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Discussion Starter #1
I've just gotten back into riding after 11 years off. (I didn't have the money during college/first working years to take lessons.) So far, I've had maybe 6-8 lessons.

Today, I was told I was too weak to ride by my instructor. I know I'm not in good shape and that being physically fit would make my riding better. (I'm 5'8" and 195lbs.) But, I'm sure I'm stronger now than when I started riding at 7.

I know I'm not naturally good with horses or at riding. I'll never be gracefully mounting or dismounting as I'm just klutzy. Previously, with lots of hard work and lesson I did become good enough to ride in shows and win. I had figured that lessons/practice would make me stronger eventually.

So, when is a person too weak to ride?
 

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Uh, I dont what to be mean, but I think your instructor sounds too weak to be teaching. Coming back into riding after 11 years...of course you're going to be weak. But you need to ride to get stronger. You aren't going to be super strong after 8 lessons either, its takes months to build those muscles back up. Just keep riding and practicing you'll build yourself back up again. Practice makes perfect.

To answer your question, I don't think anyone is too weak to ride.
 

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I think that was a very rough statement from your instructor. Truly. Can you sit on horse? Do you feel comfortable? Is it a safe mount? If so, just keep practicing. Heck, I had week legs/no core muscles last year. And my instructor never commented on that: she just trained me and the horse trying to accommodate my weak points. It all comes, you just need time!
 

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Well, when are you to weak to ride? - when you can't lift your foot up into the stirrup iron and hoist yourself aboard.

If you feel a little frail when you dismount - or worse if the horse decides to dump you, then go do some exercises - stomach, lower back, thigh, calf and remember to stretch the hamstrings.

Other than that, all you need is a pliable trustworthy horse and courage.

Start with walking, then move to trot, finally try a short canter in an enclosed arena.

PS Remember to take an apple and a carrot for the horse. A little bribery goes a long way.

PPS Find another riding instructor - try an older one, a male with a beard, bow legs and a bent back.
 

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It sounds to me that your instructor is so rich that they can turn down your good money? There are people who are handicapped in various ways who are still willing and able to ride. So, I think that your instructor should be making it possible for you.
It might be that you are currently too weak to jump, or too weak to ride bareback, or hack out or ride certain horses, but too weak to ride in general? H m m m. That seems discouraging to me.

IN any case, as you ride you will get stronger, and if you can do other things to become stronger in between lessons this will help. Me, I would look for a different instructor, one who inspires you to try harder and improve, not this one who is negative from the get go.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To answer some questions: Yes, I can sit a horse. I'm not perfect and sometimes my heels aren't down, but I'm not too afraid of falling off.

The horse is an 18 year old QH that I've seen her 4 year old on, so he's about as safe as you can get.

I certainly can't mount from the ground. But, with a mounting block I can get in the saddle. It really isn't pretty. I have a tendency to step, wait, then swing over instead of 1 fluid movement. Dismounting I hold the saddle too long because I'm a little afraid of falling on my *** instead of landing. Again, I'm a klutz and I've done it before.

I was told I was too weak to stop a horse from falling if it trips or jump off if I have to. I'm sure I can make it to the ground if I need to. It won't be pretty, but not a whole lot will be right now. I can help balance if he trips some, but I know I can't stop him from going down if he really has to.
 

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no such thing as too weak to ride.

I have known kids with serious mucle wasteing diseases who rode and rode at a very good level.
 

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Trixie, it strikes me that what you need is a good riding instructor. You need to find one that suits your personality.

Instructors come in two sexes, tall or short, cheap or expensive, competent or ignorant, likeable or dislikeable. Good or bad.

A good instructor is almost worth his/her weight in gold - the problem is that they are as hard to find.

You pays your money and makes your choice.
 

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If being able to mount from the ground is any criterion of whether you should ride or not, heck, half the folks on this forum would be out of luck. I can't mount from the ground, but I manage to ride. And, getting on with a slight pause can be a good thing. Many pros will put weight in the stirrup, stand on it and wait for a sec before swinging over to be sure the horse is ok with this.
Once thing that will help you mount up is to really spring off your grounded foot and when you spring up, think of bringing your right hip toward the pommel, slight pause with your body tucked right hip against the edge of the pommel and more of your weight over the horse's body, then swing that right leg over.

