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I learned to ride by myself, as the closest lesson barn was 120 miles away when I had my horse. This may sound bad, but if you hear my explanation it's not as bad as it seems. I am just curious is anyone else has learned to ride like this?

I didn't come into riding as a complete novice, I just had no formal lessons, though I did have a big idea of what I was doing from youtube videos and such. I also made sure my first horse was something as willing as a lesson horse. Also, from the beginning I could ride without hurting my horse (I actually put too little pressure on the bit, and went out of my way to avoid being a sack of potatoes). It was just a matter of me looking graceful on him haha.

I would take a video of me riding, watch it, see my obvious mistakes, correct them in another video, and repeat the process. When I thought it looked reletively good, I would post my video (I had a trainer from a distant barn who would help me through email, and when she wasn't available, I would throw it to the wolves on youtube). After the critiques, I would do it again, until I felt like I accomplished something.

I concider myself getting pretty far with it. Jethro and I were cantering bareback and bridleless in the arena good enough to impress my "online instructor". I wouldn't dare try to teach myself to jump this way but as for flat work with a helmet, it cant be that bad of a method, right? Anyone else learn like this?
 

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No, I always had someone in person for instruction, but that is a good example of making due with what you have for resources. I like that!
 

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The only lessons I have ever had was from my mom. She was a horse leader and everything she knows today she learned from herself, videos, and an amazing horsewoman trainer.
My mom had been doing horses for ten years and she could be a good trainer if she wanted to.

Everything I have known from today and in the past two years is from her, myself, vidoes on youtube and watching videos of myself.

My mom says I am almost as good as her - but I don't know about that.
I have come a great distance in riding and working with horses. Two years ago I knew almost nothing - and I was doing everything wrong. Today I am helping others train and learn more aobut horses, I have been loping bareback most of the time and jumping over small poles bareback - as an example from where I came from two years ago. Two years ago I was deathyl afraid to trot in the saddle and never would I think I would be loping and jumping over poles bareback two years later. I hope I leanr more as I work with horses and I hope to be a horse trainer and instructor as a future career.
I am 15 years old and I still have PLENTY to learn with horses, I know I don't know a whole lot - but I do know quite a bit and I have been told by numerous people - non-horsemen and horsemen - that I am an excellent rider and I take their word for it.
 

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I too am a self taught rider...but for me, I rode horses...lots of horses. I asked a lot of questions, I watched, went to shows, had my rough times, hitting the dirt and not bouncing, asked more questions, had friends who were well versed in their chosen seat help me.

I don't think you can learn from you tube or some on line trainer, as it takes being there, seeing how you ride, the horse, so many little things that not "seeing" your unable to give good advice or lessons. Putting it up on you tube to let others pick it apart or give you advice, that again, is subjective ans you can have 20 people tell you 20 different things and it may not all be the same thing.

I have ridden horses who were mistreated, they taught me patience and a calm demeanor. I have ridden horses who were just snots and spoiled, they taught me to be firm and consistent in what I did with them. Horses who were young and hadn't seen a tarp before, taught at a camp for young up and coming horse woman, who were like sponges and I had to know that my skill was up to snuff as I didn't want to lead them astray. I have ridden Saddlebreds, TWH, QH, draft horses, Mustangs, Appaloosa, racing bred QH, TB's, you name it, I rode it.

It all came together, the time, effort, reading, doing it over and over till I got it, asking lots of questions from those more knowledgeable than I, as I now get to ride a horse who is a fox hunter, jumper, and trail horse. He is well trained, his owner commented that I ride well and all that has now come together as these people are very experienced.
 

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I think being a self taught rider works in some cases and not others. If a rider is willing to actively research and use their resources wisely; then you can actually develop a lot of horsemanship skills. But some riders cannot learn without the one-on-one, person on the ground, supervision. To me - it is also a bit of a safety thing. At what level do you decide a rider is good enough to ride without supervision (by this, I mean someone educated in horses)? Horses are unpredictable animals and a beginner teaching themselves to ride may not know how to respond in the events of a horse spooking/misbehaving/etc. And I know, when a horse spooks there isn't much, or maybe anything, a coach can do either. But they can provide an experienced eye and opinion after the events have occurred.

