I am 38 and very outrageously unfit after two pregnancies and two c-sections in the span of four years. I have ridiculously weak core and thigh muscles and, apart from walking a lot, the riding lesson was my first excercise since giving birth 8 months ago. I also still carry some weight from my last pregnancy.
Dc1 (5) also had her first lesson today and, having always wanted to learn to ride as a young woman I thought it would be nice to do this together.
So I dressed in my finest washed out leggings and wellie boots and, although i must have looked quite a a fright, they did allowed me on a horse.
I'm sure I made quite a fool of myself. I was shit scared of falling off due to my lack of core muscles and it took me a couple of attempts to even climb on swing my legs over the poor horse. Anyhow, we started moving at a fairly slow pace and the horse being wobbly and all, I got quite disconcerted so asked the girl leading the poor to slow down .
After 20 minutes I felt a bit more confident but can't say I enjoyed it much.
So, in your experience / opinion dear MN tack lovers, please tell me if it will get better, if there is a small chance I might learn to enjoy this or if this is a ridiculous undertaking given my age and physical ability.....
I took up riding reasonably late in life (late 20s) and still ride now in early 50s. Age is no barrier and they won't worry about what you look like but I would say helmet (you've got a good brand there) and jod boots will be much better. Wellies are a very poor choice due to thickness of sole in the stirrups athough better than trainers which are a definite no-no due to lack of a heel.
I would say change riding schools - that sounded very poor. Also don't have lessons with your daughter for the first few months. You are anxious and she will pick up on this. Similarly she should have natural bravery, strength and enthusiasm so should pick things up more quickly and not a good idea to slow her down. Get her into a group lesson with children her age/ability and she should thrive.
You probably need a few more private lessons with somebody older and more capable who will be in tune to your needs.
Anything new taken up as an adult is going to be difficult. Add post-natal wobbliness into the mix and you are really are challenging yourself.
Could you go for a private lesson every day for a week? That might help you decide if it is for you and make quicker progress - if you have weekly lessons it's going to take forever for you to get anywhere.
A lot of the problem will come from the stiffness - I have been riding for more than 40 years, ride to a high standard and have my own horse but if I have a break for any reason, I'm stiff the first time I get back on so I can't imagine how bad it must be if your muscles have never moved in that way before.
When I took up skiing ten years ago (aged 40) I had a solid week of input and went from unable to stand on my skis to snow-ploughing down a red run in four days - not pretty, but I did it. The concentrated effort and instruction got me going and I haven't looked back. perhaps a similar approach might work for you with your riding.
I would look for a school that specialises in adult beginners. It's very different teaching an unfit nervy adult than a gung-ho bouncy kid and no instructor should be teaching an adult beginner and a child beginner in the same lesson. Check out the Where to Ride section on the BHS website for info.
I rode a while whilst I was a teenager and then quit.
A couple of years ago I started lessons again and I remember being terrified on that first lesson, it felt wobbly and unsafe and I couldn't wait for the lesson to end. I persevered for a few weeks and then couldn't afford to carry it on so quit again.
A few months ago I started again and this time I was hooked from the start. So it might take a while but if it's for you it will click soon