im just not getting any better - intensive lessons?

(144 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Sat 22-Jun-13 23:43:35

my RI is a stickler for "proper" riding - she is of the Sylvia Loch school of thought - which is brilliant, knowledgeable, but im just not getting it....

i go one step forwards, then 3 back.

its worse as im an adult learner. RI is really very good, and says yes, you can get by from kicking and pulling, but she teaches properly the use of leg aids (i e - riding from the ankle UP...no kicking unless for discipline)

im worse than useless. She talks about collecting the horse and riding in front of the leg....now i understand these as concepts but i have all on trying to coordinate my body, legs and arms.....

i do not want to give up - it gives me such pleasure, and i know enough about horse care and stable management now to own my own pony, RI often leaves me to it if she needs a few hours off....and i love helping out, plus i dearly would love my own pony.

im thinking of booking a series of intensive lessons daily for a week or so, because just as i seem to be getting it i go backwards again. My legs will not do as they are asked....(!!) i give the poor horse mixed messages, i cant seem to keep my heels down and toes in....and my lower legs refuse to stay where i put them originally!

im getting so annoyed with myself! RI says i am perfectly normal but im not improving at all.

because i help out RI says she will do me a deal on intensive lessons.

im feeling a bit despondent. I so want to learn. i can do everything now with horses except ride them!

EMUZ Sun 23-Jun-13 21:16:28

How about going somewhere totally different like Cumbria heavy horses? There's another one up that way who's name escapes me at the moment. It's run by a friend of a friend so I can recommend it. They do beach rides etc

bonzo77 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:20:06

Totally agree with above posts. Too much thinking, not enough riding. Get a share on something quiet and hack out loads. Some of the best horsemen/ women I have come across have never had a formal lesson in their life. I've learnt more in the last 10 years of sharing a variety of horses than I did in the previous 20 years in riding schools.

saintmerryweather Sun 23-Jun-13 21:23:35

absolutely nothing has changed since your last post. go somewhere else, to.someone who trusts their horses to behave themselves out on a hack and JUST HAVE FUN. You are seriously overthinking your riding and getting so caught up in the tiniest little details that it doesnt sound like you can possibly be having fun. with your riding.

if your instructor doesnt trust her horses meeting trafficand behaving themselves out on a hack, that really really says to me 'go elsewhere.' shes still mugging you off and youre still planning on buying her a horse.

saintmerryweather Sun 23-Jun-13 21:24:56

i think emuz might mean murthwaite green, they are in cumbria too

Mirage Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:30

Hack out.I've had about 6 lessons in the past 34 years and even I can hack out without coming to grief.If I can do it,anyone can.If you are worried about traffic,can't your instructor take you to a bridle path instead?

Where abouts are you?

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:07:19

im in east yorkshire. sadly there is sod al elsel near me....

i would wear a body protector if she would let me hack out, but she wont.

i had thought about just getting my own and saying sod it....i am find with all aspects of horse care and stable management.
i just cant ride. I was thinking if i got my own she cant really stop me....but i want her on board with me - thing is she is a perfectionist.

im not cantering yet and she still has me on the lunge. she wont let me loose. its not just me....her other adult learners are much the same. i do love her though, i respect her amazing knowledge but it is getting frustrating.
i found my way as a kid - i have never fallen off a horse. she wont let me do anything more than school, on a lunge line, and no, im not getting it. my toes refuse to stay in. my heels refuse to stay down. my legs hurt. i work in a 20 metre circle, which is hard going....
i used to gallop through corn fields.
i used to canter on grass verges.
i used to trot around the village.

i couldnt ride, but clearly i could on some level, because i found my way. i used to canter at first my standing in the stirrups like a jockey until i found my seat and could stick to the saddle......but i did it just by experimenting.
thats something i cant do now. and yes, i m tense. i beat myself up. i get cross with myself. its not all RI fault....but she is teaching for perfection and i cant get even the basics.

Aw Vicar. Sorry but she is taking the piss. I am sure you have great respect for her but not letting you off the lunge is bloody ridiculous. There must be a big standard riding school somewhere near you.

Bog not big.

Floralnomad Sun 23-Jun-13 22:14:45

I'm surprised she has any clients at all ,TBH you'd be better off buying something quiet and keeping it somewhere that has the facilities for you to get an instructor in . You are wasting your time where you are .Sorry .

Sorry vicar but actually I think your RI is taking the proverbial

You are still on the fecking lunge ????

Either you are horrendous at riding and should just give up or she is taking the piss and using you as a cash cow

I know which one I'm tempted to think

Sorry mate, I'd buy a horse, get on a good yard and go it alone. Do you want to compete at top level ? If not fuck what your ankles and feet do. Worry about your hands, soft hands and a good feel for contact, a steady nag and a half decent seat and you'll be fine

I promise. Just do it

PeanutPatty Sun 23-Jun-13 22:19:10

Try somewhere else. Honestly.

Are all the lessons given on the lunge? How many lessons a day does each horse do? 20mins on the lunge with a rider is a pretty intensive work out for a horse.

I think your RI being a perfectionist is restricting you. Sometimes when you don't "get" something moving on and doing something different say canter poles or leg yield down the long side can take your mind/body away from the frustration and when you come back to it all refreshed you more often than not actually better!

saintmerryweather Sun 23-Jun-13 22:20:39

oh come on vic thats bloody ridiculous, youre still on the lunge? you should be jumping by now. your instructor is a joke and is taking the piss out of you. it might be because she is axdressage trainer but my blood is actually boiling for you that she is holding you back so badly. it doesnt matter if you dont have a perfect position, you just need to get out there and actually ride.

