Spending more time with horses

chestnutmares

New Member
Feb 9, 2020
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Hi! Total newbie poster here, been kinda stalking the forums for a month or two and finally had a reason to make an account!
So I've been riding for a little over a year (a year in late Jan.) but was a proper pony mad kid and loved horses. After moving down south from Scotland I did a couple of weekends helping out at a riding school with the intent to do it in exchange for lessons but things didn't work out so I ended up riding at another school. Anyway, I really would like to spend more time around horses outside of lessons and have considered shares/loans but as I have limited experience (those weekends at the previous school where I didn't really learn loads other than the bare basics e.g. safety, leading kids in lessons, etc.) it isn't really a suitable option at the moment.
I'd love to help out at my current riding school or even at the old one however I'm not sure how to broach the topic or if help is even needed, and I honestly feel like a bit of a bother as my knowledge is limited! I'm willing/eager to learn but it's finding a way to go about learning that I struggle with due to anxiety issues :(

I guess this was a suuper long winded way of asking, does anyone have advice on how to learn? I was thinking about reaching out to some local rescues as I almost feel more confident speaking to strangers, but any other ideas would be 100% welcome as we don't have many that are super local (the closest I've found being 40 mins away)
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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He welcome to NR :D

Are you looking for time including riding or just time around horses to compliment your lessons?
Perhaps see if any RS have camp type events where they teach stable management in addition to ridden lessons? Or look at doing some of the BHS courses to develop your skills ready for that share or loan in future :)
If you're happy to get non-ridden experience maybe get on your local Facebook and see if someone might be interested in some non-riding help in exchange for teaching you stable management and horse care, you might find someone with a retired horse or small pony (that wouldn't be suitable for an adult to ride) that would be happy to have some help and company :)
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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London
RDA do want helpers but ours is miles away from here and there may be checks due to child protection, health and safety etc. Also the one where I was asked to help needed me all day on a weekday - that wasnt possible for me as I was working.

But I have helped at three different yards where I had lessons. Most riding schools welcome offers from students to help on the yard - you may need to start by just cleaning tack which is what I did, but one learns as one works. The children often come to help at RSs at weekends, but I went there on Sundays and no one minded.

I did at the start - at the stage you are now maybe - get myself some education (two paid for lessons) on how to groom, pick up feet and tack up and put on rugs. I learned how to lead from watching videos. I watched mostly Monty Roberts style Natural Horsemanship but these days there are lots on line.
Our RS also had an evening class for BHS Stable Management Part 1 (now called something like Horse Care, I think). I did that course.
I never did anything because I felt I ought. It was what turned up and being asked if I would like to help.
 

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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I agree that doing a course of some kind is a good starting point. I went to a horsemanship evening course 30 (!) years ago, met my now best friend, went on riding weekends with her and we bought our first horses together. It's a good way to meet like minded people, and to find out what's going on locally, and where you might be able to get your horsey fix. Also little local shows - chatting to people in the horse world might just lead you to that next step. Obviously the most straightforward way is to just ask local yards if you can help in any way. As skib says, it may just be tack cleaning and poo picking, but it's a start.