Wanting to ride but not needing a trainer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question Wanting to ride but not needing a trainer

First I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask about this.

Okay so I rode horses for years but then stopped after the horse being boarded at my barn was moved. We weren't leasing (and I'm not planning on leasing because I can't afford it) but I've been wanting to start up again for a long time. The thing is that I don't need a trainer/instructor... I was really into horses at a young age and before I had experience with actually riding, i already knew how. Then i started riding and I was really good at it.. and then i stopped. I wasn't even in the "horse world" when I was obsessed and taking lessons. I don't know how a lot of these arrangements work... but do people allow others to pay to ride a horse, not with an instructor? I remember paying the instructor for their time, but how could I go about approaching a barn and then approaching the owner of a horse that's boarded there (and used for schooling, lessons) and pay them for me to have time riding their horse? Do people even do that? Aside from the fact that they don't know me or how I'd treat their horse without supervision, which is why i don't know if this is a reasonable thing to ask. I'm just at the point where i don't need someone to instruct me how to do these things and even when I was taking lessons, i was getting there and feeling awkward when I'd be told what to do and I knew i could do it myself. Riding was really calming/enjoyable for me and if I could spend time with a horse without another person watching me/telling me what to do, would be extremely nice. I won't ever be able to afford a horse or to lease and I don't know how everything works, especially the etiquette.

Any help?
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 04:36 PM
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My guess is that it will be pretty hard to find someone who will let a stranger take off with their horse with no supervision.
I used to board my horses at a barn where the girls that worked there would trail ride together a couple of times a week after they were done with their work. That would be something you could do. Start working at a barn and when the B/O gets to know you maybe they will let you ride.
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 04:42 PM
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The fact that you think you don't need an instructor tells me you really need one. I've been riding and owning (at home) horses for over 20 years and MORE THAN EVER, I know that I don't know anything and have so much more to learn.

This being said, I don't think a commercial barn would let someone take a horse without supervision, if only for insurance considerations.
Maybe, just maybe, private barn-owners with too many horses at home to ride would allow riding in exchange of chores. But if it were at my place, you'd be supervised for a long time and prove your savvy and riding abilities before I'd let anyone be alone on my horses.

Just my 2 cents!

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post #4 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 05:05 PM
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^^^I'd have to agree. I think you'd also need to consider the barn you would be approaching and the discipline their horses are being ridden. Boarding barns are expensive. Horses are expensive. Generally, when people pay someone to ride their horse, it is because they know that rider will bring some sort of benefit to the table that is going to add to the overall improvement of the horse.

I would be more inclined to say that you don't "want" a trainer, then you don't "need" a trainer. Olympic level riders still need a trainer.
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 05:20 PM
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you may look at Craig's list, put an add on it saying you will exersize someone's horse. you may have to pay something, or not. depends on the person offering their hores, and upon your skill level (if you can improve the horse by riding him quite well)

you'd have to probably ride in front of the owner, or with the owner a few times to makes sure you are suited for that horse.
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plumyy View Post
...before I had experience with actually riding, i already knew how. Then i started riding and I was really good at it.. and then i stopped...I'm just at the point where i don't need someone to instruct me how to do these things and even when I was taking lessons, i was getting there and feeling awkward when I'd be told what to do and I knew i could do it myself. Riding was really calming/enjoyable for me and if I could spend time with a horse without another person watching me/telling me what to do, would be extremely nice. I won't ever be able to afford a horse or to lease and I don't know how everything works, especially the etiquette.
If you truly "won't ever" be able to own or lease a horse, then you will always have to be open to having whoever owns the horse tell you what they want to do and how they want you to ride. I'd say no matter what your age, it's a good goal to work toward being able to afford a horse if you would like to own one. That might mean taking a couple years off riding and going to college, etc.

I'm not sure what you're saying exactly when you say you "already knew how" to ride. It could be you mean you read lots of books and watched videos and learned many theories about riding. That's great. But if you're trying to say you had some sort of "natural" ability, that's not going to take you very far. Even if you are athletic and balanced you need to understand many other principles and practice many things before you can be a good rider.

