what would you expect from lessons?

(275 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:29:28

just wondered really as i had my first lesson tonight, i used to ride as a child but ive not ridden for over 30 years.

the first school i had booked with were very lax and when i showed up for my lesson tonight they claimed they had tried to phone me to say the instructor hadnt made it in - they had not tried to phone me and i told them that - then they changed their story and the man said he couldnt ring as had locked himself out of the house, and said they would be in touch. Still no call from them, not even an apology.

so at short notice i booked at another school and went for my lesson tonight.

i told them id not ridden for a very very long time and would need to be treated like a total novice.

it was an arena, a very placid horse and i really had a wonderful time, but i just wondered how lessons normally go?

i found i couldnt concentrate on technique because i was trying to keep my horse going, he was lovely and an old hand but in trot he wanted to stop....is it a good idea to learn to control the horse and learn technique at the same time?

im pleased i was let loose to some extent and i think i will learn quickly - alot of it came back to me tonight though i will need tons of practice and im sure alot of this cant be "taught" and has to be learnt on the job as it were.....but i know my balance is awful and though i was told id done really well, it all felt a bit clumsy and i dread to think what i looked like!

how do first lessons normally go?

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 12-Jan-13 23:05:08

well - i spent the entire day at the yard today - mucking out, poo picking fields, tacking up and untacking, scrubbing water buckets, filling them, grooming....and helping out with the kiddie lessons, which meant running around the school for 1 11/2 hours in total!

watched the older kids ride (they make it look so easy!)

am knackered tonight - spent 7 hours there and put in some hard graft. Riding lesson tomorrow.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:04:33

ended up there all day today too! had my lesson then dear instructor asked me to stay and help out with kiddie lessons again....that led to me doing other jobs around the yard. i should sleep tonight after a weekend of hard graft and fresh air, i really love it and im learning all the time. smile

50BalesOfHay Mon 14-Jan-13 08:10:44

Yay, Vicar's a yard rat! Seriously addictive isn't it!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:36:14

terribly addictive! have to say i take my hat off to instructor - how she does it all on her own i have no idea. its a huge job for one person - she has 14 horses and her yard is immaculate.

i shall be back there next weekend and she has already volunteered me for the sunday kiddie lesson! ill get my lesson after that and no doubt will be there for the duration.

i will be there on saturday too just to help out. Its hard work but i love it!

Sounds like you're getting a great horse fix Vicar smile.

BTW I know someone who didn't get on a horse till 42, bought her own 3 months later and is now in her 60's and on her 3rd horse. Age is no barrier!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:53:40

thats interesting notgoodnotbad - im not a natural though. im finding it really hard to get a balanced seat and my legs to stay put where i/instructor wants them! I got mad with myself yesterday and exasperatedly asked why i cant do it!
Instructor said "because you are just learning!" which is true, but im impatient! im still on a trot - short bursts are all i seem to manage before my position goes tits up. grin She keeps saying it will come, and that i was better yesterday.
still - i am learning all the other stuff that goes with horses which is brilliant and takes less skill!
i just wish i could do it - im not bothered how i look, i just want to get it right and she is teaching me properly so the minute my position slips we stop and reposition me....its all very good but im clearly not a fast learner! Some of the kids she has had for just a couple of months are flipping brilliant!

my legs come forward in trot and then i lose it, and i rise too high - and my right foot seems to have a mind of its own (my left leg and foot behave quite well!) im getting that is all in the hips and i can tell now when my position has gone so at least im starting to get the feel of what is right and what is wrong, which is progress of sorts! I have no idea how you move your hips while keeping your lower leg still....it is really hard. But i want to do it, so i will be keeping at it. If my dear instructor cant teach me then no one can.

Zazzles007 Sat 19-Jan-13 11:42:59

Hey Vicar, don't be disheartened by your progress. After a year or so you will find that the muscles in you legs will have built up quite a bit and you will pretty much have cyclists legs grin. It is the muscle development that is preventing you from being able to maintain your leg position at the moment.

For horse riding, it is the large muscles of the legs and backside that help to maintain the leg postion. Doing leg lunges and squats on the ground will help there.

