what would you expect from lessons?

(275 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:29:28

just wondered really as i had my first lesson tonight, i used to ride as a child but ive not ridden for over 30 years.

the first school i had booked with were very lax and when i showed up for my lesson tonight they claimed they had tried to phone me to say the instructor hadnt made it in - they had not tried to phone me and i told them that - then they changed their story and the man said he couldnt ring as had locked himself out of the house, and said they would be in touch. Still no call from them, not even an apology.

so at short notice i booked at another school and went for my lesson tonight.

i told them id not ridden for a very very long time and would need to be treated like a total novice.

it was an arena, a very placid horse and i really had a wonderful time, but i just wondered how lessons normally go?

i found i couldnt concentrate on technique because i was trying to keep my horse going, he was lovely and an old hand but in trot he wanted to stop....is it a good idea to learn to control the horse and learn technique at the same time?

im pleased i was let loose to some extent and i think i will learn quickly - alot of it came back to me tonight though i will need tons of practice and im sure alot of this cant be "taught" and has to be learnt on the job as it were.....but i know my balance is awful and though i was told id done really well, it all felt a bit clumsy and i dread to think what i looked like!

how do first lessons normally go?

MoonlightandWerewolves Tue 30-Oct-12 23:01:39

Sounds like the second school took you at your word and gave you a beginner's 'schoolmaster' - i.e. a reliable beastie who knows his stuff, but also knows what he can get away with.

From a first lesson, you should come away feeling pleased to be on a horse and the instructor should have gained some idea of your confidence, balance, fitness and expertise levels.
Did they take you through all the paces and explain ahead of each change how to complete the transitions? Did you feel comfortable when they were suggesting seat, hand and leg adjustments to improve during the lesson? Also, did they provide detailed feedback at the end and suggest what would be worked on for any subsequent lessons?
If yes to the above, then sounds as though it was a good, and properly planned, first lesson.

Also, hope you remembered the Epsom salts for the post-lesson bath! grin

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Oct-12 23:10:05

oh....

i came away feeling pleased to be on a horse, definitely. loved it.
she didnt take me through all the paces or explain anything - what is a transition???
she told me to sit more into the middle of the saddle and relax more. she told me i was pointing my heels down too much,
nothing else - no hand adjustments or leg adjustments although she did say i should be able to get a hand between my knee and the saddle....(i was gripping with my knees too much!)
no feed back at the end of the lesson.

MoonlightandWerewolves Tue 30-Oct-12 23:40:43

Well, at least it confirms you want to be back riding again.

A "transition" is just the change between the paces - so, walk to trot, trot to canter and so on.

I wouldn't write them off just yet - if you felt comfortable with the instructor, it could be worth booking one more lesson and asking for feed-back / more direction during it to see if they build on this first one?

If it was just the 'finally back in the saddle' bit you enjoyed though, then you might need to see about finding somewhere else.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 31-Oct-12 01:13:55

im just so disappointed that the first place was so bad and unprofessional.

the second place - seemed ok but i thought i would get more "instruction". i booked another lesson, the girl was quite young and i wonder if she is qualified tbh. the horse did more than she did.

dont know confused

Wilding Wed 31-Oct-12 05:47:00

I would go for another lesson and see how you feel after that, tbh - if it's your first one after a long time it will have been more about getting you used to being on a horse again, they won't want to over-burden you with instructions right at the start. They should get stricter about positioning etc as you go on. If you're concerned about your instructor's qualifications, just ask - any decent place should be able to reassure you on that front.

The ploddy horse sounds standard - I was always given total slugs when I first started having lessons. It's annoying having to keep pushing them on, but on the plus side it really helps build up your leg muscles! As you get better they should put you up on more lively/difficult horses.

Zazzles007 Wed 31-Oct-12 07:49:17

Hi OP, I get the impression from your lesson that you were pretty much let loose in an arena, and then 'supervised' by a young lady, who didn't seem to give you a lot of instruction. Does this seem a fair assessment?

In your situation, I think I would have expected quite a bit more - the instructor usually talks (almost) non-stop during the lesson and should run through anywhere from 2-6 exercises which help both you and the horse 'go' better. In your case, I would have expected that the instructor would have given you constant feedback on your seat and position, with lots and lots of minor corrections so that you are sitting better and able to influence the horse to go better. These exercises would be done at the walk, and even more so at the trot.

As Moonlight said, the exercises you would have learnt in the first part of the lesson at walk and trot, are then applied in the canter (the hardest gait to do stuff in) to test your learning. Then the instructor would end the lesson on your strengths and areas that you need to work on in the next lesson.

As for the young girl who 'instructed' you, I would be tempted to call the riding school and see if there is a 'head instructor' or someone more senior to her to give you your next lesson. Try booking a lesson with the main instructor and see if there is a difference in the quality of the lesson.

Hope this helps.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 31-Oct-12 10:23:45

that just about sums it up zazzles yes. Its a mother/daughter set up and im just not sure the daughter is a fully qualified instructor, i dont feel like i can ask, there is only her and if she isnt thats that.

There are n't many places around here left to try though.

im still angry that no one has bothered to call me from the first place that let me down and didnt bother cancelling my lesson,

i think there is one more place to try, i might give them a call.

i dont mind a ploddy horse at all - the ploddier the better and they did say that as i progressed i would be put on different horses, but she kept asking me if it as coming back - it wasnt!

im going to need a lot of lessons i think to get confident enough again. i certainly didnt feel confident to canter at all and my trot was a tad clumsy - a bit hit and miss.(literally! my arse is testimony to that today!)but i asked them to treat me like a totally new rider. I mounted, was told how to hold the reins, then basically i walked and trotted around the arena without much more instruction after that. maybe im expecting too much from a first lesson.

im going to go back for another and im going to ring another school (tehre is one left!) and have a lesson there to see how it compares.

thanks all for the input.

Alameda Wed 31-Oct-12 10:36:07

I would expect to have to 'think' constantly, not just mentally but all over, and a running commentary of praise mingled with constructive criticism/instruction.

Alameda Wed 31-Oct-12 10:38:33

(instructions I can understand, not 'drop your left hip' and that sort of thing)

agree it is a good idea to pay more for a BHSAI or equivalent

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:10:12

well ive just booked another lesson with a fully qualified lady who used to teach at a college

she sounded much more what i was expecting - she said she will have me on a lunge and wants to see me in the daylight so she can assess.

ive told her i want to learn from scratch and i told her what i was doing - booking a lesson with each local school - she was very happy with that and says that once i have had a lesson with her i will not want to swap....

she told me all her qualifications and certificates and sounded like an older lady. ive told he i want to learn everything with a view to having my own one day. She was lovely.
lesson booked with her for Friday morning.

Wilding Wed 31-Oct-12 11:32:22

That sounds much better! You should definitely be getting a running commentary, especially in a one-on-one lesson - when I said they wouldn't overburden you with instructions I just meant that they should be focusing on basic aids & position rather than the more complicated stuff, but if you were just left to wander that's rubbish! Re: some of the comments above though, I'd be very surprised if they expected you to canter. I started having lessons again after a 10 year gap and didn't canter at all to start with, as the school believed in establishing a good seat and getting pupils completely confident in trot first.

Good luck with it on Friday - do come back and let us know how it goes!

Really missing riding now - am currently in the middle of a country that's absolutely stuffed with horses and I have no way of getting to them...

<wanders off grumbling>

MoonlightandWerewolves Wed 31-Oct-12 12:26:23

Confidence is good! Hope you have a great lesson and let us know.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 31-Oct-12 17:58:32

i popped into the equestrian store to get some half chaps (sore shins today!) and told the lady in there about the lesson - she said it sounded like easy money was being made so im really hoping and praying that the new place on Friday is going to be much better.....from what she said on the phone i suspect she knows much better how to teach.

i will update. my motto is if at first you dont succeed!!

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 01-Nov-12 22:57:53

i found the first school that let me down on Facebook. ive posted a comment. im really so pissed of with them, i have spent £120 on equipment and to be let down like that really really has annoyed me - they never did call me to rebook or explain.
they obviously dont need the business.
what ive found is that sitting someone on a horse and charging £23 per 30 mins is easy money, it doesnt seem to matter whether youre qualified or not, professional or not.

i am hoping to goodness that tomorrows lesson at the other school ive found is better.....

Well, at least you're going into the next one armed with things to look out for and ask about.

Mind you, if they're good, you'll see it definitely isn't easy money. (Not always easy on the pupils when they use the outside arena in the howling gale/lashing rain either though...grin)

One of the best teachers I had was a mad Swede who had been a junior international - she only considered you had been working if you fell off the side of the horse at the end of it, due to having no power left in your legs! Bloody tough, but definitely learned things.

Looking forward to tomorrow's update. smile

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 02-Nov-12 11:30:32

HURRAH! ive found a proper instructor!! grin
she was lovely and i actually learnt something! the other "school" stuck me on and watched me ride.

This one actually taught me how to make the horse move without kicking, how to stop gently and properly, how to sit, most importantly, and how to hold the reins properly - i didnt get to a trot but at least im learning that its all about your body, how you talk to the horse through your body movements....a revelation!

im so happy. she was fab and ive booked again for next week. I told her i would love eventually to own my own and she i can go early if i want to learn to groom, and she will do everything with me, stable management and the works, im so happy! Learning to ride is going to take me a long time, but at least im learning
grin

mrslaughan Fri 02-Nov-12 16:13:19

Where-a-bouts are you? Can you share the the name of the last school you went too.

ExitPursuedByABanger Fri 02-Nov-12 16:18:46

Sounds as if you have found a wonderful place to learn.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Alameda Fri 02-Nov-12 18:21:46

smile I'm so pleased! This is such an expensive hobby it's reasonable to expect something for all the £££. I have a friend who rides with enviable grace and skill, she had an insane perfectionist for an instructor who didn't let her canter for YEARS. So it probably pays to go slowly (not that slowly!)?

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 02-Nov-12 19:37:54

I'm thrilled. This lady cared deeply for her horses welfare and is a proper instructor, I
Really liked her too. It's called Woodall riding school and it's near brackenholme fitness park, between Howden and Hemingbrough in East Yorkshire. I've been like grin all day! She is exactly what was searching for. It pays to try a few places.

MoonlightandBonefires Fri 02-Nov-12 21:04:11

Yay - Happy Friday! Hands Vicar a celebratory wine.

Nice to see 'third time lucky' actually working.

grin

Zazzles007 Fri 02-Nov-12 21:59:52

Vicar what a great update. Your new instructor sounds like a real treasure. Learn as much as you can from her, and you will go far grin. Learning about horses is a great journey, and you've gotten past one of the first big hurdles, finding an instructor that you like.

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 02-Nov-12 23:22:02

i knew i hadnt got the right instructors until i found her.....she is so knowledgeable, she understands horses and thats what i wanted - i had been so scared of hurting the horse i was on on tuesday, the instructor at that "schoo"l said if i hurt him he would tell me - that wasnt good enough for me......i wanted someone who understood horses and this lady is just fabulous. i was there an hour and a half in total and she charged me £20 and told me more about horses in that time than ive ever heard from anyone before.....i loved her.
i know now you dont have to kick them to ask them to walk
i know that you only need the lightest touch on the reins and that even on turning the other rein is important
i know what a closed rein is
i know what the horses withers are
i know how to stand around a horse (same side as her!)
i know how to sit (need more practice at this!!!!)
i know how to ask the horse to move
i know how to ask the horse to stop
i know what their sharpest sense is (those big ears are not for nothing!)
i know that they rest their back legs when standing
i know that if they rest their forelegs something is wrong
i know how to measure how long my stirrups need to be
i know that the girth needs adjusting and why

she was wonderful. exactly what i was looking for. i am thrilled i have found her, i was starting to lose faith!
she better not retire before i get my own! i am truly thrilled to bits and cannot wait for my next lesson....

she is a treasure. and her horses are lucky. smile

MoonlightandBonefires Fri 02-Nov-12 23:28:01

It's great when you find a good instructor, isn't it. So glad you did. You'll also find that just shifting your balance in the saddle (i.e. looking the way you want to go) will help with changing direction. Ditto with changing the pace/rhythm of your rising and moving with the horse, will change their pace and speed (horses do not like off-kilter bumping in the saddle) with minimal rein use to do so.

The analogy I was taught for the rein was the hold should be similar to having a small bird in your hand - constant for re-assurance and communication aid, but soft, not squeezed tight.

Am looking forward to the updates on your 'riding log' over the next months (and years!)

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 02-Nov-12 23:37:20

she told me that too moonlight about changing direction or pace....and tried to get me to demonstrate this on todays lesson - i absolutely feel like this is the right place for me. i am breathing a huge sigh of relief.

im so excited. i so love horses, since is was about 8 all i wanted was my own horse, and im 40 now, just starting out on lessons....and it was important to me that i got it right.

i look forward to updating you all next week! this is it for me....a long and expensive love affair is about to begin! grin

MoonlightandBonefires Fri 02-Nov-12 23:51:50

Well, if you start with that attitude, not a lot will go wrong. grin The only caveat is don't 'overthink' things - go with what feels right (sometimes 'right' will feel strange, but you'll know it's right) rather than the whole 'must have leg here, oh no, it's not right, I can't ride - eek! type thinking (--not that I'm guilty of that or anything, oh no--).

Long, expensive, but very, very worth it! The best thing is no two days are ever the same, even with the same beastie.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 03-Nov-12 00:04:14

the whole thing felt strange....loose knees but gently 'cuddling' the horses shape with calves....feet....ended up with very achy ankles! but at least now i know how to sit and how my seat should be....problem was as soon as i tried to trot my legs came forward....its going to take some practice to keep the right position....but the point is that at least i know it now - didnt have a clue before!

its going to be slow progress, but i feel like this is progress!

i loved it. slow and steady wins the race as they say! (emphasis on slow!) not bothered how long it takes though....smile
felt wonderful to be on a horse and learning something.

Zazzles007 Sat 03-Nov-12 00:25:23

Awww fantastic Vicar, sounds like she taught you a whole lotta stuff in just one lesson. That's exactly the sort of person you want. Suck up that learning and keep us posted as to how you go grin.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 03-Nov-12 00:31:00

thanks! i will keep you posted....im so excited i wont be able to contain myself!
next lesson, next friday, before work....i will update!

Wilding Sat 03-Nov-12 01:45:41

That sounds brilliant - I'm so pleased you found someone who knows what they're doing! smile

SilverSky Sat 03-Nov-12 02:03:37

Marks spot for updates! grin

Glad you persevered and found somewhere just right. You've prob saved yourself a fortune!

Alameda Sat 03-Nov-12 10:01:56

Vicar, I love your enthusiasm, you make me want to have lessons again (I mainly hack, can't remember when I last rode properly)

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 03-Nov-12 11:25:50

i am really pleased, its all much harder than i realised but im not in any rush, and i want to learn properly, the hardest thing has been finding someone to teach me! smile

i dont think my ability matches my enthusiasm! not yet anyway! grin

Just wanted to say hope you have a great time at tomorrow's lesson - look forward to the update!

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 09-Nov-12 19:20:57

well - 2nd lesson with my lovely lady tonight....progress being made! i absolutely love my wonderful instructor and the horse she has for me is the most patient lovely beastie - i am trying very hard to work in harmony with my hoss.

managed to get to trot tonight. much better with the reigns too, my lovely horse (meggy) spooked a little in one corner due to the wind but i stayed on ok, and she decided she would rather like a canter, only briefy, but i stayed on then too!

the learning is continuing - i learnt about setting off on the diagonal, and all the while trying hard to concentrate on my feet and leg positions and how the horses position alters during transitions....

i am having the time of my life learning i really am. next week im going to do a bit of grooming and learn to tack up.....

ive also said i would like to volunteer when i am of use.

i absolutely love it. i love being around the horse, learning about the horse, and learning to ride her.

grin
am a happy bunny.

grin grin

wine to celebrate?

P.S. - when you do get to the canter lesson - good tip to check you're on the correct lead without looking down is to very slightly loosen your legs and see which one is moving more - if it's the inside one you're correct, and if the outside then drop back to trot for a stride or two to fix it - makes it much easier than dropping your balance/contact when trying to check.

Zazzles007 Sat 10-Nov-12 06:29:51

That's great Vicar the more time you spend with horses, the quicker you become in tune with them. Not just the riding part, but the grooming and care is really important too. And yes, the horse does learn to regard you differently when are doing the care.

Happy horsing! grin

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 10-Nov-12 18:41:39

i absolutely adore the horse im on - its really firming up my mind that i would so love my own.

i am so pleased i am going to learn to tack up. The instructor says when ive learned a bit more i can go in and help if i want.

i cant tell you how much im loving these lessons. its great!

