Starting horse lessons

Coup d'amour

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Jan 10, 2007
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;) I'm starting riding lessons and taking care of horses every other weekend, but this Saturday is my first day. I know a little of what to expect, I'm doing a lot of ground work saturday, but i don't know if i'm riding yet or not. But, I will sometime, anyway, I'm curious about what to wear and what to do to prepare myself for the work. Also, can someone tell me about lounging and doing groundwork with a horse. I'm not sure what it means, etc...Thanks.
Coup.
P.S. I have trouble mounting, I'm short(barely 5ft), and I don't want to have problems like i did in the way past, what can i do to not let that happen? ANy possible way? Thanks again.:eek:
 

*Sez*

Salsa & Solstice Twilight
Sep 12, 2003
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Wear some suitable boots and trousers - jogging bottoms will probably be more comfy than jeans if you're not used to riding and if you don't have jodhs. The school should provide you with a suitable helmet that fits you correctly for your first few lessons. Boots should have a slight heel and not be flat - the heel prevents your foot pushing right through the stirrups. Take some gloves as well - if you have a tack shop near you, you can pick up some "pimple palmed" magic gloves for a couple of £'s. Otherwise, some normal woolen gloves will help - I've noticed that when I haven't ridden for a long time, I get blisters from my rubber reins! :eek:

Ground work is everything from leading safely, to lungeing and long-reining. I doubt you will learn to lunge straight away - however you may ride on the lunge to help you find your balance. Lungeing can be done with or without a rider. A handler stands in the middle of a circle and controls the horse between a long line, body language & voice, and a long lunge whip. The horse travels around the outside of the circle. This is a good exercise for learner riders, as you can think about what your weight and balance are doing without having to think about controlling the horse as well.

You may learn to mount from the ground for safety reasons. It's a skill everyone should have - if there is an emergency that causes you to dismount out on a hack, you will need to be able to get back on your horse from the floor, otherwise you will have to walk your horse home! However, for the purpose of lessons, you may be allowed to mount from a block once you have demonstrated that you can mount from the ground... mounting from a block is easier on the saddle and your horse's back, so it really depends on the school and how they feel about it. Some places always let pupils mount from a block, some always have you mount from the floor.

Schools vary a lot. Some places, you arrive and you will be taught how to groom, what all the parts of the horse and pieces of kit are called, and taught to tack up before you ever even ride. Other places, you arrive and the horses are all ready. I've worked at both types of yard, and to be honest, I always preferred the first type. I've known novice horse-owners who had ridden for years but had no idea how to groom and got confused by "technical" horse terms, such as body parts.

Hope some of this is helpful! Good luck with your first session! :D
 
G

Guest 2

Guest
When helping out i usually just wear scruffy clothes that i dont mind getting mucky. I usually wear wellies and jods.
Usually you will catch the ponies and horses needed for the day, take rugs off, groom, and tack up.
Sometimes you may have to lead ponies in the riding lessons.
You may also have to sweep the yard, muck out or clean tack.

Its worth taking your riding boots and a comfy pair of trousers if you are riding.

Good luck xxx
 

*Sez*

Salsa & Solstice Twilight
Sep 12, 2003
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Like tracksuit or running bottoms? Jeans have hard seams down the insides of the legs which can chafe against the saddle if you're not used to it. A lot of people that I know that have ridden in jeans for their first lessons have been very sore on the skin afterwards. Thinking of sore - don't panic if you feel a bit stiff and achy afterwards or the folloing day - it's just your muscles getting used to it! :D
 

Coup d'amour

New Member
Jan 10, 2007
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Western or English

Ok, thanks Sez and everyone! I now have another question, the person that's teaching me to ride and horse care uses both english and western saddles, so it's up to me to decide which one. But, I don't know which one I like better, i'v ridden western before, but that doesn't help.
So, any advice?
:)
Coup
 

funkyfilly_sos

Brucie :)
Jan 3, 2007
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Out there somewhere!
Well, I've never ridden western before so I wouldn't know but it looks amazing! (I will try it some day!) But if you've never ridden english I would try that and then see which you prefer. Both styles are quite similar, but there are quite a few differences, such as riding western you hold the reins in one hand whereas English you ride hold them in two. Of course there are loads more differences but I think most of the basics are the same.
I hoped I've helped in your decision! :D
Tell us what you choose to do and keep us up 2 date with your progress :)
 