Also, if there are certain muscles or muscle groups that ache when you have ridden, those are the ones to stretch out when you are not riding. It is different for each person. Eg, as an adult I get groin strain hmm, which I never got as a kid, so guess what stretches I have to do... grin

Hope this helps

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 26-Jan-13 22:43:48

thanks zazzles

i was a runner but not run for a good few months now....started running again then it snowed!

i just worry that she is exasperated with me....spent today at stables and have a lesson tomorrow again.

i wish i could do more than a lesson a week. i might broach some intensive lessons with her....i think the more i do the more i will remember my position - last weeks lessons were all cancelled due to snow, so its been 2 weeks for me now.

and im going to ache tomorrow.....mucked out several stables today and its back breaking for an old gimmer! (ouch!!)

lovestruckfifi Sat 26-Jan-13 22:50:48

Hot bath recommended but it is great!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 27-Jan-13 00:01:59

had a radox bath!

there again tomorrow - riding, helping with kiddie lessons and then whatever she needs doing.... i do so love it. its good for the soul i swear....

Zazzles007 Mon 28-Jan-13 06:20:11

Hi there Vicar, had posted a message earlier, but it seems to have disappeared.

Don't worry about whether your instructor is exasperated. In fact, if she is inviting you round to spend some extra time with the horses, it would suggest that she is not. No good instructor shows their frustration in a lesson, no matter what the student it doing.

As far as radox baths go, love these! Ssoooo good after you have been riding and are muscle sore.

In addition to an intensive of a few lessons within a week, have you thought of keeping a riding diary? Writing down how the horse went, what you worked on, what the horse did, and how you needed to respond to it, etc, etc helps to cement what you have learned.

Hope this helps.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 28-Jan-13 23:01:02

actually zazzles thats a great idea.

I spent the entire weekend again at the yard - i learnt how to put on a head collar, how to tie a horse up and how to load the muck heap. I did lots of hard work (mucking out mainly and scrubbing/filling water buckets) i find the work makes me ache more than the riding! also did some more untacking which is great. She has taught me to untack with care so not to touch the horses teeth with the bit -I now need to learn to tack up when she has time to stand with me. She is very picky about tacking up - she said it only takes one person to catch the horses teeth and hurt them to make it difficult to tack up in furture....i really love the way she cares for her horses.

i wish my riding was going as well - im stuck. i cant get my seat right at all, i cant even master a rising trot which is for me in itself frustrating. My legs still come forward, and even though i understand what the instructor is saying to me i just cant seem to do it. I also have terrible trouble keeping my toes in, and of course as soon as my toes turn out the horse feels my heels and takes that as a sign to go faster, bless her she is so responsive.

Instructor is wonderful but says i cant progress until i have my seat right - which is true, she says im still sitting on her (the mare i ride) as if she were a chair instead of sitting on my inner seat bones (do i read that as sit on my lady bits more rather than my ample bottom???)
She keeps manipulating my legs into the right position and as soon as i go into trot it goes tits up and i cant work out why! If i ever do get to canter im going to have a wonderful seat! grin because she wont let me progress until i have it (which is only fair on the horse) I can get a great position without stirrups but i cant seem to match it when i get the stirrup back.

not to worry. i have the time to learn if she has time to teach me. And i do just love being around the horses - even the grumpy ones are ok with me! And the mare that i ride gave me a proper horsey kiss right on the lips this week....i absolutely adore her. Im trying not to get too attached but its very difficult!

Pixel Tue 29-Jan-13 01:03:25

No, not your ladybits, I believe that's called sitting on the 'fork'. Do you know how to find your seatbones? Sit on a stool or hard chair with your feet apart and flat on the floor, then rock your pelvis forwards so that the stool tips on to its front legs, then you will be able to feel where your seatbones are. That's what you need to be sitting on! Also try to drop your knees down and back to avoid the chair seat. You might find [http://www.classicaldressage.co.uk/html/the_seat.html this]] quite interesting to read. smile

Pixel Tue 29-Jan-13 01:11:33

Oops rubbish link, why didn't that work? here

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 29-Jan-13 01:11:49

thanks pixel i will have a look at that sight and have a go with chair....im just not getting it at all and its so frustrating. i really want to progress.

