Wanting to ride but not needing a trainer - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 09:18 PM
Weanling
 
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In most places, I've lived it has been relatively easy for me to find horses to ride that aren't mine, but I've always taken lessons so usually once the trainer finds out I'd like to ride more he/she might suggest to others that I'd be a good person to exercise their horse if they don't have time. So even if lessons aren't your ultimate goal, they may be your best bet as far as getting a foot in the door and getting to know some people with horses.

I take a little bit of a different approach though - the more I learn about horses/riding, the more I realize I DON'T know and I think people appreciate it when you can be honest with them about your experience/limitations and are willing to learn and follow their instructions for their horse as best you can within your capabilities. I know there have been situations in which I've been asked to ride a specific horse even though there were better riders available, however I was willing to take some instruction from the owner and follow a specific rehab plan for the horse - tailoring the ride to the horse rather than what I maybe would have wanted to do just for fun.

Right now I've got a few horses so I often end up ponying one or two on conditioning rides if I don't have time to do separate rides for each of them. I've taken some horseless friends or acquaintances riding - the ones who get the invite are people who express an interest in learning about how I do things with them, the ones who tell me (unprompted) they will help me train or "fix" the horses do not get an invite.

To sum up, the more open minded you can be about having more to learn about horses and riding, the more opportunities you will likely find for yourself! My experience is that in general horse people are really eager to introduce their aspect of the horse world to new people who express a genuine interest in learning about.
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post #12 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 09:41 PM
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Not all trainers are the same. I would suggest finding one that works for you and taking lessons.

My trainer and I have a symbiotic relationship. I see things in his horses that he does not. He sees things in my riding and horses that I cannot.

It is through those exchanges of ideas and observations that BOTH of us benefit. He is 70+ years old and been professionally training bridle horses for 50+ years and he will tell you that he still does not know it all. Even he still attends seminars to improve his knowledge and riding.

The fact that he will readily admit to that is precisely the reason I want him riding and training my horses.

See the quote at the bottom of my page? That was him. I have one horse that to date has eaten 5 overconfident riders for breakfast. Anyone who gets on Oliver, needs to check their ego at the door.

I can ride him, not because of how much I know or how good of a rider I am, but because I know how much more I have to learn.

IMO, someone allowing you to ride their personal horse is giving you an honor, one that should never be taken for granted. With horses, on your end there is a delicate three way balance between healthy confidence, willingness to learn and humility.

If you want to ride for other people first, you need to know what you don’t know and that is a lesson much more gently learned from another human, than from 1100 lbs of muscle.



“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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post #13 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
With horses, on your end there is a delicate three way balance between healthy confidence, willingness to learn and humility.
Well said!!
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post #14 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
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.
I don't suppose you have the rest of that list? lol
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post #15 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 10:01 PM
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Yes, people do allow someone to pay to ride their horse and not be in a lesson. That's what leasing is :) You don't have to do a full lease. There are plenty of people out there who will part lease their horse for as low as 1 ride a week, or even a few days a week.
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* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #16 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 10:06 PM
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This is the list I was thinking of. I guess it was another one that said a beginner had less than 100 rides, etc. It was posted on a horse riding site in Ireland:
Here are some guidelines to help you judge your riding ability:

RIDING LEVELS:
BEGINNER: A rider with little or no experience.
NOVICE: A rider who is comfortable and in control at the walk and/or trot but has limited experience trotting and/or cantering.
INTERMEDIATE: A rider who is confident and in control in all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
STRONG INTERMEDIATE: An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
ADVANCED: All of the above plus the ability to handle a spirited horse in open country.
All of our horses are ridden with English style saddles. If you only have Western-type saddle experience, you will be considered to be a Beginner rider unless you have taken English riding lessons. For any trail ride other than those specifically identified for Beginners, riders will need to be familiar with English saddles, be confident and have experience of rising trot and canter.
Judge Your Riding Ability - Dingle Horseriding holidays and treks Ireland
(Was a nice stable, good place to ride and they matched my husband well with a safe horse that took good care of him while the guide and I went for a gallop. I didn't find the Irish Draught I rode particularly challenging, but it was fun to ride a breed we don't have where I live).
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post #17 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 10:10 PM
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^^I think that's a fair description until you throw a particular horse in the mix. I've seen a few that can take a rider from intermediate status to beginner in under 30 seconds.
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post #18 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 10:23 PM
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Yup I don't like general things like "can do x". Well if you can do it, CORRECTLY it may mean something lol. At the barn I used to ride at I was one of the top students. Out in the real world I realize how little I know. Though I must say I have more "practical" experience than a lot of the far better riders I am around these days lol
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post #19 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 10:52 PM
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All of our horses are ridden with English style saddles. If you only have Western-type saddle experience, you will be considered to be a Beginner rider unless you have taken English riding lessons. For any trail ride other than those specifically identified for Beginners, riders will need to be familiar with English saddles, be confident and have experience of rising trot and canter.

well I guess no matter how good I get I will always be a beginner then, can't lose half my body weight to be a size zero to fit into the English lessons around me. Kind of sounds to me like your saying if your not riding English and strictly only western you are never good enough, no matter the experience level of the rider
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post #20 of 34 Old 02-01-2016, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerscout View Post
well I guess no matter how good I get I will always be a beginner then, can't lose half my body weight to be a size zero to fit into the English lessons around me. Kind of sounds to me like your saying if your not riding English and strictly only western you are never good enough, no matter the experience level of the rider
Pretty silly, eh? We even have western classes in FEI now. Well, this was Ireland and it may be related to the fact that almost everyone rides English over there, or maybe they had a couple western riders fall off. I guess they have to have some way to gauge the riding levels of tourists so they can group them together appropriately.

Most of it I'd say "it depends," but I do agree that if you can take a "spirited" horse out in open country and gallop him around safely, you can say that you generally know how to ride horses.
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