Lots of good things, and then I only went and fell off.

Tiny rider

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Oct 28, 2014
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Soooo - I haven't been hacking out much due to weather/children/work etc. But I have been having a weekly lesson with this sooper dooper riding instructor who I love.

Nemo and I trundle up every week for an hour - and she's great. I've been working on core stability (I have none) and leg position. I love it. I ask her lots of questions, and for an hour I don't feel like a podgy 40 year old mum of two, I feel like a proper rider!

I have bought every "safety" aid known to man. So far, I've got endurance type stirrups so my feet don't slip through, a "sticky" Acavallo saddle pad and the embarrassingly phallic shaped RSTOR grabby thing. Poor Nemo looks like he's going into battle with all the bits hanging off his saddle.

So today we were having a great lesson - I got him to do turn on the forehands, a very VERY wobbly leg yield, and we did lots of exercises in walk and trot. He was really not into it at all and just trundling along giving off "fed up" vibes.

I got over confident. This is GREAT! I can RIDE! So, I asked for canter. So a suddenly enthused Nemo shot down the long side of the school, and promptly went into a canter, I wasn't holding onto the willy shaped RSTOR and as he put his head down I went over the front.

My Dad (bless his heart, he hates horses) was videoing me. I banged my head. Burst into tears. But then got back on, and managed to ride back home (Dad led me most of the way).

My R.I was a star, and said she wasn't supposed to let me back on, but checked me all over, asked me lots of questions, patted me down, and gave me lots of sympathy - "you were so BRAVE!", "you were doing so well, perhaps you got a little overkeen?".

Hum. Here is a video. When I watched it I felt much better, as it looked so minor. To me, it felt like the end of the world. But it's not. And next week I shall tack Nemo up in all his safety armour and we will go off again, and we shall practice fecking canter.

I'm SO nervous out hacking on my own. So I'm not doing it unless I've got someone with me. And I'm not cantering on a hack until I can do it in the school without falling off...

This is the second time Nemo has done this. He did it with a very novice friend of mine the other week. I think he realises that if someone feels unbalanced he can just drop his head and off we roll. He was fed up in the school. I will think of ways to stop him doing it again...

Oh balls...

I've got the video here
 

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Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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I love your updates, they do make me smile. I've never seen an Rstor, so hadn't realised ...

Watching the video you do look a bit unbalanced around the bend and it looks as though Nemo doesn't like it and decides to drop you. Whether he's being naughty or just doesn't like the sensation of you not sitting where he likes it, I don't know. He also appears to swish his tail or even hump a little bit while coming round that corner, which could indicate a bit of a strop or possibly that he's finding the corner difficult for some reason. Wish I were good enough to decide which!

Jack, my OH's horse did exactly the same thing with OH a couple of times in the early days, only perhaps not quite so nimbly, and OH didn't tumble so neatly either lol. The good thing about it is that they do teach you to balance! Jack doesn't do it any more and I'm sure Nemo won't either when you've both practised a bit.

It sounds as though you're doing really well with your Instructor, hope this doesn't put you off and you continue to have fun and feel good.
 

joellie

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Apr 24, 2011
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I like your description of the Rstor, i have never seen one before will being look out for one now lol
Well done you, we all fall off its part of the learning process and its good you could watch the video as you can see exactly what happened and as you say not as bad as you first thought;),hold on to your Rstor and pull your bum down into the saddle it will teach you not to lean forwards..sit up and heels down, its always been drummed into me but i still feel my heels sometimes creeping up etc lol
I can read in your description that you are already becoming more confident,so well done you;) I still lack in confidence some days are better than others.:oops:
 

joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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Hum. Here is a video. When I watched it I felt much better, as it looked so minor. To me, it felt like the end of the world. But it's not. And next week I shall tack Nemo up in all his safety armour and we will go off again, and we shall practice fecking canter.

Great - that's the kind of attitude that makes a real rider :) Don't be disheartened, falling is part and parcel of our sport and it happens to everyone! When you fall off it happens so quickly you don't always know what actually happened, so I think it's good that you got it on video and can make sense of what happened and why.

I have been known to hit the deck multiple times in the same session, and I'm not talking about when I was a novice ;) I have actually fallen off more times than I can count! When you have mastered canter you can look back at the video and have a good giggle :cool:
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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When I was learning to ride I was told you have to fall off XX times before you are a 'real rider', I actually looked forward to falling off because it made me better :p I do think there is some truth in it, if you always get an easy ride and never learn what not to do you probably don't progress as far.... so you are one step closer to being able to prevent that next time :D
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Oh your entries do make me laugh, I'm sorry to laugh at you falling off but your RSTOR, honestly!

