View Full Version : Hi from a newbie - some questions
10th Aug 2003, 09:01 PM
Just registered today and thought I would tell you a bit about myself. I have just come back from a holiday in France with husband and two children (9 and 3). While we were there, the children could have a ride round the campsite on three lovely natured ponies that were brought in and led round by the owners of the local riding school. My eldest son really liked the rides and he was even able to try trotting and asked me if he could have some riding lessons when we got home. My son has never really liked team sports as he has ADHD, which is quite well controlled but the other children tend not to pick him for their team which has not done his self-esteem any good. As he has never shown an interest in anything like this before we have decided to look into riding lessons for him. I (now aged 32) used to ride at a riding school when I was younger, I can't remember what age I started but I got my Brownie guides riding competance badge so I think I must have been about 9 or 10. I rode for about three years but never really got much into cantering and I can dimly remember rising trot, mounting and dismounting, tightening girths, lots of round-the-worlds and I can also remember the instructor being quite sharp and sarcastic! I have decided that I would also like to return to riding so we can do it together. I had a mild stroke three years ago and DVT's in my legs which left me with some balance problems and weak circulation in my legs. I felt that by taking it slowly riding might improve these and be actually something I might enjoy! Does anyone have any experience of less fit newcomers riding? I have a couple of questions though. I have am going to look at the local riding school tomorrow, it is on this site and it is also on the BHS site, I have read the pages on this site about looking around, but is there anything else I should ask? I would like to have a few private lessons first, are schools likely to school my son and I together? Are riding instructors still as abrupt as I remember ?(I can remember being quite scared of her!) What sort of size horse can I expect, I am 5ft 6ins and about 12stone as they all seem huge to me!
10th Aug 2003, 09:06 PM
hiya welcome to the site, good luck for tomorrow
H & Bailey
10th Aug 2003, 09:14 PM
hi welcome to the board its nice and friendly here.
The best thing to do is ring a riding school and ask general questions and see if they let you go and have a look round first this way you can have a look at the yard and a chat to the staff,you will probably be able to judge what they will be like and if you are going to get on with them.you can also tell them about your son and yourself explain youd probably like a smaller pony/horse,I would judge youd be able to ride something cobby which is about 14.2hh +,remember though that they will have bigger horses that are quiet!
Horse riding is a good sport for muscular and co-ordination problems,make sure your instructor knows your limitations and what you find hard as they may need to work on different things.
Im sure if you wanted your private lesson with your son they can do that but may find it easier to teach you seperately as when i teach I use different ways of describing things to children so they understand.My son has mild dyspraxia also known as clumsy child syndrome.His co ordintation is/was terrible and he is also left out with other children and has low self esteem . he finds it hard to remember things but once he has got the idea he is brilliant.I have an old shetland pony which he rides now and again and I feel it has helped him alot with trying to do things ,concentrating and remembering, as well as balance and doing 2 things at once which he finds hard....ie using hands and legs independantly. Keep us informed and good luck..ps you will probably find once you are on a horse its like riding a bike you dont forget!:D
11th Aug 2003, 03:49 PM
I went to the stables today, and within 2 seconds of appearing, someone cheerfully asked if they could help (good sign - so not just anyone can wander in un-noticed) All the horses looked (in my limited knowledge) bright eyed and interested. The buildings were old, and needed a bit of tlc, but everything was clean and swept which is the most important part. I explained to the girl exactly what we would like and she was really nice about my sons ADHD and seemed to think that he would be best in a childrens lead rein class with two other children, as he would not have to join a big class until he was more confident. She felt that children like my son did better if there was just a few children of the same beginner level so they could build up a friendship and play little games that my son would be able to manage, the example she gave was, who can do the fastest round the world ( I remember those!). She suggested for me to have some private lessons so we could work out what I could do and what I remembered and when I was confident enough, they have a ladies only ride in the week and at weekends which sounded really nice. Oh and the cost, for James in the small lead rein class, 1/2 hr £10 and for my private lessons, £25 as it was with a senior instructor, which I didnt think was too bad. So our first lessons are on Saturday - wish us luck!
Thanks for all your replies, they were really helpful.
11th Aug 2003, 04:00 PM
Well done Janice for following through. I know things do seem like a nice thought on holiday but when you get home! It sounds like you may well have fallen on your feet! The person you spoke to has obviously listened to what you said and has come up with suggestions. Keep us informed of how you get on and welcome your son to the very addictive life of horses :D
11th Aug 2003, 04:26 PM
Sounds like you're on the road to happiness (and addiction:D ) It sounds like the stable really listened to both of you & your needs. Good luck w/the lessons - I'm sure they will really help both of you. I find riding not only great for my physically but also mentally. Since I am on temporary hiatus from it at the moment, I've noticed I'm much more irritable & much more stiff & achey (too much time behind a desk, not enough out there enjoying myself!)
Keep us posted - we'll be waiting for your stories!
1st Sep 2003, 10:23 AM
How is it going?
1st Sep 2003, 07:11 PM
I had my second lesson on the Friday 22 August as my sister was getting married on the Saturday (how inconsiderate to choose a riding lesson day to get married on! LOL) and I was still on Secret, I have found out a bit more, she is about 14.2 hands, about 12 years old and a skewbald mare. We did more rising trot and figure of 8's to change reins and I didn't have the lunge rein at all. I was able to keep her going all on my own and was even able to replace my feet back in the proper position in the stirrup whilst rising trot (my feet always seem to slip through, so my heel is touching the stirrup bar). I had to miss this weeks lesson though, as I was on a six day non-horsey course in London, so lesson number three is on Saturday. My son is also really enjoying his lessons as well, while I have my private lesson, he is riding in a small group (three others) in a lead rein lesson, the smile on his face is worth every penny!
1st Sep 2003, 08:26 PM
Oh well done! Sounds like the both of you are doing really well:) My son is autistic spectrum and dyspraxic too, so I know how you feel about trying to give them confidence in sports:( Good luck and keep us posted about your lessons:)
27th Sep 2003, 09:09 AM
My son also has dyspraxia, and at a meeting with the doctors and physiotheripts I mentioned that he had been riding on a pony we had on loan. They all thought it was an excellent idea, so we have now bought a small pony from auction for him to pootle around on. Last year he did some gymkhana games on the other pony and I think it helped his self esteem, so hopefully your son will benefit from riding
27th Sep 2003, 08:02 PM
Thanks for that Billybunny, (thats strange we have a white netherland bunny called Billy!) James is doing really well in his lessons and he has had about 6 now. He is now riding without a lead rein and yesterday he won a little round the world race competition in his class and he was really pleased. I agree that it is good for his self esteem and of course that can have a good effect on everything else. He has to concentrate a lot more than perhaps the other children and the instructor knows this so she is very supporting of him. I only wish we had the money to buy him his own, but he will just have to make do with the riding school ponies for the time being!
27th Sep 2003, 08:32 PM
Hi, You asked about "less fit" riders? I started a year ago, am a "mature" rider who has had a heart attack, not strong in the leg department, and was out of breath after 5 minutes ! Now a year later, ( after having said I only wanted to conquer my fear of horses) I.m hacking twice a week and having jumping lessons ! Welcome to the wonderful world of horses !
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.