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:22:54

i had my 3rd lesson last week - not much riding as i was looking at grooming and tacking up.

i think id better learn to ride first and the good news is that DD has said she would like to come too! i have another lesson booked for friday and then the following weekend both me and dd are going for a lesson.

i am loving this so much.

how long do you think i would have to wait/how much would i have to learn before i got my own?

the riding school do livery. its only 10 mins up the road....im thinking for both me and dd to learn its going to cost around £160 per month....my lovely instructor said when im ready and able she would help me find my own though i suspect its probably too early after 4 lessons!

seriously though - how much experience would you need to own? given that i would livery with my instructor and she is happy to impart all her knowledge (of which she has much)

Booboostoo Wed 21-Nov-12 19:02:14

Glad it's all going so well!

Before you even think of getting your own you should be able to ride the more challenging horses of the RS both in the school and on hacks and it will still be a big step up which you need to take with caution (nothing like the wrong horse for shattering your confidence and your bones). In addition you need basic stable management skills.

This is a bit of 'how long is a piece of string' kind of question, as it all depends on how often you ride, but if you ride once a week I would think about 2 years before looking at getting your own, maybe a bit more depending on what you want to do with your horse, e.g. if you want a gentle hack around the block this may be achieved sooner than if you want to jump and go for a fast canter for example.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 19:09:46

thats perfect actually - 2 years would be perfect for me. Im not in a major rush and i know its a huge commitment.

i am just managing once a week but i look forward to my lesson so much, it makes my week and it gives me something to go to work for (not much joy in my job at the mo)

i know that i will get one, its just a matter of when im ready. i will be led by my instructor.

she has said she wants me to ride different horses but as it stands im on a wonderful patient mare of 14h2.
the next horse she wants me on is 15h 2.

im definitely not going to rush things but its an exciting prospect that one day , maybe just a couple of years down the line, i might have one. it really gives me something to hang on to, and work towards.
thanks for the wise words.

next lesson Friday. smile

Zazzles007 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:46:16

I'm glad someone else is of the same opinion. A lot of people rush in to buying a horse well before they are ready, and then there is the inevitable fall out from that. As Boo said, the standard response for this question is usually 'a couple of years'. And y to 'how long is a piece of string'.

Having said that, there are a number of things that (at least IMHO) any horse rider should aim to have under their belt before they consider horse ownership:

* Can you ride a sensible horse completely on your own, and are you comfortable with the grooming, tacking up, and after care?
* Can you take care of minor injuries to the horse? If the injury is bigger, will you know who to call - instructor, vet or otherwise?
* Do you understand the basic feeding requirements of a horse, and why they are getting certain grains, hay or other types of feed?
* Can you spot lameness if the horse is not quite right? After all, no hoof, no horse.
* Are you able to invest your time and finances into keeping a horse?

I have seen riders buy a horse before they have even got point 1 under their belt, let alone the rest - it never ends well. Above are just a few of the basics, and I am sure there is much more to ponder. Anyway, enjoy you're time in the lessons Vicar, it's great that you have these lovely lessons to look forward to each week. smile

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 23-Nov-12 21:17:43

blimey this is hard going....its 2 steps forward 1 back at the min.....last week i had complete control, this week all went to pot somewhere but i have no discovered how to keep my horse in trot.
nearly fell off today as one exercise was to not use my stirrups....but it helped with my seat.

found out livery costs too....

this lady is actually struggling a bit at the min, no one knows she is there, she has no liveries (she does part livery for £50 or £30 for working livery) i will be devastated if she goes under, i wish i was ready for my own. Sadly i have so much to learn before that happens, But she did let me adjust my own girth today, and stirrups, i also watched her groom, and tack up, and i led my horse to the school yard myself today.

its progress of sorts i suppose!

mrslaughan Fri 23-Nov-12 23:20:32

I think it is really hard for business's like this at mo. I love where I ride, and was going 2-3 times a week, but just can't at moment as DH has lost his job, and is this economy who knows how long it will take to find another. Anyway I popped in today, and the riding school is dead quiet, it made me worried.
Fortunately the livery side of the yard is full. But it is just hard all round.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 24-Nov-12 00:09:24

part of her problem i reckon is that she is not searchable on google - she has no website.

DS is a programmer and im wondering whether to ask if he could rustle her up a site and get her showing up on google searches (he can do stuff like that! he is a clever boy! grin) but he is working hard 3rd year at uni and also is worrying his part time boss is gonna get rid of him....

she is truly the best instructor in this area i found, but the others are googleable and she doesnt seem to be....i reckon she popped up on google searches it would help her.

the other schools near here are akin to donkey rides at the seaside compared to her.
she actually teaches something.
i wish i was ready for my own horse, because in her hands i would let her use him/her for schooling, she is so welfare driven and wont tolerate any sort of riding that is bad for the horse (or the rider! she is strict!) if you do something "wrong" she does the equivalent of how it would feel on you - she is brill)

She said today none of her horses are riding school plodders (which is true - you have to ride them properly - they dont do the work for you)

i think if she could get a few more lessons and a livery or two she would be fine but no one knows she is there.
ive waxed lyrical about her on FB but i dont mix with horsey types so not sure how good my advertising is!

dd is coming with me next week.

50BalesOfHay Sat 24-Nov-12 14:56:06

Your instructor sounds briliant Vicar. I know that sensibly you have to wait for your own horse but DH got his after two lessons (but I nag him constantly teach him)

Horses are just the best thing in the world, even when things are tough

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 24-Nov-12 15:20:18

i find it so incredibly therapeutic - yesterday when i untacked my horse i stood and just stroked her face and she fell asleep....

i could have stood there all day.

i love it so much. i will be getting my own - its not an if, its more of a when!

PollyLove Sun 25-Nov-12 10:23:25

She sounds fantastic, I'm looking to get back into riding, like you I've been out of the saddle a while. She's only 40 minutes from me and I think the right tuition is worth travelling for. What are the prices?

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 25-Nov-12 23:17:16

she is really well priced - she charges £20 for 45 mins but in reality she never clock watches.

she is fantastic.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 25-Nov-12 23:26:22

she is on the road to north duffield just through hemingborough - abut 6 miles from Howden.

50BalesOfHay Tue 27-Nov-12 08:35:47

Wow Vicar, she is a real find at that price

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 27-Nov-12 11:45:15

i know - thats why i want her to stay in business! she is a treasure, but she is well hidden! She never got back to me about DSs offer to build her a website....sad and i dont want to pester.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:21:51

well, both me and DD went for a lesson today - this was my 5th and DDs first ever time on a horse!

My lovely instructor was really pleased with me today and said i was riding like id sneaked in another lesson! i felt i did really well today. Im going to ache like billio tomorrow though grin

DD did really well too, and managed to master a rising trot (but with me leading so no reins) - she really enjoyed it and has asked to go again next week. so thats one more lesson for my lovely lady, and she has taken me up on DS offer to build her a proper website and get her googleable.

im still nattering on about having my own....grin roll on summer....if im ready then that will be the time i get one.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sun 09-Dec-12 20:34:07

DDs lesson today - but i went and did the leading running around the school like a loon while lovely instructor sorted out DD.

good news is DD loves it, so when we are more equal in ability we can have our lessons together.

im also going to start going and helping out at the stables, mucking out etc. Being there is really helping my depression.
My next lesson is on Tuesday.
We are then going to sort out a date for DS to do the website. She also lent me some 'My Horse' magazines.

i love riding. i love being around the horses. and i found a fabulous place with a fabulous instructor almost on my door step. smile

Wow Vicar, she sounds absolutely fantastic!!
Dd rides at a lovely, non-googlable, riding school. Word of mouth is travelling well though and they are getting quite busy.

I have decided my new year's resolution is to lose another 3stone which should bring me to just under 14st. Then I am going to get back onto a horse. Your thread has inspired me!

I rode as a child. Never had much confidence, was happiest hacking on a comfortable, easy pony, but loved it and loved being around horses.
Lost my nerve big time aged around my early twenties and never rode again. But now that dd is riding and I am regularly at the stables I am beginning to miss it and wondering if I am ever brave enough...

I am 6ft1 so will end up on the big cobs but that is fine grin <wibble> and am hoping to get back to the 'happy hacker' level.
And then, when the dc have moved out, I will finally fulfill my childhood dream of my own horse.

Can't wait grin <wibble>

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sun 09-Dec-12 21:08:02

She is just the best. (i have a bit of hero worship!)
She told me she had another pupil come this week who had been a year at another school and had learnt to ride by kicking and hitting the horse with a crop......big no no for my dear instructor. everything she teaches is about pressure and release, so simple leg aids while working with the hands, and body, no kicking allowed and not a crop in sight. she is no pushover, but she speaks "horse" grin

she got dd learning about diagonals today, and got her using her reins properly at walk in just one lesson. she can now halt, set off, turn and set off in trot on the correct diagonal, this after 2 lessons.

its also comforting to see dd is struggling just as much at the coordination as i am! (though i think she is picking it up quicker being 15 and all!)

i really recommend taking it up again behind im loving it.

Poledra Sun 09-Dec-12 21:12:01

Ahh, lockNumberNine, the big hosses are the business! I had a wonderful lesson on the 16h2 Irish draught I ride. I tell you, I'd buy him in a minute if h was up for sale. I spent half an hour working on my canter and it was just brill.

Vicar, a few posts back you talked about stroking your horse's face and her falling asleep. A few weeks ago, it was a lovely sunny day and I was mounted up waiting for the rest of the lesson to get their arses in gear mount. We were standing in the sun and it was warm. DHorse leaned his head into his bridle a little. Then a little more. Then a little more. Then, once I was holding his head for him, he fell asleep in the sun grin.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sun 09-Dec-12 21:26:31

they are great arent they poledra. grin

ill tell that to DD who is destined for a large cob of 15.5 hands! his name is sampson and he is mahoosive! (dd is much taller than me!) she keeps looking at him and going "but mum!!"
she wont be on him for a while yet though.

I do have a massive soft spot for the big hairy cobs - at the stables dd rides there are two gorgeous gypsy type cobs of I would say 15.3 ish or possibly even taller, they are huge!
The tallest pony dd has ridden so far was a gypsy cob of 14.3 (Alfred) who was just lovely...

My latest obsession hobby is to oggle Safecobs on the web and on fb and dream about all the lovely cobs they have for sale....

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sun 23-Dec-12 19:54:27

dont talk to me about oggling safecobs....grin im trying to resist! (i have just remortgaged to pay for some works on the house and the tempation would be to run off with the money and buy a safe cob!)

well. im still having wonderful, confidence building lessons and actually had a little go at canter twice today.
im not ready for it really and was on the lunge but it was lovely....i am being pretty fearless! it was good to try it and its taken away the slight fear i had of pushing the horse into a canter accidentally (which ive done a couple of times - just squeezed a little too much with my calves!)

anyway. still loving and cant wait until im ready for a proper canter. My instructor (Heather) did say if i had a go i would probably "trampoline" and to try and push the small of my back into the saddle (she said imagine im polishing the saddle with my pockets) - but not quite mastered that yet. i stayed on fine and felt secure. I think it will all come with time.

im sure it must be easier to learn when your younger!

Zazzles007 Mon 24-Dec-12 01:40:57

Awww, its so lovely to hear that you are having such a great time Vicar grin. Keep on going for those weekly lesson and you'll be cantering confidently in no time! '

I like that your instructor had you on the lunge for your first canter - it tell me that she is looking after your confidence, and won't let you dent it unecessarily. smile

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Mon 24-Dec-12 21:30:18

Thanks zazzles smile
she is looking after me so well, building my confidence but at the same time correcting anything i do wrong and giving me exercises to build strength and balance all the time. She schools her horses so well that she can work them on the lunge while i concentrate on position, seat, leg aids, riding forward.....
But then she will let me take more control when i can. (usually at slow speeds!)

i had no idea how coordinated you had to be! but im getting there.

she has agreed to let DS do her a website so we are on with that. I am loving every second of every lesson.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 30-Dec-12 21:08:24

i spent most of the afternoon at the stables today! loved it! had my lesson and then helped out with a kiddie lesson, untacked hoss then just did a few jobs around the yard, filling water buckets, setting fair bedding....(see - even getting the lingo! grin

was there from 12.45 till about 4pm....i love it so much.

my riding is shocking but my aim is to be safe enough - never going to be a spectacularly brilliant horsewoman but safe and competent would be enough for me!

Zazzles007 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:30:57

That's great Vicar, it sounds like you have the horsie bug good and proper grin. You'll end up a barn rat yet, just like many girls and women have done over the years smile.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:43:49

i kissed 'my' horse today....(when no one was looking) grin i think we have a definite affection for one another. (or she just has an affection for the polos i keep in my pocket but i like to kid myself!)

i soooo have the bug. its bad.

i just wish i could ride! think today was something like my 7th lesson.....how do people canter while making it look like they are glued to the saddle?

when i have too many things to do at once it all goes to pot! but at least i can feel when my position has gone now. My instructor is the most patient woman ever which is a good job! i may take some working on!

i can feel through the rein now when she is going to go into canter (she so desperately wants a canter and i cant do it! - i know until i can do it right its not good for her back)...
instructor seems to think it will come right but its very slow progress.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:48:03

still.
i love it. grin

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 06-Jan-13 14:13:04

lovely instructor has asked me to go and help out at the stables on saturdays so im a happy bunny.
the down side is that because of shifts i wont be able to go every week but i will be there as often as possible.

it will be fab for me to learn as much as possible in readyness for when i get my own!

50BalesOfHay Sun 06-Jan-13 18:39:52

Yay Vicar!!!! You've got it bad! Horse for you sooner rather than later! It will come together, just give it time. In the meantime, have a fabulous time messing about with horses!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:03:28

my instructor mentioned today maybe looking in about 9 or 10 months for my own and she will help me. i do have it really bad....grin

ive such a long way to go - this proper learning to ride mularky is definitely not easy but i love it. Heather (my instructor) says it will come, but im definitely struggling with my seat at present - im too stiff and i need to sit deeper - heather got on today to show me and oh my god she is just a genius - she can go left or right without even holding the reins - she can do dressage so im seeing that its more about your body than anything else. She seems to be telepathic - i couldnt even see what she was doing, it was all through her body, no kicking or pulling, im amazed at how clever horses are....how they can read you if you give them the right signal. God knows what im saying to the poor thing at the moment! lucky for me she is so well schooled that heather can control while i work on technique.

im insanely excited that she asked me to go on saturdays to help - just being there makes my day. im hoping that i may become of real use!

ive forewarned DH that ill be looking for my own in about 9 months. I am presently addicted to the safe cobs website and DH got me some great books for xmas about stable management and horse care.

i will be there all weekend next week as going to help on saturday then lesson on sunday. grin <----------thats me today!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:06:13

oh, and im subscribing to Your Horse magazine while im sat here im watching the dressage on Horse and Country TV!

how bad do i have it? grin
very.!

hatcam Sun 06-Jan-13 19:19:39

You are not the only one - I started out last year saying just a couple of lessons, now it's a hack with a friendly group once a week, plus a horse share 1 day/week, plus a lesson when I can...and even my horrible crash landing today hasn't put me off too much.

Great isn't it grin

Zazzles007 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:20:21

Oh Vicar, you do have it bad grin. The extra time there will help you get to ownership quicker though.

Btw, the stiffness through the seat can be helped by stretching at home a few times a week. Some riders eventually progress to yoga/pilates once week to help their riding, but I don't think you need that at the moment. 2-3 sessions a week stretching, even for 15 min will help.

Have fun! grin

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:30:04

hatcam it is fab! hope your aches and pains heal quickly....saw your thread - ouch.

what sort of stretches zazzles?

im planning on starting running again....i stretch before and after but not sure i will be stretching the right bits!

i am really looking forward to spending time there - i love being there, i love the horses, and my RI is a gem, i wish id not left it until 40 to learn, everything seems to take longer these days! grin

but ill get there - im determined. doesnt matter how long it takes.

50BalesOfHay Mon 07-Jan-13 09:14:53

The key things to work on to improve your riding are core strength and suppleness through your hips, which is why Pilates is so good, but regular riding also developes these.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 12-Jan-13 23:05:08

well - i spent the entire day at the yard today - mucking out, poo picking fields, tacking up and untacking, scrubbing water buckets, filling them, grooming....and helping out with the kiddie lessons, which meant running around the school for 1 11/2 hours in total!

watched the older kids ride (they make it look so easy!)

am knackered tonight - spent 7 hours there and put in some hard graft. Riding lesson tomorrow.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:04:33

ended up there all day today too! had my lesson then dear instructor asked me to stay and help out with kiddie lessons again....that led to me doing other jobs around the yard. i should sleep tonight after a weekend of hard graft and fresh air, i really love it and im learning all the time. smile

50BalesOfHay Mon 14-Jan-13 08:10:44

Yay, Vicar's a yard rat! Seriously addictive isn't it!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:36:14

terribly addictive! have to say i take my hat off to instructor - how she does it all on her own i have no idea. its a huge job for one person - she has 14 horses and her yard is immaculate.

i shall be back there next weekend and she has already volunteered me for the sunday kiddie lesson! ill get my lesson after that and no doubt will be there for the duration.

i will be there on saturday too just to help out. Its hard work but i love it!

