, those real fears can stop you getting the canter, it is a viscous circle. This is where a good and generous horse, and a sympathetic and skilled coach comes in, you need both to help you over the issue...OR you can as I say be a walk trot rider, no problem at all in that.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #12 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
Weeeelllll, it could be you....

See when you get nervous about something like cantering, especially given the problems you have had, it is very easy to start blocking the transition, ask me how I know!

I have had problems cantering, and now I know that just sometimes it IS my fault, not being 100% committed to asking for the transition, asking for it but blocking the horse going forward with my hands, asking for it but blocking the horse going forward with my body, all these I have done.

So you have very real and genuine fears about cantering, those real fears can stop you getting the canter, it is a viscous circle. This is where a good and generous horse, and a sympathetic and skilled coach comes in, you need both to help you over the issue...OR you can as I say be a walk trot rider, no problem at all in that.
I think I misspoke, I wanted to say that I had no problem getting myself understood by those two mares so I think I'm at least in the same ballpark as to what a canter aid should be. I'm quite sure a part of it is me, but I think a school horse should be a bit tolerant of slight mistakes - otherwise nobody would be able to learn how to canter.

Just to explain my "sort out your horses" rant a bit: these horses buck with the instructors as well, just less often. That's why I think there is something wrong, either training or pain.
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 05:56 PM
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Is there a way to take lessons outside of riding schools? Are there any riding clubs or competitions or some kind of horse event you can go to, meet a few people and see if there is someone else who can teach you? To be honest if these are the sorts of horses that the instructors will get you to ride I don't think you would be much worse off with an amateur but experienced rider teaching you on their own private horse. I'm not an instructor but if someone approached me and offered me $50 or something an hour to teach them on my horse I probably would do it.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
Is there a way to take lessons outside of riding schools? Are there any riding clubs or competitions or some kind of horse event you can go to, meet a few people and see if there is someone else who can teach you? To be honest if these are the sorts of horses that the instructors will get you to ride I don't think you would be much worse off with an amateur but experienced rider teaching you on their own private horse. I'm not an instructor but if someone approached me and offered me $50 or something an hour to teach them on my horse I probably would do it.
That might just work. I have a couple of people in mind. Thanks a lot!

At least around here they don't have to worry about insurance and liability, we don't really do those much :)
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-20-2016, 10:32 PM
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I think Saskia's idea is a good one! I certainly don't have anything else to suggest other than it's perfectly ok for you to just walk/trot. However, being comfortable at the canter is important so at some point, you will want to have more practice at it. Yet it sounds like that's impossible right now because the horses they're putting you on are miserable.

Yes, it's normal for school horses to be sometimes cranky and certainly not always perfect and elegant (otherwise they'd be someone's show horse), but they should be safe. It doesn't sound like that is the case here.

I'm particularly saddened to hear that you get grumpy on lesson days. That's not good. I feel horrible if I go see my horse and things don't go really well. I can't wait to get back out so we can fix it and we can both feel better about each other. I can't imagine how you're feeling. Kudos to you for keeping at it!

It does sound like maybe one-on-one lessons on a safe horse would be much better than what you're having to deal with. Please keep us in the loop - I'd love to hear that you found a way to pursue this passion without dealing with unsafe horses!
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-20-2016, 11:41 PM
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A lot of those issues are honestly things you should learn to deal with. You absolutely only need to go as far as you want but the more you learn the safer you will be. Even the "perfect" horse may revert with a new buyer. Something like reversing into other horses to kick is on YOU. That said you shouldn't be riding an unsafe horse or one with issues (the one bucking only to the right screams physical issue to me). I like to think that you wouldn't be on the horses if you couldn't handle them, and sometimes a push is good, within reason.

Don't make excuses and blame it on the horse. I know it can be difficult, trust me, I'm not trying to belittle you! If you are that upset I think you should sit down and talk to your instructor. As said, it is ENTIRELY up to you what you want to do and don't feel pressured if you're unhappy. Happiness is what this is all about!
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-21-2016, 07:51 AM
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If it's making you miserable I would stick to trotting for now while you look for other riding options. Riding should be fun and once the fun starts to go and it turns into a chore I think you're just throwing your money away.

I agree that it's best to work through some of these problems, but if it happens every time you ride it can be really disheartening.

I think someone mentioned lunging.. would a lunge lesson be an option? Then your instructor can worry about getting the horse into the canter and you can work on your position and staying on.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-21-2016, 08:53 AM
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OK-I also have dealt with the fear..many of us do as we get older and realize we are not invincible and the ground is harder than it was when we were young. That said-personally, I would not ride the bucking horse. Bouncing off the ground makes things worse for sure. Then concentrate on the other 2 horses. What Yogi said is true. You now know what these horses will do, and I would talk to the instructor before hand on how best to handle it. Use if as a learning experience as well as a personal challenge. These horse have your number, and, as difficult as it can be, put on your big girl panties and do NOT allow the one to turn and run, or the other to back up and kick other horses. My suggestion would be to make the horse pay attention to YOU. If you feel the horse start-get their attention back on you by gently playing with your reins(right, then left gently) so they remember you are there, turn, do a circle, whatever, but keep cantering where YOU want to go. Perhaps a lesson without other horses will help for a bit.
I actually had a horse who wanted to kick others when I was young-he scared me to death, but I learned a lot. When he tried to buck/kick-I immediately-the instant I felt him start-spun him and smacked him HARD with a crop-then-without hesitation, started my canter again.

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post #19 of 22 Old 02-21-2016, 09:05 AM
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Reading what franknbeans wrote reminded me of one of the horses I still ride.

I had taken a break and started riding again after a few years off. One of the horses I ride is a great lesson horses, but he's smart as all get out and picks what each person is bad at and goes for it. With me it's not paying attention. I tend to drift off and expect the best from all the horses I'm on. He got a hold of that and would pick something in a corner of the arena. spin faster than ANY horse I've ever ridden and go to bolt.

I never really got the fear, and my instructor helped me work through it, but man! They sure can pick you apart in no time if you're riding a smart one! I've seen him mess with a multitude of people in different ways and it's truly incredible, if not frustrating at times :)

Once we got past it though it was such a great learning experience!
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-21-2016, 12:46 PM
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I think you may need a little break from cantering since the apprehension of something happening is affecting you so badly. I had a similar experience learning to jump years ago. I was put on several horses that would stop dead or run out at the last second and it made me not want to jump at all. I will say that it eventually made me a better rider, but it was not an easy thing to get past

I would have an honest talk with your instructor and explain how this is affecting you, See if, when you are ready for cantering again, that the two of you can come up with a way that you can perfect yourself getting your horse into a canter and sitting to it without the fear of getting bucked off. A few private lessons might help or working on a lunge line. The horse that bucks in one direction might just be ridden in the other direction to start. I believe that being able to do it correctly a few times without an incident will give you some confidence. I would also remember that your instructors are in the same position as you are. If good lesson horses are not available they have no choice but to teach on what they have. That can be as frustrating to the instructor as it is to the student. While we all take up riding for enjoyment, every lesson is not always enjoyable and some are just hard work and disappointment, but there has to be an ultimate reward. It is your investment of time and money and your decision as to what makes it rewarding. Good Luck
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