Coup d'amour

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Jan 10, 2007
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Ok, thanks. I will update when their is something to update, but sure thing!
What do you like about riding English? I like how it's lighter than western. :)
 

*Sez*

Salsa & Solstice Twilight
Sep 12, 2003
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Are you in the States? (should probably have asked first!) If so, you can probably take a lot of what I said in my earlier post with a pinch of salt - not sure what things are like over there, but my thoughts and experiences are all based on English riding schools :eek: .

I've never ridden Western, but I would love to. I suppose I ride English style because it is how I have always ridden and it's what I know. I am working on dressage as my discipline - there's something so incredibly elegant about someone who knows what they're doing riding a good test :)
 

Coup d'amour

New Member
Jan 10, 2007
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The last time I mounted(without step block)I had the hardest time getting on the horse, i made it half way up, I needed help getting on. So embarresing! I don't want to go through that again. So, any tips on how to be able to do that easily before my lesson?
thanx,
Coup:p
 

Amy68

Live To Ride
Jan 4, 2007
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if they do have a mountain block ask to you use it aint dont be ashamed. ask some body to hold the horse whilst you get on make sure you put the foot in the correct stirup and swing the other one behind gather up the reins and check the stirups and girth...

Hope all helps

tell us how it all goes

amy x
 

bexj

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May 8, 2002
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Amy - its a mountING block, as in a block from which you mount.....not a mountain block:) :p !!

I would ask to use a mounting block if you can - that way you spare hauling on the horses' back, especially if, like me, you are not that agile!

I wouldn't worry too much about what you are or are not going to be doing on Saturday - they shouldn't land with something you're not happy doing, and of course, if they ask you to do something that you aren't clear about, then ask! Most people are more than happy to help - don't worry about sounding stupid, cos we've all been there!

Hope you enjoy it - relax, smile, and give us a full report on Saturday night - after your long bath of course:)
 

Coup d'amour

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Jan 10, 2007
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Is there any specific exercises I can do to help with the hip area? Cause I know that the hips are gonna hurt while ** on the horse.
 

ploddingalong

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Dec 18, 2006
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Yoga-type hip openers are fantastic - I used to have VERY tight hips and psoas, and it really doesn't take long to make a difference. Butterfly stretch is a good place to start, then spread straightened legs as far apart as you are comfortable, and touch your toes with opposite hand (ie left foot, right arm). Yoga sites have good photographic examples. That should start to help. Also, I found that the slow heel-up, heels-down stretch on stairs really helped stretch my calves out and maintain my leg position. Hope this helps!
 

Coup d'amour

New Member
Jan 10, 2007
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Well, today is Monday and that means Saturday has passed. So, here's the update: Me and my sister got to her friends house, met the family and the horse I was to be riding and doing things with, her name is Prissy(she has a registered name, but I can't remember it). She's a beautiful light colored bay, about 14.1 -14.2hh(which is a good thing cause i'm short). We didn't have that much time there on the account of she had to be somewhere later on, so I was there about an hour and 30 mins but, it was a good long hour though :D . Anyway, we groomed Prissy and cleaned her hooves, then I lead her to a ring, and I got to free lunge Prissy. At first it was hard and Prissy was stubborn, but after awhile I got through it! I got her to trot, walk, canter, and turn around. At the end, she stopped and faced me, ears pricked and toward me waiting for me to do something, I dropped the whip and walked up to her and patted her. It was an AMAZING experience! :p Afterwards, I led her to another pen, and let her go , and that was it. But, i had a good time nonetheless. I'm thinking I'm going to start riding next next Saturday, cause she asked if i had a riding helmet, so I'm hoping I will ride next time.
:p :) :cool: :p :rolleyes: :eek:
That's it for now, I don't go back this coming up sat, but the next one, my sister is going elsewhere that day and told her friend she could have that day off, which is fine. I just hope i don't forget anythign that i've learned.
TTFN :D
 
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