Sounds like you're getting a great horse fix Vicar smile.

BTW I know someone who didn't get on a horse till 42, bought her own 3 months later and is now in her 60's and on her 3rd horse. Age is no barrier!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:53:40

thats interesting notgoodnotbad - im not a natural though. im finding it really hard to get a balanced seat and my legs to stay put where i/instructor wants them! I got mad with myself yesterday and exasperatedly asked why i cant do it!
Instructor said "because you are just learning!" which is true, but im impatient! im still on a trot - short bursts are all i seem to manage before my position goes tits up. grin She keeps saying it will come, and that i was better yesterday.
still - i am learning all the other stuff that goes with horses which is brilliant and takes less skill!
i just wish i could do it - im not bothered how i look, i just want to get it right and she is teaching me properly so the minute my position slips we stop and reposition me....its all very good but im clearly not a fast learner! Some of the kids she has had for just a couple of months are flipping brilliant!

my legs come forward in trot and then i lose it, and i rise too high - and my right foot seems to have a mind of its own (my left leg and foot behave quite well!) im getting that is all in the hips and i can tell now when my position has gone so at least im starting to get the feel of what is right and what is wrong, which is progress of sorts! I have no idea how you move your hips while keeping your lower leg still....it is really hard. But i want to do it, so i will be keeping at it. If my dear instructor cant teach me then no one can.

Zazzles007 Sat 19-Jan-13 11:42:59

Hey Vicar, don't be disheartened by your progress. After a year or so you will find that the muscles in you legs will have built up quite a bit and you will pretty much have cyclists legs grin. It is the muscle development that is preventing you from being able to maintain your leg position at the moment.

For horse riding, it is the large muscles of the legs and backside that help to maintain the leg postion. Doing leg lunges and squats on the ground will help there.

Also, if there are certain muscles or muscle groups that ache when you have ridden, those are the ones to stretch out when you are not riding. It is different for each person. Eg, as an adult I get groin strain hmm, which I never got as a kid, so guess what stretches I have to do... grin

Hope this helps

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 26-Jan-13 22:43:48

thanks zazzles

i was a runner but not run for a good few months now....started running again then it snowed!

i just worry that she is exasperated with me....spent today at stables and have a lesson tomorrow again.

i wish i could do more than a lesson a week. i might broach some intensive lessons with her....i think the more i do the more i will remember my position - last weeks lessons were all cancelled due to snow, so its been 2 weeks for me now.

and im going to ache tomorrow.....mucked out several stables today and its back breaking for an old gimmer! (ouch!!)

lovestruckfifi Sat 26-Jan-13 22:50:48

Hot bath recommended but it is great!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 27-Jan-13 00:01:59

had a radox bath!

there again tomorrow - riding, helping with kiddie lessons and then whatever she needs doing.... i do so love it. its good for the soul i swear....

Zazzles007 Mon 28-Jan-13 06:20:11

Hi there Vicar, had posted a message earlier, but it seems to have disappeared.

Don't worry about whether your instructor is exasperated. In fact, if she is inviting you round to spend some extra time with the horses, it would suggest that she is not. No good instructor shows their frustration in a lesson, no matter what the student it doing.

As far as radox baths go, love these! Ssoooo good after you have been riding and are muscle sore.

In addition to an intensive of a few lessons within a week, have you thought of keeping a riding diary? Writing down how the horse went, what you worked on, what the horse did, and how you needed to respond to it, etc, etc helps to cement what you have learned.

Hope this helps.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 28-Jan-13 23:01:02

actually zazzles thats a great idea.

I spent the entire weekend again at the yard - i learnt how to put on a head collar, how to tie a horse up and how to load the muck heap. I did lots of hard work (mucking out mainly and scrubbing/filling water buckets) i find the work makes me ache more than the riding! also did some more untacking which is great. She has taught me to untack with care so not to touch the horses teeth with the bit -I now need to learn to tack up when she has time to stand with me. She is very picky about tacking up - she said it only takes one person to catch the horses teeth and hurt them to make it difficult to tack up in furture....i really love the way she cares for her horses.

i wish my riding was going as well - im stuck. i cant get my seat right at all, i cant even master a rising trot which is for me in itself frustrating. My legs still come forward, and even though i understand what the instructor is saying to me i just cant seem to do it. I also have terrible trouble keeping my toes in, and of course as soon as my toes turn out the horse feels my heels and takes that as a sign to go faster, bless her she is so responsive.

Instructor is wonderful but says i cant progress until i have my seat right - which is true, she says im still sitting on her (the mare i ride) as if she were a chair instead of sitting on my inner seat bones (do i read that as sit on my lady bits more rather than my ample bottom???)
She keeps manipulating my legs into the right position and as soon as i go into trot it goes tits up and i cant work out why! If i ever do get to canter im going to have a wonderful seat! grin because she wont let me progress until i have it (which is only fair on the horse) I can get a great position without stirrups but i cant seem to match it when i get the stirrup back.

not to worry. i have the time to learn if she has time to teach me. And i do just love being around the horses - even the grumpy ones are ok with me! And the mare that i ride gave me a proper horsey kiss right on the lips this week....i absolutely adore her. Im trying not to get too attached but its very difficult!

Pixel Tue 29-Jan-13 01:03:25

No, not your ladybits, I believe that's called sitting on the 'fork'. Do you know how to find your seatbones? Sit on a stool or hard chair with your feet apart and flat on the floor, then rock your pelvis forwards so that the stool tips on to its front legs, then you will be able to feel where your seatbones are. That's what you need to be sitting on! Also try to drop your knees down and back to avoid the chair seat. You might find [http://www.classicaldressage.co.uk/html/the_seat.html this]] quite interesting to read. smile

Pixel Tue 29-Jan-13 01:11:33

Oops rubbish link, why didn't that work? here

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 29-Jan-13 01:11:49

thanks pixel i will have a look at that sight and have a go with chair....im just not getting it at all and its so frustrating. i really want to progress.

brighthair Tue 29-Jan-13 01:31:31

One thing that might help is using a mirror either sat astride a stool or sinking into almost a squat. Look at your body, where your legs are, is your back straight or curved?
It can help you get the feeling, the principle is if the horse is taken away you will land like that stood on your feet grin

One thing I have just learnt (and I've been riding 24 years now) is I bring my leg a little too far forward. If someone says heels down and I push them down my leg shoots forward more. A very wise trainer told me "knees down" which amazingly works every time for me to bring my leg to where it should be

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:28:00

thanks for that link pixel - im going to sit down with a cuppa later and have a good read.

brighthair i will try the knees down thing instead of heels down - thanks. I keep wanting to lengthen my stirrup but instructor says that will push my legs forward more.

ill try it next week.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 03-Feb-13 20:28:24

yay! im getting it! finally!!

i did my first canter today!!!! (and a decent sitting trot) - no boinging about! yippee! (instructor wont let me boing about for horses sake)

did loads today without stirrups and finally started to understand how to absorb the movement through my seat.

then i spent the day there helping. im going to ache tomorrow but i look like grin tonight!

Zazzles007 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:13

That's great Vicar, so glad its coming together. It actually doesn't take as long as you think, although it feels frustrating at the time. Good to see a good update about the canter and sitting trot.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:23:37

thanks zazzles i was starting to fear i would never ever get it. It was far from perfect but at least im getting the feel of what i need to do and it really feels like progress.

i ache so badly today - i must have used muscles i had no idea i had! climbing the stairs is painful...grin
but im just so happy that i did several canters without bouncing like a sack of spuds so it really feels like progress.

im still on the lunge because she wants me to get the technique and seat right before anything else which is what i really wanted. im just so pleased and ive no one to tell who gets my excitement so i will continue to ramble on here!

thanks for all the support and tips everyone - i appreciate it! thanks

catanddog Mon 04-Feb-13 17:49:03

Well done Vicar, you should be proud of yourself!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:40:47

thanks cat im really happy and really looking forward to next weeks lesson. I just hope i can do it again!

i forgot to say she had me trotting (on the rise and sitting) with my arms outstretched (look!! no hands!!)

all it took to get me deeper in the seat was to turn a little to hold the back of the saddle with my left hand.... - that got me into the right position and from then it felt way easier. I kept saying my stirrups seemed short but RI said it was because i was sitting deeper....i was a better pupil this week! RI is bossy strict but brilliant! smile

50BalesOfHay Tue 05-Feb-13 12:08:48

Fantastic news Vicar, once you've got you'll make fast progress. Your instructor sounds like the very best of the old school type (minus the yelling that they always seemed to do)

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:46:46

she is very old school, (worked with horses for over 30 years) she can wither you with one sentence mind you!

but she is fab. i wouldnt swap schools for all the tea in china.

i dont think ive "got it" quite yet but it was truly progress - and i could feel the difference and i was so pleased to canter without bouncing about....im so very conscious that its bad for the horse so i worry!

but it was a wonderful feeling. i dont have a great memory so will need to practice again next week im sure. But now i know i did it i can do it again!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:30:19

well - for my 100th post on this thread i have news!

today i rode a huge boy of over 16HH! off the lunge!! it was clunky and not great and i think the problems with my seat were back - but - it meant i was having to use my leg aids alot more in conjunction with my hands because this big boy likes to try and follow the RI around instead of sticking to the school track.

RI said she was really pleased with me - my progress is really slow, the only frustration i have is with myself because i want my own horse sooner rather than later, but i cant ride well enough yet. That said she said i was managing to keep the big boy on the track really well and its a constant battle with him....ive learned not to take on a half tonne horse with my hands alone! it needs seat, legs and light hands! putting that into practice is harder but i am really trying....

i have spent the entire weekend at the yard helping out and am so pleased as i was always a bit afraid of riding a very large beastie - but im over that now and i am able to go into any of the horses and work on them without being worried (even the crocodile.....grin she is tiny and fierce!)
im still doing most of the yard work and not so much around the horses but im hoping that will change come the better weather and RI has time to teach me the finer points such as picking hooves out etc and although i reckon i could tack up ive yet to try it (i can untack fine) and am ok grooming.

so. although i wasnt pretty to look at today i did manage to learn much more by riding a difficult (not really but he is by my standards!) horse and a huge one to boot!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:32:41

well - for my 100th post on this thread i have news!

today i rode a huge boy of over 16HH! off the lunge!! it was clunky and not great and i think the problems with my seat were back - but - it meant i was having to use my leg aids alot more in conjunction with my hands because this big boy likes to try and follow the RI around instead of sticking to the school track.

RI said she was really pleased with me - my progress is really slow, the only frustration i have is with myself because i want my own horse sooner rather than later, but i cant ride well enough yet. That said she said i was managing to keep the big boy on the track really well and its a constant battle with him....ive learned not to take on a half tonne horse with my hands alone! it needs seat, legs and light hands! putting that into practice is harder but i am really trying....

i have spent the entire weekend at the yard helping out and am so pleased as i was always a bit afraid of riding a very large beastie - but im over that now and i am able to go into any of the horses and work on them without being worried (even the crocodile.....grin she is tiny and fierce!)
im still doing most of the yard work and not so much around the horses but im hoping that will change come the better weather and RI has time to teach me the finer points such as picking hooves out etc and although i reckon i could tack up ive yet to try it (i can untack fine) and am ok grooming.

so. although i wasnt pretty to look at today i did manage to learn much more by riding a difficult (not really but he is by my standards!) horse and a huge one to boot!

catanddog Sun 10-Feb-13 21:53:23

Well done Vicar more progress, and a huge horse to boot, it can be scary up there on high! You sound like you're coming on leaps and bounds......

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:07:43

he is a gentle giant - and i did have a bit of a moment mounting him! grin as im only 5ft 3 1/2! but once on i was fine - though he has a much bigger trot than my usual little pony....

im really not very good but im enthusiastic and fairly fearless so i think it will all start to come together (eventually!!)

and i love being at the yard and im really learning tons. smile

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 16-Feb-13 21:30:43

well i am truly a yard rat, but having spent hours, literally, today poo picking a field that hadnt been done for 6 months, i ache. really really ache.

im hoping i might get shown how to tack up or rug a horse in return - i must have shifted 15 barrow loads of horse poo today.....at least.

im riding tomorrow - if i can move. the learning has come to a bit of a stop and im tending to get the mucking out and poo picking jobs - thats fine as long as i get some learning in return.....

Pixel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:56:13

Six month's poo picking?? <faints at thought>.
You've certainly earned a bit of tuition. Shame you don't live near me, it would only take half an hour to show you how to put rugs on and tack up, most of it is just common sense. You could have started with ds's loan pony today, she's only 12.2 and very patient and doesn't kick like dhorse smile.

Littlebigbum Sat 16-Feb-13 22:12:27

Did you say live near the M25??? Vicar or was that someone else

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 16-Feb-13 22:57:04

unfortunately not little

yep - 6 months worth and several horses worth.....i am knackered tonight. i went round my ipod twice doing it....they said something about me being out there for hours....yes because 6 months worth of 14 horses shite takes some bloody moving!

i reckon ive earned some tuition too....and thing is i know in theory how to tack up so i reckon i could do it now but dont want to unless RI says its ok.

ive only got 3 weeks before i go back to work - im doing tomorrow all day and then the 2 pony club days for the half term too. If i dont get taught how to rug and tack up i will be slightly pissed off.....

ive been volunteering for a while now - i can muck out like a pro.....but i need to learn more now.
i untack. i muck out. i do water buckets. i sweep the yard.
i need to know how to groom, tack up, rug up and tie hay nets. and then i need to learn about feeds.
i think because im there twice a week now ive become thought of as "staff" and the learning has ground to a halt a wee bit....

Zazzles007 Sun 17-Feb-13 00:39:57

Yes, be careful of that Vicar. If you are up for it (and depending on how you think the RI might respond - well or poorly), it might be time to have that discussion about your services rendered and what you can expect to be taught in return, quid pro quo. Unfortunately there can be a tendency for people to take the mickey in this situation - not that I am necessarily suggesting the RI is doing that. Otherwise, an airy "Oh sorry, I'm busy that day" will suffice grin.

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 09:17:17

Also vicar I hope you are now starting to see your RI more realistically than in some of your posts . Anyone who leaves a field for that long with that much poo in it is not that fantastic . Have you looked locally for somewhere that does part time courses in horse management ?

50BalesOfHay Sun 17-Feb-13 10:40:21

Why not just ask to tack up alongside RI next time? be proactive and a bit assertive about what you want to learn. I agree with Floralnomad. Poo left to build up like that is a hazard to horse health (I wonder what their worm burdens are like) our yard owners poo pick every field, every day

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 13:40:51

I must admit here to being a bit of a poo picking obsessive . When we had our horses on DIY we did the fields daily ( even the day my dad died!) . When we moved to full livery I still went poo picking if I didn't think it was being done enough . Fortunately we only have one pony on full livery now and the yard owner does the field daily ( or gets her husband to do it ) . Poo picking and beds are very important IMO .

Auntmaud Sun 17-Feb-13 15:21:47

Well I'm poo pick obsessive too but haven't been able to get a barrow on the fields for weeks!

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 15:27:30

I use to take a large trug and leave the barrow outside if the fields were bad , lot more walking/ work but better than having a weeks worth to do later . We were lucky that it was only ever our own horses in the fields or one other owner who we had a rota with so not too much poo each day .

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:20:48

well - she is just very pushed for time as she works alone and has 14 horses. fwiw i dont think it was really 6months worth - but the field was huge, the horses were in another (they have several on rotation) so i just think it had been a bit neglected while the horses werent using it - not enough day light hours in winter to do it daily with that number of horses and just one person so she has priorities - because none of them live out she is obsessive over stable cleanliness, feeds, water buckets, etc.

i do still think she is a brilliant and knowledgeable horsewoman and a good instructor - the best i have found anyway. Spent the day there again today and had riding lesson, she showed me how to tack up today, im still enjoying going. im going in for pony club days and then the next couple of weekends but then i think i will be back to work so wont be around so much anyway.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:22:06

i think that was the other problem aunt - the state of the fields has meant its been hard to get a barrow on but they are drying up and growing again now.

Pixel Sun 17-Feb-13 19:45:49

I've been dragging the barrow behind me to get it into the field but still managed to do every day <proud>. Have lost my boots and nearly gone over a few times and I'm glad dhorse isn't shod because he wouldn't be for long. It's been hard this year though, the hardest winter I've known by far. Everything seems to take so long, or maybe I'm getting old partly because of having to take a roundabout route and go under fences to be able to get the full barrow back out of the field!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 20:39:22

the kids (mostly teens) who go to help out are supposed to help with poo picking the fields but they get bored and wander off - they only seem to want the more glamorous jobs.