I'd say you're a good rider if several professionals and other very good riders tell you that you are. Those who base their assessment of their own riding ability on how they feel they are doing will soon be humbled by a horse that is difficult to handle. It was difficult for me to say I was a good rider until I was trying to assess myself for riding at stables overseas. They had criteria to help them decide if you were a good rider. One was based on how many rides you had on a horse, i.e. under a hundred rides meant you were a rank beginner. Another criteria was that you were an experienced rider if you could get on a strange horse and gallop him over open country you hadn't ridden on before. When I could honestly say I could do that without putting myself or the horse in danger (not talking about a totally inexperienced horse), then I was willing to say I was a "good" rider.

If I were you, I'd try to meet someone who has an extra horse you can ride. But I'd expect them to assess your riding skills for a few rides and perhaps ride out with you on another horse for a few rides before they let you go out on their own. They won't want you to hurt their horse, but they also won't want you to get hurt. I've had two people tell me they were "great" riders but both of them fell off on the first ride so now I spend some time assessing people who want to ride my horses and give them some lessons myself if necessary.

Also, "knowing how to ride" may only apply to one type of horse or one discipline. I don't know how to ride every discipline, and whenever I ride someone else's horse I have them instruct me on how the horse has been trained. Does the horse neck rein or direct rein? What kind of seat do they prefer? Do they move off your legs or do they not understand leg contact? How you ride also depends on what type of bit/headgear the horse is wearing. There are many, many different forms of riding. No one can know how to do them all with excellence.
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post #7 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 07:01 PM
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I had horses from the time I was 5 to the time I was an adult. I got out of it for a while (ok, 20 some years) until my daughter started riding. I mean, I'd go on trail rides and stuff once in a while, but I wasn't riding consistently anymore. After my daughter rode for 4 years, we got a horse. I rode him a few times alone because I'm comfortable doing that, but I know I'm not a good rider because it's been so long. So I started taking lessons on him. Best riding decision I ever made. My instructor knows I'm not going to compete and she's been coaching my daughter for years so she knows I know something about horses. So she didn't start me like she would start a kid. It wasn't like, pull the right rein to turn right, lol. We started at a walk and she had me do exercises to stretch my leg, then a trot, then posting (first lesson). I doesn't matter that you're a natural at riding, you can still use eyes on the ground to help you get your position right. I don't care what I look like and I sure as hell am not going to compete, but I want to be balanced for my horse. I don't want to hurt him or mess up his training. I owe it to him to be a half decent rider. By the second lesson, I was posting with only one foot in the stirrup. I figure she'll have me vaulting by next week, LOL. The lessons are kept short, and I practice during the week. Maybe if you're taking lessons at a barn, they'll allow you to "rent" a horse during the week to practice on him (our old barn did that and even "rented" us two of their bomb-proof ponies for my daughter's 10th birthday party! All her friends got to ride - no instructor in sight, but they knew us well by then and knew we were responsible). If you take a few lessons, they know you have the basics at least.

Everyone has something to learn and odds are that if you don't ride all the time anymore, you'll be out of shape and will need to work on those muscles. You'll be surprised at how much fun it will be. The right coach will assess your level quickly and decide where you can start. You can also be up-front about your goals. But maybe don't start out saying you already know how to ride...
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post #8 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
you may look at Craig's list, put an add on it saying you will exersize someone's horse. you may have to pay something, or not. depends on the person offering their hores, and upon your skill level (if you can improve the horse by riding him quite well)

you'd have to probably ride in front of the owner, or with the owner a few times to makes sure you are suited for that horse.
This. Around here there are plenty of "horse-less rider" and "rider-less horse" ads.
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 07:24 PM
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I started riding again , after a 25 year absence, by part leasing a horse. I told the owner I could ride. had had some lessons , ridden as a kid. I know how to ride.

well, I was bucked off not a month after I started. I realized that I needed to learn more. since that day, . . . . um . 16 years ago, I've learned WAY more than I knew when I was telling the lady "I know how to ride".
all by riding, taking years of lessons, falling off, asking questions and listening!
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post #10 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 07:45 PM
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i would say your chances of finding a horse to ride without a lease or lessons are slim.
I would not allow you to ride my horses with the comments you just made. No one 'knows' how to ride a horse before they ever rode.
No horse is the same, nor are all horses ridden the same, even in the same style of riding.
My old mustang would dump you in a heartbeat for something the quarab will tolerate.
good luck. Also, if you do find someone that will trade riding for work, I would tone down how great of a rider you are.
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