View Full Version : Help!
30th Apr 2001, 06:35 PM
My boyfriend is TRYING to teach me to ride. He's patient but doesn't understand that my confidence level is not where he thinks it should be. I'm very green and have only had about 6 or 7 lessons. I'm also a mature beginner (over 30 and no previous experience with horses). I've learnt to mount, but I am still nervous everytime I go to get on Asia (a beautiful grey Arabian). I have more confidence in the riding ring but when we try to go for a walk on a trail I lose it all; especially on the way back and when she trots a little bit faster. I forget everything I've learned and cannot control her; all I want to do is get off. I really do want to learn how to ride but for some reason I seem to lose all confidence in myself and trust in Asia. Any suggestions on the confidence and trust issues?
30th Apr 2001, 06:49 PM
When you are riding out on a trail does he walk with you? If not ask him if he will walk beside you or find someone who will. It is amazing how much confidence you feel if you have someone on the ground.
30th Apr 2001, 08:14 PM
Thank you for the tip Mariam. Do you think it advisable that he not bring his horse while going on short trail rides while I'm learning?
30th Apr 2001, 09:02 PM
Hi greenrider, just wanted you to know that I too am a 30 something and I had no experience of horses whatsoever until I started riding in November last year. When I first climbed the horse I thought NO WAY! THIS IS NOT FOR ME! I was terrified! Here I am now in April and just starting to learn how to canter. I adore riding and cannot wait for my next lesson all the time, I am an addict.
So you see nervouseness and fear can be conquered! My biggest fear which stayed with me until last week, was fear of falling off the horse. I have had this fear since I began riding. However I joined this site and had so much advice from other riders about the fear of falling off, that on my first canter lesson I was not anxious about it any more. I went on to canter in three short bursts (you can read all about my experience in the mature rider forum if you want to.) the horse was brilliant! The minute I started to feel like I was going to lose my seat, he slowed right down. Due to these factors, I am no longer scared of the horse and trust him completely. So I suppose what I am trying to tell you is that it may take time to overcome your fear and nervouseness, but if I can do it, you will too! :D
I would not be surprised if in a few months time you will be telling us all how much you are enjoying your riding and you and your boyfriend will be riding off into the sunset together!
The best thing to do is to take it all at your own pace, not your boyfriends. Riding is an experience that you should be enjoying and eventually you will. Hang on in there, trust me it will be worth it. By the way, if I am completely wrong, please don't sue me...I am broke!!!
Good luck with it.
30th Apr 2001, 11:33 PM
Well, sometimes arabians can be a bit high strung. See if you can get on a horse that might be a little more laid back. If you are nervous on the trails then you might want to stick to ring riding for a bit until you are more confident in that saddle, and then progress to trail rides.
1st May 2001, 09:24 AM
I can only tell you from my experience. I lost my nerve after the horse I used to help exercise took off with me in the paddock for no reason. I spent a few months out of the saddle due to fact that I could not sit down. This was when I learnt to drive. In order to regain my confidence his owner used to walk out with me. Eventually widening the gap. You could maybe then go onto riding out with him at walk at your pace not his. I have to agree with Amelia this is important if you have less confidence than him.
HTH and good luck
1st May 2001, 09:34 AM
All the advice you have been given here is very sound. If you go too quickly in your training, you will lose your nerve. It's also not helping that you will be tensing up as you are nervous which makes it more likely for you to lose control. Go back to the school and accept that it will take a little longer to feel that you are truly relaxed with the horse and what to do. Gain confidence by having someon on the ground and also not allowing Asia to trot on the wya home!
Just think 'relax', think in the present, not in the past or the future, the 'what could happen'.... it helps!
We 'older' riders think a little more carefully about the bottom on ground scenario as we know we break! take it easy on yourself and GO SLOWLY! it will be far more rewarding in the long run!
Enjoy yourself - that is what riding is all about!!!
1st May 2001, 01:52 PM
First, as someone has previously stated, Arabs can be a bit hot, especially for beginners. I know some would disagree with this, but if there is a chance to ride a different horse, I would try that. If not, one problem this horse has is that he is a tad bit barn sour, evidenced by his wanting to trot back to the barn when you are on the way home. Many horses do this. He needs an experienced hand on him to stop him from doing it. Having your boyfriend walk beside you on the ground can help you improve your confidence, but I doubt he will want to do that very often. Why not put a halter on underneath the bridle and have him hold the lead rope from his horse? He will hold it very loosely so you still have control of your mount, but he has it in hand in case he needs to pull the horse in. This could help the Arab in learning to slow down on the way home as well. Best of luck. Take it slow and you will soon get your confidence back as well as the trust. Remember, if you are nervous, this radiates to the horse and makes them nervous too. Sit back and relax and try this technique. Happy Trails!
2nd May 2001, 04:15 PM
Just of word of thanks for all the advice. I will try to relax and take it at my own pace... I'm sure my next lesson will go alot smoother! :)
10th May 2001, 12:46 AM
It's hard to learn how to ride when you're just worried about staying on! I would get your teacher to let your ride while the horse is on a lunge. That way you won't have to worry about steering, and you can just concentrate on absorbing the movement of the horse and developing confidence and balance. Trail rides can be kind of scary with dips and branches and stuff, so I'd stick to arena work for now. Hope this helps!
11th May 2001, 08:25 PM
I wanted you to know that I admire your message board name. AND, to let you know that I believe that calling yourself "greenrider" is something to be PROUD of. I think I will always be green!!! I think I've learned that it's the horse whose wise!!! Especially my mare. Good luck. Don't try too hard (that's what I'm always being told). My advice would be to just really enjoy the tiny bits of progress - they're wonderful.
12th May 2001, 07:50 PM
I agree with the posters that suggest you get a leader on the ground for hacking (Trail riding). Get someone who needs to lose weight (I've lost two dress sizes!) walking closely, then further back, then off-the rein but with you, then further away - this is what we've done with young Hannah. She is now hacking out on grass off the lead rein ( albiet nervously!). And agree with suggestions of something calmer than an Arab (having been thoroughly kicked on the left thigh by a flighty 14.2 ArabX mare who was arsing about this morning I'm not the best fan of these creatures at present!).
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