I believe that teaching yourself after you have reached a certain level is an excellent idea; as often you cannot have a trainer there seven days a week or as much as you ride. But a complete beginner, 'unsupervised' on a horse seems to me as a bit dangerous. Having said that, the OP and the poster above mentioned that she was not a complete novice and the other had a mum who was experienced in horses. And thus, I do not think this applies to them.
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Haha I have had a similar experience. However I had to start to ride a horse that never had anyone on his back for 4yrs. Lets say that he did a few crow hops in the beginning, but I'm that type of person that doesn't get pushed around to easy.
After about 1/2yr of riding I started to ride my two unbroken horse who where pacers at a race track. I did ask my grandfather to help me on my first journey with them, but they got more worked up with him there so I decided just to do things on my own. Yes this might sound a little risky considering if they wanted to they could have freaked out and ran away to anywhere they wanted considering I was doing this in the middle of our yard...not fenced.
Now I am riding all of them, bareback and western. And considering how I got here I think I'm doing pretty good. I can ride two of my horses with a halter and one of them I can ride just with a rope if I wanted too.
I have gotten into 4H and learnt lots about things I could approve on my horse, they never really mentioned my riding accept for sittting more up right. Haha lazy played a factor in that. Lol
So now I have three happy and fat horses, with a rider who may be a little addicted to horseforum. So when you see me in the future and I am the crazy horse women just know I started off like many, knowing nothing! Hehe good luck to those just starting off.
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Haha I have had a similar experience. However I had to start to ride a horse that never had anyone on his back for 4yrs. Lets say that he did a few crow hops in the beginning, but I'm that type of person that doesn't get pushed around to easy.
After about 1/2yr of riding I started to ride my two unbroken horse who where pacers at a race track. I did ask my grandfather to help me on my first journey with them, but they got more worked up with him there so I decided just to do things on my own. Yes this might sound a little risky considering if they wanted to they could have freaked out and ran away to anywhere they wanted considering I was doing this in the middle of our yard...not fenced.
Now I am riding all of them, bareback and western. And considering how I got here I think I'm doing pretty good. I can ride two of my horses with a halter and one of them I can ride just with a rope if I wanted too.
I have gotten into 4H and learnt lots about things I could approve on my horse, they never really mentioned my riding accept for sittting more up right. Haha lazy played a factor in that. Lol
So now I have three happy and fat horses, with a rider who may be a little addicted to horseforum. So when you see me in the future and I am the crazy horse women just know I started off like many, knowing nothing! Hehe good luck to those just starting off.
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What is a pacer at a race track? If they were being used, that means they were at one time broke to ride?
 

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What is a pacer at a race track? If they were being used, that means they were at one time broke to ride?
I believe it means they were Standardbreds raced with the jockey riding in a sulky instead of mounted on the horse.
 

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I got the basics and learned on my own. I got comments here and there from other riders, but I'm mainly self taught.
I like to think I can sit just aboit anything, but I can say thus far I've been able to sit anything a horse has thrown at me (aside from two instances where I was just stupid and made an assumption they most definitely weren't going to do it and let myself slide for a faster time, lol).

I've honestly never taken an actual lesson in my life, unless you count someone explaining how to properly run patterns (where to sit deep and turn, the whys, etc).
I've been training my own now. I loooove my problem horses! Dude was the first, a Clyde cross gelding that I had running a second off placing barrel times. He use to rear and you couldn't get him through/away from the gate to an arena..Never reared with me again, and veryy rarely with anyone else. Next was Lucky, a big kicker. She'd kick at anything and everything, especially other horses and gates. I'd have to warn the gate keepers to prop the gate open and move away before closing it behind us because I didn't want them getting kicked. After a week with me, she hasn't even offered to kick again. Next was ST, not really a problem horse, just needed worked and more "buttons" added. She was sadly a refused purchase offer and I never got to get her..So now I'm stuck with Alahna, lol. You can read about her in my journal, her story is just too much to list! Haha

But point being, I'm self taught and I've gotten so many compliments on how well behaved my horses are and how well we work as a team, plus..just about anyone can ride them with the basics and not accidently ask for something they didn't plan to and getting tossed. That in itself is an accomplishment to me.

