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Today is my First Riding Lesson!

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Amaterasu

Walking the driveway
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I'm so excited! This week has been going by so slow in anticipation of my lesson tonight. I think I found a good trainer too. I've been horse backing riding several times as well as working at a barn full time in the summer when I was in high school. So horses are nothing new to me. But I can't wait to have a good teacher to show me the proper way. I'd like to keep horses on my own property one day so this is one necessary step in that direction.

I'm not positive what I want to focus on. For the longest time I really just wanted to do western riding. But now I think it'd be very rewarding to do dressage or hunt seat. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. ;)

But I'll be riding english since it seems to be easier to transition to western afterward and not the other way around.
 

Terri

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Hi - I grew up with "horses in my blood" but was never allowed to own one. When I turned 18 I took my scholarship money (not the smartest move) and bought my 1st horse. I now have 5 and they all live at home with me and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

As fas as riding diciplines... I do them all. I would HIGHLY recommend English/Dressage. The saddle and the basics to this teach you to be closer to your horse. You learn the movement of the horse and how to move with them more naturally. It is MUCH easier than to transition over to Western. If you learn Western you learn to depend on the saddle and the horn too much. It is a false sense of security. Some people are passengers and some people are RIDERS...English teaches you to be a RIDER.

Just my opionion...good luck it is a truly rewarding experience :excited2:
 

Amaterasu

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That is exactly what I was thinking. I've mostly ridden in a western saddle because the horse I've ridden the most is trained in western. I've only ridden in an english saddle once. That was an amazing experience as we were going up a muddy/rocky/slippery mountainside in a Belizean rainforest on mixed breed ponies. They were owned by the ex-pats we stayed with who used to do eventing in the states before they moved to Belize. You would not believe how sure footed those little ponies were. All except one was completely barefoot. It was like riding a rollercoaster, especially when we went back downhill. They'd slide a good foot in the mud before regaining their footing. That same ride would have been down right terrifying on a thoroughbred.

I can post a trot for approximately 30 seconds.:hehe:
 

Archiesmom

Biking along the boulevard
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Ohh, congratulations!!! Riding lessons can be so fun! I so miss the times of doing big group lessons with a bunch of other horse-crazy kids when I was younger. Now if I take a riding lesson, its more a training session for the horse than it is for me.

Jessica- About posting...take a polo wrap that would normally go around the horses leg, and wrap it around the base of their withers, neck. As the horse is walking, use it to help you stand up and sit down with the stride...its a great way to strengthen the legs (because there is no momentum. Try doing it for an entire hour session, you'll regret it tomorrow!) but it also gives lots of stability when you go into the trot :D
 

Amaterasu

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My main issue is posting with the rhythm of the horse. I can do it correctly and then I get out of synch and start slamming myself against the horse worse than I would if I just tried to sit the trot. I'm sure it's quite amusing to watch although very un-amusing for the horse.

I've been doing some mountain biking this past week and I think it works out the same muscle groups in the legs. So practice in either sport will hopefully be mutually beneficial. I was so tired from biking on Sunday that my legs were shaking when I walked up stairs.
 

Archiesmom

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Ahhh :) Then you just need to take a deep breath, relax, and sit back. Do a sitting trot for a while, and visualize the feeling of your seat bouncing with whichever leg is striding forward connecting with the ground. Once you get a rythmn, just stiffen your knees for the briefest of moments, allow the beat of the horse to bounce you up further, but don't actually post. You'll be a natural in no time ;)

I used to give riding lessons to younger kids back in the day. That was one of the main issues--overthinking the horses rythmn! Its not you posting to their beat, its them driving you up into a post with their stride :)
 

WenM

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The only thing that is harder when going from English to Western is that you have to learn to STAY off the horses mouth. Riding English is about disciplined movement, position, posture and collection of horse and rider. Unless you have a trainer who is first and foremost a Natural Horsemanship Trainer and simply teaches English, Western, etc. You may find conflicting theory and confuse your horse. Also note that some horses "trained" specifically for these disciplines do not function well outside the arena; eg dressage or barrel racers on the trail. Think about and know what you will want to spend your time doing and expect from your horse on a regular basis. Do you want to trail ride with friends or show or enter Western Pleasure competition or barrel race, reining? Then focus on those areas and find the horse best suited for that activity - you can't fit the wrong training for a rider and horse into an activity he doesn't have the temperament or genetic-physical disposition or capability to excel in or its a train wreck waiting to happen. Every horse is born with a natural aptitude and talent for something - we cannot decide what that is for him but must recognize what it is then nurture,provide leadership and develop his gifts. Good luck the Equine world is intoxicating
 
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