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About having 6 horses in the arena - that would drive me crazy. I really don't mind people watching me, but I need space and to not worry about collisions. Are you taking private or group lessons? I'm all about private lessons. Occasionally during a private there are other people in the arena, which I'm not thrilled about. Being alone is really the best for something new like cantering.

I have steering problems too. My horse won't automatically stay on the rail and likes to run into other horses as well as people and doors if I'm not paying proper attention, so I feel your pain.
 

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About having 6 horses in the arena - that would drive me crazy. I really don't mind people watching me, but I need space and to not worry about collisions. Are you taking private or group lessons? I'm all about private lessons. Occasionally during a private there are other people in the arena, which I'm not thrilled about. Being alone is really the best for something new like cantering.

I have steering problems too. My horse won't automatically stay on the rail and likes to run into other horses as well as people and doors if I'm not paying proper attention, so I feel your pain.
I know what you mean about lots (maybe not six) horses in the ring! It's a pain even when everyone can handle themselves and their horse. Why can't the outdoor just be fixed!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Well, I take private lessons once a week and group every other week, but with it being winter there is always someone else riding. Friday afternoons tend to be the quietest and I like that best. In the evenings the barn is a madhouse!

I would love one lesson where it's just me and the instructor isn't paying attention to anyone else, but that's unlikely to happen in the near future. I think once the weather is better things will improve.
 

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Well, I take private lessons once a week and group every other week, but with it being winter there is always someone else riding. Friday afternoons tend to be the quietest and I like that best. In the evenings the barn is a madhouse!

I would love one lesson where it's just me and the instructor isn't paying attention to anyone else, but that's unlikely to happen in the near future. I think once the weather is better things will improve.
That's a shame.. :/ it's so vital that the instructor has all the attention on you and the horse. Mine won't even talk to anyone else or answer anyone's questions until she is done helping me along. If she does have something she needs to take care of (an important call) she always tells me and then let's me and my horse work on "free walk" and practice what we just practiced while she's busy. But other than that, it's about me and my horse, which benefits us both greatly.

I hope things improve!

@Kestra: I once shared a large polo arena with 12 riders and horses. I felt like I was at a horse show warmup ring and ended up just riding out in open space or in the uphill arena (the one no one wanted to be in because it was hard to ride.) It was terrible... but I liked the uphill arena for walking. Helped him with his balance and my equitation!
 

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maybe ask for a lunge lesson? That way you can focus on one thing at a time than all at once. I'm sure your instructor won't mind you holding onto the pommel of the saddle and really pulling yourself into a deeper seat so you get a feel for the horse's movement in canter
 

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6 horses at once is just too many in any of the places I have ever ridden unless everyone in riding the same pattern and no one deviates.

I'll be honest, if I had to deal with that many horses in my space even once, I'd just find another instructor and move on. And that goes double for an instructor that will shift her attention to something else for more than a few seconds during a private lesson.

I am very assertive when I pay for a service and feel I am not getting my money's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Well, I think it'll be better once the weather warms up and we don't have to be in a busy arena. She has to pay attention to the others there sometimes to try to get them to move out of the way, etc., you know? We'll see, though.
 

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Well, I think it'll be better once the weather warms up and we don't have to be in a busy arena. She has to pay attention to the others there sometimes to try to get them to move out of the way, etc., you know? We'll see, though.
There isn't a rule about lessons at the barn? My old barn, lessons trumped pleasure riding and the instructor was the person in charge. This barn, riders ask permission of both rider AND instructor if they can join. If not, they wait.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
OK, so today we did some talking, and there is a rule at least about lungeing (there was a lady lungeing her horse in the middle of five people trying to ride), and it was being broken. I don't know if there's a rule about pleasure riding. There really doesn't seem to be.

I far prefer Friday afternoons (like today) when it's just me and maybe two other people. Much quieter.

Anyway, we did some work with the instructor lungeing Hook at a canter. I thought I was probably going to fall off and die, and we only did a few tries, but we're going to keep doing that. I have a video and holy cow my feet look awful (toes way out) so I need to work on that, but I also want to get the feel for the canter, and that seems to be helping. So, I'm glad.
 

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Hey I bet I look worse, lol. Least we're doing it! :)

Happy you got on the lunge line!!!
 

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To the OP I def. feel your frustration on this one. It seems this is my problem plus I ride in an areana that can get pretty crowded. It is wonderful to see the tips that everyone has offered.

We will get there, Rome wasn't built in a day!
 

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Well...

I started riding at age 40. I began with 8 and 9 year old girls learning to barrel race. I could lope a horse but had no idea how to trot! How funny is that?

I switched to English and have found it to much more to my liking. Cantering for me has been a blast. Sit up, relax, and laugh! If you can smile and take a few deep breaths, it's what it;s supposed to be....fun!
 

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yeah, western saddles are nice for learning . I confess to being more secure cantering in my western saddle than my english saddle.
Agreed. I have been told by folks who have both that they feel more likely to stay on when they're in their western saddle. My wife has many types of saddles (English, dressage, western) but always rides western on the trails. (My saddles only vary between a western reiner and a western trail saddle...) ;-)

If you can borrow a western saddle to use while getting comfortable with the canter, it might be a really good idea.... Whatever you do, though, stick with it! A nice lope/canter is a total joy once you're used to it and comfortable with it.
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I hope you are getting more comfortable cantering, great advice about trying to getting a lungeing lesson. I had to do a lot of no stirrup work to try to improve my seat before getting to canter. Now I found singing to myself makes me relax when I know I'm over thinking it all.
 

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You are going to think I'm crazy, but after the initial canter in the round pen where my student holds on to the front and the back of the saddle, I do a bareback lesson with my "Redneck bareback pad" and attempt the canter that way. Works every time. The secret to the redneck bareback pad is its really sticky so your butt sticks and you go with the motion. No stirrups to lose and get flustered with. The reason I call it the "Redneck" is because it a plain old bathmat turned upside down that is held on with a piece of leather and a western cinch (or two stirrup leathers). I actually use two bathmats.. The sticky side faceing the horse and then the other one upside down, so the sticky side faces you. Works wonders. :eek:)
 
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