My 1st Lesson.....I did it!

Discussion in 'Training of the Rider' started by KAB, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. KAB

    KAB New Member

    Hi all

    Just reporting back as I was told.

    For those of you who were not aware, I did a thread yesterday saying I needed convincing to book a Riding lesson.

    Well I took the plunge, went and booked it yesterday afternoon and by 8.15 last night was on my way there!.

    I had a great time!! I rode Ettie, a 15.2 Piebald Mare. she is the horse my son has started on too (which was nice) since I have seen her take care of my boy!!

    I told the RI about my fears....fall, nasty injury, confidence issues, and my canter problems.

    I was very nerves to begin with but by the end of the lesson I could feel a smile appearing on my face. I trotted for most of the hour lesson (in fact I think it went on for an hour and a quarter or so cos I didnt get away until 10.00pm and the lesson started at 8.30pm).

    She got me trotting round corners, doing small and large circles - I really enjoyed it. At one point, however, Ettie was deciding to go into canter, and I panicked and pullled on the reins...poor girl didnt know what had hit her.

    Its such a lovely Riding School - people are sooooo friendly. Offer you drinks, allow you to go and untack if you wish. Very laid back! I loved it!

    I did ache when I got off though, and the inside of my knees feel bruised this morning, so perhaps I was gripping too much. I need some advice though on how to trot and kick them to move on....I couldnt seem to grasp that. Anyone??????

    But hey guess what........I cant wait to go again next week!!

    A big, big, thank you to all you, my supportive friends, for pushing me on yesterday and convincing me to book it. If it hadnt been for all you, I wouldnt be here typing this this morning with a big grin on my face! :D xx
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  2. KAB

    KAB New Member

    Thanks to those of you who started the thread late last night - checking how I got on! Just found it...... Please read my reply, you may have a little giggle - although its probably not so funny if you read this one first!
  3. Libbyo

    Libbyo New Member

    Just read both threads. Cheeky moo.

    Well done and hopefully the next lesson will be as good.

    Hot bath and chocolate for the aches and pains.
  4. Cheeky

    Cheeky .Love me, love my horse.

    Ah didn't see this thread lol .. was itching to know how you went hehe.

    Glad to hear you had fun :) And that you get to ride the same horse you boy started on too .. :)

    Getting the hang of keeping the horse going and not gripping will come with time. If you think your gripping or feel yourself tensing up, just stop thinking for a moment, take a deep breath, and relax - starting from your mind, down to your shoulders and arms relaxing the reins, down to your back, and down your legs. You almost feel that your sitting 'with' the horse rather than in the saddle .. well I do when I do this. If I feel Honey bunching up I do this and she can feel the difference.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Do we get to see any piccies?
  5. Cobgirl

    Cobgirl addicted to life!

    Awww, well done to you!!! I am glad that you found your nerve and went, it is sometimes so hard to confront our fears we see them as big lurking monsters. Once we do face them, then they just fade away into nothing.

    I have a dreadful problem with the canter as you might know. Like you, my last recollection was when I fell off during a hack. that was 40 years ago and it has lived in my memory. I have tried to canter on my part loan horse, Mollie but she has a very bouncy gait and I just freeze when she makes the transition, like your horse, she sort of has that 'what the?' look when I tell her to stop! I fell off two weeks ago trying to canter and that has even more put the mockers on things.

    I guess you have to do what is right for you. I am learning to keep Mollie in trot doing spiralling circles and serpentines. I have been riding her for 6 months now and it has taken all this time to keep her trotting, although I had a bad ride yesterday as she kept stopping and not wanting to go forward. Once I get her into trot, I tend to keep my lower leg on and just squeeze with every stride. Maintain good contact with her mouth, squeeze inside rein to keep her in an outline and keep pushing also with my lower body so that you are urging the horse forward. Sometimes though it does not work!!!

    My seatbones ache this morning for some reason even though I hardly did any sitting trot. I have been doing sitting trot without stirrups and it really helps your balance. I am also posting without stirrups which I never did when I was young! I guess looking back, I never did have that many riding lessons, just mainly hacked and did xc. Taught myself to canter (probably badly) using mainly a hunt seat. The first time my RI saw me trot she said, 'did you jump a lot when you were younger? I replied, 'yes how did you know?' She then said that I was riding 'forward' and most jumpers do that!! Lol, I am now so conscious of sitting upright!

    Best of luck and hey, sometimes I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I ride, you are not alone!
  6. cwb

    cwb Member

    Well done you!

    I told you that you would be hooked! Doesn't the time go quickly!

    A few tips - relax and breathe deep, keep supple in the saddle, listen carefully to the RI (it is easy to miss stuff when concentrating on what you are doing!)

    If Ettie wants to go into canter on her own (usually if you have a fast trot and are in a corner as you sit to the trot), then just relax and let her go - some of the nicest and smoothest canters come from there because you are not off balance trying to kick/squeeze, release reins, etc. - I sometimes just let the horse canter even if it means getting told off by the RI because we should have been trotting!! :D

    An example here on video - note the canter is no faster than the trot!

    Learn the half halt - a squeeze on the outside rein and a squeeze with the legs repeated as necessary - this steadies the horse and collects it up making it more balanced and smoother to ride. Also use this to slow the horse down in a gait or for a downward transition - much smoother and easier to keep your balance rather than the sudden slowing if you use both reins and a blocking seat.

    Getting them to move on while rising to the trot needs a squeeze as you sit - do it in time to the trot, so rise, sit, squeeze, rise, sit, squeeze - I think of it as using the lower leg to clamp the horse as I rise - it takes a little practice. Don't try to lift your legs away from the horse to kick, it will unsettle you.

    Just practice and don't be afraid to discuss this stuff with your RI!!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  7. KAB

    KAB New Member

    Thanks everyone for your advice and support - I shall take on board what you have suggested, and put it to practice next week.

    Sorry no pics......I couldnt possibly have taken pics, hold the reins, keep my head up, shoulders back, heels down, turn the horse and concentrate on my trot!! Perhaps next time! LOL! :D
  8. cwb

    cwb Member

    Then bully OH to come and take some pics or better a video - it helps loads to be able to SEE what you are doing!
  9. KAB

    KAB New Member

    Yes I did think it would be nice to video it and see what I looked like. I felt good, but if the truth be known, I probably looked dreadful :eek::D
  10. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

    Yaye! Well done!!!!
  11. dan54

    dan54 New Member

    Well done you! and now the love affair will begin !!:p
    you will have good and bad but from the bad lessons draw on the positives and work on the not so good it's all experience.
    most importantly Just enjoy it. :)

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