50BalesOfHay Sun 17-Feb-13 20:58:26

Our fields are knee deep in mud, but still poo picked daily, onto tarpaulin which is then carried off the fields. They do it because it's important for horse health. It would never be entrusted (or left to) livery clients,unpaid helpers or, god forbid, teenagers. There is no excuse for poo in fields. Come what may it must be done. Leaving it like that means it's not fit for horses. And it's not accepable for horses to have no turnout.

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 21:00:37

TBH if you do it everyday it doesn't take long , even with several horses , its when you leave it that it becomes hard to catch up .

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:18:06

well, im sure its not normally left too long. the longest ive known her leave the most used fields is a week. The horses do have turnout - daily, but some are laminitic so are on limited turnout.

oh forgot to say i had lots of canter work today. its coming - slowly! i think.

she is scrupulous on every other aspect of the yard and cleanliness - there are 6 fields (and 1 of them is huge!!) for turnout, so its not really a huge problem if one isnt done daily but rather weekly.

i fear ive made it sound worse than it is....i would really have no hesitation in have any horse of mine on livery there - the yard is immaculate, the stables lovely, and there is plenty of turnout, they get different types of hay, she mixes all her feeds herself (about 8 types of feed)

and she does care very much about her animals. all see the farrier regularly, she spends hundreds on vet fees, they are all wormed and vaccinated, she has everything down to a very fine art time wise, but obviously appreciates any help she can get with so many horses to look after.

but i know she loves them all dearly (some are out of work and costing money while earning nothing, but she refuses to sell unless to the right person so she ends up keeping them....

the problem with saturdays is they are so busy lesson wise i dont really get to see her to learn anything, so sometimes it just feels like im shovelling shite all day for very little learning - sundays are different, its usually just me and her, i have my lesson, and get to learn more.

saintmerryweather Sun 17-Feb-13 22:05:17

im quite worried that your instructor doesnt have 2 minutes even to show you how to pick out a foot, its not a difficult thing to show someone. she must have helpers, can they not show you? i think.at the moment it sounds like shes taking the piss a bit...using you as free labour while keeping you hanging on with the promise of showing you very basic horse care. tacking up wise as long as you dont sock the horse in gob, hold the bridle in you right hand, bit.in your left, stick your thumb in its mouth and slip the bit in. the ocasional teeth rattle isnt going to traumatise the horse

50BalesOfHay Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:25

Sorry, a week is way too long to leave poo in the field. It's a major health risk. I wouldn't keep a horse somewhere that did that. Doesn't make her a bad person, I'm sure she'd like to do things properly, but if she's over streched the she hasn't got time to do things properly. Sounds like someone I knw who is struggling to keep her business going, but nonetheless it's bad horse management to leave poo in the filed

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:34:07

she showed me how to pick out a hoof today as it happens, and she knows a week is too long, i dont think that happens when the days get a bit longer.

i was meant to do another field today (smaller one) but mucking out took precedence, im not very fast blush and instructor had lessons. im pretty sure she does do all the other stuff she doesnt get time to do on a weekend during the week when she has a little more time.

i think she does sometimes take the fact im there for granted slightly, but she is always grateful for the help (always at pains to say thank you) and she showed me how to tack up today - i will ask next week if i can do it while she supervises, she is very very particular about tacking up - i know someone said the odd teeth rattle wont hurt but she says it does and makes them wary of being tacked up if someone hurts them so she likes it done properly and only after tuition. (p;is when times off the essence its 10x quicker for her to do it than me...)

i do think she is one of the good guys where horses and instruction is concerned - having seen the bad guys prior to finding her....

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 07:21:28

Loads of fields have poo this time of year and they get harrowed and rolled in the Spring. If horses are wormed regularly and all have their own fields ( as mine do) then a bit of poo in muddy fields won't kill them.

50BalesOfHay Mon 18-Feb-13 09:15:00

We all have our own ways, Vicar and we can get quite defensive about our way of doing things (eg, my obsession with not leaving poo in fields). Sorry if it sounds critical of your RI, no-one's perfect, especially this time of year and she sounds like a really good instructor who tries to do the right things.

I suspect she's got more on her plate than she can manage by herself, hence being a bit reliant on your unpaid help, which must be a godsend to her. Hours on the yard now though will not just teach you skills but also enable you to develop your own obsessions for how things should be done when you get your own horse.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 18-Feb-13 21:53:53

thanks 50 - im sure that some of it that she is terribly pushed for time with so many horses and thats why she does rely on volunteers to do some of these jobs.

i dont mind as long as im getting some learning from it - saturdays that just doesnt happen but sundays it does - still not a lot because there is so much work to do, but i shouldnt moan because i do go willingly and i love being around the horses, and just being there and listening to her is in itself learning.

i think if i were to be going on a regular basis i would broach the subject but fact is im going to be back at work before long so wont be there every weekend - ive yet to find out if she would like me to go maybe one day a week on my days off, so im making the most of it while i can.

i will ask her next week if i can tack up the horse i have my lesson on, if she has 5 mins to stand with me while i do it.

if the learning grinds to a halt then so be it, i wont go weekly just to shovel shite, but for now, while im off work, ill go. im going tomorrow and weds to help out because of pony club days.

if it feel that its becoming a very one sided exchange then i will go just for lessons and leave it at that. smile

Littlebigbum Tue 19-Feb-13 09:19:47

Yeap half term, I have no answers to this. I spent most of my child hood hang round the stables not sure if I would now. Do ask if she is running stable manage courses in the summer, it might a good hint.
Don't be to dishearten finding a good RI is half the battle and if you want to learn tack up as part of your lesson, that is ok!

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 19-Feb-13 19:54:49

yes maybe i should ask as part of my lesson.

i feel a bit weepy tonight which is daft because i guessed what i was going in for today (and tomorrow,) but i was doing "yard work" - ie- mucking out while all the kids got lots of tuition on feeds, learnt to groom and tack up, and basically did everything i have been nattering to learn for weeks. sad

and she implied my mucking out wasnt up to her standard so showed me how to do it (this is the first time ive been shown properly to say ive been doing it for a couple of months now) my mucking out is now immaculate but takes me about 25 mins - she says it should only be taking 15 mins but im not as fast as her.

im going in tomorrow simply because i said i would and she is relying on someone else to do the yard work, but i think im going to have to think about what im getting from this "exchange", which is nothing at the moment.

ive worked 4 days this week for nothing - literally nothing - no learning despite today and tomorrow being "teaching" days.

so im feeling a bit of an idiot. maybe i need to just ask for a lesson dedicated to tack and grooming. and pay for it in cash, not work.

Pixel Tue 19-Feb-13 20:07:02

I was going to suggest that you asked if you could pay for a stable management lesson instead of riding one day. Does she ever do 'pony club' type things for adults? When we had a riding school at the bottom of our road (now sadly houses) the owner used to do evening sessions where groups of people could go along and be shown how to put on rugs, mix feeds etc for a small fee.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 19-Feb-13 20:42:37

she doesnt have many adults who need to learn these things so i think i will just ask for a lesson dedicated to stable management instead of relying on good will and working for nothing.

i was asked to go in to be fair, but i thought i might get some learning from it - today i discovered not...im not sure i would have done 4 days this week for nothing otherwise....

ill do tomorrow, but am going to not go in on saturday. Sunday is my lesson and she asks me to help out - im going to keep it to a day a week i think.

Auntmaud Tue 19-Feb-13 22:51:37

Whereabouts in the Uk are you, Vicar?

Littlebigbum Tue 19-Feb-13 23:01:45

Oh Vicar and whereabouts are you I know peeps everywhere, my fingers are crossed that she knows that she has a gem in you.

Littlebigbum Tue 19-Feb-13 23:02:24

Don't go in on Saturday

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 19-Feb-13 23:15:16

im in yorkshire - the school is in north yorks officially but near the east yorks border.

im not going on saturday. ive already decided. that would make 5 days work for nothing this week - and no learning either. plus, she runs over on all other lessons and gets so cross with herself for doing it (ive suggested setting an alarm) and yet, my lesson was cut short this week - with the promise that i would ride again later that day - of course we both got busy and it didnt happen. sad

i absolutely love my RI, but i think complacency has taken over my goodwill slightly - its only natural as ive been a bit of a mug. i need to stop it now though as im getting nothing from it anymore. the learning has stopped.
i know how to muck out to perfection
i know how to load a muck heap.
i can put on a head collar and tie up a horse
i can untack
thats about the sum total of my knowledge for 3 months work.

no grooming
no hoof care
no tacking up
no understanding of feeds

and all that was taught to pony club kids today while i mucked out. again. i actually could have cried but im being silly - and its just the depression i think - i forgot my meds yesterday....

she is lovely. im just making it too easy to be used. so i need to stop now. if i pay for an hours lesson i could learn to tack up and groom.

ill just have to do that.

Zazzles007 Wed 20-Feb-13 09:09:59

Hey Vicar, I've just caught up on your thread. Don't be too disheartened about what has transpired - there are many such stories just like this if you hang around the horse forums for long enough.

I think it might be wise for you to think about what you get out of this exchange - will it be "I'll just go for lessons, otherwise I get taken for granted" or are you happy to do some hard graft, knowing that you are unlikely to get much learning in return. As she doesn't have many adults there, I am willing to bet that she is foisting all the unappealing jobs on you, as you have more responsibility than the kids do. If I were you, I know what I would be doing - the former, rather than the latter.

Please know that not everyone in the horse world is like this. In my younger days, I had an amazing horsie mentor, who allowed me to ride and retrain the horses she bought. In fact, I would often still be riding late in the afternoon, while the other kids were feeding up grin. And recently I have met a lovely lady who is letting me ride her hubbies horse each week for free. All it takes is some horsie knowledge and meeting the right people at the right time. You'll get there smile.

Hope this helps.

Littlebigbum Wed 20-Feb-13 09:42:38

My Fatherside of the family comes from Ingleton so we spent summers and Christmas there, we use to go to a riding school near goat gap inn nearly 30 years ago!
Do plan to treat myself to a weekend at http://www.facebook.com/cumbrianheavyhorses they were on unicorn trail and I would so love to do most of there hols. I'll let you know if I do!
Also my Bff for ever went on a family hol with her sister they went riding with trailish places the first was terrible and I think they were lucky to come of it with there life's. But the second was amazing, in fact the owner invited them up for Appleby sales so they could buy a pony and rebreak it in her yard, then travel it home. With the worming and vet cert done because so many yard won't let you bring in anything with out it.
As soon as I know the name I'll put it up for everyone.
Also I'm doing the https://class.coursera.org/equinenutrition-001/class/index it is a free equine nutrition course pls see if it is not to late to start. It is very good. As for the other thing any of us could teach you that in 10mins and would. Frustrating or what.
Fingers crossed that today goes better

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Feb-13 11:15:24

We need to do a Tack Room campaign to find Vicar a horse to play with. There must be someone here who's near enough! If you fancy moving to Leicestershire you can groom, feed, pick out feet and tack up my horses to your heart's content grin

KissingKittyKat Wed 20-Feb-13 12:48:08

I have been following this thread but not commenting (I think they call it lurking..)

Vicar I would suggest just being upfront with your RI, tell her how much you love the lessons and how much you feel your riding is progressing but just be honest and say that you don't feel like you are learning much from the yard work other than shovelling shit! I would say that you appreciate that horses involve lots of dirty work and you are not afraid of the dirty work, but just that you would quite like to learn a few things like picking out hoofs or tacking up as well. If you are working day in day out for free the least she can do is teach you these basic things. Maybe she is so busy and tied up with her own jobs that it hasn't really occurred to her that you have never been taught to tack up.

I used to help at a stables when I was younger and to be honest 95% of the chores were shit shovelling, only about 5% was actually working with the horses. However I did get a free riding lesson for every 2 days I worked. OK so if you work it out in monetary terms I earnt about £1 per hour but at least getting the odd free lesson made me feel like I was not just being taken advantage of. Also I had volunteered , so not like they had asked me to go and work there or anything.

In the meantime, why not look for YouTube videos of tacking up etc. I know it is no substitue for the real thing but everything helps. Or buy some good books with pictures.

Also why not go on a riding holiday for some intensive learning? I have seen a place called Highlands Unbridled that do working horse care holidays quite cheap. I have never been there so no idea what it's like and can't vouch for it, but you could research it.

There is also a place called Freerein in Wales which gets good reviews (and I think a couple of Mumsnetters have been). They offer an 'onto the trail' holiday for beginners where they teach basics like tacking up as well as riding. It's meant to be very good from what I have read (although not cheap).

Littlebigbum Wed 20-Feb-13 19:07:16

Love Highlands Unbridled cheers for that Kissing. 50bales Thames valley is nice 6hrs of poo picking.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:44:12

grin thanks 50 if i were nearer i would take you up on that.
kittycat thanks - i will try and talk to RI on Sunday. Today i have mucked out (properly!) and set fair 11 stables, emptied, scrubbed and refilled 11 water buckets (no hose pipe so all done by lugging buckets of water about) while RI had lessons, and did the 2 remaining stables - i went today expecting pony club but it wasnt, it was cancelled so it was just yesterday.

she is at pains to thank me and i just think she genuinely is so pushed for time so often that she doesnt have time to teach me. My being there is a help to her, no doubt about it, and she is thankful, but its no longer of any help to me. She asked me when she would be seeing me again.

im not going in on saturday (which i think was a shock as ive been every weekend since being off work) but i have come home having done Sat, Sun, Tues and today, now my back is killing me, my arms ache, ive got blisters on both hands, ive cut my finger, my legs are covered in huge purple bruises (ive no idea why but i presume its the wheelbarrow!?!) and my arms and hands are still covered in scratches from the hawthorne hedge from when i poo picked the enormous field....so i need a break.

and i need to talk to her. but i just dont know what to say. i like being there, its not as if i dont, but she suggested i start going to help out to get some experience, and im not getting experience of anything other than yard work.

Mirage Wed 20-Feb-13 20:05:17

Can you say to her 'I need some experience in grooming/tacking up,ect,what do you suggest?' and see what she says.

The bruises are from the wheelbarrow,I get them too.Shame you aren't near me,I'm a dab hand at speed grooming & tacking up.Today I bought 2 ponies in,picked out feet,groomed,cleaned brushes and had started to tack one pony up in the time it took the dds to eat a snack & get changed into their riding kit.grin I could do with a hand some days.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 20-Feb-13 20:57:17

im just going to ask for a lesson dedicated to grooming and tacking up. if i pay for it then it will happen.

at some point soon i need to get my head around going back to work - so i will be there less anyway, i will just go one day a week to help out with no expectations.

when i want to learn something ill pay for a lesson on it. i think thats how its going to work.

mrslaughan Wed 20-Feb-13 22:15:39

Vicar, as happy as you are with your RI - she really is taking advantge of your goodwill, - which I think you are already feeling.

Every yard I have ridden at - has had "volunteers", but it has always been a 2 way street. Whether it has been work helping with the horses in exchange for riding lessons - or tuition on things such as grooming and tacking up. the yard I am at now, there are ladies that share the weekend responsibilities, and younger kids who help out at the riding school, but get lessons free, or at a reduced rate.

With that in mind why don't you find a way to ask her if you could organise some sort of quid pro quo, she gets the help, which she isn't actually paying a wage for, and you get something else in return - like one free lesson a week.

Oh yes - and looking after horses is hard work, but when it is your own, presumably you will only have 1 :-), so only one stable etc......

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 20-Feb-13 22:31:40

i know sad i just dont want to sully the relationship we have which is really good - i just dont know how to say it without her taking offence - she is lovely but i get the feeling she could take me the wrong way....she is very much a teacher and expects perfection - volunteer or not.

she is quite critical sometimes even though the labour is free.....she expects jobs to be done efficiently, her way, and done properly - and that goes for kids and adults. i find it hard sometimes as she shows me one way and then her DD shows me another....im now realising the way she does things is the most time efficient and so im adopting that.

but yes - i need some tuition, i do however think i may need to pay for it because she is so so pushed for time. she appreciates the help - i know she really does. but you are correct that im getting nothing in return for the work im doing. i do feel im treated as staff....(without pay)

ive made a rod for my own back here i think. the thing is its going to stop when i go back to work anyway so im loathed to rock the boat too much. i really like her and i think things will change a bit when im back at work and not skivvying any more.

