View Full Version : 2 steps forward 1 step back
15th Sep 2003, 01:03 PM
I know I'm still learning, but do you feel some times that you take two steps forward then one step back?
For example, for the last few weeks, all my lessons have been coming together really nice, then on Saturday I have a group lesson, and it was like every thing I tried to do just went wrong. I'd like to blame the horse (she is usually the lunge horse and is getting a bit old an stiff now, see look I'm blaming her now!), but even if she is old, I felt I should still have had more success (we were doing transitions from trot to canter, and she did not want to play). very frustrating.
But then next day, went to another group and got a result. We were doing a spread of small jumps, and my partner said that the horse I'm on usually ducks out of the second
one, and I got him to jump it!!
I suppose thats the point of all this, ride different horses with different personalities and hopefully my skill and understanding will improve.
Sorry for rambling.
15th Sep 2003, 01:26 PM
I can certainly identify with what you say - just read my post from last week on 'should I give up trying?' And you are riding different horses too, so you will probably find some easier to ride than others. I am lucky enough to have my own horse - but even with riding the same horse all the time, I have some good rides and some where I feel I can't do anything right!
This riding lark isn't an easy thing to master - it takes persistence, practice, perseverence, patience....how may other words beginning with 'p' can I think of?!:D
Sounds like you are doing just fine - don't worry about it too much and just enjoy your riding (I'm very good at giving this advice, not so good at taking it myself - I know how frustrating it can be!) Let us know how you get on.
15th Sep 2003, 01:54 PM
Don't worry, I think it happens to most of us now and then. Sometimes things just don't "click" and I feel like I'm riding like a sack of potatoes. Saturday was like this and I've been riding for over 30 years!
15th Sep 2003, 02:38 PM
Your not alone - we are all learning, whether weve just begun or rode for years:) keep at it stick with it you will get there in the end!
15th Sep 2003, 03:45 PM
You only take one step back? :D No honestly, after 3 lessons where I really started to fell like I was getting somewhere I spent 2 on one of our yards less 'willing' ponies and ended up feeling like a complete failure :(
Can highly recommend keeping a riding/lesson diary tho'- helps you compare performance with same horse/instructor/format over time so you can see that even though 'Abba' is much harder for you to ride that 'Bab' you are getting better - I always take a look in my diary after a bad lessons to reassure myself I have improved, even if it doesn't feel that way at the time!
15th Sep 2003, 08:28 PM
I have recently sold a well schooled mare and bought a 5 year old (much more green than I realised) gelding with apparantly no previous experience of working in a menage! As a result, in anything other than walk, I am currantly riding like a 'bag of hammers'! I guess what this means is that this is really my standard of riding if the horse isn't helping me out by compensating. Its difficult and frustrating but I'm determined we'll get there. I think learning to ride well is a very difficult task, but hey - no-one said it would be easy!
15th Sep 2003, 11:17 PM
Oh yes, It happens to everyone (even tho' it always feels like just you :( ) You get stuck in a rut, or go off on a tangent trying to fix something that's only a symptom of some other problem... it can be very frustrating but just remember its a complex skill that takes years (decades) to be really good.
I just had a skip through my self-video and was really surprised by some of the sessions (I video myself riding every few months or so). My very first one was full of impulsion but then for the next couple I seemed to lose it - I'll have to review my notes but I was obviously concentrating on some problem or other and it seemed to grind us to a standstill (well slow dribbling sort of trot) ... very interesting to look back on. Gives me a kick up the bum too because its such a good reminder about how important impulsion is - even or perhaps esp when you are working on a problem. :)
16th Sep 2003, 12:50 PM
Thanks for all your comments, it really helps to hear that other people also have 'bad' days.
Keeping a diary sounds like a good idea.
Sorry if I came across as a bit negative, but I do look back and think prior to March I couldn't ride a horse (was even a bit nervous of them), but now I can ride quite confidently.
16th Sep 2003, 01:42 PM
I think there is a natural cycle of
learn (try it out, find the right way - often by doing it wrong a few times ! sometimes you will have an "I get it" light bulb moment, but not always)
practise (check that you really did get it right last time by repeating it, try it on different horses, different ways)
put it to the test (what happens if I.... ?)
take it to the next level.
The middle bit where you practise and consolidate can feel like a 'plateau' (or even those backward steps - but remember you are not actually repeating exactly what you did before - different horse, lesson etc).
The "put it the test" phase may need something to trigger it e.g. a new horse, a new goal, a new teacher. If not we can just get stuck in a million and one different ways to do the same thing, without moving on.
Its the point at which you start testing and challenging it that the wheel has made a full turn and you are back to learning - but this time learning a new thing, or a new level, or a new application (etc etc).
This process is even more fun if it is a joint learning exercise - as you and horse can be at different points in the learning cycle on the same 'task' you are learning.
There is also a cycle that goes something like
unconscious incompetence (you're not aware that you can't do it)
conscious incompetence (you realise you can't do it)
conscious competence (you do it, but are very aware of the process)
unconscious competence (you do it automatically without thinking about it)
There is a school of thought that says that over time you will go from unconscious competence to unconscious incompetence - through lack of practise awareness etc but I think that only happens in certain situations and is not a foregone conclusion !
16th Sep 2003, 09:19 PM
I'm at the unconscious incompetence stage with riding a youngster, but I think I see the next stage up ahead in the distance :)
16th Sep 2003, 09:20 PM
No wait, I mean the conscious incompetence stage - I definately know I can't at the moment :)
17th Sep 2003, 09:35 PM
Hit the nail on the head cvb - unconcious incompetence - i love it!
Also very little else in life relies on a unpredictable 'team' you can't argue with or talk to (although over time you gets understanding theres no 'quick fixes' for problems) - so every lesson is not just about you doing something right its about the skills and attitude of the horse too...which I think is what makes it tricky to see you're improving.
Ah...Imagine how much easier it would be if the horse could say 'Is that supposed to be the aid for canter? Because if it is you should know that you have the wrong leg back, and your balance is completely off' or 'Wrong diagonal, fool, wrong diagonal! Can't you feel the bouncing' or even 'No I don't want to canter today, not unless you give me polos in advance'. I guess it would be like having a really intense private lesson all the time :D What do you think the horse you ride would sound like?
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