Getting off, I swing right leg over, take left leg out of stirrup, make sure I am not hung up on horn, then slide to the ground , both legs touching at same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you to everyone for the replies. It seems I should look for another place for lessons. Off to make another thread about looking for a riding instructor.

@tinyliny Thanks for the tips. I will try to keep that in mind next time I ride.
 

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I certainly can't mount from the ground. But, with a mounting block I can get in the saddle. It really isn't pretty. I have a tendency to step, wait, then swing over instead of 1 fluid movement. Dismounting I hold the saddle too long because I'm a little afraid of falling on my *** instead of landing. Again, I'm a klutz and I've done it before.

I was told I was too weak to stop a horse from falling if it trips or jump off if I have to. I'm sure I can make it to the ground if I need to. It won't be pretty, but not a whole lot will be right now. I can help balance if he trips some, but I know I can't stop him from going down if he really has to.
Wow! Simply wow! I'm 5'9", one of my horses is little 14'3" qh, and I use mounting block every single time I get on her (and let me say it's not the prettiest either - I'm slow :D ). As for stopping horse from tripping/jumping off... I just have no words. Do you ride a bronco or what? Things happen, yes, but it's not like each of us is expecting a horse to trip and fall. And how already was mentioned what about people with disabilities riding! Some can't jump off at all, and still enjoying the ride (example would be that girl in video GH posted recently, in "Horse Talk").

My best advice would be to change an instructor. Because all those reasoning sound quite ridiculous to me.
 

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Wow, nice instructor you have there. Too weak to ride?? Heck, I have trouble lifting my saddle off the top rung of the saddle rack, but too weak to ride? I don't think so! Definitely find an instructor who is more supportive of your efforts.
 

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I was told I was too weak to stop a horse from falling if it trips or jump off if I have to. I'm sure I can make it to the ground if I need to. It won't be pretty, but not a whole lot will be right now. I can help balance if he trips some, but I know I can't stop him from going down if he really has to.
WTH? I'm an athletic powerhouse and if my horse trips so badly he's going to fall down, there isn't a darn thing I am going to be able to do to stop him. And jumping off a horse? What kind of instructor offers "jumping off the horse" as an *option* let alone a pre-requisite ability?

I really am an athletic powerhouse (for my age, at least ;)) , but even so, there are all kinds of muscles that you don't use for anything else but riding, and of course they are not going to be developed when you start out. My trainer had me doing a bunch of things *meant* to develop those muscles, like riding around the ring in two-point, etc. That's one of the things the trainer is for!

There are a couple of things that could be going on with your trainer:
1. doesn't want to teach *you* for some reason
2. is an idiot.

Either way the solution is the same: new trainer.
 

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Wow...sham wow at that. Too weak to ride? :shock: Is that a joke on his part? :evil: I started back riding 3 years ago. I had a tall horse with long legs and I have short legs and am bottom heavy :lol: I had a hard time mounting an Aussie Saddle on my horse - heck it would roll! So if a prerequisite was that I could mount I would have been SOL. :oops: I now have a shorter horse, lost some weight (not enough!) and a different saddle. I still mount up to ride on a mounting block. It is easier on my horse but I can now mount up most of the time AFTER I have rode for awhile and limber up.

As for getting off - I still lay across my saddle sometimes before coming down to the ground. I have a really bad knee and I have to be very careful so I do all the things you are doing so get another instructor who is not so critical about things that don't matter (catch a horse that is tripping oh please!!) and get out there and ride! Yeah..you will get stronger but you don't have to be a weight lifter to ride!
 

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I'm not a very big person and I was having trouble keeping enough leg on a lazy horse that I wasn't familiar with. I thought I was too weak and that my awfully girly legs were the problem, so I told the instructor that and she pointed to her daughter who is half my size and asked if she looked too weak? I said no, then she went on about how her daughter can ride that horse without any trouble and went on about how size doesn't matter - it's how you ride the horse that matters. :)
 
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