Pixel Wed 20-Feb-13 22:40:44

The other thing to consider is that you've already said you intend to keep your future horse at the yard. It could get awkward if the RI gets too used to relying on your help as you will feel obligated to carry on even though you will be wanting to spend the time with your own horse. Unless of course an arrangement is come to where you get a reduced livery or a free lesson or something like that.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 20-Feb-13 22:47:13

i know.
i really need to pin her down though about livery - she doesnt have any at the min - the last one she had was a disaster and the poor horse got very ill and had to be pts sad

she told me before that if i got a horse that could be on working livery she would reduce my fees.

but m not even sure she has room now. she is at max capacity.

i need to talk to her once i can ride properly. its pointless getting a horse yet - i cant ride well enough, so its by the by for now.

i do need to talk to her about what im getting from the work at the yard....i will. just need to figure out how to talk to her. really dont want to offend.

Butkin Wed 20-Feb-13 22:49:42

I'm going to cut to the chase and refer to your original question - What would you expect from lessons? -

a. I would expect to pay a reasonable amount of money agreed in advance for with an individual or group lesson.

b. As an adult I wouldn't offer to help around the yard. I would expect the riding school to pay proper staff a proper wage. It is normal to give young teenagers rides/tuition in exchange for assistance but not adults.

c. Right from the start I would expect (if required - which you do) the chance to groom my mount, pick out their feet and tack up with assistance. You are doing them a favour in doing all this but good experience for you.

d. In the first few lessons I'd expect some work on the lunge with and without stirrups plus some general riding around the school first at walk but quickly (in first couple of lessons) progressing to rising trot.

e. Within half a dozen lessons I'd want to be learning aids to canter.

f. Within a dozen lessons I'd want to be thinking about jumping small cross poles.

h. I'd want to investigate what opportunities there are for hacking.

i. I'd want to see what proper stable management courses are offered. This doesn't mean lots of mucking out. It means learning about all sorts of appropriate tack and how to use them properly and to put them on and off etc. Discussion about stable kept or grass kept horses and different sort of feed and forage. Discussion about medications, treatments, horse welfare etc.

I learned all the above within about 4 months of going to the riding school for the first time. DD obviously learned loads from us as a young child but now (aged 9) Pony Club rallies include flat work, jumping and a decent level of stable management. She even suprises me with her knowledge of bits!

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 20-Feb-13 23:01:08

ive done this all wrong then - but she asked me to go in and help for the experience and thats what i wanted above all else.
how else do you find enough out to own a horse?

im not a good enough rider to progress as fast as you say butkin - and she is looking after me on that score.

she is really very knowledgeable but she works alone all week - she just isnt earning enough to pay for help, so i dont mind helping out to keep her there, its just getting slightly complacent now. i thought i would get some of that knowledge in return for help but she doesnt have time. so many horses and just her there means she is really pushed.

like i say - it will have to stop when im back to work anyway - or i could just stay and help one day a week after my lesson.
im to blame for this really - ive was so keen that ive allowed it to become what it is.

saintmerryweather Thu 21-Feb-13 07:59:31

i dont think you are to blame vicar not at all. i think like others have said that shes taking advantage of you. you are also not too bad of a rider to be progressing as fast as butkin says. tbh if youre still on the lunge i would be very hmm. you should have moved on to riding independently and learning to control your horse yourself long before now. that is NOT your fault. youve got more patience than me, if my instructor insisted i stay on the lunge for months as much as i love her teaching style, i would be off.

i firmly believe that once you are off lunge and walking trotting and cantering by yourself you will feel like a much better rider. and cantering on a hack is just amazing

Floralnomad Thu 21-Feb-13 10:07:58

I'm going to chip in here as well , I think that after your first couple of bad experiences you found this woman and have kind of been swept along IYSWIM. If I were you I'd be looking further afield for a large ,efficiently run school that does courses for adults in stable management and horse care . You said you canter now so you probably ride well enough to go on a novice adult group lesson ,which would also mean you meet people who are likely like minded and at the same sort of level . You never know you might meet a like minded individual that you could at some future point you could share a horse with . Also when you ride with other people its way more fun than riding on your own , and you can always have the odd private lesson to really work on something . When you are ready to have your own horse you can then look around for a good livery yard that caters for your needs ( ie shift work / weekday help/ etc) . Or you may find that a horse share works better for you first . I think you may ride better than you think you do but your current RI wants perfection and let's face it few of us are !

Hi Vicar I've been lurking on your thread from the start because I went back to riding (after a 20 year break) at around the same time as you. I don't want to make you feel upset but I do agree with Butkin and bear in mind I'm just basing this on my experience over a similar time and am NO expert.

I haven't really been on the lunge very much at all - just a couple of lessons before Christmas when I was really working on developing my seat and improving leg position (I seem to draw my knees up when I feel unbalanced which is not good!)

I can walk and trot happily and am working on being on the right diagonal at the right time. I also entered an adult dressage test in November (Pony Club walk/trot test so VERY basic) and really enjoyed it (came first - but only me and my friend entered!).

I can canter (just) but need to work on giving clearer aids to canter and I'm sure I don't look too good when I'm doing it - not too bad in a straight line but bringing my knees up on the corners which makes me even more unbalanced, cue my one and only fall so far.....wink

I've also done some trotting poles and last lesson looked at a 'light seat' with a view to moving on to some little jumps.

I groom, pick feet, tack up (and down!) brush and rug up afterwards.

When I went back I was very nervous, unsure of even mounting correctly, had next to no idea of tacking up etc. I could sit and walk but that was about all.

The purpose of this is not to make you feel bad but it seems to me that your RI is holding you back a bit (although I'm sure with the best intentions) and not letting you develop confidence in yourself as a rider.

Again, I'm no expert and I may have got this completely wrong - others may come on and correct me and that's fine.

I've also been following your other thread and posted on it once - lot's of similarities between us smile

saintmerryweather Thu 21-Feb-13 11:10:21

i was trying to say what maggie said but couldnt find a way to say it like i was getting at you vicar!

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 21-Feb-13 14:03:02

thanks - i appreciate the opinions. will have a think about what to do.

Mitchy1nge Thu 21-Feb-13 14:10:00

can't you find somewhere that runs actual courses? I know the shifts make it difficult but you may be able to make up the missed sessions in your own time or by arrangement with the provider

just remembered there was a police officer on my stage one course and various people working odd hours and we all passed eventually

keep studying the PC/BHS manuals too, or sign up for the correspondence course?

I would take on a sharer like you too, it's really not that difficult to tack up or pick out feet or change/adjust a rug. You can't go too life threateningly wrong once you've been shown how, it's practice that makes perfect if perfection is even possible?

Mitchy1nge Thu 21-Feb-13 14:12:20

sorry, I know technique is important but you acquire it by making mistakes and falling off as much as by careful instruction

I think?

saintmerryweather Thu 21-Feb-13 14:36:14

i dont think its so much learning by making mistakes, its more that while youre just on the lunge focusing on getting what are actually very minor things right, youre not gaining any experience. the horse is always under someone elses control and you dont havd to deal with it if things go wrong. if you go off lunge and are riding for yourself, yeah your position might fall apart for a couple of lessons but it will bring itself back together while you focus on moving the horse round the school. correct me if im wrong but you dont get yo ride that many horses either and thats not good for your confidence.

what would your instructor say if you downed tools and joined the pc kids while shes teaching stable management? or if you asked to be taken off the lunge?

Oh Vicar, I hope my post hasn't upset you hmm

I think you're right Saintmerryweather I've got a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist too and I think if I had your RI Vicar I'd still be on the lunge working on my seat 10 years from now grin

Littlebigbum Thu 21-Feb-13 17:43:01

You know that someone gives you advice they are giving advice to themselves, so here goes. Vicar do you have a job to go to or are you looking? well a lot of yards like staff that are unqualified so they can train them to do it their way. And pls don't think you don't know enough to start sharing. Yes alot of peeps look for a free trainer by putting there horses up for share. But also peeps with semi retire just looking for a hand.

Sorry Vicar that hmm should be a sad
I was posting on my phone and the smileys on the app are a bit odd aren't the same blush

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 21-Feb-13 19:46:58

no problem maggie and not offended or upset at all - i appreciate other peoples take on this.

i do work full time normally but not in anything horsey - normally i work shifts but ive been off work due to ill health for a couple of months - but will be going back soonish i think if i can hold it all together for long enough....

shashep Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:40

Whereabouts exactly on the north/east yorks boundary are you? Anywhere near the coast? I can't offer you any riding, but do have a horse (not been ridden for ages, and unsuitable for novice) but if you wanted to come round for a couple of hours you could do some rugs, grooming, feet picking etc, and practice putting a bridle on/together or whatever, you would be welcome (he is, however, likely to bugger off at the sight of the saddle so couldn't do that bit).

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 21-Feb-13 22:43:39

smile shashep thank you - not near enough to the coast -wish i was! its fine - im extracting my unpaid help and i realise that i can learn all this - i will just have to pay for it within lesson time.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 24-Feb-13 19:52:43

well - what a difference today was. I think having a break yesterday did good. Today i did little mucking out and much more grooming, was shown how to tack up, picked feet, rugged the horses and went out to catch them and bring them in. learnt more on feeds/hay and laminitis - one horse was just getting it so saw how to turn that around - it worked within hours. felt the laminitic hoof and felt the difference a few hours later after swift treatment.

had a great day today - just got home in fact and she wouldnt take money for my lesson today either (it was cut short due to hail) but even so.....and i was off the lunge again.

so going back tues for another lesson and to do some tacking and grooming.

very pleased and i think my presence was quite possibly missed yesterday....

i enjoyed today and she really appreciated the help - said she was going to text me on Weds night to say how much she had appreciated me last week. So i feel quite ok about it again now im getting some more learning in exchange for the work.

all good. smile

D0G Sun 24-Feb-13 21:28:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:39:41

im very much a work in progress but today i was on the big old boy again who is over 16 hh - he is lovely but makes you ride - lesson was useful in leg aids and reins - instructor also said to forget completely what i look like, where my legs go, technique and everything else, just to concentrate on leg aids and keeping him going (he knows if he has an eejit on his back!! grin ) lesson was cut short due to snow and hail - so she wouldnt take my money today. We were going to try and ride again but it kept hailing and snowing, so re arranged for Tuesday, and RI says i can groom and tack up.

lesson today showed me how much i really do need to practice - my coordination is pants and ive got very used to being on the lunge so i can concentrate normally on position etc and not have to work to hard as she does the work for me - today meant i had more control (or lack of it!) but i think being off the lunge would do me good and make me work harder on the leg aids and control. My balance is still dreadful though....i would love to develop my seat more really, so i dont mind being on the lunge - plus i canter more on the lunge.
but am happy to try both ways - on and off lunge and on different horses - means i get to work on different things.

saintmerryweather Sun 24-Feb-13 23:29:54

try and stay off the lunge if you can, you need to learn to balance yourself and your horse. best thing would be work without stirrups off lunge i reckon.

when i started riding again about 4 years ago i rode one horse to start with, although not on the lunge, and my confidence became very dependent on riding him, if i rode another horse i would regress, so try not to become stagnant with what youre doing. can you hack out to mix it up a bit?

i think you being unavailable for a day has made a big difference then, your RI obviously appreciates your help a bit more!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:46:34

i would like to think so saint as i felt much more in the thick of things today and i was not just mucking out, did 2 stables but then did much more with the horses which was fab. i really dont mind hard graft at all, but it was getting where it was all hard graft and no learning - felt a bit different today and i didnt mind staying all day at all. i enjoyed it. i feel so much for my RI actually - its such a struggle for her. She really isnt making any thing, she loves her horses so much and just cant part with the ones that arent making money because she worries about what will happen to them....

she is very knowledgeable, its just the workload sometimes prevents her passing that knowledge on.
not today though. learnt loads. I do so hope she manages to stay in business - she is struggling a bit, but is honestly the best in the area.

right - im shattered. best be off to bed.

50BalesOfHay Mon 25-Feb-13 09:49:17

Glad you had such a great day, Vicar. I think you are possibly being a bit hard on yourself about your riding. It's good to do things properly, but once you've got the basics the more you ride the better you'll get. It would be nice if you could hack out sometimes and just enjoy the ride! Maybe something to work towards for the spring? (although a fair few schools don't hack out these days due to the cost of insurance). Worth having a word with your RI?

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 25-Feb-13 23:29:35

thanks 50 - i think she does still do hacks, im there tomorrow for another lesson. im under no illusion about how bad i am at it but im sure thats better than thinking i know it all! its going to take a while. really. grin

but i am really confident around all the horses, im fairly fearless, and im sure it will all start to come together sooner or later.

im really looking forward to tomorrow - it was my birthday today - i bought 2 pairs of riding gloves (one for yard work and one for riding!) and some new wellies.....will stay and help out.

i so wish i could win a bit of money - i would invest and enable poor dear RI to find her feet financially a bit more, and take on help (me!!)

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 26-Feb-13 21:44:39

well - todays lesson was pants. my fault entirely, but big boy isnt a novice ride and he makes you work your socks off - he just wants to follow RI about and i stuggle to keep him on track.
i was doing ok but then RI got on him to sort him out.....she is so bloody good - she was working him but so in such a subtle way i couldnt see it - she was showing me leg yield but it was as if he was reading her mind.....she was knackered and she said she really had to work him with her legs and body, but im just not at that standard.

then i got back on and he really knew he had a novice on him then - he played up something chronic. kept stopping, wanted to turn in to her all the time, was tugging at the reins all the time, (she can ride him without reins at all) but i cant. RI was working her legs completely independently, she admits he is hard work but she can do it - i cant and felt completely useless today. Trouble is she has a distinct lack of horses who can cater for adult learners - my usual ride is getting over laminitis. All her other working ponies are too small for me. (im not huge btw! im same size at RI....but she has lots of little ponies for the kids....not many novice rides for adults)

i stayed and helped out - im way better with them on the ground! i part tacked up today - got saddle in right place but big lad is so huge i just couldnt master bridle - need to try on a smaller horse first i think (and as soon as he realised i was a numpty he decided to mess about and not take the bit anyway!) so need another go at bridle....but did groom and do rugs etc.

i do love being there and being around them, and RI really is brill - she is just so limited in what she is working with. im starting to think ill never get better - i rise to high for trot, and i cant keep a horse going in trot though i get the principle now....im really not very good at this at all....im starting to get anxious that ill never get it and im a lost cause. i wont give up - but it must be frustrating for RI. She hops on and makes it look so flipping easy even with a difficult horse....

i do wonder if i will ever be good enough at my age to get my own.....its been my dream since i was a child. i know that as a child i could trot! i cant even do that now!

Littlebigbum Tue 26-Feb-13 22:14:55

Vicar it is a case of one step forward and the odd one back. Glad you are happier

saintmerryweather Wed 27-Feb-13 07:08:50

im sorry you had a rubbish lesson. youve just got to stick with it and you will get there. i dont know if its correct or not but i always used to find i was rising too high so my bum would slap back into the saddle because i was too slow for the horse. now instead of rising straight up and down i kind of tilt my pelvis forward as i go up so its more of a forward motion rather than up and down. im not leaning forward or tipping but i am more in time with the horse.

dont worry about what your instructor can do on the horse she has been doibg it for years and you will get there too.

50BalesOfHay Wed 27-Feb-13 09:06:27

Vicar, I know you think the world of your RI, but it doesn't sound like she's got a suitable horse for you to learn on, which is why you're getting so frutrated. You need a kind well schooled schoolmaster who, if you give the aid somewhere near correctly he'll do as you've asked so that you can feel what it's like when it goes right. It's good to ride difficult horses, but not when you're trying to get the basics in place. You're having to think about too much at once

Her set up sounds just like the small riding school where we kept first pony when we first got him. She's a very good instructor but a one woman business and struggles for time, so can't teach enough to have the funds to take someone on or expand the business, so has to do everything, so doesn't make enough to buy new horses, so keeps them when they're fed up and need to move on (or retire) then people get fed up slogging away on unsuitable horses, so go elsewhere, and so it goes on, with her head just above water all the time!

I think there are two options for you: find a new riding school that has more suitable horses, or bring forward geting your own and learn on that. If you go down the second route I do think that it could work out.

catanddog Wed 27-Feb-13 09:23:23

Vicar don't be disheartened, we've all had riding lessons that went slightly pear shaped for whatever reason, but try not to let it eat away at your confidence and try and see the positives. I agree with what 50 said about suitable horses for you to learn on and think you should give it a bit of thought.
I also just wanted to ask if you've been doing some reading about riding? I know you've got really into horse care which is great, but I've found reading a load of books about riding between lessons/rides has really helped (am a returner myself) as sometimes in a lesson you have so much to think about it's difficult for your brain to process all the information at the same time! Sometimes I find it's just easier to see the "technique" written down in black and white, or just having a different explanation to the way the RI put it for things to "click!"

CalamityKate Wed 27-Feb-13 10:17:05

No offence to your RI but frankly if she's that good she should be well able to employ at least one member of staff.

