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Riding Lessons

Discussion in 'Horse Riding and Training' started by bagpuss4, May 31, 2012.


  1. bagpuss4

    bagpuss4 PetForums Member

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    For the pass 4 weeks i,ve decided to take the plunge and take riding lessons as its something i,ve always wanted to do. i have been doing half hour private lessons
    The first lesson we did walk and trot which felt natural so we progressed to rising trot. The 2nd lesson i was amazed i picked up rising trot quickly and she said i had good balance etc that we could try canter on my 3rd lesson. She told me to hold onto the stable for extra stability till i felt exactly what it felt like, the minute the horse flung it head forward and cantered away - i thought i,m going to fall off, trying to keep my bum in the saddle i felt my feet slip right into the stirrups, it felt of thought my feet were way forward.
    The 4th lesson i decided to go for 45 mins we adding trotting over poles and then my done work on changing reins to finish of with some cantering again! The first was a disaster but as the night prgressed i relaxed a little and decided not to hold onto the saddle and use the reins - hehe that was a bad idea as brought reins to far up as i pulled on the wrong rein and the horse went shooting of to the middle of the school and i almost fell off.

    I,m enjoying myself and i think i,ve progressed more than i thought i would i still expected to be stuck on rising trot - my muscles have adapted well and after the 4 no longer ache.
    The one thing i have picked up is my feet are to far in the stirrups, i try to keep my heel down but by the end i,m back to the usual especially in canter i,m bouncing all over the place at times.
    I know its only my 4th lesson and 2nd with canter but is there anything i can do to prevent my feet from doing this. I,ve been told not to be soo nice to the horse and have practiced with the whip which shall require more practice as i know i,m soft and on 3rd lesson the horse knew it!!
    Any riding tips- how long do you think it will take to master cantering for a beginners perspective?
     
  2. Amy-manycats

    Amy-manycats PetForums Senior

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    I find it help with the heels down to imagine you have heavy weights on each heel, make your legs as long as possible but not tense nor stretched out.

    Relax, especially your back muscles, your stomach and yor arms and shoulders, Do not grip with your legs and go with the flow. On a corner imagine your inside leg is longer ( DO NOT lean to the inside ita a horse not a motorbike ;)) but if you are not careful you can be thrown a little to the outside.

    It will come with practice :thumbsup:
     
  3. bagpuss4

    bagpuss4 PetForums Member

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    amazingly my legs feel very relaxed but i seem to come out the saddle a bit i think and this seems to force my feet into the stirrups, i susspect i lean back slightly during canter as i grip on to the saddle for grim death. This week i managed 3 times round the school without stopping or falling off where the week before it was lucky if it was once. I,m a bit scared a present to try reins only as i know i will probably fall off. The instructor statess that on occassions i have my reins slightly long reducing control of the horse for slowing down which she is right so that helped a bit. I think its a confidence issue. i was on a different horse this week and prefered his canter to the one before - it was the big "lunge" into canter that freaked me out.
    I,m thinking of buying one of those body protectors just in case.
     
  4. Elles

    Elles PetForums VIP

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    Could you have lessons somewhere else? These lessons don't sound very good to be honest.
     
  5. emmaluvsmango

    emmaluvsmango PetForums Junior

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    It would be really good if you could have a few lessons on the lunge if your having private lessons, maybe you could suggest this. Basically the instuctor will have control of the horse and you will be able to concentate on your seat,balance and position. Riding school horses can be difficult to canter with as youve comment on being sticter with the horses and use of the whip, im assuming you had a horse which wasnt very forward going. Try to get the horse moving from the begining of the lesson, as you go into trot use your voice to get them moving as well as leg aids, if they don't listen one big tap with the whip is much nicer than lots of smaller ones and kicking.

    It sounds like your doing great though, you could do some stretching exercises to help with your feet, take them out of your stirups in walk, circle them, point your toes to the floor then pull them back up again, you can also try doing some troting without stirups once you feel your ready for it, helps immensly with balance.
     
  6. bagpuss4

    bagpuss4 PetForums Member

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    The reason i was on a different horse was because the new horse had a slowly canter which the instructor thought would benefit me so i could concentarte more on seat etc rather than trying to slow the horse down constantly as the horse i usually ride does have a much faster canter. I was only introduced to the whip as he was known to be lazy with all riders and not just beginners! He needed a little added encourage which i found out she was right. i was never told towhip the crap out of them just tap on shoulder and he responded. without it i think i could have jumped up and down on his back and got no where.
    I will add i was ASKED if i felt confident to try canter as she said i was progressing well but only if i want to otherwise we would stick to rising trot for now. I had no preconceived ideas of what it would be like to canter so thought i'd give it a go. I,m an adult learner and know the worst that can happen is i fall off.


    Elles, this is by far the best school i have went to and feel i have made the correct choice. The 1st school i went to i was with another beginner and a "professional" training for a jumping comp. I struggled to get on the very large horse which was in between 16-17hh - i,m 5ft 2 received no instruction on mounting, no info on fitting hats, no info how to use reins - nothing he stood there barking orders- i thought maybe he's had a bad day it'll get better - I ended up going the wrong way the horse decided it wanted to do some jumping - i only had time to copy the "pro" and ended up jumping a fence badly. never went back.
    2nd was BHS school which i though well if its that must be good, the horses were a state, yard messy - lessons very expensive and bad quality.I then found out they are being investgated for creulty to horses and neglect.
    The yard i,m currently at - i,ve had 4 lessons - i was introduced to staff, fitted for hat, give info about the horse, discuss experience or rather lack of it and a lesson plan was devised, i was told what to expect which i wasn't given at any of the others.
    so far i,m took 3 30 min private and this week took an hour - 50 mins riding with 10/15mins discussion of progress. we have been mainly working on seat, feet and rising trot which is coming along nicely. i enjoy the lessons where i am- i,m attracted to the multiple bridle paths and woodland trials to use when i eventually go out hacking, these woods connect to the school is no busy roads.
    My instructor has said once i gain more confidence in canter and controlling the horse she'll take me on a short hack which i,m looking forward too :)
     
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