But, when I have some more time and money, I do want to get into some official lessons.
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The first 3 years of my riding were all trial and error, and what I learned from books or picked up from some one I knew. Now that I am learning English, it's under a trainer. And I have realized how sloppy I am!
 

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What is a pacer at a race track? If they were being used, that means they were at one time broke to ride?
Yah, they were just in harness pulling a cart.
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I was never sent for lessons and don't even remember learning so I'm guessing I learned on my own with some basics from my older sister who never took a lesson either.

About 8 years ago my hubby was having some serious health issues so didn't want me to train a couple of youngsters that were ready to start (couldn't have afforded both of us laid up if there was a serious mishap) so we took them to a trainer. They specialize in training reiners but will also start youngsters, they board, do lessons the whole 9 yards. To give you some idea about how long they've been in business, he was the all around high point AQHA youth champion sometime in the 60's and it was his grandfather that started their training business. Once they have your horse going at a good level then owner comes and gets lessons on their own horse. In the course of the time our horse was there I'd observed him giving some lessons and let me tell you, I was dreading when it was my turn. I'm old and stubborn and set in my ways and I figured I had developed a lot of bad habits over the years along with the fact that I felt I couldn't ride worth crap since I had gotten older, gained weight and my point of gravity had switched from my seat to my stomach.

You could have knocked me over with a feather after he watched me riding for about 5 minutes and then stated I didn't need any riding lessons. Soooo, somewhere along the way I must have figured it out. If pressed I'd say the horses I rode taught me, each one different, some with minor issues, some with major ones, maybe a few with none. I spent most of my youth riding bareback which I'm sure helped as well.
 

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I started at 42 and now 9 years later, I can say self-taught.
My equestrian facility consists of about 30,000 acres of state park & private land.
My present horse is very forward with an all day let's go button.
I reckon I don't ride pretty but I can say we're a great team.

Had a trainer evaluate my wife's horse once, not impressed.
I think he just wanted to suck money out of another client.
Yeah, I watched him go around in circles, he wasn't getting very far though.

Trainer wouldn't be there to help with swimming in the river,
or dealing with the train @ the crossings, or sliding down steep hills,
or disturbing the ground bees, or bushwhacking where the trail ends,
or the motorcycles at the burn out pit with the loud music @ the pub,
or riding under the highway over-passes, or the dozens of deer encountered daily,
or the forty other riders in your group, or the nesting waterfowl by the river,
or the kayaks and people in inner-tubes, or the pedestrians hiking with
ski-poles they tend to wave around when you ride by, and all the little
children that run up when you travel near a camp ground.
"Mommy look at the horses, can we go see them?"
Let's not forget the driver with the cell phone when your're crossing the road
and he skids to a stop.

Sometimes lots of miles and been there done that brings'em around.
I'm just sayin.
 
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That's what I was thinking, I'm all for self teaching yourself, learning from the web, but nothing, NOTHING beats having that person on the ground watching your every move.
Picking up the slightest change.
I love having lessons, I learn something new each time and I've been riding for nearly 8-9 years.

I think self teaching can get you so far, but if you want to compete in English type riding anyway (don't know about western) you'll need someone to take you further.
 

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Just out of curiosity - does any of you self taught riders show and compete? If yes, what discipline?
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Show and compete, No. I am most likely as undisciplined as they come.:D
I can say we are out on an Adventure, a great one at that.

My riding is a family event for sure, it includes my wife, daughter, and me.
All week long we worry about the weather so we can go horse camping for the weekend.
I guess we all have the horse bug really really bad.
 

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I am a self taught rider as well! I have been riding for years and I know I still have a LOT to learn. It's definitely not preferable to having a trainer, but that's ok. :)
 

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Just out of curiosity - does any of you self taught riders show and compete? If yes, what discipline?
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My mom has never shown, but I am a technically self taught and I show western at fairs. There is only one fair and not really any shows anywhere close. My mom doesn't want to travel to the nearest big city an hour away to just show or anything - and I respect that but I wish we still could for the experience and fun!
 
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