I'm really cross on your behalf actually.

I used to work at my mate's yard and despite having no website, or any advertising really we were always chockablock. We had a bloody good rep and frequently had to turn people away. We had a fabulous team of volunteer yard girls at weekends but crucially they got loads of training and riding.

You're being taken for the wrong sort of ride. You need to have a word. You sound lovely and keen and you'd have been very welcome on our yard, with plenty of free rides.

Floralnomad Wed 27-Feb-13 10:51:27

Like I said before ,and in agreement with other posters , I think you need to find yourself a better riding school. For the amount of time and effort you appear to be putting in you should be way further on than you are . I appreciate you like this RI and her methods but there is a reason why she's not that successful as outlined by 50bales. I would be interested in her quick cure for laminitis though if you could share it with us as I've spent years and thousands of pounds on this debilitating condition .

Littlebigbum Wed 27-Feb-13 11:28:52

I'm must admit that the only adults that I have taught or learnt to ride later in live are husbands/ men. Then get a big horse tell them not to land heavy on the back and don't jab them in the mouth or I will take the reins off them. Go for a hack, do some trotting tell them canter is easier, then wait for them to ask to canter, send them away a walk, ie see that tree over there walk to it. Then they have got it!
So Vicar it is great that you are learning ride properly but I would be frustrated. Is it possible for a few trekking centre rides.
Best riders are self taught

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 11:41:51

hi guys - thank you, you have hit the nail on the head - she has plenty of ponies but only a couple of horses for adults. I so wish i had some money it invest.

my usual ride has laminitis (just starting but caught in time to turn it around) but she is still not being ridden, so i had to ride big lad who is not a novice ride. She is having to turn people away.

i may well bring forward getting my own and learn on that if i can just find the right horse.

quick cure for laminitis - she could tell immediately the horse was beginning with it - i couldnt, she says this is the importance of knowing your horse - i could only feel the difference afterwards, but the moment her hooves were slightly warm, she took her radial pulse, immediately cleared all the straw/hay from her box, put her on shavings, gave her bran mash then a little hard feed with bute, and within hours her hooves were cold again and as they should be - and she looked happier. It was literally just starting but she caught it immediately. She is still on shavings, with limited hay to eat, but she was asking to go out yesterday which was a good sign - she has to have limited turn out though due to her being prone to it.

i do think the world of RI and i am loathe to go elsewhere - if i could get the right horse i know i would progress faster, we had a chat yesterday because she knows that she has too many horses that are not paying their way, too many on loan for the wrong reasons, too many being kept despite being lame etc, and she has been done over a couple of times by dealers....she is so soft though and really needs to get a bit tougher, i suppose its hard to run a business where animals are involved.

i am reading lots - got the BHS society book on horse and stable management and also the pony club one - and i get Your Horse every month. Might look for more books on actual riding rather than care etc....

am already keeping an eye on the ads in the local equestrian shop - if the right horse came up id go and have a look.

thanks all for your thoughts - im trying not to lose confidence but its hard when it starts to feel like im never going to learn to ride.

WillowKnicks Wed 27-Feb-13 12:01:16

Don't give up hope Vicar!!

I came back to riding wayyyyy into my 30's & seemed to take forever just to get to the stage of being safe to hack out.

I got my first horse 2 years ago (wrong side of 40) & was probably not by any stretch experienced enough but, despite all the odds, it's worked out & that is simply because I got the right horse & have a lot of support to fall back on when I need it.

I put her in full livery for 1st 3 months & had lessons on her & hacked in company until I felt totally confident with her. She now lives at home with DDs pony (don't think you'll stop at 1 {wink]) & we hack out for hours, all over the place & we have a deep, special bond...I adore her smile

I agree with the poster who said, maybe think about buying your own horse sooner & then learn on her/him. You are building up that bond & riding a horse that is right for you... all under supervision.

BTW I DETEST when RIs get on to show how it's done...nothing more guaranteed to make you feel inferior IME!!!

WillowKnicks Wed 27-Feb-13 12:03:42

Vicar let us know EXACTLY what you are looking for & I'm sure everyone will keep an ear to the ground for you...I love pony shopping especially when I'm not paying grin

50BalesOfHay Wed 27-Feb-13 12:18:12

If you can manage it, Vicar I'd start looking for a nice schoolmaster horse and keep it on livery at the RS (but not on working livery if you can afford to do that, but not the end of the world if you have to). Get RI to ride it a couple of times a week to keep the schooling up and also so she knows how to teach you on it. She'll hopefully do that in return for yard work

You want a bigger version of gd's first pony who teaches people to ride by going at their pace, and raising his game when they raise theirs. Get the aids totally wrong and he won't respond, get somewhere close and he'll do t straight off. When she was still a novice he was quite ploddy. As she got her skills and confidence up he showed her more and more, they ended up a fantastic rosette winning partnership. He is the supreme professional of a first pony and I love him to bits for looking after her so well

Don't go too cobby as very wide horses are more difficult to get leg aids on and can be strong. I'd have a look at 14.2 Pony Club types, about 10 years old, as they tend to be safe and experienced as bought by (usually) knowledgeable parents for their children to ride. Not the cheapest way to buy a horse, but better value than **Cobs!

Blimey, I sound bossy, don't I blush

CalamityKate Wed 27-Feb-13 12:41:15

It's sometimes helpful to pop on the horse to demo something but I hope I never made anyone feel inferior.

Oh apart from a very big headed know it all bloke who insisted that the horse he'd been given was useless because HE couldn't get it going. The horse in question was part shire, very very safe for novices but in fact very well schooled. I kept explaining that if he nagged and nagged with his legs in the wrong place, the horse would assume he was a beginner and plod, whereas if he used them properly in the right place the horse was perfectly capable of direct transitions.

He was openly sceptical - "Show me then". So I did. Walk to canter without appearing to move. Ha. He was very humble after that smile

Mirage Wed 27-Feb-13 14:29:39

I'm another who thinks you'd benefit from hacking out on a schoolmaster.We went to a talk by the Team GB Physio and he said that the very best thing any horse and rider can do is go hunting and hacking.It doesn't matter if you are on the Olympic team or a beginner,it teaches you both how to deal with the unexpected,think on your feet and deal with anything that comes along.You just can't learn that stuff in a school.I know you don't agree with hunting,but hacking is so beneficial and it is just so much fun too.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:29:28

thanks all - i really appreciate all your advice and help, i dont think RI would let me hack out until i have the basics under my belt tbh, she is a bit of a stickler for safety - im always doing daft things that could see me getting my block knocked off by a horse, she has a fit! - but i figure you learn from your mistakes! ....big boy who i rode yesterday was a hunting horse - but RI thinks he was just "hung on to" and thats why he fights with you over the reins....i would love to hack out though....

The thing that worries me is that horse buying is such a gamble....How do you find a schoolmaster? or a pony like 50s GDs first pony - surely they are like gold dust? how do you even find one!?!?

my pony would be on livery at the school - ideally somewhere between 14.2 and 15.2. placid and forgiving but ideally yes - could up their game as i up mine. i dont know who to trust though - *cobs shattered my illusions a bit....

saintmerryweather Wed 27-Feb-13 16:40:46

it seems like your ri is a bit like my driving instructor and is definately holding you back. i would go against the grain and would say you shouldnt buy a horse until you can walk trot and canter competantly and can pop a small jump and can hack out and deal with minor spooks.

can you at least go out to another school maybe for a little private hack out?

Mirage Wed 27-Feb-13 18:36:49

It is hard to find a good pony.We were very lucky with dpony,she was the 3nd pony we tried.She knows to go slowly with novices,yet DD2 was galloping around the fields jumping logs this afternoon.She is bombproof in traffic and jumped 85cm on Monday with DD2,one in a million.She has spoilt us though and I've been trying to find a smaller version of her since September 2011.The pony club website is a good place to find reliable ponies,but be warned that the ponies advertised won't necessarily have been to PC,and unscrupulous people advertise there too,like everywhere else.

There are no guarantees,they all react differently in different homes and with different riders.Ask around,if you go to see a pony,google the phone number,pony's name and see what comes up.If you know anyone locally,ask if they know the pony,it is amazing what you can find out with FB too.

Good luck,the right one is out there somewhere.smile

"i dont think RI would let me hack out until i have the basics under my belt tbh, she is a bit of a stickler for safety"

Weird how things have changed. When I learnt 35 years ago (shock) we first learned by hacking out, being led from another pony. After a couple of goes at this we'd be let loose on the hack. Lessons in a school were for refining (ha, ha) your technique once you'd learnt the basics on a hack. My first canter was with half a dozen other ponies in a field (I fell off grin).

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:20:43

been looking on the pony club classifieds.....

saintmerryweather Wed 27-Feb-13 20:52:25

found anything vicar? horsequest might be a good site

CalamityKate Wed 27-Feb-13 21:03:02

Hacking is fab for confidence i agree. Also I always found drill riding brilliant for building confidence and balance.

It's amazing how a rider who's normally a bit cautious will forget their nerves when they're concentrating on keeping up with their partner/staying in formation. They tend to stop over thinking and just sort of get on with it. Great fun.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:04:19

well, saw one that really took my eye on PC site but already has a deposit on it, so many on there would be wasted on me....im too old to event or show, and i doubt i will ever be good enough tbh.

will check out horse quest too - thank you. DH says i could really do to wait another 6 months but i could be searching for months so im looking now. grin

think i will talk to RI about it too.

incidently notgood thats how i rode when i was a nipper - but i cant say i "learnt" to ride - i learnt to stay on and that was about it! i could canter though....and trot. not anymore it seems! im sure my stirrups need to be a bit longer....
ive been saying it for ages and funnily enough when RI got on big lad for me yesterday she had to let her stirrups down and she is same height as me....

Pixel Wed 27-Feb-13 21:07:54

Is it possible to go for a few trekking centre rides? I was going to say this!

Last year dsis and I went pony trekking and there were a couple of young women who had never sat on horses before. They were given a 'lesson' which consisted of being told to keep their heels and hands down, then one of the stable staff ran up the road with us for the first five minutes shouting "up, down" to the 'girls' as we all trotted along. An hour later we came back and they were looking safe in the saddle having gone up and down some steep hills, and had pretty much mastered trotting. Their positions weren't at all bad! Thing is, they were relaxed, looking for deer and chatting rather than worrying whether they were doing it 'right', and they were on lovely safe horses who knew their job was to look after their riders.
Vicar I think you could do with a couple of rides like that. Let the horse follow the others and get the feel of the movement without having to worry about telling it what to do all the time.
Have you planned your holidays for this year? grin

CalamityKate Wed 27-Feb-13 21:12:11

Thing is though Vicar she probably sits deeper than you do so your stirrups will feel short to her. Also, having your stirrups too long will mean its harder to keep your legs in the right place if you're a bit inexperienced.

Nicecuppachar Wed 27-Feb-13 21:29:17

I would also say not to buy a horse yet . I know you are itching to but you do need to learn to ride competently first, really.

Pixel Wed 27-Feb-13 21:31:58

Also, being the same height doesn't mean anything. People who are roughly the same height as me often have longer stirrups though I don't ride particularly short. That's because I have short legs and a long body.

My RI is almost the same height as me and has her stirrups 3 holes shorter. Maybe I have longer legs? Mind you, she is used to a) doing cross-country and b) riding idiotic horses where short stirrups can give you much-needed stability!

saintmerryweather Wed 27-Feb-13 21:43:53

i went on a ride at a different stables a few months ago as my instructor sounds quite similar to yous (although she does have horses suitable for me) we dont get to hack out often as her horses tend to get over excited. i went on a 3 day break to a stables in cornwall and was riding over terrain i would never normally ride overon horses i had never ridden before. im normally a nervous nellie with strange horses. the instructor who took me out wouldnt let me be like that though, he made me ride up and down steep banks and stuff. at the end of the ride, his horse spooked and span round, took my horse with it and cantered back down the track a few steps, he bailed out and i was back in control in a second. my very long winded point is, unless you are allowed to get out and about you wont learn to deal with even little spooks and you.need to be able to stay in control and ride the horse through it. i really wish you lived near me so you could come ride at my instructors yard!

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 23:22:49

i have long legs though....im sure my stirrups are too short but i will bow to those in the know.

i would love to take a trekking holiday. love it. ive dealt with a couple of little spooks before in the school - nothing major though.

i just feel my confidence ebbing away with each lesson. i know RI likes riders - and im not one. She keeps saying it will come but im starting to worry it never will....and yes, lack of suitable horses is probably a problem.

if i got my own i would continue lessons - but DH says i do need to wait 6 months for financial reasons and he says we need a car first....but he is lovely and would let me have one in 6 months or so.,,,he sees how much good its doing me.

i fear if i leave getting my own until i can ride i may never get one....maybe just getting lots of riding experience would be the thing that helped me - and at present thats not happening.

really not sure what to do. i feel that if i did get my own it would be fine - i have a knowledgeable instructor on hand....it would be well cared for....and lessons would continue, just on my own horse instead of hers.

D0G Wed 27-Feb-13 23:37:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 23:49:30

no i appreciate everyones thoughts dog not offended in the least and in some ways i agree - but i live where there is a distinct lack of riding schools that actually teach - the ones i tried before i found RI were not in it for anything more than money - no teaching or instruction to be found. just stuck you on a horse and let you loose which wasnt what i wanted at all....i really wanted to learn to ride.....

Its not RI - when im on usual horse i do, and can do more, but its on the lunge.
in no natural thats for sure - and yes im probably getting het up now with lessons because im not very good....i know im not very good, but on normal ride i can trot and canter, technique does need working on. im also sure everyone is right in that im now feeling under pressure - i have the knowledge about technique but i need to practice it and not always under such scrutiny - or even feeling under scrutiny, which i do at present i admit.

thats why i think with own horse i would feel less pressure. i could go out and experiment on my own and find out what works and what doesnt without being watched all the time! i used to hack out as a kid - i was ok but it was practice and experimentation that got me to where i could trot and canter ok, and i used to have a friend with a pony - i remember galloping through fields and jumping logs and fallen trees....i never fell off and kept a light seat.
it seems a very distant memory now....

Littlebigbum Wed 27-Feb-13 23:53:27

Don't give up Vicar

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 27-Feb-13 23:59:19

tenacious is my middle name.

(well its not actually but i wont give up - i will get my own horse even if i cant bloody ride it!)

D0G Thu 28-Feb-13 07:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nicecuppachar Thu 28-Feb-13 07:55:14

Have you thought about getting your own and having it on working livery there ( or somewhere else!) and then your horse is getting the exercise it needs and you are having a reduced bill.

I exppect my kids to rids properly - I'm very technical and i ride properly BUT DH gets on and has fun. If he's vaguely doing the right thing ( and the horse he rides is very forgiving) that's enough. Have you told her you just want to ride well enough to enjoy - i'e rising trot, canter, pop a small x pole and safe hacking?

Any chance of a share for a few months? That way you could progress but not be entirely on your own and making all the decisions as you would with your own horse.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Feb-13 22:25:44

dog i would only get my own if RI would have him or her on livery with her.

nice if i could get the right horse then i would certainly have it on working livery - i trust RI and it would be in safe hands with her. I have told her that i just want to be safe and competent enough to have my own. I dont want to compete or show - i just want to enjoy riding.
I would have no objection to learning on my own horse.

I would loan, but probably would want a loan with view to buy....(i get terribly attached!) i have no idea how to find a loan horse.

Try local ads for loans (online at gumtree, or tack shop notice boards etc.)

Floralnomad Thu 28-Feb-13 23:00:13

You may have difficulty finding someone who would loan to you if you plan to keep it on a working livery basis but you never know .

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Feb-13 23:12:54

oh no i wouldnt have a loan pony on working....that wouldnt be mine to decide on.

but i would want a loan with view to buy. i would be hopeless at giving a loan back again....

Pixel Thu 28-Feb-13 23:31:38

Are there no other liveries at the yard already who might consider a part share?

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Feb-13 23:41:01

unfortunately not pixel - she has no liveries at present. i think its difficult because the farmer who owns the yard places some restrictions on RI but i think if she could get straight a bit with some of the horses that are not working/lame/ etc etc she would take liveries on a part or full time basis. at the minute she is full to capacity but with horses that maybe shouldnt be there....its such a shame but she is hanging on to some horses that just arent school material, and others that are lame beyond what the vet can sort out.....she is getting to the conclusions herself....but its hard for her and i understand that. Some very tough decisions need to be made, but i would be useless at making them too....

Pixel Fri 01-Mar-13 01:46:34

Okaaay... Well if you were to find a part-share at another yard in the area, would she come and give you lessons there? My RI does this if I want a lesson on my own horse rather than one of her's as I have no way of transporting him. I just pay her a little bit extra for travelling time.