. i have to be brutally honest and say i dont actually care that much if my legs slip out of position or my toes arent always pointing the right way.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:26:43

i am seriously thinking about just getting my own, and having a go. But i do want to learn to ride too, not just stay on....when i watch Sylvia Loch i can understand where my RI comes from....but i am far from heavy handed. Part of the problem is the lack of suitable horses and i do really love my RI, so its really difficult.

i think a trekking holiday would do me the world of good in many ways - dd is 16 this year so as soon as i feel able to leave her (DH works nights) i will book one, just for me, my reward. It may sort me out. Riding isnt the pleasure it should be thats for sure.
I always feel better without stirrups - my position is better, so i have asked if i can ride with longer stirrups, my position goes to pot when my stirrups are shorter but RI thinks this is better as its easier to stay in position without lower leg shifting forward....but its not working for me.

i completely understand what ny RI is trying to teach me - and its what i said i wanted.
its just becoming incredibly hard work....i do feel quite demoralised because as i concentrate on one thing something else goes to rat shit....

i do long to just canter through a field!

saintmerryweather Sun 23-Jun-13 22:27:47

i was riding my instructors horse yesterday in my lesson, second time id ever ridden him. asked for canter in the corner, cantered half the school when he tanked off with me, couple of little bucks for a few strides so i brought him back to a trot and tried again...he bucked, i rode him on and got him through it. i dont know if my toes were in, but i had a problem and i had enough experience to deal with the issue myself. thats what riding is about vicar, gaining experience, and it doesnt matter in the slightest how pretty you.look or how invisible your aids are, if your horse does bog off you have to be able to deal with it.
please dont think.im getting at you but your RI makes me so angry!

Not sure how long you've been riding as an adult - some months at least, yes? You should not be on the lunge week after week, you should be cantering, maybe jumping, hacking out, and having fun. If we all waited till we had perfect lower legs and exact aids none of us would get out of walk. well I wouldn't anyway

Could you buy a horse and have lessons with her but more on your terms ?

My trainer is a top dressage coach but I'm far from being that good.

I learnt to ride on barely broke gypsy horses. I don't look pretty but by god I can sit still

I've worked really hard on my hands over the years as that's my biggest gripe - heavy hands and contact really pisses me off. I try and ride as 'light ' as I can.
My stirrups are always far too long apparently but I'm comfortable and when my naughty shit beautiful east of a horse rears or tanks off or does her colossal bucks I'm stuck to her like glue

Seriously vicar - buy a horse, enjoy. Life is too short mate. Im Now disabled and unlikely to ever ride again. I've been riding 28 years, it's my life.

Get out there and have fun x

Sorry Vicar, I'm with the others on this. Constant lessons on the lunge aren't good for horse or rider. Also, doesn't matter how great a perfectionist, when you're working with another living being, you may get more consistency, or closer 'bonding' etc., but you'll never get perfection.

I think your Instructor was great for you when you started back, but it sounds like she's not great for where you are now. That might change, but it does sound as though you need to step away from her and remember how capable you are.

Not cheap, and a bit of a hike from where you are (he's in Northampton) but Tim Stockdale gives lessons/masterclasses (or used to), and I'd imagine a few other internationals/former internationals do the same.

Pixel Sun 23-Jun-13 22:48:46

I feel sorry for the horses tbh, all that lunging they must be bored to death. No wonder they can't be trusted to hack out!

OOOH Yorkshire - during my no- lessons- and- not- really- riding phase I rode some fabulous ponies in Yorkshire. Will go and have a google soon to see if I can find. They looked like scruffy ponies but they were all forward going but pretty bombproof, they were fab. At that stage I'd never done any schooling (had done a lot of charging around on ponies between the ages of 6 and about 15 but never learned properly - I'm like you - gone onto schooling as an adult, and I love schooling, but my RI, who also won't let you hack until you've had an assessment as her horses are dressage etc properly schooled horses will let me hack).

Me too Pixel.

Hm I might have this wrong but I am 80-90% sure it was Masham riding & trekking centre near Ripon. At the time I lived in York and had tried a riding stables on the outskirts of York but hated the RI and stopped. A friend found this trekking centre and it was such fun after the cow of a RI www.mashamridingcentre.com

I now do (as I said before) lots of schooling (at the other end of the country) but it's fun, I haven't been on a lunge since the first one or two lessons & every lesson is different. Sometimes we work on dressage type work, sometimes we just concentrate on things like transitions (including canter), sometimes we do (little!) jumps. And sometimes I hack. The most important thing for me has been learning how to ride a horse through problems if that makes sense. If something went wrong I used to freeze, now I know how to correct & to keep riding rather than freeze and squeak. I have definitely learned to ride a lot better - I now ride with my seat (I wasn't even aware of that really before).

I have come back to riding like you and at the same sort of age (I'm 42 now - started again when I was about 38 or 39).

Do try that Masham place - it was such a tonic after the stables in York where I was just shouted at for an hour each week, it made riding fun again. Schooling should be fun as well. I used to think I just hated schooling, but I love it now - and the thing that's changed is the RI.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:51:24

thank you so much everyone
i will definitely check out your recommendation saintly

Littlebigbum Sun 23-Jun-13 23:54:53

Oh sound wonderful wish I was closer to Masham

If you wanted a schooling holiday in Devon I'd recommend my place - they've just started doing b&b and my instructor is very well qualified (bhsii working towards bhsi) & I think would be able to give you what you are looking for (without being on the lunge all the time). PM me if you want details.

I can also recommend a fab trekking centre on Dartmoor. I haven't been there for years but it's position is great & I have heard good things from friends who have been recently

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