I do think Nemo was a bit naughty there - you got a pre-buck hump going around the bend, and when he had unbalanced you he just lowered his head and let your position do the rest. BAD pony! Joelle is quite right, you have to sit up straight in canter: for me that feels like leaning was back but it's amazing how much more secure you are and how much more control it gives you over cheeky whizzy ponies :)

Very well done for getting back on! That is a proper rider thing to do!
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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What Jane said! You look pretty good going down the long side, then lose balance coming round the corner and he lower his head and off you go. Falling off always makes me feel a bit shocked and woozy, even if I haven't hurt myself, so make sure you have plenty of tea and biscuits...and of course a glass of wine REALLY helps with riding bruises and confidence. That is a medical fact.

I don't hack out except in company and don't canter on hacks. Just do whatever you feel comfortable with. There are no rules - apart from keep posting. Love your updates. Maybe when push comes to shove, you just don't feel comfortable grabbing a willy to save yourself... ;)
 
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selside

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How sensible of you to write about it with such spirit and humour, no matter how upset you are. And to post a video too! I've never dared even TAKE a video, let alone post one. Nemo looks just my type. He was a teeny bit unhelpful, as others have mentioned that was a bit of a back rounding that started you on your way, and once he had you off balance a quick head down and side shimmy finished the job. I suspect you are right in your analysis. He just wasn't in the mood - I'm afraid that's ponies for you. Typical plain "speaking" letting you know what he thought....

I doubt it's any consolation but I've had exactly the same thing happen to me, and I'd been riding for over 30 years are the time. My pal had a Welsh Sec C on loan and I set off boldly round her fields feeling king of the castle. All went swimmingly, so well in fact that I opted for a canter. She pootled along quite reasonably for a while, and just as I was congratulating myself on cantering solo on a strange pony in a strange field she went a bit faster, headed down a slight slope, dropped her shoulder and ditched me very efficiently. No harm done, and I got back on and rode shamefacedly back to my mate, who couldn't believe I had actually come off. I don't think it was the first time she'd applied that trick!

The tip about sitting up tall is a really useful one, and one that it's taken me decades to master. If you a sitting tall and looking forwards then if you feel your cheeky pony trying anything on then you can firmly put your leg on, keep him going and let him know you are unimpressed!

Try not to worry too much, You did the right thing, getting back on, and riding back home, led or not. These things just happen, and usually when you feel you are getting somewhere. Tomorrow is another day.
 

Jayne

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Oct 12, 2014
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Ohh that's brilliant, sorry but you do make me laugh. Cheeky pony. Practice makes perfect ( most of the time ) You have a great attitude towards it all, just keep going, doing what your doing, each ride is different and you learn something from it all. [emoji4]
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I guess many of us fell turning the corner in canter the first time - often an unsolcited canter. At least you knew you wanted canter. So better than me.
None the less - that looks like pony being a bit naughty.
Two ways to get rid of the corners in canter when learning canter - one is to canter down the long side of the school but come back to trot before the corner, trot the short side and then back to canter at the next corner, canter the long side etc.
The other is to learn canter on 20 m circles. Doing that you have no corner, and any horse is obliged to go slower when on the bend, plus you can learn to keep a contact on the outside rein (outside rein is massively important) to stop the pony turning in and getting rid of you which is what seems to have happened. But when one is learning to canter, one's hands arent usually still or steady enough to keep that contact.
If you were on the lunge that might help as the RI lunging has a whip which keeps the horse out on the circle.
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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I'm sorry that you fell off, but it's great that you have it on video to see what happened. I don't think you can really blame the pony, he didn't really do anything wrong apart from put his head down a little. Your balance and stability in your seat will come with practice and you attitude is great. Hope that your lesson goes better next week. x
 

Tiny rider

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Thank you all SO much for your replies! I showed the video to my four year old boy, who laughed so hard that his milk came down his nose...

I have been out for a (very nervous) hack, and I've got another lesson booked for this Friday and hopefully I will drum up courage to go out on my own around our farm - when it's not a) windy b) rainy c) cold :)

I'lll let you know how I get on!
 

Darben1976

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Feb 14, 2015
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I realise this is an old post but thanks for sharing - I'm learning to canter too at the moment - I am sharing a horse after doing a year at riding school (where I made slow progress really) and I like the sound of the Rstor. My new RI was looking for a strap for me to hold onto when I did my first canter on my sharer (at the riding school I only did canter on the lunge and held the saddle) but we couldn't find one so I hold his mane when we canter. During my second ever canter on lunge the horse I was riding decided to do a buck as we went into canter - I didn't realise he had bucked but obviously knew he had done something as I felt myself going towards the fence very fast and then thankfully managed to stay on. The first canter on my sharer again wasn't great as my RI forgot to turn up so I took him into the school myself and he's usually a typical cob, plodding along but he suddenly started trotting very fast so I stopped rising hoping he would start walking but he started cantering! Arghh I was petrified and didn't have any mane to hold either but fortunately he doesn't canter for long unless you keep asking him so he stopped. I was tempted to get straight off him but walked him round and did a lot of halts to get him listening but didn't dare go into trot again that day. I sometimes wonder what I was thinking about learning to ride but really I love it and so pleased I did. Hope the cantering is coming along now
 
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