By the way, I think you want need some hacking experience. If your RI can't do this, just find somewhere that will take you out hacking as an occasional thing.

KissingKittyKat Fri 01-Mar-13 09:40:06

Vicar If you can afford it I would seriously consider taking a riding holiday where you can do an intensive week of riding and horse care. I also think it would be good for you to learn a bit from somewhere else. I am not saying your RI is teaching you wrong, but there are different ways to do things so it might be good for you to learn from other places too and see things from a different perspective.

When I learned to ride the stables didn't allow clients to hack out and they only did lessons in the school, so I used to go pony trekking in Wales for a week each year which gave me some experience of riding out (although admittedly the ponies just followed each other so it was not quite real riding!). But still good fun and good for the confidence, we used to gallop on the beach grin

Booboostoo Fri 01-Mar-13 09:42:44

OP I am going to be brutally honest with you because your RI is really taking the piss.

Her lessons sound crap. No one can learn on a horse that won't move because a beginner would, mistakenly, try to use too much leg, this would result in loss of balance and the whole body trying to shift the horse forwards which is counter-productive. I don't want to dishearten you, as I don't think it's your fault, but your RI is taking ages to teach you the very basics so you need to consider the possibility that she is not a very good teacher. Even if she is god's gift to teaching if she does not have horses for adults, she simply cannot teach adults.

The way you describe how you muck out and work for hours in exchange for nothing is abusive. You are an adult, if she wants p/t work she should pay you the minimum wage. If she wants to offer tuition in exchange for work there are schemes available that set out what is a fair contribution from both parties. No groom, or working pupil should ever put up with such rubbish. If you are a client and not a groom/working pupil then she should give you proper instruction, e.g. being showing how to muck out once and doing it once is quite sufficient.

Put buying a horse (or sharing or loaning) out of your mind. If your RI is encouraging you with such thoughts she is completely irresponsible or out to get a working livery horse for nothing. She is not a charity for keeping lame and sick horses from the RI, this is what responsible horse ownership requires. RIs need to factor in the costs of vet insurance and the possibility of having to rest or retire horses as part of their general costs. This is what is involved in running an equestrian business.

Is this RI in any way regulated? Is it BHS or other relevant body approved? Is it registered with the council? Do they have an insurance certificate on display?

I would strongly recommend you try another RC. Good RCs do not plonk clients on a horse and let them loose, nor do they advocate beating horses up. Are you anywhere near the Yorkshire Riding Centre? You can't beat the YRC for wealth of knowledge, variety of horses, excellent facilities and world class training, but if it's too far away start with a BHS approved RC near you.

Booboostoo Fri 01-Mar-13 09:43:47

P.S. there is no quick cure for laminitis, your RI gave the horse bute which is an anti-inflammatory and has a short term action, the effects of which you observed. Everything she did was correct and standard treatment for lami, but not a miracle cure!

KissingKittyKat Fri 01-Mar-13 09:50:31

Also.........I currently have my first ever share pony and I am so glad I decided to share before I took the plunge and bought my own. It has been a real eye-opener for me and I am realising exactly how much time, effort, emotional energy and money horse ownership involves.

I used to assist at a livery yard as a teenager so it is not as though I was totally ignorant about what having horses involves, but having one of my own (albeit on share) is totally different. I think what has really stuck me is the emotional energy it involves, worrying when things are not quite as planned etc. I never experienced this with riding school horses. Maybe that is just me as a I am natural worrier!

Also the type of horse you want now might be different to the type of horse you want in one year's time when you are more experienced.

If you can, I would seriously consider a share or loan before you buy. Put adverts in local tack shops, and try Preloved (this is where I found my share pony, I put a 'Wanted ad' up), Equine Ads, Horse Mart, etc.

Also, my quest to find a share pony was very interesting (I saw several completely unsuitable horses that people were quite prepared to share with me even though I am a complete and utter novice). Again the search proved to be a real eye-opener I think the experience helped me out for if / when I do ever look for a horse to buy.

Good luck.

Floralnomad Fri 01-Mar-13 10:00:12

I agree with everything said by booboo ( particularly about the laminitis) , also until your last couple of posts I never realised that the RI doesn't actually own the yard . I doubt things will ever change under these circumstances and I doubt she will ever be making a good turnover . You need to go further afield and find yourself a new school with better and more suitable horses because at the moment you are wasting your money . Sorry if that sounds harsh . I'm not in Yorkshire but I'm sure that someone on here could recommend a good school / RI .

Butkin Fri 01-Mar-13 11:56:37

Vicar, just a few things to consider. What is your RI's qualifications for teaching. At a BHS approved school she'd be a RI or I (latter is better).

Why does she have a yard full of horses but no clients? Who pays for everything. Sounds like a welfare case about to happen.

You say she has no staff - seems very strange with a yard full of horses - not very professional.

You mention Pony Club during half term. Is this something she arranges for children (and calls it Pony Club) or do the local Pony Club come to use your facilities? Does your RI teach the children or does the PC Senior Instructor come?

Sorry if (like the cobs thread) we're shattering a few illusions but lots of us on this thread are smelling something strange about this and just want you to have fun.

CalamityKate Fri 01-Mar-13 12:20:07

You say she's turning people away - hw come she can't afford staff then?

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 02-Mar-13 00:03:30

RI is fully qualified, fully certified and fully insured. She is the only one i went to who is. She used to teach at college - she told me all her qualifications before we started - and showed me her qualifications - she is very well qualified.

she is not encouraging me in any way to get a loan, share or horse, on any livery basis - she tells me this is how to come unstuck. She has never stuck me on a horse and "let me loose" and she never ever beats horses - im not even sure where thats come from - she is incredibly welfare driven - she wont even allow pupils to kick while riding.....are you reading my OP boo? because if you were that was a different school.....

this lady is older, fully qualified, insured, but she has got some charity cases because she couldnt bear to leave them in distress so took them to hers - so she is paying for some horses that are not working and never have been. One was sold as a 10yr old but is actually 4, she knew this from her teeth but she was in such a state she took her anyway from a dealer- she says she was matted from sweat and urine, and she just couldnt bear to leave her. She is schooling her and she says she will make a lovely pony for someone - but she needs some time spending on her, and needs rebacking etc....and schooling. She just doesnt get much time with so much yard work to do daily.

she has plenty of clients - but not enough horses for adult learners. She does pony club activities - the kids come and learn about horse care etc for a full day in the holidays.She used to lecture in colleges so she teaches kids - but she really doesnt charge enough - some of the kids lessons are £12....a full day on pony day is just £25.

the horses she has are mainly for children with only 2 horses that can take adults - one is a school master, the other not, so she is in a bit of a catch 22....
she really is a brilliantly qualified, good instructor - but i like to go in because i learn from going in, and being there is helping me, giving me a reason to get up on a morning, yes some days are a bit fraught in terms of time, but i am enjoying going, for the most part, and im learning. When i feel im not learning i take time out, but i offer to go in and i know she appreciates a hand.

the lami thing - i didnt call it a miracle cure - but i know nothing and so just observing and having chance to see and feel the difference was good for me - i now know how spot the signs before it takes hold and how to stave it off.

My RI is a gem - and i know that because i tried other schools first, schools where i was just chucked on a horse and left to it, where i wasnt told how to ride, or sit, or hold the reins even, if i stopped going in tomorrow she would simply carry on as she has for the last 7 years - without help.

this is temporary for me - i am suffering with depression - going there lifts my spirits and i enjoy it for the most part.
Today, as i was fastening a rug, the pony licked my ear. smile and that, however daft it sounds, made my day. i love being around the horses, i love turning them out and bringing them in, i love grooming, and stroking, and feeding them. Yes im doing some hard work, and yes, its for free, but in 10 days i am back at work, and i will not be able to go in so often, so im making the most of it and getting whatever horsey time and picking instructors brains as i can.

she is a woman in her 50's who loves horses, who is truly very knowledgeable and who is fully insured, fully qualified, she could accredit and assess NVQs etc in college where she used to lecture and teach, she is a proper instructor.

she rents the yard. she keeps it immaculate. She is turning adults away due to lack of adult horses to learn on. Kids she has tons of. The horses are in good condition, and kept well. All are on different feeds, all fed on excellent quality hay which costs a small fortune.

Everything is done properly, registration forms, insurance, qualifications, but she has only one paid saturday girl. She doesnt ask me to go in - she suggested it so i could start to learn about horses - when i started riding i knew absolutely nothing and she knows i really want my own. I need to stress that she isnt relying on unpaid help - she survived perfectly fine without me! and if she said that i couldnt go in and help it would be me that lost out - because i enjoy it and its benefiting me, for when i do get my own.

She is certainly not encouraging me to to do that yet.

Some days i learn more than others. Some days with 14 stables to muck out its hard to learn but she talks me through everything she does and explains why she is doing X Y Z.

today i spent the day there, i mucked out only 4 stables - she did the rest. i cleaned a bridle. We chatted. we drank tea. i enjoyed being there. and i got my ear licked....what more could i ask for grin

Booboostoo Sat 02-Mar-13 09:26:38

I am sorry but you misunderstood my post. I didn't say your current RI suggested you kick/hit horses, I said your fear of going to other RIs because this is how they teach is unjustified. I appreciate you tried an RI where they left you to your own devices, but I was suggesting that is the exception and not the rule. I was suggesting that your RI is not the only decent RI around and you have other options.

The reason I suggested that is because in your previous posts you seemed deeply disatisfied both with your lack of progress and with wasting your time mucking out and not really learning. At the same time you seemed to have an unreasonable focus on getting a horse in the future, where to buy one from, what type of livery to have, whether there was space at your yard, etc.

If I read you last post correctly you are now perfectly happy helping out at this yard on a charitable basis - good for you, people who volunteer for charities are wonderful, kind people who see a need and do something about it. If you see your work at this yard as charity and helping out a friend that is a lovely thing for you to do, however you can't complain that you are mucking out all the time and not getting enough lessons. Running a welfare centre for horses is primarily a daily slog through mucking out, poo picking, fence mending and grooming!

If you are a paying client you should get value for money, i.e. ridden lessons on suitable horse and proper stable management lessons.

If you are a friend or charitable helper you should do whatever is needed and accept without complaint whatever can be given in return (I would expect free lessons in that case but if you want to contribute further to the charity by paying for lessons that is up to you).

If you want my personal opinion, I think it is very easy for well meaning but unrealistic people to collect a large number of welfare horses and then not have time for them. It is all very well to rescue a 4 year old and recognise that it needs time to be backed and brought on properly, but if the rescuer does not have time to do this herself she needs to re-examine her priorities. Taking on more horses than one can cope with, while at the same time turning away paying clients due to lack of suitable horses is bad business sense and bad charity-running sense that is very likely to result in welfare issues.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 02-Mar-13 10:57:30

oh i see - i think i did misunderstand your post boo

i am a paying client and yes, there is a lack of suitable horses for adults to learn on. Thats true.

i see what im doing as helping out but also was supposed to be getting some learning from it - which is fine when it works. Sometimes it doesnt. My progress isnt very fast thats true - and some of it down to lack of horse.

i doubt there will be welfare issues - she is limited anyway to 14 horses and has that number now - all very well cared for, all see farrier, all see vet etc when needed.

Ive been to 3 different schools now and i cant find one that is perfect. I think RI is very good but yes, im finding it difficult.

I have not found any other school within this vicinity.

I wonder why you think my focus on getting a horse in the future is unreasonable? im not sure what you mean. Im not throwing myself headlong into something that i cant do - thats why im learning (or trying to) i wouldnt get one until im certain i can care for it and afford it. Thats why i asked about costs etc on other posts.

off to google Yorkshire Riding Centre to see where it is in proximity to me...

saintmerryweather Sat 02-Mar-13 11:54:18

Just out of interest have had a look at yorkshire riding centre and a private lesson with an instructor is 35 plus 20 for the hire of the horse! Unless ive misunderstood that, its very expensive. diy livery is 75pw week for a straw bed. that is absolutely extortionate, diy round here starts at 25pw with full use of a school

Booboostoo Sat 02-Mar-13 11:57:35

I haven't lived in Yorks for 6 years now so my knowledge is out of date but have you tried the

Harrogate Riding Centre
www.springhousegroup.com/

or

Follifoot Riding Centre
www.horseridingcentre.co.uk/

or

Jodhpurs Riding School
www.jodhpursridingcentre.co.uk/pages/pv.asp?p=jrc2

All these used to be decent places back then.

As for the horse buying comment I was just going by the impression your posts gave, which was that you were quite caught up with the idea of buying horse. If that's not the case just ignore my comments, I have clearly misunderstood your posts.

Booboostoo Sat 02-Mar-13 12:51:42

Apologies for the YRC recommendation, just looked at their website and they seem to have moved away from RS work and be doing more competition training. The other suggestions should be more relevant.

Nicecuppachar Sat 02-Mar-13 13:10:32

How does she get the children to ask the ponies to go forward if she doesn't let them kick them? Leg is vital in all riding disciplines.

Mirage Sat 02-Mar-13 14:03:12

I was wondering that too.Especially the PC kids .I'm having visions of a school full of PC chidren on Thelwell ponies,not being allowed to kick.It'd be like musical statues without the music .Dpony would quite happily stand all day if you couldn't kick her on.grin

CalamityKate Sat 02-Mar-13 14:28:41

Especially if crops aren't allowed either!

Pixel Sat 02-Mar-13 16:52:48

Well to be fair the NF my RI gives lessons on certainly doesn't need kicking, or a crop. However even a well-schooled horse may need the occasional kick as a reminder. For instance, when I read Vicar's post about not being able to keep the horse on the track because he was following the RI, my first thought was he needed a good boot with the inside leg and a growl to 'get up' to stop him taking the 'P'! Even though a good rider will always try to give the lightest aids possible, they are big animals and sometimes you have to take charge.
Vicar, I agree it's good that your RI is teaching you the proper aids without kicking but if you want your own horse you will have to accept that there are times when it's necessary. Sometimes knowing when to kick on and mean it can get you and your horse out of a dangerous situation.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 02-Mar-13 16:53:30

She teaches pressure and release - and kicking only as discipline if horse is ignoring you asking nicely with a gentle squeeze - she was the first out if the 3 I tried that told meyou only have to squeeze your calves- not kick. Shed dies allow crops but would have something to say if used incorrectly. I'll look at those other recommendations. Ta.

CalamityKate Sat 02-Mar-13 16:58:23

FWIW I agree with Pixel. It's all very well and lovely to have a no kicking rule but IMO there's a balance between doing it "right" and being effective.

saintmerryweather Sat 02-Mar-13 18:26:13

I dont have any qualms about kicking when needed. a couple of weeks ago my horse wouldnt walk over a tiny little bit of leftover snow on the track. shes an old girl, she knows her job inside out and back to to front but she likes to try it on at the start of every lesson. she walked up to it and stood there staring at it, then turned away from it. i let her, then thought shit, hope my instructor didnt see that. i walked past that sodding snow about 15 times in total before she would walk over it (she kept bananaing right round it snorting at it!). i achieved it in the end (got fed up of her taking the piss) by giving her a bloody great boot and a smack with the whip. Miraculously cured of her fear! Shes about 16.3, i dont want to have to deal with an even bigger strop when ive let her get away with something already. theres a time and a place!

Nicecuppachar Sat 02-Mar-13 19:27:56

Vicar - do you watch dressage and jumping at high levels? Do you watch their legs? Trust me, they are not merely squeezing and applying light pressure. And they all wear spurs.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:03:17

I've said that she does allow kicking as a discipline -i.e - when horse doesn't do as asked when first asked nicely. But she doesn't teach to routinely kick. This was news to me as all the other schools here didn't teach that riding is from the ankle up - routinely. That kicking shouldn't be the
First option. RI explained that horses can feel a fly on them. - so thee is no need to routinely boot them. I feel like no one is actually reading anything I say anymore and simply jumping to the conclusion that RI is useless and that I shouldn't be looking to own - someone up thread said I'm spending unreasonable amounts of time looking at owning. I'm feeling rather deflated. I'm a learner and I've never pretended otherwise.

Floralnomad Sat 02-Mar-13 23:53:45

I think what people are trying to say is that rather than jump in and buy a horse now that may or may not turn out to be suitable just because your chosen RI has nothing suitable for you to learn on is probably not the most sensible option . It makes more sense to expand your riding experience by finding a school where there is a better variety of horses ,or going on a weeks course somewhere . I'm fairly certain in years to come , when you've owned your own horse for several years you will look back at your RI and find lots of faults and things that you do differently to her . That's just experience .

issyocean Sun 03-Mar-13 03:01:17

Vicar if you are happy with your tuition and being around the horses is making you feel better then don't worry too much about it just enjoy it smile

However I do think that if you and your DD could go somewhere where you could hack out together it would be a nice experience for you both and break things up a bit so to speak.