brighthair Tue 29-Jan-13 01:31:31

One thing that might help is using a mirror either sat astride a stool or sinking into almost a squat. Look at your body, where your legs are, is your back straight or curved?
It can help you get the feeling, the principle is if the horse is taken away you will land like that stood on your feet grin

One thing I have just learnt (and I've been riding 24 years now) is I bring my leg a little too far forward. If someone says heels down and I push them down my leg shoots forward more. A very wise trainer told me "knees down" which amazingly works every time for me to bring my leg to where it should be

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:28:00

thanks for that link pixel - im going to sit down with a cuppa later and have a good read.

brighthair i will try the knees down thing instead of heels down - thanks. I keep wanting to lengthen my stirrup but instructor says that will push my legs forward more.

ill try it next week.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 03-Feb-13 20:28:24

yay! im getting it! finally!!

i did my first canter today!!!! (and a decent sitting trot) - no boinging about! yippee! (instructor wont let me boing about for horses sake)

did loads today without stirrups and finally started to understand how to absorb the movement through my seat.

then i spent the day there helping. im going to ache tomorrow but i look like grin tonight!

Zazzles007 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:13

That's great Vicar, so glad its coming together. It actually doesn't take as long as you think, although it feels frustrating at the time. Good to see a good update about the canter and sitting trot.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:23:37

thanks zazzles i was starting to fear i would never ever get it. It was far from perfect but at least im getting the feel of what i need to do and it really feels like progress.

i ache so badly today - i must have used muscles i had no idea i had! climbing the stairs is painful...grin
but im just so happy that i did several canters without bouncing like a sack of spuds so it really feels like progress.

im still on the lunge because she wants me to get the technique and seat right before anything else which is what i really wanted. im just so pleased and ive no one to tell who gets my excitement so i will continue to ramble on here!

thanks for all the support and tips everyone - i appreciate it! thanks

catanddog Mon 04-Feb-13 17:49:03

Well done Vicar, you should be proud of yourself!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:40:47

thanks cat im really happy and really looking forward to next weeks lesson. I just hope i can do it again!

i forgot to say she had me trotting (on the rise and sitting) with my arms outstretched (look!! no hands!!)

all it took to get me deeper in the seat was to turn a little to hold the back of the saddle with my left hand.... - that got me into the right position and from then it felt way easier. I kept saying my stirrups seemed short but RI said it was because i was sitting deeper....i was a better pupil this week! RI is bossy strict but brilliant! smile

50BalesOfHay Tue 05-Feb-13 12:08:48

Fantastic news Vicar, once you've got you'll make fast progress. Your instructor sounds like the very best of the old school type (minus the yelling that they always seemed to do)

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:46:46

she is very old school, (worked with horses for over 30 years) she can wither you with one sentence mind you!

but she is fab. i wouldnt swap schools for all the tea in china.

i dont think ive "got it" quite yet but it was truly progress - and i could feel the difference and i was so pleased to canter without bouncing about....im so very conscious that its bad for the horse so i worry!

but it was a wonderful feeling. i dont have a great memory so will need to practice again next week im sure. But now i know i did it i can do it again!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:30:19

well - for my 100th post on this thread i have news!

today i rode a huge boy of over 16HH! off the lunge!! it was clunky and not great and i think the problems with my seat were back - but - it meant i was having to use my leg aids alot more in conjunction with my hands because this big boy likes to try and follow the RI around instead of sticking to the school track.

RI said she was really pleased with me - my progress is really slow, the only frustration i have is with myself because i want my own horse sooner rather than later, but i cant ride well enough yet. That said she said i was managing to keep the big boy on the track really well and its a constant battle with him....ive learned not to take on a half tonne horse with my hands alone! it needs seat, legs and light hands! putting that into practice is harder but i am really trying....

i have spent the entire weekend at the yard helping out and am so pleased as i was always a bit afraid of riding a very large beastie - but im over that now and i am able to go into any of the horses and work on them without being worried (even the crocodile.....grin she is tiny and fierce!)
im still doing most of the yard work and not so much around the horses but im hoping that will change come the better weather and RI has time to teach me the finer points such as picking hooves out etc and although i reckon i could tack up ive yet to try it (i can untack fine) and am ok grooming.

so. although i wasnt pretty to look at today i did manage to learn much more by riding a difficult (not really but he is by my standards!) horse and a huge one to boot!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now