Booboostoo Sun 03-Mar-13 08:32:46

OP, to be honest I think you need to re-read your own posts and accept that at least some of the responses you are getting are because of what you are saying in the first place. If you were perfectly happy at your RI people would have no reason to say otherwise, but you appear, in at least some of your posts, to be unhappy, therefore people are trying to advise you on how best to deal with the situation.

I think I will bow out of this discussion now as it is a little bit too fraught with emotion for my liking. Best of luck with your riding!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:02:18

i had a talk to RI instructor today about my progress. She says i am no different to any beginner (ie - no worse) - i talked to another one of her ladies today and she said it was just like deja vu, that listening to me was funny because she had been exactly the sam and said the same things - and she had lessons for over a year before getting her own. She also watched my lesson and saw i was getting annoyed with myself - she was really reassuring - she said once i get the correct position and technique it clicks and i will keep it from then on. she watched my lesson, and i watched her lesson after mine. She gave me hope that one day i will get my position right and my seat and balance will get better.

i didnt think i was getting any better but RI says i am. Maybe i am just expecting too much too soon. She said she will video me so i can see. My position just goes to pot when i trot or canter but, it is getting better. She is correct in saying i need to develop balance and my seat - i have to keep re -positioning myself and i think i have put too much pressure on myself to be perfect. Sometimes i think im just trying too hard instead of just enjoying it.

Also RI said today she had been thinking about what i had said regards getting my own pony and she says im not ready - she thinks i would pamper it too much and told me horses have to learn respect and manners. But she will give me the nod when she thinks im ready.

today i tacked up and had a really good lesson. I was back on usual pony. She went way over the time i paid for to be honest, I also tacked up for 2 other lessons (with supervision)

i apologise if i have given the wrong impression - sometimes i have felt that she perhaps forgot that im there voluntarily and that im there because i want to learn more than just riding, but i was too quiet and didnt say anything. Now i just ask. She is very forthright and i just need to be the same and it is paying off - and i do really enjoy being there - ive just had moments where ive thought i was being an idiot and she was taking the mick a bit....but to be fair she only ever suggested i go in on Saturdays when she has all the other volunteers on the yard - the fact is i tend to help out on the day of my lesson as well, and sometimes other days too - in truth its those days that i learn more as saturdays are too busy. As soon as i go back to work i will be back on shift so means if i do go down to volunteer it will be just a day or so a week, when i have my lesson and likely wont be weekends.

I meant to ask about hacking out today, but completely forgot. I will also look at perhaps doing an intensive course somewhere (if funds allow) or even look into a riding holiday.

i do appreciate the advice offered. I am not ignoring it, but obviously being there has made a difference as i can now do a full muck out in 20 mins, i can do rugs, i can put on a head collar, tie up a horse using the right knot, groom, pick feet and now tack up.I know how to safely turn a horse out into a field, and how to catch a horse from a field, I also can tell the difference between differing hays, i understand what laminitis is and how to prevent it taking hold at the first signs (and know what those signs feel like) and a little about feeds. My riding is improving, but ive not got past that point at which it all clicks.

ive only been going in to help for a couple of months, and i know way more than i did when i started.
and ive only been riding 4 months,which when i was working it wasnt every week, so i think ive just been expecting too much from myself tbh.

im going to try and relax a bit about it all and enjoy it more, even when im not perfect.

Littlebigbum Sun 03-Mar-13 23:41:47

Have you thought about getting some one to video you because ri says sit up straight and you think well I am, you can see what she means.
I would be so nice if one of us was closer

Zazzles007 Mon 04-Mar-13 02:30:42

Vicar, I think you've made a good realisation that you are probably putting too much pressure on yourself to learn and progress. With horses and riding, it is very much a journey, and not a destination smile. In no other area of life will you get "one step forwards, two steps back" shown to you more distinctly grin. And remember, when you get disheartened, remind yourself "a bad day with a horse is still better than most good days with people".

Hope this helps.

mrslaughan Mon 04-Mar-13 10:57:59

I think vicar - this is where a gentle hack is a great thing to do - you don't have to trot or canter - but just getting out of the school can be very liberating and help you to realise the progress you have made, and just enjoy a ride - for the simple pleasure of a ride

lovebeansontoast Mon 04-Mar-13 12:26:23

I agree with mrsl above. Also, what is the first thing you will want to do with a new horse once you buy it? Usually go out for a hack. So it's not a bad idea to build it into your current work.

I haven't mucked out a stable in about 20 years! In fact, I've probably only done about 4 in my life. smile

Hacking out is a much more important skill!

ChoccyWoccyDoDa Mon 04-Mar-13 14:28:25

Agree hacking very important skill (once you have got the basics in the school).

Hacking will teach you to ride on rough surfaces, up and down steep hills and banks, and how to deal with unexpected situations.

It is amazing how many things you come across when hacking which you would not notice in 'normal life', but when hacking (especially on a more sensitive horse) you suddenly become aware of every barking dog, horse in field, livestock, cyclist, noisy car etc etc and have to be ready in case your horse reacts (although when first hacking you should be riding a very safe and sensible horse, of course).

Also horses can be very different out hacking to in the school - my own share pony is generally very lazy in the school, but out hacking she gets a certain sping in her step!

So assuming you intend to hack when you get your own horse, I think it is essential to learn to hack safely as well as ride in the school.

Also, please make sure you buy a nice bright yellow high-viz jacket for hacking - not enough people wear them!

Mirage Mon 04-Mar-13 19:09:09

When we bought dpony,I had never mucked out a stable in my life.blush Ours live out and when we had a pony on trial that was stabled at night I didn't know what had hit me and I realised why people worried about smelling of horse wee.I did not enjoy the extra work and getting up early at all.

choccy you are so right about hacking.Dpony loves to hack,our instructor saw us out hacking one day and couldn't believe how much more forward going she was.I agree about scanning the horizon for cyclists,buses,pheasants jumping out at you too.Dpony is as bombproof as they come,and is rarely bothered by anything,and I'm used to letting DD1 ride on ahead without worrying about what they might meet.But our new pony had never been hacked before and I find myself looking out for anything that might spook him.I've started doing it in the car too!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:19:27

i think i am going to go on a heather moffet seminar and have a play on the equisimulators.

could incorporate it into my family hols i think.

looks like it could speed things up a bit for me!

LittlePushka Tue 05-Mar-13 01:14:55

Evening vicar! grin Not been on in a while, nice to see you hanging about with the horsey set!!

LittlePushka Tue 05-Mar-13 01:15:26

I mean I havnt been on in a while...!

EMUZ Thu 07-Mar-13 15:01:18

Highly recommend a course/holiday.. I did a week at Talland and had lunge lessons, flat lessons, jumping lessons and side saddle smile
I couldn't walk well for a while but it improved my riding no end especially the lunge lessons

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 07-Mar-13 20:54:29

thank you.

i think im seriously going to look into the seminar with heather moffett.

then look at a holiday - i know no one would come with me so might have to be when DD is able to fend for herself a bit more (she will be 16 in summer!)

<waves> to littlepushka

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 01:13:56

im just going to have a little scream.

i like my RI. i do. i really do.
but she is contrary and a very bad communicator - with me. and not just with me....other volunteers come to me now to ask what she meant!
she tells me to skip out.
i skip out
then she says the stable i just did needs a full muck out not a skip out.
so why frigging tell me to skip out then!!!!! arrrrrhggggghhhhhh!

im taking a week off now i think. i didnt ride this week. no horse and im not throwing money away on a horse i cant ride.....so i didnt.

i love being at the yard and i go voluntarily - but sometimes - just sometimes - ri drives me mad. i got a telling off - got asked to get a horse ready - took rug off and went for tack which wasnt there....long story - when i got back pony had rolled. sad i should have tied him up first. i know that now. i groomed him. i apologised. i should have gone home at that point i think because then her DD told me to do something, i did it, then RI went mad with me despite her own DD telling her she had told me to do said thing.....

i love the hosses though. and i learnt how to tie a hay net this week.
i could have tacked up but i chickened out....it was big lad who is well over 16hh and though he is very obliging (he even puts his head down when i put his head collar on! bless him) i didnt want to do any damage or hurt him knowing im a bit gauche....

im going to have a little break now i think.

there were 4 of us there on sunday and we got finished at 5pm.
that was good going. but shows that its too big a job for 1 or 2 people - unless you are quite prepared to stay until gone 7. which i do, and do willingly when i go. but i need to speak up when she is taking the proverbial.....

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 01:16:41

i think im feeling slightly over sensitive. a little break is on the cards and will probably do us all a bit of good.

She seems to have forgotten that you are there voluntarily and unpaid!

Littlebigbum Tue 12-Mar-13 08:00:16

Oh Vicar wondered why we didn't hear from you

50BalesOfHay Tue 12-Mar-13 11:16:54

Vicar, I know yoy think a lot of your RI, and you are clearly a very loyal person and want to help her, but she sounds so much like the owner of the RS where we kept our first pony (very good but a one man band, too little time, not the right horses, underfinanced etc). She's (the one I know that is) also a somewhat mercurial character and prone to getting cross unreasonably, giving conflicting messages and so on which did spoil our horse time sometimes. That said, I learnt a huge amount from her, and we left under good terms and I still seek her advice sometimes but we're happier where we are now.

I'd think very carefully about whether this is actually where you'd choose to keep your horse when you eventually get your own. The reasons that I say that are 1) she's strapped for time so may cut corners, not badly but just not quite up to what you'll want 2) you'll be there a lot and will probably end up helping her out when you'd like to spend all your time with your horse 3) You're needing a break is totally understandable but once your horse is there it won't be a possibility, and finally, if you decide it's not working out due to all of the above, you'll be looking for a new yard under pressure. She also only has two horses for adults if I recall correctly, one of whom doesn't sound like much of a schoolmaster

I'm not suggesting that you leave, but it wouldn't hurt to look at a few other places, maybe have a lesson somewhere else and investigate other set ups. I know horse ownership is for the future, not right now, but it might be worth just seeing what other options are out there? Your loyalty and stickability do you huge credit, and you might decide that actually where you are is the best option, but it's got to be worth a look around.

saintmerryweather Tue 12-Mar-13 12:08:35

Is there an RDA centre near you where you could volunteer to help with the ponies? Re unrugging and the pony rolling thats the sort of thing i would do. if youre not that experienced handling horses you wouldnt necessarily expect it to do that and tbh its not the end of the world if it did!

Littlebigbum Tue 12-Mar-13 12:40:40

To right nothing you did is the end of the world. As Saint said or a sanctuary??? It shouldn't be this hard. Find a trekking centre yeah just for the odd treat.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 15:30:05

thanks guys, i know i do defend her a lot because i can see how stressed she gets and i do really feel for her, plus i do genuinely like her and i can see that she is a good instructor, heart completely in right place with lots of experience and knowledge - but yes, she does take me for granted, and there are constraints because she is under financed, with a lack of suitable horses for adults. I can see she and the school do have their faults.

i have had a look about but unfortunately there is very little near to me - i could travel for the odd lesson but it would be a long way id have to go for it. I had a look at some of the links and suggestions a few pages back, but unfortunately most are a good 45 mins to an hour away, so while the odd lesson would be doable i couldnt do that regularly.

Im going to investigate the possiblilty of trekking, courses, holidays etc. Still really like the look of the seminar run by Heather Moffett if i could get to one, but she is the other end of the country to me.

i think if i have a few days off it will do me good. I must stop being such a bloody door --rubber- mat.

saintmerryweather Tue 12-Mar-13 16:59:55

I really would recommend a short break, i went to wheal buller in cornwall which would be too far for you but i lived out (didnt stay in their accomodation) and it was £70 per day for 4 - 6 hours riding per day and i could help round the yard tacking up and grooming etc if i wanted. i was there by myself so it was just me and an instructor riding out, i.could choose what horse to ride and what i did. the only thing i didnt get to do was ride on the beach but i hacked out, lots of cantering and riding over different terrain, rode sidesaddle, western and bareback. they even said i could hack in the western saddle if i wanted as well but i didnt feel secure enough in it. it honestly did wonders for my confidence, you dont have to go for long (my heels were rubbed raw by the middle of the second day due to my new boots). id love to go to murthwaite green in cumbria but thats a bit far away from me in kent

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 20:19:34

cumbria doable for me though....will look that one up merry thanks.

saintmerryweather Tue 12-Mar-13 21:05:36

It looks fairly pricey but they seem to have a good rep...and if money is burning a hole in your pocket the cumbrian heavy horse centre shares the same beach to ride on so you could ride a shire or clydie while youre in the area but i think theyre expensive

SimLondon Sun 17-Mar-13 10:37:37

Well Vicar you've inspired me to get off my bum and look to start riding again after a 3 year break. But I'm going to start my own log for that.

I wanted to say that your current instructor doesn't appear to have built up your confidence at all, a weekly group lesson or hack with ladies your own age would do wonders, as would going on a course. But that doesn't seem possible where you live. I'm quite put out on your behalf that you've been doing all these chores to gain experience but only just been shown the haynets. How much time do you spend grooming? Have you been shown how to see if tack is fitting correctly, eg what badly fitted tack looks like. Have you been taught much about feed?

Anyway one thing you could do is find your nearest saddlery / equestrian centre and put up a notice to see if anyone local to you eg private owners need a hand.
Just a suggestion.

Littlebigbum Sun 17-Mar-13 12:46:50

Love it Sim! Looked up Merry's place and yes I'm tempted to!
Hugs have a great day, know it is snowing up north, pouring down with rain here so I have no idea which is worst

Littlebigbum Sun 17-Mar-13 12:47:44

Oh and Sim 3 years isn't a big break, get back on

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 22-Mar-13 22:18:29

well i had a bit of a break but went yesterday for the day to help out and to ride. i think my riding was better yesterday but im so uncoordinated - its going to take a while.
im finding it harder than learning to drive tbh.

im back on sunday so will ask about hacking out. will be riding again and helping again.

on the plus side i did loads yesterday, - and as i was sorting a rug out on my usual ride she dropped her head and rested it on my neck and shoulder for ages.
she is so sweet.
thats why i go. it makes me feel better. i turned her out, then brought her in later, groomed her, did her feet, tacked her up, rode, untacked her, put her rug on and did her water. i did half the stables yesterday, RI did half too, turned out several horses, and RI is much better and less stressed when its just me and her, so much more pleasant to be there.

i am really going to look into a trekking course when i can afford it - jsut now things are a bit tight. but its on my list! i would love it. im sure it would help my riding.

not learnt much about feeds as yet. But will ask more. Also have some really good books.

also need to do more tacking up, will get there early enough to do more on sunday in readiness for kids lessons.

iim happy enough really. im learning. yes its slow but its coming and im being more forthright about what i need to learn.

i think when i get my own my learning will go up a level.

Littlebigbum Sat 23-Mar-13 00:49:27

We all still read you know, I know but we do. Ok we may not always agree but you never stop learning with horses. Kelly Marks is good to read and bhs stuff.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 24-Mar-13 23:03:13

thanks - ive got some BHS stuff and also a pony club one!

i didnt end up getting there today - dodgy stomach and thought id best not pass it around. needed a bit of a day of rest so am going tuesday instead.

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 03-May-13 00:10:51

not updated in a while so thought id nip back and say how its going.

i can now tack up, (i look a bit cack handed but i manage) i havent been to the yard for a month due to getting back to work, but went today.
think RI was pleased to see me, had a great lesson, we talked about hacking, she says she cant wait until im at a stage to hack out, but she is very safety conscious and wont take me until i am in much better control. (and she is right, ive not got proper control of my horse yet) its coming.

Littlebigbum Fri 03-May-13 23:13:59

Glad you are back at it

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 03-Jun-13 00:10:58

just an update! much better lately.....

RI is a huge fan of Sylvia Loch and ive been watching a lot of her, RI is teaching me a 'classical seat'.

all going way better. my riding (though slow progress) is improving.
and i am enjoying being there when i do go - and RI is enjoying having me there.

im doing way more. Ive told RI due to lack of suitable adult horses if she finds one i will pay for it and have it on a working livery for a lesser cost which we are agreed on.

so feelers are out now for a horse. I will continue lessons, am enjoying it a great deal and im learning properly. Yes RI is a stickler for proper learning but im happy with that - its a skill and im just getting to grips with it.

i watched the older kids class at the weekend - they can go from walk to canter without you visibly seeing anything, - she is a fabulous teacher, it all looks effortless, as if they are telepathic!

i still spend my days off there, and have learned a huge huge amount. Ready for my own now.

Littlebigbum Mon 03-Jun-13 00:55:04

Brill news

WillowKnicks Mon 03-Jun-13 11:06:00

Thanks for updating, I love reading about your progress smile

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 04-Jun-13 00:17:35

i learnt to "leg yield" the other day...ill be doing dressage one day!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now